(19)
(11)EP 2 974 030 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
18.04.2018 Bulletin 2018/16

(21)Application number: 14714540.3

(22)Date of filing:  12.03.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H03M 1/06(2006.01)
H03M 1/76(2006.01)
H03M 1/68(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/024352
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/150831 (25.09.2014 Gazette  2014/39)

(54)

DUAL-STRING DIGITAL-TO-ANALOG CONVERTERS (DACS), AND RELATED CIRCUITS, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS

DUALSTRING-DIGITAL-ANALOG-WANDLER (DAC) SOWIE ZUGEHÖRIGE SCHALTUNGEN, SYSTEME UND VERFAHREN

CONVERTISSEURS NUMÉRIQUE-ANALOGIQUE (DAC) À CHAÎNE DOUBLE, CIRCUITS, SYSTÈMES ET PROCÉDÉS CORRESPONDANTS


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 15.03.2013 US 201313834041

(43)Date of publication of application:
20.01.2016 Bulletin 2016/03

(73)Proprietor: Qualcomm Incorporated
San Diego, CA 92121 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • PRICE, Burt, L.
    San Diego, California 92121 (US)
  • SHAH, Dhaval, R.
    San Diego, California 92121 (US)
  • KOLLA, Yeshwant, Nagaraj
    San Diego, California 92121 (US)

(74)Representative: Tomkins & Co 
5 Dartmouth Road
Dublin 6
Dublin 6 (IE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 5 943 000
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND


    I. Field of the Disclosure



    [0001] The field of the disclosure relates to dual-string digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and particularly to interconnections and switching of primary and secondary voltage dividers provided therein.

    II. Background



    [0002] A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is a device that converts digital codes to representative analog signals. For example, the converted analog signals may be recreations of native analog signals previously converted into the digital codes by an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). A common use of ADCs and DACs is converting audio and video signals used in media devices (e.g. televisions, cell phones, MP3 players, etc.) from analog sign representations to digital signal representations, or vice versa.

    [0003] One type of DAC is a dual-string DAC. A dual resistor string DAC (also referred to as "dual-string DAC") requires fewer resistors and switches to convert digital codes into analog signal representations as compared to single resistor string DACs. A dual-string DAC includes a first resistor string that generates a coarse conversion of a digital code. A second resistor string of the dual-string DAC generates a finer interpolation of the coarse conversion of the digital code received from the first resistor string to provide an output voltage providing an analog signal representation of the digital code. For example, if a dual-string DAC is configured to convert six (6) bit binary digital codes into sixty-four (64) unique conversions (i.e., 26 conversions), each resistor string of the dual-string DAC could each include eight (8) resistors for a total of sixteen (16) resistors, as opposed to providing sixty-four (64) resistors in a single-string DAC.

    [0004] For example, Figure 1 illustrates an exemplary dual-string DAC 10 (referred to herein as "DAC 10"). The DAC 10 functions by applying a received input voltage Vin across a primary voltage divider circuit 12, referred to herein as "primary voltage divider 12." The primary voltage divider 12 provides coarse voltage (i.e., analog signal) values by dividing the input voltage Vin across a plurality of primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1) in a primary resistor string 14 at selected resistor node pairs Nr(0)- Nr(N) at nodes between the primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1). For example, if N equals sixteen (16), this means the number of primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1) provided in the primary voltage divider 12 totals sixteen (16). In this example, the primary voltage divider 12 provides sixteen (16) unique divided primary voltages selectable by four (4) binary bits of a digital code provided to the primary voltage divider 12 for conversion. For example, the bits of a digital DAC input code 15 (hereinafter "DAC input code 15") are used to select the primary voltages, as illustrated in Figure 1. In this example, the most significant bits N of the DAC input code 15 are used to select the primary voltages. A coarse divided primary voltage value is selected by a primary switch unit 16 that selects a pair of primary switches U(0)-U(2N-1) to select a selected resistor node pair Nr among a plurality of selected resistor node pairs Nr(0) to Nr(N) in the primary resistor string 14 to select one of the divided primary voltages as a selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp. This selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp is applied across a secondary voltage divider circuit 18, referred to herein as "secondary voltage divider 18."

    [0005] With continuing reference to Figure 1, the secondary voltage divider 18 is provided in the DAC 10 and configured to further divide the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp into a plurality of finer secondary voltages. In this regard, the secondary voltage divider 18 comprises a plurality of secondary resistors Rs(0)-Rs(Y-1) to form a secondary resistor string 20. Similar to the primary resistor string 14, the secondary resistor string 20 divides the applied primary voltage from the primary voltage divider 12 into finer, interpolated secondary voltages. As the primary voltage is applied across the secondary resistor string 20, a secondary output voltage Vout is selected by a secondary voltage divider switch 22. For example, if Y equals thirty-two (32), meaning the number of secondary resistors Rs(0)-Rs(Y-1) provided in the secondary voltage divider 18 totals thirty-two (32), the secondary voltage divider 18 provides thirty-two (32) unique divided secondary voltages. The thirty-two (32) unique divided secondary voltages are selectable by five (5) binary digital code bits provided to the secondary voltage divider 18. For example, the bits of the DAC input code 15 used to select the secondary voltages may comprise the least significant five (5) bits (LSB) of the DAC input code 15. A finer, interpolated secondary voltage value is selected by the secondary voltage divider switch 22 by selecting a resistor node Nsr. The selected resistor node Nsr is selected from among resistor nodes Nsr(0) - Nsr(Y) in the secondary resistor string 20 to provide a final, secondary output voltage Vout representing the converted DAC input code 15.

    [0006] When the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp is applied across the secondary resistor string 20 of the secondary voltage divider 18 in the DAC 10 in Figure 1, the selected primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1) are placed in parallel to the secondary resistor string 20. The parallel placement of the selected primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1) with the secondary resistor string 20 would normally alter the effective resistive characteristics of the selected primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1). The effect of the altered effective resistive characteristics adjusts the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp thereby providing an incorrect selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp to the secondary resistor string 20 for the DAC input code 15. To prevent the secondary resistor string 20 from altering the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp across the selected primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1), isolation circuits VF1, VF2 are provided.

    [0007] With continuing reference to Figure 1, the isolation circuits VF1, VF2 are disposed between the primary resistor string 14 and the secondary resistor string 20. In this example, the isolation circuits VF1, VF2 are operational amplifiers. The operational amplifiers VF1, VF2 are each configured in a voltage follower mode to maintain the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp applied to the secondary resistor string 20 in this example. The operational amplifiers VF1, VF2 maintain the ideal voltage across the secondary resistor string 20 by isolating the current flow of the primary voltage divider 12 from the secondary voltage divider 18. The effect of isolating the primary voltage divider 12 from the secondary voltage divider 18 is to preserve the native resistive characteristics of the primary voltage divider 12, thus maintaining a predictable, linear voltage division on the primary voltage divider 12 and the secondary voltage divider 18 of the DAC 10. However, providing the operational amplifiers VF1, VF2 comes at the expense of an increase in area usage, consumption of power, and slower performance because the operational amplifiers VF1, VF2 require a settling time.

    [0008] United States Patent No. US 5,943,000 relates to a compensated MOS string and a DAC employing such a potentiometric string.

    SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE



    [0009] Embodiments disclosed in the detailed description include dual-string digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and related circuits, systems, and methods. In embodiments disclosed herein, a primary voltage divider of a dual-string DAC is comprised of at least one adjusting circuit. The adjusting circuit is configured to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit, in response to a primary switch unit selecting the selected resistor node pair. In this manner, impedance isolation is not required between the primary voltage divider and the secondary voltage divider circuit of the dual-string DAC. As a result, as non-limiting examples, the area on an integrated circuit (IC) for a dual-string DAC may be decreased, power consumption of the dual-string DAC may be decreased, and/or the dual-string DAC may have increased performance by not requiring a settling time.
    In this regard, in one embodiment, a primary voltage divider of a dual-string DAC is provided. A primary voltage divider of a dual-string DAC comprises a primary resistor string having a total resistance. The primary resistor string comprises a plurality of resistor nodes configured to divide a DAC input voltage applied across the primary resistor string into a plurality of divided voltage levels. A primary switch unit is configured to receive a DAC input code and select a resistor node circuit among a plurality of resistor node circuits. The resistor node circuit comprises a selected resistor node pair among the plurality of resistor nodes of the primary resistor string based on the DAC input code to couple a divided voltage level across the selected resistor node pair to a secondary voltage divider circuit of the dual-string DAC. The primary voltage divider further comprises at least one adjusting circuit which comprises at least one first fractional resistance to the selected resistor node pair, wherein a primary resistance is connected in series with the at least one first fractional resistance between the nodes of the selected resistor node pair, and the resistances of the primary resistance and the first fractional resistance are selected such that when the secondary voltage divider circuit is coupled in parallel to the selected resistor node pair, the resulting effective parallel resistance across the selected resistor node pair is the same as if the secondary voltage divider were impedance isolated from or not coupled to the primary voltage divider. Therefore an ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair is maintained without impedance isolation between the primary voltage divider and the secondary voltage divider circuit. In this manner, as non-limiting examples, area on an integrated circuit (IC) for a DAC may be decreased, power consumption of the DAC may be decreased, and/or the DAC may have increased performance by not requiring a settling time.

    [0010] In another embodiment, a primary voltage divider of a dual-string DAC for dividing a total voltage across a series of resistive nodes is provided. The primary voltage divider comprises a means for dividing the total voltage across a primary resistor string having a total resistance. The primary resistor string comprises a plurality of resistor nodes configured to divide a DAC input voltage applied across the primary resistor string into a plurality of divided voltage levels. The primary voltage divider further comprises a means for selecting a resistor node circuit comprising a selected resistor node pair among the plurality of resistor nodes of the primary resistor string. The means for selecting the resistor node circuit is based on the DAC input code to couple a divided voltage level across the selected resistor node pair to a secondary voltage divider circuit of the dual-string DAC. The primary voltage divider further comprises a means for adjusting the resistance of the selected resistor node. The means for adjusting the resistance comprises at least one first fractional resistance to maintain an ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across the secondary voltage divider circuit in response to the primary switch unit selecting the selected resistor node pair.

    [0011] In another embodiment, a method of dividing voltage in a dual-string DAC is provided. The method comprises dividing the total voltage and a primary resistor string having a total resistance. The primary resistor string comprises a plurality of resistor nodes configured to divide a DAC input voltage applied across the primary resistor string into a plurality of divided voltage levels. The method further comprises selecting a resistor node circuit comprising a selected resistor node pair among the plurality of resistor nodes of the primary resistor string based on a DAC input code to couple a divided voltage level across the selected resistor node pair to a secondary voltage divider circuit of the dual-string DAC. The method further comprises adjusting the resistance of the selected resistor node with at least one first fractional resistance to maintain an ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across the secondary voltage divider circuit in response to a primary switch unit selecting the selected resistor node pair.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



    [0012] 

    Figure 1 is a block diagram of an exemplary dual-string digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that includes a primary voltage divider circuit functioning as a coarse voltage divider, and a secondary voltage divider circuit interpolating coarse voltage selected from the primary voltage divider circuit to generate an analog signal representation of a digital code;

    Figure 2 is an exemplary generalized representation of an adjusting circuit that can be provided in a dual-string DAC, wherein the adjusting circuit is configured to provide fractional resistance to a selected resistor node circuit to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit;

    Figure 3 is an exemplary dual-string DAC that includes an adjusting circuit comprising a primary resistor and a fractional resistor, wherein the adjusting circuit is configured to maintain an ideal voltage provided by a primary voltage divider circuit across a secondary voltage divider circuit, without requiring impedance isolation between the primary voltage divider circuit and the secondary voltage divider circuit;

    Figure 4 is an exemplary dual-string DAC that includes an adjusting circuit configured to provide fractional resistance to a selected resistor node circuit to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit;

    Figure 5 is a flowchart of an exemplary process of the dual-string DAC in Figure 4 converting the DAC input code into a representative analog signal while maintaining the ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across the secondary voltage divider circuit;

    Figure 6 is another exemplary dual-string DAC that includes an alternative adjusting circuit of the adjusting circuit in the dual-string DAC of Figure 3;

    Figure 7 is another exemplary dual-string DAC that includes alternative adjusting circuits to the adjusting circuit in the dual-string DAC of Figure 3, wherein one of the adjusting circuits is configured to reconfigure coupling of primary resistors between a voltage rail node and the selected resistor node pair, and a ground rail node and the selected resistor node pair, to maintain an ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across the secondary voltage divider circuit;

    Figure 8A is an exemplary circuit diagram showing the resistive configuration of the exemplary dual-string DAC of Figure 6, wherein the primary voltage divider circuit of the dual-string DAC is controlled by a DAC input code of zero (0);

    Figure 8B is an exemplary circuit diagram showing the resistive configuration of the exemplary dual-string DAC of Figure 6, wherein the primary voltage divider circuit of the dual-string DAC is controlled by a DAC input code of two (210);

    Figure 9 is an exemplary dual-string DAC including a first and second adjusting circuit configured to provide fractional resistance to a selected resistor node circuit. The first and second adjusting circuits are configured to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair, the first adjusting circuit is coupled between a voltage rail and the selected resistor node pair, and the second adjusting circuit is coupled between a ground rail and the selected resistor node pair;

    Figure 10 is an exemplary dual-string DAC including at least one first adjusting circuit as a part of a selected resistor node pair, and other adjusting circuits coupled between a voltage rail and a ground rail of a primary resistor string, wherein the adjusting circuits in conjunction are configured to maintain an ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit;

    Figure 11 is another exemplary dual-string DAC that includes alternative adjusting circuits to the adjusting circuits in the dual-string DAC of Figure 9, wherein the exemplary dual-string DAC configures the primary switch unit to share coupled fractional resistances;

    Figure 12 is another exemplary dual-string DAC that includes alternative adjusting circuits to the adjusting circuits in the dual-string DAC of Figure 9, wherein the dual-string DAC configures a primary switch unit to share coupled fractional resistances;

    Figure 13 is another exemplary dual-string DAC that includes alternative adjusting circuits to the adjusting circuits in the dual-string DAC of Figure 9, wherein the dual-string DAC configures a primary switch unit to share each of at least one first adjusting circuit;

    Figure 14 is another exemplary dual-string DAC that includes alternative adjusting circuits to the adjusting circuits in the dual-string DAC of Figure 9, wherein the dual-string DAC configures a primary switch unit to share each of at least one first adjusting circuit, wherein an alternative configuration of having a plurality of secondary voltage dividers is shown;

    Figure 15 is another exemplary dual-string DAC including at least one first adjusting circuit configured as a current source coupled to a primary voltage divider circuit, and a second adjusting circuit configured to controllably include at least one second fractional resistance in a total resistance of a primary resistor string, wherein the adjusting circuits in combination are configured to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit;

    Figure 16 is an exemplary dual-string DAC circuit used to illustrate exemplary polarity and monotonicity issues when the primary switch count provided for each selected resistor node in a primary voltage divider circuit is reduced;

    Figure 17 is an exemplary generalized representation of a secondary voltage divider circuit of a dual-string DAC configured to receive a DAC input code and a polarity indicator, used to control selection of a corresponding secondary switch for selecting a finer, voltage output to be provided as a DAC voltage output of a dual-string DAC;

    Figure 18 is a flowchart of an exemplary generalized process of the dual-string DAC of Figure 17 for controlling selection of a corresponding secondary switch in a secondary voltage divider circuit for selecting a finer, voltage output to be provided as the DAC voltage output of the dual-string DAC;

    Figure 19 is an exemplary secondary voltage divider circuit of a dual-string DAC, wherein the secondary voltage divider circuit includes a polarity logic switching unit configured to sense a polarity change in a primary voltage divider circuit to maintain monotonicity in the dual-string DAC;

    Figure 20 is an exemplary logic table illustrating a DAC input code and corresponding secondary switch selection in the secondary voltage divider circuit of Figure 18 to maintain polarity and monotonicity in a dual-string DAC;

    Figure 21 is another exemplary secondary voltage divider circuit of a dual-string DAC, wherein the secondary voltage divider circuit is configured to sense a polarity change in a primary voltage divider circuit output and adjust switch logic using multiplexers and a decoder to maintain monotonicity of the dual-string DAC;

    Figure 22 is an exemplary logic table illustrating a DAC input code and corresponding secondary switch selection in the secondary voltage divider circuit of Figure 20 to maintain polarity and monotonicity in a dual-string DAC; and

    Figure 23 is a block diagram of an exemplary processor-based system that can include dual-string DACs according to the embodiments disclosed herein, including but not limited to the dual-string DACs of Figures 2-22.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0013] With reference now to the drawing figures, several exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure are described. The word "exemplary" is used herein to mean "serving as an example, instance, or illustration." Any embodiment described herein as "exemplary" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments.

    [0014] Embodiments disclosed in the detailed description include dual-string digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and related circuits, systems, and methods. In embodiments disclosed herein, a primary voltage divider of a dual-string DAC is comprised of at least one adjusting circuit. The adjusting circuit is configured to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit, in response to a primary switch unit selecting the selected resistor node pair. In this manner, impedance isolation is not required between the primary voltage divider and the secondary voltage divider circuit of the dual-string DAC. As a result, as non-limiting examples, the area on an integrated circuit (IC) for a dual-string DAC may be decreased, power consumption of the dual-string DAC may be decreased, and/or the dual-string DAC may have increased performance by not requiring a settling time for the removed impedance isolation circuits.

    [0015] Other embodiments described below and illustrated by example in Figures 15-22, include polarity compensating dual-string digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and related circuits, systems, and methods. In embodiments disclosed herein, a secondary voltage divider of a dual-string DAC includes a switch logic unit. The switch logic unit is configured to compensate for polarity changes in the dual-string DAC to maintain monotonicity in the dual-string DAC. The dual-string DAC being montonic means that the dual-string DAC will convert a digital input code into an representative analog output voltage that increases (or stays constant) or decreases (or stays constant) for a given incremental change in the digital input code. Montonicity may be desired if it is desired for a DAC to convert digital codes to representative analog signals in a linear fashion. The switch logic unit is configured to select a secondary switch among a plurality of secondary switches to divide an input voltage from a primary voltage divider, based on a polarity indicator and the DAC input code, to maintain monotonicity. Each of the secondary switches is connected to a resistor node in a secondary resistor string of the secondary voltage divider. Thus, as a non-limiting example, the dual-string DAC can avoid the need to provide two switches for each resistor node in a primary resistor string to maintain monotonicity.

