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High-Performance, Lowest Power Data Converters Enable Compact Medical Imaging And Wireless Communications Systems


A new family of 10- and 12-bit, eight-channel (octal) analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) introduced today by Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) features the industry’s lowest power consumption and smallest size. The new data converters enable smaller and more energy-efficient medical imaging, wireless communications, military guidance, automatic test equipment and video equipment. The ADS5281 family offers high resolution and sampling speeds of up to 65 million samples per second (MSPS), low noise performance and advanced digital features, which are critical in sensitive imaging applications like portable ultrasound and MRI equipment. (See

“As medical imaging systems become more portable and compact, TI is committed to solving challenges manufacturers face when designing these increasingly complex systems,” said Art George, senior vice president of TI’s high-performance analog business unit. “The ADS5281 ADC family and TI’s octal amplifier provide the ultra-low power and high density these systems require, without sacrificing performance and image quality.”

Industry’s Lowest Power Consumption Critical to High-Density Systems

The ADS5281, ADS5282 and ADS5287 ADCs feature market-leading power consumption, 30 percent less than competing solutions. At the highest sample rate of 65 MSPS, the ADS5281 family consumes as little as 77 milliwatts (mW) per channel. With dynamic scaling, at a 30 MSPS sample rate, the per-channel power consumption is as low as 48 mW per channel.

The ADS5281 family is designed to interface with TI’s new octal variable gain amplifier, the VCA8500, which features 0.8 nv/square root Hz input noise at only 63 mW per channel power consumption. When combined, the ADC and octal amplifier offer a complete medical signal chain solution with better noise performance and a combined power of less than 130 mW per channel at 50 MSPS, less than any competing solution on the market today.

Space-Saving Packages Enable Compact Medical Imaging Systems

The ADS5281 devices and VCA8500 come in the industry’s smallest 64-pin 9 x 9 mm QFN package, a space savings that is essential for high-density systems. Connecting the amplifier to the ADC does not require additional components, and implementing the combined solution requires the same footprint as any comparable integrated device.

Advanced Features Enhance Performance

The ADS5281 family also includes an array of features to enhance performance. A low-frequency noise suppression mode eliminates the 1/f (Flicker) noise, improving SNR by up to 4.2 dB over a 1-MHz band in baseband and time-domain applications. Overload recovery circuitry allows each ADC to provide valid data within one clock cycle after an input overload as high as 6 dB, allowing for immediate signal recovery and processing. And with programmable gain from 0 to 12 dB, full-scale outputs can be provided for input signals as low as 0.5 Volts peak to peak (Vpp).

Tools, Support, Signal Chain Solutions Speed Time to Market

Easy-to-use evaluation modules (EVMs), deserializer and capture cards available from TI allow fast and cost-effective evaluation to help customers speed the design process and penetrate the market quickly. To further simplify design, TI offers a wide variety of parts to complete the signal chain. Aside from the VCA8500 for medical imaging, TI offers signal chain solutions for wireless communications systems including the DAC5672A, TRF3710, TRF3703, GC5016 and THS45xx family of amplifiers, as well as TI’s family of single- and multi-core wireless infrastructure-optimized digital signal processors (DSPs).

Availability and Packaging

The ADS5281 family of ADCs is available in a space-saving 9 x 9 mm, 64-pin QFN package. The ADS5281 is also available in an 80-pin TQFP package that provides an easy transition to these next-generation ADCs, as the TQFP package is pin-for-pin compatible with TI’s previous-generation ADS527x family of octal ADCs. Pricing is listed below for each device in the family in 100-piece quantities. Samples of the ADS5281 are available now, while samples of the remaining devices will be available during the first half of 2008.
The VCA8500 is also available in a space-saving 9 x 9 mm, 64-pin QFN package. Pricing is $40 in 100-piece quantities. Samples are available a today.

The ADS5281 family is the newest of TI’s world-class high-speed and precision data converters for a wide range of applications including industrial, communications, audio and medical. To download the latest Amplifier and Data Converter Selection Guide, visit the Analog eLabTM Design Center at


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