Применения > > Single-Ended-to-Differential Converters for Voltage Output and Current Output DACs Using the AD8042 Op Amp

Single-Ended-to-Differential Converters for Voltage Output and Current Output DACs Using the AD8042 Op Amp (cn0143)

With single-ended signaling, one wire from the signal source is routed throughout the system to the data acquisition interface. The voltage measured is the difference between the signal and the ground. Unfortunately, “ground” can be a different level in different places because the ground impedance can never be zero. This can lead to errors when using single-ended inputs, especially where the signal trace is long and grounds currents contain large digital transients. Single-ended signal runs are sensitive to noise pickup because they act as an antenna, picking up electrical activity. With single-ended inputs there is no way of distinguishing between the signal and the interfering noise. Most of the ground and noise problems are solved by differential signaling.

With differential signaling, two signal wires run from the signal source to the data acquisition interface. This can solve both of the problems caused by single-ended connections. Noise between the sending and receiving ground planes acts as a common-mode signal and is, therefore, greatly attenuated. The use of twisted pair wire causes noise pickup to appear as a common-mode signal, which is also greatly attenuated at the receiver. Another advantage of differential transmission is that the differential signal has twice the amplitude of the equivalent single-ended signal, therefore giving greater noise immunity.

Here we describe a differential driver that can be adapted to either a voltage or current output DAC. The driver is based on the dual AD8042 op amp configured as a cross-coupled differential driver. The AD8042 has a rail-to-rail output stage that operates within 30 mV of either rail and an input stage that can operate 200 mV below the negative supply (ground in this circuit) and within 1 V of the positive supply. In addition, the AD8042 has 160 MHz bandwidth and fast settling time, making it an ideal choice for the output driver.

The voltage output DAC is the 12-bit AD5620, a member of the nanoDAC® family. The DAC contains an on-chip 5 ppm/°C reference and is available in an 8-lead SOT-23 or MSOP package. The current output DAC is the 12-bit AD5443, which is available in a 10-lead MSOP package.

The two circuits represent a cost effective, low power, and small board area solution for generating differential signals from industrial CMOS DACs. Both circuits operate on a single +5 V supply.

Figure 1. Differential Driver for the AD5620 Voltage Output DAC


  • Single ended to differential conversion
  • Noise and common mode error cancellations
  • Rail to rail output using a single supply


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