    [0016] Before describing embodiments of the polarity compensating dual-string DACs with regard to Figures 15-22, examples of dual-string DACs configured to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit will first be described with regard to Figures 2-14.

    [0017] In this regard, Figure 2 illustrates an exemplary dual-string DAC 28 configured to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider circuit. The ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across the secondary voltage divider circuit can be maintained without the requirement of providing impedance isolation between a primary voltage divider circuit and a secondary voltage divider circuit. In this regard, the dual-string DAC 28 in this embodiment comprises a primary voltage divider circuit 30 coupled to a secondary voltage divider circuit 32. The primary voltage divider circuit 30 is referred to herein as "primary voltage divider 30." The secondary voltage divider circuit 32 is referred to herein as "secondary voltage divider 32." The primary voltage divider 30 divides a DAC input voltage Vdac_in 33 to provide a coarse primary output voltage Vp to be applied across coarse primary output voltage terminals 340, 360, which are coupled to secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I, 36I, respectively, of the secondary voltage divider 32. The secondary voltage divider 32 divides the coarse primary output voltage Vp to provide a DAC output voltage Vout 38.

    [0018] With continuing reference to Figure 2, the primary voltage divider 30 comprises a primary resistor string 40 and a primary switch unit 42. The DAC input voltage Vdac_in 33 is comprised of the voltage between a voltage rail node Vtop 44 and a ground rail node Vbot 46. The DAC input voltage Vdac_in 33 is applied across the primary resistor string 40 that is divided in accordance with a most significant bit (MSB) code 48 of the DAC input code 15 in this example. The MSB code 48 comprises a plurality of most significant N binary input bits of the DAC input code 15. In this example, the MSB code 48 controls the primary switch unit 42. The primary switch unit 42 is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47 comprised of a selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 in this example. The selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 comprises a selected first resistor node Nr(i)H 50 and a selected second resistor node Nr(i)L 52. The resistor node Nr(i)L 52 will be used to indicate the lower resistor node of a selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49, the voltage at the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52 will have a lower relative voltage than the paired higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50. The selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 comprises a lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52 and a higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50 based on the MSB code 48. The voltage at the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 at the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52 and higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50 is provided to the secondary voltage divider 32 as a secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in across the secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I, 36I. As discussed below, the secondary voltage divider 32 divides the secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in applied across the secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I, 36I into a second, finer voltage, which represents the converted DAC input code 15 in analog representation.

    [0019] With continuing reference to Figure 2, the divided voltage at the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 in an ideal primary resistor string would be a function of the DAC input voltage Vdac_in 33 divided by the number of primary resistors of the primary resistor string 40. In such an ideal primary resistor string, without distortions or non-linearities from ancillary or secondary load circuits, such as the secondary voltage divider 32, the voltage at the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 will be referred to as an ideal voltage Videal (not shown). With continuing reference to Figure 2, if the primary voltage divider 30 and the secondary voltage divider 32 were coupled together without providing an intervening isolating circuit, an actual voltage Vactual (not shown) at the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 would be different from the ideal voltage Videal, because the secondary load of the secondary voltage divider 32 would be directly coupled to the primary voltage divider 30 without isolation. Thus, the resistive characteristics of the secondary voltage divider 32 would alter or distort the resistance across the selected resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49.

    [0020] With continuing reference to Figure 2, to adjust for the secondary load created when the primary resistor string 40 is directly coupled to the secondary voltage divider 32 without isolation, the primary resistor string 40 includes a first adjusting circuit 54 in this embodiment. The first adjusting circuit 54 includes a primary resistance Rp 56 and at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58, in this example. In Figures 2-14, the first adjusting circuit 54 will comprise the resistor node circuit 47. Thus, as discussed in more detail below, when the primary resistor string 40 is directly coupled to the secondary voltage divider 32 without isolation, the fractional resistance Rfrac1 58 is coupled to the resistance across the selected resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49. The ohmic value of the fractional resistance Rfrac1 58 is chosen to compensate and provide resistance across the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 as if the secondary voltage divider 32 were isolated or not coupled to the primary voltage divider 30. Thus, the ideal voltage Videal provided by the primary voltage divider 30 to the secondary voltage divider 32, according to the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49, is maintained. Thus, with the first adjusting circuit 54 in Figure 2, the need to provide isolation circuits between the primary voltage divider 30 and the secondary voltage divider 32 is not required to maintain the ideal voltage Videal. This is discussed in more detail below starting at Figure 4. The further dividing of the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp into the DAC output voltage Vout 38 will now be discussed with continued reference to Figure 2.

    [0021] With continuing reference to Figure 2, the coarse primary output voltage Vp across coarse primary output voltage terminals 340, 360 is applied across the secondary voltage divider 32. The secondary voltage divider 32 comprises a secondary resistor string 60 and a secondary switch unit 64, otherwise known as a "secondary voltage divider switch 64." The secondary voltage divider 32 is configured to receive the coarse primary output voltage Vp at the coarse primary output voltage terminals 340, 360 as a secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in applied across the secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I, 36I. The secondary voltage divider 32 is further configured to receive an LSB code 66. The DAC output voltage Vout 38 is selected based on a least significant bit (LSB) code 66 of the DAC input code 15 in this example. The LSB code 66 is also known as the "secondary DAC input code 66." The LSB code 66 controls the secondary switch unit 64, which is configured to select a DAC output voltage Vout 38 from a selected secondary resistor node Nsr(0) - Nsr(Y-1), where Y = LSB code 66.

    [0022] Maintaining an ideal voltage Videal as applied across the secondary voltage divider 32 of the dual-string DAC 28 in Figure 2 has three (3) exemplary interconnection principles when the primary voltage divider 30 and the secondary voltage divider 32 are interconnected without impedance isolation. In this regard, Figure 3 is an exemplary illustration of these three (3) interconnection principles represented by three exemplary interconnection relationships with further reference to Figures 1 and 2. The first interconnection relationship 68 illustrates resistance provided in the first adjusting circuit 54 that is coupled to the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 in the primary voltage divider 30 to maintain the resistance characteristics of the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 as if the secondary voltage divider 32 was impedance isolated from the primary voltage divider 30. In this regard, the first interconnection relationship 68 provides as follows:

    which can be mathematically represented as:



    [0023] The primary resistance Rp 56 and the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58 of the first adjusting circuit 54 are coupled between the selected lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52 and the higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50 of the primary voltage divider 30. The combined primary resistance of the first adjusting circuit 54 comprises the serial resistance of the primary resistance Rp 56 and the fractional resistance Rfrac 58. A combined secondary serial resistance Rsd 70 of the secondary resistor string 60 comprises the total serial resistance of the plurality of secondary resistors Rs(0)-Rs(Y-1) of the secondary resistor string 60. Thus, when the first adjusting circuit 54 is coupled in parallel to the secondary resistor string 60 without impedance isolation, the resistance of the first adjusting circuit 54 (i.e., primary resistance Rp 56 + fractional resistance Rfrac 58) is coupled in parallel with the combined secondary serial resistance Rsd 70. Thus, the first interconnection relationship 68 is stated as the primary resistance Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac) or 1/(I/(Rp+Rfrac))+1/Rsd)) = Rp.

    [0024] The resistances of the primary resistance Rp 56 and the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58 of the first adjusting circuit 54 are specific to the resistance of the secondary resistor string 60. The resistances of the primary resistance Rp 56 and the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58 are selected such that when the secondary resistor string 60 is coupled to the selected resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49, the resistance across the selected resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49 is the same as if the secondary voltage divider 32 was impedance isolated from the primary voltage divider 30.

    [0025] To maintain the ideal voltage Videal at selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 in the dual-string DAC 28 in Figure 2, in addition to maintaining the resistance across the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49, it is also necessary in this example to maintain the resistance above the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 to the voltage rail node Vtop 44 and the resistance below the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 to the ground rail node Vbot 46. In this manner, the total resistance of the primary resistor string 40 is adjusted to maintain the ideal voltage Videal at resistor node pair Nr(i) 49, without the need for impedance isolation between the primary resistor string 40 and the secondary resistor string 60. Otherwise, the coarse divided primary output Vp divided across the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 will be different from its ideal voltage Videal.

    [0026] With continuing reference to Figure 3, a second interconnection relationship 72 is provided to illustrate the total resistance value coupled between the voltage rail node Vtop 44 (Figure 2) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50. The resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44 and the higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50 is adjusted to compensate for adjustments in the selection of the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49. The second interconnection relationship 72 provides the total resistance that would be coupled between the voltage rail node Vtop 44 and the higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50, to maintain the resistance of the primary resistor string 40. In this manner, the voltage at the higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50 will be maintained equal or substantially equal to the voltage of the equivalent selected resistor node in an ideal primary voltage divider (not shown) with impedance isolation. In this regard, the second interconnection relationship 72 is provided, as follows:

    where Rbulk2 may be equal to zero (0),

    N is the number of selectable selected resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49 (i.e., selectable resistor node pairs) in the primary resistor string 40, and

    i is the current decoded MSB code 48.



    [0027] The second interconnection relationship 72 determines the total resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44 and the higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50. For an ideal primary resistor string 40, the total resistance would be equal or substantially equal to the number of selectable unique resistor node pairs between the voltage rail node Vtop 44 and the higher selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50 multiplied by the primary resistance Rp 56. An optional second bulk resistance Rbulk2 may be included if further calibrations to the resistance are needed based on any biasing in the dual-string DAC 28.

    [0028] With continuing reference to Figure 3, a third interconnection relationship 74 is provided to illustrate the total resistance value coupled between the ground rail node Vbot 46 (Figure 2) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52. The resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46 and the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52 is adjusted to compensate for adjustments in the selection of the selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49. The third interconnection relationship 74 provides the total resistance that would be coupled between the ground rail node Vbot 46 and the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52, to maintain the resistance of the primary resistor string 40. In this manner, the voltage at the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52 will be maintained at equal or substantially equal to the voltage of the equivalent selected resistor node in an ideal primary voltage divider (not shown) with impedance isolation. In this regard, the third interconnection relationship 74 is provided, as follows:

    where

    Rbulk1 may be equal to zero (0),

    N is the number of selectable selected resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49 (i.e., selectable resistor node pairs) in the primary resistor string 40, and

    i is the current decoded MSB code 48.



    [0029] The third interconnection relationship 74 determines the total resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46 and the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52. For an ideal primary resistor string 40, the total resistance would be equal or substantially equal to the number of selectable unique resistor node pairs between the ground rail node Vbot 46 and the lower selected resistor node Nr(i)L 52 multiplied by the primary resistance Rp 56. An optional second bulk resistance Rbulk1 may be included if further calibrations to the resistance are needed based on any biasing in the dual-string DAC 28. The ideal voltage will be maintained at Nr(i)L 52 and Nr(i)H 50 when all three interconnection relationships are simultaneously met.

    [0030] In each of the following exemplary embodiments, the resistances, referred to as the primary resistance Rp 56 and the at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac 58, may be comprised of a single resistor or a plurality of resistor units Ru. Resistor unit Ru is a common resistive unit value that may be combined to total the necessary resistive values for the primary resistance Rp 56 and the at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac 58. It should be noted that based on the design choices, the resistance of resistor unit Ru may be a common factor or a common unit included in the primary resistance Rp 56 and the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58.

    [0031] Figure 4 is an exemplary embodiment of a dual-string DAC 28(1) configured to maintain an ideal voltage of a selected resistor node pair across a secondary voltage divider 32(1). The dual-string DAC 28(1) in this example comprises a primary resistor string 40(1) coupled to a secondary resistor string 60(1). The primary switch unit 42(1) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(1) among a plurality of resistor node circuits, the resistor node circuit comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49(1). The primary resistor string 40(1) being coupled to the secondary resistor string 60(1) creates a parallel resistance when interconnected without isolation circuits. The parallel resistance created is compensated for in accordance with the first interconnection relationship 68, the second interconnection relationship 72, and the third interconnection relationship 74, as discussed above in Figure 3. To conform to the first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 in Figure 3, the primary resistor string 40(1) is comprised of a plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(1)(0)-54(1)(N-1). The number of first adjusting circuits 54(1) is equal to N, where N is the number (2MSB) of selectable unique resistor node pairs Nr(1)(0) to Nr(1)(N-1) 49(1) in this example. For purposes of this embodiment, the index "i" will be used to indicate the index of the selected resistor node pair, and "not i" will be used to indicate the index(es) of any non-selected resistor node pairs. For example, if i = three (3) out of a range of 0 to 7, "Nr(1)(3) 49(1)" indicates the fourth selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(3) 49(1), where the indexes begin at 0. As an example of "not i", this will indicate any other selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(not 3) not represented by the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(3) 49(1).

    [0032] With continued reference to Figure 4, a selected unique resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1) from among the selectable unique resistor node pairs Nr(1)(0) - Nr(1)(N-1) 49(1) is comprised of one of the first adjusting circuits 54(1)(0)-54(1)(N-1). The selected unique resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49 comprises a primary resistance Rp 56(1), at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(1), and a first switch Sp1 76(1). One of the at least one first adjusting circuits 54(1)(0) - 54(1)(N-1) is configured with the primary resistance Rp 56(1) and the at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(1) coupled in series. To satisfy the first interconnection relationship 68 relationship in Figure 3, the first adjusting circuits 54(1)(0)-54(1)(N-1) are further configured with respective first switches Sp1 76(1)(0)-76(1)(N-1) coupled in parallel with corresponding first fractional resistances Rfrac1 58(1)(0)-58(1)(N-1). The selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1) is configured to place the first switch Sp1 76(1)(i) in a coupling mode by opening the first switch Sp1 76(1)(i). The first switch Sp1 76(1)(i) is associated with the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1), thus creating a combined serial resistance of the primary resistance Rp 56(1)(i) and the first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(1)(i) for the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1). This combined serial resistance, coupled in parallel with the total secondary serial resistance Rsd 70 of the secondary resistor string 60(1), will create an effective parallel resistance of Rp 56(1) = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac). The value of the primary resistance Rp 56(1) will be determined based in accordance with the first interconnection relationship 68 of Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac) in Figure 3. The primary resistance Rp 56(1) is a calclulated resistance value. Within the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1) the primary resistance Rp 56(1) will be substantially the same. While the calculated value of the primary resistance Rp 56(1) will be substantially the same, it is possible the actual value of the physically coupled resistances between the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1) may vary as required based on design choices made.

    [0033] With continuing reference to Figure 4, to satisfy the second interconnection relationship 72 and the third interconnection relationship 74 in Figure 3, any non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(not i) are configured to place the first switches Sp1 76(1)(not i) in a decoupling mode. By placing the non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(not i) in decoupling mode, the corresponding resistance of the non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(not i) will equal or substantially equal the primary resistance Rp 56(1). Decoupling mode is where first switches Sp1 76(1)(not i) are closed. By closing the first switch Sp1 76(1)(not i) of the non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(not i), a short circuit bypassing the corresponding first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(1)(not i) is created. By bypassing the corresponding first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(1)(not i) the first adjusting circuits 54(1)(not i) are adjusted to substantially equal the primary resistance Rp 56(1). The second interconnection relationship 72 and the third interconnection relationship 74 are met since the first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(1)(not i) is removed from the primary resistor string 40(1) when the respective non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(not i) are placed in a decoupled mode.

    [0034] For example, with continuing reference to Figure 4, as a non-limiting example, MSB code 48(1) has three (3) bits with a bit value of "1002" equal to decimal four 410. In normalized resistive units Ru, primary resistance Rp is equal to 4Ru, fractional resistance Rfrac 58(1)(4) is equal to .5Ru, and the secondary serial resistance Rsd 70(1) is equal to 36Ru. With these design choices, all three of the first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 in Figure 3 are satisfied in this example. The first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac), is satisfied based on the equation 1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac)+(1/Rsd)) = Rp with the exemplary values above provided in the parallel resistive equation 1/(1/(4Ru + .5Ru) + (1/36Ru)) = 4Ru = 1Rp. In addition, both the second interconnection relationship 72 and the third interconnection relationship 74 in Figure 3 are satisfied, since the non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(not i) are configured to close the first fractional resistance switches Sp1 76(1)(not i) associated with the non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(not i). The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2, is satisfied, because the total resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(1) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1) equals (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2 72, where Rbulk2 equals zero (0). In this example, N is equal to the maximum value of the MSB code 48(1) (e.g., N is equal to eight (8), if MSB code 48(1) has three (3) bits). Also in this example, the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(i) 49(1) is determined by "i," where "i" is equal to the binary number "1002" or "410", primary resistance Rp 56(1)(4) = 4Ru and Rbulk2 = zero (0). Based on the second interconnection relationship 72 (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2 from Figure 3, the resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(1) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(4) 49(1) equals (8-4-1)*4Ru + 0. The second interconnection relationship 72 in this example further reduces to 3*4Ru + 0 or 12Ru. The second interconnection relationship 72 relationship, (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2 72, is satisfied since the primary resistance Rp 56(1) equals 4Ru. There are three (3) primary resistances Rp 56(1) provided between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(1) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(4) 49(1).

    [0035] With continued reference to Figure 4, the third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1 74, will also be satisfied using the same example, where Rbulk1 is equal to zero (0). The equation reduces to 4*(Rp) + 0 or 4Rp= 16Ru. In the example in Figure 4, the first fractional resistance switches Sp1 76(1)(not i) are all closed. This will short circuit the corresponding fractional resistance Rfrac 58(1) for each of the four (4) non-selected resistor node pairs Nr(1)(0) - Nr(1)(3) 49(1) located between the ground rail node Vbot 46(1) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(4) 49(1). The total resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(1) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(1)(4) 49(1) is 4Rp = 16Ru.

    [0036] As described above, Figure 4 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a dual-string DAC 28(1) that conforms to each of the three first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 in Figure 3. However, there are numerous exemplary embodiments that may utilize these first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 in many possible configurations. These exemplary embodiments can reduce the number of resistorsin a dual-string DAC based on the use or application requirements. It is equally important to minimize unused components because valuable space is wasted if a component has to be built into device and at times during operation when the component is not used. Additionally, one design goal of certain embodiments herein is to eliminate, where possible, isolation circuits that can consume large segments of device area and even slow performance as discussed above.

