University of Oulu

J. -. Jansson, P. Keränen, S. Jahromi and J. Kostamovaara, "Enhancing Nutt-Based Time-to-Digital Converter Performance with Internal Systematic Averaging," in IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. doi: 10.1109/TIM.2019.2932156

Enhancing nutt-based time-to-digital converter performance with internal systematic averaging

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Author: Jansson, J.-P.1; Keränen, P.1; Jahromi, S.1;
Organizations: 1Circuits and Systems Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2020
Publish Date: 2019-12-10


A time-to-digital converter (TDC) often consists of sophisticated, multilevel, sub-gate delay structures, when time intervals need to be measured precisely. The resolution improvement is rewarding until integral nonlinearity (INL) and random jitter begin to limit the measurement performance. INL can then be minimized with calibration techniques and result postprocessing. A TDC architecture based on a counter and timing signal interpolation (the Nutt method) makes it possible to measure long time intervals precisely. It also offers an effective means of improving the precision by averaging. Traditional averaging, however, demands several successive measurements, which increases the measurement time and power consumption. It is shown here that by using several interpolators that are sampled homogeneously over the clock period, the effects of limited resolution, interpolation nonlinearities and random noise can be markedly reduced. The designed CMOS TDC utilizing internal systematic sampling technique achieves 3.0ps rms single-shot precision without any additional calibration or nonlinearity correction.

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Series: IEEE transactions on instrumentation and measurement
ISSN: 0018-9456
ISSN-E: 1557-9662
ISSN-L: 0018-9456
Volume: 69
Issue: 6
Pages: 3928 - 3935
DOI: 10.1109/TIM.2019.2932156
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (Centre of Excellence in Laser Scanning Research, contract no. 307362 and contracts no. 285683 and 317144).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285683
Detailed Information: 285683 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
317144 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see