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16. V. Volterra,
Lec , ons sur les e´ quations inte´  grales et les e´ quat-ions integro-differentielles
, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1913.17. V. Volterra,
Lec , ons sur la the´  orie mathe´ matique de la lutte pour la vie
, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1931.18. F. Bloom,
Ill-Posed Problems for Integrodifferential Equationsin Mechanics and Electromagnetic Theory
, SIAM, Philadel-phia, 1981.
INTERMEDIATE-FREQUENCY AMPLIFIERS
H. R. W
 ALKER
Pegasus Data Systems, Inc.Edison, New Jersey
The intermediate-frequency (IF) amplifier is the circuitryused to process the information bearing signal betweenthe first converter, or mixer, and the decision making cir-cuit, or detector. It can consist of a very few or a greatmany component parts. Generally, it consists of an ampli-fying stage or device to provide gain, plus a bandpass fil-ter, or filters, to limit the frequency band to be passed. Thesignal to be processed can be audio, video, digital, orpulsed, using amplitude modulation, frequency modula-tion, phase modulation, or combinations thereof. Severalexamples are shown in Figs. 13–19.Bandpass IF amplifiers are also used in radio trans-mitters to limit the occupied bandwidth of the transmittedsignal. Certain modulation methods create a very broadfrequency spectrum, which can interfere with adjacentchannels. Regulatory agencies, such as the FCC (FederalCommunications Commission), require that these out-of-band signals be reduced below a certain permissible level,so they must undergo processing through a bandwidth-limiting filter and amplifier at the transmitter.For each application there are certain design restric-tions or rules that must be followed to achieve optimumresults.
1. GENERAL IF AMPLIFIER FUNCTIONS ANDRESTRICTIONS
The five basic IFamplifier functions and requirements areas follows:1.
Image Rejection.
The mixer stages in a superhet-erodyne receiver can convert any frequency below orabove the local oscillator frequency to an intermediatefrequency. Only one of these frequencies is desired. Theintermediate frequency must be chosen so that undesir-able frequencies or images are removed by the RF ampli-fier filter (prefiltering) and are rejected by the mixer. Thismay mean that two or three different intermediate fre-quencies must be used within the same receiver. The in-termediate frequencies in common use range from 0Hz toapproximately 2.0GHz.2.
Selectivity.
Selectivity is required to reject as muchas possible of any adjacent channel interfering signal.Generally this means attempting to obtain a bandpassfilter characteristic as close to that of the ideal filter aspossible that will pass the necessary
Nyquist bandwidth
(the baseband bandwidth from 0Hz to the highestfrequency to be passed) without introducing harmfulamplitude or phase distortion.3.
Gain.
Gain is required to amplify a weak signal to auseful level for the decisionmaking circuit. This gain mustbe provided by means of a stable amplifier that introducesa minimum of noise, so as not to degrade the receiver
noise figure
. All circuit input and output impedances should beproperly matched for optimum power transfer and circuitstability.4.
Automatic Gain Control.
The amplifier gain mustvary automatically with signal strength so that the deci-sionmaking circuit receives a signal of as nearly constantlevel as possible.Thestages ofthe IFamplifier mustnot beoverdriven, or go into limiting, until after the last band-pass filter, to prevent ‘‘splattering,’’ or broadening and dis-tortion of the signal.5.
Linearity.
The amplifier should be linear in phase oramplitude to prevent distortion of the recovered informa-tion. AM receivers should be linear in amplitude, whileFM or PM receivers should be linear in phase. Some mod-ulation methods can tolerate more linearity distortionthan others.
2. SELECTING THE INTERMEDIATE FREQUENCY
Image rejection and signal selectivity are the primary rea-sons for selecting an intermediate frequency. Most cur-rently manufactured bandpass filters of the crystal, orresonator type, have become standardized so that the de-signer can obtain off-the-shelf components at reasonablecost for these standard frequencies. The standard AMbroadcast receiver utilizes a 455-MHz IF filter becauseextensive experience has shown that this will reject all butthe strongest images. Assume the desired signal is at600kHz. A local oscillator operating at 1055kHz willhave an image frequency at 1510kHz, which the RF in-put filter can easily reject. Similarly, an FM receiver op-erating at 90.1MHz with an intermediate frequency of 10.7MHz will have an image at 111.5MHz, which will berejected by the RF amplifier. In both of these cases, a sin-gle intermediate frequency can be used. A receiver operating at 450MHz will require two In-termediate frequencies obtained by using first and secondmixers, as in Fig. 16. The first IFamplifier may consist of arelatively broadband filter operating at 10.7 or 21.4MHz,followed by a second converter and IF stage operating at455kHz. The first IF filter is narrow enough to reject any455-kHz images, and the second IF filter is a narrowbandfilter that passes only the desired signal bandwidth. If the 455-kHz filter had been used as the first IF filter, the450-MHz RF filter, which is relatively broad, would nothave eliminated the image frequency, which is 455kHzabove or below the local oscillator (LO) frequency.Television receivers use a video intermediate frequencyof approximately 45MHz, since this permits a relativelybroad RF filter to pass the broadband TV signal, while still
INTERMEDIATE-FREQUENCY AMPLIFIERS 2175
 
rejecting the images. The video signal from the IF ampli-fier is AM, with an FM sound carrier riding on it. Televi-sion sound is generally obtained from a beat, or differencefrequency between the video and sound carriers, which isat 4.5MHz.Satellite receivers use a broadband first intermediatefrequency covering a frequency block from 900MHz to2.1GHz. This is done by means of a
low-noise block
(LNB)converter. The second mixer is made tunable so that anyfrequency in the block can be converted to the second in-termediate frequency, which is usually fixed at 70 or140MHz. The second intermediate frequency, whichdrives the detector, has a narrower bandwidth to reducenoise and reject adjacent channel interference.Crystal, ceramic resonator, and SAW filters are massedproduced at relatively low cost for the frequencies men-tioned above, so that most consumer products employ oneor more of the abovementioned standard frequencies andstandard mass-produced filters.