    [0037] To supplement the discussion of the dual-string DAC 28 above with regard to Figure 2, Figure 5 is provided. Figure 5 is an exemplary process to explain the operation of the dual-string DAC 28. First, the primary voltage divider 30 divides a DAC input voltage (Vdac_in) across the primary resistor string 40 having a total resistance into a plurality of coarse divided primary voltages based on the DAC input code 15 (block 78). As discussed above, the primary resistor string 40 comprises a plurality of selectable resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49 configured to divide the DAC input voltage (Vdac_in) applied across the primary resistor string 40 into the plurality of coarse divided primary voltages. The primary switch unit 42 receives the MSB code 48 of the DAC input code 15 (block 80), the MSB code 48 is decoded and then converted to select the resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 (block 81) from among a plurality of resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49. The primary switch unit 42 is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47 among a plurality of resistor node circuits, the resistor node circuit comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49.

    [0038] In this regard, Figure 6 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of a dual-string DAC 28(2). This exemplary embodiment reduces the total number of resistances coupled in the primary resistor string 40(2), and eliminates the first switch Sp1 76(1) as discussed in Figure 4 above. The dual-string DAC 28(2) comprises a primary switch unit 42(2) configured to select resistor node circuit 47(2) among a plurality of resistor node circuits, the resistor node circuit comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(i) 49(2) with a resistance equal to Rp(2) + Rfrac(2). The selection is made wherein the Rp(2) and Rfrac(2) resistance values are a design choice with Rp and Rfrac determined by the first interconnection relationship 68 Rp(2) = Rsd(2) ∥ (Rp(2) + Rfrac(2)). The primary switch unit 42(2) is configured to combine a plurality of adjacent resistances such that the combination of adjacent resistances is determined by the three interconnection relationships.

    [0039] With continued reference to Figure 6, the primary resistor string 40(2) comprises at least one first adjusting circuit 54(2)(0) to 54(2)(N-1). The first adjusting circuit 54(2)(N-1) is coupled immediately adjacent to the voltage rail node Vtop 44(2) and is comprised of two resistances, a primary resistance Rp 56(2)(N-1) and a first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(2)(N-1). Another first adjusting circuits 54(2)(0) is coupled immediately adjacent to the ground rail node Vbot 46(2) and is comprised of two resistances a primary resistance Rp 56(2)(0) and a first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(2)(0). Each of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(2)(0) 54(2)(N-1) in this example share the at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(2)(1) 58(2)(N-1) with the first adjusting circuits 54(2)(1) and 54(2)(N-2) that are immediately adjacent. However, each of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(2)(1) to 54(2)(N-2) use an alternate configuration which still conforms to the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac) 68.

    [0040] In this regard, in Figure 6, in each of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(2)(1) to 54(2)(N-2) a combination of fractional resistances and primary resistances will be used to construct the total resistance required. The first adjusting circuits 54(2)(1) to 54(2)(N-2) comprise a plurality of primary resistances Rp 56(2)(1) to 56(2)(N-2) equal to the design choice value of the primary resistance Rp, based on the first interconnection relationship 68, minus the fractional resistance Rfrac. The primary switch unit 42(2) is configured to include an adjacent combination of the at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac1 58(2)(1) to 58(2)(N-1) to create a total resistance of primary resistance Rp 56(2) + the fractional resistance Rfrac 58(2) in the first adjusting circuits 54(2)(i). The resistance value of the plurality of primary resistances Rp 56(2)(1) to 56(2)(N-2) will be adjusted where a resistance value substantially equal to that of the fractional resistance Rfrac 58(2) is removed from the plurality of primary resistances Rp 56(2)(1) to 56(2)(N-2). The adjustment to the resistance value is necessary because the primary switch unit 42(2) will include the two immediately adjacent first fractional resistances Rfrac 58(2) into the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(1) - Nr(2)(N-2) 49. In this configuration, the value of the primary resistances Rp 56(2)(1) to 56(2)(N-2) have been reduced by shrinking their equivalent resistive units, first fractional resistances Rfrac 58(2) are being reused were possible and additional first fractional resistance resistances have been eliminated saving physical space consumed by the circuit design.

    [0041] For example, with continuing reference to Figure 6, MSB code 48(2) has 3 bits so N = 23 or eight (8) and i is equal to the binary value of 1002. The decimal equivalent of the binary value of 1002 is four (410). In normalized resistive units Ru, Rp = 4Ru, Rfrac = .5Ru and Rsd = 36Ru. The first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac), will be met based on resolving the first interconnection relationship 68 with the values above 1/(1/(4Ru + .5Ru)) + 1/36Ru)) = 4Ru = Rp. The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2, is met if the total resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(2) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(4) 49 equals (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2, where Rbulk2 may equal zero. In this example, i = four (4), primary resistance Rp 56(2)(4) = 3.5Ru and Rbulk2 = zero (0). Based on the second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2, the resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(2) and the selected resistor node pair must equal (8-4-1)*4Ru + 0. This reduces to 3*4Ru + 0, and further reduces to 12Ru or 3Rp. The resistances between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(2) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(4) 49(2) add up as follows: Rp 56(2)(5) + Rp 56(2)(6) + Rp 56(2)(7) + Rfrac 58(2)(6) + Rfrac 58(2)(7). With the resistance values inserted the formula reduces to 3.5Ru + 3.5Ru + 4Ru + .5Ru + .5 Ru which equals 12Ru, thus the second interconnection relationship 72 is met. The third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, where Rbulk1 may equal to zero (0) reduces to 4*(Rp) + 0 or 4Rp. Counting the resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(2) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(4) 49(2) there are 4Ru + 3*3.5Ru + 3*.5Ru or 16Ru or 4Rp.

    [0042] In a second example and with continued reference to Figure 6, the first adjusting circuits 54(2)(0) and 54(2)(N-1) are configured differently from the previous first adjusting circuits 54(2)(1) and 54(2)(N-2), however, the all first adjusting circuits yield the same result. With all other parameters the same, except that MSB code 48(2) will now equal 0002, the interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 will continue to be met. The selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(0) 49(2) comprises the primary resistance Rp 56(2)(0) + the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(2)(1) which equals 4.5Ru. The resistive value of 4.5Ru coupled in parallel to 36Ru equals 4Ru based on the parallel resistive equation as discussed above. The second interconnection relationship 72 is met and reduces to 6*3.5Ru + 4Ru + 6*.5Ru further reducing, mathematically, to 28Ru. 28Ru is the equivalent of seven (7) selectable resistor node pairs Nr(2)(i) 49(2) between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(2) and the upper selected resistor node Nr(2)(0)H 50(2). The third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, where Rbulk1 is equal to zero (0), reduces to 0*(Rp) + 0 = 0Ru between the ground rail node Vbot 46(2) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(2)(0)L 52(2). Since the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(0) 49(2) is coupled to the ground rail node Vbot 46(2), the third interconnection relationship 74 is met. Figures 4 and 6 describe exemplary embodiments that comprise selecting a different resistor node pair 49 with a different primary resistance 56 with each unique value of i. It is also possible to eliminate switches in the primary voltage divider 30 by configuring the primary resistance Rp 56 and the fractional resistance Rfrac 58 to remain constant. In this manner, instead of selecting different resistor node pairs 49, it may be desired to configure the adjusting circuits to reconfigure coupling of primary resistors. It may be desired to reconfigure coupling between a voltage rail node Vtop 44(2) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(i) 49(2), and a ground rail node Vbot 46(2) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(i) 49(2), to maintain the ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair Nr(2)(i) 49(2) across the secondary voltage divider 32(2), as discussed below.

    [0043] In this regard, Figure 7 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a primary resistor string 40(3) comprising a primary resistance Rp 56(3) and at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(3). The primary switch unit 42(3) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(3) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(3) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(3)(i) 49(3). The first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(3) may also be referred to as a "shared fractional resistance". The primary resistor string 40(3) in Figure 7 is designed to operate based on the first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 in Figure 3, and included in the operation of the dual-string DACs 28 in Figures 4 and 6. However, the primary resistor string 40(3) is an alternative configuration comprising a plurality of adjusting primary resistances Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2). The embodiment in Figure 7 reconfigures the plurality of adjusting primary resistances Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2) from between a voltage rail node Vtop 44(3) and a higher selected resistor node Nr(3)(i)H 50(3) to between the ground rail node Vbot 46(3) and a lower selected resistor node Nr(3)(i)L 52(3) with each increment of the MSB code 48(3). In this manner, the voltages of the selected resistor node pair Nr(3)(i) 49(3) will increment by the corresponding number of coarse divided primary voltages. The primary resistance Rp 56(3) is serially coupled to the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(3). The serial coupling of the primary resistance Rp 56(3) and the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(3) is further coupled in parallel to the secondary resistor string 60(3). The parallel coupling will satisfy the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac). The second interconnection relationship 72 (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2 defines the resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(3) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(3)(i)H 50(3). The third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, defines the resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(3) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(3)(i)L 52(3).

    [0044] With continuing reference to Figure 7, the decoded output of the MSB code 48(3) will control a plurality of primary resistor string switches U(3)(0) to U(3)(3*N-1). The first N of the plurality of primary resistor string switches U(3)(0) to U(3)(N-1) are coupled between the plurality of adjusting primary resistances Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2). A remaining plurality of primary resistor string switches U(3)(N) to U(3)(3*N-1) are coupled between the plurality of adjusting primary resistances Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2) and the shared serial coupling of the primary resistance Rp 56(3) and the at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(3). Based on the decoded output of the MSB code 48(3), the remaining plurality of primary resistor string switches U(3)(N) to U(3)(3*N-1) will selectively couple the shared serial coupling of the primary resistance Rp 56(3) and the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(3) within the primary resistor string 40(3). This selective coupling based on the MSB code 48(3) will be configured according to the second interconnection relationship 72 and the third interconnection relationship 74 as discussed below.

    [0045] In continuing reference to Figure 7, Figure 8A shows an example of operation where MSB code 48(3) has two (2) bits with a maximum value of N= 22 = four (4) and for this example has a MSB code 48(3) value equal to 002 or in a decimal conversion i = zero (010). In normalized resistive units Ru: Rp = 4Ru, Rfrac = .5Ru, Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2) = Rp, and Rsd = 36Ru. The first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac), resolves to 1/(1/(4Ru + .5Ru) + (1/36Ru)) = 4Ru = Rp. The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2, where Rbulk2 is equal to zero (0), resolves to (4-0-1)*Rp + 0 or 3Rp. When i = zero (0), primary resistor string switches U(3)(0) U(3)(1) U(3)(2) U(3)(10) U(3)(11) are closed. These primary resistor string switch closures insert three (3) adjusting primary resistances Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2) in series between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(3) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(3)(0)H 50(3). This insertion of adjusting primary resistances Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2) causes the second interconnection relationship 72 to be met. The third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, where Rbulk1 is equal to zero (0), reduces to 0*Rp + 0 or 0Rp. This couples the lower selected resistor node Nr(3)(0)L52(3) to the ground rail node Vbot 46(3) and the resistance is equal to 0Rp, thus the third interconnection relationship 74 is met.

    [0046] In continuing reference to Figure 7, Figure 8B shows an additional example of operation where MSB code 48(3) has 2 bits with a maximum value of N= 22 = four (4) and for this example has a MSB code 48(3) value equal to 102 or decimally converted, i is equal to two (210). In normalized resistive units Ru: Rp is equal to 4Ru; Rfrac = .5Ru; Rp_adj(3)(0) to Rp_adj(3)(N-2) = Rp; and Rsd = 36Ru. The first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac), resolves to 1/(1/(4Ru + .5Ru)) + 1/36Ru)) = 4Ru = Rp. The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2, where Rbulk2 is equal to zero (0) resolves to (4-2-1)*Rp + 0 or 1Rp. When i = 2, primary resistor string switches U(3)(0) U(3)(2) U(3)(3) U(3)(6) U(3)(7) are closed. This places one (1) Rp_adj(3)(2) between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(3) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(3)(0)H 50(3), or 1Rp, thus the second interconnection relationship 72 is met. The third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, where Rbulk1 is equal to zero (0). Resolving the third interconnection relationship 74 equals 2*Rp + 0 or 2Rp. This inserts 2Rp between the ground rail node Vbot 46(3) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(3)(2)L 52(3), thus the third interconnection relationship 74 is met.

    [0047] Figures 5-8 are exemplary embodiments using an adjusting circuit embedded within the primary resistor string 40 and more particularly, within the selected resistor node pairs Nr(i) 49. However, further embodiments are possible by introducing at least one additional adjusting circuit between the voltage rail node Vtop 44 and the primary resistor string 40, or between the ground rail node Vbot 46 and the primary resistor string 40, or both. In this regard, Figure 9 is a generalized approach of a dual-string DAC 28(4) with a configuration comprising at least one additional adjusting circuit. In this example, there is a primary voltage divider 30(4) coupled to a secondary voltage divider 32(4). The primary voltage divider 30(4) comprises a primary resistor string 40(4), a primary switch unit 42(4) and may include a second adjusting circuit 82(4) and/or a third adjusting circuit 83(4). The primary switch unit 42(4) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(4) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(4) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49(4). The second adjusting circuit 82(4) is coupled between a voltage rail node Vtop 44(4) and the primary resistor string 40(4). The third adjusting circuit 83(4) is coupled between a ground rail node Vbot 46(4) and the primary resistor string 40(4). The decoded MSB code 48(4) will determine the setting of the primary switch unit 42(4), and the necessary adjustments in the second adjusting circuit 82(4) and the third adjusting circuit 83(4). A decoded LSB code 66(4) will determine the setting for the secondary switch unit 64, or otherwise known as the "secondary voltage divider switch 64."

    [0048] In this regard, Figure 10 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a dual-string DAC 28(5) with three adjusting circuits. The dual-string DAC 28(5) of Figure 10 comprises a primary voltage divider 30(5) and a secondary voltage divider 32(5). The primary voltage divider 30(5) comprises at least one first adjusting circuit 54(5)(1) to 54(5)(N-2), a second adjusting circuit 82(5), a third adjusting circuit 83(5) and a primary switch unit 42(5). The primary switch unit 42(5) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(5) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(5) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(5)(i) 49(5). The plurality of the first adjusting circuits 54(5)(1) to 54(5)(N-2) comprises a primary resistance Rp 56(5)(1) to 56(5)(N-2) and at least one first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(5)(1) to 58(5)(N-2). Each of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(5)(1) to 54(5)(N-2) are similarly configured to the first adjusting circuits 54(1) to 54(4) discussed above in Figures 5-9 comprising a total resistance (Rp 56(5) + Rfrac 58(5)) to conform to the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac).

    [0049] In this regard, the second adjusting circuit 82(5) is coupled between a voltage rail node Vtop 44(5) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(5)(N-1)L 52(5). The second adjusting circuit 82(5) is comprised of a plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(5)(1) to 84(5)(N-1) coupled in parallel to a plurality of second switches 86(5)(1) to 86(5)(N-1). The second adjusting circuit 82(5) is configured to add an additional one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(5)(1) to 84(5)(N-1) for each incremental increase in the MSB code 48(5) from zero (0) to N-1. The second adjusting circuit 82(5) does this by initially closing the plurality of second switches 86(5)(1) to 86(5)(N-1) and incrementally opening the plurality of second switches 86(5)(1) to 86(5)(N-1) as the MSB code 48(5) increments from 0 to N-1. In this manner, the second adjusting circuit 82(5) will compensate for any of the plurality of first fractional resistances Rfrac 58(5)(1) to 58(5)(N-2) being removed from between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(5) and the high selected resistor node Nr(5)(i)H 50(5) with each of the successively selected resistor node pairs Nr(5)(0) to Nr(5)(N-1) 49(5). By compensating for the first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(5) changes, the total resistance of the primary resistor string 40(5) from the voltage rail node Vtop 44(5) to the ground rail node Vbot 46(5) will remain substantially constant. The substantially constant total resistance prevents non-linearities when successively selecting the selected resistor node pairs Nr(5)(0) to Nr(5)(N-1) 49(5).

    [0050] With continuing reference to Figure 10, the third adjusting circuit 83(5) is coupled between the ground rail node Vbot 46(5) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(5)(0)H 50(5). As the MSB code 48(5) increases incrementally from zero (0) to N-1, the third adjusting circuit 83(5) compensates for the additional second fractional resistance Rfrac 84(5) incrementally added in the second adjusting circuit 82(5). The third adjusting circuit 83(5) compensates by incrementally removing one of a plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(5)(1) to 88(5)(N-1). The third adjusting circuit 83(5) performs the compensation by initially opening a plurality of third switches 90(5)(1) to 90(5)(N-1) when the MSB code 48(5) is zero (0). This will add the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(5)(1) to 88(5)(N-1) comprising the third adjusting circuit 83(5) between the selected resistor node pair Nr(5)(0) 49(5) and the ground rail node Vbot 46(5). The plurality of third switches 90(5)(1) to 90(5)(N-1) are incrementally closed as the MSB code 48(5) increments from zero (0) to N-1. The incremental closure of the third switches 90(5)(1) to 90(5)(N-1) will compensate for any of the additional first fractional resistances Rfrac 58(5)(1) to 58(5)(N-2) that are added between the selected resistor node pair Nr(5)(i) 49(5) and the ground rail node Vbot 46(5). The primary voltage divider 30(5) is further configured to reverse this process as the MSB code 48(5) is incrementally decreased from N-1 to zero (0). The second adjusting circuit 82(5) removes one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(5) by incrementally closing a corresponding one of the plurality of second switches 86(5)(1) to 86(5)(N-1). Simultaneously, the third adjusting circuit 83(5) will incrementally add one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(5)(1) to 88(5)(N-1) by incrementally opening a corresponding one of the plurality of third switches 90(5)(1) to 90(5)(N-1).

    [0051] In the example embodiment of Figure 10, MSB code 48(5) has three (3) bits, N = 23 = eight (8), Rp = 4Ru, Rfrac = .5Ru, and Rsd = 36Ru. When MSB code 48(5) = i = zero (0), the primary switch unit 42(5) selects the selected resistor node pair Nr(5)(0) 49(5) comprising the third adjusting circuit 83(5). In this example, the selected resistor node pair Nr(5)(0) 49(5) will have a resistance of 4.5Ru which satisfies the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac), by reducing to (4Ru + .5Ru) ∥ 36Ru = 4Ru. As discussed above, the second adjusting circuit 82(5) will incrementally add one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(5)(1) to 84(5)(N-1) to the primary resistor string 40(5) with each incremental increase in MSB code 48(5). Initially the second adjusting circuit 82(5) begins with the plurality of second switches 86(5)(1) to 86(5)(N-1) closed when i = zero (0). By incrementally opening one of the plurality of second switches 86(5)(1) to 86(5)(N-1), one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(5)(1) to 84(5)(N-1) are incrementally added to the primary resistor string 40(5). The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2, where Rbulk2 equals zero (0), resolves to (8-0-1)*(4Ru) + 0 = 28Ru between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(5) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(5)(0)H 50(5). This will result in 28Ru between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(5) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(5)(0)H 50(5), thus the second interconnection relationship 72 is met. The third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, where Rbulk1 equals zero (0), resolves to 0*4Ru + 0 = 0Ru between the ground rail node Vbot 46(5) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(5)(0)L 52(5). Since the lower selected resistor node Nr(5)(0)L 52(5) is coupled to ground, there is 0Ru between the ground rail node Vbot 46(5) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(5)(0)L 52(5), thus the third interconnection relationship 74 is met.

