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Amplifier
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Anelectronicamplifier,amplifier,or(informally)ampisanelectronicdevicethatincreasesthepower
ofasignal.
Itdoesthisbytakingenergyfromapowersupplyandcontrollingtheoutputtomatchtheinputsignal
shapebutwithalargeramplitude.Inthissense,anamplifiermodulatestheoutputofthepowersupplyto
maketheoutputsignalstrongerthantheinputsignal.
Thefourbasictypesofelectronicamplifiersarevoltageamplifiers,currentamplifiers,transconductance
amplifiers,andtransresistanceamplifiers.Afurtherdistinctioniswhethertheoutputisalinearor
nonlinearrepresentationoftheinput.Amplifierscanalsobecategorizedbytheirphysicalplacementin
thesignalchain.[1]

Apracticalbipolartransistoramplifiercircuit

Contents
1Figuresofmerit
2Amplifiertypes
2.1Poweramplifier
2.1.1Poweramplifiersbyapplication
2.1.2Poweramplifiercircuits
2.2Vacuumtube(valve)amplifiers
2.3Transistoramplifiers
2.4Operationalamplifiers(opamps)
2.5Fullydifferentialamplifiers
2.6Videoamplifiers
2.7Oscilloscopeverticalamplifiers
2.8Distributedamplifiers
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2.9Switchedmodeamplifiers
2.10Negativeresistancedevices
2.11Microwaveamplifiers
2.11.1Travellingwavetubeamplifiers
2.11.2Klystrons
2.12Musicalinstrumentamplifiers
3Classificationofamplifierstagesandsystems
3.1Inputandoutputvariables
3.2Commonterminal
3.3Unilateralorbilateral
3.4Invertingornoninverting
3.5Function
3.6Interstagecouplingmethod
3.7Frequencyrange
4Poweramplifierclasses
4.1Conductionangleclasses
4.2ClassA
4.2.1AdvantagesofclassAamplifiers
4.2.2DisadvantageofclassAamplifiers
4.2.3SingleendedandtriodeclassAamplifiers
4.3ClassB
4.4ClassAB
4.5ClassC
4.6ClassD
4.7Additionalclasses
4.7.1ClassE
4.7.2ClassF
4.7.3ClassesGandH
4.7.4Dohertyamplifiers
5Implementation
5.1Amplifiercircuit
5.2Notesonimplementation
6Seealso
7References
8Externallinks

Figuresofmerit
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Amplifierqualityischaracterizedbyalistofspecificationsthatincludes:
Gain,theratiobetweenthemagnitudeofoutputandinputsignals
Bandwidth,thewidthoftheusefulfrequencyrange
Efficiency,theratiobetweenthepoweroftheoutputandtotalpowerconsumption
Linearity,thedegreeofproportionalitybetweeninputandoutput
Noise,ameasureofundesirednoisemixedintotheoutput
Outputdynamicrange,theratioofthelargestandthesmallestusefuloutputlevels
Slewrate,themaximumrateofchangeoftheoutput
Risetime,settlingtime,ringingandovershootthatcharacterizethestepresponse
Stability,theabilitytoavoidselfoscillation

Amplifiertypes
Amplifiersaredescribedaccordingtotheirinputandoutputproperties.[2]Theyexhibitthepropertyof
gain,ormultiplicationfactorthatrelatesthemagnitudeoftheoutputsignaltotheinputsignal.Thegain
maybespecifiedastheratioofoutputvoltagetoinputvoltage(voltagegain),outputpowertoinput
power(powergain),orsomecombinationofcurrent,voltage,andpower.Inmanycases,withinputand
outputinthesameunit,gainisunitless(thoughoftenexpressedindecibels(dB)).
Thefourbasictypesofamplifiersareasfollows:[1]
1. VoltageamplifierThisisthemostcommontypeofamplifier.Aninputvoltageisamplifiedtoa
largeroutputvoltage.Theamplifier'sinputimpedanceishighandtheoutputimpedanceislow.
2. CurrentamplifierThisamplifierchangesaninputcurrenttoalargeroutputcurrent.The
amplifier'sinputimpedanceislowandtheoutputimpedanceishigh.
3. TransconductanceamplifierThisamplifierrespondstoachanginginputvoltagebydeliveringa
relatedchangingoutputcurrent.
4. TransresistanceamplifierThisamplifierrespondstoachanginginputcurrentbydeliveringa
relatedchangingoutputvoltage.Othernamesforthedevicearetransimpedanceamplifierand
currenttovoltageconverter.
Inpracticethepowergainofanamplifierwilldependonthesourceandloadimpedancesusedaswellas
theinherentvoltage/currentgainwhilearadiofrequency(RF)amplifiermayhaveitsimpedances
optimizedforpowertransfer,audioandinstrumentationamplifiersarenormallydesignedwiththeir
inputandoutputimpedancesoptimizedforleastloadingandhighestsignalintegrity.Anamplifierthatis
saidtohaveagainof20dBmighthaveavoltagegainoftentimesandanavailablepowergainofmuch
morethan20dB(powerratioof100),yetactuallybedeliveringamuchlowerpowergainif,for
example,theinputisfroma600ohmmicrophoneandtheoutputisconnectedtoa47kilohminput
socketforapoweramplifier.
Inmostcasesanamplifierwillbelinearthatis,thegainisconstantforanynormallevelofinputand
outputsignal.Ifthegainisnotlinear,e.g.,clippingofthesignal,theoutputsignalwillbedistorted.
Therearehowevercaseswherevariablegainisuseful.Exponentialgainamplifiersareusedincertain
signalprocessingapplications.[1]
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Therearemanydifferingtypesofelectronicamplifiersusedinareassuchas:radioandtelevision
transmittersandreceivers,highfidelity("hifi")stereoequipment,microcomputersandotherdigital
equipment,andguitarandotherinstrumentamplifiers.Theessentialcomponentsincludeactivedevices,
suchasvacuumtubesortransistors.Abriefintroductiontothemanytypesofelectronicamplifiers
follows.

Poweramplifier
Thetermpoweramplifierisarelativetermwithrespecttotheamountofpowerdeliveredtotheload
and/orprovidedbythepowersupplycircuit.Ingeneralthepoweramplifieristhelast'amplifier'or
actualcircuitinasignalchain(theoutputstage)andistheamplifierstagethatrequiresattentionto
powerefficiency.Efficiencyconsiderationsleadtothevariousclassesofpoweramplifierbasedonthe
biasingoftheoutputtransistorsortubes:seepoweramplifierclasses.
Poweramplifiersbyapplication
Audiopoweramplifiers
RFpoweramplifier,suchasfortransmitterfinalstages(seealso:Linearamplifier).
Servomotorcontrollers,wherelinearityisnotimportant.
PiezoelectricaudioamplifierincludesaDCtoDCconvertertogeneratethehighvoltageoutput
requiredtodrivepiezoelectricspeakers.[3]
Poweramplifiercircuits
Poweramplifiercircuitsincludethefollowingtypes:
Vacuumtube/valve,hybridortransistorpoweramplifiers
Pushpulloutputorsingleendedoutputstages

Vacuumtube(valve)amplifiers
AccordingtoSymons,whilesemiconductoramplifiershavelargelydisplacedvalveamplifiersforlow
powerapplications,valveamplifiersaremuchmorecosteffectiveinhighpowerapplicationssuchas
"radar,countermeasuresequipment,orcommunicationsequipment"(p.56).Manymicrowaveamplifiers
arespeciallydesignedvalves,suchastheklystron,gyrotron,travelingwavetube,andcrossedfield
amplifier,andthesemicrowavevalvesprovidemuchgreatersingledevicepoweroutputatmicrowave
frequenciesthansolidstatedevices(p.59).[4]
Valves/tubeamplifiersalsohavenicheusesinotherareas,suchas
electricguitaramplification
inRussianmilitaryaircraft,fortheirelectromagneticpulse(EMP)tolerance
nicheaudiofortheirsoundqualities(recording,andaudiophileequipment)

Transistoramplifiers

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Theessentialroleofthisactiveelementistomagnifyaninputsignalto
yieldasignificantlylargeroutputsignal.Theamountofmagnification(the
"forwardgain")isdeterminedbytheexternalcircuitdesignaswellasthe
activedevice.
Manycommonactivedevicesintransistoramplifiersarebipolarjunction
transistors(BJTs)andmetaloxidesemiconductorfieldeffecttransistors
(MOSFETs).
Applicationsarenumerous,somecommonexamplesareaudioamplifiersin
ahomestereoorPAsystem,RFhighpowergenerationforsemiconductor
equipment,toRFandMicrowaveapplicationssuchasradiotransmitters.
Transistorbasedamplifiercanberealizedusingvariousconfigurations:for
examplewithabipolarjunctiontransistorwecanrealizecommonbase,
commoncollectororcommonemitteramplifierusingaMOSFETwecan
realizecommongate,commonsourceorcommondrainamplifier.Each
configurationhasdifferentcharacteristic(gain,impedance...).

