ADC drivers are required for three main reasons. First, many signal sources are single ended, while many high-speed ADCs have differential inputs, so the driver must perform single-ended to differential conversion. Second, many ADCs have switched-capacitor inputs that are prone to incoming and outgoing charge spikes, so the driver must buffer the signal source from the ADC inputs. Third, small signals must often be amplified and level shifted to match the full-scale input range of the ADC. The driver handles this task as well.
Learn more about ADC drivers in Driving Miss ADC, as published in the August 2012 issue of Analog Dialogue.
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