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Chapter 12 The Frequency Response of

Amplifiers
Section 12.1 The Miller Theorem
Amplifiers were introduced before. In the previous chapters, we only talked about the
gain of an amplifier. We did not talk about the frequency of the input signal. In fact,
we deliberately ignored frequencies to simplify the discussion. In Fig. 12.1-1, we
illustrate a small signal equivalent circuit of a transistor.

Fig. 12.1-1 A small signal equivalent of a transistor


Let us point out that the above equivalent circuit is for low frequencies only. As
the frequency of the input signal gets higher, capacitors appear as shown in Fig. 12.12. Note that capacitors exist even in low frequency cases. But they are not significant
then.

12-1

Fig. 12.1-2 A small signal equivalent circuit with capacitors considered


With a capacitor introduced between the gate and drain terminals, it will be
helpful for us to learn the Miller Theorem. Let us consider Fig. 12.1-3.

(a) The circuit for Miller Theorem

12-2

(b) The equivalent circuit of the circuit in Fig. 12.1-3(a) by removing Z


Fig. 12.1-3 Circuits for Explaining Miller Theorem
As shown in Fig. 12.1-3(a), there are three nodes, N 1 , N 2 and N 3 . N 3 is
grounded. Between N 1 and N 2 , there is an impedance Z . It is further assumed
that

v2

v1

k . Since we know v 2 , we may remove Z and have the following


v1

equation:

i1

v 2 v1 kv1 v1 (k 1)v1

Z
Z
Z

(12.1-1)

We define Z ' as follows:


Z1 '

Z
(1 k )

(12.1-2)

Finally, we have:
i1

v1
Z1 '

(12.1-3)

Similarly, we have

Z2 '

Z
1
(1 )
k

kZ
( k 1)

(12.1-4)

12-3

and

i2

v2
Z2 '

(12.1-5)

The above discussion indicates that we may have an equivalent circuit for the circuit
in Fig. 12.1-3(a), as illustrated in Fig. 12.1-3(b).
The above discussion is called Miller Theorem.

For our amplifier, we will have


impedance is Z

and

Z2 '

v ds
k . For a capacitor, its corresponding
v gs

1
1
. Therefore, for an amplifier, we have Z 1 '
jC GD
j (1 k )C GD

1
1

. This means that we may have two capacitors, namely


j 1 C GD
k

C1 (1 k )C GD and C 2 1 C GD , shunting the input and output terminals of the


k

amplifier as shown in Fig. 12.1-4. These two capacitors are often called Miller
capacitors.

Fig. 12.1-4 The Miller capacitors


From Fig. 12.1-4, we observe the following:
(1) For high frequency signals, the capacitors will become short-circuited. Thus an
amplifier always acts as a low-pass filter.
(2) The higher the gain, the larger the capacitor C1 . This means that the bandwidth
of an amplifier is smaller for a higher gain.

12-4

In the following, we shall show experiments to demonstrate the conclusions we


drew in the above.
Experiment 12.1-1: An Amplifier with a Low Gain
In this experiment, we used the circuit as shown in Fig. 12.1-5. The circuit
represents a typical low gain amplifier. The program is shown in Table 12.1-1 and the
result is in Fig. 12.1-6. As we can see, the amplifier is indeed a low-pass filter and its
bandwidth is quite broad.

Fig. 12.1-5 An amplifier with a low gain


Table 12.1-1 Program for Experiment 12.1-1

Example 6-1
.protect
.lib 'c:\mm0355v.l' TT
.unprotect
.op
.options nomod post
VDD 1
RL
1

0
11

3.3V
100k

.param W1=5u
M1
11 2
3

12-5

+nch L=0.35u W='W1' m=1


+AD='0.95u*W1' PD='2*(0.95u+W1)'
+AS='0.95u*W1' PS='2*(0.95u+W1)'
VG
Vin1
.AC

2
0
3
0
DEC

0.65v
AC 1
100 1

10000000k

.PLOT AC VDB(11)
.END

Fig. 12.1-6 The gain vs frequency for the amplifier in Fig. 12.1-5
Experiment 12.1-2: An Amplifier with a Higher Gain
In this experiment, we used the circuit shown in Fig. 12.1-7. The gain of this
amplifier is much higher as explained before. The program is in Table 12.1-2 and the

12-6

result is shown in Fig. 12.1-8. As can be seen, the bandwidth is significantly reduced.

