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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Output Stage

● Class AB amplifier Operation
● Multisim Simulations - Operation
● Class AB amplifier biasing
● Multisim Simulations - Biasing

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL

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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Operation

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL

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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Basic Class AB Amplifier Circuit

Bias QN and QP into slight conduction
when vI = 0.
Ideally QN and QP are:
i L =i N −i P 1. Matched (unlikely with discrete
transistors and challenging in IC).
2. Operate at same ambient
temperature.

NOTE. This is base-voltage biasing with all its stability problems!

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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Class AB Circuit Operation

Output voltage:
for vi = 0
V BB
V BB for v i 0 v o=v i  −v BEN ⇒ v o≈v i
v BEN = −v O 2
2
V BB V BB
v EBP =v O 
2 for v i 0 v o=v i − v EBP ⇒ v o ≈v i
2
Base-to base voltage is constant!
v BEN v EBP =V BB
i N =i P i L There is a corresponding conservation
relation between iN & iP , i.e.
Bias (QN & QP matched): v BEN
vT
v EBP V BB
V BB VT 2V T
2VT Using: i N =I S e , i P =I S e & I Q =I S e
I N =I P =I Q = I S e

Also: i N =I S e
v BEN
vT
& i P =I S e
v EBP
VT V T ln
 
iN
IS
V T ln
iP
IS  
=2 V T ln
IQ
IS  
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Circuit Operation - cont.

from the previous slide

i N =i P i L
V T ln
 
iN
IS    
V T ln
iP
IS
=2 V T ln
IQ
IS

V T ln
   
iN iP
I 2S
=2V T ln
IQ
IS

V T ln i N i P −V T ln  I 2S =2V T ln  I Q −2 V T ln  I S 

2
ln i N i P =ln  I 2Q  or i N i P =I Q
Constant base voltage condition: v BEN v EBP =V BB => i N i P =I Q2

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL

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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Circuit Operation - cont.

Constant base voltage condition:
i N i P =I Q2

i N =i P i L Kirchhoff's Current Law condition:

i N =i P i L ⇒i P =i N −i L
Combining equations:

vO i N i N −i L =I Q2 or i P i P i L =I 2Q
i L= for vI > 0 V for vI < 0 V
RL
Hence:
2 2
i 2N −i N i L −I Q2 =0 or i P i P i L −I Q =0
for vI > 0 V for vI < 0 V
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Circuit Operation - cont.

i L =i N −i P i N i P = I Q2
Observations:
2
1. Since with constant base voltage VBB: i N i P =I Q , if iP increases by
i P =i P 1 i then iN decreases by i N =i N /1i , and vice-versa.

2. For vO > 0, the load current iL is supplied by the complementary emitter

followers QN and QP. As vO increases, iP decreases and for large, positive
vO i.e. i =i −i =i − v O
P N L N hence v O  V CC −V CENsat ⇒i P  0
RL
3. For vO < 0, the load current iL supplied by the complementary emitter
followers QN and QP. As vO decreases, iN decreases and for large, negative
vO i.e. vO
i N =i P i L =i P  hence −vO −V CC V ECPsat ⇒i N  0
RL
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Circuit Operation - cont.

The constant base voltage condition i P i N =I Q2 where IQ is typically small.

For example let IQ = 1 mA and iN = 10 mA.

I Q2 1⋅10−6 1
i P= = −3
=0.1 mA= iN
i N 10⋅10 100
The Class AB circuit, over most of its input signal range, operates as if either
the QN or QP transistor is conducting and the QP or QN transistor is cut off.

For small values of vI both QN and QP conduct, and as vI is increased or

decreased, the conduction of QN or QP dominates, respectively.

Using this approximation we see that a class AB amplifier acts much like a
class B amplifier; but without the dead zone.
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Requires the two DC base

voltage sources to be
matched and VBB/2 = 0.7 V.

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL

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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics
Amplitude: 20 Vp
Frequency: 1 kHz Class AB VTC Simulation

VCC

VBB/2

RSig VBB/2

RL

-VCC

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL

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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Amplitude: 2 Vp
Frequency: 1 kHz
V BB
=0.1V
2

V BB
=0.5V
2

V BB
=0.7V
2

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL

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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Small-Signal Output Resistance

Instantaneous resistance for the
v BEN
QN transistor - assume α  1:
ac ground i N =I S e
vT

CN v BEN
VT
BN di N ISe iN
= =
EN
<=> in dv BEN VT VT
EP ip
For the QP transistor:
vI BP vI di P iP
=
dv EBP V T
CP
ac ground
Hence:
VT VT
r eN = and r eP =
iN iP
for vI > 0 V: R out ≈r eN
R out =r eN ∥r eP
for vI < 0 V: R out ≈r eP
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Small-Signal Output Resistance - cont.

The two emitter resistors are in parallel:

V T2
iN iP VT VT vO
R out =r eN ∣∣r eP = = = and i L = =i N −i P
VT VT
iN

iP
iN iP
1 1

iN iP i N i P
 RL

At iN = iP (the no-signal condition i.e. vO = 0 => iL = 0): i N =i P =I Q

VT
R out =
2 IQ

So, for small signals, a small load current IQ flows => no dead-zone!

