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Time-to-digital converter offers ultra-accurate measurements

ams has launched a new version of its time-to-digital converter (TDC), which is said to offer improved speed and precision together with low power consumption. The TDC-GPX2 also features standard low voltage differential signalling, serial peripheral interfaces, and smaller 9mm x 9mm QFN64 package.

TDCs – which can measure short time intervals with great precision – are used in light detection and ranging, and laser ranging devices, in positron emission tomography medical scanners and in automated test equipment.

According to the company, with the TDC-GPX2, these applications can benefit from increased resolution up to 10p/s and a high sampling rate of up to 70Msamples/s.

The TDC-GPX2 is an integrated four-channel converter IC offering single-measurement resolution of up to 20psr/ms per channel in normal mode. Operating in dual channel high resolution mode, it can achieve a maximum resolution of 10psr/ms with 5ns pulse-to-pulse spacing.

The product uses between 60mW and 450mW in normal operation, and draws 60µA in standby mode.

Higher precision and a higher sampling rate are said to help improve better object detection and avoidance LIDAR systems in cars, drones and robots. They are also claimed to enable PET scanners to achieve greater contrast while reducing the patient’s exposure time.

The chip also includes a driver for a quartz reference clock, which can be used for automatic calibration alternatively to the reference input.

In addition, ams supplies an evaluation kit, the GPX2-EVA-KIT, which includes a programmer and GUI software for PCs.

Peggy Lee

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