3. SELECTIVITY
Carson’s rule, and the Nyquist sampling theorem onwhich it is based, state that a certain bandwidth is re-quired to transmit a signal undistorted. The necessarybandwidth for an AM signal is given as follows:BW
¼
2
 f 
m
ð
1
Þ
Thus an AM broadcast receiver will require 10kHz of bandwidth to pass a 5kHz
¼
 f 
m
audio tone. (
 f 
m
¼
Fre-quency of modulation.) In data transmission systems, thefrequency
m
corresponding to the data rate
b
, is
m
¼
12
b
.The data clock frequency is twice the frequency of the datain ones and zeros. This means that a baud rate
b
of 9,600bits per second (bps) will require a bandwidth of 9.6kHz.For FM, the necessary bandwidth required for trans-mission isBW
¼
2
ð
 f 
m
þ
D
 f 
Þ ð
2
Þ
 A 15-kHz audio tone (
¼
 f 
m
) and an FM transmitter beingdeviated with a modulation index of 5 will require 2 (15
þ
(15
Â
5))
¼
180kHz of bandwidth.
D
 f 
is (5
Â
15) and
m
is15kHz. Narrowband FM, or phase modulation (PM) (witha modulation index of 
o
0.7), is somewhat different in thatthe bandwidth actually required is the same as that for AM. This is due to the fact the higher
n
Bessel productsare missing [Eq. (1) applies].These values are for
double-sideband transmission
.Single-sideband transmission will require half as muchbandwidth. The required baseband bandwidth is the sameas the value for
m
. This is also known as the
Nyquistbandwidth
, or the minimum bandwidth that can carry thesignal undistorted at baseband.Ideally, the IF filter, or the equivalent baseband filter,need pass only this bandwidth and no more. This requiresthe use of an ‘‘ideal’’ bandpass or lowpass filter, which doesnot exist in practice, but can be approached by variousmeans. The filter must be as narrow as conditions permitto reduce the noise bandwidth and any adjacent channelinterference, since noise power rises linearly with increas-ing filter bandwidth [14]:
S
o
 N 
o
¼
b
2
bitratefilterBW
S
i
 N 
i
ð
3a
Þ
S
o
 N 
o
¼
modulation
Â
gainloss
Â
processinggain
S
i
 N 
i
ð
3b
Þ
These two equations show a generalized relationship be-tween the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver inputand the SNR at the receiver output. The term
b
2
repre-sents a gain, or loss, in power due to the modulation meth-od. In FM or PM it is the modulation angle. The term [(bitrate)/(filter bandwidth)] is generally known as
processing gain
. Narrowing the bandwidth improves the
S
o
 / 
 N 
o
ratio,but this improvement is not always available, dependingon the modulation method. The Nyquist bandwidth rulesstate that it should be (symbol rate)/BW
¼
1.Pulse modulation, as in radar (radio detection andranging), generally requires a much broader filter band-width than the other modulation methods. A conditioncalled
envelope delay
or
group delay
must also be ob-served. This is discussed later along with the transferfunctions of the filters. For optimum results, the filterbandwidth (
D
 f 
) must be equal to [1/(pulsewidth)]. If thefilter bandwidth is too narrow, the amplitude detected isreduced and the SNR is adversely affected. In this case,the processing gain is ideally
¼
1 [14].
S
o
 N 
o
¼ð
processinggain
Þ
S
i
 N 
i
¼
E
b
 N 
o
ð
4
Þ
4. GAIN
The IF amplifier must provide sufficient gain to raise aweak signal at the RF input to the level required, or de-sired, by the decisionmaking circuit or detector. This re-ceiver gain can vary from 0 up to 130 dB, most of which isusually provided by the IFamplifier. The RFamplifier andmixer circuits preceding the IF amplifier usually provide
Z
20 dB of gain so that the IF amplifier generally contrib-utes little to the receiver noise figure. (See N
OISE FIGURE
article elsewhere in this encyclopedia.) Amplifiers withvery high gain have a tendency to oscillate; hence twodifferent intermediate frequencies may be used to reducethe gain on any one frequency, or more of the gain may beobtained from the RF section.Gain is provided by an amplifying device, such as atransistor, or vacuum tube (in older equipment). Thesedevices have input and output impedances of a complexnature that must be matched to the filtering circuits forbest power transfer, stability, and lowest noise. Currentpractice is often to use a ‘‘gain stage,’’ which consists of multiple amplifying devices in an integrated circuit
2176 INTERMEDIATE-FREQUENCY AMPLIFIERS
 
package. These packages often contain the mixer stagesand detectors as well.
