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64 IRE TRANSACTIONS-ELECTRONIC COM'PUTERS June

A Diode Multiplexer for Analog Voltages*


H. J. GRAY, JR.t, M. RUBINOFFt, AND J. TOMPKINSt
Summary-A diode multiplexer switch is described for time- because of high degree of complexity or insufficient ac-
sharing 64 analog voltages in a digital computer application. Apart
curacy. On the other hand the diode multiplexer de-
from its relative simplicity and economy, the multiplexer character-
cracy. On the other hand, the diod autiry de-
istics of microsecond switching speeds, maximum settling time OI
scrbe
ei.tIs
p
erprv tobe aeseatifa tor answe
133 microseconds for a 10-volt operating range, and accuracies of to the problem. It bears a close resemblance to a bi-
better than 1 per cent full scale are confirmed both by theoretical directional switch, used in a different application.'
equations and by experimental results. Static characteristics of a number of similar structures
are discussed elsewhere.7
INTRODUCTION
A
MULTIPLEXER is a
switching
device for con-
DESCRIPTION OF MULTIPLEXER
necting any one of a number of wires to a single The system as used is diagramed in Fig. 1. The
wire. For example, when a number of analog operation of the multiplexer can be better understood
voltages are to be transmitted over a single wire to a by reference to Fig. 2, which is derived from Fig. 1 by a
number of remote points, a "many-to-one" multiplexer horizontal bisection along a line joining input to output.
is used to connect each voltage in its turn to the near
end of the wire, and a "one-to-many" multiplexer is +150
used to connect the far end of the wire to the remote
points one at a time. A single-pole multiposition switch
is clearly a primitive multiplexer, and when used within
a
o
its limitations, a highly effective one.
In the design of a digital real-time simulator' it
proved advantageous to provide for the conversion of TO 5 4
/5
many digital signed magnitudes into analog voltages. CONVERTER 3
It was proposed to do this by time-sharing one digital-
C-.02
S
f
to-analog converter by using a multiplexing device.
The requirements to be fulfilled by the multiplexer in CHANNEL d o I
question were as follows: sIENL
IOOK
1. Simplicity sufficient to assure economical multi-
plexing of 64 voltages;
-10
2. Speed sufficient to serve as a component in a real-
time simulator. 100 microseconds was set as a goal TO OTHER CHANNELS
for switching time;
AS
ABOVE
3. Accuracy of at least 1 per cent of full scale with
zero drift not to exceed 0. 1 per cent per hour;
Fig. 1-Multiplexing system.
4. Compatibility with other simulator components,
Assume that -5
.
e .5 volts, -5
.
v .5 volts, and
such as the computer gating circuits and instru-
ment servoamplifier serving as outputla,
b < -5
volts,
c,
d > 5 volts. Then
1-4
are nonconduct-
investigatederi
ot lod
ing.
The
charge on capacitor C will leak off
through
the
Existing multiplexing
switches were
reverse impedance of diodes 1 and 4. In the digital real-
none of which was satisfactory for the application either
time simulator under consideration, C
is
recharged
*
Original manuscript received, October 1, 1954; revised manu-
through
the
multiplexer
at 50 millisecond intervals.
script received, January 22, 1955. This work was done under contract Based on leakage figures for silicon junction diodes
Nonr(551)02 sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, Special (<
10-8
amperes at - 10 volts) and allowing for the
Devices Center, Port Washington, N. Y.
t Moore School of Elec. Engrg., Univ. of Pennsylvania, Phila- amplifier load on the output, leakage current does not
delphia, Pa.
exceed 4X10-8 amps. (Note
in
Fig.
I that the diode
I
W. H. Dunn, et al., "Universal Digital Operational Flight
Trainer," Univ. of Pennsylvania, Moore School of Elec. Engrg., Res. leakage
currents
oppose
one
another.)
To assure less than
Div. Rep. 54-45; June 30, 1954. 01vdit( e et u olaaei srqieIta
2F. F. Roberts and J. C. Simmonds, "Multichannel communica-
0. rf 1prcn)detolaae ti eurdta
tions system," Wireless Eng., Part II (Pentodes, Cyclophon), vol. 22, Itt 4 X 10-8 X 50 X 10-i
pp. 567-580; December, 1945. __
>__ 8___________
3A. M. Shellet, "The magnetically focused radial beam vacuum C
>- = 2 X 10- .
tube," Bell. Sys. Tech. Jour., vol. 23, pp. 190-202; April, 1944. - V0. 1
4Roberts and Simnmonds, loc. cit., Part I (Cyclophon), vol. 22, pp.
538-549; November, 1945. 6 B. Chance, et al., "Waveforms," Rad. Lab. Ser., McGraw-Hill
6J. L. H. Jonker and Z. van Gelder, "New electronic tubes em- Book Co., Inc., New York, N. Y., vol. 19, pp. 374-375; 1949.
ployed as switches in communications engineering," Philips Tech. J. Millman and T. H. PuckeLtt, "Accurate linear bi-directional
Rev., vol. 13, Part I, p. 49, Part II, p. 82; 1951/1952. diode gates," PROC. IRE, vol. 43, pp. 24-37; January, 1955.

