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BJT and JFET Frequency

Response

Effects of Frequency on Operation of Circuits

The frequency of a signal can affect the response of circuits.


The reactance of capacitors increases when the signal frequency decreases,
and its reactance decreases when the signal frequency increases.
The reactance of inductors and winding of transformers increases when the
signal frequency increases, and its reactance decreases when the signal
frequency decreases.
Devices such as BJTs, FETs, resistors, and even copper wires have intrinsic
capacitances, whose reactance at high frequencies could change the response
of circuits.
The change in the reactance of inductors and capacitors could affect the gain
of amplifiers at relatively low and high frequencies.
At low frequencies, capacitors can no longer be treated as short circuits,
because their reactance becomes large enough to affect the signal.
At high frequencies, the reactance of intrinsic capacitance of devices
becomes low enough, that signals could effectively pass through them,
resulting to changes in the response of the circuit.
At low frequencies, reactance of primary of transformers become low,
resulting to poor low frequency response. Change in magnetic flux at low
frequencies become low.
At high frequencies, the stray capacitance of transformer windings reduces
the gain of amplifiers.

Effects of Frequency on Operation of Circuits

Increase in the number of stages could also affect the frequency response of a
circuit.
In general, the gain of amplifier circuits decreases at low and high
frequencies.
The cutoff frequencies are the frequencies when the power delivered to the
load of the circuit becomes half the power delivered to the load at middle
frequencies.
Voltage gain
AVmid

Bandwidth = f2-f1

0.707 AVmid
f1

f2
Frequency
Bandwidth
Avmid = voltage gain of amplifier at middle frequencies
0.707 Avmid = voltage gain of amplifier at lower cutoff frequency and higher cutoff frequency
(when output power is half the output power at middle frequencies)
f1 = low cutoff frequency
PO(HPF) = output power at higher cutoff frequency Vi = input voltage
f2= high cutoff frequency
PO(LPF) = output power at lower cutoff frequency
Pomid= output power at middle frequencies
2

0.707Avmid Vi
Po(HPF) PO(LPF)

Ro

Avmid Vi
0.5

Ro

0.5 POmid

Frequency Response of Amplifier Circuits

f1 and f2 are called half power, corner, cutoff, band, break, or -3db
frequencies.
f1 is the low cutoff frequency and f2 is the high cutoff frequency.
When the amplitude of a signal is 0.707 of its original amplitude, its power
becomes half of its original power.
PHP = PMF / 2 = power at half power frequency
where: PHP = Power at half power point (f1 or f2)
PMF = Power at middle frequencies

The bandwidth of the signal is equal to f2 f1


B = f2 f1 = bandwidth

Effects of Frequency on Operation of Circuits

The 180 degrees phase shift of most amplifiers (Common emitter, common
source) is only true at middle frequencies.
At low frequencies, the phase shift is more than 180 degrees.
At high frequencies, the phase shift is less than 180 degrees.
Phase shift
between Vo
and Vi
2700
1800
900
f1

f2
Phase shift between Vo and Vi

Frequency

Frequency Response of Amplifier Circuits

The graph of the frequency response of amplifier circuits can be plotted


with a normalized gain. (gain is divided by the gain at middle frequencies.)
AV
AVmid
where : AV voltage gain at frequency f
AVmid voltage gain at middle frequency
Normalized Gain

Normalized Gain
in Ratio
1 AVmid
0.707 AVmid

f1

f2

Normalized Plot of Voltage Gain Versus Frequency

Frequency

Frequency Response of Amplifier Circuits

A decibel plot of the gain can be made using the following formula:
AV
AV
db 20log
normalized gain in db
AVmid
AVmid
where : AV voltage gain at frequency f
AVmid voltage gain at middle frequency
Voltage
gain

Normalized Gain in db

1 AVmid 0 db
0.707 AVmid -3 db
-6 db
-9 db

Frequency

f1

f2

Decibel plot of Normalized Voltage Gain Versus Frequency

Capacitor Coupled Amplifier Circuit Frequency Response

For capacitor coupled (also called RC-coupled) amplifiers:


The drop in gain at low frequencies is due to the increasing reactance of
the coupling capacitors (Cc), and bypass capacitors (Cb, CE, and Cs).
The drop in gain at high frequencies is due to the parasitic capacitance
of network and active devices, and frequency dependence of the gain of
BJTs, FETs, or vacuum tubes.
Voltage
gain

Drop in gain is due to increase in reactance


of coupling and bypass capacitors

AVmid
0.707 AVmid

f1

Bandwidth

f2

Frequency

Avmid = voltage gain of amplifier at middle frequencies


0.707 Avmid = voltage gain of amplifier at lower cutoff frequency and higher cutoff frequency
(when output power is half the output power at middle frequencies)
f1 = low cutoff frequency
f2= high cutoff frequency

Transformer Coupled Amplifier Circuit Frequency Response

For transformer coupled amplifier circuits:


The drop in gain at low frequencies is caused by shorting effect of the
input terminals (primary) of the transformer at low frequencies. The reactance
of the primary of a transformer becomes very low at low frequencies and
becomes zero at 0 hertz.
At low frequencies, change in magnetic flux becomes low, resulting to lower
output voltage.
The drop in gain at high frequencies is due to the stray capacitance at the
primary and secondary of a transformer, and frequency dependence of gain of
devices. At high frequencies, the reactance of the stray capacitances becomes
low enough) that high frequency signals are also shorted out.

Voltage
gain
AVmid

Drop in gain is due to shorting effect


of primary of transformer
at low frequencies.

Drop in gain is due to stray


capacitance at primary and
secondary of transformer and
other components, and
frequency dependence of gain
of active devices.

0.707 AVmid

f1

Bandwidth

f2

Frequency

Direct Coupled Amplifier Circuit Frequency Response

For direct coupled amplifier circuits:


There are no coupling or bypass capacitors, or transformers to cause a
drop in the gain at low frequencies. The gain at low frequencies is
typically the same as that at middle frequencies.
The drop in gain at high frequencies is due to stray capacitance of the
circuit and the frequency dependence of the gain of active devices.
Drop in gain is due to stray
capacitance of the circuit, and
the frequency dependence
of the gain of active devices.

