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Amplifiers and Oscillators: Optimization by Simulation

Amplifiers and Oscillators: Optimization by Simulation

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Amplifiers and Oscillators: Optimization by Simulation

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Jul 25, 2018


Amplifiers and Oscillators Optimization by Simulation provides a comprehensive resource on the topic, including theory and simulation. The book presents a panorama of electronic patterns, from the simple, to the more complicated. Comparisons of different structures and their advantages and disadvantages are included, making this the go-to book for engineers who need to quickly find the characteristics of a circuit and the method of calculation and dimensioning of components that fit a particular design.

  • Explains the theory of amplifiers and oscillators in detail
  • Includes examples and comparisons of different structures
  • Provides the go-to book for engineers who want to quickly find the characteristics of a circuit and the method of calculation and dimensioning of components that fit a particular design
Lançado em:
Jul 25, 2018

Sobre o autor

François de Dieuleveult was an Engineer at ESME SUDRIA Ingenieur, a researcher Engineer at CEA SACLAY, a Teacher at Paris VI Jussieu University, at Marne la vallée ESIEE, at the ISEN Toulon and Lille.

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Amplifiers and Oscillators - François De Dieuleveult

Amplifiers and Oscillators

Optimization by Simulation

François de Dieuleveult

Table of Contents

Cover image

Title page



1: The Transistor


1.1 Modeling of transistors

1.2 Amplification

2: Amplifiers


2.1 Common emitter amplifier

2.2 Common base amplifier

2.3 Common collector amplifier

3: Differential Amplifiers


3.1 Differential amplifier without a current source

3.2 Differential amplifier with a current source

3.3 Cascode differential amplifier

3.4 Differential cross-quad amplifier

3.5 Cascomp feedforward differential amplifier

3.6 Differential cascomp feedback amplifier

3.7 Comparison of the different structures and conclusion

3.8 Exact calculation of transfer functions of differential stages

3.9 Conclusion and comparison of differential stages

4: Amplifier Output Stage


4.1 Class A amplifiers

4.2 Class B amplifiers

4.3 Class AB amplifiers

4.4 Example of output amplifier stages

5: Study and Analysis of Certain Amplifiers


5.1 Study of the operational amplifier 741

5.2 Study of audio amplifiers

5.3 Transimpedance amplifier

5.4 Class E amplifier

5.5 Serial-shunt pair amplifier

6: Study and Analysis of Oscillators


6.1 Essential characteristics of oscillators

6.2 Theoretical Analysis of Oscillator Operations

7: Low Frequency Oscillators


7.1 Wien bridge oscillators

7.2 Phase-shift oscillator

7.3 Oscillator around the state variable filter

7.4 Other types of LF oscillators

7.5 Conclusion on low frequency AOP oscillators

8: High Frequency Oscillators


8.1 Colpitts oscillator

8.2 Colpitts series oscillator

8.3 Vackar oscillator

8.4 Parallel Clapp oscillator

8.5 Clapp series oscillator

8.6 SAW oscillator

8.7 Comparison of the different oscillators

8.8 Transformation of oscillators into VCO

9: Differential Oscillators


9.1 Simple differential oscillator

9.2 Simple differential oscillator with SAW resonator

9.3 Simple differential oscillator, cascode

9.4 Differential oscillator, cross-coupled with buffer

9.5 Differential oscillator, cross-coupled Colpitts

9.6 Differential oscillator, bandpass filter

9.7 Variations of the differential oscillator

9.8 Variations of unclassifiable oscillators

9.9 Transformation of differential oscillators into VCO

10: Bonus Oscillators


10.1 Parallel resonance oscillator

10.2 Series resonant oscillator

10.3 Differential oscillator, improvements

10.4 Differential oscillator SAW, improvements

10.5 Conclusion




First published 2018 in Great Britain and the United States by ISTE Press Ltd and Elsevier Ltd

Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms and licenses issued by the CLA. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent to the publishers at the undermentioned address:

ISTE Press Ltd

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Elsevier Ltd

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Knowledge and best practice in this field are constantly changing. As new research and experience broaden our understanding, changes in research methods, professional practices, or medical treatment may become necessary.