AnECC83tubeglowing
insideapreamp

Operationalamplifiers(opamps)
Anoperationalamplifierisanamplifiercircuitwithveryhigh
openloopgainanddifferentialinputsthatemploysexternal
feedbacktocontrolitstransferfunction,orgain.Thoughthe
termtodaycommonlyappliestointegratedcircuits,theoriginal
operationalamplifierdesignusedvalves.

Fullydifferentialamplifiers
Afullydifferentialamplifierisasolidstateintegratedcircuit
amplifierthatusesexternalfeedbacktocontrolitstransfer
functionorgain.Itissimilartotheoperationalamplifier,butalso
hasdifferentialoutputpins.Theseareusuallyconstructedusing
BJTsorFETs.

AnLM741generalpurposeopamp

Videoamplifiers
Thesedealwithvideosignalsandhavevaryingbandwidthsdependingonwhetherthevideosignalisfor
SDTV,EDTV,HDTV720por1080i/petc..Thespecificationofthebandwidthitselfdependsonwhat
kindoffilterisusedandatwhichpoint(1dBor3dBforexample)thebandwidthismeasured.
CertainrequirementsforstepresponseandovershootarenecessaryforanacceptableTVimage.

Oscilloscopeverticalamplifiers
Thesedealwithvideosignalsthatdriveanoscilloscopedisplaytube,andcanhavebandwidthsofabout
500MHz.Thespecificationsonstepresponse,risetime,overshoot,andaberrationscanmakedesigning
theseamplifiersdifficult.OneofthepioneersinhighbandwidthverticalamplifierswastheTektronix
company.

Distributedamplifiers
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Theseusetransmissionlinestotemporallysplitthesignalandamplifyeachportionseparatelytoachieve
higherbandwidththanpossiblefromasingleamplifier.Theoutputsofeachstagearecombinedinthe
outputtransmissionline.Thistypeofamplifierwascommonlyusedonoscilloscopesasthefinalvertical
amplifier.Thetransmissionlineswereoftenhousedinsidethedisplaytubeglassenvelope.

Switchedmodeamplifiers
Thesenonlinearamplifiershavemuchhigherefficienciesthanlinearamps,andareusedwherethe
powersavingjustifiestheextracomplexity.

Negativeresistancedevices
Negativeresistancescanbeusedasamplifiers,suchasthetunneldiodeamplifier.

Microwaveamplifiers
Travellingwavetubeamplifiers
Travelingwavetubeamplifiers(TWTAs)areusedforhighpoweramplificationatlowmicrowave
frequencies.Theytypicallycanamplifyacrossabroadspectrumoffrequencieshowever,theyare
usuallynotastunableasklystrons.
Klystrons
Klystronsarespecializedlinearbeamvacuumdevices,designedtoprovidehighpower,widelytunable
amplificationofmillimetreandsubmillimetrewaves.Klystronsaredesignedforlargescaleoperations
anddespitehavinganarrowerbandwidththanTWTAs,theyhavetheadvantageofcoherently
amplifyingareferencesignalsoitsoutputmaybepreciselycontrolledinamplitude,frequencyand
phase.

Musicalinstrumentamplifiers
Anaudiopoweramplifierisusuallyusedtoamplifysignalssuchasmusicorspeech.Severalfactorsare
especiallyimportantintheselectionofmusicalinstrumentamplifiers(suchasguitaramplifiers)and
otheraudioamplifiers(althoughthewholeofthesoundsystemcomponentssuchasmicrophonesto
loudspeakersaffecttheseparameters):
Frequencyresponsenotjustthefrequencyrangebuttherequirementthatthesignallevelvaries
solittleacrosstheaudiblefrequencyrangethatthehumanearnoticesnovariation.Atypical
specificationforaudioamplifiersmaybe20Hzto20kHz+/0.5dB.
Poweroutputthepowerlevelobtainablewithlittledistortion,toobtainasufficientlyloudsound
pressurelevelfromtheloudspeakers.
Lowdistortionallamplifiersandtransducersdistorttosomeextent.Theycannotbeperfectly
linear,butaimtopasssignalswithoutaffectingtheharmoniccontentofthesoundmorethanthe
humanearcantolerate.Thattoleranceofdistortion,andindeedthepossibilitythatsome"warmth"
orsecondharmonicdistortion(Tubesound)improvesthe"musicality"ofthesound,aresubjects
ofgreatdebate.
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Classificationofamplifierstagesandsystems
Manyalternativeclassificationsaddressdifferentaspectsofamplifierdesigns,andtheyallexpresssome
particularperspectiverelatingthedesignparameterstotheobjectivesofthecircuit.Amplifierdesignis
alwaysacompromiseofnumerousfactors,suchascost,powerconsumption,realworlddevice
imperfections,andamultitudeofperformancespecifications.Belowareseveraldifferentapproachesto
classification:

Inputandoutputvariables
Electronicamplifiersuseonevariablepresentedas
eitheracurrentandvoltage.Eithercurrentorvoltage
canbeusedasinputandeitherasoutput,leadingto
fourtypesofamplifiers.Inidealizedformtheyare
representedbyeachofthefourtypesofdependent
sourceusedinlinearanalysis,asshowninthe
figure,namely:
Dependent
source

Input Output

Amplifiertype

Current
controlled
currentsource
CCCS

Currentamplifier

Current
controlled
voltagesource
CCVS

Transresistance
amplifier

Voltage
Transconductance
controlled
amplifier
currentsource
VCCS

Voltage
Voltageamplifier
controlled
voltagesource
VCVS

Thefourtypesofdependentsourcecontrol
variableonleft,outputvariableonright

Eachtypeofamplifierinitsidealformhasanidealinputandoutputresistancethatisthesameasthatof
thecorrespondingdependentsource:[5]
Amplifiertype

Dependentsource Inputimpedance Outputimpedance

Current

CCCS

Transresistance

CCVS

Transconductance

VCCS

Voltage

VCVS

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Inpracticetheidealimpedancesareonlyapproximated.Foranyparticularcircuit,asmallsignal
analysisisoftenusedtofindtheimpedanceactuallyachieved.AsmallsignalACtestcurrentIxis
appliedtotheinputoroutputnode,allexternalsourcesaresettoACzero,andthecorresponding
alternatingvoltageVxacrossthetestcurrentsourcedeterminestheimpedanceseenatthatnodeasR=
Vx/Ix.
Amplifiersdesignedtoattachtoatransmissionlineatinputand/oroutput,especiallyRFamplifiers,do
notfitintothisclassificationapproach.Ratherthandealingwithvoltageorcurrentindividually,they
ideallycouplewithaninputand/oroutputimpedancematchedtothetransmissionlineimpedance,that
is,matchratiosofvoltagetocurrent.ManyrealRFamplifierscomeclosetothisideal.Although,fora
givenappropriatesourceandloadimpedance,RFamplifierscanbecharacterizedasamplifyingvoltage
orcurrent,theyfundamentallyareamplifyingpower.[6]

Commonterminal
Onesetofclassificationsforamplifiersisbasedonwhichdeviceterminaliscommontoboththeinput
andtheoutputcircuit.Inthecaseofbipolarjunctiontransistors,thethreeclassesarecommonemitter,
commonbase,andcommoncollector.Forfieldeffecttransistors,thecorrespondingconfigurationsare
commonsource,commongate,andcommondrainfortriodevacuumdevices,commoncathode,
commongrid,andcommonplate.Thecommonemitter(orcommonsource,orcommoncathodeetc.)is
mostoftenconfiguredtoprovideamplificationofavoltageappliedbetweenbaseandemitter,andthe
outputsignaltakenbetweencollectorandemitterwillbeinverted,relativetotheinput.Thecommon
collectorarrangementappliestheinputvoltagebetweenbaseandcollector,andtotaketheoutput
voltagebetweenemitterandcollector.Thisresultsinnegativefeedback,andtheoutputvoltagewilltend
to'follow'theinputvoltage(thisarrangementisalsousedastheinputpresentsahighimpedanceand
doesnotloadthesignalsource,althoughthevoltageamplificationwillbelessthan1(unity))the
commoncollectorcircuitisthereforebetterknownasanemitterfollower,sourcefollower,orcathode
follower.

