This paper presents the design of a continuous-time ΔΣ modulator (CTDSM) to be used in an ultrasound beamformer for biomedical imaging. To achieve better resolution, the prototype modulator operates at 1.2 GHz. It incorporates a digital excess loop delay (ELD) compensation to replace the active adder in front of the internal quantizer. A digitally controlled reference-switching matrix, combined with the data-weighted averaging (DWA) technique, results in a delay-free feedback path.
A multi-bit FIR feedback DAC, along with its compensation path, is used to achieve lower clock jitter sensitivity and better loop filter linearity. The modulator achieves 79.4 dB dynamic range, 77.3 dB SNR, and 74.3 dB SNDR over a 15 MHz signal bandwidth. Fabricated in a 65 nm CMOS process, the core modulator occupies an area of only 0.16 mm2 and dissipates 6.96 mW from a 1 V supply. A 58.6 fJ/conversion-step figure of merit is achieved.