Wonít timing issues (e.g., clock skew and clock jitter) that plague every time-interleaved topology be a problem with the KD1S topology?


o   The layout size of the KD1S is small and regular. It is possible to design a clock distribution tree to minimize clock skew errors.

 Even so, wonít a few picoseconds of skew be a big deal for a GHz, high-speed ADC? Yes, however, the standard deviation of the timing skew due to a path difference is reduced by both the number of paths, Kpath, and the oversampling ratio, K. For a 5 ps variation, for example, if Kpath = 8 and K = 8 then the effective oversampling ratio is 64. The effective timing skew is then not 5 ps but rather 625 fs (see Secs. 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 for detailed discussions). Note that this same discussion, and the benefits of oversampling, also applies to problems caused by clock jitter. Detailed discussions can be found here.

o   One big difference between KD1S and a time-interleaved ADC is that the forward path in the KD1S is shared. Itís not shared in a time-interleaved ADC topology and thus the KD1S is much more immune to timing errors.

 If the timing errors are introduced via the comparators (clock jitter, clock skew, or comparator metastability) then these errors are shaped in the same manner as the quantization noise. They are then filtered out with the Kpath Ė paths and the digital filtering. Practically, if the comparators can make a decision and charge the switched-capacitors within the relatively slow Ts/2 time interval, then these errors are negligible* and the timing errors associated with clocking the switched-capacitors, discussed next, dominate.

 Timing errors introduced via the switched-capacitors used in the Kpath feedback paths connected to the op-amp are lowpass filtered. They experience the modulatorís signal transfer function, the inherent filtering due to the switched-capacitor RC charging time, the filtering (averaging) due to using Kpath feedback paths, and the digital filtering resulting from averaging K outputs. As mentioned above the last two reductions cause the variance of the jitter to drop by the product of Kpath and K. This improves (makes more practical) the clock jitter requirements for a KD1S-based data converter.

o   For a qualitatively understanding imagine adding, between the rising edges of an input clock signal, additional phase-shifted clocks (Kpath-1 phases). As Kpath increases the effective sampling rate goes up (distance between rising edges decreases) until the sampling is effectively continuous-time. The mathematical description including global jitter, localized (one path) jitter, and skew may be involved but the concept can be understood with this simple description.

 Because of the shared forward path, the Kpath feedback paths, and the use of oversampling (K), the KD1S is a step in the right direction towards implementing practical high-speed ADCs in nano-CMOS.

* To be precise the errors associated with comparator delay influence the in-band noise as discussed in detail here.