    [0052] With continuing reference to Figure 10, MSB code 48(5) increments from zero (0) to one (1), then i = one (1) and the selected resistor node pair Nr(5)(1) 49(5) comprises one of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(5)(1). In this example, the selected resistor node pair Nr(5)(1) 49(5) will have a resistance of 4.5Ru which satisfies the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac), by reducing to (4Ru + .5Ru) ∥ 36Ru = 4Ru. The second adjusting circuit 82(5) is configured to incrementally add one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(5)(1) to the primary resistor string 40(5). The purpose for this is to compensate for the first fractional resistance 58 that is being removed from the primary resistor string 40(5) with each successive increment of the MSB code 48(5). One of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(5)(1) is incrementally added to the primary resistor string 40(5) between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(5) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(5)(1)H 50(5). The incremental addition is a result of an increase in MSB code 48(5) and the opening of a corresponding one of the plurality of second switches 86(5)(1). The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2, resolves to (8-1-1)*4Ru + 0 = 24Ru. The resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(5) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(5)(1)H 50(5) is 24Ru. With the incremental increase in MSB code 48(5), the third adjusting circuit 83(5) is also configured to incrementally remove one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(5)(1) from the primary resistor string 40(5) by closing one of the plurality of third switches 90(5)(1). This causes the third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, to resolve to 1*4Ru + 0 = 4Ru between the ground rail node Vbot 46(5) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(5)(1)L 52(5). The total resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(5) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(5)(1)L 52(5) is 4Ru. This example embodiment introduces the technique of using a combination of first, second, and third adjusting circuits 54, 82, 83 to adjust the resistances such that the primary voltage divider 30(5) maintains a linear transfer function through each successive resistor node pair Nr(5)(i) 49(5). It is also possible to combine the exemplary embodiments creating a hybrid embodiment. The hybrid may use a combination of first adjusting circuits 54, second adjusting circuits 82 and third adjusting circuits 83 where fractional resistances Rfrac 58 are shared by adjacent selected resistor node pairs 49, thus further reducing the number of switches and resistances.

    [0053] In this regard, Figure 11 is a hybrid of the exemplary embodiments in Figures 6 and 10. The exemplary embodiment of Figure 11 uses the first, second, and third adjusting circuits 54, 82, 83 to maintain the first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 as discussed above in Figure 10. The primary switch unit 42(6) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(6) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(6) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(6)(i) 49(6). In addition, the primary switch unit 42(6) is configured such that adjacent and overlapping resistor node pairs 49 defined by resistor node pairs Nr(6)(i) 49(6) are able to combine and share resistances as described in Figure 6. As a result of the overlapping technique, this embodiment is able to also reduce the number of the second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(6) and second switches 86(6) in a second adjusting circuit 82(6). The number of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(6) and third switches 90(6) in a third adjusting circuit 83(6) may also be reduced.

    [0054] The exemplary embodiment of Figure 11 comprises a primary resistor string 40(6) and the primary switch unit 42(6). The primary switch unit 42(6) is configured such that the primary switch unit 42(6) selects a selected resistor node pair Nr(6)(0) to Nr(6)(N-1) 49(6) based on a decoded MSB code 48(6). The resistance of the selected resistor node pair Nr(6)(0) to Nr(6)(N-1) 49(6) equals a design choice value primary resistance Rp(6) + fractional resistance Rfrac(6). This exemplary embodiment may use resistances from adjacent adjusting circuits to create a total selected resistor node pair resistance of Rp(6) + Rfrac(6). Where the Rp(6) and Rfrac(6) resistance values are a design choice such that Rp(6) = Rsd(6) ∥ (Rp(6) + Rfrac(6)). The primary switch unit 42(6) is also configured to combine a plurality of adjacent resistances such that the combination of adjacent resistances conform to the first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74. The primary resistor string 40(6) comprises at least one first adjusting circuit 54(6)(1) to 54(6)(N-2), a second adjusting circuit 82(6), and a third adjusting circuit 83(6). The second adjusting circuit 82(6) is coupled between a voltage rail node Vtop 44(6) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(6)(N-1)L 52(6). The second adjusting circuit 82(6) is comprised of a plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(6)(1) to 84(6)(X), a plurality of second switches 86(6)(1) to 86(6)(X) and a second adjusting resistance 92(6). Where X is a design choice dependent on a combination of resistor values in both the primary voltage divider 30(6), the secondary voltage divider 32(6) and may depend on the number of selectable resistor node pairs Nr(6)(0) - Nr(6)(N-1) 49(6). The third adjusting circuit 83(6) is coupled to a ground rail node Vbot 46(6) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(6)(0)H 50(6). The third adjusting circuit 83(6) is comprised of a plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(6)(1) to 88(6)(Y), a plurality of third switches 90(6)(1) to 90(6)(Y) and a third adjusting resistance 94(6). Where Y is a design choice dependent on a combination of resistor values in both the primary voltage divider 30(6), the secondary voltage divider 32(6) and may depend on the number of selectable resistor node pairs Nr(6)(0) - Nr(6)(N-1) 49(6). The primary switch unit 42(6) is configured to include a combination of adjacent first fractional resistances Rfrac 58 for a total resistance of Rp + Rfrac, such that the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac) in each of the first adjusting circuits 54(6)(1) to 54(6)(N-2) is satisfied. The second adjusting circuit 82(6) is configured to incrementally add or remove second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(6) that will conform to the second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2, where Rbulk2 may be zero (0). The third adjusting circuit 83(6) is configured to incrementally remove or add third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(6) that will conform to the third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, where Rbulk1 may be zero (0). In this configuration, because of the reuse of the resistive units in contiguous selected resistor node pairs Nr(6) 49(6) the size of the resistances throughout the primary resistor string 40(6) may be reduced to be a fraction of the primary resistance Rp 56 in previous embodiments.

    [0055] In the exemplary embodiment of Figure 11, the MSB code 48(6) has three (3) bits, N = 23 = eight (8), Rp = 4Ru, Rfrac = .5Ru, and Rsd = 36Ru, Rbulk1 = Rbulk2 = 0, when MSB code 48(6) = i = zero (010) the selected resistor node pair will be Nr(6)(0) 49(6), which will comprise the third adjusting circuit 83(6). In this example, the third adjusting circuit 83(6) comprising the plurality of third switches 90(6)(0) to 90(6)(Y) are all open, adding the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(6)(0) to 88(6)(Y) into the selected resistor node pair Nr(6)(0) 49(6). The resistance in the selected resistor node pair Nr(6)(0) 49(6) will have a total resistance of 4.5Ru which satisfies the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac), or (4Ru + .5Ru) ∥ 36Ru = 4Ru. The second adjusting circuit 82(6) is configured to close the one of the plurality of second switches 86(6)(0), thus removing the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(6)(0) to 84(6)(X) from the primary resistor string 40(6). A number of resistive units Ru coupled between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(6) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(6)(0)H 50(6) is 28Ru. The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2, resolves to (8-0-1)*4Ru + 0 = 28Ru. A resistance of 28Ru is the correct resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(6) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(6)(0)H 50(6). The third adjusting circuit 83(6) is configured to open the plurality of third switches 90(6)(0) to 90(6)(Y), thus adding the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(6)(0) to 88(6)(Y) to the primary resistor string 40(6). Since the lower selected resistor node Nr(6)(0)L 52(6) is coupled to the ground rail node Vbot 46(6), the number of resistive units Ru coupled between the ground rail node Vbot 46(6) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(6)(0)L 52(6) is 0Ru. The third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1, resolves to (8-0-1)*4Ru + 0 = 0Ru which, in this first example, is the resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(6) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(6)(0)L 52(6).

    [0056] In continuing reference to Figure 11, a second example for setting the MSB code 48(6) to 0112 which converts decimally to i equal to three (310), is provided. All other settings remaining constant will result in the primary switch unit 42(6) selecting the selected resistor node pair Nr(6)(3) 49(6). The resistance of the selected resistor node pair Nr(6)(3) 49(6) is 2Ru + 2.5Ru or 4.5Ru. The first interconnection relationship 68 remains the same and 36Ru ∥ (4Ru + .5Ru) = 4Ru. The second interconnection relationship 72 resolves to (8-3-1)*4Ru + 0 = 16Ru. The second adjusting circuit 82(6) is configured to open the plurality of second switches 86(6). Opening the plurality of second switches 86(6) adds 1.5Ru to the primary resistor string 40(6) for a total resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(6) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(6)(3)H 50(6) of 16Ru. The third interconnection relationship 74 resolves to 3*4Ru + 0 = 12Ru. The third adjusting circuit 83(6) is configured to close one of the plurality of third switches 90(6)(3). Closing one of the plurality of third switches 90(6)(3) removes 1.5Ru from the primary resistor string 40(6) for a total resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(6) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(6)(3)L 52(6) of 12Ru. This hybrid embodiment leverages adjacent resistances and in this manner also reduces the number of switches and resistances in the second adjusting circuit 82 and third adjusting circuit 83.

    [0057] In this regard, Figure 12 is an exemplary embodiment which allows at least one first adjusting circuit 54(7)(0) to 54(7)(N-1) to further reduce the number of switches and resistances by allowing several of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(7) to be completely identical for a plurality of unique MSB codes 48(7). That is, this embodiment has selectable resistor node pairs Nr(6)(i) 49(6) that are identical for a plurality of unique MSB codes 48(7) (not shown). This has the advantage of reducing by nearly half the number of resistive units and switches required to construct the primary resistor string 40(7). In this exemplary embodiment, a primary voltage divider 30(7) comprises a primary resistor string 40(7), a primary switch unit 42(7), at least one first adjusting circuit 54(7)(0) to 54(7)(N-1), a second adjusting circuit 82(7), and a third adjusting circuit 83(7). The second adjusting circuit 82(7) is coupled between a voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and the primary resistor string 40(7). The third adjusting circuit 83(7) is coupled between a ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the primary resistor string 40(7). The primary switch unit 42(7) coupled to the primary resistor string 40(7) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(7) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(7) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(i) 49(7).

    [0058] In Figure 12, each one of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(7)(0) to 54(7)(N-1) are comprised of a resistance value equaling Rp(7) + Rfrac(7). The resistance value of Rp(7) + Rfrac(7) allows each one of the plurality of first adjusting circuits 54(7)(0) to 54(7)(N-1) to meet the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac). The second adjusting circuit 82(7) comprises a plurality of second switches 86(7)(0) to 86(7)(X) configured to add or remove a corresponding one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7)(0) to 84(7)(X) to the primary resistor string 40(7) based on the MSB code 48(7). Adding or removing one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7)(0) to 84(7)(X) enables the second adjusting circuit 82(7) to meet the second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2 resistive units between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and a higher selected resistor node Nr(7)(i)H 50(7).

    [0059] With continuing reference to Figure 12, the third adjusting circuit 83(7) comprises a plurality of third switches 90(7)(0) to 90(7)(Y) configured to remove or add a corresponding one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(0) to 88(7)(Y) between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and a lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(i)L 52(7) based on the MSB code 48(7). Adding or removing one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(0) to 88(7)(Y) enables the third adjusting circuit 83(7) to meet the third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1 resistive units between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(i)L 52(7). Adding or removing one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7)(0) to 84(7)(X) and one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(0) to 88(7)(Y) compensates for the changing of the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(0) to Nr(7)(N-1) 49(7). As the equivalent of the first fractional resistances 58 Rfrac are removed from between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(7)(i)H 50(7), it is necessary for the second adjusting circuit 82(7) to add another fractional resistance 58 Rfrac into the primary resistor string 40(7). It is also necessary to remove a fractional resistance 58 Rfrac from the primary resistor string 40(7) between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(i)L 52(7) as the MSB code 48(7) is incremented. The adding or removing of fractional resistances 58 Rfrac is because of the additional first fractional resistance 58 from the previously selected resistor node pair 49 that has just been added between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(i)L 52(7).

    [0060] With regard to Figure 12, an exemplary embodiment is shown with the following settings: the MSB code 48(7) has four (4) bits with N = 24 = sixteen (16), Rp = 3Ru, Rfrac = 1Ru, and Rsd = 12Ru, Rbulk1 = Rbulk2 = 0. When MSB code 48(7) equals 00002, converting decimally to i equal to zero (010), this will cause the primary switch unit 42(7) to select a selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(0) 49(7). In this example, the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(0) 49(7) will comprise the third adjusting circuit 83(7) comprising the plurality of third switches 90(7)(0) to 90(7)(Y). Y is a function of a combination of the resistor value design choice and number of selectable resistor node pairs Nr(7)(0) to Nr(7)(N-1) 49(7). One of the plurality of third switches 90(7)(1) is closed thereby coupling the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(0)L 52(7) to the ground rail node Vbot 46(7), and one of the plurality of third switches 90(7)(Y) is opened. Opening one of the plurality of third switches 90(7)(Y) adds one of the plurality of the third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(Y) to the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(0) 49(7). The resistance between the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(0) 49(7) will have a total resistance of 4Ru which satisfies the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd II (Rp + Rfrac) or 3Ru = 12Ru ∥ (3Ru + 1Ru). The second adjusting circuit 82(7) is configured to close one of the plurality of second switches 86(7)(X) and open two (2) of the plurality of second switches 86(7)(0) to 86(7)(1). In this manner, the second adjusting circuit 82(7) removes one of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7)(X) from the primary resistor string 40(7) and adds two (2) of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7)(0) to 84(7)(1) to the primary resistor string 40(7). The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2, resolves to (16-0-1)*3Ru + 0 = 45Ru, which is the resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(7)(0)H 50(7). The number of resistive units Ru coupled between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(7)(0)H 50(7) is 45Ru and meets the second interconnection relationship 72.

    [0061] As discussed above, in continuing reference to Figure 12, the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(0) 49(7) comprises the third adjusting circuit 83(7), however it is still necessary to meet the third interconnection relationship 74. In this manner, the third adjusting circuit 83(7) is configured to close one of the plurality of third switches 90(7)(1) and open two (2) of the plurality of third switches 90(7)(0) and 90(7)(Y). This configuration removes two (2) of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(0) to 88(7)(1) and adds one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(Y) to the primary resistor string 40(7). In this manner, the third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1 resolves to 0*3Ru + 0 = 0Ru, which is the resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(0)L 52(7). Since the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(0)L 52(7) is coupled to the ground rail node Vbot 46(7), the number of resistive units Ru is zero, thus meeting the third interconnection relationship 74.

    [0062] With continuing reference to Figure 12, a second example setting the MSB code 48(7) = i = one (1) and keeping all other settings constant will result in the primary switch unit 42(7) selecting the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(1) 49(7). The resistance between selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(1) 49(7) is 4Ru. The first interconnection relationship 68 remains the same as in the example above where the MSB code 48(7) equals zero (0) and is satisfied by the parallel equation Rp = Rsd ∥ (Rp + Rfrac) or (3Ru + 1Ru) ∥ 12Ru = 3Ru. The second interconnection relationship 72 resolves to (16-1-1)*3Ru + 0 = 42Ru. The second adjusting circuit 82(7) is configured to open the plurality of second switches 86(7)(0) to 86(7)(X), thus adding 3Ru to the primary resistor string 40(7) between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(7)(1)H 50(7) of 42Ru. The third interconnection relationship 74 resolves to 1*3Ru + 0 = 3Ru. The third adjusting circuit 83(7) is configured to close one of the plurality of third switches 90(7)(Y), thus removing 3Ru from the primary resistor string 40(7) for a total resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(1)L 52(7) of 3Ru. This hybrid embodiment may leverage the same selectable resistor node pairs 49 for unique instances of the MSB code 48(7) based on an alternative configuration of the second adjusting circuit 82(7) and the third adjusting circuit 83(7).

    [0063] In this regard, and in continuing reference to Figure 12, when MSB code 48(7) is equal to two (2), the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(2) 49(7) will remain the same as the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(1) 49(7) discussed in detail above even with a different MSB code 48(7). The difference is in the second adjusting circuit 82(7) configuration which closes one of the plurality of second switches 86(7)(0) that will remove the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7)(0) to 84(7)(X) from the primary resistor string 40(7). The removal of the plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7)(0) to 84(7)(X) has the effect of removing 3Ru or 1Rp from between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(7)(2)H 50(7). The third adjusting circuit 83(7) is configured to open the plurality of third switches 90(7)(0) to 90(7)(Y), adding the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(0) to 88(7)(Y) to the primary resistor string 40(7). The adding of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7)(0) to 88(7)(Y) has the effect of adding 3Ru or 1Rp between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(2)L 52(7). Fractional resistances Rfrac are being reconfigured from between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(7) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(7)(1)H 50(7) to between the ground rail node Vbot 46(7) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(7)(2)L 52(7). The adding and removal of fractional resistances Rfrac has the effect of increasing the selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(2) 49(7) by one (1) coarse voltage division and yet maintaining the same physically selected resistor node pair Nr(7)(1) 49(7) as when the MSB code 48(7) equals one (1). The number of required fractional resistances Rfrac used in the second adjusting circuit 82(7) and the third adjusting circuit 83(7) will depend on design choices. The design choices for the resistance values may be made by the designer based for example on area and function, as non-limiting examples. While the exemplary embodiment of Figure 12 shows a plurality of second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(7) and a plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(7) comprising three (3) resistances, it is possible to even further reduce the number of fractional resistances in the adjusting circuits 54, 82, 83.

