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VISVESVARAYA TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Jnana Sangama, Belgaum - 580 014

A Project Report on
Design of High Speed Operational Amplifier
with different types of compensation techniques
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment for the award of the Degree

MASTER OF TECHNOLOGY
in

VLSI DESIGN AND TESTING


Submitted By

Mr. Abhishek C Math


(USN:2BV13LDT02)
Under the guidance of

Dr. Rajashekar B. Shettar

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATION


ENGINEERING

B. V. BHOOMARADDI COLLEGE OF
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY HUBLI-31
2014-2015

B.V.BHOOMARADDI COLLEGE OF
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY HUBLI-31

CERTIFICATE
This is to certify that the Project report entitled Design of High
Speed Operational Amplifier with different types of compensation
techniques is a bonafide work carried out by Mr. Abhishek C Math
bearing (USN:2BV13LDT02) as a part of VISVESVARAYA TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITYS M.Tech in VLSI Design and Testing at B. V.
Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and Technology, Vidyanagar, Hubli for
the academic year 2014-2015.

Dr. Rajashekar B. Shettar Dr.Uma Mudenagudi


Guide
Head of the Department

Dr.Ashok Shettar
Principal

External Viva
Name of Examiners
1) ..................
2)..................

Signature with date

DECLARATION
I Mr. Abhishek C Math, (USN:2BV13LDT02), student of 4th
semester M.Tech. in VLSI Design and Testing, B.V.Bhoomaraddi College of
Engineering and Technology, Hubli, hereby declare that under the supervision
of my guide Dr. Rajashekar B. Shettar, Department of Electronics and
Communication Engineering, B.V.Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and
Technology, Hubli, have independently carried out the project entitled Design of High Speed Op Amp with different types of Compensation
Techniques, and submitted it in partial fulfillment for the award of Master
of Technology in VLSI Design and Testing by the Visvesvaraya Technological
University,Belgaum, during the academic year 2014-2015.

Date:
Place:HUBLI

Mr.Abhishek C Math

ABSTRACT

This thesis presents the analysis and design of a high speed CMOS op
amp with different types of compensation techniques which operates at 1.8V
power supply using 130nm CMOS Technology. Here different types of compensation techniques are used for an op amp and compared the results.The
op amp designed is a two stage CMOS op amp. This op amp employs a
Miller capacitor and is compensated with a Nulling resistor,Voltage buffer
and Current buffer to remove the positive zero. The op amp is designed to
exhibit a UGB of 1GHz and the corresponding Phase Margin of 600 with the
CL = 1pF and DC gain of 55dB. The gain transfer function is derived for
each topology and approximate transfer function co-efficient are found that
allows accurate estimation of zeros and poles. This op amp is designed for
high speed application.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The sense of contentment and elation that accompanies the successful


completion of our project and its report would be incomplete without mentioning the names of the people who helped us in accomplishing this.
I accord my sincere thanks our principal Dr. Ashok Shettar and VicePrincipal Prof.B.L.Desai for providing healthy environment in the college,
which helped in concentrating on the task. I express a deep sense of gratitude
to our H. O. D. Dr. Uma Mudenagudi for providing the inspiration
required for taking the project to its completion.
I express my deep sense of gratitude and earnest admiration for my guide
Dr. Rajashekar B. Shettar for their inspiring guidance and promising
support they gave during the course of completion.
I sincerely thank to our project coordinator Dr. Saroja Sidmal,for
great support and encouragement
I sincerely thank Smartplay Pvt Technology,Bangalore for offering
the Internship under the guidance of Dr. Ramesh. Karmungi and I also
thank Mr. Rakesh Sawant for the support and encouragement to pursure
my project work.
Last but not the least I like to thank all the staff members, teaching and
non - teaching staff for helping us during the course of the project.
I am deeply indebted to my family for their valuable and unfailing support.

Mr. Abhishek C Math

Contents
1 Introduction
1.1 Problem Statement . . . .
1.2 Objective of the Project .
1.3 Methodology . . . . . . .
1.4 Organization of the report

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1
3
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2 Literature Survey
2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.2 Feedback circuit theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.3 Stability of Feedback Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4 Basic Frequency Compensation Techniques of Operational Amplifier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.1 Parallel Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4.2 Pole Splitting Single Miller Compensation (SMC) . . .
2.5 Other Multistage Operational Amplifier Compensation Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.5.1 Nested Miller Compensation (NMC) and the Variants .
2.5.2 Single Miller FeedForward Compensation (SMFFC) . .
2.5.3 Nonstandard NMC Schemes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.5.4 No Capacitor Feed Forward (NCFF) . . . . . . . . . .
2.5.5 Negative Miller Capacitance Compensation (NMCC) .

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19

3 Operational Amplifier Compensation Strategy


3.1 Origin of Right half Plane Zero . . . . . . . . .
3.2 Different types of Compensation Techniques . .
3.2.1 Nulling resistor . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2.2 Voltage Buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2.3 Current Buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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3.3
3.4

Advantages and Disadvantages with Current Buffer . . . . . . 26


Specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

4 Two stage operational amplifier compensation techniques


4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2 Miller Capacitance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.1 Zero nulling resistor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.2 Current buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.3 Voltage buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5

Layout Design
5.1 What is layout design . . . . . . . . . .
5.2 Variability and Mismatch . . . . . . . .
5.2.1 Random Statistical Fluctuations
5.2.2 Process Biases . . . . . . . . . .
5.2.3 Systematic Variations . . . . . .
5.3 Rules of MOS transistor matching . . .
5.4 Layout Techniques . . . . . . . . . . .
5.5 Multifinger Transistor . . . . . . . . .
5.6 Symmetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6 Simulation Results and Layout


6.1 Nulling Resistor . . . . . . . .
6.1.1 Summary . . . . . . .
6.2 Voltage Buffer . . . . . . . . .
6.2.1 Summary . . . . . . .
6.3 Current Buffer . . . . . . . . .
6.3.1 Step Response . . . . .
6.3.2 Settling Time . . . . .
6.3.3 Design Parameters . .
6.3.4 Summary . . . . . . .
6.4 Comparision . . . . . . . . . .
6.5 Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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7 Conclusion and Future scope


74
7.1 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
7.2 Future Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Bibliography

76

APPENDIX A

79

List of Figures
1.1
1.2
1.3

Trends for transistor supply and threshold voltage scaling with


advancement in CMOS process technology [2] and [3]. . . . . .
Trends for transistor open-loop gain with CMOS process technology progression [2] and [3]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Trends for transistor transition frequency (fT) with CMOS
process technology progression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1
2.2
2.3

2
3
4

General negative feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Basicl negative feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Amplifier gain and phase versus frequency showing the phase
margin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.4 SMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.5 SMCNR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.6 NMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.7 RNMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.8 MNMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.9 NGCC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.10 SMFFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.11 NCFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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20

3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5

Effect of positive zero and negative zero


Origin of positive zero . . . . . . . . . .
Nulling resistor . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Voltage Buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Current Buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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26

4.1
4.2

Block diagram showing general structure of a two-stage op-amp 29


Small signal model for nodal analysis of Miller compensation
of a two-stage op-amp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
vi

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4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.9
4.10
4.11
4.12
4.13
4.14
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8
5.9
5.10
5.11
5.12

5.13
5.14

Pole-zero plot for a two-stage op-amp demonstrating pole splitting due to the Miller capacitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Frequency response of the Miller compensation two-stage opamp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A Miller compensated two-stage op-amp . . . . . . . . . . . .
Miller compensated op-amp with zero nulling resistor . . . . .
Small signal model of two stage op-amp with zero nulling resistor
Frequency response of the Miller compensated two-stage opamp with zero nulling resistor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A two-stage op-amp with a common-gate stage to feedback
the compensation current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Small signal analytical model for common-gate stage indirect
compensated two-stage op-amp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Frequency response of a two-stage op-amp with a commongate stage when z=UGB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pole-zero location of two stage op amp with current buffer
compensation technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Design plan of a two-stage op-amp with a common-gate stage
Op-amp with an NMOS Voltage Buffer. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Various two-dimensional effects causing sizes of realized microcircuit components to differ from sizes of layout masks. . . .
Example Cell Template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Fingering Of Transistors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Example Of Fingering A NAND Gate . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Transistor Power Sharing Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Example Of Soft Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(a)Simple Folding Of A MOSFET,(b) Multiple Fingers . . .
Differential pair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Layout Of MO And M1 With Different Orientation . . . . .
Layout With Gate-Aligned Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Layout With Parallel-Gate Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Interdigitized layout of a differential pair a) Differential pair b)
Horizontal expansion c) Interdigitized layout (Drain areas are
different. Common centroid.) d) Interdigitized layout (Drain
areas are equal. Not common centroid.) . . . . . . . . . . . .
Gradient of KP on a wafer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Common-centroid layout of a differential pair . . . . . . . .

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5.15 Common-centroid examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63


6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8
6.9
6.10

Two stage op amp with Nulling Resistor . . . . . . . . . . . .


AC response of the two stage op amp with the Nulling resistor
Two stage op amp with Voltage Buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AC response of the two stage op amp with the Voltage buffer .
Two stage op amp with Current Buffer . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AC response of the two stage op amp with the Current buffer
Step Response of two stage op amp with Current buffer . . . .
Slew Rate of two stage op amp with Current buffer . . . . . .
Settling Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Layout of the two stage op amp with the Current buffer . . . .

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70
70
71
71
73

List of Tables
3.1

Specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

6.1
6.2
6.3

Summary of Two stage op amp with nulling resistor . . . . .


Summary of Two stage op amp with voltage buffer . . . . .
Variation of settling time of op amp with different tolerance
values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Design Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Summary of Two stage op amp with current buffer . . . . .
Comparison of different types of compensation technique of
two stage op amp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6.4
6.5
6.6

ix

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. 72

Chapter 1
Introduction
Operational Amplifiers are one of the indispensable blocks of modern
integrated systems and are used in wide varieties of circuit topologies like
data converters, filters, references, clock and data recovery circuits. However, continued scaling in CMOS processes has continuously challenged the
established paradigms for operational amplifier (op-amp) design. As the feature size of CMOS devices keeps shrinking, enabling yet faster speeds, the
supply voltage is scaled down to enhance device reliability and to reduce
power consumption. The expressions for a short channel MOSFET transition frequency(fT ) and open loop gain (gm r0 ) are given as [1]
fT

Vov
L

(1.1)

L
(1.2)
Vov
where Vov , L, gm are the overdrive voltage, channel length, transconductance and output resistance respectively for a MOSFET
From Equations 1.1 and 1.2, it can be observed that downward scaling
in gate length results in a larger (fT ), and hence faster transistors. But the
higher speed comes at the cost of a reduction in transistors open loop gain.
Hence the amplifiers designed with scaled processes exhibit larger bandwidths
but lower open loop gains. Also with device scaling the supply voltage has
also been continually reduced. However, the threshold voltage of transistors
doesnt scale well in order to keep transistor leakage under control. This
will eventually preclude gain enhancing techniques like cascoding (vertically
gm r0

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques


stacking transistors to increase gain) of transistors and gain-enhancement by
employing amplifiers in cascode configuration [1]. Figure 1.1 displays the
trend in scaling of transistor supply voltage (VDD) and digital and analog
threshold voltages with process technology or production year. The trends
have been compiled by combining data from the 2006 ITRS report update
[2] and the predictive sub-45nm device modeling [3].