Voltage
gain
AVmid
0.707 AVmid

Bandwidth

f2

Frequency

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

A capacitor coupled circuit which acts as a high pass filter is shown below.
At middle and high frequencies, the capacitor C can be considered a short
circuit because its reactance becomes low enough that the voltage appearing
across RL is almost equal to Vi (input voltage of combination of C and RL).
At low frequencies, the coupling capacitor C could no longer be treated as a
short circuit because its reactance becomes high enough that the voltage
appearing at the load (RL) becomes significantly lower than Vi.
R can represent any resistance or resistance combination in a circuit.
At low frequencies, the RC combination of the coupling capacitor (C) and the
resistance (R) determines the frequency response of the amplifier circuit.
The reactance of the coupling capacitor C can be computed as:
Xc

1
reactance of Cc at frequency f
2fC

where : f frequency of signal (Hz)


C capacitance of Cc (Farad)

Cc

Vi =
Input voltage
to RC network

IR

R Vo = Output
voltage

Capacitor Coupled Circuit Which Acts As A High Pass Filter

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

At high and middle frequencies, Xc becomes low enough that it can be


assumed to be zero (0) and Cc is assumed to be a short circuit.
The voltage across R (Vo) can be assumed to be equal to the input voltage
of the RC network (Vi).
1
0 reactance of Cc at high frequencies
2fC
Vo Vi voltage across the load RL

Xc

Vo
1
Vi

If the frequency is equal to zero (0) such as when the signal is a DC voltage,
the reactance of Cc is equal to infinity, and the capacitor Cc can be assumed to
be an open circuit.
The voltage across R (Vo) is equal to zero (0).
1
reactance of Cc when f 0 hz
2fC
Vo 0 voltage across the load RL
Xc

Vo
0
Vi

Between the two extremes, the ratio between Vo and Vi will vary between
zero and one (1).

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

The magnitude of the output voltage can be computed as:

Vi
Vo (IR)(R)
R
2
2
R Xc
When the frequency of the signal is equal to the low cutoff frequency (f1),
the output power at R is half that of the output power at middle frequencies,
and this occurs when R Xc as shown below. When R Xc,

Vi
Vi

Vo (IR)(R)
R

R2 R2
2
2

R
Xc

Vi

2 0.707Vi

Vo 0.707Vi output voltage when R Xc


2

Vi 2
Vo 2 Vi 1 1 Vi 2

P

Power at middle frequencies


R
2 R 2 R
R
power dissipated at R at middle frequencies when Vo Vi

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

When the frequency is equal to the low cutoff frequency (f1), R=XC and f1
can be computed as follows:
R Xc
f1

1
2f1C

1
lower cutoff frequency (Hz)
2RC

The normalized voltage gain at lower cutoff frequency (f1) can be


computed as:
AVlower cutoff
0.707AVmid
db 20 log
3db
AVmid
AVmid

The normalized voltage gain at middle frequencies (fmid) can be computed


as:
AVmid
AVmid
db 20 log
0 db
AVmid
AVmid

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

At frequency f, the voltage gain can be computed as:


Vo
IR
R
1
1

Vi I R jXc R jXc 1 jXc 1 j 1


R
2fCR
1
Av
voltage gain at frequency f (unitless)
f1
1 j
f
1
where : f1
lower cutoff frequency (Hz)
2RC
Av

In magnitude and phase form, the voltage gain at any frequency can be
computed as:
Av

1
f1
1
f

/Tan 1fi/f

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

In db (logarithmic form), the voltage gain at frequency f can be computed


as:
Avdb 20 log

Vo
20 log
Vi

1
f1
1
f

(db)

When f=f1= lower cutoff frequency,


Avdb 20 log

Vo
20 log
Vi

1
f1
1
f1

-3 db

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

The voltage gain at frequency f can be written as:


Avdb 20 log

Vo
20 log
Vi

f1 2
-20log1
f

f1
1
f

(db)

f1 2
10 log 1
f

When f<<f1, the above equation can be approximated by:


f1 2
Avdb -20log
f

1/ 2

1/ 2

f1
20 log (when f f1)
f

If we forget the condition f<<f1 and plot the right side of the above
equation, the following points can be used. The plot is a straight line when
plotted in a log scale.
At
At
At
At

f
f
f
f

f1
f1/2
f1/4
f1/10

- 20log1 0 db
- 20log2 - 6 db
- 20log4 - 12 db
- 20log10 - 20 db

f1 2
X -20log
f

1/ 2

f1
20 log
f

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit


Using the points in the preceding slide, a bode plot can be made as shown below.
A Bode plot is a piecewise linear plot of the asymptotes and associated
breakpoints.
A Bode plot for the low frequency region is shown below.
One octave is equivalent to a change in frequency by a factor of two (2).
One octave results to a 6 db change in the normalized gain.
One decade is a change in frequency by a factor of 10.
One decade results to a 20 db change in the normalized gain.
f1
X 20 log
Normalized Gain
f
in db f1/10
f1/4
f1/2
f1
1 AV 0 db
0.707 AV -3 db
-6 db
-9 db
-12 db
-15 db
-18 db
-21 db

Avdb 20 log

1
f1
1
f

(db)

Frequency (log scale)

Asymptote
Actual Response Curve
Asymptote

Bode Plot for Low Frequency Region

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

The plot in the preceding slide shows two asymptotes. One for f<< f1 (6 db /
octave), and the other for f >> f1 (horizontal line 0 db).
The plot of the line corresponding to f << f1 results to frequency response of
6db per octave (6 db drop in gain for every reduction in the frequency by a
factor of 2). The plot also corresponds to a response of 20 db per decade.
The decibel plot of voltage gain (Av) can be made by using the information
on the asymptotes and knowing that at f= f1, Avdb = -3db.

Frequency Analysis of High Pass Resistor Capacitor (RC) Circuit

Example: For the RC network shown below, Determine the break frequency
(cutoff frequency), sketch the asymptotes and the frequency response curve.
Cc = 0.2 microfarad

Vi =
IRL
Input voltage
to RC network

f1/10=
Normalized Gain 9.947
in db
1 AV 0 db
0.707 AV -3 db
-6 db
-9 db
-12 db
-15 db
-18 db
-21 db

RL =
Vo = Output
8 kohm voltage

f1/4=
24.87

f1/2= f1 =
49.74 99.47

1
1

2RLC 2 (8,000)(0.2 x10 6 )


99.47 Hz

f1

-3db point
Frequency (log scale)
Asymptote

Asymptote

Bode Plot for Low Frequency Region

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

A capacitor coupled (also called RC coupled) BJT amplifier circuit is shown


below.
At middle and high frequencies, the capacitors Cc, Cs, and Ce can be
considered short circuits because their reactance become low enough, that there
are no significant voltage drops across the capacitors.
At low frequencies, the coupling capacitors Cc, Cs, and Ce could no longer be
treated as short circuits because their reactance become high enough that the
there are significant voltage drops across the capacitors.
Vcc
Rc