Practitioners and researchers must always rely on their own experience and knowledge in evaluating and using any information, methods, compounds, or experiments described herein. In using such information or methods they should be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, including parties for whom they have a professional responsibility.

To the fullest extent of the law, neither the Publisher nor the authors, contributors, or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in the material herein.

For information on all our publications visit our website at http://store.elsevier.com/

© ISTE Press Ltd 2018

The rights of François de Dieuleveult to be identified as the author of this work have been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress

ISBN 978-1-78548-241-0

Printed and bound in the UK and US


François de Dieuleveult April 2018

The analog engineer profession, LF (low frequency) or RF (radio frequency), will certainly not disappear but, like many other sectors, must inevitably evolve.

Digital techniques are becoming an essential part of all fields, and the best examples are found in the field of radio communication. Both audio and video transmissions, which essentially use analog signals, involve digital data transmission.

Even if the analog–digital converter is located closer to the source or destination, essential subsets in the processing chain, that only a specialist can calculate and design, remain or will remain present for a long time. This is also the case of amplifiers and oscillators, which are the pillars of analog electronics.

This analog subset may be a preamplifier receiving signals from a laser diode or an infrared diode. A frequency translation system, combining a multiplier and an oscillator, is also an excellent example of a problem that only an analog engineer can solve.

The analog engineer only needs a rudimentary knowledge of mathematics in order to be successful: 50% algebra, 25% trigonometry and the rest devoted to complex numbers. He/she also needs much patience and perseverance in order to solve the most complex cases. Computational software is certainly needed.

The choice of topics covered in this book is inspired by a research engineer profile and 10 years experience of teaching engineering students.

Students or engineers should find answers to frequently asked questions in this book. Unfortunately, it is not possible to give an exhaustive overview even if the topics may seem simple, or even very well known, such as amplifiers or oscillators.

In this book, we will gain a deeper insight into the topics under study and present original topics such as the cascomp amplifier, cross-quad amplifier and differential oscillators.

The author dedicates this book to his family, relatives and friends, who encouraged and supported him during his long and painful illness.

He also thanks the editor who patiently waited for his recovery and the submission of the manuscript.


The Transistor


The transistor is the basic component and building block that is inevitable for the development of complex functions. The two main devices are amplifiers and oscillators, and there are many others as well, such as multipliers.


Amplification; Ebers-Moll model; Giacoletto model; Hyperbolic tangent function; Modeling of transistors; Scattering parameters; S/X parameters; Spice-type modeling

The transistor is the basic component and building block that is inevitable for the development of complex functions. The two main devices are amplifiers and oscillators, and there are many others as well, such as multipliers.

In the case of a bipolar transistor or an MOS field effect transistor, these are modeled by a four pole network, receiving the input voltage and having a current output related to the input voltage.

In order to understand, elaborate and calculate a subset such as an amplifier or an oscillator, it is necessary to derive the equations describing a particular circuit using the transistor model.

In this first chapter, we will cover the different models starting from the simplest one and examine the effects of parasitic components added to the basic schematic.

Please rest assured that establishing the different equations of the circuit is not complicated. Common sense is all that is required to derive the equations. An understanding of how to solve the problems of linear algebra suffices to find the solution of the derived equations. Powerful, modern computer tools such as computer algebra software relieve the engineer, and the mathematical solution can be obtained without mathematical skills.

1.1 Modeling of transistors

The objective of this chapter is to examine the different ways of modeling transistors with configurations of increasing complexity. The higher the frequency, the more complex the equivalent schematics are. The approximation methods of the transistor are classified starting from schematics that are valid for low and medium frequencies, with which we can perform analytical calculation of the more complex models intended for the simulators and finally construct tables of values, like the S matrix, that can be used either analytically or with a simulator.