Figure 1.1: Trends for transistor supply and threshold voltage scaling with
advancement in CMOS process technology [2] and [3].
From Figure 1.1, it can be observed that the NMOS transistor threshold
voltage (VTHN) is not projected to scale while the VDD will scale down
continually. Also the VDD for digital process is set to scale more than the
analog VDD, which will make seamless integration of analog circuits difficult
in digital processes.
Figure 1.2 shows the reduction in open-loop gain with process scaling.
The open loop gain value of around to value in 100s in AMIs 0.5m process
has dropped to 10s in the sub-100 nm processes. Also with scaling, the
process variations become more pronounced as indicated by the expression
1
given by [2]
for the threshold-voltage mismatch LW
V T H

1
LW

Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, B.V.B.C.E.T., Hubli - 31.

(1.3)

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 1.2: Trends for transistor open-loop gain with CMOS process technology progression [2] and [3].
This leads to significant random offsets in op-amps due to the device
mismatches.
Figure 1.3 shows the projected enhancement in the peak fT of the devices
in upcoming CMOS process technologies, which is a desirable progression.
Now, for an N bit resolution ADC, the open loop DC gain (AOLDC) of the
op-amp required is given as

1.1

Problem Statement

To design the high speed two stage operational amplifier with different types
of compensation techniques like nulling resistor, voltage buffer and current
buffer liwith UGB of 1GHz and dc gain of 55dB and compare the results.
The design is to be implemented using 130nm technology in MentorGraphics
tool.
Tool: MentorGraphics Pyxis Schematic tool, Maxima

Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, B.V.B.C.E.T., Hubli - 31.

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 1.3: Trends for transistor transition frequency (fT) with CMOS process technology progression.

1.2

Objective of the Project

To design the low power, high speed two stage operation amplifier with different types of compensation techniques in 130nm technology.
Performance of an op amp depends on numerous electrical characteristics
e.g., GBW,slew rate common mode range output swing offset etc. Two stage
operational amplifier are often used to achieve both high dc gain and large
output voltage swing. These op amps require frequency compensation. A
current buffer in series with miller capacitor is one of the possible solutions.
It is very efficient both for PSRR and GBW and does not reduce the op amp
output swing unlike the voltgae buffer approach. This approach also gives
a trade off between power consumption and area of compensation circuit
by reducing the required value of compensation capacitor which suited well
where the heavy capacitive load must be driven. Ability to use smaller Cc
provides a higher degree of freedom in trading noise performance with power
consumption .
.

Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, B.V.B.C.E.T., Hubli - 31.

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

1.3

Methodology

Literature survey of the amplifier architectures is carried out after going


through various papers. All the devices used in the design were characterized
and the required parameters like threshold voltage Vth ,VDS and VGS of a
transistor were extracted. After under-standing the working of amplifier,
basic circuits were simulated with ideal conditions and specifications. Later
with these specifications, the circuits are designed in MentorGraphics and
simulated using Edlo tool. The schematic and symbol representation for
major units of amplifier namely differential amplifier, current mirror is done
and the behaviour of each unit is verified by AC analysis.

1.4

Organization of the report

Chapter 1 - Deals with the project definition, objective and specifications of


the project.
Chapter 2 - Gives the Literature Survey of different types of compensation
techniques.
Chapter 3 - This chapter deals with Compensation strategy and origin of the
positive zero
Chapter 4 - Deals with the design of the two stage op amp with the different
types of compensation techniques.
Chapter 5 - Deals with the Layout design concepts.
Chapter6 - This chapter deals with Result Analysis of different types of compensation techniques and compared there results.

Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, B.V.B.C.E.T., Hubli - 31.

Chapter 2
Literature Survey
2.1

Introduction

Feedback is a powerful technique that finds wide application in analog circuits. The high gain from amplifiers ensures the closed loop transfer characteristics with negative feedback are independent of the Op Amp gain. However, an adequate gain is a key requirement to utilize this technique.

2.2

Feedback circuit theory

Figure 2.1 shows a general negative feedback system [7], where H(s) and G(s)
are called the feedforward and the feedback networks, respectively. Since the
output of G(s) is equal to G(s)Y(s), the input to H(s), called the feedback
error and output are given by
E(s) = X(s) G(s)Y (s)

(2.1)

Y (s) = H(s)[X(s) G(s)Y (s)]

(2.2)

H(s)
Y (s)
=
X(s)
1 + G(s)H(s)

(2.3)

Thus

The quantity H(s) is the open loop transfer function and Y(s)/X(s) is the
closed loop transfer function. H(s) represents the operational amplifier and
6

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.1: General negative feedback


G(s) is a frequency independent quantity. In other words, a fraction of the out
signal is sensed and compared with the input and generating an error term.
In negative feedback system, the error term is minimized, thereby making
the output of G(s) an accurate copy of the input and hence the output of the
system is an accurate replica of the input [7]. Feedback circuits provide gain
desensitization, i.e. the closed loop gain is much less sensitive to the open
loop gain [5]. This property can be quantified as following
A
1
1
Y
=
(1
)
X
1 + A

(2.4)

where A and are the low frequency gain of H(s) and G(s) respectively,
and the dc gain A >> 1. It can be noted that the closed-loop gain is
determined, to the first order by the feedback factor, . More importantly,
even if the open-loop gain, A, varies by a factor of 2, Y/X varies by a small
percentage because 1/(A) << 1. The quantity A is called the loop gain.
The loop gain plays an important role in feedback system. As seen from
Equation 2.4 that the higher A is, the less sensitive Y/X will be to the
variation in A. From another perspective, the accuracy of the closed-loop gain
improves as the open loop gain or feedback factor are maximized. However,
as the feedback factor is increased, the closed loop gain decreases Y/X1/,
so there is an inherent trade-off between precision and the closed loop gain.
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Negative feedback also exhibit effects on the bandwidth of the amplifier.


Certain configurations of a feedback amplifier extend the closed bandwidth
of the amplifier beyond the open loop amplifier. Assuming the feedforward
amplifier in Figure 2.1 has a single transfer function as given below
A0
(2.5)
1 + s0
where A0 denotes the low frequency gain and 0 is the 3-dB bandwidth.
The transfer function of the closed loop system can then be expressed as
H(s) =

0
Y (s)
1+A0
=
s
X(s)
1 + (1+A
0 )0

(2.6)

The numerator in Equation 2.6 is the closed loop low frequency gain
equivalent Equation 2.4. The denominator provides the location of the pole
at (1 + A0 )0 Comparing this to Equation 2.5 the 3-dB bandwidth has
increased by a factor of (1+A0 ). The extended bandwidth comes at the cost
of proportional reduction in the gain as the product of gain and bandwidth
is a constant for such an operational amplifier. Another very important
property of negative feedback is the suppression of nonlinearity in analog
circuits [8]. Nonlinearity can be regarded as the variation of the small signal
gain with the input dc level. Negative feedback keeps the overall closed
loop gain nearly constant and almost independent of the amplifier open loop
gain. Therefore negative feedback circuits reduce distortion resulting from
the change in the slope of the amplifier transfer curve. Mathematical analysis
of the effect of a feedback system on nonlinearity of a circuit is very complex
and can be found in [3, 5].

2.3

Stability of Feedback Systems

Negative feedback finds diverse application in processing of analog signals.


The properties of feedback described in section 2.2 allow precise operations
by suppressing variations of the open loop characteristics. However, feedback
systems suffer from potential instability, that is, they may oscillate.
Considering the negative feedback system shown in Figure 2-2 the closed
loop transfer function can be written as

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.2: Basicl negative feedback

H(s)
Y (s)
=
X(s)
1 + H(s)

(2.7)

IfH(s = j1 ) = 1, then from observing Equation 2.6 the gain goes


to infinity and the circuit starts to amplify its own noise until it eventually
begins to oscillate. This condition can be expressed as
|H(j1 )| = 1
6

H(j1 ) = 1800

which are called the Barkhausens Criteria. It can be observed that the
total phase shift around the loop at 1 is 3600 because the negative feedback
introduces itself a 1800 of phase shift. The 3600 of phase shift is required
for oscillation as the noise has to shift by 1800 to be in phase with the
signal to add. The other condition on loop gain being unity or greater is
required to enable the growth of the oscillation amplitude. The condition
necessary and sufficient for negative feedback stability is that all the poles of
the feedback system are have a negative and real part. This from Laplaces
criteria translates to the poles being on the left half side of the plane. It may
be difficult to analyze the stability of a complex system from looking at the
closed loop poles of the system, since finding the zeros of the denominator1 +
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

A(s) may be complicated. It would be therefore much useful if the closed


loop stability could be predicted from observing the open loop response of
the amplifier.
The concept of phase margin for an open loop amplifier is good indicator
of the stability of the closed loop system. From the Nyquist criterion If
|A(j)| > 1 at the frequency where ph A(j) = 1800 , then the amplifier
is unstable. Figure 2-3 shows the loop gain magnitude |A(j)| is unity at
frequency 0 . At this frequency the phase of A(j) has not reached 1800
for the case shown, and using the Nyquist criterion state we conclude that
this feedback loop is stable.//

Figure 2.3: Amplifier gain and phase versus frequency showing the phase
margin
As |A(j)| is made closer to unity at the frequency where ph A(j) =
1800 , the amplifier has a smaller margin of stability, and this can be specified in two ways [9]. The most common is the phase margin, which is defined
as follows: Phase margin = 1800 + (ph A(j) at frequency where |A(j)| =
1). The phase margin is indicated in Figure 2-3 and must be greater than 00
for stability. [3]
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

2.4

Basic Frequency Compensation Techniques


of Operational Amplifier

The single stage amplifiers are inherently stable and typically have excellent
frequency response assuming the gain bandwidth is ten times higher than
the single pole. However, single stage amplifiers suffer from low dc gain and
is even less for submicron CMOS transistors. In general, Op Amps require
at least two gain stages which introduce multiple poles in the frequency response. The poles contribute to the negative phase shift and may cause 6 F A
to reach 1800 before the unity gain frequency. Therefore due to insufficient
phase margin the circuit would oscillate. Thus the amplifier circuit needs to
be modified to increase the phase margin and stabilize the closed loop circuit.
This process is called gcompensationh. By intuition, two different approaches
may be taken to stabilize the loop. The more straightforward approach way
is make the gain drop faster in order for the phase shift to be less than 1800
at the unity gain frequency. This approach achieves stability by reducing the
bandwidth of the amplifier and the most popular pole splitting method uses
this procedure. Another compensation method pushes the phase crossover
frequency out by decreasing the total phase shift. In this particular case the
total number of poles needs to be reduced while still maintaining the dc gain.
This is achieved by introducing zeros into the open and close loop transfer
function to cancel the poles, or using feedforward paths to improve the phase
margin without narrow-banding the bandwidth as much as the pole splitting
does.

