Analog Devices introduces the AD9172 series D/A converter

Analog Devices has introduced a 28-nanometer D/A converter as part of a new series of high speed digital-to-analog converters (D/A converters). The AD9172 meets the demands of gigahertz bandwidth applications and delivers the increased spectral efficiency needed for 4G/5G multi-band wireless communications base stations and 2 GHz E-band microwave point-to-point backhaul platforms.

The design of the AD9172 series also benefits production instrumentation targeting multi-standard direct-to-RF signal synthesis. In addition, the AD9172 provides a solution for defence electronics requiring greater detection range.

Based on 28-nanometer CMOS technology, the AD9172 device sets new performance benchmarks as it provides best-in class dynamic range, signal bandwidth, and low power consumption unmatched by alternative solutions.

The dual 16-bit, 12 GSPS AD9172 provides direct-to-RF synthesis up to 6GHz eliminating the IF-to-RF up-conversion stage and LO generation. This simplifies the overall RF signal chain and lowering overall system cost. The AD9172 maintains superior linearity and noise performance across these RF frequencies providing system architects with the highest level of configurability. Independent numerically controlled oscillator (NCO), digital gain control, and various interpolation filter combinations per input channel provide designers with a rich suite of signal processing options to allow flexible signal chain partitioning between the analog and digital domains further enabling system designers to develop software defined platforms. It is complemented by the AD9208, a 28-nanometer analog-to-digital converter (A/D converter).


The AD9172 device is supported by the AD9172-FMC-EBZ evaluation board, this FMC form-factor board features FMC connectors that comply to the Vita 57.1 standard. The FMC boards use a Mini-Circuits balun on the DAC output. To operate the evaluation board, the user must attach the board to a compatible FMC carrier board, such as those provided by FPGA vendors. Analog Devices produces an FPGA carrier called the ADS7-V2, which serves as a digital pattern generator or data source as well as the power supply for the boards.

The AD9172-FMC-EBZ board has an option to be powered from a lab power supply when used in a special NCO-only mode. This operation is described in more detail in the User’s Guide. The user must be able to observe the DAC output on a spectrum analyzer. A low noise clock source is provided on the evaluations boards, the HMC7044 clock synthesizer, and an option exists for the user to supply a low jitter external sine or square wave clock as a clock source instead.

The evaluation board comes with software, called ACE, which allows the user to program the SPI port. Via the SPI port, the DUT (and clock circuitry) can be programmed into any of its various operating modes. It also comes with the DAC Software Suite which includes the DPGDownloader for vector generation, download, and transmission to the evaluation board when using the ADS7-V2.