Wideband ADC (9630)

Period of Performance: 07/10/2003 - 01/11/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Q-dot, Inc.
1069 Elkton Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Principal Investigator


Q-DOT proposes to develop a wide bandwidth, monolithic, analog-to-digital converter (ADC) using advanced silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technology. State-of-the-art commercially available, wide band ADCs are represented by the MAX108 at 8 bits and 1.5 Gs/s with 2.2 GHz signal bandwidth (the fastest commercially available ADC); and, the AD9410, a 210 Ms/s, 10-bit ADC with 500 MHz signal bandwidth (the fastest 10-bit commercial ADC). Q-DOT proposes a 10-bit ADC designed to operate at 6 Gs/s with 6 GHz bandwidth. The ADC will be fabricated on IBM's SiGe BiCMOS production line; thus, its production cost will be comparable to other silicon BiCMOS parts. The wide bandwidth, high resolution, and ability to add flexible signal processing using dense CMOS logic cells, ensures simplified product insertion into multiple applications, both military and commercial. Flexible sampling rates and on-chip output demultiplexing will enable insertion into a variety of systems, both over- and under-sampled. The on-chip CMOS can be used to design a programmable controller to facilitate fast transition from one mode to another via software alone. This will enable a single ADC to perform well in applications ranging from broadband monitoring to extracting narrowband voice and data channels. There are many potential partners for this development, both military and commercial. Q-DOT has established relationships with several leading aerospace, defense, and commercial firms who have expressed interest in this technology and specifically a next-generation ADC for advanced radars, data communications systems, telecommunications systems, and test instruments. Major commercial applications for a 10-bit, 6 Gs/s ADC include wideband communication systems (e.g., basestations) and next generation test instruments. Digital oscilloscopes (DSOs), spectrum analyzers, communication system analyzers, and mass spectrometers will benefit greatly from the ADC.