Unilateralorbilateral
Whenanamplifierhasanoutputthatexhibitsnofeedbacktoitsinputside,itiscalled'unilateral'.The
inputimpedanceofaunilateralamplifierisindependentoftheload,andtheoutputimpedanceis
independentofthesignalsourceimpedance.
Iffeedbackconnectspartoftheoutputbacktotheinputoftheamplifieritiscalleda'bilateral'amplifier.
Theinputimpedanceofabilateralamplifierisdependentupontheload,andtheoutputimpedanceis
dependentuponthesignalsourceimpedance.
Allamplifiersarebilateraltosomedegreehowevertheymayoftenbemodeledasunilateralunder
operatingconditionswherefeedbackissmallenoughtoneglectformostpurposes,simplifyinganalysis
(seethecommonbasearticleforanexample).
Negativefeedbackisoftenapplieddeliberatelytotailoramplifierbehavior.Somefeedback,whichmay
bepositiveornegative,isunavoidableandoftenundesirable,introduced,forexample,byparasitic
elementssuchastheinherentcapacitancebetweeninputandoutputofadevicesuchasatransistorand
capacitativecouplingduetoexternalwiring.Excessivefrequencydependentpositivefeedbackmay
causewhatisintended/expectedtobeanamplifiertobecomeanoscillator.
Linearunilateralandbilateralamplifierscanberepresentedastwoportnetworks.
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Invertingornoninverting
Anotherwaytoclassifyamplifiersisbythephaserelationshipoftheinputsignaltotheoutputsignal.
An'inverting'amplifierproducesanoutput180degreesoutofphasewiththeinputsignal(thatis,a
polarityinversionormirrorimageoftheinputasseenonanoscilloscope).A'noninverting'amplifier
maintainsthephaseoftheinputsignalwaveforms.Anemitterfollowerisatypeofnoninverting
amplifier,indicatingthatthesignalattheemitterofatransistorisfollowing(thatis,matchingwithunity
gainbutperhapsanoffset)theinputsignal.Voltagefollowerisalsononinvertingtypeofamplifier
havingunitygain.
Thisdescriptioncanapplytoasinglestageofanamplifier,ortoacompleteamplifiersystem.

Function
Otheramplifiersmaybeclassifiedbytheirfunctionoroutputcharacteristics.Thesefunctional
descriptionsusuallyapplytocompleteamplifiersystemsorsubsystemsandrarelytoindividualstages.
Aservoamplifierindicatesanintegratedfeedbacklooptoactivelycontroltheoutputatsome
desiredlevel.ADCservoindicatesuseatfrequenciesdowntoDClevels,wheretherapid
fluctuationsofanaudioorRFsignaldonotoccur.Theseareoftenusedinmechanicalactuators,
ordevicessuchasDCmotorsthatmustmaintainaconstantspeedortorque.AnACservoamp
candothisforsomeacmotors.
Alinearamplifierrespondstodifferentfrequencycomponentsindependently,anddoesnot
generateharmonicdistortionorIntermodulationdistortion.Noamplifiercanprovideperfect
linearity(eventhemostlinearamplifierhassomenonlinearities,sincetheamplifyingdevices
transistorsorvacuumtubesfollownonlinearpowerlawssuchassquarelawsandrelyon
circuitrytechniquestoreducethoseeffects).
Anonlinearamplifiergeneratessignificantdistortionandsochangestheharmoniccontentthere
aresituationswherethisisuseful.Amplifiercircuitsintentionallyprovidinganonlineartransfer
functioninclude:
adevicelikeaSiliconControlledRectifieroratransistorusedasaswitchmaybeemployed
toturneitherfullyONorOFFaloadsuchasalampbasedonathresholdinacontinuously
variableinput.
anonlinearamplifierinananalogcomputerortrueRMSconverterforexamplecan
provideaspecialtransferfunction,suchaslogarithmicorsquarelaw.
aClassCRFamplifiermaybechosenbecauseitcanbeveryefficient,butwillbenon
linearfollowingsuchanamplifierwitha"tank"tunedcircuitcanreduceunwanted
harmonics(distortion)sufficientlytobeusefulintransmitters,orsomedesiredharmonic
maybeselectedbysettingtheresonantfrequencyofthetunedcircuittoahigherfrequency
ratherthanfundamentalfrequencyinfrequencymultipliercircuits.
Automaticgaincontrolcircuitsrequireanamplifier'sgainbecontrolledbythetime
averagedamplitudesothattheoutputamplitudevarieslittlewhenweakstationsarebeing
received.Thenonlinearitiesareassumedtobearrangedsotherelativelysmallsignal
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amplitudesuffersfromlittledistortion(crosschannelinterferenceorintermodulation)yetis
stillmodulatedbytherelativelylargegaincontrolDCvoltage.
AMdetectorcircuitsthatuseamplificationsuchasAnodebenddetectors,Precision
rectifiersandInfiniteimpedancedetectors(soexcludingunamplifieddetectorssuchas
Cat'swhiskerdetectors),aswellaspeakdetectorcircuits,relyonchangesinamplification
basedonthesignal'sinstantaneousamplitudetoderiveadirectcurrentfromanalternating
currentinput.
Operationalamplifiercomparatoranddetectorcircuits.
Awidebandamplifierhasapreciseamplificationfactoroverawidefrequencyrange,andisoften
usedtoboostsignalsforrelayincommunicationssystems.Anarrowbandampamplifiesa
specificnarrowrangeoffrequencies,totheexclusionofotherfrequencies.
AnRFamplifieramplifiessignalsintheradiofrequencyrangeoftheelectromagneticspectrum,
andisoftenusedtoincreasethesensitivityofareceiverortheoutputpowerofatransmitter.[7]
Anaudioamplifieramplifiesaudiofrequencies.Thiscategorysubdividesintosmallsignal
amplification,andpowerampsthatareoptimisedtodrivingspeakers,sometimeswithmultiple
ampsgroupedtogetherasseparateorbridgeablechannelstoaccommodatedifferentaudio
reproductionrequirements.Frequentlyusedtermswithinaudioamplifiersinclude:
Preamplifier(preamp),whichmayincludeaphonopreampwithRIAAequalization,ortape
headpreampswithCCIRequalisationfilters.Theymayincludefiltersortonecontrol
circuitry.
Poweramplifier(normallydrivesloudspeakers),headphoneamplifiers,andpublicaddress
amplifiers.
Stereoamplifiersimplytwochannelsofoutput(leftandright),thoughthetermsimply
means"solid"sound(referringtothreedimensional)soquadraphonicstereowasusedfor
amplifierswithfourchannels.5.1and7.1systemsrefertoHometheatresystemswith5or7
normalspacialchannels,plusasubwooferchannel.
Bufferamplifiers,whichmayincludeemitterfollowers,provideahighimpedanceinputfora
device(perhapsanotheramplifier,orperhapsanenergyhungryloadsuchaslights)thatwould
otherwisedrawtoomuchcurrentfromthesource.Linedriversareatypeofbufferthatfeedslong
orinterferenceproneinterconnectcables,possiblywithdifferentialoutputsthroughtwistedpair
cables.
Aspecialtypeofamplifieroriginallyusedinanalogcomputersiswidelyusedinmeasuring
instrumentsforsignalprocessing,andmanyotheruses.Thesearecalledoperationalamplifiers
oropamps.The"operational"nameisbecausethistypeofamplifiercanbeusedincircuitsthat
performmathematicalalgorithmicfunctions,or"operations"oninputsignalstoobtainspecific
typesofoutputsignals.Modernopampsareusuallyprovidedasintegratedcircuits,ratherthan
constructedfromdiscretecomponents.Atypicalmodernopamphasdifferentialinputs(one
"inverting",one"noninverting")andoneoutput.Anidealisedopamphasthefollowing
characteristics:
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Infiniteinputimpedance(soitdoesnotloadthecircuitryatitsinput)
Zerooutputimpedance
Infinitegain
Zeropropagationdelay
Theperformanceofanopampwiththesecharacteristicsisentirelydefinedbythe(usuallypassive)
componentsthatformanegativefeedbacklooparoundit.Theamplifieritselfdoesnoteffecttheoutput.
Allrealworldopampsfallshortoftheidealisedspecificationabovebutsomemoderncomponents
haveremarkableperformanceandcomecloseinsomerespects.

