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High Performance ADC for Reconfigurable/Reprogrammable Communication Systems

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ridgetop Group, Inc.
3580 West Ina Road Tucson, AZ -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: High Performance ADC for Reconfigurable/Reprogrammable Communication Systems
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX12CD72P
Award Amount: $124,460.00


Ridgetop Group will develop a 3X improvement in sampling resolution over current state-of-the art analog-to-digital converter (ADC) technology to support reconfigurable/reprogrammable communication systems. The significance of this innovation lies in the time-interleaved pipeline ADC, based on the most advanced silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technology available, with over 2 bits higher effective number of bits (ENOB = 11.0 bits) than the best commercially available radiation-tolerant 2 GS/s ADCs (ENOB = 8.9 bits). In addition, the ADC consumes 65% less power than commercial ADCs, conserving valuable spacecraft power.For maximum flexibility and minimal power consumption, the ADC provides two configurable pipeline channels and four programmable operation modes. The ADC will also provide 3 GHz input analog bandwidth for direct sampling of RF signals in the S-band.The ADC will tolerate 5 Mrads of total ionizing dose (TID) radiation due to the inherent radiation tolerance of the SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBT), 130 nm thin-oxide CMOS transistors, and standard radiation-hardening-by-design (RHBD) techniques. The ADC will be also sufficiently hardened against single-event effects (SEE).Ridgetop will fabricate and test the ADC in the IBM 130 nm BiCMOS SiGe process in Phase 2 of this SBIR program.

Principal Investigator:

Esko Mikkola
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Milena Thompson
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Ridgetop Group, Inc.
3580 West Ina Rd Tucson, AZ -

EIN/Tax ID: 860979220
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No