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Audio Fundamentals Course 3 Audio Amplifier Configurations

This course will expand on the Basic Single-Ended Audio Amplifier course which should be taken prior to this course. Inverting and Non-Inverting single-ended configurations will be reviewed. The basic single-ended amplifier will be expanded to create common Class AB amplifier configurations to achieve higher output power. The Bridge-Tied Load (BTL, Bridge or Differential), Parallel (PA) and Bridge/Parallel (BPA) configurations will be discussed in detail. The correct maximum power dissipation formula will be derived for each advanced configuration. Fundamental courses 1 and 2 should be taken prior to this course. All fundamental courses should be taken, in order, before any other Audio course is taken. The fundamental courses build from very basic information up to a good level of knowledge specifically related to audio. All other audio courses assume this base level of understanding covered in the fundamental courses. Prerequisite fundamental courses are: Audio Fundamental Course 1 - Audio Basics and Audio Fundamental Course 2 - The Basic Single-Ended Audio Amplifier.

Course Map/Table of Contents


1. Course Navigation 1. 1.1 Course Navigation 2. Formula Review 1. 2.1 Formula Review 3. The Inverting & Non-Inverting Amplifier Configurations 1. 3.1 The Inverting & Non-Inverting Amplifier Configurations 4. The Bridge-Tied Load (BTL) Configuration 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 4.1 How a Bridge (BTL) Audio Amplifier Works 4.2 Output Waveform of a BTL Audio Amplifier 4.3 External Component Recommendations 4.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bridged (BTL) Audio Amplifier Design 4.5 Deriving the Bridged Class AB Maximum Power Dissipation Formula

5. The Parallel Amplifier (PA) Configuration 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5.1 How a Parallel (PA) Audio Amplifier Works 5.2 Output Waveform of a PA Audio Amplifier 5.3 External Component Recommendations 5.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Parallel (PA) Audio Amplifier Design 5.5 Deriving the Parallel Class AB Maximum Power Dissipation Formula

6. The Bridge/Parallel Amplifier (BPA) Configuration 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 6.1 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 1 6.2 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 2 6.3 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 3 6.4 Output Waveform of a BPA Audio Amplifier 6.5 External Component Recommendations 6.6 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bridged/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Design 6.7 Deriving the Bridged/Parallel Class AB Maximum Power Dissipation Formula

7. Course Review & Examples 1. 7.1 Design Guidelines & Review 2. 7.2 Examples

1. Course Navigation
1.1 Course Navigation

1.1 Course Navigation


This course is organized like a book with multiple chapters. Each chapter may have one or more pages. by National Semiconductor All rights reserved Audio Fundamentals Course 3 - Audio Amplifier Configurations Copyright 2010

The previous and next arrows move you forward and back through the course page by page. The left navigation bar takes you to any chapter. It also contains the bookmarking buttons, 'save' and 'go to.' To save your place in a course, press the 'save' button. The next time you open the course, clicking on 'go to' will take you to the page you saved or bookmarked. The top services bar contains additional information such as glossary of terms, who to go to for help with this subject and an FAQ. Clicking home on this bar will take you back to the course beginning. Don't miss the hints, references, exercises and quizzes which appear at the bottom of some pages.

2. Formula Review
This chapter briefly reviews the formulas used in this course.

2.1 Formula Review


These basic formulas are included here for reference. Explanations for formulas that are not considered 'Common Knowledge' was given in prior course(s). It might be a good idea to keep this window open in a tab or write the equations down for reference while reading the course and taking the test. Ohm's Law: V (volts) = I (amps) * R (ohms). RMS Power Formula: P RMS vs. Peak: V
RMS RMS

(watts) = V /1.414, I

RMS

(volts) * I
PEAK

RMS

(amps) or V /R or I R

=V

PEAK

RMS

=I

/1.414
L OUT

-3dB frequency point due to a capacitor: f = 1/(2R C


C V F I

) (Hz)

Op. Amp Inverting configuration, Gain: A = -R /R (V/V) Op. Amp. Non-Inverting configuration, Gain: A = 1+ R /R (V/V)
V F I

Gain in dB: 20 LOG A (dB)


V

Class AB (SE) Maximum Power Dissipation: P

= (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

MAX

Thermal Equation: T (temp.) = P (Watts) * (C/W) (C)

3. The Inverting & Non-Inverting Amplifier Configurations


This chapter will briefly review the Inverting and Non-Inverting amplifier configurations. 3.1 The Inverting & Non-Inverting Amplifier Configurations

3.1 The Inverting & Non-Inverting Amplifier Configurations


The Inverting and Non-Inverting amplifier configurations are used throughout the rest of the course in the advanced amplifier configurations. A basic understanding of how each works and why the different external components are needed will be discussed. The Inverting Single-Ended (SE) configuration is shown below. The phase different between the input signal and output signal is 180. The gain is found by using the formula: A = - R /R . The input impedance is equal to R . The resistor, R should be equal to the parallel combination of R
V f i i B

and R .
i

The advantage of the Inverting configuration is better THD+N performance when compared to the Non-Inverting configuration. The reduced number of capacitors in the signal path contribute to the higher THD+N performance. The disadvantage of the Inverting configuration is the input impedance is equal to R and therefore relatively low. Making the value of R higher requires a very high value
i i

for R to have significant gain. Using very large values for the gain setting resistors increases noise degrading performance. Some
f

sources may not be able to drive an Inverting amplifier and a buffer will be needed. The Non-Inverting Single-Ended (SE) configuration is shown below. Phase is maintained between the input signal and output signal. The gain is found by using the formula: A = 1 + R /R . The input impedance is equal to R . The capacitor, C , sets the DC gain to unity so that any offset
V f i IN i

DC voltage is not gained up to the output.

The advantage of the Non-Inverting configuration is the input impedance can be very high since it is set by the R

IN

resistor. Large input

impedances allow for any source to drive the amplifier without the need for a buffer. The disadvanatge of the Non-Inverting configuration is the higher external component count and lower THD+N performance due to more capacitors in the signal path.

4. The Bridge-Tied Load (BTL) Configuration


This chapter will explain how the Bridge Tied-Load (BTL) or Bridged configuration works, how the output waveform appears, discusses the advantages and disadvantages compared to the Single-End (SE) configuration, and will derive the correct total maximum power dissipation formula, P .
D
MAX

(BTL)

4.1 How a Bridge (BTL) Audio Amplifier Works 4.2 Output Waveform of a BTL Audio Amplifier 4.3 External Component Recommendations 4.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bridged (BTL) Audio Amplifier Design 4.5 Deriving the Bridged Class AB Maximum Power Dissipation Formula

4.1 How a Bridge (BTL) Audio Amplifier Works


A BTL configuration requires two amplifiers. The amplifiers can be on the same IC, separate ICs in the same IC package, or any other combination. Each amplifier is connected to one side of the load and creates an identical signal but 180 out of phase with the other amplifier. The BTL configuration will increase the voltage swing across the load by up to twice as much as a single-ended configuration under the same conditions. Power increases with the square of the voltage so DOUBLING the voltage swing has the effect of increasing the output power by FOUR times. There is a cost to be paid for the increased power in the form of increased power dissipation which will be discussed in detail. The BTL configuration is often used to get higher output power form the same amount of supply voltage. Supply voltages are limited either by the application or by the amplifier IC. Higher operating voltages for amplifier ICs typically mean higher cost as the IC die must be larger. A bridge configuration may be created by: One amplifier configured in Inverting mode while the other is configured in Non-inverting mode. More care is needed to match gain because the formulas for gain are different for inverting and non-inverting modes. In the schematic below the top amplifier is configured

in non-inverting mode with a gain of 11V/V. The bottom amplifier is configured in inverting mode with a gain of 11V/V. The total gain for the bridge is 22V/V.