5. AUTOMATIC GAIN CONTROL
Receivers must respond to a wide range of input levelswhile maintaining a nearly constant level at the detectoror decisionmaking circuit. The user or operator does notwish to manually adjust the gain to obtain a constantsound or picture level when changing stations. This func-tion is performed by detecting the output level of the IFamplifier and correcting it by means of a feedback circuitthat adjusts the gain to keep the level as constant as pos-sible. Since this detected level can vary rapidly, it ispassed through a lowpass filter [usually an
RC
(resis-tance
Â
capacitance) pair] to integrate or slow down thechanges, then amplified by a DC (direct-current) amplifierand applied to an IF amplifier circuit or gain stage thathas variable gain characteristics. Some receivers, such asthose used in an automobile, require relatively rapid act-ing AGC circuits, while fixed receivers can use a muchslower AGC time constant. Dual-gate field-effect transis-tors use the second gate to control the gain. Bipolar orsingle-gate field-effect transistors vary the gain by meansof a bias voltage or current applied to the input terminalalong with the signal. Special integrated circuit gain stag-es for IF amplification are available, such as the MotorolaMC1350, which both amplify and provide a variable gaincontrol function.
6. FILTERS FOR IF AMPLIFIERS
Except for block conversions, which convert wide frequen-cy bandwidths, such as those used on satellite receivers,IF amplifiers in general use a narrow bandpass, or a low-pass filter, to limit the bandwidth to the Nyquist band-width. Block conversion, on the other hand, can use ahighpass–lowpass filter pair, where the bandwidth to bepassed lies between the high and low cutoff frequencies.The traditional bandpass filter requires one or moreresonant elements. Although the actual resonator may bea coil and capacitor, ceramic resonator, or SAW filter, theprinciples are basically the same. Digital filters, which donot use resonators, have been employed more recently.These will be discussed later in brief. They are discussedin more detail elsewhere in this encyclopedia.The inductance/capacitance resonator was the firstused, and is still a comparison standard. Figures 1a and1b show series resonant circuits, and Fig. 1b shows a par-allel resonant circuit. These circuits will pass a signal atthe resonant peak and reject a signal off resonance. Re-sistances
R
s
and
R
p
are naturally occurring losses thatreduce the circuit efficiency. Figure 2 shows the universalresonance curve, which is applicable to both series andparallel resonant circuits. It is important to note that thesignal rejection never goes to a zero level in the area of interest, but reaches an asymptotic value between 0.1 and0.2 or about
À
17dB. If it is necessary to reject a signal onthe shoulders of this curve by 60 dB, then four cascadedstages of this filter must be used to obtain the necessaryrejection. Note also that there is a nonlinear phase shiftthat reaches a maximum in the area of interest, thenchanges to
7
70
1
. When stages are cascaded, this phaseshift is multiplied by the number of stages. A nonlinearphase shift can cause distortion in FM receivers. Thephase shift curve plotted is for a parallel resonant circuit.The phase reverses for a series circuit. The phase at anypoint on the curve is obtained by plotting horizontallyfrom the vertical amplitude/phase scale:
a
¼
Q
(cycles off resonance/resonant frequency). A frequency
0
at which the response of a parallel res-onant
LC
filter is a maximum, that is, the point at whichthe parallel impedance is a maximum, is defined as a
pole
. A frequency at which the impedance is a minimum, as inthe series
LC
circuit, is defined as a
zero
. Thus the as-sumed four cascaded stages above would constitute a four-pole filter, since it contains four resonant poles. The fre-quency of resonance is given by Eq. (5); this is the fre-quency at which [
 X 
c
¼
1/ 
À
  j
o
C
] and [
 X 
L
¼
  j
o
 L
] are equal:
 f 
0
¼
12
p
ð
 LC
Þ
1
=
2
ð
5
Þ
The bandwidth that an analog
LC
filter can pass is alteredby the circuit efficiency, or circuit
Q
, given in Eqs. (6).
p
s
p
LLL
(
a
)(
b
)(
c
)
Figure 1.
Series (a,b) and parallel (c) resonant circuits.
1.00.6–3dB–6dBPhase lagAmplitudePhase lead2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 .5.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5
α 
+75
°
+50
°
45
°
60
°
0
°
25
°
50
°
75
°
0.40.30.20.10.80.9
Figure 2.
Universal resonance curve (
 BT 
¼
bandwidth
Â
bitperiod).
INTERMEDIATE-FREQUENCY AMPLIFIERS 2177

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