ADC stands for Analog to Digital Converter. It is an IP that takes in the form of an analog signal and converts it into a digital signal as the name suggests. It helps connecting a digital chip to the external analog world. The output of the IP block is in the form of either binary or digital numeric values.


While an analog signal tends to be continuous time and amplitude, the digital signal produced as the output is discrete in both regards as the input has been sampled.


There are several different types of ADCs depending on how they are implemented on the electronic circuit. One of these is the Flash AD converter which is extremely fast in terms of speed and works as a parallel circuit. It is composed of several comparators, each of which compares its input signal to the reference voltage range. It then produces an output signal that is fed into a logic circuit. The circuit itself tends to be quite large and expensive, having a rather low resolution which is comprised on due to its superior speeds.


One of the most modern kinds of ADCs is the Successive Approximation converter which employs the use of a digital logic which approximates the analog input signal with the help of a comparator having a relatively narrow range of input voltage signals. This is done using an internal digital to analog converter at each step, and the approximation is saved in a SAR (successive approximation register).

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