RB1

Cc

Cs
Q1
Rsig
Vi
Vs
Zi

RL

RB2
RE

Ce

Zo

Vs = Signal source
Rsig = internal resistance of signal source
Cs =coupling capacitor for Vs
Cc= coupling capacitor for RL
Ce= bypass capacitor for RE
Vo = Output
voltage

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

The frequency analysis of high pass RC network can be used for capacitor
coupled BJT amplifier circuits. The values of R and C are taken from the
equivalent resistances and capacitances in the BJT amplifier circuit.
For the portion of the circuit involving the coupling capacitor Cs, the
equivalent circuit is shown below.
Equivalent circuit assumes that the input impedance of the amplifier (Zi) is
purely resistive and is equal to Ri.
Ii

Cs

Rsig

Vi

Ii

Cs

RB1//RB2

Vs

hie = re
re

Rsig

Vi

Zi = Ri

Vs
Zi = Ri
Equivalent Circuit of Vs, Cs and Zi

Zi = Ri
Equivalent Circuit of Vs, Cs and Zi

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

The value of the input impedance (resistance) of the amplifier can be computed
as:
Zi = Ri = RB1 // RB2 // hie
= RB1 // RB2 // re

The voltage Vi can be computed using voltage divider rule.


Vi

Vs Ri
Ri Rsig jXCs

The voltage Vi at middle frequencies (Cs can be considered short circuit) can
be computed as:
Vs Ri
Vi mid
Ri Rsig

The lower cutoff frequency can be computed as:


fLs

1
lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit
2 (Rsig Ri)Cs
involving Cs

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

For the portion of the circuit involving the coupling capacitor Cc, the
equivalent circuit is shown below.
Equivalent circuit assumes that the output impedance of the transistor is
purely resistive and is equal to ro.
Cc

ib

ro

Rc

Rc // ro

IRL

VRL

RL

Zo= Ro
IRL
Cc

VRL

RL

Zo= Ro = Rc // ro
Equivalent Circuit of Circuit Portion Involving Cc

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

The value of the output impedance (resistance) of the amplifier can be


computed as:
Zo = Ro = RC // ro

The lower cutoff frequency can be computed as:


fLC

1
lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit
2 (Ro RL)CC
involving Cc

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

For the portion of the circuit involving the bypass capacitor Ce, the equivalent
circuit is shown below.
The equivalent circuit uses the re model.
The resistance (Re) seen looking into RE from the output side can be computed
as:

Rs'
Re RE//
re impedance seen looking into RE from the output side (ohms)

Where : Rs' Rsig//RB1//RB2


26 X 10-3
re
(ohms)
IE
IE Emitter DC current (Ampere) Emitter quiescent current (Ampere)
(Rs/ + re

Ce
RE

Rs'

re
Re RE//

Equivalent Circuit of Portion of Circuit Involving RE and CE

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

The lower cut-off frequency of the portion of the circuit involving the
bypass capacitor Ce can be computed as:
1
lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit
2 Re Ce
where : Re equivalent resistance looking into RE from the output side.

fLE

The voltage gain of the amplifier without considering the effects of the
voltage source resistance Rsig can be computed as:
At middle frequencies, RE is shorted out because the reactance of Ce is
very low. Voltage gain can be computed as:
Av

Av

Vo VRL
ro//Rc//RL

voltage gain of the amplifier at middle frequencies


Vi
Vi
re

At low frequencies, the reactance of Ce becomes high and RE should be


considered in the computation of the voltage gain.

Vo VRL
Rc//RL

voltage gain of the amplifier at low frequencies (ro not considered)


Vi
Vi
re RE

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

Overall, the effects of the capacitors Cs, Cc, and Ce must be considered in
determining the lower cutoff frequency of the amplifier.
The highest lower cutoff frequency among the three cutoff frequencies will
have the greatest impact on the lower cutoff frequency of the amplifier.
If the cutoff frequencies due to the capacitors are relatively far apart, the
highest lower cutoff frequency will essentially determine the lower cutoff
frequency of the amplifier.
If the highest lower cutoff frequency is relatively close to another lower cutoff
frequency, or if there are more than one lower cutoff frequencies, the lower
cutoff frequency of the amplifier will be higher than the highest lower cutoff
frequency due to the capacitors.
fLT = overall lower cutoff frequency of amplifier
fLT > fLS
fLT > fLC
Flt > fLE

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier

Example: A voltage divider BJT amplifier circuit has the parameters listed below.
Determine the low cutoff frequency of the amplifier and sketch the low frequency
response.
Cs=12 uF Rsig = 2 kohm RL= 2 kohm RB1=50 kohm RB2= 10 kohm
Cc=2 uF RE = 2 kohm RC= 4 kohm =100 Vcc= 20 volts
CE=20 uF Assume that output resistance of transistor to be infinite.

RE (100)(2,000) 20,000 ohms RB2


and the following approximations can be done.
VCC RB2
(20)(10,000)

3.333 volts
VB
RB2 RB1 10,000 50,000
DC voltage at base relative to ground
VRE VB VBE 3.333 0.7

1.317 x 10 3 A
RE
RE
2000
Emitter Quiescent Current

IE

26 x 10 3
re
19.742
1.317 x 10 3

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier


re (100)(19.742) 1,974.2
At middle frequencies :
(4,000)(2,000)
Vo
Rc//RL
4,000 2,000
Avmid

Vi
re
19.742
67.538 voltage gain at mid frequencies (not considering Rs)
1
1
1
1

50,000 10,000 1,974.2


1,596.08 ohms input impedance of amplifier

Zi Ri RB1//RB2//re

Vi
Ri
1,596.08

0.444
Vs Ri Rsig 1,596.08 2,000

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier


Vo Vo Vi
Avsmid (-67.538)(0.444)
Vs Vi Vs
29.987 voltage gain considering Rs (internal resistance of Vs)
Considering the effects of Cs :
1
1
1
1

50,000 10,000 1,974.2


1,596.08 ohms input impedance of amplifier
1
1

fLS
2 (Rsig Ri)Cs 2 (2,000 1,596.08)12 X 10-6
3.688 Hz lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit involving Cs
Zi Ri RB1//RB2//re

Considering the effects of Cc :


1
1

13.263 Hz
-6
2 (Rc RL)Cc 2 (4,000 2,000) 2 X 10
lower cutoff frequency of circuit involving Cc

fLC

Low Frequency Analysis of Capacitor Coupled BJT Amplifier


Considering the effects of CE :
Rs' Rsig//RB1//RB2

1
1612.903 ohms
1
1
1

2000 50,000 10,000

R S'

1612.903

19.742 35.239 ohms


Re RE// re 2000//
100

1
1

225.822 Hz
fLE
-6
2 Re CE 2 (35.239) 20 X 10
Because the lower cutoff frequency of the portion of the circuit
involving CE is relatively high compared to the cutoff frequecies
due to Cs and Cc, its lower cutoff frequency will predominantly affect the cutoff
frequency of the whole amplifier circuit.