Both amplifiers are configured in the same mode with the signal to one amplifier being inverted before the input to the amplifier. In the schematic below both amplifiers are configured for non-inverting mode with a gain of 11V/V. Total gain for the bridge is 22V/V.

The output of one amplifier feeds the input of the other amplifier which is set to unity gain and Inverting mode. The first amplifier can be in inverting or non-inverting mode. In the schematic below the first amplifier is configured for non-inverting mode with a gain of 11V/V so total gain for the bridge is 22V/V. This configuration is not possible with all amplifiers as the second amplifier must be unity gain stable.

Some Observations/Notes: BTL configuration can be used with single supply or split supply designs. Each side of the bridge (load) is biased to the same DC voltage so there is no net DC voltage across the load. With no net DC voltage seen by the load there is no need for DC blocking output capacitors for a single supply design.

The outputs swing around the DC bias 180 out of phase with each other. For BTL configurations where each amplifier gets the signal from the source the gain of each amplifier should be as close to identical as possible. Total gain is equal to the sum of the gain on each amplifier. For a configuration where the output of one amplifier drives the input of an unity gain inverting amplifier, the total gain is equal twice the gain of the first amplifier. One way to think about the total gain of such a configuration is that the second amplifier is getting an input signal that has already been gained up. The second amplifier only inverts the signal. So each amplifier has an output that is gained up by the same amount as the first amplifier's gain.
A BTL design will have four times as much output power as a single-ended design under the same conditions but only if the amplifiers can supply the increased output current. The output current will be double for each amplifier as compared to a singled-ended amplifier under the same conditions. There will also be more voltage drop on the output stage of the amplifiers with the increase in output current (IR drop, current * resistance).

4.2 Output Waveform of a BTL Audio Amplifier


The diagram below is how the outputs of a split supply BTL design appear when connected to each side of the load. The color lines are the outputs of each amplifier in the bridge. The black line is the output across the load and on an oscilloscope when using the MATH function. From this diagram a few points can be observed: Each output swings around the DC bias, normally V 180 out of phase with each other. The peak voltage across the load is equal to the total supply voltage, either V
DD DD

for a single supply design and GND for a dual or split supply design. The outputs are

or +V

CC

+ |-V

EE

|.

Each time there is a peak the total supply voltage is seen across the load. One output will swing down close to the minimum supply voltage (GND or -V ) and the other output will swing close to the maximum supply voltage (V or +V ).
EE DD CC

The peak to peak voltage across the load is double the total supply voltage. While this can be confusing on how the output can have twice the voltage of the total supply voltage, using an oscilloscope's MATH function will create just such a waveform. At no time is there more voltage across the load than the total supply voltage. What the oscilloscope is showing is that the total supply voltage is across the load each time there is a peak but the sign of the peak changes each time relative to which ever output is considered the reference. Peak to peak voltage is not a single point in time measurement but two different time points.

4.2.1 Output Voltages 1 What is the maximum peak voltage across the load for a single supply, BTL amplifier configuration?
1. VDD 2. 4V 3. VDD 4. GND 1 Answer: The peak voltage is V
DD

using ideal amplifiers. One amplifier will be at GND while the other is at V

DD

2 The load can have up to double the total supply voltage across it at a single point in time.
1. True 2. False

2 Answer: False. At a single point in time the load may have up to the total supply voltage across it. The peak to peak voltage does not occur at a single point in time.

4.3 External Component Recommendations


Many of the recommendations for external components are the same as for the basic single-ended amplifier. BTL design requires more tightly controlled tolerances for some external components as explained below. Gain resistors should be 1% tolerance or better. If the gains of the amplifiers in the bridge are not closely matched then there will be asymmetrical clipping as one amplifier will start to clip before the other. Asymmetrical clipping reduces the maximum output power possible before the onset of clipping. The input capacitor, C , is needed to block DC voltage from the source and in a single supply design, to also block DC voltage from the input
IN

pins of the amplifier which are at V


S

DD

Capacitor C may represent either one or several capacitors on the supply line. The purpose of this capacitor is to filter noise off the supply line and also to stabilize the supply line. Common values for C (not shown on schematic) range from a single 1F tantalum capacitor on 5V amplifiers to three capacitors in
S

parallel on a high voltage, high power amplifier. An example would be a 0.1F ceramic capacitor to filter noise in parallel with a 10F electrolytic or tantalum capacitor to filter lower frequency noise in parallel with an even larger electrolytic capacitor as a current reservoir. As output current increases the capacitor that is acting as a current reservoir should also increase in value.

4.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bridged


(BTL) Audio Amplifier Design
There are advantages and disadvantages to a BTL configuration. Advantages: Up to four times as much output power from the same supply voltage into the same load impedance compared to a singled-ended design is possible. May be easily implemented depending on the amplifier ICs used. Eliminates the need for output coupling capacitors in single supply designs. Generally lower noise. This is because some noise will be common mode, the same on both channels. Since the noise is the same and on both channels there is no effect on the load. Lower noise is also because each amplifier in the bridge only has of the total gain. Lower gain improves noise performance. 'Click' or 'pop' sounds at power up/down are typically less of a problem in BTL designs because the turn on/off transient is common mode resulting in zero volts across the differential load. Disadvantages: Requires two amplifier channels increasing the cost of silicon. Increased power dissipation on each amplifier compared to a single-ended amplifier under the same conditions. The increase in power dissipation may result in thermal issues for some amplifiers or increase cost for cooling. May be difficult or costly to implemented depending on the amplifier ICs used.

4.5 Deriving the Bridged Class AB


Maximum Power Dissipation Formula
In this course the amplifiers are Class AB but are being used in different configurations. The Class AB maximum power dissipation formula is used as a starting point. The first bullet below is for review.

The Class AB power dissipation peak occurs at 50% efficiency, when the amplifier output power is equal to the power dissipation. Peak power dissipation, P , for a mono, single-ended Class AB amplifier is found using the formula:
D
MAX

MAX

(SE)

= (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

The BTL configuration requires two amplifiers which drive the same load impedance from the same power supply. Once the P amplifier is found then simply doubling it will give the total P At first glance, all of the variables in the P
D
MAX

for one

MAX

(BTL)

for the BTL configuration.

equation appear to be known. A simple DC illustration will make it clear that the load impedance

MAX

used in calculation is not the same as the physical load impedance. The DC supplies are set to 2V each and they are connected as shown. Measuring the voltage with the reference at point A (GND) will give 2V at point B and -2V at point C. Measuring the voltage across the load, point B to point C with point C as the reference is 4V. With an 8 load the current through the load is 0.5A. Since each supply is providing 0.5A but only 2V using Ohm's Law the impedance 'seen' by each supply is: 2V/0.5A = 4 Each amplifier in a BTL design will provide TWICE as much current to the load than a single-ended amplifier under the same conditions. The load impedance appears to each amplifier to be of the physical load impedance. A (in bold & underlined) is added to the P formula
D
MAX

(BTL)

so it becomes: P
D
MAX

(BTL)

= (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

This is the maximum power dissipation for one amplifier of the bridge. There are two amplifiers in a BTL configuration so to get the total maximum power dissipation for the BTL configuration another factor of 2 is added to the equation so that the equation becomes: P
D
MAX

(BTL)

= 2 * (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

Rearranging the formula by moving the to the top gives: P Which is simply: P
D
MAX

MAX

(BTL)

= 4 * (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

(BTL)

=4*P

MAX

(SE)

The payment for four times the output power compared to a single-ended amplifier is four times the power dissipation for a BTL configuration. A graph of a 5V, single IC, BTL Class AB amplifier with output power on the X-axis and amplifier power dissipation on the Y-axis is shown in the example graph. Some observations can be made from the graph: To the left of the peak is where amplifier efficiency is < 50%. To the right of the peak is where amplifier efiiciency is > 50%. A BTL Class AB amplifier is most efficient at peak output power. For worse case thermal design use the peak power dissipation point calculated using the P formula.
D
MAX

(BTL)

Looking at where the peak power dissipation point, P

MAX

(BTL)

occurs it can be

observed that when the point is reached this is also roughly equal to the output power. This point is the 50% efficiency point.

