ADA4945-1 THD behavior


I used the ADA4945-1 as ADC front-end (LTC2380-24) with supply rails centered
to ADC 2.5V Vref ( Vcc= +7.5 / Vee = -2.5V for 10V total supply).

The FDA is configured as fully differential filter, with 2 cutoff frequencies.
2 small relays allow to select proper filter part. Because of the size of relays itself,
the FDA input trace are not  short as they would be.

So now i have two different questions about the ADA4945-1 :
First, it is indicated in datasheet that exposed pad of the IC has to
be connected to negative rail. (but it not seem to be directly connected to it).
I have notice that too late and I connected it to ground plane instead.
So anyway, i don't have seen wrong behavior (current/voltage rails are ok).

Q1 ) Does it is a problem if exposed pad is connected to ground instead of VEE ?
(my Vee= -2.5V).


I have made several THD measurements with the couple ADA4945-1 and LTC23800-24
and results are very promising.
Anyway i noticed that when i use "full power mode" (for lowest THD), the THD (H2) rise
much (~20-30dB more).
The FDA output doesn't seem to oscillate (i see nothing in 500MHz bandwidth), but if
i add a small amount (~500pF) of capacitor between FDA +/- inputs the THD remain ok.
I tried to reproduce the behavior in LTspice, but without success.
I presume that Spice model doesn't take THD behavior in account.

Q2) Do you have some suggestions about this ?
What can explain THD degradation ?

I hope you can help me to solve the issue.
Best regards.


  • Hello,

    About my first question on the exposed pad, i have noticed after some reading,
    that both evaluation modules for the ADA4945-1 seem to have made same as me...
    The exposed pad is connected to ground, not to -Vee as writed on ADA4945-1 datasheet !
    So, must be connected to Vee or GND ?.....

    About my second question, i don't have explanation and i would really like to get some idea.
    If required, i can post schematics/layout.
    Please, i need help :-/



  • 0
    •  Analog Employees 
    on Nov 26, 2019 6:51 AM 12 months ago in reply to olif

    Hi Olivier,

    The noise performance will be best with the epad connected to the lowest potential (-Vs) so that’s where the epad should be connected.  On the first round of eval boards the epad was mistakenly connected to ground so when operated with dual supplies the noise will be slightly higher, on a single positive supply it won’t matter since ground is the lowest potential.  Later revisions of eval board will have the epad connected to Vs-.

    For your THD problem, the schematic and layout would help. 


  • Hello,

    Thank you for the feedback.
    So, probably i need to try with EP connected to Vee ... No very easy to do now.
    Is there a chance that my THD problem come from this?

    So you can look below, i posted the FDA configuration schematics,
    and the corresponding layout.

    In my tests setup, i get about -110dB H2 @ 1kHz/1Vrms,  and if i add
    a small capacitor (some hundred of pF) between pins  +/- of ADA4945-1
    inputs (pins 3/4) then i get  much lower H2 level is same condition (~140dBc).
    I checked for HF instability at ADA4945 outputs with a 350 MHz
    BW scope on output i saw nothing abnormal.

    I tried to reproduce the behavior in LTspice, without success.
    A pity that EP is not present on Spice model, maybe it would helped.
    Any idea?
    Best regards.


  • Hello,

    So, no idea  about my issue from AD team ?
    I would expect an answer...


  • 0
    •  Analog Employees 
    on Dec 5, 2019 8:26 AM 11 months ago in reply to olif

    Hi Olivier,

    Apologies if your question has been sitting for too long.

    I would need to see your schematic first. There will be a number of factors that would affect the THD performance of ADA4945.

    1. Resistor values

    2. Gain Settings

    3. Mode...etc.

    It would be great if I can look at your actual schematic. You can post it here or you can send it via email.



  • Hello,

    The schematics and corresponding PCB routing of AD4945-1 section is showed
    on my previous post of Nov26. Do you see them ? (Me yes).


  • 0
    •  Analog Employees 
    on Dec 5, 2019 7:44 PM 11 months ago in reply to olif

    Hi Olivier,

    Looking at your Nov. 26 post, there are two image icons present, but those cannot be opened or viewed to see your schematic / routing.

    You may want to post again in *.jpg, *.pdf or *.zip format.


Reply Children
  • Hello,

    I don't understand, i show both pictures fine using two different computers and on two locations.
    I(t is links of jpeg image hosted on my website).

    Anyway, i insert them now to my post, hope that will work now.


  • Hello,

    So no news ?
    I must say that i really need help to solve this issue !

    Than you.


  • Hello,

    There is now near one month that is posted my message to ask some AD support about a critical issue i experienced.
    So, nobody here ?...


  • 0
    •  Analog Employees 
    on Dec 16, 2019 8:50 AM 11 months ago in reply to olif

    Hi Olivier,

    Apologies, can you show your distortion measurements with the full-power and low-power mode? What is your test set-up during measurement? It's really weird that at same set-up the THD performance worsens at full-power mode. How many units have you tested?


  • Hello,

    So i explain all the issue in my previous message, and you ask for detailed measurements...
    I really think that it's not really what we can call efficient customer support.

    Anyway, i took some time these days to perform measurements in various conditions.

    I made measurements in both "low power mode" and "full power mode" of ADA4945-1,
    with normal schematic configuration (as my schematic/PCB sample previously posted),
    and then i repeated the measurements but adding a serial RC network between IN+/IN- of
    the ADA4945-1 (10 Ohms + 390pF).

    The signal source is an ultra-low THD 1kHz sine wave source with fully differential output.

    As you can show on FFT spectrum, specially in the "full power mode", the THD level is much
    worse than expected (datasheet specs) without the RC network.
    If the RC network is added, harmonics appear to decrease much.

    I suspect that my PCB routing add a small amount of capacitance between each IN+/- pins
    of the ADA4945-1 and then degrade it's THD behavior (bandwidth related ?).
    I have made some time domain measurements to check for instability of oscillation,
    but all signals are very clean with no trace of HF noise.
    I tried to reproduce also this behavior using provided AD SPICE model,
    but nothing is visible and no instability occur (THD behavior is not include in Spice model).

    So, my questions would be :
    - What AD think about my issue with the ADA4945-1 in this situation ?
    - What is the best way to compensate the capacitance at input pins ?
    - Can you confirm that ADA4945-1 is a voltage feedback type OPAMP ?

    I would be very grateful if AD help me efficiently to solve this.
    Best regards.