1955
Gray,
Rubinofif,
and
Tompkins:
A Diode
Mlulhiplexer for Analog Voltages
65
Note further that the circuit in
Fig.
2 (a) is a
positive rearrangement,
"AND" circuit and Fig.
2
(b), a negative "AND" cir-
Cdv/dt =-I tanh (av/2) (2)
cuit. Hence if a and b are raised above 5 volts, V will rise
to a value slightly exceeding e. Similarly, when c and d -tan1h (av/2). (3)
are lowered below
-
5 volts, Vwill fall to a value slightly We are concerned only with those cases when vo, the
below e. Thus, in Fig. 1, if a and b exceed 5 volts, and c
initial value of v, is of the order of
1
volt. Then
avo>1,
and d are below -5 volts, V will assume a value almost
sinh
avo e-avo
and (2) has the solution
equal to e.
V
Zz
(2/a) sinh1 {(1/2 exp [(to-t)]} (4)
+
~~~~~~~~~~~~where a-
=
aI/2 C and to =cvo/I.
R
Case 1:
t.<to
a o
iFor
t <to, except for values of t very close to to, a good
b d o 4 1approximation of sinh'I may be had by keeping only the
oi 0 V 40
-19 ~~~first
term of the expansion
2 34
e e R
1
I I I ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ ~~sinh-1x=log 2x+
2 -x
;x>
1. (5)
(a) (b)
--
Fig. 2-Derivation of diode bridge.
Hence
Both halves of the multiplexer are needed. The half
v
V
-
PI/C; t
< to, vo > 0. (6)
shown in Fig.
2 (a) charges the condenser C when v is This corresponds to the interval when only diodes 1 and
initially below e; the half shown in
Fig.
2 (b) discharges
4 are conducting.
C when v is
initially above e.
Cs :t=t
Since the multiplexer
is derived from conventional Cs :t=t
gating circuits used in digital computers,
some of the For t =
to, (4) becomes
gating needed to select a specific
instrument can be
vt)=(/)sn- 12 .92a
performed within the multiplexer.
A double coincidence vI)=(/)sn1( )=092a
selection system has been assumed for the preceding.
This is only 0.0364 volts for the 1N138A.
DETERMINATION OF SWITCHING TimE Case 3: t > to
The selection of a new channel is followed by an inter- Here it yields a good approximation to keep the first
val during which v makes the transition to voltage
e. term of the power series expansion
of sinh'1. Hence
An
approximate
determination of this interval will now
V
(i/a) exp [-oa-(t -to)];
t > to, Vo > 0. (7)
be obtained in closed form.
A silicon junction diode such as the 1N138A has a
forward voltage-current
characteristic such that in the
range of interest i =i3
exp av where 13 and a are con-
stants. This is quantitatively
correct for the forward
v
characteristic of the 1N138A if a=26.5 and f3=6.25X
1012. The same equation may be extended to apply
toLi
e
o
the reverse characteristic in that both the true reverse 4
current and the current given by the exponential
func-
tion are negligible.
V
Consider the simplified equivalent
circuit in Fig.
3.
The input voltage is assumed for simplicity to be zero.
This does not incur any loss of generality.
All diodes
Fig. 3-Equivalent circuit.
have been assumed identical for the analysis.
The circuit
equations
are
~The decay time constant for the values in Fig. 1 is
Cdv/dt + 13 exp [a(v
-
V2)]-1 eXp [a(vi
-
v)] 0
1/la
= lj.ts. The value of to is
correspondingly 133
Mis
for a

66 IRE TRANSACTIONS-ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS June
Equivalent circuits derived from (6), (7), and (8) are equations of Fig. 3 may be solved to yield
given in Fig. 4 for the case when the generator has an
v Z (vo/2a)(-a, + a2+ a3-4)
internal resistance,
Rg.
+
(1/2a#)(-#1
+
02 +
03
-
4) + * * *,
(9)
e2/_
I
v e v where
vo
is such that 1/2 = /.3 exp
(avo).
lg
rn llFor
vo=0.7
volts and a=26.5, which are reasonable
fRs
9
iRS } 1 values for silicon diodes in the present application, (9)
l vs
~~c
l g X ^^c
becomes
TI I becosv|
<
1.4a+0.07b,
le-vlj> le-vJ4
where a and b are the maximum anticipated per
cent
variations in a and 3, respectively.
Fig. 4-Equivalent circuits.
EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS
Although the last of (8) implies that il goes to zero,
The diode
multiplexer circuit was breadboarded using
this is not usually so, as demonstrated for a multiplexing four unmatched
1N100
germanium diodes in the multi-
switch in steady state (Fig. 5). Solution of the nodal
plexer bridge. Despite the random choice of diodes the
error voltage between e and v was less than 0.05 volt
over the + 5-volt range.
The switching time to swing the output over the full
R
range of 10 volts was found to be 125 ,us. This was
measured by applying a 10-volt p -p sine wave to the
input
and
observing
on an
oscilloscope
the
frequency
e
'/V (4 kc) at which the triangularly-shaped output wave
initially became attenuated.
R2
CONCLUSION
|E2
A multiplexing switch has been described which is
relatively inexpensive, which is capable of achieving
Fig. 5-Equivalent circuit in steady-state. accuracies of 1 per cent of full scale or better, has low
drift, and is microsecond fast. The only fundamental
equation for this circuit yields limitations on the
speeds
that
might
be achieved seem
[1 1
1 E2 E1 to be the diode capacitance and recovery time, which
il=i + e t-+
-
+--R for the silicon diodes in the system described were re-
-R, R2 - R2 RI
spectively about 10 ,u,f and 1 ,us.
Note there is a current offset i+E2/R2-Ej/R1
and an
effective input resistance R1R2/ (R1+R2).
The static error that results when the diodes are not The authors are
very grateful
to Mrs. E. L. Fishl who
perfectly matched can be estimated. The steady-state typed
the
manuscript.
C
_~5