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[FAQ] ADC Noise: How is ADC noise measured and specified?

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How is noise measured and specified for Delta-Sigma ADCs?

Regards,
Collin Wells
Precision ADC Applications

  • There are two methods ADC manufacturers use to measure ADC noise. The first method shorts the ADC’s inputs together to measure the slight variations in output code as a result of thermal noise. The second method involves inputting a sine wave with a specific amplitude and frequency (such as 1 VPP at 1 kHz) and reporting how the ADC quantizes the sine wave. Figure 2 demonstrates these types of noise measurements.

    Figure 2: Sine-wave-input test setup (left) and input-short test setup (right)

    Which ADCs use which type of measurement method? Read more about noise measurement methods and specifications in part 2.

    Regards,
    Collin Wells
    Precision ADC Applications

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