Mixed-signal Integrated Circuit


A mixed-signal system-on-a-chip can be a combination of analog circuits, digital circuits, intrinsic mixed-signal circuits (like ADC), and embedded software.

Integrated circuits (ICs) are generally classified as digital (e.g. a microprocessor) or analog (e.g. an operational amplifier). Mixed-signal ICs are chips that contain both digital and analog circuits on the same chip. This category of chip has grown dramatically with the increased use of 3G cell phones and other portable technologies.

Mixed-signal ICs are often used to convert analog signals to digital signals so that digital devices can process them. For example, mixed-signal ICs are essential components for FM tuners in digital products such as media players, which have digital amplifiers. Any analog signal (such as an FM radio transmission, a light wave or a sound) can be digitized using a very basic analog-to-digital converter. The smallest and the most energy efficient of these would be in the form of mixed-signal ICs.

Mixed-signal ICs are more difficult to design and manufacture than analog-only or digital-only integrated circuits. For example, an efficient mixed-signal IC would have its digital and analog components share a common power supply. However, analog and digital components have very different power needs and consumption characteristics that make this a non-trivial goal in chip design.

Usually, mixed-signal chips perform some whole function or sub-function in a larger assembly such as the radio subsystem of a cell phone, or the read data path and laser sled c control logic of a DVD player. They often contain an entire system-on-chip.

Because of the use of both digital signal processing and analog circuitry, mixed-signal ICs are usually designed for a very specific purpose and their design requires a high level of expertise as well as careful use of computer aided design (CAD) tools. Automated testing of the finished chips can also be challenging. Texas Instruments are the major suppliers of the test equipment for mixed-signal chips.

The particular challenges of mixed signal include:

  • CMOS technology is usually optimal for digital performance and scaling, while bipolar transistors are usually optimal for analog performance, yet until the last decade it has been difficult to either combine these cost-effectively or to design both analog and digital in a single technology without serious performance compromises. The advent of technologies like high performance CMOS devices have removed many of the compromises that previously had to be made.
  • Testing functional operation of mixed-signal ICs remains complex, expensive and often a “one-off” implementation task.
  • Systematic design methodologies comparable to digital design methods are far more primitive in the analog and mixed-signal arena. Analog circuit design cannot generally be automated to nearly the extent that digital circuit design can. Combining the two technologies multiplies this complication.
  • Fast-changing digital signals send noise to sensitive analog inputs. One path for this noise is substrate coupling. A variety of techniques are used to attempt to block or cancel this noise coupling, such as differential amplifier P+ guard-rings,  differential topology, on-chip decoupling, and triple-well isolation.



  1. you are actually a excellent webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a wonderful job in this topic!

  2. reginaldherring1985@mail.ua' healthcare says:

    This paragraph will assist the internet users for building up new weblog or even a blog from start to end.

  3. Hello there, There’s no doubt that your website might be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, wonderful site!

  4. This is a topic that is close to my heart… Take care! Where are your contact details though?

  5. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  6. reginaldherring1985@mail.ua' health says:

    Very nice write-up. I definitely love this site. Thanks!

  7. Great work! That is the kind of information that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this submit higher! Come on over and talk over with my web site . Thank you =)

  8. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  9. What’s up to every one, the contents existing at this web page are actually awesome for people experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  10. cliffordpratt69@mail.ru' secured says:

    These are really enormous ideas in regarding blogging. You have touched some nice factors here. Any way keep up writing.

  11. Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects? Thank you!

  12. I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  13. gabrielmosman@gmx.de' Esther says:

    My brother recommended I might like this blog.
    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not
    imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info!

  14. hello!,I like your writing very much! proportion we be in contact more approximately your post on AOL?
    I require a specialist on this space to resolve my problem.
    Maybe that is you! Taking a look ahead to peer you.

  15. What’s up friends, good article and pleasant arguments commented at this place, I am truly enjoying by these.

  16. You’re interesting! I don’t think I’ve truly read throuցh ɑnything like this before.

    So great to discоver another person with a few ցenuine thoughts oon this sᥙbject matter.

    Really.. thаnk you foor starting thuis up. This ԝebsіte is one thing
    that iis required on the web, someone with some originality!

Leave a Reply