Automatic Gain Controller

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Automatic Gain Controller

© All Rights Reserved

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AGC.doc

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AGC

To implement Automatic Gain Control (AGC) we need to make

the gain of the IF amplifier adjustable:

Preselector

Filter

GIF

IF Filter

Gain

Control

Q: Are there such things as adjustable gain amplifiers?

A: Yes and no.

Typically, voltage controlled amplifiers work poorly, have

limited gain adjustment, or both.

Instead, receiver designers implement an adjustable gain

amplifier using one or more fixed gain amplifiers and one or

more variable attenuators (e.g., digital attenuators).

Jim Stiles

Dept. of EECS

4/28/2005

AGC.doc

G1

Adjustable

Attenuator(s)

G2

IF Amplifier

2/7

AL < A < AH

GIF

Gain

Control

Two amplifiers are used in the design above, although one,

two, three, or even four amplifiers are sometimes used.

The adjustable attenuator can likewise be implemented in a

number of ways. Recall the attenuator can be either digital

or voltage controlled. Likewise, the attenuator can be

implemented using either one attenuator, or with multiple

cascaded attenuator components.

However it is implemented, the gain of the overall IF

amplifier is simply the product of the fixed amplifier gains,

divided the total attenuation A. Thus, for the example above:

G IF =

G1G2

A

Now, the key point here is that this gain is adjustable, since

the attenuation can be varied from:

Jim Stiles

Dept. of EECS

4/28/2005

AGC.doc

3/7

AL < A < AH

Thus, the IF amplifier gain can vary from:

Where GLIF is the lowest possible IF amplifier gain:

GLIF =

G1G2

AH

GHIF =

G1G2

AL

lowest, and vice versa (this should make perfect sense to

you!).

However, recall that the value of the lowest attenuation

value is not equal to one (i.e., AL > 1 ). Instead AL represents

the insertion loss of the attenuators when in their minimum

attenuation state.

Recall also that the total receiver gain is the product of the

gains of all the components in the receiver chain. For

example:

G = GLNAGpreselector Gmixer G IF GIFfilter

Jim Stiles

Dept. of EECS

4/28/2005

AGC.doc

4/7

the IF amplifier gain G IF , thus the remainder of the receiver

gain is fixed, and we can thus define this fixed gain Gfixed as:

Gfixed =

G

G IF

Thus, Gfixed is simply the gain of the entire receiver, with the

Since the gain of the IF amplifier is adjustable, the gain of

entire receiver is likewise adjustable, varying over:

GL < G < GH

where:

and:

GL = Gfixed GLIF

GH = Gfixed GHIF

that the largest possible receiver gain GH exceeds the

is applicable when the receiver input signal is at its smallest

(i.e., when Pin = MDS ).

Jim Stiles

Dept. of EECS

4/28/2005

AGC.doc

5/7

GH > Gmin

Gfixed GHIF > Gmin

G

GHIF > min

Gfixed

Thus, since Gmin = PDmin MDS we can conclude that the highest

IF

H

PDmin

>

Gfixed MDS

or

GHIF (dB ) > PDmin (dBm ) Gfixed (dB ) MDS (dBm )

Amplifier such that the smallest possible receiver gain GL is

is at its largest (i.e., when Pin = Pinsat ).

To accomplish this, we find that:

Jim Stiles

Dept. of EECS

4/28/2005

AGC.doc

6/7

GL < Gmax

Gfixed GLIF < Gmax

G

GLIF < max

Gfixed

Thus, since Gmax = PDmax Pinsat we can conclude that the lowest

IF

L

PDmax

<

Gfixed Pinsat

or

GLIF (dB ) < PDmax (dBm ) Gfixed (dB ) Pinsat (dBm )

A: The values Gmin and Gmax are in fact requirements that are

placed on the receiver designer. There must be some IF gain

setting that will result in a receiver gain greater than Gmin ,

and there must be some IF gain setting that will result in a

receiver gain less than Gmax .

Jim Stiles

Dept. of EECS

4/28/2005

AGC.doc

7/7

maximum values of the receiver gain. They state the

performance of a specific receiver design.

Properly designed, we will find that GH > Gmin , and GL < Gmax .

However, this is true only if we have properly design our IF

Amplifier!

Jim Stiles

Dept. of EECS

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