1.1.1 An input resistance and a linked source

The equivalent diagram of the transistor can be represented using one of the two models shown in Figure 1.1. In fact, these two representations are equivalent. The transistor’s gain, denoted as β or g m , is known with a high percentage of inaccuracy, with a value of 50% being a good common example. For example, for a BC547B-type transistor, the average gain is 200, which varies between 100 and 300.

Figure 1.1 Replacement of the amplifier by its transistor model

The diagram in Figure 1.1 is presented to first year engineering students. The engineer’s work can be summarized in this simple stage of the circuit’s description, which results in the establishment of the equations.

The transistor’s gain is expressed as g m V BE and, by using Millman’s theorem, we establish the circuit’s equations whose number is reduced compared to what it would be by introducing the currents.

The task of solving the system of equations is then entrusted to a computer algebra program, Mathematica for example. A rudimentary knowledge in linear algebra then makes it possible to calculate all the essential elements of an amplifier stage, for example, input and output impedances, and gain of the stage equal to the ratio of the output voltage to the input voltage. This essential first step should not be considered an insurmountable task, quite the contrary; it is only an introduction to the next steps.

In the equivalent diagram shown in Figure 1.1, there are no reactive elements, capacitors or inductances. The representation of Figure 1.1 is also used to visualize the effects of the feedback that are discussed in Chapter 2.

This diagram would therefore be valid regardless of the frequency. In reality, this is not the case, and the results remain valid up to frequencies of a few hundred kilohertz (kHz).

We understand that this diagram must be improved in order to give us an image that is closer to reality.

1.1.2 Giacoletto’s equivalent diagram

The diagram in Figure 1.2 is known as Giacoletto’s diagram, which models the transistor by introducing two parasitic capacitors and three new resistors.

Figure 1.2 Giacoletto’s equivalent diagram

The simplified diagram of Figure 1.2 can then be used to understand the effect of the two capacitors in the transistor amplifier stages.

The order of magnitude of the capacitor placed between the collector and the base, C BC , is a few tenths of pF, whereas that of the capacitor placed between the base and the transmitter, C BE , is a few tens of pF. Although capacitor C BC is of lower value than capacitor C BE , it can be shown that its role is preponderant in the operation of the amplifiers, when we approach the high-frequency domain.

Using this model, we can still perform analytical demonstrations from the equations describing the circuit’s operation.

1.1.3 Introduction of nonlinearities

The first two representations show that the transistor is linear. In practice, we know that the output power of an amplifier cannot tend to infinity. The amplifier saturates and hence it is nonlinear. With the two representations shown in Figure 1.3, we look for a sufficiently simple means to make the nonlinearities appear, while being able to make analytical calculations.

Figure 1.3 Equivalent diagram with nonlinearities

The first representation, shown in Figure 1.3(a), consists of adding, in parallel, a new resistance to the current source, depending on the collector current and the Early voltage.

The second representation, shown in Figure 1.3(b), consists of writing that the current source is nonlinear, and it is this source that will directly produce harmonics.

The transistor is assimilated to a four-port network whose output voltage is related to the input voltage.

With this representation, we can show that, if the input is perfectly sinusoidal, the output is no longer sinusoidal and contains harmonics.

The value of this resistance R 0 is given by equation [1.1], where V A is the Early voltage.


The definition of the Early voltage is given by the representation of Figure 1.4. If the Early voltage is infinite, then the resistance R 0 is infinite and the current source is perfect.

Figure 1.4 Definition of the Early voltage

If the Early voltage is finite, then the current source is imperfect because it is shunted by a finite-value resistance.

The simulation diagram of Figure 1.5 of the ADS simulator makes it possible to trace the collector current curves as a function of the transmitter collector voltage with the base current as a parameter. The result of the simulation is given in Figure 1.6.