Fig. 12.1-7 An amplifier with a high gain


Table 12.1-2 Program for Experiment 12.1-2

Ex 6-20
.protect
.lib 'c:\mm0355v.l' TT
.unprotect
.op
.options nomod post

0
5V
VDD 1
Rm2 vout vout_1 0
1_1 0
Rm1 1
.param W1=10u W2=20u W3=30u W4=30u

12-7

M4
3
2
1_1 1
+pch L=1u W='W4' m=1
+AD='0.95u*W4' PD='2*(0.95u+W4)'
+AS='0.95u*W4' PS='2*(0.95u+W4)'

M3
vout 4
3
1
+pch L=0.5u
W='W3' m=1
+AD='0.95u*W3' PD='2*(0.95u+W3)'
+AS='0.95u*W3' PS='2*(0.95u+W3)'

M2
vout_1 6
7 0
+nch L=0.5u
W='W2' m=1
+AD='0.95u*W2' PD='2*(0.95u+W2)'
+AS='0.95u*W2' PS='2*(0.95u+W2)'

M1
7
8
0
0
+nch L=1u W='W1' m=1
+AD='0.95u*W1' PD='2*(0.95u+W1)'
+AS='0.95u*W1' PS='2*(0.95u+W1)'

Vin
9
0
AC 1
.AC DEC
100 1
VG1 8
9
0.817V
VG2 6
0
1.8V
VG3 4
0
3V
VG4 2
0
4V
*.tf v(vout) vin
*.tran 0.1us 600us
.plot VDB(vout_1)
.end

1000000k

12-8

Fig. 12.1-8 The gain vs frequency for the amplifier in Fig. 12.1-7

Section 12.2 The Gain-Bandwidth Product for an Amplifier


with Feedback
In the previous section, we showed that an amplifier acts a low-pass filter. Besides,
the bandwidth decreases as the gain increases. In this section, we shall show that the
gain-bandwidth product for an amplifier with feedback is a constant.
Fig. 12.2-1 shows a schematic diagram of an amplifier with feedback.

Fig. 12.2-1 An amplifier with a feedback


From Fig. 12.2-1, we have the following:

12-9

A( S )(vin kv out ) v out

(12.2-1)

v out (1 A( S )k ) A( S )vin

(12.2-2)

Thus, we have
G(S )

v out
A( S )

vin
1 A( S )k

(12.2-3)

It must be understood that this is a negative feedback and will reduce the gain.
Based upon the discussion presented in Section 12.1, we understand that an
amplifier can be roughly viewed as a low-pass filter. For simplicity, we assume that
the transfer function of our amplifier is a first-order one. That is, we have
A( S )

a 0
S 0

(12.2-4)

Substituting (12.2-4) into (12.2-3), we have:

a 0
S 0
a 0
a 0
G(S )

ka 0
S 0 k 0 S (1 k ) 0
1
S 0

(12.2-5)

From Equation (12.2-4), by setting S to be 0, we obtain the open-loop gain to be a.


From Equation (12.2-5), the close-loop gain for low frequency is
know that the gain is reduced from a to

a
. Thus, we
(1 k )

a
. Again, from Equation (12.2-4), we
(1 k )

obtain the bandwidth for the open-loop case to be 0 . From Equation (12.2-5), we
observe that the bandwidth is increased from 0 to (1 k ) 0 . Thus for the close

(1 k ) 0 a 0 which is
loop case, the gain-bandwidth product is
(1 k )

constant.
In the following, we shall show some experiments related to the frequency
response of amplifiers.
12-10

Experiment 12.2-1: The Enlarging of the Bandwidth of an Operational


Amplifier by Negative Feedback
In this experiment, we used the circuit in Fig. 12.2-2 as the operational amplifier.
The open-loop program is in Table 12.2-1 and the bandwidth is shown in Fig. 12.2-3.
As can be seen, the bandwidth is quite narrow because of the high gain.

Fig. 12.2-2 The operational amplifier for experiments in Section 12.2


Table 12.2-1 Program for Experiment 12.2-1

open loop test


.PROTECT
.OPTION POST
.LIB "C:\mm0355v.l" TT
.UNPROTECT
.op

12-11

VDD VDD! 0 3.3V


VSS VSS! 0 0.025V

M1
M2
M3
M4
M5
M6
M7
M8
M9
M10
M11

VBIAS5
VB5 0
1.9V
VBIAS6
VB6 0
1.9V
VBIAS9
VB9 0
0.6V
VBIAS1 VB11 0
1.75V
VB
Vi- 0
1.65v
Vin1 11 0
AC 1
.AC DEC
100 1 100000k
Vin2 Vi+ 11 1.65v

*Ri
*Rf

1
2
3
4
3
4
5
6
7
Vo
Vo

12
12

1
VDD!
1
VDD!
3
1
3
2
VB5 5
VB6 6
Vi7
Vi+
7
VB9 VSS!
4
VDD!
VB11 VSS!

VDD!
VDD!
VDD!
VDD!
VSS!
VSS!
VSS!
VSS!
VSS!
VDD!
VSS!

