Richard Lyons is a Contracting Systems Engineer and Lecturer at Besser Associates, Mountain View, Calif. He has written over 30 articles and conference papers on DSP topics, and authored's top selling DSP book "Understanding Digital Signal Processing, 3rd Ed.". He served as an Associate Editor at IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, for nine years, where he created and edited the "DSP Tips & Tricks" column. Lyons is the editor of, and contributor to, the book "Streamlining Digital Signal Processing-A Tricks of the Trade Guidebook, 2nd Ed." (Wiley & Sons, 2012).

Specifying the Maximum Amplifier Noise When Driving an ADC

Rick Lyons June 9, 20148 comments

I recently learned an interesting rule of thumb regarding the use of an amplifier to drive the input of an analog to digital converter (ADC). The rule of thumb describes how to specify the maximum allowable noise power of the amplifier [1].

The Problem Here's the situation for an ADC whose maximum analog input voltage range is –VRef to +VRef. If we drive an ADC's analog input with an sine wave whose peak amplitude is VP = VRef, the ADC's output signal to noise ratio is maximized. We'll...

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