Figure 1.5 Simulation diagram for the plotting of the curves

Figure 1.6 Plotting of the curves and graphical determination of the Early voltage

The Early voltage is determined graphically as shown in Figure 1.6. For this, the voltage range on the x-axis must be extended to − 70 V. We then trace at least two curves, of identical slope to that of the curve beam, which cross each other on the x-axis. This gives us an Early voltage equal to − 65 V for this particular transistor array known as the CA3127 integrated circuit.

For a system analysis, the representation of Figure 1.7 is preferably used. The imperfect amplifier, generating unwanted components, is modeled by a perfect gain amplifier, delivering a signal to which the undesirable components noted as dist are added.

Figure 1.7 Modeling with the addition of undesirable components

These components, noted as dist, may be the harmonics of the input signal.

The relationship between the input and output voltages is then given by equation [1.2].


This representation is used in particular to demonstrate that the feedback reduces the rate of distortion.

We finally note that for the analytical calculations to remain usable, the additional components are not cumulative. We do not try to calculate the transfer function with the resistance R 0 and the two parasitic capacitors C BC and C BE .

1.1.4 Spice-type modeling

With the three previous configurations, the range of validity of the transistor model does not exceed 100 MHz in the best-case scenario. This is a major limitation and hence we need a more precise model. This model is obtained by adding as many auxiliary components as necessary, diodes, resistances, capacitances and inductances that are fixed or defined by a mathematical equation.

It does not seem useful to represent a transistor model comprising many tens of elementary components. Indeed, this representation is a function of the type of transistor, for example, BJT, FET and MOS with enhancement or depletion.

The transistor model may also vary depending on the founder at the component’s origin.

As a rule, the founder distributes the libraries corresponding to the provided material. The designer’s job is then to use the provided libraries without intervening in the modification of the model or the parameters of the latter.

In general, only the founder or the designer, who are directly involved in the characterization of the component, can modify the model.

The Spice model of the transistor is valid for frequencies up to about 1 GHz. Beyond this limit, one must use another representation, that of S or X parameters.

1.1.5 S or X parameters

The simplest way to design a model that is valid up to several tens of gigahertz (GHz) is to perform a series of measurements of this four-port network, which can be active or passive.

With the parameters, admittance or impedance, the measurement would imply the input or output in open circuit or short circuit. In radio frequency, the operation could not be guaranteed if an input or output was in open circuit or short circuit. It is preferable to measure S parameters in Figure 1.8, in which the four-port network is looped on characteristic impedance, which is generally equal to 50 ohms.

Figure 1.8 S parameters of the transistor

In contrast to the simplified model of the transistor, with its input impedance and a linked source, the S parameters are used to account for the actual behavior of the active or passive element. These parameters are the result of a measurement and not modeling, and therefore comprise a table of values.

Figure 1.8 shows a transistor four-pole network. The S matrix is named after scattering parameters. It is also of relevance to consider the coefficients or distribution matrix.

Parameters a and b are complex quantities representing the transmitted wave and the reflected wave, respectively. At the input, a 1 is the transmitted wave and b 1 is the reflected wave.

S matrix is defined by equation [1.3].


The term S 21 represents the transfer gain in power G of the network, G = 10 log | S 21 |²:

The term S 12 represents the inverse transfer gain of the network, G inv  = 10 log | S 12 |².

The gains G and G inv are thus expressed in decibels (dB). Using the S parameters, it is possible to calculate the reflection coefficients and the gains for any source and load impedances. Corresponding to impedances Z L and Z S of the load and source of any value are the two reflection coefficients Γ L and Γ S , which are the reflection coefficients at the output and input, respectively.

The resistance R O or Z O is the normalization resistance, which is generally 50 ohms.

Figure 1.9 shows an example of S parameters in Touchstone format for transistor BFG235. In general, the parameter file has an extension S2P, which is an editable text file, for example using Notepad ++.