    [0064] In this regard, Figure 13 uses a design choice of the MSB code 48(8) having five (5) bits with N = 25 = thirty-two (32), Rp = 1Ru, Rfrac = 1Ru, and Rsd = 2Ru, Rbulk1 = Rbulk2 = 0. This exemplary embodiment is comprised of a primary resistor string 40(8), a primary switch unit 42(8), at least one first adjusting circuit 54(8)(0) to 54(8)(N-1), a second adjusting circuit 82(8), and a third adjusting circuit 83(8). The primary switch unit 42(8) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(8) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(8) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(8)(i) 49(8). The selected resistor node pair Nr(8)(i) 49(8) is selected based on the corresponding MSB code 48(8) associated with the selected resistor node pair 49(8) in Figure 13. The switches U1 and U2 are closed for the indicated codes. The first, second, and third interconnection relationship 68, 72, 74 equations remain the same as discussed above. In this example, the secondary serial resistance Rsd = 2Ru, which allows the primary resistance Rp = fractional resistance Rfrac = resistive unit Ru, is based on the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd || (Rp + Rfrac). As a result of Rp = Rfrac = Ru, the second adjusting circuit 82(8) may comprise a single second fractional resistance Rfrac 84(8), and the third adjusting circuit 83(8) may comprise a single third fractional resistance Rfrac 88(8). The first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd || (Rp + Rfrac) resolves to (1Ru + 1Ru) || 2Ru = 1Ru. The first adjusting circuit 54(8)(0) in the selected resistor node pair Nr(8)(0) 49(8) comprises 2Ru or (Rp + Rfrac).

    [0065] With continuing reference to Figure 13, when MSB code 48(8) is equal to zero (0), the second adjusting circuit 82(8) opens a single second switch 86(8) adding the single second fractional resistance Rfrac 84(8) between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(8) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(8)(0)H 50(8). The adding of a second fractional resistance Rfrac 84(8) creates a total resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(8) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(8)(0)H 50(8) of 31Ru. The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2 resolves to (32-0-1)*1Ru + 0 = 31Ru. The third interconnection relationship 74, i*R= Rp + Rbulk1 resolves to 0*1Ru + 0 = 0Ru. Since the lower selected resistor node Nr(8)(0)L 52(8) is coupled to the ground rail node Vbot 46(8), the resistance between them is equal to 0Ru.

    [0066] Incrementing the MSB code 48(8) of Figure 13 by one (1) so MSB code 48(8) = i = 1, the first adjusting circuit 54(8)(1) for the selected resistor node pair Nr(8)(1) 49(8) will remain the same as previously selected resistor node pair Nr(8)(0) 49(8). However, as was discussed in greater detail in Figure 12, the single second fractional resistance Rfrac 84(8) in the second adjusting circuit 82(8) is removed from between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(8) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(8)(0)H 50(8) by closing the single second switch 86(8). The third adjusting circuit 83(8) adds a single third fractional resistance Rfrac 88(8)(0) in the third adjusting circuit 83(8) between the ground rail node Vbot 46(8) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(8)(1)L 52(8) by opening a single third switch 90(8). This has the circuit equivalent effect of reconfiguring the second fractional resistance 84(8) from the second adjusting circuit 82(8) to the third adjusting circuit 83(8). In this manner, the first, second, and third interconnection relationship 68, 72, 74 equations are met, and a linear output voltage is maintained on the selected resistor node pairs Nr(8)(0) to Nr(8)(N-1) 49(8). This exemplary embodiment and all of the previously discussed primary voltage dividers 30 are voltage sourced driven. The primary voltage divider 30(1) to 30(8) then divides the voltage between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(1) to 44(8) and the ground rail node Vbot 46(1) to 46(8).

    [0067] Figure 14 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a dual-string DAC 28, which operates in a similar fashion to the embodiments described above in Figures 12 and 13. The exemplary embodiment in Figure 14, will function in conformance with the first, second, and third interconnection relationships 68, 72, 74 as described above. Figure 14 uses a non-limiting design choice of the MSB code 48(9) having five (5) bits with N = 25 = thirty-two (32), Rp = 1Ru, Rfrac = 1Ru, and Rsd1 = Rsd2 = 2Ru, Rbulk1 = Rbulk2 = 0. This exemplary embodiment is comprised of a primary resistor string 40(9), a primary switch unit 42(9), at least one first adjusting circuit 54(9)(0) to 54(9)(N-1), a second adjusting circuit 82(9), and a third adjusting circuit 83(9). The primary switch unit 42(9) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(9) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(9) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(9)(i) 49(9). The selected resistor node pair Nr(9)(i) 49(9) is selected based on the corresponding MSB code 48(9) associated with the selected resistor node pair 49(9). The switches U1 to U12 are closed for the indicated MSB codes 48(9). The first, second, and third interconnection relationship 68, 72, 74 equations remain the same as discussed the embodiments above. In this example, the secondary serial resistance Rsd2 = Rsd1 = 2Ru, which allows the primary resistance Rp = fractional resistance Rfrac = resistive unit Ru. The value of the primary resistance Rp = fractional resistance Rfrac = resistive unit Ru is based on the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd || (Rp + Rfrac). The first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd || (Rp + Rfrac) resolves to (1Ru + 1Ru) || 2Ru = 1Ru. The first adjusting circuit 54(9)(0) in the selected resistor node pair Nr(9)(0) 49(9) comprises 2Ru or (Rp + Rfrac).

    [0068] With continuing reference to Figure 14, when MSB code 48(9) is equal to zero (0), the second adjusting circuit 82(9) closes the corresponding switch U1 and opens the remaining switches in the second adjusting circuit 82(9). In this manner, the second adjusting circuit 82(9) adds 8Ru between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(9) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(9)(0)H 50(9). It is important to note that the resistor R8 is 2Ru and has a parallel resistance Rsd2 of 2Ru. The total parallel resistance at resistor R8 is 1Ru. The adding of the second fractional resistances Rfrac 84(9) creates a total resistance between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(9) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(9)(0)H 50(9) of 31Ru. The second interconnection relationship 72, (N-i-1)*Rp + Rbulk2 resolves to (32-0-1)*1Ru + 0 = 31Ru. The third interconnection relationship 74, i*R = Rp + Rbulk1 resolves to 0*1Ru + 0 = 0Ru. Since the lower selected resistor node Nr(9)(0)L 52(9) is coupled to the ground rail node Vbot 46(9), the resistance between them is equal to 0Ru.

    [0069] With continuing reference to Figure 14, this embodiment provides for a secondary voltage divider represented by a plurality of secondary voltage dividers. As a non-limiting example, Figure 14 will show an exemplary two (2) secondary voltage dividers represented by the secondary resistor string Rsd1 and Rsd2 60(9). It may be possible for the emodiments in Figures 4-14 to comprise a plurality of secondary voltage dividers as may be necessary based on design choices, material limitations and construction techniques, etc. Which secondary resistor string, Rsd1 or Rsd2 60(9), is coupled to the DAC output voltage Vout 38(9) will be based on the MSB code 48(9) that is input into the primary switch unit 42(9). As in the example above, if the MSB code 48(9) is zero (0) the primary switch unit 42(9) will open switch U11 and close switch U12. Opening the switch U11 will not remove the secondary resistor string Rsd2 60(9) from being coupled to the resistor node pair at R8. However, by closing switch U12, the DAC output voltage Vout 38(9) will be provided by the secondary resistor string Rsd1 60(9) through the coupling by the switch U12. Further, the secondary resistor string Rsd1 will also be coupled to the corresponding selected resistor node pair Nr(9)(i) 49(9) based on the MSB code 48(9). If the MSB code 48(9) were incremented to twelve (12), the secondary resistor string Rsd1 60(9) would be decoupled from both the DAC output voltage Vout 38(9) and the primary resistor string 40(9). In addition, based on the MSB code 48(9) = twelve (1210) the secondary resistor string Rsd2 60(9) is coupled to DAC output voltage Vout 38(9).

    [0070] Incrementing the MSB code 48(9) of Figure 14 by one (1) will set i = 1. The first adjusting circuit 54(9)(1) for the selected resistor node pair Nr(9)(1) 49(9) will remain the same as previously selected resistor node pair Nr(9)(0) 49(9). The third adjusting circuit 83(9) adds a single third fractional resistance Rfrac 88(9)(0) in the third adjusting circuit 83(9) between the ground rail node Vbot 46(9) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(9)(1)L 52(9) by opening a third switch U2 90(9)(1). In this manner, the first, second, and third interconnection relationship 68, 72, 74 equations are met, and a linear output voltage is maintained on the selected resistor node pairs Nr(9)(0) to Nr(9)(N-1) 49(9). This exemplary embodiment and all of the previously discussed primary voltage dividers 30 are voltage sourced driven. The primary voltage divider 30(1) to 30(9) then divides the voltage between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(1) to 44(9) and the ground rail node Vbot 46(1) to 46(9). However, instead of driving the primary voltage divider 30 by a voltage source, it is also possible to drive the primary voltage divider 30 with a current source. The voltages across the selected resistor node pair 49 will become a function of the current multiplied by the resistance.

    [0071] In this regard, Figure 15 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a dual-string DAC 28 with a current sourced primary voltage divider 30(10). The primary voltage divider 30(10) comprises at least one current source 96, a primary resistor string 40(10), a third adjusting circuit 83(10), and a primary switch unit 42(10). The primary switch unit 42(10) is configured to select a resistor node circuit 47(10) among a plurality of resistor node circuits 47, the resistor node circuit 47(10) comprises a selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49(10). The at least one current source 96 is coupled to the primary resistor string 40(10) at a higher selected resistor node Nr(10)(N-1)H 50(10). The at least one current source 96 coupled to the primary resistor string 40(10) may optionally be coupled to a trim resistor 97. The resistance of the trim resistor 97, if present, is adjusted to maintain a constant current at Vtop 44(10). The third adjusting circuit 83(10) is coupled between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the primary resistor string 40(10) at the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(0)L 52(10). While this is a current sourced primary voltage divider 30(10), the operation is similar to the voltage sourced primary voltage dividers 30 of Figures 9-13. In an alternative embodiment, the at least one current source 96 and the third adjusting circuit 83(10) would switch positions in the primary voltage divider 30(10). In the alternative embodiment, the at least one current source 96 would be coupled between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(0)L 52(10). The third adjusting circuit 83(10) would then be coupled between the voltage rail node Vtop 44(10) and the higher selected resistor node Nr(10)(N-1)H 50(10).

    [0072] In continuing reference to Figure 15, and in both the exemplary and the alternative embodiments referenced above, the selected resistor node pair Nr(10)(i) 49(10) is selected based on the MSB code 48(10), the MSB code 48(10) has three (3) bits, N = 23 = eight (8), Rp(10) = 4Ru, Rfrac(10) = .5Ru, and Rsd(10) = 36Ru, Rbulk1(10) = Rbulk2(10) = 0. Where MSB code 48(10) = i, the resistance between the selected resistor node pair Nr(10)(i) 49(10) is Rp(10)+ Rfrac(10) and meets the first interconnection relationship 68, Rp = Rsd || (Rp + Rfrac), as discussed in the previous figures. As the MSB code 48(10) is incremented, the resistance between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(i)L 52(10) should only increase by the primary resistance Rp(10) or 4Ru. However, it will in fact increase by the primary resistance Rp(10) + the fractional resistance Rfrac(10) or 4.5Ru, and the third adjusting circuit 83(10) must incrementally remove the added fractional resistance from between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(i)L 52(10). One of the third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(10)(i) is removed by closing one of the plurality of third switches 90(10)(i). In this manner, the resistance between the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(i)L 52(10) and the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) will remain substantially constant and therefore meet the third interconnection relationship 74, i*Rp + Rbulk1. This will have the effect of ensuring the voltage at the higher selected resistor node Nr(10)(N-1)H 50(10) of the last selection equals the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(i)L 52(10) of the next selected resistor node pairs 49, Nr(10)(i)H 50(10) = Nr(10)(i+1)L 52(10), as the MSB code 48(10) is incremented by one (1). As the MSB code 48(10) is decremented, the process will reverse itself and one of the plurality of third switches 90(10)(i) will open, therefore adding one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(10)(i) between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(i)L 52(10). In this manner, maintaining a constant and predictable voltage at the selected resistor node pair Nr(10)(i) 49(10) is possible.

    [0073] As an example of the exemplary embodiment in Figure 15, MSB code 48(10) has three (3) bits, N = 23 = eight (8), Rp(10) = 4Ru, Rfrac(10) = .5Ru, and Rsd(10) = 36Ru, Rbulk1(10) = Rbulk2(10) = 0. When MSB code 48(10) = i = zero (0), the selected resistor node pair Nr(10)(0) 49(10) will be selected. The at least one current source 96 will maintain a constant current flow through the primary resistor string 40(10) in order to maintain constant divided voltages at each of the selectable resistor node pairs Nr(10)(0) to Nr(10)(N-1) 49(10). In the exemplary embodiment, the third adjusting circuit 83(10) will continue to maintain the resistance coupled between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(0)L 52(10) as discussed above. With MSB code 48(10) = zero (0), the third adjusting circuit 83(10) will initially begin with the plurality of third switches 90(10)(1) to 90(10)(N-1) open. In this manner, the plurality of the third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(10)(1) to 88(10)(N-1) in the third adjusting circuit 83(10) will initially be included in the primary resistor string 40(10).

    [0074] With continued reference to Figure 15, as the MSB code 48(10) is incremented to one (1), the selected resistor node pair Nr(10)(1) 49(10) is then selected. An additional first fractional resistance Rfrac 58(10) from the previous selected resistor node pair Nr(10)(0) 49(10) is now added into the primary resistor string 40(10) between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(1)L 52(10). The third adjusting circuit 83(10) compensates for this additional fractional resistance Rfrac 58(10) by closing one of the plurality of third switches 90(10)(1). The closing of one of the plurality of third switches 90(10)(1) removes one of the plurality of third fractional resistances Rfrac 88(10)(1) from the primary resistor string 40(10) between the ground rail node Vbot 46(10) and the lower selected resistor node Nr(10)(1)L 52(10). The exemplary embodiments in Figures 2-14 have a common goal to reduce the number and size of the required resistances and switches. The reduction in the number and size of the required resistances and switches is accomplished while still allowing the primary voltage divider 30 to be interconnected with the secondary voltage divider 32 without the isolation circuits VF1, VF2 found, as an example, in Figure 1. One of the consequences of reducing the number and size of the required resistances and switches is the polarity of the coarse divided primary output voltage Nr(10)(i) 49(10) may reverse. The resulting reverse or flip in the voltage polarity of the primary voltage output would create trend reversals of the voltage output increase or decrease and the dual-string DAC 28 will not maintain monotonicity.

    [0075] In this regard, embodiments disclosed herein also include polarity compensating dual-string DACs. Related circuits, systems, and methods are also disclosed. In embodiments disclosed herein, a secondary voltage divider of a dual-string DAC includes a switch logic unit. The switch logic unit is configured to compensate for polarity changes in the dual-string DAC to maintain monotonicity in the dual-string DAC. The dual-string DAC being montonic means that the dual-string DAC will convert a digital input code into an representative analog output voltage that increases (or stays constant) or decreases (or stays constant) for a given incremental change in the digital input code. Montonicity may be desired if it is desired for a DAC to convert digital codes to representative analog signals in a linear fashion. The incremental change in the DAC input code 15 may be either an increase or a decrease in the DAC input code 15 value. The switch logic unit is configured to select a secondary switch among the plurality of secondary switches to divide an input voltage from a primary voltage divider, based on a polarity indicator and a DAC input code. Each of the secondary switches is connected to a resistor node in a secondary resistor string of a secondary voltage divider. The switch logic unit is configured to select the secondary switch among the plurality of secondary switches to compensate for polarity changes in the input voltage from the primary voltage divider to the secondary resistor string. Thus, as a non-limiting example, the dual-string DAC can avoid the need to provide two switches for each resistor node in a primary resistor string to maintain monotonicity.

    [0076] In this regard, the secondary voltage divider divides the Vp that has been selected and otherwise known as a selected primary DAC output voltage. The selected primary DAC output voltage is applied across the secondary resistor string and divided into finer secondary voltage levels. A finer secondary voltage level is selected and applied to the DAC output voltage Vout 38. The secondary switch unit comprises a plurality of secondary switches and the switch logic unit is comprised of a decoder and a polarity logic switching unit. In this manner, a polarity change in the voltage applied across the 2nd rank or secondary resistor string may be compensated for, thus creating a dual-string DAC with a monotonic transfer function. The dual-string DAC maintains a monotonic transfer function even though the isolation circuits between the interconnected primary and secondary voltage dividers may have been eliminated. Eliminating isolation circuits will have the benefit of saving circuit size, semiconductor die area, cost, and performance increase. In the alternative, isolation circuits may not be eliminated.

    [0077] For example, Figure 16 illustrates a non-monotonic dual-string DAC 98 (referred to herein as "DAC 98"). A primary voltage divider 30(11) provides coarse divided primary voltage values by dividing the DAC input voltage (Vdac_in) across a plurality of primary resistors R(0)-R(N-1) in a primary resistor string 40(11) at selected resistor node pair Nr 49(11). A coarse divided primary voltage value is selected by a primary switch unit 42(11). The primary switch unit 42(11) selects a selected resistor node pair Nr 49(11) among the plurality of selected resistor node pairs Nr(0) - Nr(N) in the primary resistor string 40(11) as a selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp. This selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp is then applied as Vsec_in across a secondary resistor string 60(11).

    [0078] In this respect, with continuing reference to Figure 16, the DAC 98 functions in a very similar fashion to the DAC 10 in Figure 1. However, in order to properly convert the DAC input code 15 into the DAC output voltage Vout 38, the DAC 98 transfer function must remain monotonic throughout the range of possible digital codes. Remaining monotonic means the dual-string DAC is either monotonically increasing or monotonically decreasing. If the dual-string DAC is monotonically increasing, the voltage either increases or stays constant. If the dual-string DAC is monotonically decreasing, the voltage either decreases or stays constant. A monotonic transfer function means the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp and the DAC output voltage Vout 38 either increases or stays constant for a monotonically increasing function or either decreases or stays constant for a monotonically decreasing function given an incremental change in a DAC input code 15. For example, as the DAC input code 15 increases in value, the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp and the DAC output voltage Vout 38 must increase or remain constant (i.e., not decrease) for the DAC 98. Likewise, as the DAC input code 15 decreases in value, the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp and the DAC output voltage Vout 38 must decrease or remain constant for the DAC 98. In the alternative, the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp may increase or remain constant for an incrementally decreased DAC input code 15, where the DAC input code 15 has been inverted. Additionally, in the alternative, the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp may decrease or remain constant for an incrementally increased DAC input code 15, where the DAC input code 15 has been inverted. The incremental adjustment to the DAC input code 15 may be either an increase or a decrease in the incremental adjustment. In both cases, a monotonic change in the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp results. In Figure 1, to provide monotonicity in the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp, primary switches U(0)-U(2N-1) are provided and configured to open and close to select resistor nodes Nr(0) - Nr(N) with no polarity changes or polarity flips. The primary switches U(0)-U(2N-1) are configured such that the voltage of the upper respective selected resistor node Nr(i)H 50 of the two (2) selected resistor node pair Nr(i) 49 is always greater. In Figure 15, however, there is an issue when half of the primary switches U(0)-U(2N-1) are removed. The exemplary embodiment of Figure 16 has only one (1) of the primary switches U(0)-U(2N-1) coupled to the selected resistor nodes Nr(0) -Nr(N). When the MSB code 48(11) is incremented or decremented by the primary switch unit 42(11) one selected resistor node is maintained and the other will skip to the next consecutive selected resistor node. This results in every other selection of selected resistor node pairs 49 alternating the voltage polarity of the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp.

