A/D Precision Requirements for Digital Ultra-Wideband Radio Receivers

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Ultra wideband radio (UWB) is a new wireless technology that uses narrow pulses to transmit information. Implementing an “all-digital” UWB receiver has numerous potential benefits ranging from low-cost and ease-of-design to flexibility. Digitizing an RF signal near the antenna, however, introduces its own set of challenges and has traditionally been considered infeasible. A high-speed, high-resolution analog-digital converter (ADC) is difficult to design, and is extremely power-hungry. The viability of an “all-digital” architecture, therefore, hinges upon the specifications of this block. In this paper, we demonstrate that 4 bits of resolution are sufficient for reliable detection of a typical UWB signal that is swamped in noise and interference.

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