2.4.1

Parallel Compensation

Parallel compensation is a classical way to compensate the Op Amp. A


capacitor is connected in parallel to the output resistance of a gain stage of
the operational amplifier to modify the pole. It is not commonly used in the
integrated circuit due to the large capacitance value required to compensate
the Op amp, which considerable die area.

2.4.2

Pole Splitting Single Miller Compensation (SMC)

Early in 1967, Widlar designed the LM101/741 [18] op amp which employed
the pole splitting frequency compensation method. This method was first

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

used in Bipolar architecture and widely imitated in later CMOS op amp


designs. In 1974, Solomon reported a tutorial study on the monolithic op amp
[2] and discussed the pole splitting technique. By putting a compensation
capacitor between the input and output nodes of the second inverting stage
of the op amp, the dominant pole is created due to Miller [15] feedback. This
method maintains a high midband gain for the op amp since the capacitor
does not affect the dc response of the amplifier. Fig. 2.3 shows the standard
SMC topology.

Figure 2.4: SMC


As the transistor gain of the second stage increases, the dominant pole
de- creases and the nondominant pole increases. In this way the two poles are
being split apart and stabilize the feedback amplifiers by greatly narrowing
the bandwidth. This simple pole splitting method also introduces a right
half plane zero which causes negative phase shift, as a result, the stability
is made a little poorer. The zero comes from the direct feedthrough of the
input to the output through the Miller capacitor. To eliminate the RHP zero
due to the feedthrough and increase the phase margin of the op amp, lead
compensation which adds a nulling resistor in series with the com- pensation
capacitor (SMCNR) to increase the impedance of the feedthrough path is
reported [4, 15]. Leung and Mok investigated the effect of the nulling resistor
to the positions of the poles as well as that of the zero and pointed out the pole

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

splitting would break down if the resistor becomes too big. When the resistor
gets very large, there is no pole splitting since the compensation capacitor is
actually open circuit. Fig. 2.4 shows the popular SMCNR structure.

Figure 2.5: SMCNR

2.5

Other Multistage Operational Amplifier


Compensation Techniques

Many gain boosting schemes have been reported [5] to improve the gain.
In general, these gain enhancing designs require more complicated circuit
structure and a larger power supply voltage, but generate smaller output
swing. As a result, multiple stage amplifiers might be more suitable for
low power, low voltage, high density analog circuit designs. The frequency
response of the multistage amplifier is not as good as that of the single stage
and this amplifier has a higher probability of oscillation in feedback circuits.
One popular way to predict the closed loop stability is by measuring the
phase margin of the open loop gain response. PM must be greater than 00
for no oscillation to occur. A good performing amplifier will need a PM of
about 450 to 600 . Otherwise, the amplifier may exhibit ringing in the time
domain and peaking in the frequency domain [15].
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

2.5.1

Nested Miller Compensation (NMC) and the Variants

Multistage amplifiers have more poles and zeros than do single stage amplifiers. The frequency response and time response are far more complicated
than those of the single stage op amps. As a result, all multistage amplifiers
suffer closed loop stability problems. Single Miller compensation is used for
the simple two-stage amplifier; while the extended version of the SMC compensation, nested Miller compensation (NMC) [15] is applied to amplifiers
with three or more stages. Because of the rapid bandwidth reduction, op
amps with more than four stages are rarely investigated. NMC exploits the
nested structure of feedback capacitors to cause the pole splitting compensation. There are some drawbacks related to the NMC approach. The total of
N-1 nested compensation capacitors must be placed between the dominant
node and the other nodes to split the individual poles from the dominant
output pole to stabilize an N stage op amp.Fig. 2.5 shows the structure of
a three stage NMC op amp. The nesting topology of the compensation capacitor reduces the bandwidth substantially [5]. The specific configuration
requires the compound noninverting gain stages to connect to the inverting
output stage in order to secure negative feedback for the nested compensation loops. The necessity to drive the compensation capacitors along with
the capacitive load requires the output stage to have a high transconductance
to attain wide bandwidth and high slew rate. Consequently, elevated power
consumption is unavoidable especially for large load capacitor.
To address the bandwidth degradation problem, the variations of the
NMC are developed. NMC using nulling resistor (NMCNR) [4, 15], reversed
nested Miller compensation (RNMC) [19], multipath NMC (MNMC) [5],
hybrid NMC (HNMC) [5], nested Gm-C compensation (NGCC) have been
presented. RNMC improves the bandwidth over NMC by the reversed compensation topology compared to NMC as shown in Fig. 2.6. The RNMC
technique sets the second gain stage negative and the output stage positive.
The Miller capacitor loop is around the second stage without connection to
the considerable output capacitive load. HNMC combines the NMC and the
RNMC topological properties in a multistage (above three) op amp. In this
circumstance, the circuit could consist of only inverting amplifier except for
the input stage. The difference between NMC and MNMC is the added feedforward amplifier stage -Af1 connected between the input of the first stage
and the input of the last stage of the multistage op amp as shown in Fig.
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.6: NMC


2.7.
The feedforward stage added can produce a LHP zero to counteract the
second nondominant pole to broaden the bandwidth. The increased circuit
complexity and power consumption should be considered. Moreover, the pole
zero doublets may seriously degrade the settling time of the amplifier.
The difference between NGCC and MNMC is that NGCC replicates the
feed- forward Gm (N-1) times for an N stage op amp recursively as shown in
Fig. 2.8 . Compared to MNC, NGCC has simpler stability conditions due
to the much simpler transfer function which makes the op amp design more
facile.
The basic idea of most of these variations of the NMC schemes is not
to drop the overall bandwidth of the multistage amplifiers by the pole zero
cancellation in the passband caused by the feedforward path of the multipath
topology. All of those compensation techniques mentioned above use Miller
capacitors whose sizes are related to the load capacitor value. The required
sizes of the compensation capacitors would escalate with larger capacitive
loads which make these techniques not suitable for low area need. The experimental results of the varied versions of NMC showed that the bandwidth
does not get improved significantly for considerable capacitive loads [19].

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.7: RNMC

2.5.2

Single Miller FeedForward Compensation (SMFFC)

Many compensation techniques mentioned above are not suitable for large
load capacitors. The demand for lower power consumption, lower chip integration area, capability for driving large capacitive loads, and stable high gain
bandwidth of amplifiers calls for improved frequency compensation patterns.
The topologies using a single Miller capacitor in three stage amplifiers could
greatly reduce the needed sizes of the compensation capacitors compared to
NMC related schemes and result in amplifiers with smaller chip area. The
presented SMFFC and the modified SMC with the additional feedforward
path from the output of the first stage to the output load stage are designed
for a particular three stage amplifier specifically in the case of large capacitive loads. The topology of the SMFFC op amp is represented in Fig. 2.9.
Instead of using pole zero cancellation, SMC with one forward path adopts
the separate pole approach [12] for compensation in the situation of large
capacitive loads.SMFFC employs two forward paths and provide a LHP zero
to compensate the first nondominant pole to alleviate the bandwidth reduction and improve the phase margin. The strictly rational selection of gains
among the three stages is the key point for this SMFFC scheme. For the gain
distribution like Av1 >> Av2 >= Av3, the second and third poles of the
amplifier would be placed at higher frequencies that lead to a coarse single

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.8: MNMC


pole system for an easier frequency compensation strategy. The appropriate
selection of the moderate gain of the second stage will then decrease the compensation capacitor size. Unfortunately, this method does not truly resolve
the compressed gain bandwidth issue due to the super high gain of the first
stage and the nature of the pole separation. Gain enhanced feedforward path
compensation (GFPC) [10] is much like the modified SMC version with one
feedforward path, but for two stage amplifiers.

2.5.3

Nonstandard NMC Schemes

The nonstandard NMC topologies have been investigated to deal with the
drawbacks with the NMC and MNMC in order to be able to drive large
capacitive loads. The reported strategies include damping factor control frequency compensation (DFCFC) [3], embedded RC compensation (ERC) [2],
active feedback frequency compensation (AFFC) [31], and dual loop parallel
compensation (DLPC) [32, 33]. The ERC duplicates the RC compensation
process N-2 times for an N stage op amp. ERC compensation circuits do
not load the output stage as NGCC circuit do. The noninverting gain stages
are not necessary in ERC as in NMC or the standard vari- ations of NMC.
ERC topology extends the bandwidth via the zero pole cancellation through
the embedded compensation network without connection to the output load.
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.9: NGCC


Usually ERC uses a low gain, high conductance output stage to have the
similar load- ing isolation benefit as the buffer output stage of the Widlar architecture.DFCFC can substantially improve the bandwidth of a three stage
amplifier with good fre- quency and transient responses when driving large
capacitive loads. But it is not so effective for small capacitive load applications. Some other compensation methods turn out to be more suitable than
DFCFC when driving a small capacitive load.

2.5.4

No Capacitor Feed Forward (NCFF)

One feedforward compensation scheme for multistage operational transconductance amplifiers with no Miller capacitors is proposed by Thandri and
Silva- Martinez [3]. This NCFF method applies the feedforward path as
shown in Fig. 2.10 to create LHP zeros. By using the positive phase shift of
LHP zeros to cancel the negative phase shift of the poles, a high gain, high
bandwidth amplifier with a good phase margin is developed. Thandri does
mention some design considerations of the NCFF in the paper. For example,
the feedforward and second stage must place the nondominant poles after the
overall unity gain frequency of the amplifier to alle- viate phase deduction;
the pole zero cancellation should happen at high frequencies to achieve better
time domain response. Some other constraints of the NCFF scheme not
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.10: SMFFC


directly specified in the paper should also be recognized.The NCFF is not
suit- able for big capacitive loads as a result of the main design consideration
mentioned. The transient response might be degraded severely by the polezero doublets. A good performing amplifier should have both good frequency
response and transient response. The complexity of the presence of extra
poles and zeros can cause the design of the NCFF scheme to be very difficult
and the undesired low frequency pole-zero doublets may lengthen the settling
time of the amplifier or even make the closed loop unstable.