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

The analysis of low frequency response of FET amplifiers is similar to that of


BJT amplifiers.
At middle and high frequencies, the capacitors Cc, Cs, and CG can be
considered short circuits because their reactance become low enough, that
there are no significant voltage drops across the capacitors.
At low frequencies, the coupling capacitors Cc, Cs, and CG could no longer
be treated as short circuits because their reactance become high enough that
the there are significant voltage drops across the capacitors.

RG2
CG

Ii
Rsig
Vs =
Source
voltage

IG (Gate
Vi = Current)
=0
Input
voltage
Zi

RD

ID = Drain current
(ac)
Drain (D)

Gate (G)

VGS
RG1

Source

Rs

VDS

Cc

VDD
RL

Cs

Zo

VO=
Output voltage

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

The frequency analysis of high pass RC network can be used for capacitor
coupled FET amplifier circuits. The values of R and C are taken from the
equivalent resistances and capacitances in the FET amplifier circuit.
For the portion of the circuit involving the coupling capacitor CG, the
equivalent circuit is shown below.
Equivalent circuit assumes that the input impedance of the amplifier (Zi) is
purely resistive and is equal to Ri.

Ii

CG

Rsig

Vi

Ii

CG

RG1 // RG2

Vs

Rsig

Vi

Zi = Ri
= RG1 // RG2

Vs
Zi = Ri
= RG1 // RG2
Equivalent Circuit of Vs, CG and Zi

Zi = Ri
= RG1 // RG2
Equivalent Circuit of Vs, CG and Zi

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

The value of the input impedance (resistance) of the amplifier can be computed
as:
Zi = Ri = RG1 // RG2
Zi = RG2 if RG1 is not present (RG1 = infinity)

The voltage Vi can be computed using voltage divider rule.


Vi

Vs Ri
Ri Rsig jX CG

The voltage Vi at middle frequencies (when CG can be considered as short


circuit) can be computed as:
Vi mid

Vs Ri
Ri Rsig

The lower cutoff frequency (half power frequency) can be computed as:
fLG

1
lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit
2 (Rsig Ri)CG
involving CG

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

For the portion of the circuit involving the coupling capacitor Cc, the
equivalent circuit is shown below.
Equivalent circuit assumes that the output impedance of the transistor is
purely resistive and is equal to Ro.
Cc

Drain (D) ID
rd

gmVgs
Ird

RD
IRD

+
gmVgs

RL
IRL

+
Zo = Ro

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

The value of the output impedance (resistance) of the amplifier can be


computed as:
Zo = Ro = RD // rd

Zo = Ro = RD if rd is equal to infinity

The lower cutoff frequency can be computed as:


fLC

1
lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit
2 (Ro R L)C C
involving Cc

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

For the portion of the circuit involving the bypass capacitor Cs, the equivalent
circuit is shown below.
The resistance (Req) seen looking into Rs from the output side can be
computed as:
Rs
impedance seen looking into RS from the output side (ohms)
Req
1 gm rd
1 Rs
rd RD//RL
when rd infinity, the equation above will be
1
Req Rs//
gm

System

Cs

RS

Req
Equivalent Circuit of Portion of Circuit Involving RS and CS

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

The low cut-off frequency of the portion of the circuit involving the bypass
capacitor Cs can be computed as:

1
lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit
2 Req Cs involving Cs
where : Req equivalent resistance looking into RS from the output side.

fLs

Overall, the effects of the capacitors CG, Cc, and CS must be considered in
determining the low cutoff frequency of the amplifier.
The highest lower cutoff frequency among the three cutoff frequencies will
have the greatest impact on the low cutoff frequency of the amplifier.
If the cutoff frequencies due to the capacitors are relatively far apart, the
highest low cutoff frequency will essentially determine the low cutoff
frequency of the amplifier.
If the highest lower cutoff frequency is relatively close to another lower cutoff
frequency, or if there are more than one lower cutoff frequency, the low cutoff
frequency of the amplifier will be higher than the highest lower cutoff
frequency due to the capacitors.

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier

Example: Given a common source FET amplifier with the following


parameters, determine the lower cutoff frequency of the amplifier.
Cc = 0.6 F
Cs = 2 F
CG =0.02F
Rsig = 12 K
RG= 1 Mohm RD= 5 K
Rs= 1 K
RL = 2 K
IDSS= 9 mA
Vp= -7 volts rd= infinity VDD = 20 volts
Since RG1 is not present, configuration is self bias FET.
2

- (ID )(RS)
VGS
DSS 1
ID IDQ IDSS 1
I
Drain current (Ampere)

VP

VP
2

2
2
- (ID )(1000)
3
3
D 20,408ID
D 183ID
ID 9 x 10 3 1

9
x
10
1
285
I
9
x
10
2
.
565
I

-7

0 9 x 10 3 3.565ID 183ID

3.565 3.5652 4(183)(9 x 10 3 )


ID IDQ
2(183)
IDQ 2.9806 x 10 3 A
IDQ 16.49x 10 3
Choose IDQ 2.9806 x 10 3 A (This value is first reached when VGS
goes more negative)

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier


VGSQ -(ID )(RS) -(2.9806 x 10 3 )(1000) 2.9806 volts 3volts
2 IDSS VGS 2 (9 x10-3 ) - 3
-3

gm
1
1

1
.
33
x10
Siemens transconductance

VP VP
9
-9

fLG

1
1
1

7.86 Hz
-6
2 (Rsig Ri)CG 2 (Rsig RG)CG 2 (12,000 1,000,000)0.02 x 10

fLC

1
1
1

37.89 Hz
2 (Ro RL)CC 2 (RD RL)CC 2 (5,000 2,000) 0.6x10-6

1
(1000)(1 / 1.33 x 10 -3 )
Since rd infinity, Req Rs//

429.18 ohms
gm 1000 1 / 1.33 x 10-3

1
1

185 Hz
-6
2 Req Cs 2 (429.18)(2x10 )
Since fLS is the largest of the three lower cutoff frequencies,
it has the highest impact on the low cutoff frequency of the amplifier
fLs

