Sachin Gupta, M. Ganesh Raja, Cypress Semiconductor
embedded.com (November 16, 2013)
Analog to Digital Convertors (ADCs) are omnipresent in most embedded applications. This fact has lead manufacturers of microcontrollers and System on Chip (SoC) architectures to integrate one or more ADCs into their product offerings. In many applications, these integrated ADCs are good enough to replace a dedicated ADC used in the application. Careful selection of a SoC that has an ADC with specifications closely matching the application yields a compact system at a lower cost.
There are many specifications to be taken into consideration while selecting an ADC - resolution, sample rate, noise performance, and power consumption, to name a few. However, in controllers that integrate an ADC, there are other specifications that are worth checking as well. These include CPU overhead, the option to multiplex multiple signals, and flexibility in pin assignment. Thus, evaluating an integrated ADC in an SoC can be a little bit trickier than evaluating an external ADC.
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