    [0079] As an example of the circuit in Figure 16, the MSB code 48(11) code has a maximum value equal to N-1, where N = 2MSB. In this example, the first selected resistor node pair 49 will be selected by MSB code 48(11) = N - 1, or the maximum value. This selection causes the primary switch unit 42(11) to select the selected resistor node pair Nr(N) and Nr(N-1). The selected resistor node pairs Nr(N) and Nr(N-1) will be coupled to the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp and then subsequently be further divided by the secondary voltage divider 32(11). The primary switch unit 42(11) causes the higher selected resistor node Nr(N) to be coupled to the coarse primary output voltage terminal 340(11) and also cause the lower selected resistor node Nr(N-1)L 52(11) to be coupled to the coarse primary output voltage terminal 360(11) terminal. However, a polarity reversal problem arises when the MSB code 48(11) is decremented to N-2. The polarity is then reversed, because the positive pole of Vp is now coupled to the selected resistor node Nr(N-1). The selected resistor node Nr(N-1) is coupled to the coarse primary output voltage terminal 360(11) and the coarse primary output voltage terminal 340(11) now coupled to selected resistor node Nr(N-2). Since the voltage at Nr(N-1) is greater than the voltage at Nr(N-2), the secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in applied across the secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I(11), 36I(11) is reversed and this pattern, flipping the positive and negative terminals, will continue as the MSB code 48(11) is further decremented. Because of the flipping or reversing of the polarity, a monotonic transfer function is lost.

    [0080] In this regard, Figure 17 is a generalized embodiment of a secondary voltage divider 32(12). The secondary voltage divider 32(12) is coupled to the selected coarse divided primary voltage Vp at a top node of the coarse primary output voltage terminal 340(12), and a bottom node of the coarse primary output voltage terminal 360(12). As discussed above, and as a non-limiting example, the coupling between the primary voltage divider (not shown) and the secondary voltage divider 32(12) is without any isolation circuits. The secondary voltage divider 32(12) comprises a secondary resistor string 60(12), a secondary switch unit 64(12), and a switch logic unit 100(12). The secondary resistor string 60(12) comprises a plurality of secondary resistors Rs(0)-Rs(Y-1) coupled in a serial configuration. In this manner, dividing a coarse primary output voltage Vp across the coarse primary output voltage terminals 340(12), 360(12) that has been selected is otherwise known as a selected primary DAC output voltage. The selected primary DAC output voltage Vp is applied across the secondary resistor string 60(12) into divided secondary voltage levels.

    [0081] With continuing reference to Figure 17, the secondary switch unit 64(12) comprises a plurality of secondary switches (not shown) that are each coupled to the secondary resistor string 60(12) at a plurality of secondary resistor nodes Nsr(0)-Nsr(N-1). The switch logic unit 100(12) is comprised of a decoder 102(12) and a polarity logic switching unit 104(12). The switch logic unit 100(12) is configured to receive the LSB code 66(12) and a polarity indicator 106. The MSB code 48 (not shown) and the LSB code 66(12) may be both incremented and decremented, causing a step up or a step down, selecting a correspondingly incremented or decremented secondary resistor node, as will be discussed below in Figure 19. Each bit of the LSB code 66(12) corresponds to a voltage division step in the secondary resistor string 60(11). In one embodiment, the LSB code 66(12) is coupled to the decoder 102(12), and in an alternative embodiment the LSB code 66(12) is coupled to the polarity logic switching unit 104(12) as discussed below. In continuing reference to Figure 16, the polarity indicator 106 is comprised of the least significant single bit of the MSB code 48.

    [0082] The generalized embodiment of Figure 17 operates by reversing the operation of the secondary switch unit 64(12) with every change in the setting of the polarity indicator 106. For example, when the polarity indicator 106 is zero (0), there would be no reversal of the secondary switches in the secondary switch unit 64(12). If there is no reversal of the secondary switches in the secondary switch unit 64(12), operation of the secondary switches (not shown) would incrementally select the next selected resistor node. The selection shifts from a bottom secondary resistor node Nsr(0) to a top secondary resistor node Nsr(N-1). However, if the polarity indicator 106 is set to one (1), this will indicate that the coarse primary output voltage across the coarse primary output voltage terminals 340(12), 360(12) has reversed polarity. In this manner, the operation of the secondary switch unit 64(12) will reverse. By reversing the selection, the next selected resistor node Nsr(i) will shift incrementally from the top resistor node Nsr(N-1) to the bottom resistor node Nsr(0). This coupling of the polarity indicator 106 and the LSB code 66(12) provides for a monotonic transfer function of the DAC input voltage (Vdac_in) and the DAC output voltage Vout 38.

    [0083] In this regard, Figure 18 illustrates a process of receiving the LSB code 66(12) and a polarity indicator 106 indicating a polarity of a secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in applied across a secondary resistor string 60(12) (block 108). The secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in applied across the secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I(12), 36I(12) is the coarse primary output voltage across coarse primary output voltage terminals 340(12), 360(12). The selected coarse primary output voltage Vp at the coarse primary output voltage terminals 340(12), 360(12) is output from the primary voltage divider 30 and applied across the secondary resistor string 60(12) at the secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I(12), 36I(12). Upon receiving the LSB code 66(12) and the polarity indicator 106, the switch logic unit 100 determines whether a reversal of the operation of the secondary switch unit 64(12) is necessary to maintain monotonicity. Based on the LSB code 66(12) and the polarity indicator 106, the secondary switch unit 64(12) selects a secondary switch within the secondary switch unit 64(12). The secondary switch unit 64 is coupled to a selected resistor node Nsr(0)-Nsr(N-1) within the secondary resistor string 60(12). The selection of the secondary switch within the secondary switch unit 64(12) causes the divided voltage at the selected resistor node Nsr(0)-Nsr(N-1) to apply the divided voltage to the DAC output voltage Vout 38 of the dual-string DAC 28 (block 110).

    [0084] Figure 19 is an exemplary embodiment of the process of Figure 18. In Figure 19, a secondary voltage divider 32(13) for a dual-string DAC 28 is provided that comprises a secondary resistor string 60(13), a secondary switch unit 64(13) and a switch logic unit 100(13). The secondary resistor string 60(13) comprises a plurality of secondary resistors Rs(0)-Rs(Y), where Y=2LSB. The secondary resistor string 60(13) further comprises a top secondary resistor Rs(Y) coupled to a top coarse primary output voltage terminal 340(13), and a bottom secondary resistor Rs(0) coupled to a bottom coarse primary output voltage terminal 360(13). The top secondary resistor Rs(Y) and the bottom secondary resistor Rs(0) are equal to half the value of each of the plurality of secondary resistors Rs(1)-Rs(Y-1). In the alternative, the top secondary resistor Rs(Y) and the bottom secondary resistor Rs(0) may be eliminated. The top secondary DAC input voltage terminal 34I(13) and the bottom secondary DAC input voltage terminal 36I(13) are configured to receive the selected coarse primary output voltage Vp applied as the secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in. The secondary DAC input voltage Vsec_in is applied across the secondary DAC input voltage terminals 34I(13), 36I(13). As discussed above, each bit of the LSB code 66(13) corresponds to a voltage division step in the secondary resistor string 60(13). It is therefore also true that the voltage division step across the secondary resistor Rs(0) and the secondary resistor Rs(Y) will be one-half (1/2) of each bit of the LSB code 66(13). The secondary switch unit 64(13) is comprised of a plurality of secondary switches 111 U(0) to U(Y-1), each coupled to a respective resistor node Nsr(0)-Nsr(N-1). The secondary switch unit 64(13) is further coupled to the switch logic unit 100(13). In this manner, the switch logic unit 100(13) controls the secondary switches 111 U(0)-U(Y-1). The switch logic unit 100(13) comprises a decoder 102(13) and a polarity logic switching unit 104(13). The decoder 102(13) is coupled to the plurality of secondary switches 111 U(0) to U(Y-1) and is also coupled to the polarity logic switching unit 104(13). The polarity logic switching unit 104(13) is coupled to the polarity indicator 106 and LSB code 66(13) and is also coupled to the decoder 102(13). The polarity logic switching unit 104(13) will control the reversal or non-reversal of the secondary switch unit 64(13), as will be explained below.

    [0085] In this regard, to control the reversed or non-reversed operation of the switches, Figure 19 also shows the polarity logic switching unit 104(13) comprising a plurality of Exclusive Or (XOR) logic gates 112. The XOR logic gates 112 comprise a first XOR input 114 and a second XOR input 116. The first XOR input 114 is coupled to the polarity indicator 106, and the second XOR input 116 is coupled to each one of the plurality of bits of the LSB code 66(13). The plurality of XOR logic gates 112 function to set each of a plurality of XOR logic gate outputs 118(13) to a one (1), if one and only one of the XOR logic gate inputs 114, 116 are set to one (1). The function of the polarity indicator 106 is to flip or reverse the corresponding bit of the plurality of corresponding bits output from the plurality of XOR logic gate outputs 118(13). The flip or reversal of the corresponding bit will occur when the polarity indicator 106 is set to one (1), indicating a reverse polarity mode. If a reverse polarity mode is set, the polarity logic switching unit 104(13) will reverse operation of the secondary switch unit 64(13). Reverse operation causes the resistor nodes Nsr(0) to Nsr(Y-1) to be selected sequentially in reverse order from the top secondary node Nsr(Y-1) to the bottom secondary node Nsr(0). Each of the plurality of XOR logic gate outputs 118(13) are coupled to a plurality of decoder inputs 120(13). The plurality of decoder inputs 120(13) may become a polarity modified LSB code 66(13) based on the polarity indicator 106. The combination of the plurality of decoder inputs 120(13) cause the decoder 102(13) to output a plurality of decoder outputs 122(13). The plurality of decoder outputs 122(13) control a secondary switch 111 U(0)-U(Y-1), as will be discussed in reference to the truth table in Figure 20 below.

    [0086] With continuing reference to Figure 19, the secondary resistor string 60(13) comprises two (2) secondary resistors Rs(0) and Rs(Y) of a plurality of secondary resistors Rs(0)-Rs(Y). The two (2) secondary resistors Rs(0) and Rs(Y), as discussed above, are coupled to the top coarse primary output voltage terminal 340(13) and the bottom coarse primary output voltage terminal 360(13) respectively. The top secondary resistor Rs(Y) and the bottom secondary resistor Rs(0) are equal to half the value of each of the plurality of resistors Rs(1) to Rs(Y-1). The purpose for the modification of the resistor values equal to half of the remaining resistors Rs(1)-Rs(Y-1) is to compensate for the functional pivot of the secondary resistor string 60(13). The functional pivot of the secondary resistor string 60(13) occurs around the top secondary node Nsr(Y-1) or the bottom secondary node Nsr(0). The functional pivot of the secondary resistor string 60(13) occurs whenever the polarity indicator 106 indicates a reversal of the polarity.

    [0087] In this regard, in Figure 19, if the secondary resistors Rs(0) and Rs(Y) were valued at zero (0) and both the decoded MSB code 48 and the decoded LSB code 66 are equal to all ones (11112), the DAC output voltage Vout 38 is at the maximum. A problem would exist as the code counts down from <1111><0000>2 to <1110><1111>2, where both of these codes would select the voltage at the selected resistor node Nr(N-1) in Figure 16. This would result in the voltage at secondary switches 111 U(0) and U(N-1) being equal. The problem of the two adjacent codes producing the DAC output voltage Vout 38, which is substantially equivalent, will happen at every carry or borrow between the MSB code 48 and LSB code 66. The problem of the two adjacent codes producing a DAC output voltage Vout 38 which is substantially equivalent will occur even though a step up or a step down in DAC output voltage Vout 38 is actually desired. The inclusion of the top secondary resistor Rs(Y) and bottom secondary resistor Rs(0), each equaling half the value of each of the plurality of resistors Rs(1) to Rs(Y-1), alleviates this problem. Each of these resistors will result with half LSB of voltage division regardless of the polarity of the voltage across the secondary voltage divider 32(13). Thus, when any of the MSB code 48 or LSB code 66 transitions, as indicated above, occur, there will be a total of 1 LSB of output voltage change. In this exemplary embodiment, the maximum output voltage of the DAC 28 would be the voltage at the top of the primary divider minus half LSB and the minimum output voltage would be half LSB above Vbot 36(13). In this manner, a monotonic and linear DAC transfer function is achieved.

    [0088] The MSB code 48 and LSB code 66 transitions, the decoder inputs 120(13), the decoder outputs 122(13), and the resulting control of the secondary switches 111 U(0)-U(Y-1) of Figure 19 may be illustrated as a truth table. The exemplary truth table in Figure 20 illustrates an example of the secondary voltage divider 32(13) with a 4 bit LSB code 66. The exemplary truth table also shows how the polarity indicator 106 may cause the reverse polarity mode to reverse the operation of the secondary switch unit 64(13). If the polarity indicator 106 is set to zero (0), the non-reverse polarity mode is indicated and the LSB code 66 bits will not be changed. For instance, if the polarity indicator 106 is set to zero (0) and the corresponding LSB code 66 four (4) bits are 10112, according to the truth table, the plurality of XOR logic gate outputs 118 will be 10112. The XOR logic gate outputs 118 of 10112 would correspond to the closing of the secondary switch U(11). However, if the polarity indicator 106 indicates reverse polarity mode because it is set to one (1), then the plurality of XOR logic gate outputs 118 will be 01002, which would correspond to the closing of the secondary switch 111 U(4). The exemplary embodiment of Figure 19 and the corresponding exemplary truth table of Figure 20 illustrate the polarity switch logic driving the decoder 102, which in turn controls the secondary switch unit 64(13). In an alternative embodiment, it is possible to swap the function of the switch logic unit 100 and the decoder 102 such that the switch logic unit 100 controls the secondary switch unit 64(13) subsequent to the decoder 102 receiving the LSB code 66.

    [0089] Figure 21 shows an exemplary embodiment comprising a secondary resistor string 60(14), a secondary switch unit 64(14), and a switch logic unit 100(14). The secondary resistor string 60(14) comprises a plurality of secondary resistors Rs(0)-Rs(Y-1), where Y is equal to 2LSB and LSB is the number of bits in the LSB code 66. The secondary resistor nodes Nsr(0)-Nsr(Y-2) are coupled to each of a plurality of secondary switches 111 U(0)-U(Y) in the secondary switch unit 64(14). The switch logic unit 100(14) comprises a decoder 102(14) configured to receive the LSB code 66 of the DAC input code 15, and decode the LSB code 66 to generate a DAC code selection output on one of a plurality of decoder outputs 122(14). The decoder 102(14) may be a LSB to a 2LSB decoder. The switch logic unit 100(14) further comprises a plurality of multiplexers 123(14). Each of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14) comprises a first input 124(14), a second input 126(14), a control input 128(14), and a multiplexer output 130(14). The number of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14) may equal the number of the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14) plus one (1). The one (1) more than the number of the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14) accommodates a coupling to ground. The first input 124(14) is configured to receive a corresponding one of the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14) in non-reverse polarity mode. The second input 126(14) is configured to receive a corresponding one of the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14) in reverse mode. The first input 124(14) and the second input 126(14) are selected based on the control input 128(14) configured to receive the polarity indicator 106. In non-reverse polarity mode, each one of the decoder outputs 122(14), beginning with a first decoder output G0 corresponding to an LSB code 66 of 0002, is coupled to a corresponding first input 124 of one of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14). The corresponding first input 124 of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14) in the three (3) bit example of LSB code 66 equaling 0002 is Mux0. Each of the decoder outputs 122(14) from G1 to G(Y-1) is sequentially coupled to the first input 124(14) from Mux0 to Mux(Y). In reverse polarity mode, each one of the plurality of the decoder outputs 122(14), beginning with a last decoder output G(Y-1) corresponding to the LSB code 66 of 1112 in a three (3) bit example, is coupled to a corresponding second input 126 of one of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14). The corresponding second input 126 of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14) in the three (3) bit example of LSB code 66 equaling 1112 is Mux0. Each of the decoder outputs 122(14) from G(N-2) to G0 is sequentially coupled to the second input 126(14) from Mux0 to Mux(Y).

    [0090] In continuing reference to Figure 21, the decoder 102(14) will output on a corresponding one of the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14) based on the decoded result of the LSB code 66 input into the decoder 102(14). The one of the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14), G0 as an example, is coupled to the first input 124(14) of a first one of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14) and the second input 126(14) of a second one of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14). The polarity indicator 106 is coupled to the control input of each one of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14). The polarity indicator 106 can indicate a reverse polarity mode or a non-reverse polarity mode. If the polarity indicator 106 indicates a non-reverse polarity mode, the first one of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14) will pass through the switch selection to the corresponding secondary switch 111 U(0) to U(Y). If the polarity indicator 106 indicates reverse mode, the second one of the plurality of multiplexers 123(14) will pass through the switch selection to the corresponding secondary switch 111 U(0) to U(Y).

