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Low Voltage, Short Pulsewidth Peak Detector

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035765D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gibson, BD: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a peak detector for reliable detection of small peaks in electrical signals. Detecting the peak of a voltage pulse becomes increasingly difficult as the pulsewidth decreases. If the amplitude of the pulse is also small, the problem becomes even more difficult. Because of the short charging time involved in conventional peak detectors, holding the peak voltage for a relatively long time period can also be of concern. The described design offers a practical solution with precise measurement capabilities.

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Low Voltage, Short Pulsewidth Peak Detector

This article describes a peak detector for reliable detection of small peaks in electrical signals. Detecting the peak of a voltage pulse becomes increasingly difficult as the pulsewidth decreases. If the amplitude of the pulse is also small, the problem becomes even more difficult. Because of the short charging time involved in conventional peak detectors, holding the peak voltage for a relatively long time period can also be of concern. The described design offers a practical solution with precise measurement capabilities.

The described technique uses two high-speed comparators and a multiplying digital-to-analog converter (MDAC) with some logic, all of which is relatively inexpensive.

The output signal from the MDAC is coupled to an input of an amplitude comparator (C1) which establishes a threshold level. A timing comparator (C2) has one of its inputs set to a voltage level lower than that of the expected pulse. The pulse to be measured is coupled to the other input terminals of both comparators. If the amplitude of the input pulse exceeds the threshold, then the output signal from that comparator goes high.

The timing comparator generates an output clock at every input pulse. The amplitude and timing signals are used to drive an up/down counter. The counter is triggered by the timing clock for each input pulse. The count direction is determined by the amplitude signal. If the amplitude signal is high, the counter c...