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A Study and analysis of parameters of two stage single ended CMOS Op-Amp

Conference Paper · January 2018


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Sharda University


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A Study and Analysis of Two Stage Single Ended CMOS OP-AMP
Dilip Mathuria*, Sandeep Kr. Singh
Department of Electronics and Communication
Sharda University
Greater Noida, India
Email: -

Abstract: - This research paper presents a two stage single ended CMOS operational
amplifier, which operates at +5V and -1V power supply. The designed Op-amp has two
stages and a single ended output. CMOS has its structure similar to PMOS and NMOS
but in this both PMOS and NMOS are fabricated on same chip so its power dissipation is
low and speed is high. CMOS was developed in 1963 by FRANK WANLASS and
CHIN-TANG SHAN of FAIRCHILD to overcome the drawbacks of PMOS and NMOS.
In this paper we have done some efforts to enhance and improve slew rate of CMOS
based two stage single ended operational amplifiers under 0.35um CMOS technology.
The enhancement of slew rate is done by using an auxiliary monitor circuit which can be
activated in slewing conditions, but also it contributes to the gain in normal conditions.
The simulation is done by using PSPICE tool.

Keywords: Op-Amp, Slew Rate, CMOS, PSPICE Tool, Frequency Response, Gain, SRE

Operational Amplifiers are one of the most commonly used building blocks of electronic circuits. Design of a stable
op-amp with a high gain and high unity gain bandwidth with continuously reducing power supply and channel
length is a big challenge. There is always a trade-off among various parameters such as bandwidth, gain, power
dissipation. With higher gain and bandwidth the speed and accuracy of the amplifier increases but the stability in
negative feedback also decreases. For a two-stage CMOS Op-Amp, slew rate has a direct relationship with tail
current of the input differential pair. Thus we can say more quiescent current results in higher slew-rate. A good
approach that is commonly used for fully differential amplifiers is to have a monitoring block that detects the
slewing onset and boosts DC current of the input differential pair for that small period of time. Since the current is
boosted, the slew rate will be improved and since the period of current injection is very short, power overhead is
Aim is to build an op-amp of improved high gain and enhanced slew rate with unity gain bandwidth at a
maximum phase margin to ensure stability.

The first CMOS IC was made by RCA in 1968 by a group led by Albert Medwin. The designing of high
performance analog integrated circuits is becoming most essential with the continuous trend toward the reduced
supply voltage and transistor channel length. MOS is the most success among all because it can be scaled down to
smaller dimensions for higher performance. The size can be reduced to micrometer or nanometers for getting higher
In past, many efforts have been done to improve slew-rate of Op-Amps [1]. However, all of these efforts are
suitable for fully-differential amplifiers where the circuit is fully symmetric and there is no difference in circuit
behavior when it experiences positive or negative slews. Although these techniques are shown to be effective for
fully differential architectures, they only help improve one of positive or negative slews when used in single-ended
amplifiers. Also in some designs such as [2], slew rate enhancement (SRE) technique affects the core circuit's
biasing and output swing which is undesirable since it affects other parameters such as gain, noise and linearity.
1. Two Stage Amplifier

Two stage operational amplifiers consist of a differential amplifier in the 1st stage followed by a common source
amplifier in the 2nd stage. Differential amplifier stage is to ensure high gain and common source amplifier stage is
to further increase the gain an also provide high voltage swing at the output. The block diagram of a two stage
operational amplifier is shown in figure 1.

Figure 1: A General Two stage amplifier

The 1st block is a differential amplifier. It has two inputs, an inverting input and non-inverting input. It gives a
differential voltage or single ended voltage, depending on the configuration at the output which depends on
differential input voltage. Single ended output of op-amp degrades the output swing of the amplifier. Also the
CMRR degrades as the symmetry of the circuit is lost.

2. Design Procedure of CMOS Amplifier

Design procedure for a two stage single ended amplifier is shown in figure 2.