Low Frequency Response of JFET Common Source Amplifier


Avmid

Vo
(5,000)(2,000)
gm(RD//RL) (1.33 x 10-3 )
1.9

Vi
5,000 2,000

voltage gain at midlle frequencies

1 AVmid
0.707 AVmid

Av / Avmid (db)
Normalized
Normalized Gain in db
Voltage
1 10 100 1K 10K 100K 1M 10M 100M
gain
fLG fLC fLS
fHi f
fHo
Frequency
0 db
-3 db
-5 db
-10 db
-15 db
-20 db

- 20 db / decade

-25 db
Low Frequency Response (Normalized Voltage Gain Versus Frequency

High Frequency Response of Low Pass RC Network

At the high frequency end, the frequency response of a low pass RC network
shown below is determined by the decrease in the reactance of the capacitor as
frequency of operation increases.
Because of the decrease in the capacitance, there is a shorting effect across
the terminals of the capacitor at high frequencies, and the voltage drop across
the capacitor decreases as frequency increases.
IR
R
Vi =
Input voltage
to RC network
Normalized Gain
in db

Vo = Output
voltage

Av = Vo / Vi

f2

1 AV 0 db

Frequency (log scale)


-6 db / octave

0.707 AV -3 db

Bode Plot for High Frequency Region

High Frequency Response of Low Pass RC Network

The voltage gain of the low pass RC network can be computed as:
Vo
I (-jXc)
- jXc
1
1

R
Vi I R jXc R jXc 1 R
1 j
1
jXc
2fC
1
1
1

1
1 1 j 1
1 j
R R
f2
1
1 j
1 1
f
2fRC

2fC R
1
Av
voltage gain at frequency f (unitless)
f
1 j
f2
1
where : f2
high cutoff frequency (Hz)
2RC
frequency when voltage gain is 0.707 times the voltage gain
at mid frequencies

Av

The above equation results to plot that drops off at 6db per octave with
increasing frequency.

Miller Effect Capacitance

When the frequencies being processed by an amplifier are high, the frequency response
of the amplifier is affected by:
Interelectrode (between terminals) capacitance internal to the active device
Wiring capacitance between leads of the network
The coupling and bypass capacitors are considered short circuits at mid and high
frequencies because their reactance levels are very low.
The diagram below shows the existence of a feedback capacitance whose reactance
becomes significantly low at high frequencies, that it affects the performance of an
amplifier.
The input and output capacitance are increased by a capacitance level sensitive to the
interelectrode (between terminals) capacitance (Cf) between the input and output
terminals of the device and the gain of the amplifier.
Because of Cf, an equivalent capacitance, called Miller capacitance, is produced at the
input and output.
I2

Cf

Ii
+

+
I1

Vi
Zi

Ri

Av =Vo / Vi

Vo
-

Miller Effect Capacitance

The value of the Miller effect input capacitance can be computed as:

Vi
Vi
Vi Vo Vi Vi Av Vi(1 Av)

I1
I2
Zi
Ri
Xcf
Xcf
Xcf
Ii I1 I2
Vi Vi Vi(1 Av)

Zi Ri
Xcf
1
1 (1 Av)

Zi Ri
Xcf
1
1
1

Xcf
Zi Ri
(1 Av)
Xcf
1
1

XCM Reactance of Miller effect input capacitance


(1 Av) (1 Av) Cf (1 Av) 2fCf
CMi (1 Av) Cf Miller effect input capacitance
1
1
1

Zi Ri XCMi
Ii

Miller Effect Capacitance

The equivalent circuit due to the Miller Effect Capacitance is shown below.
+
Ii
Vi

Ri

CM i= (1-AV)Cf

Zi

Above results show that for any inverting amplifier (negative AV), the input
capacitance will be increased by a Miller effect capacitance, which is a
function of the gain of the amplifier and the interelectrode (parasitic)
capacitance between the input and output terminals of the active device.
If the voltage gain is negative (with phase reversal), Miller Effect capacitance
(CM) is positive and higher than the interelectrode capacitance.
If the voltage gain is positive (no phase reversal) and greater than 1, Miller
Effect capacitance (CM) is negative.

Miller Effect Capacitance

At high frequencies, the voltage gain Av is a function of the Miller effect


capacitance (CM).
There is difficulty in solving the value of the Miller effect capacitance (CM)
since it is a function of the gain AV which in turn is a function of the Miller
effect capacitance.
In general, the midband value of the voltage gain is used for AV, to get
the worst case scenario for the Miller effect capacitance, since the
highest value of Av is the midband value.
The Miller effect also increases the level of the output capacitance, and it
must also be considered in determining the high cutoff frequency.
The diagram below shows the feedback capacitor as seen in the output side
of the amplifier.
Cf

I2
Io

+
Vi
-

Av =Vo / Vi

I1
Ro

+
Vo
Zo

Miller Effect Capacitance

The Miller effect output capacitance can be determined as follows:

Io I1 I2
Io

Vo
Zo

I1

Vo
Ro

I2

Vo Vi
Xcf

Vo Vo Vi
Vo
but
is usually very small because Ro is usually sufficiently large

Ro
Xcf
Ro
Io can be approximated by :

Io

Io
Io
Vo
Vo
Io

Vo Vo 1 1
Av
Av
Xcf
Xcf

Vo

Vo Vi

Xcf
1

Av

Xcf
Xcf
1
1

Reactance of Miller effect output capacitance

1
1
CMo

1 Av 1 Av Cf

Miller Effect Capacitance


1

CMo 1
Cf Miller effect output capacitance

Av
When Av is much greater than 1, the Miller effect output capacitance
can be approximated by :
CMo Cf Miller effect output capacitance

BJT High Frequency Response

At the high frequency end, the high cutoff frequency (-3 db) of BJT circuits is
affected by:
Network capacitance (parasitic and induced)
Frequency dependence of the current gain hfe
At high frequencies, the high cutoff frequency of a BJT circuit is affected by:
the interelectrode capacitance between the base and emitter, base and
collector, and collector and emitter.
Wiring capacitance at the input and output of the BJT.
At high frequencies, the reactance of the interelectrode and wiring capacitance
become significantly low, resulting to a shorting effect across the
capacitances.
The shorting effect at the input and output of an amplifier causes a reduction
in the gain of the amplifier.
For common emitter BJT circuits, Miller effect capacitance will affect the high
frequency response of the circuit, since it is an inverting amplifier.