4.5.1 Bridge Class AB Power Dissipation 1


A bridge design has twice the power dissipation compared to a single-ended amplifier under the same conditions because there are two amplifiers in a bridge. 1. True. 2. False. 1 Answer: False. A bridge has FOUR times as much power dissipation compared for a single-ended amplifier under the same supply voltage and load

impedance. BTL power dissipation doubles because there are two amplifiers but doubles again because there is twice as much output current. What is the total gain if each amplifier in the bridge has a gain of 10V/V?

2
1. 5V/V 2. 10V/V 3. 20V/V 4. 40V/V 2 Answer: 20V/V. The total gain of a BTL design is the sum of the gains of each amplifier in the bridge if each amplifier is driven from the source.

3
What is the total gain for a BTL design if the first amplifier has a gain of 5V/V and the second amplifier is set to inverting mode and unity gain? The output of the first amplifier is used as the input to the second amplifier. 1. 5V/V 2. 6V/V 3. 10V/V 4. 20V/V 3 Answer: 10V/V. The total gain of a BTL design where the output of the first amplifier feeds the input to the second amplifier which is set to inverting mode with unity gain is equal to double the gain of the first amplifier.

5. The Parallel Amplifier (PA) Configuration


This chapter will explain how the Parallel Amplifier (PA) configuration works, how the output waveforms appear, discuss the advantages and disadvantages compared to the Single-End (SE) configuration, and derive the correct total maximum power dissipation formula, P .
D
MAX

(PA)

5.1 How a Parallel (PA) Audio Amplifier Works 5.2 Output Waveform of a PA Audio Amplifier 5.3 External Component Recommendations 5.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Parallel (PA) Audio Amplifier Design 5.5 Deriving the Parallel Class AB Maximum Power Dissipation Formula

5.1 How a Parallel (PA) Audio Amplifier Works


A PA configuration requires at least two amplifiers but can be any number of amplifiers needed. The amplifiers can be on the same IC, separate ICs in the same IC package, or any other combination. All amplifiers are connected to the same side of the load and create an identical signal as the other amplifier(s). The PA configuration looks the same as a Single-Ended design but with more amplifiers connected in parallel. The PA configuration will increase the output current capability by having two or more amplifiers to supply output current. To achieve higher output power, either the load impedance is reduced, the supply voltages are increased or both. Parallel designs are used to reduce power dissipation on each amplifier by spreading out the total power dissipation across all amplifiers making it possible to increase the supply voltages and/or reduce the load impedance while staying within the power dissipation limits of each amplifier. The increased output current capability also increases output power capability. A parallel configuration may be created by: Two or more amplifiers configured in the same mode, either inverting or non-inverting mode, with identical gain. The outputs are connected in parallel through the R resistors. The load is connected single-ended meaning only one side of the load connects to an
OUT

output with the other side connected to GND. In the schematic below the amplifiers are configured in non-inverting mode each with a gain of 21V/V. The total gain is the same as the gain on any of the amplifiers which is 21V/V.

The output of one amplifier feeds the input of the other amplifiers which are set to unity gain and non-inverting mode. The first amplifier can be in inverting or non-inverting mode. In the schematic below the first amplifier is configured for non-inverting mode with a gain of 21V/V so total gain is 21V/V. This configuration is not possible with all amplifiers as the other amplifiers must be unity gain stable.

Some Observations/Notes: Parallel configuration can be used with single supply or split supply designs. For single supply designs the output coupling capacitors, C , must be use to block the DC bias voltage from the load. It is possible to use a single output coupling, DC blocking capacitor with
OUT

the outputs connected in parallel before the capacitor but after the R

OUT

resistors. The resistors should be used before the parallel

connection to help adjust for DC offset voltage differences as well as any small gain differences. All outputs swing around the DC bias in phase with each other. Each amplifier in parallel has the same gain or if the input is the output of the first amplifier, the gain is unity. The total gain for a parallel configuration is equal to the gain of any one amplifier or the first amplifier if the others are set to unity. The gain of each amplifier should be as close to identical as possible to avoid increased power dissipation and higher operating temperatures due to output current being fed into amplifiers with lower gain.
A PA design only provides increased output power if the load impedance is reduced or if the supply voltages are increased. There is typically only a slight output power increase for parallel configuration compared to a single-ended amplifier under the same conditions. The reasons to use the PA configuration are to increase output current drive capability and reduce power dissipation on each IC.

5.2 Output Waveform of a PA Audio Amplifier


The diagram below is the output on each amplifier for a two amplifier PA design when connected to each amplifier output before the R
OUT

resistors. The

color lines are the outputs of each amplifier in parallel with 1% tolerance gain setting resistors. The blue line has a +1% increase on the gain and the red line has a -1% decrease on the gain. The waveform shows the worse case difference in output voltages and is drawn to scale. As output voltage increases the difference between each output becomes greater. The waveform is drawn larger and slower for easier viewing of the gain difference. From this

diagram a few points can be observed: Each output swings around the DC bias, normally V
DD

for a single supply design and GND for a dual or split supply design. The outputs are in

phase with each other and very closely matched in gain. The peak voltage across the load is equal to the total supply voltage, either V amplifier. If the gains are not closely matched there will be unequal current and power disspation sharing among the amplifiers. If the gain difference is too great there will be increased current from one amplifier into the lower gain amplifier. The peak to peak voltage across the load can never be more than V design, just like the single-ended amplifier.
DD DD

or +V

CC

& -V

EE

, the same as a basic single-ended

in a single supply design or more than +V

CC

+ |-V

EE

| for a dual supply

5.2.1 Output Voltages 1 What is the maximum peak voltage across the load for a single supply, parallel amplifier configuration?
1. VDD 2. 4V 3. VDD 4. GND 1 Answer: The peak voltage is V
DD

using ideal amplifiers.

2 How is a parallel amplifier different than a single-ended amplifier?


1. There are at least two amplifiers. 2. There is really no difference. 3. Total power dissipation is spread across the amplifiers. 4. Answers 1 & 3 are correct. 5. None of the above are correct. 2 Answer: Answer 4. A parallel configuration has at least two amplifiers. Each amplifier in a parallel configuration looks like a single-ended amplifier but the output current and power dissipation is shared across the amplifiers.

3
Adding amplifiers in parallel without changing the supply voltage(s) or load impedance will greatly increase output power compared to a single-ended amplifier operating within output current and power dissipation limits. 1. True. 2. False. 3 Answer: False. The parallel configuration is used to increase output current capability with a lower impedance load and to increase power dissipation ability for increased supply voltage(s).