Figure 2: Design Procedure of CMOS Op-amp

3. Two Stage Single Ended CMOS Amplifier

The circuit consists of three parts: first, differential gain stage, second gain stage and biasing circuit. MOSFETS M1,
M2, M3, M4, M5 form a differential amplifier stage. M6 and M7 form the second gain stage and are also in
Common Source Amplifier Configuration. Current source and the M8 form the biasing circuitry [3].
The values of different circuit elements are:

Current source, I=5μA

Capacitor=4 and 4.5 pF
Figure 3: Two stage amplifier topology

3.1 Differential Gain Stage

It is made up of MOSFETS M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5 as shown in figure 3. Positive input is given to the gate of M1
and negative input is given to the gate of M2. M4 and M3 form the PMOS current mirror load of this stage.
The gain of stage is given by:
GAIN1 = (gmM2 +gmbM2)(ro 2 || ro 4) = [(gmM2 +gmbM2)*ro 2*ro 4] / ( ro 2 + ro 4)
Where, gmM2= Trans-conductance of M2
GmbM2= back gate Trans-conductance of M2
The current mirror load provides for conversion of differential input to single ended output and provides higher gain
as compared to passive loads. The differential current from M1 and M2 multiplied by the output resistances of the
input stage gives the single-ended output voltage, which is fed as input to the next stage.

3.2 Common Source Amplifier Stage

The second stage is a common source topology amplifier is common source amplifier stage. The main purpose of
the second stage is to provide additional gain and a high output swing. It is made up of transistors M7 and M6. The
output from the drain of M2 is fed as input to the gate of M6. The MOSFET M7 acts as load to the driver MOSFET
The gain of this stage can be given as:
GAIN2 = (gmM6 +gmbM6)(ro 6 || ro 7 ) = [(gmM6 +gmbM6)*ro 6*ro 7] / ( ro 6 + ro 7)
Where, gmM2= Trans-conductance of M6
gmbM2= back gate Trans-conductance of M6
Total gain of the op-amp at the output is,
GAIN = GAIN1*GAIN2 = (gmM2 +gmbM2 )(gmM6 +gmbM6)(ro 6 || ro 7)(ro 2 || ro 4)

3.3 Biasing Circuitry

Current source, Is in figure 3 acts as a reference source for transistor M8. Is and M8 form a current mirror biasing
network driving the transistors, M7 and M5 which act as current sinks. The gate to source voltage of M5 and M7 is
also controlled by this bias network [7].

3.4 RC Compensation

Rc and Cc are used between gate and drain of M6 to improve the phase margin and hence stability of the circuit.

4. Design Parameters

4.1 Slew Rate in Two Stage Op-Amps: Slew rate is defined as the maximum rate of change of output voltage per
unit of time and is expressed as volt per second. Limitations in slew rate capability can give rise to nonlinear effects
in operational amplifiers [4].
SR = max (|dvout(t)/dt|)

4.2 SRE (Slew Rate Enhancement) Technique and Implementation:

Two stage amplifiers fulfill moderate gain and high output swing requirements, but the most challenging issues are
imposed by the power consumption and by the slew-rate performance limited by the compensation capacitor. One of
the possible solutions is to increase the quiescent current of the amplifier, but this leads to a power consumption
This work employs two different types of auxiliary circuits for positive and negative slews and achieves symmetric
slew rate enhancement for a two-stage single-ended amplifier. A block diagram of the main idea of this work is
shown in figure 4.1.

Figure 4.1: General block diagram of the proposed slew-rate enhancement technique

Figure 4.2 shows the schematic of a typical two-stage Op-Amp. As shown, for a single ended output, the input
differential pair has a current mirror load to maximize achievable gain. Looking at this figure and knowing the basic
operation of a two stage Op-Amp [5], it can be stated that circuit operates different when it is under positive slew
compared to negative slew.

Figure 4.2: Two stage Op-Amp with positive and negative slews shown.

A. Positive Slew: Due to the asymmetric configuration of the op-amp, we have proposed two different auxiliary
circuits to be connected to the positive and negative inputs, each one responsible for one of rising or falling slews.

B. Negative Slew: When positive input starts to decrease from its maximum value to the minimum value, same
described sequence of events happens to the other side of differential pair.