2.5.5

Negative Miller Capacitance Compensation (NMCC)

The negative Miller capacitance compensates high speed CMOS op amps that
consists of an operational transconductance amplifier (OTA) and a buffer.
The buffer with a dc gain of A is used to detach the OTA from the load.
The OTA is compensated with a capacitor Cc connected between the input
and output of the buffer. Assuming the op amp drives a load with a parallel
combination of a resistor RL and a capacitor CL. the effective capacitance
seen at the input of the buffer is Cin = Cc(1-A) and Cout = CL+Cc(11/A) at the output of the buffer. Since the gain of the buffer is positive and
smaller than one, the reflected Miller capacitor Cc(1- 1/A) at the output will
be negative. The total effective output capacitance is reduced to be smaller
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 2.11: NCFF


than the original load capacitance due to the negative Miller capacitance.
NMCC can be applied to drive a large capacitive load. The experimental
results show that the NMCC design shifts the first nondominant pole to a
higher frequency while keeping the position of the dominant pole almost the
same. This NMCC scheme could increase both the bandwidth and phase
margin. Comer et al. [3] proposed a CMOS amplifier bandwidth extension
method by utilizing a negative capacitance circuit. Negative capacitance can
be generated by active circuitry using the Miller effect. The limitations of
current IC technolo- gies restrain the use of inductors and only small capacitors are available. With the innovative negative capacitor idea, compensation
practice could shape the frequency response with more freedom.

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20

Chapter 3
Operational Amplifier
Compensation Strategy
The two stage Operational Transconductance Amplifier(OTA) is a widely
used analog building block.Indeed,it identifies a very simple and robist topology which provides good values for most of its electrical parameters such as
dc gain, output swing, linearity, CMRR, etc. To avoid closed loop instability, frequency compensation is a necessary in op amp design. For two stage
CMOS op amp, the simplest compensation technique is to connect a capacitor across the high gain stage.This results in the pole splitting phenomena
which improves the closed loop stability significantly.However , due to feedforward path through the miller capacitor, a right half plane (RHP) zero id
also created.
An uncompensated right half plane zero drastically reduces the maximum
achievable GBW, since it makes a negative phase contribution to the open
loop gain at a relatively high frequency. In order to compensate the right half
plane zero, an appropriate design approach is essential.Such a zero can be
nullified if the compensation capacitor is connected in conjunctin with either
a nullifying resistor or a common gate current buffer.After compensation of
right half plane zero, the maximum gain bandwidth is limited by second pole.

21

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

3.1

Origin of Right half Plane Zero

To understand what a positive zero means, we have to compare the effect on


the phase of a positive zero, with that of a negative zero which is shown in
Figure 3.1. There is no need to have a second-order system for this purpose.
A first-order system can be taken as well. The Bode diagrams are sketched
for a first-order system with one single pole and one single zero. In the
second case the zero is positive. Both have obviously the same amplitude.
Consequently, amplitudes are not affected by signs.
They have a very different phase characteristic, however. In the first Bode
diagram the phase returns to zero for high frequencies. For the second diagram however, for a positive zero, the phase goes to 1800 . This is like having
a second pole, rather than a zero! This completely ruins our phase margin!!!
We have tried to limit the phase contribution of the non-dominant pole to
about 200 by carefully locating this non-dominant pole beyond the GBW. A
positive zero now shows up, which brings in another 900 . This will ruin the
phase margin. Moreover, the larger we make the compensation capacitance
Cc, the more this zero shifts to lower frequencies. Large values of Cc are
therefore not allowed.

Figure 3.1: Effect of positive zero and negative zero


In order to understand how we can abolish the positive zero, we have to
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques


try to understand what its origin is, which adds another 900 phase shift. This
is a result of the feedforward through the compensation capacitance. Indeed,
the compensation capacitance is bidirectional after all, as most capacitances.
This means that feedback current and feedforward current flow at the same
time.
The feedback current is the Miller effect current from output to input as
shown in Figure 3.2. It flows between two nodes which are opposite in phase.
The feedforward current is only easy to see when we leave out the amplifier
itself. We now notice a feedforward current through Cc which causes a small
output signal which is in phase with the input. This is the current which
causes the zero. It is a positive zero because it provides an output signal
which is of opposite phase compared with the amplified output signal. To
abolish this positive zero, we have to make that compensation capacitance
unidirectional. In other words, we have to put a transistor in series, which
cuts the feedforward path.

Figure 3.2: Origin of positive zero


Various techniques for the compensation of the right half plane zero in
two stage CMOS op amp have been proposed and as well adopted. A compensation technique was proposed which uses nulling resistor in series with
the compensation capacitor. In an another solution a voltage buffer is introducted in compensation branch which breaks the forward path. Both current

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

and voltage buffers can be adopted for compensation of the right half plane
zero due to their advantages over nulling resistor as it is more sensitive to
process and temperature variation.

3.2

Different types of Compensation Techniques

The three different types of compensation techniques are


1.Nulling resistor
2.Voltage buffer
3.Current buffer

3.2.1

Nulling resistor

The most popular compensation technique is that based on the nulling resistor, since it can be implementated using only an MOS transistor biased in
the triode region. In this approach the left half plane zero introduced by the
nulling resistor Rc in Figure 3.3
fz =

gm5
1
2 (gm5 Rc 1)Cc

(3.1)

Figure 3.3: Nulling resistor


It is not so easy, however, to match a resistor to a gm value. Especially
if the resistor is realized by means of a MOST in the linear region, then the
matching is more difficult. There is a simple solution to this problem, however. We increase the size of the resistor. This zero now turns into a negative
zero. In other words the minus sign in the expression of the zero compensates the minus sign in the gain expression. This negative zero is positioned
between the negative poles and can therefore be used to compensate one of
them.
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

3.2.2

Voltage Buffer

The adoption of an ideal voltage buffer (i.e., with zero output resistance) to
compensate the right half plane zero gives the same second pole as in resistor
technique and hence the same UGB. Usually the simple common drain in
Figure 3.4 is employed and connected between nodes. Taking into account for
the finite output resistance of the buffer which is about equal to 1/gm9, the
compensation branch introduces a left half plane zero at f z = gm9/2Cc.
The approach based on nulling resistor and voltage buffer give the same
compensation capacitor and hence the same GBW. However, a voltage buffer
in the compensation branch greatly reduces the output swing preventing its
use in many practical cases.

Figure 3.4: Voltage Buffer

3.2.3

Current Buffer

The compensation based on current buffer as shown in Figure 3.5 is very


efficient both for GBW and the PSRR performance. It also does not have
the drawback of the voltage buffer which reduces the output swing.
In this design approach value of Cc is much smaller. The ability to use
smaller provides a hig her degree of freedom in trading noise performance

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

with power consumption.For this purpose, the common gate in Figure 3.5
can be used.

Figure 3.5: Current Buffer

3.3

Advantages and Disadvantages with Current Buffer

Advantages:
1. Good GBW.
2. High PSRR.
3. Improved slew rate.
4. Area efficient(low Cc).
5. Power and area trade off.
6. Does not reduce output swing like voltage buffer.
Disadvantages:
1. Increased offset.
2. Additonal biasing current is required.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

3.4

Specification

The Specification of the two stage Op Amp with compensation techniques is


given in Table 3.1:

Table 3.1: Specification


Parameter
Target
Supply Voltage
1.8V
Vin,cm
1.2V
DC Gain
> 55dB
UGB
> 1GHz
PM
60deg
Settling Time
< 3ns
CL
1pF
Technology
130nm

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27

Chapter 4
Two stage operational amplifier
compensation techniques
4.1

Introduction

Two stage op-amps have been the dominant amplifier topologies used in
analog system design due their simple frequency compensation and relaxed
stability criterions. The two-stage op-amps have conventionally been compensated using Miller compensation or Direct Compensation technique. Figure 4.1 the shows block diagram of a twostage op-amp. The op-amp consists
of a diff-amp as the input stage. The second (gain) stage is biased by the
output of the diff-amp which is followed by an output buffer. The optional
output buffer is used to provide a current gain when driving a large capacitive
or resistive load [3].

4.2

Miller Capacitance

Before compensation, the poles of the two-stage cascade are given as,p1 =
1
and p2 = R21C2 , where Rk,Ck are the resistances and capacitances
R1 C1
respectively at nodes is employed to achieve pole splitting. In this technique,
the compensation capacitor (Cc) is connected between the output of the first
and second stages. The compensation capacitor splits the input and output
poles apart thus obtaining the dominant and non-dominant poles which are
spaced far away from each other [18],[6]. However, Miller compensation also
introduces a right-half-plane (RHP) zero due to the feed-forward current
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.1: Block diagram showing general structure of a two-stage op-amp


from the output of the first stage to the op-amps output. Figure 4.2 shows
the small signal model for twostage opamp used for nodal analysis.
The small signal transfer function for a Miller compensation two-stage
opamp is given as,
(1 zs1 )
V out
= gm1 R1 gm2 R2
Vs
(1 ps1 ) (1

s
)
p2

(4.1)

The RHP zero is located at


z1 =

gm2
Cc

(4.2)

The dominant pole is located at


1
gm2 R2 R1 Cc
and the non dominant pole is located at
p1 =

p2 =

gm2 Cc
gm2

CcC1 + C1C2 + CcC2


C1 + C2

(4.3)

(4.4)

The open-loop gain of the op-amp is given asAv = gm1 R1 gm2 R2 , while the
gm1
unity gain frequency (or gain-bandwidth) is given as U GB = 2Cc
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.2: Small signal model for nodal analysis of Miller compensation of
a two-stage op-amp.
The pole splitting for the two-stage op-amp due to Miller compensation
is illustrated
Figure 4-4 shows the frequency response of the Miller compensated twostage opamp. Since the phase contribution due to the RHP zero is given
as tan1 ffz1 it degrades phase margin of the op-amp from 900 and leads
to instability when the second pole moves closer to the unity-gain frequency
(UGB). Hence, not only the RHP zero flattens out the magnitude response
by cancelling the dominant pole roll-off, which is required to stabilize the
op-amp, it also decreases the phase margin which makes the op-amp stabilization difficult.
Upon closer analysis of the origin of the RHP zero, the compensation
current (ic), flowing across the compensation capacitor (Cc) from output
node to node-1, is given as ic= sCc(vout v1) = sCcvout sCcv1.The feedforward component of this current,iff = sCcv1, flows from node-1 to the
output, and the feed-back component, ifb = sCcvout, flows from the output
to node-1. The feed-forward current, iff, depends upon voltage v1, and so
does the current at the output(=(gm2- sCc)v1).When the total current at
2
) , a RHP
the output equals zero (i.e. frequency corresponding to z1 = gm
Cc
zero appears in the transfer function. This RHP zero can be eliminated by
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.3: Pole-zero plot for a two-stage op-amp demonstrating pole splitting due to the Miller capacitor
blocking the feed-forward compensation current, while allowing the feed-back
component of the compensation current to achieve pole splitting [8].

