This chapter provides background and a description of basic converter features and characteristics for comprehension of DAC and ADC architectures described in later chapters. This chapter delivers these basics from an imaging point of view, and throughout the chapter we discuss the impact of these converter characteristics on image sensing. Many of the sections will specifically discuss ADC characteristics instead of DAC characteristics because ADCs are most important for image sensors, but all of the basic theory may also be applied to DACs. We will only be covering the basics of data conversion in a cursory manner in this single chapter. There are many great resources for learning more about the theory of data conversion. For a broad text covering data conversion, we recommend Maloberti, van de Plassche, or Gustavsson, Wikner, and Tan. All three of these books have much more detail than what is presented here. Additionally, general CMOS design books may also act as useful references. We recommend Johns and Martins, Baker, Li, and Boyce, or Razavi. Each of these CMOS books also contains excellent overviews of converters.
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