High-speed digitizers have enabled significant improvements in military electronic systems by converting analog input signals to the digital realm, where advanced digital-signal-processing (DSP) techniques can be applied. In a receiver, analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are positioned at the output of an intermediate-frequency (IF) amplifier, and have enabled direct sampling of those signals at L-band frequencies from 1 to 2 GHz. These high-speed data converters show little compromise in AC performance compared to traditional IF sampling architectures.
But now, with the availability of such higher-speed converters as the ADC12DJ3200 family from Texas Instruments, direct conversion of RF input signals is possible at frequencies to 8 GHz and beyond. A 12-b ADC12DJ3200 digitizer can be used in single- or dual-channel modes, with single-channel sampling rates to 6.4 GSamples/s and dual-channel sampling rates to 3.2 GSamples/s. It represents the next step in the evolution of high-speed data converters and can benefit a wide range of applications, including communications, radar, electronic counter measures (ECM), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and signal intelligence (SIGINT) systems.