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.4: Frequency response of the Miller compensation two-stage op-amp


Several methods have been suggested in [7] and [6] to cancel the RHP
zero in the two-stage op-amp and are described in the following sub-sections.
A Miller compensated two-stage op-amp has been implemented with schematic
as shown in Figure 4.5. The high speed op-amps have been designed to drive
a typical load of 1pF. The op amp is designed in the 130nm technology in
MentorGraphics.
The following sub-sections discuss methods widely used to eliminate
the detrimental effects of the RHP zero on the phase margin in the Miller
compensated op-amps.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.5: A Miller compensated two-stage op-amp

4.2.1

Zero nulling resistor

A common method to cancel the RHP zero is to use a zero nulling resistor
in series with the compensation capacitance, as shown in Figure 4.6.
Small signal model of OTA
The below Figure shows the small signal model of the two stage OTA with
the nulling resistor.The circuit has the following nodal equations.
gm1 V in +

gm2 V 1 +

V1
sCc
+ sC1V 1 + (
(V 1 V out)) = 0
R1
1 + sCcRz

V0
sCc
+ sC2V out + (
(V out V 1)) = 0
R2
1 + sCcRz

(4.5)

(4.6)

These equations can be solved to give


V out
a[1 s((Cc/gm2) RzCc)]
=
V in
1 + bs + cs2 + ds3

(4.7)

where

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.6: Miller compensated op-amp with zero nulling resistor

a = gm1 R1 gm2 R2
b = (C2 + Cc)R2 + (C1 + Cc)R1 + gm2 R1R2Cc + RzCc
c = [R1R2(C1C2 + CcC1 + CcC2) + RzCc(R1C1 + R2C2)]
d = R1R1RzC1C2Cc
If Rz is assumed to be less than R1 or R2 and the poles are widely spaced,
then the roots of the above transfer function can be approximated as
p1 =

1
1

(1 + gm2R2)R1Cc
gm2R2R1Cc

(4.8)

gm2Cc
gm2

C1C2 + CcC1 + CcC2


C2

(4.9)

1
RzC1

(4.10)

1
Cc(1/gm1 Rz)

(4.11)

p2 =

p3 =
and
z1 =

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.7: Small signal model of two stage op-amp with zero nulling resistor
For Rz=1/gm2, the zero is pushed to infinity and for Rz1/gm2, the zero
appears in the left half plane (LHP). Thus for Rz=2/gm2, the RHP zero is
converted to an LHP zero of the same frequency location as that of the RHP
zero. A LHP zero helps in improving the phase margin of the opamp and
enhances stability.
A third pole is introduced at p3 which is far away from the second pole,
p2, as C1 << C2 and Rz = 1/gm2 [6]. The location of the zero may vary
depending upon the process variations in the resistor Rz, but this scheme
is effective enough to keep the RHP zero from degrading the phase margin.
The resistor Rz can be implemented using a transistor in triode region, and
can be made to track the value of 1/gm2 and cancel the RHP zero. However
the biasing of this triode transistor may require additional power [4].
The small signal frequency response for this circuit is shown in Figure
4.8. Here we can observe the improvement in phase margin (PM) from 750
to 890 by using the zero nulling resistor.
Maximum amd Minium Rz
In order to be effective, we have to position this zero close to the GBW, for
example at 10 times the GBW where the nondominant poles are. This yields
a new expression for Rz, which is now related to gm1 instead of gm2. We
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.8: Frequency response of the Miller compensated two-stage op-amp


with zero nulling resistor
simply position Rz between both the values obtained, with preference to be
closer to 1/10gm1.
Let us assume that z=10UGB
We know that
z1 =

1
Cc(1/gm1 Rz)

10U GB =

1
Cc(1/gm1 Rz)

(4.12)
(4.13)

By solving the above equation we get


1
1
< Rz <
gm2
10gm1

(4.14)

Optimum Design for High speed Miller OTA


The goal is to find out what maximum GBW can be reached within a certain
CMOS technology. Also, we want to find the shortest way to design this
OTA. First of all, a number of design choices have to be made. They have all
been previously used. We list them again and introduce design parameters
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

, and . The maximum GBW can now easily be described as a fraction


of the non-dominant pole. Also, note that CL can be described in terms of
the width of the output transistor. Obviously, the larger the CL, the more
current we will need to drive it, and the larger the transistor width becomes.
We know
p2 =

gm2Cc
C1CL + CLCc + CcCL

(4.15)

gm2
1
C1
2CL Cc + 1

(4.16)

Therefore
p2 =
Assume

CL = Cc
Cc = C1 = Cgs2
p2 = GBW
p2
gm2
GBW =
=

2CL
GBW =

1
+1

2Cox(V gs V t)
1
2KL2
( 1 + 1)

therefore

(V gs V t)2
L2
From the above equation we can see that the maximum GBW does not
depend on the load capacitance.
Actually, increasing the load capacitance increases the width of the output
transistor and its current. The speed of the output transistor mainly depends
on its length.
The speed of a MOST is better represented by parameter fT. This is why we
now try to substitute the transistor parameters VGS-VT and L by parameter
fT.
GBW

Design Procedure
The design procedure in a broader sense involves the following sequence of
steps. Firstly selecting a specific topology, secondly determining the DC
currents, thirdly calculating the W/L ratios of each transistor, at the end
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

deciding the passive component values used in the circuit.


The design procedure assumes that the DC gain(Av), unity-gain bandwidth (GB), Input common-mode range[Vin(min) and Vin(max)], Load capacitance(CL), slew rate(SR), Settling Time(Ts), Output voltage swing[Vout(max)
and Vout(min)] and Power dissipation(Pdiss) are given.
1.The smallest device length that will keep the channel modulation parameter constant and give good matching for current mirrors has been chosen.
2. From the desired phase margin, the minimum value for Cc is chosen ,that
is for a 600 phase margin. We have used the following relationship. This
assumes that z > 10GB.
Cc > 0.22CL
3. The minimum value for the tail current (I5) from the largest of the two
values is determined.
I5 = SR.Cc
4. Design of S3 from the maximum input voltage specification.

S3 =

2I3
>1
K3V DD V in(max) [V T 3(max) + V T 1(min)]2

5. The pole and zero due to Cgs3 and Cgs4 will not be dominant by assuming
pole p3 to be greater than 10GB.
gm3
> 10GB
2Cgs3
6. Design for S1(S2) to achieve desired GB
gm2
K2I5
7. Design of S5 from the minimum input voltage.First we have calculated
VDS(Sat) and then we can find S5
gm1 = GBCc > S1 = S2 =

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

S5 =

2I5
K5[V DD(Sat)]2

8. Find S6 and I6 by letting the second pole (p2) be equal to 2.2 times GB.
)
Let Vsg4=Vsg6, which gives S6 = S4( gm6
gm4
Knowing gm6 and S6 allows us to solve for I6 as I6 =

gm62
2K6S6

9. Alternate;y, I6 can be calculated by solving for S6 using

S6 =

gm6
K6V ds6(Sat)

And then using the previous relationship to find I6. The proper mirror
between M3 and M4 is no longer guranted.
10. Design of S7 to achieve the desired current ratios between I5 and I6.

S7 =

I5
S6
I6

11.The Rz is calculated as
z1 =

gm6
gm6

Cc(1 gm6Rz)
CL + C1

Therefore
Rz =

4.2.2

Cc + CL + C1
gm6Cc

Current buffer

A common-gate stage can also be used to block the feedforward current from
node- 1 to the output node-2 [4]. Figure 4.9 shows a two-stage op-amp which
is indirect compensated using a common-gate stage. The transistor MCG
acts as a common-gate amplifier which blocks the feed-forward compensation current and allows the feedback compensation current to flow indirectly

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

from the output to the internal node-1. Such topologies are analyzed in the
next section, and they significantly improve the performance of the opamps
designed. As the compensation current is fed back indirectly from the node-2
(i.e. output node) to the node-1 in order to achieve pole splitting (and hence
dominant pole compensation), the class of compensation technique is called
Indirect Feedback Frequency Compensation or simply indirect compensation.
An analysis of the common-gate stage indirect compensated op-amp topology
is provided in the next section

Figure 4.9: A two-stage op-amp with a common-gate stage to feedback the


compensation current

Small Signal Model of two stage OTA with current buffer


In order to develop an insight into indirect feedback compensation, the opamp topology indirectly compensated with common-gate stage is analyzed.
The small signal model for the common-gate stage op-amp topology is shown
in Figure 4.10
The model used for exact analysis has three nodes and hence three dependent variables, v1,vA and vout. Also in the model Vs=Vp-vin. A T-type
small signal model is used to represent the common-gate device MCG [6].
Here, the transconductance and output resistance of the common-gate device (MCG) are denoted as gmc and roc respectively. Also RA and CA are
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.10: Small signal analytical model for common-gate stage indirect
compensated two-stage op-amp
the resistance and capacitance at the low impedance node-A. On applying
nodal analysis on the model shown in Figure 4.10, we obtain the following
set of equations
gm1vs +
gm2v1 +

(v1 vA)
v1
+ v1sC1 gmcva +
=0
R1
roc

vout
+ voutsC2 + sCc(vout vA) = 0
R2

(vA v1)
vA
+ gmcvA + vAsCA +
+ sCc(vA vout) = 0
roc
RA

(4.17)
(4.18)

(4.19)

On simultaneously solving the above equations, we obtain the following


small signal transfer function
vout
b0 + b1 s
)
(4.20)
= Av(
vs
a0 + a1 s + a2 s 2 + a3 s 3
The third order transfer function given by Equation 4.20 consists of a
real LHP zero and three poles. The exact values of the transfer function
coefficients are
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Av = gm1R1gm2R2

(4.21)

b0 = (1 + gmcRA)roc + RA

(4.22)

b1 = RA[roc(Cc + CA) + gmcroc Cc/gm2]

(4.23)

a0 = (1 + gmcRA)roc + RA + R1

(4.24)

a1 = gm2R2gmcR1rocCcRA+gm2R2R1CcRA+gmcRAroc(R1C1+R2(C2+Cc))
+R1RA(Cc+CA)+RA(R1C1+R2C2)+R1R2(C2+Cc)+roc(R2Cc+RA(Cc+CA))

a2 = (gmcRA+1)R2C1R1roc(C2+Cc)+R2rocRACC(C2+CA)+R1R2CcRACA
+R2C2RA(R1)C1 + Cc + CA) + rocCA) + R1C1RA(roc(Cc + CA) + R2C2).
a3 = R1C1R2rocRA(C2CA + C2Cc + CcCA)

(4.25)

Applying yhe approximations gmkRk >> 1, C2 CL ;Cc,C2 >>


C1,CA, we obtain the following modified transfer function coefficients,
b0 gmcRAroc
b1 RAroc(Cc + CA)
a0 (gmcRA + 1)roc
a1 gm2R2R1rocCc(gmcRA + 1)
a2 (gmcRA+1)R2C1R1roc(C2+Cc)+R2C2RA[roc(Cc+CA)+R1(Cc+CA+C1)]
a3 R1C1R2rocRA(C2Ca + C2Cc + CcCA)
Using the numerator expression, we obtain the location of the zero to be
at
z1

gmc
b0
=
b1
Cc + CA

Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, B.V.B.C.E.T., Hubli - 31.

