A continuous-rate digital clock and data recovery (CDR) with automatic frequency acquisition is presented. The proposed automatic frequency acquisition scheme implemented using a conventional bang-bang phase detector (BBPD) requires minimum additional hardware, is immune to input data transition density, and is applicable to subrate CDRs. A ring-oscillator-based two-stage fractional-N phase-locked loop (PLL) is used as a digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) to achieve wide frequency range, low noise, and to decouple the tradeoff between jitter transfer (JTRAN) bandwidth and ring oscillator noise suppression in conventional CDRs. The CDR is implemented using a digital D/PLL architecture to decouple JTRAN bandwidth from jitter tolerance (JTOL) corner frequency, eliminate jitter peaking, and remove JTRAN dependence on BBPD gain. Fabricated in a 65 nm CMOS process, the prototype CDR achieves error-free operation (BER <10-12) from 4 to 10.5 Gb/s with pseudorandom binary sequence (PRBS) data sequences ranging from PRBS7 to PRBS31. The proposed automatic frequency acquisition scheme always locks the CDR loop within 1000 ppm residual frequency error in worst case. At 10 Gb/s, the CDR consumes 22.5 mW power and achieves a recovered clock long-term jitter of 2.2 psrms/24.0 pspp with PRBS31 input data. The measured JTRAN bandwidth and JTOL corner frequencies are 0.2 and 9 MHz, respectively. © 2015 IEEE.