BJT High Frequency Response

The figure below shows the RC network which affects the frequency response of
BJT circuits at high frequencies.
Cbe = capacitance between the base and emitter of transistor
Cce = capacitance between collector and emitter of transistor
Cbc = capacitance between base and collector of transistor
Cwi = wiring capacitance at input of amplifier
Cwo = wiring capacitance at output of amplifier
IRB1

RC

IRC
Cc

RB1
IB Cbc

Ii

VCC

CS

Rsig
Vs =
Source
voltage

Vi =
RB2
Input voltage
IRB2
Zi

Cce

Cbe
Cwi

Zix

RE

Cwo

IRL

VO= Output
voltage

Ce

Zox

Zo

BJT High Frequency Response

The figure below shows the ac equivalent circuit of the BJT amplifier in the
preceding slide.
At mid and high frequencies, Cs, Cc, and Ce are assumed to be short circuits
because their impedances are very low.
The input capacitance Ci includes the input wiring capacitance (Cwi), the
transistor capacitance Cbe, and the input Miller capacitance CMi.
The output capacitance Co includes the output wiring capacitance (Cwo), the
transistor parasitic capacitance Cce, and the output Miller capacitance CMo.
Typically, Cbe is the largest of the parasitic capacitances while Cce is the
smallest
Ri re
= re
Ii

Ci = Cwi + Cbe + CMi

Ib

Co = Cwo + Cce + CMo

Ic
Thi

Rsig

Tho

Ib

Vi
Ri

RB1// RB2

Ci

ro

RC

RL

Vs
E Zix

Zox

Co

Vo=Vce

BJT High Frequency Response

The Thevenin equivalent circuit of the ac equivalent circuit of the BJT amplifier
is shown below.
For the input side, the -3db high cutoff frequency can be computed as:
1
fHi
higher cut off frequency for the input side (-3db frequency)
2 RThi Ci
RTHi Rsig // RB1 // RB2 // Ri Rsig // RB1 // RB2 // ( 1)re
Thevenin equivalent resistance at input side
Ci Cwi Cbe CMi Cwi Cbe (1 - Av)Cbc input capacitance of circuit

Thi

RThi = Rsig // RB1// RB2 // Ri


Vi
VThi

RTho= Rc // RL// ro
Ci

Ri

VTho

Tho
Co Vo=Vce

BJT High Frequency Response

At the high frequency end, the reactance of capacitance Ci will decrease as


frequency increases, resulting to reduction in the total impedance at the input
side.
This will result to lower voltage across Ci, resulting to lower base current,
and lower voltage gain.
For the output side, the -3db high cutoff frequency can be computed as:
fHo

1
higher cut off frequency for the output side (-3db frequency)
2 RTho Co

RTHo Rc // RL //ro Thevenin equivalent resistance at output side


1
Co Cwo Cce CMo Cwo Cce 1 Av

Cbc output capacitance of circuit

At the high frequency end, the reactance of capacitance Co will decrease as


frequency increases, resulting to reduction in the total impedance at the output
side.
This will result to lower output voltage Vo, resulting to lower voltage and
power gain.

BJT High Frequency Response


The Hybrid or Giacolletohigh frequency equivalent circuit for common
emitter is shown below.
The resistance rb includes the base contact resistance (due to actual connection
to the base) , base bulk resistance (resistance from external base terminal to the
active region of transistor), and base spreading resistance (actual resistance
within the active region of transistor).
The resistances r, ro, and ru are the resistances between the indicated terminals
when the BJT is in the active region.
Cbe and Cbc are the capacitances between the indicated terminals.

ru
rb

C
Ic

Ib

Cu = Cbc
r re

Zix

C = Cbe

ro =
1 / hoe

Ib =
hfe Ib

E Zox

Hybrid High Frequency Equivalent Circuit (Common Emitter)

BJT High Frequency Response

At the high frequency end, hfe of a BJT will be reduced as frequency increases.
The variation of hfe (or ) with frequency can approximately be computed as:
hfemid
hfe at frequency f
f
1 j
f
where : hfemid mid hfe at middle frequency (the one usually given at specs sheet)

hfe

1
1
1

2 r C Cu hfemid 2 re C Cu
1
1
f
mid 2 re C Cu
f fhfe

r mid re (hfemid )(re)


re

26mV
IE

IE DC emitter current of transistor

BJT High Frequency Response

Since re is a function of the DC emitter current IE, and f is a function of re, f is a


function of the bias condition of the circuit.
hfe will drop off from its midband value with a 6 db / octave slope.
Normalized hfe
in db
hfe / hfe mid
0 db

f
-6 db / octave (for f)

Frequency (log scale)

-3 db

Bode Plot for hfe () in the High Frequency Region

For the common base configuration:


It has improved frequency response compared to common emitter configuration.
Miller effect capacitance is not present because of its non-inverting
characteristics.
f is higher than f.

BJT High Frequency Response

The relationship of f (-3db high cutoff frequency for ) and f db high


cutoff frequency for ) is shown below.

f f (1 ) 3 db cut off frequency for


Normalized hfb
in db
hfb / hfb mid
0 db
-3 db

f
Frequency (log scale)
-6 db / octave (for f)

Bode Plot for hfb () in the High Frequency Region (Common Base)

The upper cutoff frequency of the entire system (upper limit for the bandwidth)
is lower than the lowest upper cutoff frequency (lowest among fHi, fHo, and f)
The lowest upper cutoff frequency has the greatest impact on the bandwidth of
the system. It defines a limit for the bandwidth of the system.
The lower is the upper cut off frequency, the greater is its effect on the
bandwidth of the entire system.

BJT High Frequency Response

The gain-bandwidth product of a transistor is defined by the following condition:

hfemid
hfemid
and hfedb 20 log
1
20 log 1 0 db
f
f
1 j
1 j
f
f
The frequency at which hfedb is equal to 0db is denoted by fT,
hfe

and the magnitude of hfe when (fT f ) is computed as :


hfemid
hfemid

1
2
fT
fT
1
f
f
fT (hfemid)(f) ( mid)(f) gain bandwidth product, since mid gain and f bandwidth
f

fT

mid

bandwidth

1
fT ( mid)(f) ( mid)

mid 2 re C Cu
1
fT
gain bandwidth product
2 re C Cu

BJT High Frequency Response

Example: Given a common emitter BJT amplifier with the following parameters,
determine the following:
a. High cutoff frequency for the input of the circuit (fHi)
b. High cutoff frequency for the output of the circuit (fHo)
c. High cutoff frequency for f
d. Gain bandwidth product (fT)
e. Sketch the frequency response for the low and high frequency range

Specs similar to example on BJT low frequency response:


