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TDCs - Time-to-Digital Converters

GP22 Evaluation-Kit

The term time-to-digital converter is used when talking about time interval measurements in the range of 1 nanosecond down to the picosecond range. The first TDCs have been developed for scientific and research purposes. They have been realized as a combination of time-to-analog (TAC) and analog-to-digital (ADC) converter. A sophisticated design of the TAC together with limitations to update rate or multihit capability make these solutions inattractive for industrial applications.


Integrated digital TDCs


Thanks to modern CMOS-technology it is possible to integrate fully digital time-to-digital converters into a single chip. The high precision of the time measurement - down to 14 ps - in combination with the large dynamic range (up to 30 Bit), the high stability over temperature and supply voltage and the possibilty of a low cost production thanks to the CMOS technology make them the first choice for industrial applications.


  • ultra low current consumption with only few µA.
  • up to 8 STOP-channels.
  • automatically calibration of the measured value.
  • external reference clock in the range of 1 to 40 MHz.


  • Time-of-Flight measurement
  • Time-of-Flight spectroscopy
  • Laser distance measurement (Laser Range Finder €“ LRF)
  • Laser scanner
  • Magnetostrictive positioning systems
  • Biomedical equipment (Automatic Test Equipment - ATE)



General Description

Basic timing
Ring oscillator