4.3 Gain: Gain is a measure of the ability of a two port circuit (often an amplifier) to increase the power or
amplitude of a signal from the input to the output port by adding energy which is converted from some power supply
to the signal. It is defined as the mean ratio of the signal amplitude or power at the output port to the amplitude or
power at the input port. It is usually expressed using the logarithmic decibel (dB) units ("dB gain").

4.4 Phase Margin: The phase margin (PM) is the difference between the phase, measured in degrees, and 180°, for
an amplifier's output signal (relative to its input), as a function of frequency. Typically the open-loop phase lag
(relative to input) varies with frequency, progressively increasing to exceed 180°, at which frequency the output
signal becomes inverted, or anti phase in relation to the input [6].

5. Simulation Process
The circuit was designed to meet the following specifications as in table 1:-

Figure 5: Two Stage Single Ended CMOS Op-Amp

Table: 1 W/L ratio of transistors in two stage single ended op-amp

Transistor W/L Ratio

PMOS 1 10/2
PMOS 2 100/2
PMOS 3 200/2
PMOS 4 200/2
PMOS 5 200/2
NMOS 1 25/2
NMOS 2 25/2
NMOS 3 100/2

As indicated in figure 4.2, for positive slews, as Vin+ increases, M1 goes to the cut-off region. This means that all of
M0's current flows through M2. Very large voltage on the gate of M2 will result in taking this transistor into deep
linear region. Consequently, drain-source voltage of M2 will be dropped considerably, resulting in a very low
voltage on gate of M5. This comes to very low gate voltage of M5 that means a large overdrive voltage for this
transistor. As a result, M5 operates in deep linear region and pulls the output voltage up to approximately equal to
Vdd. Opposite of these events happen during the negative slew (fast drop of M2‟s gate voltage). Generally slew rate
is defined as,
SR = max (|dvout(t)/dt|)…………..(1)
However, parameters that are affecting slew rate are different. Here, for a single ended two stage amplifier,
assuming second stage of this Op-Amp as a gain stage and compensation elements (RC and CC) as feedback
network of this stage, we have,
Vo=1/Cc int Itail dt……………..(2)
And thus,
dVo/dt = Itail/Cc………………...(3)

According to the above equation, increasing tail current or decreasing compensation capacitance can improve slew
rate. However, compensation capacitance is designed with careful consideration to stabilize the amplifier and set the
pole and zero locations. Therefore, changing its value will cause instability of the Op-Amp. On the other hand,
increasing tail current will cause more power consumption and as it was discussed previously, for our application,
power is one of the most important parameters that cannot be sacrificed. As a result, any proposed idea to improve
slew rate, should not affect any of these parameters.

6. Results of CMOS Amplifier

The output waveform of two stage single ended CMOS operational amplifier using PSPICE tool is shown in figure

Figure 6.1: Output waveform of two stage single ended CMOS amplifier

Frequency Response of the circuit

Figure 6.2: .Frequency response at L=0.35um

Slew rate output voltage using auxiliary circuit

Figure 6.3: Output voltage before and after addition of first auxiliary circuit for positive slew

Figure 6.4: Output voltage before and after addition of the second auxiliary circuit for negative slew.

Figure 6.5: Output voltage before and after addition of the both auxiliary circuit for symmetric enhanced slew.

7. Conclusion
This work presents a study and analysis of the two stage single ended CMOS operational amplifier using 0.35 um
CMOS technologies. The circuits named two-stage single ended op-amp have been simulated in PSPICE tool [8].
Two auxiliary circuits to enhance positive and negative slew rates of a two-stage single-ended amplifier are
proposed. The uniqueness of proposed idea is its ability to enhance slew rate of a non-fully-differential amplifier
symmetrically. The variation of parameters like gain, slew rate with respect to input voltage and VDD has been
simulated using the tool. For the two-stage op-amp in 0.35 μm technologies with Vdd=5v and Vss=- 1v, gain is 24
dB, phase margin is 120 degrees and slew rate 4.54V/us for rising edge has been observed.
Hence from present work we can conclude that with increasing in channel length of transistor gain of op-amp
decreases but slew rate increases. Hence it is a huge challenge for designer to increase the gain with use of
nanotechnology of CMOS in channel length of transistor. Results have showed that the proposed design is both
effective and practical.

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