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surface1 or over the equivalent end aperture planes,2 essentially contain the dominant term

where K /.0[/.g, k =


and ?.g is the rod wavelength. At frequencies outside the stoptsM

Fig. 1 A

Composite-rod structure

band, it might be expected that the difference between the uniform-rod and composite-rod patterns could be explained by the different dispersion relationships of the two structures. However, since the mean relative permittivity of the composite rod is less than that of the uniform rod, this indicates that K will be smaller for the composite rod. This was confirmed by measurements which gave a value K = 1-22 for the composite rod compared to K = 1-33 for the uniform rod at 9-4 GHz. The radiation-pattern equations indicate that the beamwidth of the composite should be greater than the uniform-rod beamwidth. This is seen to be the case at frequencies below the stopband, but the opposite is true for frequencies above the stopband. The equation suggests that the angular positions of the sidelobes should lie closer to the main beam for the uniform rod than for the composite rod, and this was found to be the case. The equation also indicates that the first sidelobe levels should be approximately 4-6 dB greater for the uniform rod, and this is found to be the case above the stopband, but appears to be somewhat less below the stopband. Since the increased gain property of a composite structure is not a surface-wave-propagation effect, an explanation in terms of the modifying influence of the rod structures on the direct radiation from the feed waveguide3-4 appears to be more likely.

5th February 1973

Microwave Physics Group Department of Physics University of Surrey Guildford, Surrey, England References
1 KEILY, D. c : 'Progress in dielectrics', (Heywood, 1961), 3, pp. 1 4 5 2 JAMES, j . R.: 'Theoretical investigation of cylindrical dielectric rod antennas', Proc. IEE, 196/, 114, (3), pp. 309-319 3 BLAKEY, j . R.: 'Calculation of dielectric-aerial-radiation patterns', Electron. Lett., 1968,4, pp. 46-47 4 ANDERSEN, j . B.: 'Metallic and dielectric aerials'. Polyteknisk Forlag, Lyngby, 1971


Fig. IB

Radiation patterns at gigahertz frequencies

uniform rod composite rod


Indexing terms: Magnitude convertors, Integrated circuits, Differential amplifiers A new differential voltage-current convenor is proposed, which achieves high linearity and is substantially temperature independent. The effects of transistor mismatches and of limited current gain are analysed. Experimental results are given which show a considerable improvement over previous circuits.

In many integrated circuits, for example multipliers,1 the first stage is a differential voltage-current convertor, consisting of a simple differential pair with a feedback resistor RE between the emitters. This circuit gives satisfactory performances only if the resistance RE is large compared with the dynamic resistance of the transistors; otherwise the overall transconductance of the circuit is strongly temperature dependent and essentially nonlinear. On the other hand, a high value of RE increases the noise, and this again limits the dynamic range. The circuit proposed (Fig. la) performs a precision low-distortion voltage-current conversion, even with low values of RE, thus improving the dynamic range. Consider the sum of the voltages around the loop comprising the signal generator, the base-emitter voltages of Tr ls Tr4, Tr2 and Tr3 and the feedback resistor RE:
v ~VBEl8-5 VBEt - iRE+ VBE2 + VBE3 = 0


9-0 9-5 frequencyjGHz


Eqn. 1 can also be written as follows: v-iRE +

, '2 'S2

Fig. 2 Beamwidth and sidelobe levels against frequency for both rods
% uniform rod / composite rod

/3 _|n/ci 'S3 'SI


where Is are the reverse saturation currents.

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ELECTRONICS LETTERS 22nd March 1973 Vol.9

If the transistors are perfectly matched, and the current gains are high enough to neglect the base currents, eqn. 2 collapses to the simple form R,

Secondly, the variable current / is no longer linearly dependent on the input voltage. With X = 2i/I0, the collector currents can be written as

which describes the behaviour of a distortionless temperatureindependent voltage-current convertor with a transconductance uniquely set by the resistor RE. Note that the only hypotheses used in deriving eqn. 3


and eqn. 2 becomes


v-iRE+ q

+ ln

f l + X(2a-l) I 1-X(2a-1)

= 0

If the current is small, x is small with respect to unity and we can consider only the first two terms of the power expansion of the logarithm; with simple mathematics, we obtain qh

3 qlo V


Fig. 1a Fig. "\b

Voltage-current convertor Alternative configuration

The overall effect is a reduction of the circuit transconductance, which becomes slightly temperature-dependent, and the introduction of 3rd-order harmonic distortion; currentgain mismatches will introduce additional 2nd-order distortion. The circuit has been experimentally verified using an integrated transistor array,* with 7? = 600Q and / 0 = 500 fiA. The measured performances are reported in Fig. 2, which gives the peak value of the output current Ic\IC3, normalised to Io, and the 3rd-order distortion attenuation D3 as a function of the input peak voltage normalised to Vo = RE(I0/2). For comparison, the measured performances of the simple degenerated differential pair made with the same components are also shown.

concern the matching and current gains of the transistors; so the result holds for any value of the input voltage v and of the feedback resistor RE, until the currents are sufficient to keep the current gain high and validate the expression for the base-emitter voltage drop adopted in eqn. 2. The maximum input voltage is limited by saturation of Tr2 and Tr 4 , biased at VCB = 0; this limitation can be overcome by adding levelshifting stages. An alternative application of the proposed circuit is shown in Fig. \b. This configuration has the same behaviour as the previous one, but with a better frequency response, owing to the common-base operation of the transistors, and without voltage-swing limitation. The input impedance seen 'looking into' the emitters of Tr2 and Tr 4 is, in theory, zero, independent of the bias current l0. The operation of the circuit can be also explained as a unity-gain positive-feedback which increases to infinite gain in the negative-feedback loop set by resistor RE, thus reducing to zero any error in the voltage-current conversion. At high frequencies, parasitic inductances can lead to a small negative resistance between the emitters of Tr2 and Tr 4 ; so, to overcome stability problems, RE must not be too low. In the configuration of Fig. \a, the internal resistance of the voltage generator can also lead to instability; a small capacitor between the bases of Trx and Tr 3 is sufficient to avoid this possibility. Transistor mismatch does not alter the performances of the circuits. In this case, eqn. 2 becomes v+ (4)

80 -

70 -

-io S

60 n Q

50 -

40 30 -

| J
/ /

-10 v/V o . dB Fig. 2 Measured output current and 3rd-order distortion attenuation against input voltage
RE ^ 600 Q; r0 = 500 fiA - proposed circuit degenerated differential pair

1 -20

which shows that an input offset voltage is present, but the transconductance and linearity are not affected. Let us now consider the effect of limited current gain, with the simplified hypothesis of current gain being equal for all transistors and constant for any bias current. We must consider two effects. First the variable component of the output current is reduced with respect to the current i by a constant factor dependent on the current gain; straightforward analysis gives, in fact, (5)

The measured performances show good agreement with theory, and the improvement with respect to the simple differential-pair stage is substantial, with a minimum number of extra components.

Laboratori Transmissione Telettra S.p.A. Via Trento, 30, Vimercale, Milan, Italy Reference
1 Motorola application note AN-489, 1969
* CA3O45


ELECTRONICS LETTERS 22nd March 1973 Vol.9

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