5.3 External Component Recommendations

Many of the recommendations for external components are the same as for the basic single-ended amplifier. A parallel design requires more tightly controlled tolerances for some external components as explained below. Gain resistors should be a minimum of 1% tolerance. A tolerance of 0.1% is recommended for the gain setting resistors. If the gains of the amplifiers in parallel are not closely matched then there will be unequal output current sharing, unequal power dissipation, and the higher gain amplifiers will drive current into the lower gain amplifiers increasing total power dissipation. The R
OUT

resistors are typically 0.1 - 0.3. The exact values depend on the amplifiers. Theses resistors help account for differences in output

DC offset voltage and gain differences. The resistors are in the output path and may see large currents so the wattage rating must be designed accordingly. A safe rating for a 100W/4 design is 3W. The input capacitor, C , is needed to block DC voltage from the source and in a single supply design, to also block DC voltage from the input
IN

pins of the amplifier which are at V

DD

. The amplifier inputs may be connected in parallel after the C


IN

IN

capacitor (as shown below) to keep

external component count to a minimum.The value of C The C


OUT

should be large enough to have the desired frequency response.

capacitor(s) are only needed in single supply designs. The values should be large enough to achieve the required frequency

response. Capacitor C (not shown on schematic) may represent either one or several capacitors on the supply line. The purpose of this capacitor is to
S

filter noise off the supply line and also to stabilize the supply line. Common values for C range from a single 1F tantalum capacitor on 5V amplifiers to three capacitors in parallel on a high voltage, high
S

power amplifier. An example would be a 0.1F ceramic capacitor to filter noise in parallel with a 10F electrolytic or tantalum capacitor to filter lower frequency noise in parallel with an even larger electrolytic capacitor as a current reservoir. As output current increases the capacitor that is acting as a current reservoir should also increase in value.

5.4 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Parallel


(PA) Audio Amplifier Design
There are advantages and disadvantages to a PA configuration. Advantages: Power dissipation is shared across the amplifiers allowing higher operating supply voltages and/or lower impedance loads for increased output power. Typically easily implemented with any amplifier IC. Decreased power dissipation on each amplifier compared to a single-ended amplifier under the same conditions. Can use any number of amplifiers in parallel for even higher power or reduced power dissipation per IC. Can use the same PCB for different amplifier models with different power levels. High power models have more of the PCB populated and more amplifiers in parallel than lower power models. Disadvantages:

Requires at least two amplifier channels increasing the cost of silicon. Gain needs to be matched very closely increasing the cost of external components and R
OUT

ballast resistors are needed.


OUT

Single supply designs require physically large and high value output AC coupling, DC blocking capacitor(s), C

5.5 Deriving the Parallel Class AB


Maximum Power Dissipation Formula
In this course the amplifiers are Class AB but are being used in different configurations. The Class AB maximum power dissipation formula is used as a starting point. The first bullet below is for review. The Class AB power dissipation peak occurs at 50% efficiency, when the amplifier output power is equal to the power dissipation. Peak power dissipation, P , for a mono, single-ended Class AB amplifier is found using the formula:
D
MAX

MAX

(SE)

= (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

A parallel configuration requires at least two amplifiers which drive the same load impedance from the same power supply. Once the P one amplifier is found then simply doubling it will give the total P At first glance all of the variables in the P used in calculation for the P
D
MAX

for

MAX

MAX

(PA)

for the PA configuration.

equation appear to be known. A simple DC illustration will make it clear that the load impedance

MAX

of one of the amplifiers in parallel is not the same as the physical load impedance.

The DC supplies are set to 2V each and they are connected as shown. Measuring the voltage across the load will give 2V. With a 4 load the current through the load is 0.5A. Since each supply is 2V and provides of the total current or 0.25A each, then using Ohm's Law the impedance 'seen' by each supply is: 2V/0.25A = 8 Each amplifier in a two amplifier PA design will provide HALF of the total current to the load. The load impedance appears to each amplifier in a two amplifier design to be twice the physical load impedance. A 2 (in bold & underlined) is added to the P formula so it becomes:
D
MAX

(PA)

MAX

(PA)

= (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 2R ) (Watts)


L

This is the maximum power dissipation for one amplifier of a two amplifier parallel design. Since there are two amplifiers in the PA configuration to get the total maximum power dissipation for the PA configuration another factor of 2 is added to the equation so that the equation becomes: P
D
MAX

(PA)

= 2 * (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 2R ) (Watts)


L

Cancelling the added 2 on the top and the added 2 on the bottom gives: P Which is simply: P
D
MAX

MAX

(PA)

= (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

(PA)

=P

MAX

(SE)

A parallel design will have the same total power dissipation as a single-ended design under the same conditions. The difference is that the power dissipation is shared equally by each amplifier in the configuration. This allows for lower impedance loads and/or higher supply voltages to be used for higher output power while not having too much power dissipation on each amplifier. To find the amount of power dissipation on each amplifier the P formula is used then divided by the number of amplifiers in parallel.
D
MAX

(PA)

Another method to find the power dissipation per amplifier is to multiply the load impedance by the number of amplifiers in parallel. This will give the impedance seen by each amplifier. Then the P formula
D
MAX

(SE)

can be used for each amplifier with the new impedance.

5.5.1 Parallel Class AB Power Dissipation 1


A two amplifier parallel design has twice the power dissipation compared to a single-ended amplifier under the same conditions because there are two amplifiers in parallel.

1. True. 2. False. 1 Answer: False. A parallel design has the SAME total power dissipation as a single-ended amplifier under the same supply voltage and load impedance. PA power dissipation per amplifier is lower but the total remains the same. What is the total gain if each amplifier in parallel has a gain of 10V/V?

2
1. 5V/V 2. 10V/V 3. 20V/V 4. 40V/V 2 Answer: 10V/V. The total gain of a PA design is equal to the gain on each amplifier in parallel, which all have the same gain, if each amplifier is driven from the source.

3
What is the total gain for a PA design if the first amplifier has a gain of 5V/V and the second amplifier is set to non-inverting mode and unity gain? The output of the first amplifier is used as the input to the second amplifier. 1. 5V/V 2. 6V/V 3. 10V/V 4. 20V/V 3 Answer: 5V/V. The total gain of a PA design where the output of the first amplifier feeds the input to the second amplifier which is set to non-inverting mode with unity gain is equal to the gain of the first amplifier.

4
The load impedance 'seen' by each amplifier in a parallel configuration is equal to: Number of Amplifiers in parallel * Real Load Impedance. 1. True. 2. False. 4 Answer: True. Each amplifier in parallel 'sees' a load impedance that is always higher than the real load impedance. The value seen by each amplifier is equal to the number of amplifiers in parallel * the real impedance.

5 In a three amplifier parallel design, what percentage of total power dissipation does each amplifier dissipate?
1. 33.3% 2. 50% 3. 66.7% 4. 78.5% 5 Answer: 33.3% The amplifiers in parallel all dissipate equal amounts of the total power dissipated.

