Frequency Response

The need for operating circuits at increasingly higher speeds has always challenged designers. From radar and television systems in the 1940s to gigahertz microprocessors today, the demand to push circuits to higher frequencies has required a solid understanding of their speed limitations.

In this chapter, we study the effects that limit the speed of transistors and circuits, identifying topologies that better lend themselves to high-frequency operation. We also develop skills for deriving transfer functions of circuits, a critical task in the study of stability and frequency compensation (12). We assume bipolar transistors remain in the active mode and MOSFETs in the saturation region. The outline is shown below.



11.1.1 General Considerations

What do we mean by “frequency response?” Illustrated in Fig. 11.1(a), the idea is to apply a sinusoid at the input of the circuit and observe the output while the input frequency is varied. As exemplified by Fig. 11.1(a), the circuit may exhibit a high gain at low frequencies but a “roll-off” as the frequency increases. We plot the magnitude of the gain as in Fig. 11.1(b) to represent the circuit’s behavior at all frequencies of interest. We may loosely call f1 the useful bandwidth of the circuit. ...

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