(4.26)
42

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

which is evidently an LHP zero.With the assumption that |p1 | >> |p2 |, |p3 |,
the dominant real pole is given as
1
a0
=
(4.27)
a1
gm2R2R1Cc
Now for s >> p1 , the non-dominant poles p2 and p3 are real and spaced
apart when ( aa21 )2 >> 4 aa31 , see APPENDIX or
p1 =

(a2 )2 >> 4a3 a1


The above condition is satisfied when
4gm2Cc(C2||Cc + CA)
C1(C2 + Cc)
This implies that the gm of the common-gate device (MCG) in Figure 4.9
should be large. When the condition given by above Equation is satisfied,
the non-dominant poles are given as
gmc >>

p2

a1
gm2Cc
=
a2
C1(C2 + Cc)

(4.28)

and
p3

a2
gmc
C2/C1
=

a3
CA + (C2||Cc) R1||roc(C2 + Cc||Cc)

(4.29)

The unity gain frequency of the op amp is given as


gm1
(4.30)
2Cc
The second pole of Current buffer compensation is located at gm2Cc
CLC1
gm2
while the second pole for Miller compensation was located at C1+CL
.By
comparing the two expressions, we can observe that the second pole, p2, has
moved further away from the dominant pole by a factor of approximately
Cc/C1.This factor of Cc/C1 comes to around 10s in TSMC 130nm Technology.Also the LHP zero adds to the phase response in the vicinity of UGB
and enhance the phase margin.
This implies that we can achieve pole splitting with a much lower value
of compensation capacitor (Cc) and lower value of second stage transconductance (gm2). Lower value of gm2 translates into low power design as the bias
U GB =

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

current in second stage can be much lower. Alternatively, we can set higher
value of unity-gain frequency (fun) for the op-amp without affecting stability
and hence achieving higher bandwidth and speed. Moreover, the load capacitor can be allowed to be much larger for a given phase margin [9], [10]. The
higher value of |p2| can be explained by the fact that the first stages output
(i.e. node-1) is not loaded by the compensation capacitor [6]. In short, in
can be trivially concluded that indirect feedback compensation can lead to
the design of op-amps with significantly lower power, higher speed and lower
layout area.
The third pole (p3) doesnt move to lower frequency and interact with
the second pole (p2) as long as gmc is large and R1,C1 are smaller in value.
Looking at the case when the z=UGB and non-dominant poles are close
and form a conjugate pole pair when
gmc <

4gm2Cc(C2||Cc + CA)
C1(C2 + Cc)

(4.31)

The real part of the of the conjugate pole pair(p2,3) is given as


s
r
r
a1
gm2gmc
gm2gmc
Re(p2,3 ) =
=

(4.32)
a3
C1[C2 + (1 + C2/Cc)CA]
C1C2
and the damping factor is given as
a2
1
=

2 a1 a3
2Cc

C1C2
gm2

(4.33)

Also, we can observe that,


gm2
|Re(p2,3 )| =
CL

gmcCL
gm2
>
gm2C1
CL

(4.34)

which again re-affirms the fact that the values of 1/gmc and C1 should
be small in order to move p2,3 away from p1 as farther as possible.
The below Figure shows the Frequency response of the two stage op amp
when z=UGB.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.11: Frequency response of a two-stage op-amp with a common-gate


stage when z=UGB
Design Plan
The Design procedure of two stage OTA with current buffer is same as with
the nulling resistor, the only condition is that here we are making
z = U GB
We are placing the zero exactly on the UGB so that zero adds the extra
phase margin and gm1 = gmc. Here the non dominant poles are complex
conjugate. The below Figure 4.12 shows the Design plan two stage op amp
with current buffer. The Figure 4.13 shows the pole-zero location of current
buffer compensation technique.
The gm1 is calculated through the thermal noise spectral density. The
procedure starts with the thermal noise requirement for the Op Amp. Neglecting the flicker noise requirement, which contributes to the low frequency
noise spectrum, the input referred noise voltage can be expressed as shown
in Equation 4.35.

Sn (f ) = 24kT

gm3, 4
2 1
[1 +
]
3 gm1, 2
gm1, 2

(4.35)

To minimize noise, we assume gm3,4 gm1,2 (which can be easily met)


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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.12: Pole-zero location of two stage op amp with current buffer
compensation technique
and calculate the transconductance gain of transistors M1,2 from Equation
4.36
gm1, 2 =

16 kT
3 Sn (f )

(4.36)

Input referred noise is sometimes not a critical performance specification.


In those cases, a more relaxed input referred noise voltage can be calculated
to obtain the input pair gm1,2. This requirement comes from comparing
the thermal noise of the capacitor at the output over the bandwidth of the
amplifier. This gives the following requirement
r
vno
kT /C
=
(4.37)
U GB
U GB
The input referred noise can then by a factor of 4-5 larger than the
value
q of expression in Equation 4.37. Therefore approximatelySn (f ) (4/C
5) kT
.The larger the noise specification, the smaller the transconductance
U GB
of the input pair is required.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.13: Design plan of a two-stage op-amp with a common-gate stage

4.2.3

Voltage buffer

A source follower can be used to block the feedforward compensation current


and allow the feedback compensation current to flow from the output to
the node-1. Figure 4.13 shows an op-amp topology with an NMOS source
follower. Notice the way the compensation current is fed back from the
output to the node-1 in these op-amps. These topologies eliminates the
RHP zero although at the cost of additional power and transistors. Also due
to the use of a source follower, there exists a fixed DC voltage drop, equal to
VGS (or VSG for the PMOS buffer case) in the feedback signal path. This
voltage drop reduces the output swing, as a high output swing may triode
the source follower device and break down the compensation. The location
of the first pole remains the same as in the case of Miller compensation, and
[6] The design
the second pole also remains relatively unchanged atp2 gm2
C2
procedure for voltage follower is same as the nulling resistor.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 4.14: Op-amp with an NMOS Voltage Buffer.

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48

Chapter 5
Layout Design
Today, layout design is carried out in an environment that is ever changing. The software tools and approaches, computing platforms, the companies
providing these tools, the customers we serve, the applications that are being implemented, and the market pressures we face are all changing year by
year. These changes make this industry an interesting one in which to be
involved.[19] However, lets not forget that the fundamental concepts behind
producing quality layout are based on physical and electrical properties that
never change

5.1

What is layout design

We define layout design as follows: The process of creating an accurate physical representation of an engineering drawing (netlist) that conforms to constraints imposed by the manufacturing process, the design flow, and the performance requirements shown to be feasible by simulation. Lets look at this
definition in greater detail as there are numerous implications buried within.
A process: First and foremost, layout design is a process with many
steps that should be followed in a logical order for optimal results. For example, the process of layout design may include setting up a database or
suite of tools with the appropriate layers; defining the oorplan of each cell or
chip; and/or running verification checks in the proper order.

49

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Creation: Design and creation are usually synonymous, and layout design is no exception. Implementing one schematic in two different technologies usually results in layouts that look quite different, thus demonstrating
the creative nature of the trade. In the same way, a schematic that will be
used in two different regions of the chip may result in two different architectures, adapted to their geographical location.
Accuracy: Although layout design is a creative process, we must not forget that the first requirement of the final layout must be that it is equivalent
on a transistor- by-transistor basis to the engineering drawing. Redesigning
the configuration of transis- tors to improve the circuit is not the role of the
layout designer unless you plan to take over (or already have taken over) the
circuit design task as well.
Physical representation: CMOS ICs are made using an extremely
complicated process that in the end results in tiny transistors and wires being constructed and connected on a silicon substrate. Layout design is the
art of drawing these transistors and wires as they look like in silicon; thus,
the layout can be thought of as the physical representation of the circuit.
Engineering drawing: This may sound a bit old-fashioned, but it is ac- curate.
Transistor-level or gate-level schematics : have historically been the
primary drawing and in many companies they remain so. Fancier methodologies these days result in some layout designers receiving a large text-based
file called a netlist. However, in order for humans to understand a netlist,
it is usually accompanied by a block-level schematic or drawing. Engineers
(or equivalents) are the main providers of the drawings, but as the indus- try
changes this may change as well.
Conform: By conforming, we mean meeting the requirements of and not
necessarily the smallest or best design possible. There are many trade-off to
be made in the process of design: re- liability, manufacturability, exibility,
and (perhaps most importantly) time to market, to name a few. Of course,
there are minimum requirements that have to be met, but to achieve the optimal design at the expense of the project schedule is not practical in todays
marketplace. Constraints im- posed by the manufacturing process: These
constraints include layout design rules such as the smallest width a metal
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

track can be, but also many other manufacturability or reliability guidelines
that will improve the overall quality of the layout. For example, in the case of
a metal track, a wider line may improve the manufacturability of the design
and thus should be used where space permits.
Constraints imposed by the design flow: These constraints include
guidelines established to enable all other tools that are to be used in the design ow to be able to eficiently use the completed layout. For example, some
routers like to have connections to cells on a regular pitch, while others do
not care. Another example is the methodology to add text to layout so that
the text can be used later for identification purposes. Constraints imposed
by the performance requirements shown to be feasible by simulation: An
engineer completing a circuit design with- out detailed knowledge of how the
circuit will be implemented in layout is required to make some assumptions.
For example, the engineer designing the circuit will not know the exact area
of the block without implementing the circuit in layout and so must make an
educated estimate based on the information available. The total area figure
may be important to know so that the maximum line length within the block
is also known. This normally cannot be avoided, and the trick is to try to
communicate these assumptions and thus constrain the layout accordingly.
In our example the total area esti- mate used by the circuit designer should
also be used by the layout designer as a target area, and differences from this
estimate on the low or high side should be fed back to the circuit designer
for re simulation.

5.2

Variability and Mismatch

When integrated circuits are manufactured, a variety of effects cause the


effective sizes and electrical properties of the components to differ from those
intended by the designer. We may categorize these effects as being either
systematic variations, process variations, or random variations.

5.2.1

Random Statistical Fluctuations

All components exhibit microscopic irregularities, or fluctuations. In the case


of a polysilicon resistor, the edges of the poly exhibit microscopic irregulari-

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

ties that give them a slightly ragged appearance. Some of these irregularities
stem from the granularity of the polysilicon, while others result from imperfections in the photoresist. The granularity of the polysilicon also causes
variations in poly thickness and resistivity.[19] Other types of devices exhibit
different types of fluctuations, but all of these fall into one of two categories:
fuctuations that occur only along the edges of the device and fuctuations
that occur throughout the device. The former are called peripheral fuctuations because they scale with device periphery, while the latter are called
areal fluctuations because they scale with device area. The nature of these
scaling relationships can be deduced from statistical arguments.

