# Second Order Sigma Delta DAC (for frac-N PLL)

Status
Not open for further replies.

#### celebrevida

##### Member level 2 I've been studying Fractional-N PLL design and learned that you can implement it using a first order DAC. Frac-N PLLs can divide by N+A/B.
You can do this by dividing by N for B-A reference clk cycles and N+1 for A cycles. The average Fvco/Fref is then (N+A/B)

The first order DAC is as follows: The operation is straightforward. Digital In is A. The 1-Bit DDC maps OUT=0 to 0 or OUT=1 to B. The Comparator outputs 0 if Reg < B and 1 if > B and overflows which also determines the 1-bit DDC value that gets subtracted. It's easy to hand-simulate and understand.
For instance, if A=3 and B=8, you have an OUT bitsteam of 00100101 (repeating)

Using 1st order DAC for Frac-N is usually not done because the frequency deviations from Fvco_target are large and noisy.

So I am aware that 2nd order Delta-Sigma modulator is used. This modulator has 2-bit output and can provide -1,0,1,2 (instead of 0 and 1 like first order) thus allowing division of N-1,N,N+1,N+2.

The problem is that I am having a lot of trouble finding documentation that allows me to understand 2nd order Delta-Sigma modulation for Frac-N PLL.

Here is one picture I found but there's not details on the theory or how it works. For instance, how are you getting 2-bit output stream?
What exactly is going on when you cascade what looks like two 1st order delta-sigma back to back?

Appreciate any insight or any link to resources. I understand 1st order very well but just can't get my hands around 2nd order delta-sigma at all right now.

#### FvM

##### Super Moderator
Staff member You are confusing 2nd order with multi-bit SD modulator. The second schematic shows a 1-bit 2nd order ADC.

#### celebrevida

##### Member level 2 You are confusing 2nd order with multi-bit SD modulator. The second schematic shows a 1-bit 2nd order ADC.

I'm not that familiar with multi-bit SD modulator. Is that just several 1-bit SDM in parallel?

In any case, for Frac-N modulation, they definitely call it second or higher order sigma delta modulation. Here is a TI document on this.

Here is their Fig for 3rd order SDM: Forget about 3rd order, I can't even get my hands around 2nd order. Ideally, I would be able to understand 2nd order at the same level as I understand the 1st order. But I just find that once you go from 1st to 2nd order, it gets really confusing to me as to what is going on. Every Frac-N PLL 2nd or higher order documentation I can find just throws things like the above out there but assumes you just already understand 2nd order and just applying it to Frac-N use.

Status
Not open for further replies.