As with any high-resolution ADC, appropriate PCB layout and grounding techniques should be followed to eliminate ground loops, unwanted parasitic effects, and noise.
Ground loops are formed when return current from the ADC flows through paths that are common with other analog or digital circuitry. If care is not taken, this current can generate small unwanted offset voltages that can add to or subtract from the reference or input voltages of the ADC. The general guidelines in Section 7.1.1 combined with the connections shown in Section 18.104.22.168 prevent this.
In addition to grounding, ripple and noise spikes on the power-supply lines that are caused by digital switching or switching power supplies can corrupt the conversion result. A noise-free design using separate analog and digital ground planes with a single-point connection is recommend to achieve high accuracy.
Figure 7-5 shows the recommended decoupling circuit when an external voltage reference is used. The internal reference module has a maximum drive current as specified in the Reference module's IO(VREF+) specification.
The reference voltage must be a stable voltage for accurate measurements. The capacitor values that are selected in the general guidelines filter out the high- and low-frequency ripple before the reference voltage enters the device. In this case, the 10-µF capacitor is used to buffer the reference pin and filter any low-frequency ripple. A 470-nF bypass capacitor is used to filter out any high-frequency noise.