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RF-Sampling and GSPS ADCs - Breakthrough ADCs Revolutionize Radio Architectures

Texas Instruments has revolutionized radio architectures and expanded its gigasample-per-second (GSPS) analog-to-digital converter (ADC) portfolio with the direct RF-sampling ADC12Dxx00RF family. These RF-sampling ADCs offer the industry's best performance beyond 2.7 GHz, building on the industry's fastest sampling rates of TI's existing 12-bit ADC family.

Together with its wideband amplifiers and low-noise clock & timing solutions, TI enables new RF-sampling and wideband SDR systems that efficiently increase system capacity, scalability, and flexibility while simultaneously reducing system size, weight, power, cost, and design time.

Benefits of RF-Sampling
A single direct RF-sampling ADC can replace an entire IF-sampling or ZIF-sampling subsystem of mixers, LO synthesizers, amplifiers, filters, and ADCs, while drastically reducing bill of materials (BOM) cost, design time, board size, weight, and power. In addition, the analog frequency down-conversion function is moved into the DSP, FPGA, or ASIC, where frequencies and bandwidths can be controlled digitally, enabling maximum system flexibility and re-configurability. The 1.8 GHz Nyquist bandwidth of the RF-sampling ADC family ensures the solution can scale up easily for wider bandwidths in future products.

RF-Sampling ADCs benefits include:
• Reduced system cost
• Reduced system size, weight, and power
• Simplified design
• More flexible, digitally-programmable system
• Reduced RF interference
• Scalable solution

Benefits of Wideband Software-Defined Radio (SDR)
In multi-channel systems, hardware-defined radio (HDR) implementations require a significant amount of analog signal processing for every channel, leading to large board area, high analog design complexity, limited flexibility, and susceptibility to RF interference. A GSPS ADC allows multiple narrowband and wideband channels to be combined into a single ultra-wideband channel, thereby pushing channelization from the analog domain into the DSP, FPGA, or ASIC, where frequencies and bandwidths can be controlled digitally, enabling maximum system flexibility and re-configurability. An SDR approach offers numerous benefits over a traditional HDR approach:

• Low analog complexity: smaller boards, lower system power and cost
• Less susceptibility to RF interference: less shielding required
• Unlimited flexibility: software programmability of radio and lower R&D compared to hardware redesign
• Analog power does not increase with channel count

Author
Texas Instruments

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