Interstagecouplingmethod
Amplifiersaresometimesclassifiedbythecouplingmethodofthesignalattheinput,output,orbetween
stages.Differenttypesoftheseinclude:
Resistivecapacitive(RC)coupledamplifier,usinganetworkofresistorsandcapacitors
BydesigntheseamplifierscannotamplifyDCsignalsasthecapacitorsblocktheDCcomponent
oftheinputsignal.RCcoupledamplifierswereusedveryoftenincircuitswithvacuumtubesor
discretetransistors.Inthedaysoftheintegratedcircuitafewmoretransistorsonachiparemuch
cheaperandsmallerthanacapacitor.
Inductivecapacitive(LC)coupledamplifier,usinganetworkofinductorsandcapacitors
Thiskindofamplifierismostoftenusedinselectiveradiofrequencycircuits.
Transformercoupledamplifier,usingatransformertomatchimpedancesortodecouplepartsof
thecircuits
QuiteoftenLCcoupledandtransformercoupledamplifierscannotbedistinguishedasa
transformerissomekindofinductor.
Directcoupledamplifier,usingnoimpedanceandbiasmatchingcomponents
Thisclassofamplifierwasveryuncommoninthevacuumtubedayswhentheanode(output)
voltagewasatgreaterthanseveralhundredvoltsandthegrid(input)voltageatafewvoltsminus.
SotheywereonlyusedifthegainwasspecifieddowntoDC(e.g.,inanoscilloscope).Inthe
contextofmodernelectronicsdevelopersareencouragedtousedirectlycoupledamplifiers
wheneverpossible.

Frequencyrange
Dependingonthefrequencyrangeandotherpropertiesamplifiersaredesignedaccordingtodifferent
principles.
FrequencyrangesdowntoDCareonlyusedwhenthispropertyisneeded.DCamplificationleads
tospecificcomplicationsthatareavoidedifpossibleDCblockingcapacitorsareaddedto
removeDCandsubsonicfrequenciesfromaudioamplifiers.
Dependingonthefrequencyrangespecifieddifferentdesignprinciplesmustbeused.Uptothe
MHzrangeonly"discrete"propertiesneedbeconsiderede.g.,aterminalhasaninputimpedance.
Assoonasanyconnectionwithinthecircuitgetslongerthanperhaps1%ofthewavelengthofthe
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highestspecifiedfrequency(e.g.,at100MHzthewavelengthis3m,sothecriticalconnection
lengthisapprox.3cm)designpropertiesradicallychange.Forexample,aspecifiedlengthand
widthofaPCBtracecanbeusedasaselectiveorimpedancematchingentity.
AboveafewhundredMHz,itgetsdifficulttousediscreteelements,especiallyinductors.Inmost
cases,PCBtracesofverycloselydefinedshapesareusedinstead.
Thefrequencyrangehandledbyanamplifiermightbespecifiedintermsofbandwidth(normally
implyingaresponsethatis3dBdownwhenthefrequencyreachesthespecifiedbandwidth),orby
specifyingafrequencyresponsethatiswithinacertainnumberofdecibelsbetweenalowerandan
upperfrequency(e.g."20Hzto20kHzplusorminus1dB").

Poweramplifierclasses
Poweramplifiercircuits(outputstages)areclassifiedasA,B,ABandCforanalogdesigns,andclassD
andEforswitchingdesignsbasedontheproportionofeachinputcycle(conductionangle),during
whichanamplifyingdeviceispassingcurrent.Theimageoftheconductionangleisderivedfrom
amplifyingasinusoidalsignal.Ifthedeviceisalwayson,theconductingangleis360.Ifitisonfor
onlyhalfofeachcycle,theangleis180.Theangleofflowiscloselyrelatedtotheamplifierpower
efficiency.Thevariousclassesareintroducedbelow,followedbyamoredetaileddiscussionundertheir
individualheadingsfurtherdown.
Intheillustrationsbelow,abipolarjunctiontransistorisshownastheamplifyingdevice.Howeverthe
sameattributesarefoundwithMOSFETsorvacuumtubes.

Conductionangleclasses
ClassA
100%oftheinputsignalisused(conductionangle=360).Theactiveelementremains
conducting[8]allofthetime.
ClassB
50%oftheinputsignalisused(=180)theactiveelementcarriescurrenthalfofeachcycle,
andisturnedofffortheotherhalf.
ClassAB
ClassABisintermediatebetweenclassAandB,thetwoactiveelementsconductmorethanhalf
ofthetime
ClassC
Lessthan50%oftheinputsignalisused(conductionangle<180).
A"ClassD"amplifierusessomeformofpulsewidthmodulationtocontroltheoutputdevicesthe
conductionangleofeachdeviceisnolongerrelateddirectlytotheinputsignalbutinsteadvariesin
pulsewidth.Thesearesometimescalled"digital"amplifiersbecausetheoutputdeviceisswitchedfully
onoroff,andnotcarryingcurrentproportionaltothesignalamplitude.
Additionalclasses
Thereareseveralotheramplifierclasses,althoughtheyaremainlyvariationsoftheprevious
classes.Forexample,classGandclassHamplifiersaremarkedbyvariationofthesupplyrails
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(indiscretestepsorinacontinuousfashion,respectively)followingtheinputsignal.Wastedheat
ontheoutputdevicescanbereducedasexcessvoltageiskepttoaminimum.Theamplifierthatis
fedwiththeserailsitselfcanbeofanyclass.Thesekindsofamplifiersaremorecomplex,andare
mainlyusedforspecializedapplications,suchasveryhighpowerunits.Also,classEandclassF
amplifiersarecommonlydescribedinliteratureforradiofrequencyapplicationswhereefficiency
ofthetraditionalclassesisimportant,yetseveralaspectsdeviatesubstantiallyfromtheirideal
values.Theseclassesuseharmonictuningoftheiroutputnetworkstoachievehigherefficiency
andcanbeconsideredasubsetofclassCduetotheirconductionanglecharacteristics.

ClassA
AmplifyingdevicesoperatinginclassAconductovertheentire
rangeoftheinputcycle.AclassAamplifierisdistinguishedby
theoutputstagedevicesbeingbiasedforclassAoperation.
SubclassA2issometimesusedtorefertovacuumtubeclassA
stageswherethegridisallowedtobedrivenslightlypositiveon
signalpeaks,resultinginslightlymorepowerthannormalclass
A(A1wherethegridisalwaysnegative[9]),butthisincursa
higherdistortionlevel.

ClassAamplifier

AdvantagesofclassAamplifiers
ClassAdesignsaresimplerthanotherclassesforexampleclassABandBdesignsrequiretwo
connecteddevicesinthecircuit(pushpulloutput),eachtohandleonehalfofthewaveformclass
Acanuseasingledevice(singleended).
Theamplifyingelementisbiasedsothedeviceisalwaysconducting,thequiescent(smallsignal)
collectorcurrent(fortransistorsdraincurrentforFETsoranode/platecurrentforvacuumtubes)
isclosetothemostlinearportionofitstransconductancecurve.
Becausethedeviceisnever'off'thereisno"turnon"time,noproblemswithchargestorage,and
generallybetterhighfrequencyperformanceandfeedbackloopstability(andusuallyfewerhigh
orderharmonics).
Thepointatwhichthedevicecomesclosesttobeing'off'isnotat'zerosignal',sotheproblemsof
crossoverdistortionassociatedwithclassABandBdesignsisavoided.
Bestforlowsignallevelsofradioreceiversduetolowdistortion.
DisadvantageofclassAamplifiers
ClassAamplifiersareinefficient.Atheoreticalefficiencyof50%isobtainablewithtransformer
outputcouplingandonly25%withcapacitivecoupling,unlessdeliberateuseofnonlinearitiesis
made(suchasinsquarelawoutputstages).Inapoweramplifier,thisnotonlywastespowerand
limitsoperationwithbatteries,butincreasesoperatingcostsandrequireshigherratedoutput
devices.Inefficiencycomesfromthestandingcurrentthatmustberoughlyhalfthemaximum
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outputcurrent,andalargepartofthepowersupplyvoltageispresentacrosstheoutputdeviceat
lowsignallevels.IfhighoutputpowerisneededfromaclassAcircuit,thepowersupplyand
accompanyingheatbecomessignificant.Foreverywattdeliveredtotheload,theamplifieritself,
atbest,usesanextrawatt.Forhighpoweramplifiersthismeansverylargeandexpensivepower
suppliesandheatsinks.
ClassApoweramplifierdesignshavelargelybeensupersededbymoreefficientdesigns,thoughthey
remainpopularwithsomehobbyists,mostlyfortheirsimplicity.Thereisamarketforexpensivehigh
fidelityclassAampsconsidereda"cultitem"amongstaudiophiles[10]mainlyfortheirabsenceof
crossoverdistortionandreducedoddharmonicandhighorderharmonicdistortion.
SingleendedandtriodeclassAamplifiers
SomehobbyistswhopreferclassAamplifiersalsoprefertheuseofthermionicvalve(or"tube")designs
insteadoftransistors,forseveralreasons:
Singleendedoutputstageshaveanasymmetricaltransferfunction,meaningthatevenorder
harmonicsinthecreateddistortiontendnottobecanceled(astheyareinpushpulloutputstages)
fortubes,orFETs,mostofthedistortionissecondorderharmonics,fromthesquarelawtransfer
characteristic,whichtosomeproducesa"warmer"andmorepleasantsound.[11][12]
Forthosewhopreferlowdistortionfigures,theuseoftubeswithclassA(generatinglittleodd
harmonicdistortion,asmentionedabove)togetherwithsymmetricalcircuits(suchaspushpull
outputstages,orbalancedlowlevelstages)resultsinthecancellationofmostoftheeven
distortionharmonics,hencetheremovalofmostofthedistortion.
Historically,valveamplifiersoftenusedaclassApoweramplifiersimplybecausevalvesare
largeandexpensivemanyclassAdesignsuseonlyasingledevice.
Transistorsaremuchcheaper,andsomoreelaboratedesignsthatgivegreaterefficiencybutusemore
partsarestillcosteffective.AclassicapplicationforapairofclassAdevicesisthelongtailedpair,
whichisexceptionallylinear,andformsthebasisofmanymorecomplexcircuits,includingmanyaudio
amplifiersandalmostallopamps.
ClassAamplifiersareoftenusedinoutputstagesofhighqualityopamps(althoughtheaccuracyofthe
biasinlowcostopampssuchasthe741mayresultinclassAorclassABorclassB,varyingfrom
devicetodeviceorwithtemperature).Theyaresometimesusedasmediumpower,lowefficiency,and
highcostaudiopoweramplifiers.Thepowerconsumptionisunrelatedtotheoutputpower.Atidle(no
input),thepowerconsumptionisessentiallythesameasathighoutputvolume.Theresultislow
efficiencyandhighheatdissipation.