0
3.3k
Vo 220k

.PLOT AC VDB(Vo)
.END

12-12

PCH
W=50U L=2U
PCH
W=50U L=2U
PCH
W=50U L=2U
PCH
W=50U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
PCHW=150U L=2U
NCH
W=50U L=2U

Fig. 12.2-3 The bandwidth of the amplifier in Fig. 12.2-1


We then incorporate feedback as shown in Fig. 12.2-4. The program is in Table
12.2-2 and the new bandwidth is shown in Fig. 12.2-5. As can be seen, the bandwidth
is significantly enlarged as predicted.

Fig. 12.2-4
Table 12.2-2
open loop test
.PROTECT

12-13

.OPTION POST
.LIB "C:\mm0355v.l" TT
.UNPROTECT
.op

VDD VDD! 0 3.3V


VSS VSS! 0 0.025V

M1
M2
M3
M4
M5
M6
M7
M8
M9
M10
M11

VBIAS5
VB5 0
1.9V
VBIAS6
VB6 0
1.9V
VBIAS9
VB9 0
0.6V
VBIAS1 VB11 0
1.75V
VB
Vi- 0
1.65v
Vin1 11 0
AC 1
.AC DEC
100 1 100000k
Vin2 Vi+ 11 1.65v

*Ri
*Rf

1
2
3
4
3
4
5
6
7
Vo
Vo

12
12

1
VDD!
1
VDD!
3
1
3
2
VB5 5
VB6 6
Vi7
Vi+
7
VB9 VSS!
4
VDD!
VB11 VSS!

VDD!
VDD!
VDD!
VDD!
VSS!
VSS!
VSS!
VSS!
VSS!
VDD!
VSS!

0
3.3k
Vo 220k

.PLOT AC VDB(Vo)
.END

12-14

PCH
W=50U L=2U
PCH
W=50U L=2U
PCH
W=50U L=2U
PCH
W=50U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
NCH
W=100U L=2U
PCHW=150U L=2U
NCH
W=50U L=2U

Fig. 12.2-5
Experiment 12.2-2: Another Experiment with a Different Feedback Circuit
In this experiment, we used the same amplifier circuit as that used in Experiment
12.2-1. The feedback circuit diagram is exactly as shown in Fig. 12.2-1. The circuit
is shown in Fig. 12.2-6, the program is in Table 12.2-3 and the new bandwidth is
shown in Fig. 12.2-7. As can be seen, the bandwidth is enlarged.

12-15

Fig. 12.2-6 The circuit used for Experiment 12.2-2


Table 12.2-3 Program for Experiment 12.2-2

High Gain Amp


*********************************
.PROTECT
.OPTION POST
.lib "C:\model\tsmc\MIXED035\mm0355v.l" TT
.UNPROTECT
.op

VDD VDD!

3.3V

12-16

VSS

VSS!

0V

M1
1
1
VDD!
M2
2
1
VDD!
M3
3
3
1
M4
4
3
2
M5
3
VB7 5
L=2U
M6
4
VB8 6
L=2U
M7
5
Vi- 7
L=2U
M8
6
Vi+ 7
L=2U
M9
7
VB9 VSS!
L=2U
M10 vout 4
VDD!
M11 vout VB11 VSS!
L=2U

VDD!
VDD!
VDD!
VDD!
VSS!

PCH
PCH
PCH
PCH

W=50U
L=2U
W=50U
L=2U
W=50U
L=2U
W=50U
L=2U
NCH
W=100U

VSS!

NCH

W=100U

VSS!

NCH

W=100U

VSS!

NCH

W=100U

VSS!
VDD!
PCH
VSS!

vin+ vin
VIN- ViVBIAS7
VBIAS8
VBIAS9
VBIAS1

R1
vout 8
10000K
R2
8
0
100K
R3
8
Vi+ 10K
R4
vin Vi+ 10K
* transient simulation ***

.probe v(vin) v(vout)


.tf V(vout) vin+
.AC DEC 10 100
1G
.PLOT AC VDB(vout)

NCH

W=100U

W=150U
NCH

L=2U
W=50U

0
AC
1 sin(1.65 0.00001 1k)
0
1.65
VB7 0
1.9V
VB8 0
1.9V
VB9 0
0.6V
VB11
0
1.75V

12-17

.end

Fig. 12.2-7 The bandwidth produced in Experiment 12.2-2

12-18