5.2.2

Process Biases

The dimensions of geometries fabricated in silicon never exactly match those


in the layout database because the geometries shrink or expand during photolithography, etching, diffusion, and implantation. The difference between
the drawn width of a geometry and its actual measured width constitutes
the process bias. Process biases can introduce major systematic mismatches
in poorly designed components.

5.2.3

Systematic Variations

When lithographic techniques are used, a variety of two-dimensional effects


can cause the effective sizes of the components to differ from the sizes of the
glass layout masks. Some examples of these effects are illustrated in Fig. 5.1
For example, Fig. 5.1(a) shows how an effective well area will typically be
larger than its mask due to the lateral diffusion that occurs not just during ion
implantation but also during later high-temperature steps, such as annealing.
Another effect, known as overetching, occurs when layers such as polysilicon
or metal are being etched. Figure 5.1(b), for example, shows overetching that
occurs under the SiO2 protective layer at the polysilicon edges and causes
the polysilicon layer to be smaller than the corresponding mask layout. A
third effect is shown in Fig. 5.1(c), where an -channel transistor is shown
as we look along the channel from the drain to the source. The width of
the transistor is defined by the width of the active region (as opposed to the
width of the polysilicon line), and this width is determined by the separation
of the isolation oxide between transistors (i.e. the field-oxide in a LOCOS
process). The p+ field implant under the field-oxide causes the effective
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

substrate doping to be greater at the sides of the transistors than elsewhere.


This increased doping raises the effective transistor threshold voltage near the
sides of the transistors and therefore decreases the channel- charge density
at the edges. The result is that the effective width of the transistor is less
than the width drawn on the layout mask.[20]

Figure 5.1: Various two-dimensional effects causing sizes of realized microcircuit components to differ from sizes of layout masks.

5.3
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Rules of MOS transistor matching

Place transistors in close proximity.


Orient transistors in the same direction.
Keep the layout of the transistors as compact as possible.
Whenever possible use Common centroid layouts.
Place transistors segments in the areas of low stress gradients.
Place transistors well away from the power devices.
For current matching keep overdrive voltage large.
For voltage matching keep overdrive voltage smaller.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

5.4

Layout Techniques

The following is a list of guidelines specifically for a cell-level design environment[21].


1. Use a predefined template for PMOS and NMOS transistor placement.
The architecture of a cell should be defined beforehand, and this tem- plate
should encapsulate the basic oorplan of a group of cells. Figure 5.2 shows
an example of a cell template Use transistor fingering for large and critical
transistors. A cell template similar to Figure 5.2 defines the maximum width
of a transistor by the cell height. How do we lay out a transistor that exceeds
this height? The solution is to finger the transistor into multiple transistors
that are connected in parallel.
Figure 5.3 shows three equivalent layout designs of a transistor that is
100mm wide.
2. There is an advantage with an even number of fingers: the active ca- pacitance is less, because the drain region is surrounded with gate poly instead of
field. Another reason to use fingering is to optimize the resistance of the gate
poly along the width of the transistor. Since the gate poly is driven from one
end and gate poly is resistive, there may be reason to have a guideline that
states the maximum width of a single finger. Fingering is the only way to
meet this guideline for large transistors. Fingering multiple transistors that
are connected in series is trickier. Figure 5.4 shows an example of fingering
a two-input NAND gate. Fingering the PMOS devices is straightforward;
however, fingering the series NMOS devices is more difficult because the order of connectivity of the devices must be maintained.
3. Share power supply nodes to save area. Sharing nodes whenever possible is a concept that is easy to understand. Power supply nodes are most
easily shared because they are very common and easy to connect. Very significant area savings can be achieved. The main reason that area is saved is
that both sides of a row of contacts are used and there is no need to space two
active regions apart from each other. Figure 5.5 illustrates this technique.
Note that power nodes can be shared be- tween transistors of different widths
with a slight overhead of inserting a poly to active space at the end of the
smaller transistor.
4. Determine minimum number of contacts for source and drain connections. One simple rule might be to as many as you can using the minimum
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

design rule between two contacts. This guideline is most re- liable and maximizes the performance of the transistor. The downside of this approach is
that the routability over the transistor is limited. If increased routability is
required and accounted for in the circuit design, fewer than the maximum
number of contacts may be optimal for the overall layout design. This approach must be considered carefully and accounted for in the circuit design
process.

Figure 5.2: Example Cell Template

5.5

Multifinger Transistor

Wide transistors are usually folded so as to reduce both the S/D junction
area and the gate resistance. A simple folded structure such as that in
Fig.5.7 (a) may prove inadequate for very wide devices necessitating the use
of multiple fingers[Fig.5.7 (b)]. As a rule of thumb, the width of each
finger is chosen such that the resistance of the finger is less than the inverse
transconductance associated with the finger .In low-noise applications, the
gate resistance must be one-fifth to one-tenth of .

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.3: Fingering Of Transistors

5.6

Symmetry

Symmetry must be applied to both the devices of interest and their surrounding environment. Symmetries in fully differential circuits introduce input referred offsets, thus limiting the minimum signal level that can be detected. While some mismatch is inevitable inadequate attention to symmetry in the layout may result in large offsets. Symmetry also suppresses the
ef- fect of common-mode noise and even-order nonlinearity. Let us consider
the differential pair of Fig.5.8 as the starting point. If, as depicted in Fig.5.9
, the two transistors are laid out with different orientations, the match- ing
greatly suffers because many steps in lithography and wafer processing behave differently along different axes. Thus, one of the configurations in
Figure 5.10 and Figure 5.11 provides a more better solution.
When laying out any device the key is symmetry, especially when laying
out fully-differential components. For matched devices, use interdigitized or
common centroid layout techniques. A matched device is one where two
transistors need to have exactly the same geometries. Examples include
current mirrors and differential pairs. An interdigitized layout is shown in
Figure 5.12. Notice that the two transistors have been split into smaller
size devices and interleaved. This layout minimizes the effects of process
variations on the parameters of the transistors. The idea behind splitting
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.4: Example Of Fingering A NAND Gate


a transistor up is to average the process parameter gradient over the area
of the matched devices. For example, the process variation of KP and of
the transconductance parameter on the wafer is characterized by a global
variation and a local variation.[20] Global variations appear as gradients on
the wafer as in Figure 5.13. However, local variations describe the random
change in the parameter from one point on the chip to another nearby point.
By using layout techniques such as interdigitized and common-centroid, the
process variation can hopefully be averaged out among the matched devices.
When laying out wider matched transistors the common-centroid layout may
be a better choice. This layout technique is illustrated in Figure 5.14 and
Figure 5.15 for the case of 8 matched M1 and M2 transistors of a differential
pair.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.5: Transistor Power Sharing Example

Figure 5.6: Example Of Soft Connections

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.7: (a)Simple Folding Of A MOSFET,(b) Multiple Fingers

Figure 5.8: Differential pair

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.9: Layout Of MO And M1 With Different Orientation

Figure 5.10: Layout With Gate-Aligned Devices

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.11: Layout With Parallel-Gate Devices

Figure 5.12: Interdigitized layout of a differential pair a) Differential pair


b) Horizontal expansion c) Interdigitized layout (Drain areas are different.
Common centroid.) d) Interdigitized layout (Drain areas are equal. Not
common centroid.)

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.13: Gradient of KP on a wafer

Figure 5.14: Common-centroid layout of a differential pair

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 5.15: Common-centroid examples

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Chapter 6
Simulation Results and Layout
This section expands on the simulation results obtained from the different
types of the compensation techniques for two stage op amp.The amplifier
is to be powered from 1.8V power supply. The Unity Gain Bandwidth targeted was 1GHz and the corresponding Phase Margin was 600 .Based on the
proposed compensation technique a CMOS op amp has been designed and
simulated in a TSMC 130nm technology.

6.1

Nulling Resistor

In Figure 6.1 shows the schematic of the Two stage op amp with the nulling
resistor.The summary of the result is reported in the Table 6.1.
The AC response of the two stage op amp is shown in the below Figure 6.2.
The dc gain achieved is 61dB and the UGB is 235MHz and the corresponding
Phase Margin is 60.150 with the power dissipation of 1.94mW.

6.1.1

Summary

Simulation result is obtained using the MentorGraphics Eldo Schematic shown


in below table.

6.2

Voltage Buffer

In Figure 6.3 shows the schematic of the Two stage op amp with the nulling
resistor.The summary of the result is reported in the Table 6.2
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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.1: Two stage op amp with Nulling Resistor


Table 6.1: Summary of Two stage op amp with nulling resistor
Parameter Nulling resistor
DC Gain
61dB
UGB
235MHz
PM
60.15deg
Cc
1.2pF
Pdiss
1.94mW
The AC response of the two stage op amp is shown in the below Figure 6.4.
The dc gain achieved is 54dB and the UGB is 478MHz and the corresponding
Phase Margin is 60.90 with the power dissipation of 2.22mW.

6.2.1

Summary

Simulation result is obtained using the MentorGraphics Eldo Schematic shown


in below table.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.2: AC response of the two stage op amp with the Nulling resistor
Table 6.2: Summary of Two stage op amp with voltage buffer
Parameter Voltage Buffer
DC Gain
54dB
UGB
478MHz
PM
60.9deg
Cc
0.7pF
Pdiss
2.22mW

6.3

Current Buffer

In Figure 6.5 shows the schematic of the Two stage op amp with current
buffer.The summary of the result is reported in the Table 6.3.
The AC response of the two stage op amp is shown in the below Figure 6.6.
The dc gain achieved is 59.8dB and the UGB is 1GHz and the corresponding
Phase Margin is 61.20 with the power dissipation of 2.66mW.

6.3.1

Step Response

In Figure 6.6, a step from ground to VDD is applied at the input with unity
feedback configuration.As we measured,The amplifier slew rate is 707V /us

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.3: Two stage op amp with Voltage Buffer


as shown in Figure 6.7.