ClassB
ClassBamplifiersonlyamplifyhalfoftheinputwavecycle,thuscreatingalargeamountofdistortion,
buttheirefficiencyisgreatlyimprovedandismuchbetterthanclassA.ClassBamplifiersarealso
favouredinbatteryoperateddevices,suchastransistorradios.ClassBhasamaximumtheoretical
efficiencyof/4.(78.5%)Thisisbecausetheamplifyingelementisswitchedoffaltogetherhalfofthe
time,andsocannotdissipatepower.AsingleclassBelementisrarelyfoundinpractice,thoughithas
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beenusedfordrivingtheloudspeakerintheearlyIBMPersonalComputerswithbeeps,anditcanbe
usedinRFpoweramplifierwherethedistortionlevelsarelessimportant.However,classCismore
commonlyusedforthis.
ApracticalcircuitusingclassBelementsisthepushpullstage,suchastheverysimplified
complementarypairarrangementshownbelow.Here,
complementaryorquasicomplementarydevicesareeachused
foramplifyingtheoppositehalvesoftheinputsignal,whichis
thenrecombinedattheoutput.Thisarrangementgivesexcellent
efficiency,butcansufferfromthedrawbackthatthereisasmall
mismatchinthecrossoverregionatthe"joins"betweenthe
twohalvesofthesignal,asoneoutputdevicehastotakeover
supplyingpowerexactlyastheotherfinishes.Thisiscalled
ClassBamplifier
crossoverdistortion.Animprovementistobiasthedevicesso
theyarenotcompletelyoffwhenthey'renotinuse.This
approachiscalledclassABoperation.

ClassAB
ClassABiswidelyconsideredagoodcompromisefor
amplifiers,sincemuchofthetimethemusicsignalisquiet
enoughthatthesignalstaysinthe"classA"region,whereitis
amplifiedwithgoodfidelity,andbydefinitionifpassingoutof
thisregion,islargeenoughthatthedistortionproductstypicalof
classBarerelativelysmall.Thecrossoverdistortioncanbe
reducedfurtherbyusingnegativefeedback.

ClassBpushpullamplifier

InclassABoperation,eachdeviceoperatesthesamewayasinclassBoverhalfthewaveform,butalso
conductsasmallamountontheotherhalf.Asaresult,theregionwherebothdevicessimultaneouslyare
nearlyoff(the"deadzone")isreduced.Theresultisthatwhenthewaveformsfromthetwodevicesare
combined,thecrossoverisgreatlyminimisedoreliminatedaltogether.Theexactchoiceofquiescent
current(thestandingcurrentthroughbothdeviceswhenthereisnosignal)makesalargedifferenceto
thelevelofdistortion(andtotheriskofthermalrunaway,thatmaydamagethedevices)oftenthebias
voltageappliedtosetthisquiescentcurrenthastobeadjustedwiththetemperatureoftheoutput
transistors(forexampleinthecircuitatthebeginningofthearticlethediodeswouldbemounted
physicallyclosetotheoutputtransistors,andchosentohaveamatchedtemperaturecoefficient).
Anotherapproach(oftenusedaswellasthermallytrackingbiasvoltages)istoincludesmallvalue
resistorsinserieswiththeemitters.
ClassABsacrificessomeefficiencyoverclassBinfavoroflinearity,thusislessefficient(below78.5%
forfullamplitudesinewavesintransistoramplifiers,typicallymuchlessiscommoninclassAB
vacuumtubeamplifiers).ItistypicallymuchmoreefficientthanclassA.
Sometimesanumeralisaddedforvacuumtubestages.Ifthegridvoltageisalwaysnegativewith
respecttothecathodetheclassisAB1.Ifthegridisallowedtogoslightlypositive(hencedrawinggrid
current,addingmoredistortion,butgivingslightlyhigheroutputpower)onsignalpeakstheclassis
AB2.

ClassC

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ClassCamplifiersconductlessthan50%oftheinputsignaland
thedistortionattheoutputishigh,buthighefficiencies(upto
90%)arepossible.TheusualapplicationforclassCamplifiersis
inRFtransmittersoperatingatasinglefixedcarrierfrequency,
wherethedistortioniscontrolledbyatunedloadonthe
amplifier.Theinputsignalisusedtoswitchtheactivedevice
causingpulsesofcurrenttoflowthroughatunedcircuitforming
partoftheload.
TheclassCamplifierhastwomodesofoperation:tunedand
ClassCamplifier
[13]
untuned. Thediagramshowsawaveformfromasimpleclass
Ccircuitwithoutthetunedload.Thisiscalleduntunedoperation,andtheanalysisofthewaveforms
showsthemassivedistortionthatappearsinthesignal.Whentheproperload(e.g.,aninductive
capacitivefilterplusaloadresistor)isused,twothingshappen.Thefirstisthattheoutput'sbiaslevelis
clampedwiththeaverageoutputvoltageequaltothesupplyvoltage.Thisiswhytunedoperationis
sometimescalledaclamper.Thisallowsthewaveformtoberestoredtoitspropershapedespitethe
amplifierhavingonlyaonepolaritysupply.Thisisdirectlyrelatedtothesecondphenomenon:the
waveformonthecenterfrequencybecomeslessdistorted.Theresidualdistortionisdependentuponthe
bandwidthofthetunedload,withthecenterfrequencyseeingverylittledistortion,butgreater
attenuationthefartherfromthetunedfrequencythatthesignalgets.
Thetunedcircuitresonatesatonefrequency,thefixedcarrierfrequency,andsotheunwanted
frequenciesaresuppressed,andthewantedfullsignal(sinewave)isextractedbythetunedload.The
signalbandwidthoftheamplifierislimitedbytheQfactorofthetunedcircuitbutthisisnotaserious
limitation.Anyresidualharmonicscanberemovedusingafurtherfilter.
InpracticalclassCamplifiersatunedloadisinvariablyused.Inonecommonarrangementtheresistor
showninthecircuitaboveisreplacedwithaparalleltunedcircuitconsistingofaninductorand
capacitorinparallel,whosecomponentsarechosentoresonatethefrequencyoftheinputsignal.Power
canbecoupledtoaloadbytransformeractionwithasecondarycoilwoundontheinductor.Theaverage
voltageatthedrainisthenequaltothesupplyvoltage,andthesignalvoltageappearingacrossthetuned
circuitvariesfromnearzerotoneartwicethesupplyvoltageduringtherfcycle.Theinputcircuitis
biasedsothattheactiveelement(e.g.transistor)conductsforonlyafractionoftheRFcycle,usually
onethird(120degrees)orless.[14]
Theactiveelementconductsonlywhilethedrainvoltageispassingthroughitsminimum.Bythis
means,powerdissipationintheactivedeviceisminimised,andefficiencyincreased.Ideally,theactive
elementwouldpassonlyaninstantaneouscurrentpulsewhilethevoltageacrossitiszero:itthen
dissipatesnopowerand100%efficiencyisachieved.Howeverpracticaldeviceshavealimittothepeak
currenttheycanpass,andthepulsemustthereforebewidened,toaround120degrees,toobtaina
reasonableamountofpower,andtheefficiencyisthen6070%.[14]

