# Tag Archives: poll

## Poll result: What parameters should be mandatory in ADC papers?

Poll: What ADC parameters should be mandatory in ADC implementation papers?

Back in July 2011, I raised the question “What parameters should be reported in a good ADC paper?”, and I also asked you what parameters you felt should be mandatory to report in ADC implementation type of papers, when applicable. The poll has been simmering for a while now, and your verdict as of May 28, 2012 is shown above.

Sampling rate (or bandwidth) is the parameter that most of the voters felt should be mandatory to report, closely followed by signal-to-noise-and-distortion ratio (SNDR). I kind of expected these two to come out on top. The lowest ranking parameters in this poll are effective resolution bandwidth (ERBW), self-noise, and intermodulation distortion (IMD).

There are some results that surprised me: I didn’t expect to see the low interest in nominal ADC resolution (N) and power dissipation (P). Only half of the voters want to require authors to report power dissipation, and as little as one third (!) wish to enforce the reporting of nominal resolution when applicable. Interesting, indeed.

What do you say? Are these results expected? Does the ranking list match your personal parameter preferences as well? Are your top two parameters also fs and SNDR (ENOB)?

I’ll keep the poll active, so if you want to have a say too, just make your choices below.

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## ADC research trends: Overall publication count

The exponential growth in ADC publications

PUBLICATION TRENDS: Now, with all the new survey data, I’m planning to do a series of posts on A/D-converter performance evolution and research trends. First out is an update of the overall number-of-publications trend, which was originally discussed in one of the first post on the blog.

The graph shows the total number of ADC implementation papers per year in the sources listed here. The y-axis is logarithmic to simplify observation of exponential trends. My interpretation is that publication count follows a consistent exponential trend from 1988 and onwards. A log-fit of the data between 1988 and 2011 reveals that the number of A/D-converter papers have doubled approximately every decade since 1988, and that the annual increase is 6.8%. For anyone interested, the expression for the trend line is

$n_{papers} = {10}^{0.028464\times year - 55.1448}$

If the scientific output volume follows the current trend, it projects to 225 ADC papers per year by 2020 and 433 papers in year 2030. That’s a lot of papers! Probably we’ll see a slow-down in publication volume before that, but only the future can tell us when, and to what level it will saturate. It is possible that we’re already observing a saturation towards ~120 papers/year. The paper count has not increased since 2008. On the other hand, the historical curve is not monotonic, so it could just as well be noise in the data. A similar four-year plateau is for example observed 1996-1999, without changing the overall trend.

What do you think? Are we observing a saturation of the scientific ADC output volume? Would that be good or bad? Is there a limit for how many papers the ADC community can handle per year? Share your thoughts or answer the polls.

Here’s an old poll which is still active:

ADC Survey Data

## What parameters should be reported in a good ADC paper?

If you’re anything like me and try to draw as much information as possible out of scientific experiments done by others, you may have been frustrated from time to time over the huge variation in reporting practices between individual scientific authors. Having surveyed over 1600 papers by now, I’ve noted that measurement data reporting philosophies range from having a full set of relevant design and performance parameters (sometimes even including the variation over all circuit samples) down to reporting SNR-only performance for a single input frequency near DC and no mention of things like full-scale range, input amplitude, supply voltage, or anything else that could help the reader to interpret the results. It makes you wonder …

I’ve been contemplating the fact that authors may spend 9-12 months (or 1–1.5% of their lifetime) conceiving, modeling, designing and measuring their ADCs, but when they finally write their papers, some choose to make as little impact as possible by omitting nearly everything that could be of interest to the scientific and engineering community. Imagine yourself spending 1-1.5% of your life earnings on something (that’s like 5 to 7 months salary). Then you’d want it to make a difference, right? So, why not in (some) papers?

I can understand that companies may want to hide some information to avoid helping competitors, and I do understand that academic competition can sometimes be just as fierce. But if neither corporations nor universities feel they can openly report their results, where does that leave our field? Do we really want a “science” where everybody is competing to be the first to come up with something of which they tell nothing?

If not, what can be done about it, and what parameters do you expect to see in a good ADC paper?