6.3.2

Settling Time

The Unity gain follower configuration of two stage op amp with current
buffer is also use for settling time and peak over shoot measurement.This
is the length of time for the output voltage of an op amp to approach and
remain within a certain tolerance of its final value. This is usually specified
for a full scale input step. Op amp is baised as shown in Figure 6.5.Figure
6.7 shows the settling time for different tolerance value.
The below Table shows the settling time with the different tolerance
values.
Table 6.3: Variation of settling time of op amp with different tolerance values
Tolerance(%) Settling time(ns)
0
20
1
17.95
2
3.4
3
3.2

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.4: AC response of the two stage op amp with the Voltage buffer

6.3.3

Design Parameters

Table 6.4 lists the relevant transconductance and parasitic values used during
calculation and the achieved values during simulation and compares the pole
locations.
Table 6.4: Design Parameters
Parameter Designed
Simulated
gm1,2
1.428mA/V 1.8087mA/V
gmc
1.428mA/V 1.676mA/V
gm5
4.356mA/V 6.53mA/V
P1
740kHz
783.84kHz
P2,3
2GHz
2.66GHz

6.3.4

Summary

Simulation result is obtained using the MentorGraphics Eldo Schematic shown


in below table.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.5: Two stage op amp with Current Buffer


Table 6.5: Summary of Two stage op amp with current buffer
Parameter Current Buffer
DC Gain
59.8dB
UGB
1GHz
PM
61.12deg
Cc
0.4pF
Pdiss
2.66mW
Settling Time
3.4ns
Slew Ratw
707V/us

6.4

Comparision

The below table shows the comparison of the different types of compensation
techniques of two stage op amp.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.6: AC response of the two stage op amp with the Current buffer

Figure 6.7: Step Response of two stage op amp with Current buffer

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.8: Slew Rate of two stage op amp with Current buffer

Figure 6.9: Settling Time

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Table 6.6: Comparison of different types of compensation technique of two


stage op amp
Parameter Nulling Resistor Voltage Buffer Current buffer
UGB
235MHz
478.84MHz
1GHz
DC Gain
61dB
54.4dB
59.8dB
PM
60.15 deg
60.9 deg
61.12deg
Cc
1.2pF
0.7pF
0.4pF
Pdiss
1.94mW
2.22mW
2.66mW

6.5

Layout

This prototype design of the indirect feedback frequency compensation is implemented in TSMC 130nm technology. In analog design, matching is very
important. Particularly, Op Amps need high matching to achieve low input
referred offset and high noise rejection. The matching between transistors is
mainly dependent on
1. Size of transistors
2. Shape of transistors
3. Orientation of transistors
The below Figure shows the Layout of a Two stage op amp with the
current buffer compensation technique.Both the schematic and Layout is
matched perfectly.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

Figure 6.10: Layout of the two stage op amp with the Current buffer

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73

Chapter 7
Conclusion and Future scope
7.1

Conclusion

In this thesis, compensation methods for Op Amps are investigated along


with their pros and cons in order for a designer to choose the appropriate
scheme for a particular application. This thesis further explores a creative
indirect feedback compensation method which overcomes the major drawback of bandwidth narrowing by the widely used polesplitting method. It
can improve the phase margin as well as extend the bandwidth of the Op
Amp. The indirect feedback method can be easily applied to the existing
popular two gain stage Op Amp architectures with very little alteration.
The mathematical derivation and circuit simulation demonstrate the advanced properties and improved performance of this feedforward compensation technique.The three compensated OTA is compared with gain, UGB,
Power dissipation,Phase Margin.
The indirect feedback technique discussed in this thesis is a practical and
superior compensation scheme for Op Amps, and results in amplifiers with
much higher speeds and smaller areas.The two stage op amp with current
buffer compensation achieved is 1GHz UGB and corresponding phase margin
of 61.120 while driving a capacitive load of 1pF and DC gain of 59.8dB.We
can observe that Cc of current buffer is reduced to 0.4pF when compared
to Cc of nulling resistor of 1.2pF. Current buffer compensated OTA there
is improvement in the gain, UGB, PM and area requirement is also less
compared to nulling resistor compensated OTA.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

7.2

Future Scope

As a part of future research the compensation method developed for the two
stage amplifier can be extended to realize a three stage and multi-stage amplifiers. A formal derivation and design procedure for multi stage amplifier
employing can be developed using the indirect feedback frequency compensation technique.

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Bibliography
[1] X. H. Fan, C. Mishra, and E. Sanchez-Sinencio, Single miller capacitor
frequency compensation technique for low-power multistage amplifiers
IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 584-592, 2005.
[2] P. R. Gray, and R. G. Meyer,, Analysis and design of analog integrated
circuits, ,3rd ed., New York: Wiley, 1993.
[3] G. Palmisano, and G. Palumbo, A compensation strategy for two-stage
CMOS opamps based on current buffer IEEE Transactions on Circuits
and Systems I-Fundamental Theory and Applications, vol. 44, no. 3, pp.
257-262, Mar, 1997.
[4] B. K. Ahuja, An Improved Frequency Compensation Technique for
CMOS Operational-Amplifiers IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits,
vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 629-633, 1983
[5] K. N. Leung, and P. K. T. Mok,Analysis of multistage amplifierfrequency compensation IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems
I-Fundamental Theory and Applications, vol. 48, no. 9, pp. 1041-1056,
Sep, 2001.
[6] H. Lee, and P. K. T. Mok, Active-feedback frequency-compensation technique for low-power multistage amplifiers IEEE Journal of Solid-State
Circuits, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 511-520, 2003.
[7] D.A.Johns and K.Martin, Analog Integrated Circuit Design, New
York:John Wiley and Sond,Inc.,1997.
[8] A. Pugliese, F. A. Amoroso, G. Cappuccino et al., Design approach for
fastsettling two-stage amplifiers employing current-buffer Miller compen-

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

sation Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing, vol. 59, no.
2, pp. 151-159, 2009.
[9] H. Mahattanakul, and J. Chutichatuporn, Design procedure for twostage CMOS opamp with flexible noise-power balancing scheme IEEE
Transactions on Circuits and Systems I-Regular Papers, vol. 52, no. 8,
pp. 1508-1514, 2005.
[10] R. J. Reay, and G. T. A. Kovacs,, An Unconditionally Stable 2-Stage
CMOS Amplifier IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 30, no. 5,
pp. 591-594, 1995.
[11] A. Pugliese, F. A. Amoroso, G. Cappuccino et al., Design approach for
fastsettling two-stage amplifiers employing current-buffer Miller compensation Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing, vol. 59, no.
2, pp. 151-159, 2009.
[12] A. Pugliese, F. Amoroso, G. Cappuccino et al., Settling time optimisation for two-stage CMOS amplifiers with current-buffer Miller compensation Electronics Letters, vol. 43, no. 23, pp. 1257-1258, 2007.
[13] M. Loikkanen, and J. Kostamovaara, Improving capacitive drive capability of two-stage op amps with current buffer Proceedings of the 2005
European Conference on Circuit Theory and Design, Vol 1, pp. 99-102,
2005.
[14] Mahattanakul, J., Design Procedure for Two-Stage CMOS Operational
Amplifiers Employing Current Buffer IEEE Transaction on Circuits
and Systems II- Express Briefs, vol. 52, no. 11, Nov 2005.
[15] Saxena, V. and Baker, R. J., Indirect Compensation Technique for LowVoltage Op-Amps Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Austin Conference on
Integrated Systems and Circuits (ACISC), May 7-9, 2008.
[16] Behzad Razavi Design of analog cmos integrated circuits McGrawHill, 2001.
[17] Phillip E. Allen and Douglas R. Holberg CMOS analog circuit Design
McGraw-Hill, 2001.

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

[18] Baker, R.J., CMOS: Circuit Design, Layout, and Simulation 2nd Ed.,
Wiley Inter science, 2005.
[19] Dan Clein, CMOS IC LAYOUT Concepts, Methodologies, and Tool
2nd Ed., Wiley Inter science, 2005.
[20] Alan Hastings, The Art of Analog Layout (Sencond Edition) 2007.
IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. SC-14, Issue 6, Dec.1979,
pp.1111-1114. 1996.
[21] Pelgrom, M. J. M., Duinmaiger, A. C. J., andWelbers, A. P. G, Matching Properties of MOS Transistors 2007. IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits,
Vol. SC-24, Oct. 1989, pp. 1433-1439.

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78

APPENDIX A
Roots of quadratic Equation
A second-order polynomial often appears in the denominator or numerator of
a transfer function, and the zeros of this polynomial are the poles or zeros of
the transfer function. In this appendix, the relationships between the zeros of
a quadratic and its coefficients are explored for a few specific cases of interest.
Also, the conditions under which a dominant root exists are derived.
Consider the roots of the quadratic equation
as2 + bs + c = 0

(7.1)

the two roots of this equation, r1 andr2 are given by the quadratic formula:

b b2 4ac
(7.2)
r1,2 =
2a
where it is understood that the square root of a positive quantity is positive. Factoring b out of the square root and rearranging gives
r
4ac
b
(7.3)
r1,2 = (1 1 2 )
2a
b

b
(1 D)
(7.4)
2a
The quantity under the square root in (7.3) has been replaced by D in
(7.4), where
r1,2 =

4ac
(7.5)
b2
Now, consider the locations of the roots if coefficients a, b, and c all have
the same sign. In this case, both roots are in the left half-plane (LHP), as
will be shown next. First, note that if all the coefficients have the same sign,
then
D =1

b
>0
2a

(7.6)

4ac
>0
(7.7)
b2
Let us divide the above equation(7.7) into two different regions.First,if

Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

0<

4ac
<1
b2

(7.8)

thenD will be positive and less than one.Therefor D < 1, so 1 + D and


1 D are both positive.As a result, the roots are both negative and real,
b
because 2a
< 0.
Now consider the other region for (7.7),which is
4ac
>1
(7.9)
b2

In this case, D0; therefore D is imaginary. The roots are complex


conjugate with a real part of b/2a, which is negative.So the roots are again
in the LHP.LHP. Therefore, when coefficients a, b, and c all have the same
sign, both roots are in the LHP. Next, consider the locations of the roots if
coefficients a and b have have the same sign and c has a different sign. In this
case, one real root is in the right half-plane (RHP) and the other is in the
LHP. To prove this, first note from(7.5) that D 1 here because 4ac/b2 < 0.
Therefore both roots are real and D > 1, so

1+
and

D>0

(7.10)

D<0

(7.11)

1+

Substituiting into (7.2), one root will be positive and the other negative(
the sign of b/2a is negative here).
Finally, let us consider the conditions under which LHP roots are real
and widely spaced. From (7.2), real LHP roots are widely spaced if

or

b
b
(1 + D) << (1 D)
2a
2a

1 + D >> 1 D

(7.12)
(7.13)

Substituting the expression for D in (1.5) into (1.9) and simplifying leads
to an equivalent condition for widely spaced roots, which is
4ac
<< 1
b2
under this condition , one root is
4

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(7.14)

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Design of High Speed Op Amp with different Compensation Techniques

r2 =

b
b
b
(1 + D) (1 + 1) =
2a
2a
a

(7.15)

The other root is

b
(1 D)
2a
r
b
4ac
r1 = (1 1 2 )
2a
b
b
4ac
r1 = (1 (1 2 ))
2a
2b
r1 =

r1 =

c
b

(7.16)

where the approximation

1x1

x
2

for |x| << 1


has been used. Here,|r1 | << |r2 | because |r1 | cb << ab |r2 |.If there
roots are poles,r1 corresponds to the dominant pole, and r2 gives the nondominant pole.

Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, B.V.B.C.E.T., Hubli - 31.

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