ClassD
IntheclassDamplifiertheactivedevices(transistors)functionaselectronicswitchesinsteadoflinear
gaindevicestheyareeitheronoroff.Theanalogsignalisconvertedtoastreamofpulsesthat
representsthesignalbypulsewidthmodulation,pulsedensitymodulation,deltasigmamodulationora
relatedmodulationtechniquebeforebeingappliedtotheamplifier.Thetimeaveragepowervalueofthe
pulsesisdirectlyproportionaltotheanalogsignal,soafteramplificationthesignalcanbeconverted
backtoananalogsignalbyapassivelowpassfilter.
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Thepurposeoftheoutputfilteristosmooththepulsestreamtoananalogsignal,removingthehigh
frequencyspectralcomponentsofthepulses.Thefrequencyoftheoutputpulsesistypicallytenormore
timesthehighestfrequencyintheinputsignaltobeamplified,sothatthefiltercanadequatelyreduce
theunwantedharmonics,reproducinganaccuratereproductionoftheinput.
ThemainadvantageofaclassDamplifierispowerefficiency.Becausetheoutputpulseshaveafixed
amplitude,theswitchingelements(usuallyMOSFETs,butvalves(vacuumtubes)andbipolartransistors
wereonceused)areswitchedeither
completelyonorcompletelyoff,
ratherthanoperatedinlinearmode.
AMOSFEToperateswiththelowest
resistancewhenfullyonandthus
(excludingwhenfullyoff)hasthe
lowestpowerdissipationwhenin
thatcondition.Comparedtoan
equivalentclassABdevice,aclass
BlockdiagramofabasicswitchingorPWM(classD)amplifier.
Damplifier'slowerlossespermitthe
useofasmallerheatsinkforthe
MOSFETswhilealsoreducingtheamountofinputpower
required,allowingforalowercapacitypowersupply
design.Therefore,classDamplifiersaretypicallysmaller
thananequivalentclassABamplifier.
AnotheradvantageoftheclassDamplifieristhatitcan
operatefromadigitalsignalsourcewithoutrequiringa
digitaltoanalogconverter(DAC)toconvertthesignalto
analogformfirst.Ifthesignalsourceisindigitalform,
suchasinadigitalmediaplayerorcomputersoundcard,
thedigitalcircuitrycanconvertthebinarydigitalsignal
directlytoapulsewidthmodulationsignaltobeappliedto
theamplifier,simplifyingthecircuitryconsiderably.

BossAudioclassDmonoamplifierwitha
lowpassfilterforpoweringsubwoofers

ClassDamplifiershavebeenwidelyusedtocontrolmotors,buttheyarenowalsousedaspower
amplifiers,withsomeextracircuitrytoallowanaloguetobeconvertedtoamuchhigherfrequencypulse
widthmodulatedsignal.SwitchingpowersupplieshaveevenbeenmodifiedintocrudeclassD
amplifiers(althoughtypicallythesecanonlyreproducelowfrequencieswithanacceptablelevelof
accuracy).
HighqualityclassDaudiopoweramplifiershavenowappearedonthemarket.Thesedesignshavebeen
saidtorivaltraditionalABamplifiersintermsofquality.AnearlyuseofclassDamplifierswashigh
powersubwooferamplifiersincars.Becausesubwoofersaregenerallylimitedtoabandwidthofno
higherthan150Hz,theswitchingspeedfortheamplifierdoesnothavetobeashighasforafullrange
amplifier,allowingsimplerdesigns.ClassDamplifiersfordrivingsubwoofersarerelatively
inexpensiveincomparisontoclassABamplifiers.
TheletterDusedtodesignatethisamplifierclassissimplythenextletterafterCand,although
occasionallyusedassuch,doesnotstandfordigital.ClassDandclassEamplifiersaresometimes
mistakenlydescribedas"digital"becausetheoutputwaveformsuperficiallyresemblesapulsetrainof
digitalsymbols,butaclassDamplifiermerelyconvertsaninputwaveformintoacontinuouslypulse
widthmodulatedanalogsignal.(Adigitalwaveformwouldbepulsecodemodulated.)

Additionalclasses
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ClassE
TheclassE/Famplifierisahighlyefficientswitchingpoweramplifier,typicallyusedatsuchhigh
frequenciesthattheswitchingtimebecomescomparabletothedutytime.AssaidintheclassD
amplifier,thetransistorisconnectedviaaserialLCcircuittotheload,andconnectedviaalargeL
(inductor)tothesupplyvoltage.Thesupplyvoltageisconnectedtogroundviaalargecapacitorto
preventanyRFsignalsleakingintothesupply.TheclassEamplifieraddsaC(capacitor)betweenthe
transistorandgroundandusesadefinedL1toconnecttothesupplyvoltage.
ThefollowingdescriptionignoresDC,whichcanbeaddedeasily
afterwards.TheabovementionedCandLareineffectaparallel
LCcircuittoground.Whenthetransistorison,itpushesthrough
theserialLCcircuitintotheloadandsomecurrentbeginsto
flowtotheparallelLCcircuittoground.ThentheserialLC
circuitswingsbackandcompensatesthecurrentintotheparallel
LCcircuit.Atthispointthecurrentthroughthetransistoriszero
anditisswitchedoff.BothLCcircuitsarenowfilledwith
energyinCandL0.Thewholecircuitperformsadamped