6. The Bridge/Parallel Amplifier (BPA) Configuration


This chapter will explain how the Bridge/Parallel Amplifier configuration works, how the output waveforms appear, discuss the advantages and disadvantages compared to the Single-End (SE) configuration, and derive the correct total maximum power dissipation formula, P .
D
MAX

(BPA)

6.1 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 1 6.2 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 2 6.3 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 3 6.4 Output Waveform of a BPA Audio Amplifier 6.5 External Component Recommendations 6.6 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bridged/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Design 6.7 Deriving the Bridged/Parallel Class AB Maximum Power Dissipation Formula

6.1 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 1


The previous chapters showed two methods to over come different limitations of amplifier ICs to achieve higher output power. The bridge configuration is used to over come supply voltage limitations but at the cost of higher power dissipation. Because of the increase in power dissipation the BTL configuration is used mostly with higher impedance loads. The parallel configuration is used to over come output current limitations as well as to spread out power dissipation among several ICs for use with lower impedance loads and/or higher supply voltages. If the two configurations are combined then the Bridge/Parallel (BPA) amplifier is created. The BPA configuration requires a minimum of four amplifiers. The amplifiers can be on the same IC, separate ICs in the same IC package, or any other combination. Two of the amplifiers are in parallel with each other creating identical waveforms and form one side of the bridge. The other two amplifiers are also in parallel with each other creating identical waveforms and form the other side of the bridge. Each side of the bridge is connected to one side of the load and creates an identical signal but 180 out of phase with the other side of the bridge. The BPA configuration will increase the voltage swing across the load by up to twice as much as a single-ended configuration under the same conditions. A four amplifier BPA configuration also doubles the output current capability for each side of the bridge. Due to the size of the schematics, the examples are shown on individual pages. The explanation text above is repeated just for easy reference. A bridge/parallel configuration may be created by: Two amplifiers configured in Inverting mode connected in parallel while the other two are configured in Non-inverting mode and in parallel. More care is needed to match gain because the formulas for gain are different for inverting and non-inverting modes. In the schematic below the top amplifiers are configured in non-inverting mode with a gain of 10.87V/V. The bottom amplifiers are configured in inverting mode with a gain of 10.87V/V. The total gain for the BPA is 21.7V/V.

Some Observations/Notes: BPA configuration can be used with single supply or split supply designs. Each side of the bridge (load) is biased to the same DC voltage so there is no net DC voltage across the load. With no net DC voltage seen by the load there is no need for DC blocking output capacitors for a single supply design. The output of each parallel pair swing around the DC bias 180 out of phase with the other parallel pair on the other side of the bridge.

For this BPA configuration where each amplifier gets the signal from the source the gain of all amplifiers should be as close to identical as possible. Total gain is equal to the sum of the gain on each side of the bridge. Depending on the source, a unity gain buffer may be needed to drive all the amplifiers to eliminate potential loading of the source.
To achieve the highest output power for a BPA design, each amplifier IC should see a load impedance that results in the most output power from that IC. For example, some amplifier ICs have greater output power at 8 due to limited output current while others might have greater output power at 4 due to supply voltage limitations.

6.2 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 2


The BPA configuration requires a minimum of four amplifiers. The amplifiers can be on the same IC, separate ICs in the same IC package, or any other combination. Two of the amplifiers are in parallel with each other creating identical waveforms and form one side of the bridge. The other two amplifiers are also in parallel with each other creating identical waveforms and form the other side of the bridge. Each side of the bridge is connected to one side of the load and creates an identical signal but 180 out of phase with the other side of the bridge. The BPA configuration will increase the voltage swing across the load by up to twice as much as a single-ended configuration under the same conditions. A four amplifier BPA configuration also doubles the output current capability for each side of the bridge. All amplifiers are configured in the same mode with the signal to one side of the bridge being inverted before the input to the amplifiers. In the schematic below all amplifiers are configured for non-inverting mode with a gain of 11V/V. Total gain for the BPA is 22V/V.

Some Observations/Notes: BPA configuration can be used with single supply or split supply designs. Each side of the bridge (load) is biased to the same DC voltage so there is no net DC voltage across the load. With no net DC voltage seen by the load there is no need for DC blocking output capacitors for a single supply design. The output of each parallel pair swing around the DC bias 180 out of phase with the other parallel pair on the other side of the bridge. For this BPA configuration the gain of all amplifiers should be as close to identical as possible. Total gain is equal to the sum of the gain on each side of the bridge. The above configuration simplifies the Build of Materials (BOM) since all amplifiers have exactly the same

value and type of external component. Cost is higher due to the inverting amplifier needed before the input to the bottom amplifiers of the bridge.
To achieve the highest output power for a BPA design, each amplifier IC should see a load impedance that results in the most output power from that IC. For example, some amplifier ICs have greater output power at 8 due to limited output current while others might have greater output power at 4 due to supply voltage limitations.

6.3 How a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Audio Amplifier Works - Schematic 3


The BPA configuration requires a minimum of four amplifiers. The amplifiers can be on the same IC, separate ICs in the same IC package, or any other combination. Two of the amplifiers are in parallel with each other creating identical waveforms and form one side of the bridge. The other two amplifiers are also in parallel with each other creating identical waveforms and form the other side of the bridge. Each side of the bridge is connected to one side of the load and creates an identical signal but 180 out of phase with the other side of the bridge. The BPA configuration will increase the voltage swing across the load by up to twice as much as a single-ended configuration under the same conditions. A four amplifier BPA configuration also doubles the output current capability for each side of the bridge. The output of one amplifier feeds the input to the other amplifier on the same side of the bridge which is set to unity gain and Non-Inverting mode. The output of the first amplifier also feeds the other two amplifiers on the other side of the bridge which have unity gain and are configured for Inverting mode. The first amplifier can be in inverting or non-inverting mode. In the schematic the first amplifier is configured for non-inverting mode with a gain of 11V/V so total gain for the BPA is 22V/V. This configuration is not possible with all amplifiers as the amplifiers must be unity gain stable.

Some Observations/Notes: BPA configuration can be used with single supply or split supply designs. Each side of the bridge (load) is biased to the same DC voltage so there is no net DC voltage across the load. With no net DC voltage seen by the load there is no need for DC blocking output capacitors for a single supply design. The output of each parallel pair swing around the DC bias 180 out of phase with the other parallel pair on the other side of the bridge.

For this BPA configuration where the output of one amplifier drives the inputs of the unity gain amplifiers, the total gain is equal twice the gain of the first amplifier. One way to think about the total gain of such a configuration is that the other amplifiers are getting an input signal that has already been gained up. So each amplifier has an output that is gained up by the same amount as the first amplifier's gain. An advantage to this design is the minimal external count and no loading of the source since the source only drives the input to one amplifier. The big disadvantage is that most amplifiers ICs are not unity gain stable so the configuration is not possible.

To achieve the highest output power for a BPA design, each amplifier IC should see a load impedance that results in the most output power from that IC. For example, some amplifier ICs have greater output power at 8 due to limited output current while others might have greater output power at 4 due to supply voltage limitations.

6.4 Output Waveform of a BPA Audio Amplifier


The diagram below is the output on each amplifier for a four amplifier BPA design, which is almost the same as the BTL waveform. The waveforms of the PA and BTL are combined to create the BPA wavefrom. The color lines are the outputs of each amplifier in parallel on the same side of the bridge, Red/Blue for one pair and Green/Purple for the other pair. The color lines might be a little hard to see as they are drawn to a 1% tolerance scale for the gain matching resistors. The black line is the output across the load and on an oscilloscope when using the MATH function. From this diagram a few points can be observed: Each output swings around the DC bias, normally V
DD

for a single supply design and GND for a dual or split supply design. The outputs on

each side of the bridge are 180 out of phase with the other side and in phase with all amplifiers on the same side of the bridge. The peak voltage across the load is equal to the total supply voltage, either V
DD

or +V

CC

+ |-V

EE

|.

Each time there is a peak the total supply voltage is seen across the load. One side of the bridge will swing down close to the minimum supply voltage (GND or -V ) and the other side will swing close to the maximum supply voltage (V or +V ).
EE DD CC

The peak to peak voltage across the load is double the total supply voltage. While this can be confusing on how the output can have twice the voltage of the total supply voltage, using an oscilloscope's MATH function will create just such a waveform. At no time is there more voltage across the load than the total supply voltage. What the oscilloscope is showing is that the total supply voltage is across the load each time there is a peak but the sign of the peak changes each time relative to which ever output is considered the reference. Peak to peak voltage is not a single point in time measurement but two different time points.

