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Double-Differential Recording and AGC Using Microcontrolled Variable Gain ASIC

By Robert Rieger, Senior Member and Shin-liang Deng


Abstract—Low-power wearable recording of biopotentials requires acquisition front-ends with high common-mode rejection for interference suppression and adjustable gain to provide an optimum signal range to a cascading analogue-to-digital stage. A microcontroller operated double-differential (DD) recording setup and automatic gain control circuit (AGC) are discussed which reject common-mode interference and provide tunable gain, thus compensating for imbalance and variation in electrode interface impedance. Custom-designed variable gain amplifiers (ASIC) are used as part of the recording setup. The circuit gain and balance is set by the timing of microcontroller generated clock signals. Measured results are presented which confirm that improved common-mode rejection is achieved compared to a single differential amplifier in the presence of input network imbalance. Practical measured examples further validate gain control suitable for biopotential recording and power-line rejection for wearable ECG and EMG recording. The prototype front-end consumes 318 W including amplifiers and microcontroller. Index Terms—Automatic-gain-control (AGC), biomedical recording, common-mode interference rejection, double-differential amplifier, wearable circuit. I

Year: 2013
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