A multichannel time-to-digital converter (TDC) implemented with 0.35-μm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor technology that uses a low-frequency crystal as reference and measures the time intervals with counter and delay line interpolation techniques is described. The multichannel measurement architecture provides information on the time intervals between several timing signals. The circuit can be used for laser time-of-flight distance measurements, e.g., where it can determine time intervals between a transmitted laser pulse and several reflected pulses and also pulsewidths or rise times, to compensate for the timing walk error. This paper shows how several measurement channels can be integrated into one TDC without losing the measurement performance. The circuit offers a measurement precision that is better than 8 ps and a measurement range of up to 74 μs. In terms of laser distance measurement, its performance is equivalent to millimeter-level precision within an 11-km range.

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A Multichannel High-Precision CMOS Time-to-Digital Converter for Laser-Scanner-Based Perception Systems J. Jansson, V. Koskinen, A. Mäntyniemi, J. Kostamovaara (2012)