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High Sample Rate PCM

Posted 2nd May 2016 at 12:13 AM by Tam Lin
Updated 9th May 2016 at 11:48 PM by Tam Lin

With delta-sigma DACs pushing insane clock rates I wondered if a traditional multi-bit DAC could not do better. The fastest multi-bit I know of is the PCM1704, which has a max BCLK rate of 25 MHz. A 32-bit sample frame can run at 768 K samples per second. That is fast but not faster than DSD64.

However, with 32 DACs per channel staggered across the sample period we get 24.576 M. That is better than DSD512. For input at or below the native rate of 22.5792 or 24.576 MHz, the DACs operate in parallel. Below the native rate, inserted nulls stretch the output sample period. Above the native rate, the DACs are staggered and the data at each point is the input sample value minus the sum of the data in the other DACs. Thus, each successive sample is the delta needed to reach the next sample point. This approach has interesting repercussions: I will let you ponder them for the time being.
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