    [0091] In this regard, Figure 22 illustrates the exemplary truth table for Figure 21 comprising values for the LSB code 66, the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14), the polarity indicator 106, and a corresponding secondary switch 111 U(0) to U(Y). The exemplary truth table illustrates the secondary voltage divider 32(14) with a three (3) bit LSB code 66. The exemplary truth table also illustrates how the polarity indicator 106 may cause the reverse polarity mode to reverse the operation of the secondary switch unit 64(14). If the polarity indicator 106 is set to zero (0), then non-reverse polarity mode is indicated and the LSB code 66 bits will not be changed. For example, if the polarity indicator 106 is set to zero (0) and the corresponding LSB code 66 is binary code of 1012, the exemplary truth table indicates the output of G5 will be set of the plurality of decoder outputs 122(14). A decoder output 122 on G5 would correspond to the closing of secondary switch 111 U(5). However, if the polarity indicator 106 indicates reverse polarity mode with a setting of one (1) and the corresponding LSB code 66 is binary code 1012, this would correspond to the closing of the secondary switch 111 U(2). The exemplary embodiment of Figure 20 and the corresponding exemplary truth table of Figure 21 illustrate the polarity switch logic driving the multiplexer 123(14), which in turn controls the secondary switch unit 64(13).

    [0092] The dual-string DACs, and related circuits, systems, and methods according to embodiments disclosed herein may be provided in or integrated into any processor-based device. Examples, without limitation, include a set top box, an entertainment unit, a navigation device, a communications device, a fixed location data unit, a mobile location data unit, a mobile phone, a cellular phone, a computer, a portable computer, a desktop computer, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a monitor, a computer monitor, a television, a tuner, a radio, a satellite radio, a music player, a digital music player, a portable music player, a digital video player, a video player, a digital video disc (DVD) player, and a portable digital video player.

    [0093] In this regard, Figure 23 illustrates an example of a processor-based system 132 that can employ dual-string DACs 28 according to any of the embodiments disclosed herein. For example, the dual-string DACs 28 in the processor-based system 132 in Figure 23 could include one or more adjusting circuits (not shown) configured to maintain the ideal voltage of the selected resistor node paired across the secondary voltage divider circuit 32 in the dual-string DAC 28. The dual-string DACs 28 in the processor-based system 132 in Figure 23 could also include polarity compensating dual-string DACs 28 employing a switch logic unit configured to compensate for polarity changes in the dual-string DAC 28 to maintain monotonicity in the dual-string DAC 28. The dual-string DACs 28 in the processor-based system 132 in Figure 22 could include both the aforementioned adjusting circuit(s) to maintain the ideal voltage of the selected resistor node paired across the secondary voltage divider circuit 32 in the dual-string DAC 28, and switch logic unit configured to compensate for polarity changes in the dual-string DAC 28 to maintain monotonicity in the dual-string DAC 28.

    [0094] In this regard, the exemplary processor-based system 132 in Figure 23 includes one or more central processing units (CPUs) 134 each including one or more processors 136. The CPU(s) 134, may have cache memory 138 coupled to the processor(s) 136 for rapid access to temporarily stored data. The CPU(s) 134 is coupled to a system bus 140 and can intercouple master and slave devices included in the processor-based system 132. As is well known, the CPU(s) 134 communicates with these other devices by exchanging address, control, and data information over the system bus 140. For example, the CPU(s) 134 can communicate bus transaction requests to a memory controller 142 as an example of a slave device. Although not illustrated in Figure 23, multiple system buses 140 could be provided, wherein each system bus 140 constitutes a different fabric.

    [0095] Other master and slave devices can be connected to the system bus 140. As illustrated in Figure 23, these devices can include a memory system 144, one or more input devices 146, one or more output devices 148, one or more network interface devices 150, and one or more display controllers 152, as examples. The input device(s) 146 can include any type of input device, including but not limited to input keys, switches, voice processors, etc. The output device(s) 148 can include any type of output device, including but not limited to audio, video, other visual indicators, etc. The network interface device(s) 150 can be any devices configured to allow exchange of data to and from a network 154. The network 154 can be any type of network, including but not limited to a wired or wireless network, private or public network, a local area network (LAN), a wide local area network (WLAN), and the Internet. The network interface device(s) 150 can be configured to support any type of communication protocol desired. The memory system 144 can include one or more memory units 156(0-N). A bus interconnect arbiter 158 may be provided between the system bus 140 and master and slave devices coupled to the system bus 140, such as, for example, the memory units 156(0-N) provided in the memory system 144.

    [0096] The CPU(s) 134 may also be configured to access the display controller(s) 152 over the system bus 140 to control information sent to one or more displays 160. The display controller(s) 152 sends information to the display(s) 160 to be displayed via one or more video processors 162, which process the information to be displayed into a format suitable for the display(s) 160. The display(s) 160 can include any type of display, including but not limited to a cathode ray tube (CRT), a liquid crystal display (LCD), a plasma display, etc.

    [0097] Those of skill in the art will further appreciate that the various illustrative logical blocks, modules, circuits, and algorithms described in connection with the embodiments disclosed herein may be implemented as electronic hardware, instructions stored in memory or in another computer-readable medium and executed by a processor or other processing device, or combinations of both. The arbiters, master devices, and slave devices described herein may be employed in any circuit, hardware component, integrated circuit (IC), or IC chip, as examples. Memory disclosed herein may be any type and size of memory and may be configured to store any type of information desired. To clearly illustrate this interchangeability, various illustrative components, blocks, modules, circuits, and steps have been described above generally in terms of their functionality. How such functionality is implemented depends upon the particular application, design choices, and/or design constraints imposed on the overall system. Skilled artisans may implement the described functionality in varying ways for each particular application, but such implementation decisions should not be interpreted as causing a departure from the scope of the present disclosure.

    [0098] The various illustrative logical blocks, modules, and circuits described in connection with the embodiments disclosed herein may be implemented or performed with a processor, a DSP, an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), an FPGA or other programmable logic device, discrete gate or transistor logic, discrete hardware components, or any combination thereof designed to perform the functions described herein. A processor may be a microprocessor, but in the alternative, the processor may be any conventional processor, controller, microcontroller, or state machine. A processor may also be implemented as a combination of computing devices, e.g., a combination of a DSP and a microprocessor, a plurality of microprocessors, one or more microprocessors in conjunction with a DSP core, or any other such configuration.

    [0099] The embodiments disclosed herein may be embodied in hardware and in instructions that are stored in hardware, and may reside, for example, in Random Access Memory (RAM), flash memory, Read Only Memory (ROM), Electrically Programmable ROM (EPROM), Electrically Erasable Programmable ROM (EEPROM), registers, a hard disk, a removable disk, a CD-ROM, or any other form of computer readable medium known in the art. An exemplary storage medium is coupled to the processor such that the processor can read information from, and write information to, the storage medium. In the alternative, the storage medium may be integral to the processor. The processor and the storage medium may reside in an ASIC. The ASIC may reside in a remote station. In the alternative, the processor and the storage medium may reside as discrete components in a remote station, base station, or server.

    [0100] It is also noted that the operational steps described in any of the exemplary embodiments herein are described to provide examples and discussion. The operations described may be performed in numerous different sequences other than the illustrated sequences. Furthermore, operations described in a single operational step may actually be performed in a number of different steps. Additionally, one or more operational steps discussed in the exemplary embodiments may be combined. It is to be understood that the operational steps illustrated in the flow chart diagrams may be subject to numerous different modifications as will be readily apparent to one of skill in the art. Those of skill in the art will also understand that information and signals may be represented using any of a variety of different technologies and techniques. For example, data, instructions, commands, information, signals, bits, symbols, and chips that may be referenced throughout the above description may be represented by voltages, currents, electromagnetic waves, magnetic fields or particles, optical fields or particles, or any combination thereof.

    [0101] The previous description of the disclosure is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the disclosure. Various modifications to the disclosure will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other variations without departing from the scope of the claims.


    Claims

    1. A primary voltage divider (30) of a dual-string digital-to-analog converter, DAC (28), comprising:

    a primary resistor string (40) having a total resistance, the primary resistor string comprising a plurality of resistor nodes configured to divide a DAC input voltage applied across the primary resistor string into a plurality of divided voltage levels;

    a primary switch unit (42) configured to receive a DAC input code (15) and select a resistor node circuit (47) among a plurality of resistor node circuits, the resistor node circuit comprising a selected resistor node pair (49) among the plurality of resistor nodes of the primary resistor string based on the DAC input code to couple a divided voltage level across the selected resistor node pair to a secondary voltage divider circuit (32) of the dual-string DAC; and

    at least one adjusting circuit (54) comprising at least one first fractional resistance (58) configured to be coupled to the selected resistor node pair to adjust a resistance of the selected resistor node pair, characterized in that a primary resistance (56) is connected in series with the at least one first fractional resistance between the nodes of the selected resistor node pair, and further characterized in that the resistances of the primary resistance and the first fractional resistance are selected such that when the secondary voltage divider circuit is coupled in parallel to the selected resistor node pair, the resulting effective parallel resistance across the selected resistor node pair is the same as if the secondary voltage divider were impedance isolated from or not coupled to the primary voltage divider.


     
    2. The primary voltage divider of claim 1 not comprising an isolating circuit coupled between the primary voltage divider and the secondary voltage divider circuit.
     
    3. The primary voltage divider of claim 1, wherein the at least one adjusting circuit is comprised of at least one first adjusting circuit providing the at least one first fractional resistance to the selected resistor node circuit, the selected resistor node circuit comprising the at least one first adjusting circuit.
     
    4. The primary voltage divider of claim 3, wherein:

    the primary resistance (56) is hereinafter referred to as Rp, and the at least one first fractional resistance is hereinafter referred to as Rfrac1;

    a resistance of the secondary voltage divider circuit is comprised of resistances providing a total secondary voltage divider circuit resistance (70) is hereinafter referred to as Rsd; and

    the primary resistance Rp is 1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1) + (1/Rsd)).


     
    5. The primary voltage divider of claim 3, wherein the at least one adjusting circuit further comprises:

    a second adjusting circuit (82) configured to include or not include at least one second fractional resistance (84) in the total resistance of the primary resistor string in response to the primary switch unit selecting a resistor node pair; and

    a third adjusting circuit (83) configured to include or not include at least one third fractional resistance (88) in the total resistance of the primary resistor string in response to the primary switch unit selecting the resistor node pair; and

    the second adjusting circuit and the third adjusting circuit configured to maintain an ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across the secondary voltage divider circuit, in response to the primary switch unit selecting the resistor node pair, wherein the ideal voltage is the voltage at the selected resistor node pair if the secondary voltage divider were isolated from or not coupled to the primary voltage divider.


     
    6. The primary voltage divider of claim 5, wherein:

    the second adjusting circuit further comprises at least one second switch (86) configured to include or not include the at least one second fractional resistance in the total resistance of the primary resistor string; and

    the third adjusting circuit further comprises at least one third switch (90) configured to include or not include the at least one third fractional resistance in the total resistance of the primary resistor string.


     
    7. The primary voltage divider of claim 5, wherein:

    the second adjusting circuit is further configured to adjust a resistance of the primary resistor string between a voltage rail node (44) of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit to adjust the total resistance of the primary resistor string; and

    the third adjusting circuit is further configured to adjust a resistance of the primary resistor string between a ground rail node (46) of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit to adjust the total resistance of the primary resistor string.


     
    8. The primary voltage divider of claim 7, wherein:

    the DAC input code (15), hereinafter referred to as i, is comprised of a plurality of binary input bits, hereinafter referred to as N, each combination of the plurality of binary input bits configured to select a unique resistor node pair in the primary resistor string;

    the resistance of the primary resistor string between the voltage rail node of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit is represented by (N - i - 1)* Rp; and

    the resistance of the primary resistor string between the ground rail node of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit is represented by i*Rp.


     
    9. The primary voltage divider of claim 8, further comprising:

    a second biasing resistance, hereinafter referred to as Rbulk2, configured to vary the total resistance of the second adjusting circuit; and

    a third biasing resistance, hereinafter referred to as Rbulk1, configured to vary the total resistance of the third adjusting circuit;

    wherein:

    the resistance of the primary resistor string between the voltage rail node of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit is represented by (N - i - 1) * Rp + Rbulk2; and

    the resistance of the primary resistor string between the ground rail node of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit is represented by i*Rp + Rbulk1.


     
    10. The primary voltage divider of claim 3, wherein the at least one first adjusting circuit further comprises at least one first switch (76) configured to couple the at least one first fractional resistance to the selected resistor node pair when the at least one first switch is switched in a coupling mode and to not couple the at least one first fractional resistance to the selected resistor node pair when the at least one first switch is switched in a decoupling mode.
     
    11. The primary voltage divider of claim 5, wherein:

    the second adjusting circuit further comprises at least one second switch (86) configured to include or not include the at least one second fractional resistance in the total resistance of the primary resistor string;

    the second adjusting circuit further configured to adjust a resistance of the primary resistor string between a voltage rail node of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit;

    the third adjusting circuit further comprises at least one third switch (90) configured to include or not the at least one third fractional resistance in the total resistance of the primary resistor string; and

    the third adjusting circuit further configured to adjust a resistance of the primary resistor string between a ground rail node of the primary resistor string and the selected resistor node circuit.


     
    12. The primary voltage divider of claim 11, wherein:

    the at least one second fractional resistance of the second adjusting circuit comprises a plurality of second fractional resistances coupled to each other in series;

    the at least one second switch of the second adjusting circuit is further configured to include a second fractional resistance of the plurality of second fractional resistances in the total resistance of the primary resistor string in response to an increase in the DAC input code;

    the at least one third fractional resistance of the third adjusting circuit comprising a plurality of third fractional resistances coupled to each other in series; and

    the at least one third switch of the third adjusting circuit is further configured to not include a third fractional resistance of the plurality of third fractional resistances in the total resistance of the primary resistor string for each increase in the DAC input code.


     
    13. The primary voltage divider of claim 1, wherein the at least one adjusting circuit comprises at least one current source (96) coupled to the primary voltage divider circuit or the secondary voltage divider circuit configured to maintain the ideal voltage of the selected resistor node pair across the secondary voltage divider circuit.
     
    14. The primary voltage divider of claim 13, wherein:

    the primary resistance (56) is hereinafter referred to as Rp;

    a resistance of the secondary voltage divider circuit is comprised of resistances providing a total secondary voltage divider circuit resistance is hereinafter referred to as Rsd;

    the primary resistance Rp is 1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1) + ((1/Rsd)); and

    the at least one current source adjusts a current, hereinafter referred to as I, so that an ideal voltage, hereinafter referred to as Videal, is equal to an actual voltage, hereinafter referred to as Vactual, where Vactual = I*1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1) + ((1/Rsd)).


     
    15. A method of dividing voltage in a dual-string digital-to-analog converter, DAC, comprising:

    dividing (78) a total voltage, a primary resistor string having a total resistance, the primary resistor string comprising a plurality of resistor nodes configured to divide a DAC input voltage applied across the primary resistor string into a plurality of divided voltage levels;

    selecting (81) a resistor node circuit comprising a selected resistor node pair among the plurality of resistor nodes of the primary resistor string based on a DAC input code to couple a divided voltage level across the selected resistor node pair to a secondary voltage divider circuit of a dual-string DAC; and adjusting a resistance of the selected resistor node pair with at least one first fractional resistance configured to be coupled to the selected resistor node pair, characterized in that a primary resistance (56) is connected in series with the at least one first fractional resistance between the nodes of the selected resistor node pair, and further characterized in that the resistances of the primary resistance and the first fractional resistance are selected such that when the secondary voltage divider circuit is coupled in parallel to the selected resistor node pair, the resulting effective parallel resistance across the selected resistor node pair is the same as if the secondary voltage divider were impedance isolated from or not coupled to the primary voltage divider.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Ein primärer Spannungsteiler (30) eines Dualketten-Digital-Analog-Wandlers bzw. Dual-String-DAC (DAC = digital-to-analog converter) (28), der Folgendes aufweist:

    einen primären Widerstandsstring bzw. eine primäre Widerstandskette (40), die einen Gesamtwiderstand hat, wobei die primäre Widerstandskette eine Vielzahl von Widerstandsknoten aufweist, die konfiguriert sind, eine DAC-Eingangsspannung, die über die primäre Widerstandskette hinweg angelegt wird, in eine Vielzahl von aufgeteilten Spannungspegeln aufzuteilen;

    eine primäre Schalteinheit (42), die konfiguriert ist zum Empfangen eines DAC-Eingabecodes (15) und zum Auswählen einer Widerstandsknotenschaltung (47) aus einer Vielzahl von Widerstandsknotenschaltungen, wobei die Widerstandsknotenschaltung ein ausgewähltes Widerstandsknotenpaar (49) aus der Vielzahl von Widerstandsknoten der primären Widerstandskette basierend auf dem DAC-Eingabecodewort zum Koppeln eines aufgeteilten Spannungspegels über das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar hinweg an eine sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung (32) des Dual-String-DAC aufweist; und

    wenigstens eine Anpassungs- bzw. Einstellungsschaltung (54), die wenigstens einen ersten Teilwiderstand (58) aufweist, der konfiguriert ist, um an das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar gekoppelt zu werden zum Anpassen eines Widerstandes des ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaars, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    ein primärer Widerstand (56) in Reihe mit dem wenigstens einen ersten Teilwiderstand zwischen den Knoten des ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaars angeschlossen ist,

    und weiter dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Widerstände des primären Widerstandes und des ersten Teilwiderstands so ausgewählt sind, dass wenn die sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung parallel zu dem ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaar gekoppelt ist, der sich ergebende effektive parallele Widerstand über das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar hinweg der gleiche ist wie wenn der sekundäre Spannungsteiler bezüglich der Impedanz von dem primären Spannungsteiler isoliert wäre oder nicht an diesen gekoppelt wäre.


     
    2. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 1, der keine isolierte Schaltung aufweist, die zwischen den primären Spannungsteiler und die sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung gekoppelt ist.
     
    3. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine Anpassungsschaltung aus wenigstens einer ersten Anpassungsschaltung besteht, die wenigstens einen ersten Teilwiderstand an die ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenschaltung vorsieht, wobei die ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenschaltung wenigstens eine Anpassungsschaltung aufweist.
     
    4. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 3, wobei:

    der primäre Widerstand (56) im Folgenden als Rp bezeichnet wird und der wenigstens eine erste Teilwiderstand im Folgenden als Rfrac1 bezeichnet wird;

    ein Widerstand der sekundären Spannungsteilerschaltung aus Widerständen besteht, die einen gesamten sekundären Spannungsteilerwiderstand (70) vorsehen, der im Folgenden als Rsd bezeichnet wird; und

    der primäre Widerstand Rp 1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1) + (1/Rsd)) ist.


