Time-to-Digital Converter Brings Pico-Second Resolution to Drones, LIDAR


The new TDC-GPX2 high-performance time-to-digital converter from AMS/Acam improves on a classic, with more power, a smaller package and lower cost than its predecessor. The TDC-GPX2 has very low power consumption and is configured in a small 9- x 9-mm QFN64 package, which also reduces or even eliminates cooling requirements.

PMTFlorida-based Precision Measurement Technologies (PMT) is a technology center with on-site experts in AMS products, including the Acam family that features high-resolution time-to-digital converters. The center develops applications for standard AMS products, and assists customers on proof-of-concept designs, evaluation systems and register settings to optimize production.

“Applications that require a high-performance converter to acquire, process and deliver data are already using the TDC-GPX2,” said Rob Matthes, president of PMT. “It is being used to determine LIDAR and radar ranges, precision timing for ATEs and precise mapping in PET scanners. It makes the systems with which it is integrated very fast and accurate, and provides more detailed data than before. Self-driving, autonomous vehicles, SONAR and other military applications are also great fits.”

The compact TDC-GPX2 operates in two-channel or four-channel modes, achieving 70 mega-samples per second with 10-pS resolution, and 35 mega-samples per second with 20-pS resolution, respectively. Detection returns are 5 nanoseconds (ns) pulse-to-pulse in two-channel mode and 20 ns pulse-to-pulse in four-channel mode. It has an unlimited measuring range of 0 to 16 s.

It is designed without any locked loop technologies, and calculates all stop measurements inside, proportional to the applied reference clock. High measurement performance and the highest data throughput are achieved with a low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) interfaces for stop inputs and serial outputs. The readout can be configured with LVDS or SPI, with a SPI compatible four-wire interface for configuration.

PMT, www.pmt-fl.com, 727-532-6144