Linear-to-logarithmic FOM mapping

There are two mathematical forms commonly used for ADC figures-of-merit (FOM) – the linear form, and the equivalent base-10 logarithmic expression. As an example:

G_{A1} = SNDR+ 20\times\log{\dfrac{f_s}{P}}

is the logarithmic equivalent of

F_{A1} = \dfrac{P}{2^{ENOB} f_{s}},

and both are used in the literature. The mapping between the two is derived as follows: Assume that B is a performance measured in “bits”, and that B is determined by a performance X_{dB} (e.g., SNDR) as

B = \dfrac{X_{dB} - 1.76}{6.02}


2^{\alpha_B B} = 2^{\alpha_B \dfrac{X_{dB} - 1.76}{6.02}} = {(10^{\log2})}^{\alpha_B\dfrac{X_{dB} - 1.76}{20\times\log2}} = 10^{\alpha_B\dfrac{X_{dB} - 1.76}{20}}

If a generic FOM [1] has the linear form

F = K \times{P}^{\alpha_P}\times{f}^{\alpha_f}\times{V}^{\alpha_V}\times{A}^{\alpha_A}\times{L}^{\alpha_L}\times{D}^{\alpha_D}\times{2}^{\alpha_B B},

then we get the equivalent logarithmic form through the transformation

G = \dfrac{1}{\alpha_B}\times 20\times\log{F},

which yields

G = X_{dB}+M_0+M+ \dfrac{20}{\alpha_B}\times[\alpha_P\times\log{P}+\alpha_f\times\log{f}+...\\ +\alpha_V\times\log{V}+\alpha_A\times\log{A}+\alpha_L\times\log{L}+\alpha_D\times\log{D}].

The scaling with \alpha_B gives the most natural expression for G, starting with an unscaled “dB-performance” term rather than a scaled one in case \alpha_B \neq 1 . For FOMs that does not include a “bits” or similar resolution-related performance, the scaling with \alpha_B is omitted.

A strict mapping between F and G requires  M =0, M_0 = 1.76 , but M_0 is usually omitted and M is used to handle various scaling permutations.

Read more in [1] and [2].


[1] B. E. Jonsson, “A generic ADC FOM”, Converter Passion blog, On-line,, Jan., 2011.

[2] B. E. Jonsson, “Generic ADC FOM classes”, Converter Passion blog, On-line,, Jan., 2011.

One response to “Linear-to-logarithmic FOM mapping

  1. Pingback: The mother of all ADC FOM | Converter Passion


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