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National Semiconductor Delivers Industry's First High-Speed, Continuous-Time Sigma-Delta Analog-to-Digital Converter

National’s PowerWise ADC Consumes 30 Percent Less Power than Competitive Devices

Jan 28, 2008

January 28, 2008 – National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today announced the availability of the industry’s first high-speed, continuous-time sigma-delta(1) (CTSD) analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The ADC12EU050, a member of National’s PowerWise® energy-efficient family, is an 8-channel, 12-bit, 50 mega-samples per second (MSPS) ADC that offers an alias-free sample bandwidth up to 25 MHz, while consuming 30 percent less power (350 mW) than competing pipeline devices. This low-power breakthrough enables manufacturers to extend battery life and reduce heat in portable medical ultrasound and industrial imaging equipment.

CTSD technology has been the subject of university and industry research for more than 15 years. With the introduction of the ADC12EU050, National is the first manufacturer to successfully transition CTSD technology from the research lab to the production line. National plans to expand its CTSD ADC product offering for imaging, communications, and test and measurement applications that require high dynamic performance at extremely low power. The continuous-time architecture greatly simplifies system design as it allows the integration of other signal-path functions, such as signal conditioning, while incorporating anti-aliasing filtering into the ADC.

The ADC12EU050’s innovative CTSD architecture offers many advantages compared to traditional pipeline architectures:

  • Lower power dissipation
  • Integrated low-pass, brickwall anti-aliasing filter that blocks out-of-band signals from aliasing down in-band
  • Easy-to-drive, purely resistive input stage that does not require a sample-and-hold amplifier
  • Integrated phase-locked loop (PLL) and voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) that performs clock conditioning, enabling system designers to use inexpensive clock sources
  • On-chip instant-overload recovery (IOR) circuitry that recovers from saturation within one clock cycle, if the input exceeds pre-determined limits

Key Technical Features – ADC12EU050 CTSD ADC
The ADC12EU050 12-bit, ultra-low-power, octal CTSD ADC offers an alias-free sample bandwidth up to 25 MHz and a conversion rate of 40 MSPS to 50 MSPS. The device features 68 dB of signal-to-noise and distortion (SINAD) and a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 70 decibels full scale (dBFS). Operating from a 1.2V supply, it consumes 44 mW per channel at 50 MSPS for a total power consumption of only 350 mW. The ADC12EU050 reduces interconnection complexity by using programmable serialized outputs, which offer industry-standard low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) and scalable low-voltage signaling (SLVS) modes. The ADC12EU050 operates over the -40 degrees C to 85 degrees C temperature range and is supplied in a 10 mm by 10 mm, 68-pin LLP® package.

About National’s Data Conversion Portfolio
National Semiconductor is a leading provider of high-speed and low-power data converters. National’s portfolio is rich in differentiated products that offer a unique set of value-added features, including the fastest 8-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with speeds up to 3 GSPS, 12- and 14-bit ADCs featuring high input bandwidth of 1.1 GHz at speeds up to 170 MSPS, and the easiest-to-use family of pin- and function-compatible 8-, 10-, 12- and 14-bit low-power ADCs and digital-to-analog converters (DACs) with speeds up to 1 MSPS. National’s PowerWise data converter products offer the optimal performance at the lowest power consumption for communications infrastructure, medical imaging, test and measurement, and other applications. For more information about National’s data conversion products, visit www.national.com/adc.

Pricing and Availability
Samples of the ADC12EU050 are available now, with high-volume quantities scheduled to be available in third quarter 2008. The ADC12EU050 is priced at $64 in 1,000-unit quantities. For more information and easy-to-order samples and evaluation boards, visit

Note to editors: To view a high-resolution downloadable photo of this product, visit National's photo gallery.

About National’s PowerWise Brand
National’s PowerWise brand reflects the company’s energy-efficient product portfolio. It signifies products with outstanding performance-to-power at the component level, as well as products that provide an outstanding, energy-efficient solution when coupled with other National parts. National’s PowerWise family of products features energy-efficient power management, operational amplifiers, interface and data conversion products. For more information about National’s PowerWise brand, visit: http://www.national.com/powerwise.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high-value analog devices and subsystems. National's leading-edge products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key analog markets include wireless handsets, displays, communications infrastructure, medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., National reported sales of $1.93 billion for fiscal 2007, which ended May 27, 2007. Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com.

(1) Sigma-delta is also known as delta-sigma.