6.4.1 Output Voltages 1 What is the maximum peak voltage across the load for a single supply, BPA amplifier configuration?
1. VDD 2. 4V 3. VDD 4. GND 1 Answer: The peak voltage is V
DD

using ideal amplifiers. One side of the bridge will be at GND while the other side is at V

DD

2 The load can have up to double the total supply voltage across it at a single point in time.
1. True

2. False 2 Answer: False. At a single point in time the load may have up to the total supply voltage across it. The peak to peak voltage does not occur at a single point in time.

6.5 External Component Recommendations


The recommendations for external components are the same for the BPA configuration as for the basic single-ended amplifier, the BTL and the PA amplifiers. The recommendations are repeated below for review. Gain resistors should be 1% tolerance or better, preferably 0.1%. If the gains of the amplifiers are not closely matched then there will be asymmetrical clipping and the amplifiers in parallel driving current into each other increasing power dissipation. The input capacitor, C , is needed to block DC voltage from the source and in a single supply design, to also block DC voltage from the input
IN

pins of the amplifiers which are at V The R


OUT

DD

resistors are typically 0.1 - 0.3. The exact values depend on the amplifiers. Theses resistors help account for differences in output

DC offset voltage and gain differences. The resistors are in the output path and may see large currents so the wattage rating must be designed accordingly. Capacitor C may represent either one or several capacitors on the supply line. The purpose of this capacitor is to filter noise off the supply line
S

and also to stabilize the supply line. Common values for C (not shown on schematic) range from a single 1F tantalum capacitor on 5V amplifiers to three capacitors in
S

parallel on a high voltage, high power amplifier. An example would be a 0.1F ceramic capacitor to filter noise in parallel with a 10F electrolytic or tantalum capacitor to filter lower frequency noise in parallel with an even larger electrolytic capacitor as a current reservoir. As output current increases the capacitor that is acting as a current reservoir should also increase in value.

6.6 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bridged/Parallel


(BPA) Audio Amplifier Design
There are advantages and disadvantages to a BPA configuration. Advantages: Four times as much output power compared to a singled-ended design is easily achievable. Eliminates the need for output coupling capacitors in single supply designs. Generally lower noise. This is because some noise will be common mode, the same on both sides of the bridge. Since the noise is the same and on both sides of the bridge there is no effect on the load. Lower noise is also because each amplifier in the bridge only has of the total gain. Lower gain improves noise performance. 'Click' or 'pop' sounds at power up/down are typically less of a problem in BPA designs because the turn on/off transient is common mode resulting in zero volts across the differential load. Disadvantages: Requires at least four amplifier channels increasing the cost of silicon. Reduced reliability and added complexity with a minimum of four amplifiers. May be difficult or costly to implemented depending on the amplifier ICs used.

6.7 Deriving the Bridged/Parallel Class AB


Maximum Power Dissipation Formula
In this course the amplifiers are Class AB but are being used in different configurations. The Class AB maximum power dissipation formula is used as a

starting point. The first bullet below is for review. The Class AB power dissipation peak occurs at 50% efficiency, when the amplifier output power is equal to the power dissipation. Peak power dissipation, P , for a mono, single-ended Class AB amplifier is found using the formula:
D
MAX

P To determine the total P

MAX

(SE)

= (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) (Watts)


L

MAX

(BPA)

formula there are several routes that can be taken. On route is to determine the load impedance each
D

amplifier in the BPA configuration sees and then calculate the P P


D
MAX

for each amplifier. Adding up the P

MAX

for each amplifier will give the total

MAX

(BPA)

. Another route is to determine a general formula for the BPA amplifier as was done for the BTL and PA amplifiers. Both will be shown

here for clarity. The first step in determining what load impedance each amplifier sees is to determine what load impedance each side of the bridge sees. From the previous discussion on the BTL configuration it was shown that each side of a bridge in a BTL configuration will see the real load impedance. So: R
L

= R

(BTL)

A four amplifier BPA configuration has two amplifiers in parallel on each side of the bridge. From the previous discussion for the PA amplifier the load impedance seen by each amplifier is equal to: R
L

= # of Amps. in Parallel * R

(PA)

Since there are two amplifiers in parallel on each side of bridge the load impedance each amplifier in a four amplifier BPA design sees is equal to: R
L

= # of Amps in PA * R R = 2 * R R =R

(BPA)

(BTL)

(BPA)

(BPA)

The load impedance seen by each amplifier in a four amplifier BPA design is equal to the real load impedance. The general formula for the load impedance seen by each amplifier in a BPA design is: R
L

= # of Amps. in Parallel * R

(BPA)

Using the general formula above for BPA load impedance, the load impedance for each amplifier in any BPA design can be determined. Then using the P formula the power dissipation can be found for each amplifier in the BPA design. Adding up the power dissipation on each
D
MAX

(SE)

amplifier will give the P

MAX

(BPA)

value. formula then simply divide the total by the number of amplifiers in the BPA design to determine

The other method is to determine the P individual amplifier P


D

MAX

(BPA)

. is actually very easy. The formula derived for a bridge configuration is: P =4*P

MAX

Finding a general formula for P

MAX

(BPA)

MAX

(BTL)

MAX

(SE)

It was also found that the parallel configuration has no effect on TOTAL power dissipation compared to a single-ended configuration (P =P
D
MAX

MAX

(PA)

(SE)

) but simply shares the power dissipation equally among all amplifiers in parallel. Putting these two facts together means that: P =P =4*P

MAX

(BPA)

MAX

(BTL)

MAX

(SE)

The payment for four times the output power compared to a single-ended amplifier is four times the total power dissipation for a BPA configuration. As a quick check we can use the two methods to verify that a BPA amplifier has the same total power dissipation as a BTL amplifier. It was found that for a four amplifier BPA design each amplifier sees a load impedance equal to the real load impedance. Each amplifier has a maximum power dissipation equal to P . With four amplifiers the total power dissipation for this BPA design is equal to: 4 * P , the
D
MAX

(SE)

MAX

(SE)

same as determined. A second check is to use the general formula for BPA load impedance. Each amplifier in the BPA will have a power dissipation equal to:

= (Total Supply Voltage) /[2 (# of amps in PA * R )]


L

MAX

The total power dissipation for a BPA configuration is the sum of the power dissipations for each amplifier. P
D (BPA)

= # of Amps in BPA * {(Total Supply Voltage) /[2 (# of amps in PA * R )]}


L

MAX

Rearranging terms gives the general formula: P


D (BPA)

= (# of Amps in BPA) * [2/(# of Amps in PA)]* {(Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R )}


L

MAX

The number of amplifiers in parallel on each side of the bridge in a BPA design is always the total number in a BPA design. Substituting and canceling terms gives the final general formula: P
D (BPA)

= 4 * (Total Supply Voltage) /(2 R ) = 4 * P


L

MAX

MAX

(SE)

6.7.1 Bridge/Parallel Class AB Power Dissipation 1


What is the load impedance each amplifier sees in a 6 amplifier BPA design where there are 3 amplifiers in parallel on each side of the bridge driving a 4 load.. 1. 2 2. 4 3. 6 4. 8 1 Answer: 6 The general formula for the load impedance each amplifier sees in a BPA design is: R
L

= # of Amps. in Parallel * R .
L

(BPA)

What is the total gain if each amplifier in a BPA design has a gain of 10V/V?

2
1. 5V/V 2. 10V/V 3. 20V/V 4. 40V/V 2 Answer: 20V/V. The total gain of a BPA design is equal to the sum of the gain on each side of the bridge. What percentage of the total power dissipation does each amplifier in a 8 amplifier BPA design dissipate?