ClassEamplifier

oscillation.Thedampingbytheloadhasbeenadjustedsothat
sometimelatertheenergyfromtheLsisgoneintotheload,buttheenergyinbothC0peaksatthe
originalvaluetointurnrestoretheoriginalvoltagesothatthevoltageacrossthetransistoriszeroagain
anditcanbeswitchedon.
Withload,frequency,anddutycycle(0.5)asgivenparametersandtheconstraintthatthevoltageisnot
onlyrestored,butpeaksattheoriginalvoltage,thefourparameters(L,L0,CandC0)aredetermined.
TheclassEamplifiertakesthefiniteonresistanceintoaccountandtriestomakethecurrenttouchthe
bottomatzero.Thismeansthatthevoltageandthecurrentatthetransistoraresymmetricwithrespectto
time.TheFouriertransformallowsanelegantformulationtogeneratethecomplicatedLCnetworksand
saysthatthefirstharmonicispassedintotheload,allevenharmonicsareshortedandallhigherodd
harmonicsareopen.
ClassEusesasignificantamountofsecondharmonicvoltage.Thesecondharmoniccanbeusedto
reducetheoverlapwithedgeswithfinitesharpness.Forthistowork,energyonthesecondharmonichas
toflowfromtheloadintothetransistor,andnosourceforthisisvisibleinthecircuitdiagram.Inreality,
theimpedanceismostlyreactiveandtheonlyreasonforitisthatclassEisaclassF(seebelow)
amplifierwithamuchsimplifiedloadnetworkandthushastodealwithimperfections.
InmanyamateursimulationsofclassEamplifiers,sharpcurrentedgesareassumednullifyingthevery
motivationforclassEandmeasurementsnearthetransitfrequencyofthetransistorsshowvery
symmetriccurves,whichlookmuchsimilartoclassFsimulations.
TheclassEamplifierwasinventedin1972byNathanO.SokalandAlanD.Sokal,anddetailswerefirst
publishedin1975.[15]SomeearlierreportsonthisoperatingclasshavebeenpublishedinRussian.
ClassF
InpushpullamplifiersandinCMOS,theevenharmonicsofbothtransistorsjustcancel.Experiment
showsthatasquarewavecanbegeneratedbythoseamplifiers.Theoreticallysquarewavesconsistof
oddharmonicsonly.InaclassDamplifier,theoutputfilterblocksallharmonicsi.e.,theharmonicssee
anopenload.Soevensmallcurrentsintheharmonicssufficetogenerateavoltagesquarewave.The
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currentisinphasewiththevoltageappliedtothefilter,butthevoltageacrossthetransistorsisoutof
phase.Therefore,thereisaminimaloverlapbetweencurrentthroughthetransistorsandvoltageacross
thetransistors.Thesharpertheedges,thelowertheoverlap.
WhileinclassD,transistorsandtheloadexistastwoseparatemodules,classFadmitsimperfections
liketheparasiticsofthetransistorandtriestooptimisetheglobalsystemtohaveahighimpedanceat
theharmonics.Ofcoursetherehastobeafinitevoltageacrossthetransistortopushthecurrentacross
theonstateresistance.Becausethecombinedcurrentthroughbothtransistorsismostlyinthefirst
harmonic,itlookslikeasine.Thatmeansthatinthemiddleofthesquarethemaximumofcurrenthasto
flow,soitmaymakesensetohaveadipinthesquareorinotherwordstoallowsomeoverswingofthe
voltagesquarewave.AclassFloadnetworkbydefinitionhastotransmitbelowacutofffrequencyand
reflectabove.
Anyfrequencylyingbelowthecutoffandhavingitssecondharmonicabovethecutoffcanbeamplified,
thatisanoctavebandwidth.Ontheotherhand,aninductivecapacitiveseriescircuitwithalarge
inductanceandatunablecapacitancemaybesimplertoimplement.Byreducingthedutycyclebelow
0.5,theoutputamplitudecanbemodulated.Thevoltagesquarewaveformdegrades,butanyoverheating
iscompensatedbytheloweroverallpowerflowing.Anyloadmismatchbehindthefiltercanonlyacton
thefirstharmoniccurrentwaveform,clearlyonlyapurelyresistiveloadmakessense,thenthelowerthe
resistance,thehigherthecurrent.
ClassFcanbedrivenbysineorbyasquarewave,forasinetheinputcanbetunedbyaninductorto
increasegain.IfclassFisimplementedwithasingletransistor,thefilteriscomplicatedtoshorttheeven
harmonics.Allpreviousdesignsusesharpedgestominimisetheoverlap.
ClassesGandH
ThereareavarietyofamplifierdesignsthatenhanceclassAB
outputstageswithmoreefficienttechniquestoachievegreater
efficiencieswithlowdistortion.Thesedesignsarecommonin
largeaudioamplifierssincetheheatsinksandpowertransformers
wouldbeprohibitivelylarge(andcostly)withouttheefficiency
increases.Theterms"classG"and"classH"areused
interchangeablytorefertodifferentdesigns,varyingindefinition
fromonemanufacturerorpapertoanother.
ClassGamplifiers(whichuse"railswitching"todecreasepower
consumptionandincreaseefficiency)aremoreefficientthan
classABamplifiers.Theseamplifiersprovideseveralpowerrails
atdifferentvoltagesandswitchbetweenthemasthesignal
outputapproacheseachlevel.Thus,theamplifierincreases
efficiencybyreducingthewastedpowerattheoutputtransistors.
ClassGamplifiersaremoreefficientthanclassABbutless
efficientwhencomparedtoclassD,however,theydonothave
theelectromagneticinterferenceeffectsofclassD.
ClassHamplifierstaketheideaofclassGonestepfurthercreatinganinfinitelyvariablesupplyrail.
Thisisdonebymodulatingthesupplyrailssothattherailsareonlyafewvoltslargerthantheoutput
signalatanygiventime.Theoutputstageoperatesatitsmaximumefficiencyallthetime.Switched
modepowersuppliescanbeusedtocreatethetrackingrails.Significantefficiencygainscanbe
achievedbutwiththedrawbackofmorecomplicatedsupplydesignandreducedTHDperformance.In
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commondesigns,avoltagedropofabout10VismaintainedovertheoutputtransistorsinClassH
circuits.Thepictureaboveshowspositivesupplyvoltageoftheoutputstageandthevoltageatthe
speakeroutput.Theboostofthesupplyvoltageisshownforarealmusicsignal.
Thevoltagesignalshownisthusalargerversionoftheinput,buthasbeenchangedinsign(inverted)by
theamplification.Otherarrangementsofamplifyingdevicearepossible,butthatgiven(thatis,common
emitter,commonsourceorcommoncathode)istheeasiesttounderstandandemployinpractice.Ifthe
amplifyingelementislinear,theoutputisafaithfulcopyoftheinput,onlylargerandinverted.In
practice,transistorsarenotlinear,andtheoutputonly
approximatestheinput.nonlinearityfromanyofseveralsources
istheoriginofdistortionwithinanamplifier.Theclassof
amplifier(A,B,ABorC)dependsonhowtheamplifyingdevice
isbiased.Thediagramsomitthebiascircuitsforclarity.
Anyrealamplifierisanimperfectrealizationofanideal
amplifier.Animportantlimitationofarealamplifieristhatthe
outputitgeneratesisultimatelylimitedbythepoweravailable
fromthepowersupply.Anamplifiersaturatesandclipsthe
outputiftheinputsignalbecomestoolargefortheamplifierto
reproduceorexceedsoperationallimitsforthedevice.
Dohertyamplifiers

Railvoltagemodulation

TheDoherty,ahybridconfiguration,iscurrentlyreceiving
renewedattention.Itwasinventedin1934byWilliamH.
DohertyforBellLaboratorieswhosesistercompany,Western
Electric,manufacturedradiotransmitters.TheDohertyamplifier
consistsofaclassBprimaryorcarrierstagesinparallelwitha
classCauxiliaryorpeakstage.Theinputsignalsplitstodrive
thetwoamplifiers,andacombiningnetworksumsthetwo
outputsignals.Phaseshiftingnetworksareusedininputsand
outputs.Duringperiodsoflowsignallevel,theclassBamplifier
efficientlyoperatesonthesignalandtheclassCamplifieris
cutoffandconsumeslittlepower.Duringperiodsofhighsignal
level,theclassBamplifierdeliversitsmaximumpowerandthe
classCamplifierdeliversuptoitsmaximumpower.The
efficiencyofpreviousAMtransmitterdesignswasproportional
tomodulationbut,withaveragemodulationtypicallyaround
20%,transmitterswerelimitedtolessthan50%efficiency.In
Doherty'sdesign,evenwithzeromodulation,atransmittercould
achieveatleast60%efficiency.[16]

BasicschematicofaclassH
configuration

AsasuccessortoWesternElectricforbroadcasttransmitters,the
DohertyconceptwasconsiderablyrefinedbyContinentalElectronicsManufacturingCompanyof
Dallas,TX.Perhaps,theultimaterefinementwasthescreengridmodulationschemeinventedbyJoseph
B.Sainton.TheSaintonamplifierconsistsofaclassCprimaryorcarrierstageinparallelwithaclassC
auxiliaryorpeakstage.Thestagesaresplitandcombinedthrough90degreephaseshiftingnetworksas
intheDohertyamplifier.Theunmodulatedradiofrequencycarrierisappliedtothecontrolgridsofboth
tubes.Carriermodulationisappliedtothescreengridsofbothtubes.Thebiaspointofthecarrierand
peaktubesisdifferent,andisestablishedsuchthatthepeaktubeiscutoffwhenmodulationisabsent
(andtheamplifierisproducingratedunmodulatedcarrierpower)whereasbothtubescontributetwice
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theratedcarrierpowerduring100%modulation(asfourtimesthecarrierpowerisrequiredtoachieve
100%modulation).AsbothtubesoperateinclassC,asignificantimprovementinefficiencyisthereby
achievedinthefinalstage.Inaddition,asthetetrodecarrierandpeaktubesrequireverylittledrive
power,asignificantimprovementinefficiencywithinthedriverstageisachievedaswell(317C,et
al.).[17]ThereleasedversionoftheSaintonamplifieremploysacathodefollowermodulator,notapush
pullmodulator.PreviousContinentalElectronicsdesigns,byJamesO.Weldonandothers,retainedmost
ofthecharacteristicsoftheDohertyamplifierbutaddedscreengridmodulationofthedriver(317B,et
al.).
TheDohertyamplifierremainsinuseinveryhighpowerAMtransmitters,butforlowerpowerAM
transmitters,vacuumtubeamplifiersingeneralwereeclipsedinthe1980sbyarraysofsolidstate
amplifiers,whichcouldbeswitchedonandoffwithmuchfinergranularityinresponsetothe
requirementsoftheinputaudio.However,interestintheDohertyconfigurationhasbeenrevivedby
cellulartelephoneandwirelessInternetapplicationswherethesumofseveralconstantenvelopeusers
createsanaggregateAMresult.ThemainchallengeoftheDohertyamplifierfordigitaltransmission
modesisinaligningthetwostagesandgettingtheclassCamplifiertoturnonandoffveryquickly.
Recently,DohertyamplifiershavefoundwidespreaduseincellularbasestationtransmittersforGHz
frequencies.Implementationsfortransmittersinmobiledeviceshavealsobeendemonstrated.