Figure 1.9 Example of the table of S parameters of transistor BFG235

The lines preceded by an exclamation mark are comment lines, and those preceded by a hash are the table’s descriptor. For example, in Figure 1.9, this means that the first column is the frequency expressed in gigahertz (GHz), and the other columns compose a table of S parameters given in the form of module and angle, MA. The table could also be given in the form of a real part and an imaginary part, RI, or in decibels, dB.

The S parameters are given in the following eight columns. Finally, we find the value of the normalization resistance: 50 ohms.

Here, the designer has an alternative, that is, to extract the data to perform the calculations necessary for the impedance adaptation, for example, or to directly supply the file to dedicated software that will perform the calculations.

The calculation of input and output adaptation networks is a good example of what can be expected here.

In the case of a dipole, the file has three columns, the frequency and then the values of parameter S 11. The Touchstone file has an S1P extension, in the case of a dipole, and S2P for a four-pole network. S parameters can be either provided by a manufacturer or measured directly on the dipole or four-pole network, and most network analyzers are able to perform this function. In any case, the file, from a network analyzer, can be edited and transmitted to the different simulation software.

In Figure 1.8, it is clear that the system is perfectly linear. There is no parameter dedicated to the description of a nonlinear operation. Although the operating range has been extended, dipole or four-pole networks are exclusively linear.

S parameter files are imported under Agilent ADS software and work with Simulation Transient, S-parameters, Envelope and Harmonic Balance simulation engines.

Agilent introduced new parameters, X-parameters, which include nonlinearities. These new files are compatible with the Envelope and Harmonic Balance engines but not with Transient. It is then possible to process the linearization of the amplifiers, pre-distortion or feedforward-type simulation.

1.1.6 The Ebers-Moll model

The Ebers-Moll model is a mathematical model that relates the input quantity, the transmitter base voltage V BE and the threshold voltage V T to the output quantity, the collector current I C , via equation [1.4].


In most cases, when using the Ebers-Moll model, we can make the approximation given in [1.5], where we express the equality between the collector current and the transmitter current.


We also have equation [1.6], which gives the threshold voltage V T .


where k represents the Boltzmann constant, T is the temperature in Kelvin and q is the charge of the electron in Coulombs.

We can then calculate the threshold voltage given by equation [1.6] to be 25.8 mV, which can be rounded off to 26 mV; however, for simplifying the calculations, we often choose 25 mV.

The Ebers-Moll model is used, for example, for calculating the transfer function of the differential stage.

In this calculation, we get a hyperbolic tangent function, which progressively ranges from − 1 to + 1, which is quite suitable for the modeling of a physical phenomenon passing from one state to another.

The definition of the hyperbolic tangent function is given in [1.7], and its limited development is given in [1.8]. This function is odd symmetrical with respect to the origin.

For this function, the slope is zero at the origin, that is, when the system is in the initial state. Then, when one goes to the transition phase, the slope varies until reaching its value. This value represents the gain if the considered system is an amplifier. Then, when approaching the final state, the saturation regime of an amplifier for example, the slope tends gradually to zero, which is the final value.



1.1.7 Conclusion

The novice engineer should not be discouraged by the profusion of models of the transistor. Each model has its reason for being because it allows, in general, a simpler, faster and more convincing demonstration of a phenomenon. For example, to explain the frequency limitation of the transistor, we use the Giacoletto model, and for the calculation of the gain of the cascomp stage, the Ebers-Moll model is used.

It suffices, at first, to accept this state of affairs, which over time will become obvious. To understand that these different models facilitate calculations is also a mode of acceptance.

1.2 Amplification

1.2.1 Reminder about distortion

To evaluate an amplifier, test signals are needed. The first of these signals is a permanent pure sinusoid. If the amplifier is imperfect, which is generally the case, we recover at the output, in addition to the amplified input signal, components at double, triple and quadruple the fundamental frequency. This situation is represented by the spectrum shown in Figure 1.10. The harmonic distortion rate, expressed as a percentage, is defined by equation [1.9].


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