Cs=12 uF Rsig = 2 kohm
RL= 2 kohm RB1=50 kohm RB2= 10 kohm
Cc=2 uF
RE = 2 kohm
RC= 4 kohm Vcc= 20 volts
CE=20 uF = hfemid = 100 ro = infinite
Additional specs:
C = Cbe= 35 pF
Cu = Cbc= 3 pF
Cwi = 5 pF Cwo = 6 pF

Cce = 1 pF

BJT High Frequency Response

From the previous example on low frequency response,

re (100)(19.742) 1,974.2 Ri for high frequency response


re 19.742
Avmid 67.538 voltage gain at mid frequencies (not considering Rs)
Zi Ri 1,596.08 ohms input impedance of amplifier (for low frequency response)

Avsmid 29.987 voltage gain considering Rs (internal resistance of Vs)


fLS 3.688 Hz lower cut off frequency for the portion of the circuit involving Cs
fLC 13.263 Hz lower cutoff frequency of circuit involving Cc
fLE 225.822 Hz lower cutoff frequency of circuit involving Ce
For the high frequency response :
Ci Cwi Cbe (1 - Av) Cbc
5 pF 35 pF (1 - (-67.538)) 3 pF 245.614 pF
RThi Rsig // RB1 // RB2 // Ri

1
1
1
1
1

2,000 50,000 10,000 1,974.2

887.678 ohms

BJT High Frequency Response


1
729,981 Hz
-12
2 (RThi)(Ci) 2 (887.678)(245.614 x 10 )
(4,000)(2,000)
1,333.33 ohms
RTho Rc // RL
4,000 2,000

fHi

Cbc
Co Cwo Cce CMo Cwo Cce 1

Avmid

6 pF 1 pF 1
3 pF 10.044 pF

67.538
1
1
11,884,359 Hz
fHo
-12
2 (RTho)(Co) 2 (1,333.33)(10.044 x 10 )

1
1
1

2 r C Cu hfemid 2 re C Cu
1
1

2,150,928 Hz
(100) 2 (19.472) 35 x10 12 3 x10 12
fT (hfemid)(f ) (100)(2,150,928 ) 215,092,800 Hz frequency when hfe 1
f fhfe

BJT High Frequency Response

In the low frequency region, the lower cutoff frequency due to the emitter capacitor
(fLE) has the highest value. Consequently, it has the greatest impact on the bandwidth of
the system, among the three lower cutoff frequencies.
In the high frequency region, the high cutoff frequency due to the input capacitors and
resistors (fHi) has the lowest value. Consequently, it has the greatest impact on the
bandwidth of the system, among the three high cutoff frequencies.

1 AVmid
0.707 AVmid

Av / Avmid (db)
Normalized
Normalized Gain in db
Voltage
1 10 100 1K 10K 100K 1M 10M 100M
gain
fLS fLC fLE
fHi f
fHo
Frequency
0 db
-3 db
-5 db
Bandwidth
-10 db
-15 db
-20 db

+20 db / decade
(6 db/octave)

- 20 db / decade
(-6 db / octave)

-25 db
Full Frequency Response (Normalized Voltage Gain Versus Frequency)

FET High Frequency Response

The high frequency response analysis for FET is similar to that of BJT.
At the high frequency end, the high cutoff frequency (-3 db) of FET circuits is
affected by the network capacitance (parasitic and induced).
The capacitances that affect the high frequency response of the circuit are
composed of:
the interelectrode capacitance between the gate and source, gate and drain,
and drain and source.
Wiring capacitance at the input and output of the circuit.
At high frequencies, the reactance of the interelectrode and wiring capacitance
become significantly low, resulting to a shorting effect across the
capacitances.
The shorting effect at the input and output of an amplifier causes a reduction
in the gain of the amplifier.
For common source FET circuits, the Miller effect will be present, since it is an
inverting amplifier.

FET High Frequency Response

The figure below shows the RC network which affects the frequency response of
FET circuits at high frequencies.
Cgs = capacitance between the gate and source of transistor
Cds = capacitance between drain and source of transistor
Cgd = capacitance between gate and drain of transistor
Cwi = wiring capacitance at input of amplifier
Cwo = wiring capacitance at output of amplifier
IRG1

RD

IRD
Cc

RG1
IG Cgd

Ii

VCC

CG

Rsig
Vs =
Source
voltage

Vi =
RG2
Input voltage
IRG2
Zi

Cds

Cgs
Cwi

Zix

RS

Cwo

IRL

VO= Output
voltage

CS

Zox

Common Source FET Amplifier Circuit

Zo

FET High Frequency Response

The figure below shows the ac equivalent circuit of the FET amplifier.
At mid and high frequencies, CG, CS, and Cc are assumed to be short circuits because
their impedances are very low.
The input capacitance Ci includes the input wiring capacitance (Cwi), the transistor
capacitance Cgs, and the input Miller capacitance CMi.
The output capacitance Co includes the output wiring capacitance (Cwo), the
transistor parasitic capacitance Cds, and the output Miller capacitance CMo.
Typically, Cgs and Cgd are higher than Cds.
At high frequencies, Ci will approach a short-circuit and Vgs will drop, resulting to
reduction in voltage gain.
At high frequencies, Co will approach a short-circuit and Vo will drop, resulting to
reduction in voltage gain.

Ii

Ci = Cwi + Cgs + CMi

Thi

Rsig
Vi = Vgs

RG1// RG2

Id

Co = Cwo + Cds + CMo

Ci

Tho

IRL

gm Vgs
rd

RD

RL

Vs
S

Zix

Zox

Co

Vo=Vds

FET High Frequency Response

The Thevenin equivalent circuit of the ac equivalent circuit of the FET amplifier
is shown below.
For the input side, the -3db high cutoff frequency can be computed as:
1
high cut off frequency for the input side (-3db frequency)
fHi
2 RThi Ci
RTHi Rsig // RG1 // RG2 Thevenin equivalent resistance at input side
Ci Cwi Cgs CMi input capacitance of circuit
CMi 1 Av Cgd Miller effect capacitance at input side
where Avmid is used for Av to get the worst case scenario
Thi

RThi = Rsig // RG1// RG2


Vi
VThi

RTho= RD // RL// rd
Ci
VTho

Tho
Co Vo=Vds

FET High Frequency Response

For the output side, the -3db high cutoff frequency can be computed as:
fHo

1
high cut off frequency for the output side (-3db frequency)
2 R Tho Co

R THo R D // R L //rd Thevenin equivalent resistance at output side


C o C wo Cds C Mo output capacitanc e of circuit
1

C Mo 1
Cgd Miller effect capacitanc e at the output side
Av

Avmid is used for Av to get the worst case scenario

FET High Frequency Response

Example: Given a common source FET amplifier with the following parameters,
determine the following:
a. High cutoff frequency for the input of the circuit (fHi)
b. High cutoff frequency for the output of the circuit (fHo)
c. Sketch the frequency response for the low and high frequency range