3
1. 12.5% 2. 25% 3. 33.3% 4. 50% 3 Answer: 12.5% The total power dissipation is shared equally among all amplifiers therefore each amplifier has 1/8 or 12.5% of the total power dissipation.

4 If the lowest impedance each amplifier in a 4 amplifier BPA design can drive is 4, what should the real load impedance be?
1. 2 2. 4 3. 6 4. 8 4 Answer: 4. Each amplifier in a BPA design will see a load impedance equal to: R
L

= # of Amps. in PA * R .
L

(BPA)

7. Course Review & Examples

This chapter will review the material covered. General guidelines on how to determine the best configuration for a design will be given. Examples will be provided. 7.1 Design Guidelines & Review 7.2 Examples

7.1 Design Guidelines & Review


Below are the most important points to remember about each amplifier configuration. The Non-Inverting configuration may have high input impedance. Phase is maintained from input to output. The Inverting configuration has low input impedance. Phase from input to output is 180 different. The Bridge configuration uses two amplifiers and is used to overcome voltage limitations to achieve higher output power by doubling the voltage across the load. Each side of the bridge creates an identical signal but 180 out of phase with the other side of the bridge. The load is connected between the outputs of the bridge. Each side of the bridge will see a load impedance equal to R . Most amplifier ICs prefer a load impedance
L

of 4 or 8 limiting the BTL configuration to loads of 8 or higher. The Parallel configuration uses at least two amplifiers and is used to overcome output current limitations and/or power dissipation limitations. The total power dissipation is shared equally by each amplifier in parallel. The output current is also shared equally by each amplifier. All amplifiers in parallel create identical signals. The load is connected single-ended with one side to GND. Each amplifier in parallel will see a load impedance equal to # of Amps. in PA * R . Most amplifier ICs prefer a load impedance of 4 or 8 making the PA configuration best for loads of
L

4 or lower. The Bridge/Parallel configuration combines all the advantages of both the bridge and parallel configurations. The BPA configuration uses at least four amplifiers and is used to achieve very high output power. Each amplifier in the BPA design will see a load impedance equal to # of Amps. in PA * R . One of the disadvantages of the BPA configuration is the added complexity and resulting reduced reliability.
L

Formula Review: Bridge Maximum Power Dissipation: P


D
MAX

(BTL)

=4*P

MAX

(SE)

Impedance seen by each amplifier in the bridge: R Parallel Maximum Power Dissipation: P

= R

(BTL)

MAX

(PA)

=P

MAX

(SE)

Impedance seen by each amplifier in parallel: R Bridge/Parallel Maximum Power Dissipation: P

= # of Amps. in PA * R =P

(PA)

MAX

(BPA)

MAX

(BTL)

=4*P

MAX

(SE)

Impedance seen by each amplifier in the BPA design: R

= (# of Amps. in PA) * R

(BPA)

7.2 Examples
This page will give some examples of how to find power dissipation and load impedance seen by each amplifier in the different configurations. Example 1: Find the power dissipation per IC for a 3 amplifier parallel (PA) configuration that is driving a 2 load with +/-26V supplies. There are two ways to arrive at the correct answer: Find the total power dissipation and divide by the number of amplifiers. Find what load impedance each amplifier sees and calculate power dissipation using the new load impedance. Method 1: To find the total power dissipation the P P
D D
MAX

(PA)

formula is used which is the same as for a single-ended amplifier:


2 2

MAX

(PA)

= (52V) /(2 * 2) = 68.5W total = 68.5W/3 = 22.8W each

MAX

Method 2: The general formula for load impedance seen by each amplifier in parallel is # of Amps. in PA * R . Using this formula each
L

amplifier will see a load impedance equal to 6. The using the single-ended P P
2 2 D

formula the per amplifier power dissipation is:

MAX

= (52V) /(2 * 6) = 22.8W each

MAX

Example 2: A designer wants to design a Bridge/Parallel (BPA) amplifier using a 2 load to get the highest amount of power. The amplifier ICs he wants to use get the best output power when driving 4&Omega. How many amplifier ICs in parallel are needed on each side of the bridge in the BPA design to meet these requirements? To find the number of amplifiers needed the general formula for load impedance seen by each amplifier in a BPA design is used: R
L

= # of Amps. in PA * R

(BPA)

Rearranging the formula to find the # of Amps. in PA gives: # of Amps. in PA = R


L

* R = 4 * (2) = 4 Amps. in PA
L

(BPA)

Since the number of amplifiers in parallel in a BPA design is always equal to of the total the designer will need to use 8 amplifier ICs total, 4 in parallel on each side of the bridge. Example 3: Find the total and per amplifier power dissipation for a BTL configuration driving an 8 load with +/-22V supplies. There are two ways to arrive at the correct answer: Find the total power dissipation and divide by the number of amplifiers to get per amplifier power dissipation. Find what load impedance each amplifier sees and calculate power dissipation using the new load impedance for each amplifier. Then add to find the total power dissipation. Method 1: To find the total power dissipation the P P
D (BTL) D
MAX

(BTL)

formula is used which is:


(SE)

=4*P P

MAX

= 4 * (44V) /(2 * 8) = 49.0W total

MAX

= 49.04W/2 = 24.5W each = R . Using this formula each amplifier


L

MAX

Method 2: The general formula for load impedance seen by each amplifier in a bridge is R will see a load impedance equal to 4. The using the single-ended P P
2 2 D D
MAX

(BTL)

formula the per amplifier power dissipation is:

= (44V) /(2 * 4) = 24.5W each = 24.5W * 2 = 49.0W total

MAX

MAX

(BTL)

A-Weighted Filter
A standard filter that attempts to mimic the frequency response of the human ear. Most commonly used for Noise and SNR measurements. The frequency response of an A-Wtg filter is shown below.

Bass
The low frequency portion of the audio band generally from <20Hz to 250Hz.

Bridge-Tied Load (BTL) Configuration


Bridge-Tied load refers to how the load is connected to the amplifiers. In a BTL configuration the load has one side connected to an amplifier output. The other side of the load is also connected to an amplifier output. The load sits between or bridges the outputs. BTL configuration is mostly used to increase output power with limited voltage supplies. Bridge configuration is also referred to as differential output.

Bridge/Parallel (BPA) Configuration


Bridge/Parallel Configuration is an advanced design but with simple theory. The design involves creating a BTL configuration then adding additional amplifiers in parallel on both sides of the bridge. Output voltage and output current are increased with the same supply voltage using a BPA design.

Single-ended
Single-ended refers to how the load is connected to the amplifier(s). In a single-ended configuration the load has only one side, single, connected to an output. The other side of the load is connected to ground.

Thermal Resistance
Thermal resistance is commonly specified in Degrees per Watt (C/W). It is a measure of temperature rise in degrees when X number of watts is being dissipated. The greek letter Theta, , is used in conjunction with subscript letters (normally two letters) to signify Thermal Resistance and the path of heat. Example: is the designation for thermal resistance from the Junction to the Case.
jc

Class AB Maximum Power Dissipation point


Maximum power dissipation is referred to as P
D

. The formula given in this course is the maximum power dissipation point for a mono, single-ended,
D

MAX

Class AB amplifier ONLY. Class AB bridge and parallel amplifier configurations and multichannel class AB amplifiers have a P mono, singled-ended, Class AB formula. Other amplifier classes are not discussed in this course. P
D

derived from this

MAX

= (Total Supply Voltage) / (2 R ) (Watts)


L

MAX

CMRR
Common Mode Rejection Ratio. Specified in dB, either dBr or dBV and generally giving the amplitude and frequency of the ripple signal. CMRR is the ability of a balanced/differential circuit to reject unwanted signals that are on both (common) inputs/outputs and are the same frequency and phase.

