The low power 20GS/s 6-bit ADC featuring power optimization capability has great potential in current and future NASA missions. Besides targeted application for microwave radiometers, the proposed ADC ASIC is directly applicable to systems seeking low-power, radiation hardened, flexible solution for direct digitization of wide bandwidth RF signals, such as deep space communication radios and/or reconfigurable radios for SDR applications. For example, this ADC can be employed in NASA missions using Ku band, such as OIB (airborne program for precise sea and ice elevation monitoring) or ISS based CONNECT (COmmunications, Navigation, and NEtworking reConfigurable Test-bed).
In addition to its primary application in spectral radiometry systems, the proposed wideband 20GS/s ADC and its building blocks will be targeting other commercial and military related markets which require high speed capture and digitization of wideband signals. Commercial applications include wireless (WiMAX, 3G, 4G) and fiber optic communication (40G and 100G Ethernet). The ramp-up of 100G Ethernet technologies raises the industry's demand for adequate test equipment. Therefore, the proposed ADC has great commercialization potential in this market segment. Possible military applications include high speed, secure communication and data transmission systems and millimeter-resolution radars.