Data Conversion within Energy Constrained Environments (2017)

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Data Conversion within Energy Constrained Environments (2017)

Author: Kelly, Brandon M. (West Virginia University),  AdvisorGraham, David W.

Within scientific research, engineering, and consumer electronics, there is a multitude of new discrete sensor-interfaced devices. Maintaining high accuracy in signal quantization while staying within the strict power-budget of these devices is a very challenging problem. Traditional paths to solving this problem include researching more energy-efficient digital topologies as well as digital scaling.

This work offers an alternative path to lower-energy expenditure in the quantization stage — content-dependent sampling of a signal. Instead of sampling at a constant rate, this work explores techniques which allow sampling based upon features of the signal itself through the use of application-dependent analog processing. This work presents an asynchronous sampling paradigm, based off the use of floating-gate-enabled analog circuitry. The basis of this work is developed through the mathematical models necessary for asynchronous sampling, as well the SPICE-compatible models necessary for simulating floating-gate enabled analog circuitry. These base techniques and circuitry are then extended to systems and applications utilizing novel analog-to-digital converter topologies capable of leveraging the non-constant sampling rates for significant sample and power savings.

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