Implementation
Amplifiersareimplementedusingactiveelementsofdifferentkinds:
Thefirstactiveelementswererelays.Theywereforexampleusedintranscontinentaltelegraph
lines:aweakcurrentwasusedtoswitchthevoltageofabatterytotheoutgoingline.
Fortransmittingaudio,carbonmicrophoneswereusedastheactiveelement.Thiswasusedto
modulatearadiofrequencysourceinoneofthefirstAMaudiotransmissions,byReginald
FessendenonDec.24,1906.[18]
Amplifiersusedvacuumtubesexclusivelyuntilthe1960s.Today,tubesareusedforspecialist
audioapplicationssuchasguitaramplifiersandaudiophileamplifiers.Manybroadcast
transmittersstillusevacuumtubes.
Inthe1960s,thetransistorstartedtotakeover.Thesedays,discretetransistorsarestillusedin
highpoweramplifiersandinspecialistaudiodevices.
Beginninginthe1970s,moreandmoretransistorswereconnectedonasinglechiptherefore
creatingtheintegratedcircuit.Alargenumberofamplifierscommerciallyavailabletodayare
basedonintegratedcircuits.
Forspecialpurposes,otheractiveelementshavebeenused.Forexample,intheearlydaysofthe
satellitecommunication,parametricamplifierswereused.Thecorecircuitwasadiodewhosecapacity
waschangedbyanRFsignalcreatedlocally.Undercertainconditions,thisRFsignalprovidedenergy
thatwasmodulatedbytheextremelyweaksatellitesignalreceivedattheearthstation.

Amplifiercircuit

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AmplifierWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Thepracticalamplifiercircuittotheright
couldbethebasisforamoderatepoweraudio
amplifier.Itfeaturesatypical(though
substantiallysimplified)designasfoundin
modernamplifiers,withaclassABpushpull
outputstage,andusessomeoverallnegative
feedback.Bipolartransistorsareshown,but
thisdesignwouldalsoberealizablewithFETs
orvalves.
Theinputsignaliscoupledthroughcapacitor
C1tothebaseoftransistorQ1.ThecapacitorallowstheACsignaltopass,butblockstheDCbias
voltageestablishedbyresistorsR1andR2sothatanyprecedingcircuitisnotaffectedbyit.Q1andQ2
formadifferentialamplifier(anamplifierthatmultipliesthedifferencebetweentwoinputsbysome
constant),inanarrangementknownasalongtailedpair.Thisarrangementisusedtoconvenientlyallow
theuseofnegativefeedback,whichisfedfromtheoutputtoQ2viaR7andR8.
Thenegativefeedbackintothedifferenceamplifierallowstheamplifiertocomparetheinputtothe
actualoutput.TheamplifiedsignalfromQ1isdirectlyfedtothesecondstage,Q3,whichisacommon
emitterstagethatprovidesfurtheramplificationofthesignalandtheDCbiasfortheoutputstages,Q4
andQ5.R6providestheloadforQ3(abetterdesignwouldprobablyusesomeformofactiveloadhere,
suchasaconstantcurrentsink).Sofar,alloftheamplifierisoperatinginclassA.Theoutputpairare
arrangedinclassABpushpull,alsocalledacomplementarypair.Theyprovidethemajorityofthe
currentamplification(whileconsuminglowquiescentcurrent)anddirectlydrivetheload,connectedvia
DCblockingcapacitorC2.ThediodesD1andD2provideasmallamountofconstantvoltagebiasfor
theoutputpair,justbiasingthemintotheconductingstatesothatcrossoverdistortionisminimized.That
is,thediodespushtheoutputstagefirmlyintoclassABmode(assumingthatthebaseemitterdropof
theoutputtransistorsisreducedbyheatdissipation).
Thisdesignissimple,butagoodbasisforapracticaldesignbecauseitautomaticallystabilisesits
operatingpoint,sincefeedbackinternallyoperatesfromDCupthroughtheaudiorangeandbeyond.
Furthercircuitelementswouldprobablybefoundinarealdesignthatwouldrolloffthefrequency
responseabovetheneededrangetopreventthepossibilityofunwantedoscillation.Also,theuseoffixed
diodebiasasshownherecancauseproblemsifthediodesarenotbothelectricallyandthermally
matchedtotheoutputtransistorsiftheoutputtransistorsturnontoomuch,theycaneasilyoverheat
anddestroythemselves,asthefullcurrentfromthepowersupplyisnotlimitedatthisstage.
Acommonsolutiontohelpstabilisetheoutputdevicesistoincludesomeemitterresistors,typicallyone
ohmorso.Calculatingthevaluesofthecircuit'sresistorsandcapacitorsisdonebasedonthe
componentsemployedandtheintendeduseoftheamp.
Forthebasicsofradiofrequencyamplifiersusingvalves,seeValvedRFamplifiers.

Notesonimplementation
Realworldamplifiersareimperfect.
Oneconsequenceisthatthepowersupplyitselfmayinfluencetheoutput,andmustitselfbe
consideredwhendesigningtheamplifier
apoweramplifieriseffectivelyaninputsignalcontrolledpowerregulatorregulatingthepower
sourcedfromthepowersupplyormainstotheamplifier'sload.Thepoweroutputfromapower
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amplifiercannotexceedthepowerinputtoit.
Theamplifiercircuithasan"openloop"performance,thatcanbedescribedbyvariousparameters
(gain,slewrate,outputimpedance,distortion,bandwidth,signaltonoiseratio,etc.)
Manymodernamplifiersusenegativefeedbacktechniquestoholdthegainatthedesiredvalue
andtoreducedistortion.Negativeloopfeedbackhastheintendedeffectofelectricallydamping
loudspeakermotion,therebydampingthemechanicaldynamicperformanceoftheloudspeaker.
Whenassessingratedamplifierpoweroutputitisusefultoconsidertheloadtobeapplied,the
formofsignali.e.speechormusic,durationofpoweroutputneedede.g.shorttimeor
continuous,anddynamicrangerequirede.g.recordedprogramorlive
Inthecaseofhighpoweredaudioapplicationsrequiringlongcablestotheloade.g.cinemasand
shippingcentresinsteadofusingheavygaugecablesitmaybemoreefficienttoconnecttothe
loadatlineoutputvoltagewithmatchingtransformersatsourceandloads.
Topreventinstabilityand/oroverheating,careisneedtoensuresolidstateamplifiersare
adequatelyloaded.Mosthavearatedminimumloadimpedance.
Allamplifiersgenerateheatthroughelectricallosses.Thisheatmustbedissipatedvianaturalor
forcedaircooling.Heatcandamageorreduceservicelifeofelectroniccomponents.
Considerationshouldbegiventotheheatingeffectsoforuponadjacentequipment.
Differentmethodsofsupplyingpowerresultinmanydifferentmethodsofbias.Biasisatechniqueby
whichtheactivedevicesaresetuptooperateinaparticularregion,orbywhichtheDCcomponentof
theoutputsignalissettothemidpointbetweenthemaximumvoltagesavailablefromthepowersupply.
Mostamplifiersuseseveraldevicesateachstagetheyaretypicallymatchedinspecificationsexceptfor
polarity.Matchedinvertedpolaritydevicesarecalledcomplementarypairs.ClassAamplifiersgenerally
useonlyonedevice,unlessthepowersupplyissettoprovidebothpositiveandnegativevoltages,in
whichcaseadualdevicesymmetricaldesignmaybeused.ClassCamplifiers,bydefinition,useasingle
polaritysupply.
Amplifiersoftenhavemultiplestagesincascadetoincreasegain.Eachstageofthesedesignsmaybea
differenttypeofamptosuittheneedsofthatstage.Forinstance,thefirststagemightbeaclassAstage,
feedingaclassABpushpullsecondstage,whichthendrivesaclassGfinaloutputstage,taking
advantageofthestrengthsofeachtype,whileminimizingtheirweaknesses.

Seealso
Chargetransferamplifier
Distributedamplifier
Faithfulamplification
Guitaramplifier
Instrumentamplifier
Instrumentationamplifier
Lownoiseamplifier
Magneticamplifier
Negativefeedbackamplifier
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