Specs similar to example on FET low frequency response:


CG =0.02mF
Cc = 0.6 mF
Cs = 2 mF
Rsig = 12 K
RG= 1 Mohm RD= 5 K
Rs= 1 K
RL = 2 K
IDSS= 9 mA
Vp= -7 volts rd= infinity VDD = 20 volts
Since RG1 is not present, configuration is self bias FET.
Additional specs:
Cgd= 3 pF
Cgs = 5 pF Cds = 1 pF
Cwi = 5 pF
Cwo = 6 pF

FET High Frequency Response


From the previous example on low frequenc response,
Avmid 1.9 voltage gain at mid frequencies (not considering Rs)
fLG 7.86Hz lower cutoff frequency due to circuit involving CG
fLC 37.89 Hz lower cutoff frequency due to circuit involving Cc
fLS 185 Hz lower cutoff frequency due to circuit involving Cs
For the high frequency response :
Ci Cwi Cgs (1 - Av) Cgd
5 pF 5 pF (1 - (-1.9)) 3 pF 18.7 pF
RThi Rsig // RG
(12,000)(1,000,000)

11,857 ohms
12,000 1,000,000
1
1
fHi
717,800 Hz
-12
2 (RThi)(Ci) 2 (11,857)(18.7 x 10 )

FET High Frequency Response


RTho RD // RL

(5,000)(2,000)
1,428.57 ohms
5,000 2,000

Co Cwo Cds CMo Cwo Cds 1


Cgd

Avmid
1

6 pF 1 pF 1
3 pF 11.579 pF

1.9
1
1
fHo

9,621,605 Hz
2 (RTho)(Co) 2 (1,428.57 )(11.579 x 10-12 )

FET High Frequency Response

In the low frequency region, the lower cutoff frequency due to the source capacitor (fLS)
has the highest value. Consequently, it has the greatest impact on the bandwidth of the
system, among the three lower cutoff frequencies.
In the high frequency region, the high cutoff frequency due to the input capacitors and
resistors (fHi) has the lowest value. Consequently, it has the greatest impact on the
bandwidth of the system, among the two high cutoff frequencies.

1 AVmid
0.707 AVmid

Av / Avmid (db)
Normalized
Normalized Gain in db
Voltage
1 10 100 1K 10K 100K 1M 10M 100M
gain
fLG fLC fLS
fHi
fHo
Frequency
0 db
-3 db
-5 db
Bandwidth
-10 db
-15 db
-20 db

+20 db / decade
(6 db / octave)

-20 db / decade
(-6 db / octave)

-25 db
Full Frequency Response (Normalized Voltage Gain Versus Frequency)

Frequency Response of Multistage (Cascaded) Amplifiers

If there are several stages in a cascaded amplifier system, the overall bandwidth
of the system will be lower than the individual bandwidth of each stage.
In the high frequency region:
The output capacitance Co must now include the wiring capacitance (Cwi),
parasitic capacitance (Cbe or Cgs), and input Miller capacitance (CMi) of the
next stage.
The input capacitance Ci must now include the wiring capacitance (Cwo),
parasitic capacitance (Cce or Cds), and input Miller capacitance (CMO) of the
preceding stage.
The lower cutoff frequency of the entire system will be determined primarily by
the stage having the highest lower cutoff frequency.
The upper cutoff frequency of the entire system will be determined primarily by
the stage having the lowest higher cutoff frequency.
For n stages having the same voltage gain and lower cutoff frequency (f1), the
overall lower cutoff frequency (f1) can be computed as:
f1'

f1

overall lower cutoff frequency of the entire amplifier

2 1
where : f1 lower cutoff frequency of each stage
1/n

n number of stages

Frequency Response of Multistage (Cascaded) Amplifiers

For n stages having the same voltage gain and higher cutoff frequency (f2),
the overall higher cutoff frequency (f2) can be computed as:
f2' f2 21/n 1 overall higher cutoff frequency of the entire amplifier
where : f2 higher cutoff frequency of each stage
n number of stages

Square Wave Testing

A square wave signal can be used to test the frequency response of single
stage or multistage amplifier.
If an amplifier has poor low frequency response or poor high frequency
response, the output of the amplifier having a square wave input will be
distorted (not exactly a square wave at the output).
A square wave is composed of a fundamental frequency and harmonics
which are all sine waves.
If an amplifier has poor low or high frequency response, some low or high
frequencies will not be amplified effectively and the output waveform will be
distorted.

Square Wave Testing

The figures below show the effect of poor frequency response of an


amplifier using a square wave input.
V

long rise time

No distortion
(Good Frequency Response)
V

very long rise time

t
Very Poor High Frequency
Response

Poor High Frequency


Response

tilt

tilt

tilt

t
Poor High and Low
Frequency Response

Poor Low Frequency


Response

t
Very Poor Low Frequency
Response

Square Wave Testing

The high cutoff frequency can be determined from the output waveform by
measuring the rise time of the waveform.
Rise time is between the point when the amplitude of the waveform is 10 %
of its highest value up to the point when the amplitude is 90 % of its
highest value.
The high cutoff frequency can be computed as:
0.35
fH
upper cutoff frequency of amplifier (Hz)
tr
0.35
BW fH
Bandwidth of amplifier (bandwidth is approximately equal to fH)
tr
where : tr rise time (seconds)

The lower cutoff frequency can be determined from the output waveform
by measuring the tilt of the waveform.
fLO

fs lower cutoff frequency of amplifier (Hz)


V - V'
tilt (unitless)
V
fs frequency of square wave (Hz)

tilt

V
V

where : P

t
Rise time (tr)

Square Wave Testing

Example: The output waveform of an amplifier with a 4 Khz square wave


input has the following characteristics:
Rise time = 15 microseconds

Maximum amplitude (V) = 40 millivolts


Minimum voltage of tilt (V) = 30 millivolts

Determine: high cutoff frequency, bandwidth, low cutoff frequency.


0.35
0.35

23,333.33 Hz
-6
tr
15x10
0.35
BW fH
23,333.33 Hz
15x10-6

fH

V - V' 40 x 10-3 - 30 x 10-3


P

0.25 tilt (unitless)


-3
V
40 x 10
P
0.25
fLO fs
(4,000) 318 Hz lower cutoff frequency