Cross Talk (Xtalk)


Specified in dB, typically dBr or dBV. Cross Talk is a measurement for multi channel amplifiers only. One channel has a signal of specified level and the other channels are measured to see how much of that signal is present the outputs. Cross Talk is also known as Channel Separation.

dBFS
Decibel Full Scale. Decibels with respect to digital full scale where 0 dBFS is the RMS value of a sinewave with a peak equal to digital full scale.

dBm
Decibel milliwatt, Decibel relative to a reference value of 1mW and typically a 600 resistance. The voltage would be 0.7746V. dBm may be written with a subscript showing the resistance reference such as dBm .
600

dBr
Decibel relative. A commonly used unit in datasheets. It is most often written without the 'r' as simply dB. When used in a specification the reference value will be stated.

dBu
Decibel relative to 0.7746V. dBu is equal to dBm when the circuit impedance is 600. The dBu unit does not require that the impedance be known and is more common than dBm.

dBV
Decibel relative to 1V. Similar to dBu in that dBV is a voltage reference unit as well. 1V is typically 1V
RMS

Decade
The interval between two frequencies with a ratio of 10:1. Examples: 50Hz to 500Hz or 1kHz to 10kHz.

Decibels (dB)
A unit of sound level but can be a unit for any measurement. The decibel is a ratio unit for expressing signal amplitudes. If the amplitudes are expressed in voltage then the formula is dB = 20 log (V /V ). If the amplitudes are expressed in power then the formula is dB = 10 log (P /P ).
10 1 2 10 1 2

Differential
Differential input or output uses two connections to drive the signal. Only the difference between the two connections is seen as an input or output. Differential inputs are advantageous due to the higher SNR ratio and improvement in CMRR compared to single-ended inputs.

Driver
What is commonly called a speaker, a driver is a single woofer, subwoofer, midrange, tweeter or any other audio transducer. When a driver or mutiple drivers are put into an enclosure then it is called a speaker.

Dropout/Clipping Voltage
Specified in Volts (V). Clipping voltage is the maximum voltage amplitude that an amplifier can produce on the output. The difference between the clipping voltage and the supply voltage is known as the dropout voltage.

Efficiency ()
Specified in %. Efficiency is a measure of how good a device is at transferring input power to output power.

Frequency Response
Frequency response is the range of frequencies that a device can perform its function correctly. Frequency response is specified in +/-dB relative to the flat band portion of the response, typically 1kHz. Common limits are +/-10dB, +/-3dB, +/-1dB and +/-0.5dB.

Gain Margin
Typically specified in dB. Gain Margin is the difference in gain at unity and the gain when the phase angle reaches 180. Gain Margin represents the amount by which the loop gain can be increased while stability is maintained. See also Phase Margin.

GBWP
Gain Bandwidth Product. Specified in Hz, normally MHz. GBWP is found by multiplying the open loop midband gain and the -3dB bandwidth.

Hertz (Hz)
The unit of frequency. One Hertz is equal to one cycle per second. The period of a periodic waveform is equal to: T (seconds) = 1/Hz.

Intermodulation Distortion (IMD)


Specified in % or dB. Intermodulation distortion is measured by feeding two sine waves, F & F , at different frequencies into the amplifier. The
1 2

measurement looks at how much distortion products, F +/- F , and their harmonics are generated by the amplifier. There are several standards for
1 2

IMD with one being the SMPTE standard which is 60Hz & 7kHz with the ratio of the amplitudes being 4:1 respectively.

Loudness
Loudness may be in reference to SPL (see definition for SPL) or the function on some amplifier units. Electronic Loudness control is done by boosting the bass and treble at lower volume levels and reducing the amount of boost as the volume is increase.

Midrange
The middle frequency portion of the audio band from about 250Hz up to around 4kHz.

Midrange Driver
The driver in a 3 way speaker that handles the midrange audio portion of frequencies.

Noise
Noise is a measurement of the output level in the specified bandwidth when the amplifier is not driving a signal. Noise is commonly specified in V and dBV along with a bandwidth. In addition to the THD+N bandwidths, Noise often uses an A-Weighted filter as the bandwidth. Noise is further defined as either 'Input Referred' or 'Output Referred'. Input Referred is the output noise level divided by the gain. Output Referred is the output noise level without any gain adjustments.

Octave
The interval between two frequencies with a ratio of 2:1. Examples: 400Hz to 800Hz or 5kHz to 10kHz.

Output Power
Specified in Watts
RMS

driving a specified load impedance with a limit on the maximum THD+N. Common THD+N levels in an output power

specification are <0.1%, 1% and 10%.

Parallel Configuration
A parallel configuration uses two or more amplifiers connected in parallel to increase output current drive and/or spread power dissipation. Parallel configurations typically are single-ended designs.

Phase Margin
Specified in degrees. Phase margin is calculated by finding the frequency at which the gain of an amplifier reaches unity. The phase angle at this frequency is subtracted from 180 to calculate the phase margin. For an amplifier to be stable the phase margin must be positive or there will be positive feedback resulting in oscillation.

Pink Noise
Pink noise is often used in audio testing. Pink noise is similar to white noise but does not have equal spectral power distribution. Pink noise is any noise that has a spectral power distribution that is equal per octave, decade or any other equal-percentage section, across the spectrum. For example, pink noise has the same power in the octave from 50Hz to 100Hz as in the octave between 10kHz and 20kHz.

PSRR (also k

SVR

Power Supply Rejection Ratio specified in dB, either dBV or dBr and generally giving the amplitude and frequency of the ripple signal on the power supply. PSRR is the ratio of the AC signal on the power supply relative to the level of the same signal as seen on the output of the amplifier.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)

Specified in dB. SNR is the ratio of the noise level referenced to some specified output level, commonly near maximum amplifier output without clipping. A SNR specification will have the noise bandwidth and output level listed.

Slew Rate
Specified in V/s. Slew Rate is the speed at which the output of an amplifier can change amplitudes.

SMPTE
Stands for Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)


Specified in dB. Sound pressure level is a measurement of loudness. Audio speakers will often have a SPL specification which is specified at 1 meter away from the speaker with 1W of amplifier power to the speaker. SPL or Loudness increases with amplifier power but on a log scale so double the amplifier power is 3dB increase in loudness and a 10X increase in amplifier power is 10dB louder which is only twice as loud.

SubWoofer
A speaker that handles only low bass frequencies generally 150Hz and lower.

THD+N
Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise. Specified in % or dB relative to the input (fundamental) signal. THD+N is measured by removing the input signal (fundamental) from the output then measuring the remaining output signal which is made up of any harmonics of the input (fundamental) and noise. THD+N often has a bandwidth limitation such that only noise and harmonics within the bandwidth contribute to the THD+N measurement. Common bandwidths are 20kHz, 22kHz, 30kHz & 80kHz.

Treble
The upper frequency portion of the audio band, generally 4kHz - 20kHz and above.

Tweeter Driver
The driver in a speaker that handles the treble audio portion of frequencies.

Watt (W)
Unit of power calculated by Power = Voltage * Current. Unless stated, power is typically a RMS value verses peak or instantaneous.

White Noise
White noise is completely random noise that occurs naturally in the universe. White noise can be heard by tuning any radio to a dead spot (where there is no radio station).

Woofer Driver
The driver in a speaker that handles the bass audio portion of frequencies.

Frequently Asked Questions


he designation for thermal resistance from the Junction to the Case.

Questions Answers Contact/Help Information


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