     
    5. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 3, wobei die wenigstens eine Anpassungsschaltung weiter Folgendes aufweist:

    eine zweite Anpassungsschaltung (82), die konfiguriert ist wenigstens einen zweiten Teilwiderstand (84) in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette aufzunehmen oder nicht aufzunehmen ansprechend darauf, dass die primäre Schaltereinheit ein Widerstandsknotenpaar auswählt; und

    eine dritte Anpassungsschaltung (83), die konfiguriert ist wenigstens einen dritten Teilwiderstand (88) in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette aufzunehmen oder nicht aufzunehmen ansprechend darauf, dass die primäre Schaltereinheit ein Widerstandsknotenpaar auswählt; und

    die zweite Anpassungsschaltung und die dritte Anpassungsschaltung konfiguriert sind eine ideale Spannung des ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaars über die sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung hinweg aufrecht zu erhalten, und zwar ansprechend darauf, dass die primäre Schaltereinheit das Widerstandsknotenpaar auswählt, wobei die ideale Spannung die Spannung an dem ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaar ist, wenn der sekundäre Spannungsteiler von dem primären Spannungsteiler isoliert wäre oder nicht an diesen gekoppelt wäre.


     
    6. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 5, wobei:

    die zweite Anpassungsschaltung weiter wenigstens einen zweiten Schalter (86) aufweist, der konfiguriert ist den wenigstens einen zweiten Teilwiderstand in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette aufzunehmen oder nicht aufzunehmen; und

    die dritte Anpassungsschaltung weiter wenigstens einen dritten Schalter (90) aufweist, der konfiguriert ist den wenigstens einen dritten Teilwiderstand in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette aufzunehmen oder nicht aufzunehmen.


     
    7. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 5, wobei:

    die zweite Anpassungsschaltung weiter konfiguriert ist zum Anpassen eines Widerstandes der primären Widerstandskette zwischen einem Spannungs-Rail- bzw. Spannungsschienenknoten (44) der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung zum Anpassen des Gesamtwiderstandes der primären Widerstandskette; und

    die dritte Anpassungsschaltung weiter konfiguriert ist zum Anpassen eines Widerstandes der primären Widerstandskette zwischen einem Masse-Rail- bzw. Masseschienenknoten (46) der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung zum Anpassen des Gesamtwiderstandes der primären Widerstandskette.


     
    8. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 7, wobei:

    der DAC-Eingabecode (15), im Folgenden als i bezeichnet, eine Vielzahl von binären Eingabebits, im Folgenden als N bezeichnet, aufweist, wobei jede Kombination der Vielzahl von binären Eingabebits konfiguriert ist zum Auswählen eines eindeutigen Widerstandsknotenpaares in der primären Widerstandskette;

    der Widerstand der primären Widerstandskette zwischen dem Spannungsschienenknoten der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung dargestellt wird durch (N-i-1)*Rp; und

    der Widerstand der primären Widerstandskette zwischen dem Masseschienenknoten der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung dargestellt wird durch i*Rp.


     
    9. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 8, der weiter Folgendes aufweist:

    einen zweiten Vorspannungs- bzw. Biasing-Widerstand, im Folgenden als Rbulk2 bezeichnet, der konfiguriert ist zum Variieren des Gesamtwiderstandes der zweiten Anpassungsschaltung; und

    einen dritten Vorspannungs- bzw. Biasing-Widerstand, im Folgenden als Rbulk1 bezeichnet, der konfiguriert ist zum Variieren des Gesamtwiderstandes der dritten Anpassungsschaltung;

    wobei:

    der Widerstand der primären Widerstandskette zwischen dem Spannungsschienenknoten der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung dargestellt wird durch (N-i-1)*Rp+Rbulk2; und

    der Widerstand der primären Widerstandskette zwischen dem Masseschienenknoten der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung dargestellt wird durch i*Rp+Rbulk1.


     
    10. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 3, wobei die wenigstens eine erste Anpassungsschaltung weiter wenigstens einen ersten Schalter (76) aufweist, der konfiguriert ist, den wenigstens einen ersten Teilwiderstand an das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar zu koppeln, wenn der wenigstens eine erste Schalter in einen Koppelungsmodus geschaltet wird und den wenigstens einen ersten Teilwiderstand nicht an das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar zu koppeln, wenn der wenigstens eine erste Schalter in einen Entkoppelungsmodus geschaltet wird.
     
    11. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 5, wobei:

    die zweite Anpassungsschaltung weiter wenigstens einen zweiten Schalter (86) aufweist, der konfiguriert ist den wenigstens einen zweiten Teilwiderstand in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette aufzunehmen oder nicht aufzunehmen;

    die zweite Anpassungsschaltung weiter konfiguriert ist zum Anpassen eines Widerstandes der primären Widerstandskette zwischen einem Spannungsschienenknoten der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung;

    die dritte Anpassungsschaltung weiter wenigstens einen dritten Schalter (90) aufweist, der konfiguriert ist den wenigstens einen dritten Teilwiderstand in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette aufzunehmen oder nicht aufzunehmen; und

    die dritte Anpassungsschaltung weiter konfiguriert ist zum Anpassen eines Widerstandes der primären Widerstandskette zwischen einem Masseschienenknoten der primären Widerstandskette und der ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenschaltung.


     
    12. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 11, wobei:

    der wenigstens eine zweite Teilwiderstand der zweiten Anpassungsschaltung eine Vielzahl von zweiten Teilwiderständen aufweist, die in Reihe aneinander gekoppelt sind;

    der wenigstens eine zweite Schalter der zweiten Anpassungsschaltung weiter konfiguriert ist einen zweiten Teilwiderstand der Vielzahl von zweiten Teilwiderständen in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette ansprechend auf eine Erhöhung in dem DAC-Eingabecode aufzunehmen;

    der wenigstens eine dritte Teilwiderstand der dritten Anpassungsschaltung weiter eine Vielzahl von dritten Teilwiderständen aufweist, die in Reihe aneinander gekoppelt sind; und

    der wenigstens eine dritte Schalter der dritten Anpassungsschaltung weiter konfiguriert ist einen dritten Teilwiderstand der Vielzahl von dritten Teilwiderständen nicht in den Gesamtwiderstand der primären Widerstandskette für jede Erhöhung in dem DAC-Eingabecode aufzunehmen.


     
    13. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine Anpassungsschaltung wenigstens eine Stromquelle (96) aufweist, die an die primäre Spannungsteilerschaltung oder die sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung gekoppelt ist, die konfiguriert ist zum Aufrechterhalten der idealen Spannung des ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaares über die sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung hinweg.
     
    14. Primärer Spannungsteiler nach Anspruch 13, wobei:

    der primäre Widerstand (56) im Folgenden als Rp bezeichnet wird;

    ein Widerstand der sekundären Spannungsteilerschaltung aus Widerständen besteht, die einen gesamten sekundären Spannungsteilerschaltungswiderstand vorsehen, der im Folgenden als Rsd bezeichnet wird;

    wobei der primäre Widerstand Rp 1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1)+((1/Rsd)) ist; und

    die wenigstens eine Stromquelle einen Strom anpasst, der im Folgenden als I bezeichnet wird, so dass eine ideale Spannung, die im Folgenden als Videal bezeichnet wird, gleich einer tatsächlichen Spannung ist, die im Folgenden als Vactual bezeichnet wird, wobei Vactual = I*1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1)+((1/Rsd)).


     
    15. Ein Verfahren zum Teilen von Spannung in einem Dualketten-Digital-AnalogWandler bzw. Dual-String-DAC (DAC = digital-to-analog converter), das Folgendes aufweist:

    Teilen (78) einer Gesamtspannung, wobei eine primäre Widerstandskette einen Gesamtwiderstand hat, wobei die primäre Widerstandskette eine Vielzahl von Widerstandsknoten aufweist, die konfiguriert sind eine DAC-Eingangsspannung, die über die primäre Widerstandskette hinweg angelegt wird, in eine Vielzahl von aufgeteilten Spannungspegeln aufzuteilen;

    Auswählen (81) einer Widerstandsknotenschaltung, die ein ausgewähltes Widerstandsknotenpaar aus der Vielzahl von Widerstandsknoten der primären Widerstandskette aufweist, basierend auf dem DAC-Eingabecode zum Koppeln eines aufgeteilten Spannungspegels über das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar hinweg an eine sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung eines Dual-String-DAC; und

    Einstellen bzw. Anpassen eines Widerstandes des ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaares mit wenigstens einem ersten Teilwiderstand, der konfiguriert ist, um an das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar gekoppelt zu werden,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    ein primärer Widerstand (56) in Reihe mit dem wenigstens einen ersten Teilwiderstand zwischen den Knoten des ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaars angeschlossen ist,

    und weiter dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Widerstände des primären Widerstandes und des ersten Teilwiderstands so ausgewählt sind, dass wenn die sekundäre Spannungsteilerschaltung parallel zu dem ausgewählten Widerstandsknotenpaar gekoppelt ist, der sich ergebende effektive parallele Widerstand über das ausgewählte Widerstandsknotenpaar hinweg der gleiche ist wie wenn der sekundäre Spannungsteiler bezüglich der Impedanz von dem primären Spannungsteiler isoliert wäre oder nicht an diesen gekoppelt wäre.


     


    Revendications

    1. Diviseur de tension principal (30) d'un convertisseur numérique-analogique, DAC, double chaîne (28), comprenant :

    une chaîne de résistances principale (40) ayant une résistance totale, la chaîne de résistances principale comprenant une pluralité de noeuds de résistances configurés pour diviser une tension d'entrée de DAC appliquée aux bornes de la chaîne de résistances principale en une pluralité de niveaux de tension divisés ;

    une unité de commutation principale (42) configurée pour recevoir un code d'entrée de DAC (15) et sélectionner un circuit de noeuds de résistances (47) parmi une pluralité de circuits de noeuds de résistances, le circuit de noeuds de résistances comprenant une paire de noeuds de résistances (49) sélectionnés parmi la pluralité de noeuds de résistances de la chaîne de résistances principale sur la base du code d'entrée de DAC pour coupler un niveau de tension divisé aux bornes de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés à un circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire (32) du DAC double chaîne ; et

    au moins un circuit d'ajustement (54) comprenant au moins une première résistance fractionnaire (58) configurée pour être couplée à la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés pour ajuster une résistance de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés, caractérisé en ce que

    une résistance principale (56) est connectée en série avec ladite au moins une première résistance fractionnaire entre les noeuds de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés, et caractérisé en outre en ce que

    les résistances de la résistance principale et de la première résistance fractionnaire sont sélectionnées de sorte que, lorsque le circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire est couplé en parallèle à la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés, la résistance parallèle efficace résultante aux bornes de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés soit la même que si le diviseur de tension secondaire était isolé en impédance du diviseur de tension principal ou non couplé à celui-ci.


     
    2. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 1 ne comprenant pas un circuit d'isolement couplé entre le diviseur de tension principal et le circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire.
     
    3. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit au moins un circuit d'ajustement est composé d'au moins un premier circuit d'ajustement fournissant ladite au moins une première résistance fractionnaire au circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné, le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné comprenant ledit au moins un premier circuit d'ajustement.
     
    4. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 3, dans lequel :

    la résistance principale (56) est désignée ci-après Rp, et ladite au moins une première résistance fractionnaire est désignée ci-après Rfrac1 ;

    une résistance du circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire est composée de résistances fournissant une résistance de circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire totale (70) et est désignée ci-après Rsd ; et

    la résistance principale Rp est 1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1) + (1/Rsd)).


     
    5. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 3, dans lequel ledit au moins un circuit d'ajustement comprend en outre :

    un deuxième circuit d'ajustement (82) configuré pour inclure ou ne pas inclure au moins une deuxième résistance fractionnaire (84) dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale en réponse à la sélection par l'unité de commutation principale d'une paire de noeuds de résistances ; et

    un troisième circuit d'ajustement (83) configuré pour inclure ou ne pas inclure au moins une troisième résistance fractionnaire (88) dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale en réponse à la sélection par l'unité de commutation principale de la paire de noeuds de résistances ; et

    le deuxième circuit d'ajustement et le troisième circuit d'ajustement étant configurés pour maintenir une tension idéale de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés aux bornes du circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire, en réponse à la sélection par l'unité de commutation principale de la paire de noeuds de résistances, dans lequel la tension idéale est la tension au niveau de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés si le diviseur de tension secondaire était isolé du diviseur de tension principal ou non couplé à celui-ci.


     
    6. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 5, dans lequel :

    le deuxième circuit d'ajustement comprend en outre au moins un deuxième commutateur (86) configuré pour inclure ou ne pas inclure ladite au moins une deuxième résistance fractionnaire dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale ; et

    le troisième circuit d'ajustement comprend en outre au moins un troisième commutateur (90) configuré pour inclure ou ne pas inclure ladite au moins une troisième résistance fractionnaire dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale.


     
    7. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 5, dans lequel :

    le deuxième circuit d'ajustement est en outre configuré pour ajuster une résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre un noeud de rail de tension (44) de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné pour ajuster la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale ; et

    le troisième circuit d'ajustement est en outre configuré pour ajuster une résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre un noeud de rail de masse (46) de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné pour ajuster la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale.


     
    8. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 7, dans lequel :

    le code d'entrée de DAC (15), désigné ci-après i, est composé d'une pluralité de bits d'entrée binaire, désignés ci-après N, chaque combinaison de la pluralité de bits d'entrée binaire étant configurée pour sélectionner une paire de noeuds de résistances unique dans la chaîne de résistances principale ;

    la résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre le noeud de rail de tension de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné est représentée par (N-i-1) * Rp ; et

    la résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre le noeud de rail de masse de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné est représentée par i*Rp.


     
    9. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre :

    une deuxième résistance de polarisation, désignée ci-après Rbulk2, configurée pour modifier la résistance totale du deuxième circuit d'ajustement ; et

    une troisième résistance de polarisation, désignée ci-après Rbulk1, configurée pour modifier la résistance totale du troisième circuit d'ajustement ;

    dans lequel :

    la résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre le noeud de rail de tension de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné est représentée par (N-i-1) * Rp + Rbulk2 ; et

    la résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre le noeud de rail de masse de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné est représentée par i*Rp + Rbulk1.


     
    10. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 3, dans lequel ledit au moins un premier circuit d'ajustement comprend en outre au moins un premier commutateur (76) configuré pour coupler ladite au moins une première résistance fractionnaire à la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés lorsque ledit au moins un premier commutateur est commuté dans un mode de couplage et pour ne pas coupler ladite au moins une première résistance fractionnaire à la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés lorsque ledit au moins un premier commutateur est commuté dans un mode de découplage.
     
    11. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 5, dans lequel :

    le deuxième circuit d'ajustement comprend en outre au moins un deuxième commutateur (86) configuré pour inclure ou ne pas inclure ladite au moins une deuxième résistance fractionnaire dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale ;

    le deuxième circuit d'ajustement est en outre configuré pour ajuster une résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre un noeud de rail de tension de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné ;

    le troisième circuit d'ajustement comprend en outre au moins un troisième commutateur (90) configuré pour inclure ou non ladite au moins une troisième résistance fractionnaire dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale; et

    le troisième circuit d'ajustement est en outre configuré pour ajuster une résistance de la chaîne de résistances principale entre un noeud de rail de masse de la chaîne de résistances principale et le circuit de noeuds de résistances sélectionné.


     
    12. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 11, dans lequel :

    ladite au moins une deuxième résistance fractionnaire du deuxième circuit d'ajustement comprend une pluralité de deuxièmes résistances fractionnaires couplées les unes aux autres en série ;

    ledit au moins un deuxième commutateur du deuxième circuit d'ajustement est en outre configuré pour inclure une deuxième résistance fractionnaire de la pluralité de deuxièmes résistances fractionnaires dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale en réponse à une augmentation dans le code d'entrée de DAC;

    ladite au moins une troisième résistance fractionnaire du troisième circuit d'ajustement comprenant une pluralité de troisièmes résistances fractionnaires couplées les unes aux autres en série ; et

    ledit au moins un troisième commutateur du troisième circuit d'ajustement est en outre configuré pour ne pas inclure une troisième résistance fractionnaire de la pluralité de troisièmes résistances fractionnaires dans la résistance totale de la chaîne de résistances principale pour chaque augmentation dans le code d'entrée de DAC.


     
    13. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit au moins un circuit d'ajustement comprend au moins une source de courant (96) couplée au circuit de diviseur de tension principal ou au circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire configurée pour maintenir la tension idéale de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés aux bornes du circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire.
     
    14. Diviseur de tension principal selon la revendication 13, dans lequel :

    la résistance principale (56) est désignée ci-après Rp ;

    une résistance du circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire est composée de résistances fournissant une résistance de circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire totale et est désignée ci-après Rsd;

    la résistance principale Rp est 1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1) + (1/Rsd)); et

    ladite au moins une source de courant ajuste un courant, désigné ci-après I, de sorte qu'une tension idéale, désignée ci-après Videal, soit égale à une tension réelle, désignée ci-après Vactual, où Vactual = I*1/(1/(Rp+Rfrac1) + (1/Rsd)).


     
    15. Procédé de division de tension dans un convertisseur numérique-analogique, DAC, double chaîne, comprenant :

    la division (78) d'une tension totale, une chaîne de résistances principale ayant une résistance totale, la chaîne de résistances principale comprenant une pluralité de noeuds de résistances configurés pour diviser une tension d'entrée de DAC appliquée aux bornes de la chaîne de résistances principale en une pluralité de niveaux de tension divisés ;

    la sélection (81) d'un circuit de noeuds de résistances comprenant une paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés parmi la pluralité de noeuds de résistances de la chaîne de résistances principale sur la base d'un code d'entrée de DAC pour coupler un niveau de tension divisé aux bornes de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés à un circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire d'un DAC double chaîne ; et

    fajustement d'une résistance de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés avec au moins une première résistance fractionnaire configurée pour être couplée à la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés, caractérisé en ce qu'une résistance principale (56) est connectée en série avec ladite au moins une première résistance fractionnaire entre les noeuds de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés, et caractérisé en outre en ce que les résistances de la résistance principale et la première résistance fractionnaire sont sélectionnées de sorte que, lorsque le circuit de diviseur de tension secondaire est couplé en parallèle à la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés, la résistance parallèle efficace résultante aux bornes de la paire de noeuds de résistances sélectionnés soit la même que si le diviseur de tension secondaire était isolé en impédance du diviseur de tension principal ou non couplé à celui-ci.


     




    Drawing










































































    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description