[time-nuts] Using CPLD/FPGA or similar for frequency

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Mon Jun 15 19:26:35 EDT 2015


I’ve spent a lot of time with both of those papers and with a couple of others
in the “series’. The gotcha is in the interpretation of the calibration results. It
is often very unclear which pattern comes before which other pattern. Since
the internal PLL’s have jitter in the 20 to 30 ps RMS range, that limits a lot of 
the data you get.


> On Jun 15, 2015, at 6:03 PM, Attila Kinali <attila at kinali.ch> wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Jun 2015 21:45:33 -0400
> Bob Camp <kb8tq at n1k.org> wrote:
>> The delay line in an FPGA approach might get you to 20 ps. There is a lot of hand
>> waving in the calibration process to get there. ( = figuring out that state A came before
>> state B is based on things that are difficult to prove). 
>> If you do get it calibrated, you then find that it’s sensitive to both supply voltage and 
>> to temperature. The supply thing you can take care of with a good regulator. The “shifts
>> all over the place when you put your thumb on it” T/C is not quite as easy to deal with. 
>> A TDC using an R/C and an ADC is a *much* easier way to go. 
> Just two references on this topic:
> [1] Is AFAIK the only way to get FPGAs below the intrinsic cell delay
> (which is varies between a min of 10-20ps and a max of 100-200ps within
> the same FPGA)
> And [2] gives an idea how a possible calibration system might work.
> 			Attila Kinali
> [1] "The 10-ps wave union TDC: Improving FPGA TDC resolution beyond its
> cell delay", by Wu, Jinyuan and Shi, Zonghan, 2008
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/NSSMIC.2008.4775079
> [2] "Statistical Linearity Calibration of Time-To-Digital Converters Using
> a Free-Running Ring Oscillator", by Rivior, 2006
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ATS.2006.260991
> -- 
> I must not become metastable. 
> Metastability is the mind-killer.
> Metastability is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
> I will face my metastability. 
> I will permit it to pass over me and through me. 
> And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. 
> Where the metastability has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
> _______________________________________________
> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
> and follow the instructions there.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list