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL

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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Amplifier Biasing

A straightforward biasing approach:
IQ
IQ D1 and D2 are diode-connected
D1
transistors identical to QN and QP,
+ QN respectively.
VBB
They form mirrors with the quiescent
currents IQ set by matched R's:
D2
- QP 2V CC −1.4 V CC −0.7
I Q= =
IQ IQ 2R R
or:
V CC −0.7
R=
IQ
Recall: With mirrors, the ambient temperature for all transistors needs to
be matched!
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Widlar Current Source

IN = bias current for Class AB amplifier NPN

IREF
R
IQ IQ = IN
V BE1=V T ln
 
I REF
IS
Q2 = QN

 
VCC
+ +
IQ
- VBE1 VBE2- V BE2=V T ln
emitter IS
IO Re
degeneration I REF I S I REF
V BE1−V BE2 =V T ln  =V T ln  
IS IQ IQ
V CC −V BE1 12V −0.7 V
I REF = = =1 mA V BE1=V BE2I Q R e
R 11.3k 
Note: Pages 653-656 in Sedra & Smith Text. I O R e =V T ln
I REF
IQ  
Note Re > 0 iff IQ < IREF
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Widlar Current Source - cont.

If IQ specified (and IREF chosen by
R
IREF
IQ designer):
Re=
VT
IQ
ln
 
I REF
IQ
VCC
Example Let IQ = 10 µA & choose IREF = 10 mA,
IQ Re determine R and Re:
V CC −V BE1 12 V −0.7 V
R= = =1.13 k 
I Q R e =V T ln
 
I REF I REF 10 mA

 
IQ VT I REF 0.025V 10 m A
Re = ln = ln 
If Re specified and IREF given: IQ IQ 10 A 10  A
VT
I Q=
Re
 ln  I REF  −ln  I Q   .=2500 ln 1000=17.27 k 
Solve for IQ graphically. R=1.13 k  R e =17.27 k 
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Widlar Current Mirror Small-Signal Analysis

.≈.

Rout
v x −−v   r  ≫1/ g m
i x =g m v i ro=g m v  
ro
v  =−r ∥Re i x Rout is greatly enhanced by
v x r ∥R e i x adding emitter degeneration.
i x =−g m r ∥R e i x  − vx
ro ro ⇒ R out = = R e∥r  1g m r o 
vx ix
.≈−g m r ∥R e i x 
ro g m r o ≫1
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB Current Biasing Simulation

Bias currents set at IREF and IQ by R and emitter resistor(s) Re.
I REF ≈4 mA NPN Widlar current mirror

I Q= I QN = I QP ≈2 mA
IREF IQN
R=2.8 kΩ
Q2
Q1
Re=10 Ω R =100 Ω i L =i N −i P
iN L

V CC −V BE1 V CC −V EB3
Amplitude: 0 Vp
Q3 iIiLLL R= = ≈2.8 k 
Re=10 Ω I REF I REF
Frequency: 1 kHz Q4

R=2.8 kΩ
IREF IQP
Re=
VT
I QN  
ln
I REF
I QN
≈ 10

PNP Widlar current mirror

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics
Class AB IREF = 4 mA Current Bias Simulation
NPN Widlar current mirror
Amplitude: 0 Vp
4.031m
Frequency: 1 kHz

2.329m

Quiescent Power
Dissipation vI = 0 V:
P Disp=P D−av =76.31 mW 75.53 mW
.=151.84 mW 2.270m
4.025m

PNP Widlar current mirror

2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Amplitude: 12 Vp
Frequency: 1 kHz

For linear operation: - 9 V < vO < +9 V

VTC has no dead-zone.
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB VTC Limits

Linear VTC for vI-max ≤ vI ≥ 0 =>
1. Q1, Q2 forward-active
IQ
iREF Q2 ≠ Saturation =>
v CE2=V CC −i N Re −v O ≥ V CE2sat
Q2
where v O =−i N Re v I
Q1 v CE2=V CC −v I ≥ V CE2sat
vO
vI v I ≤ V CC −V CE2sat =v I −max1
Q3 iP

Q4 2. Q1 ≠ Cutoff =>
v BQ1 ≥ v I 0.7 V
v BQ1=V CC −i REF R
v I ≤ V CC −i REF R−0.7 V =v I −max2
v O =−i N Re V EB1V BE2v I v I −max =max v I −max1 , v I −max2 
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Class AB 4 mA Current Bias Simulation - cont.

PD+av IQN IQP V BQ1
V BQ3

3.324m
0.018m
I REFN 309 mW
I QN

Q2 PD+av 9 9.7V
V BQ1 PL-av
Q1 NOTE:
VI 2.697m
VO 1. Linear operation up to VI = 9 V:
Q3
PDav = 946mW, PLav = 510mW =>
Q4 PLav P Lav 510 mW
= = =0.540.785
P Dav 946 mW
PD-av
2. At VI = 10 V: VBEQ3 = VBQ3 – VI = -0.1V
I QP
1.776u NPN Q1 is cutoff for VI ≥ 9.5 V.
4.734m 3. By symmetry PNP Q3 is cutoff
PD-av
for VI ≤ -9.5V .
2008 Kenneth R. Laker, updated 30Nov09 KRL
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ESE319 Introduction to Microelectronics

Conclusions
Class AB operation improves on Class B linearity.