Direct coupling

In electronics, direct coupling (also called direct wired contact and conductive charging) is a way of interconnecting two circuits such that, in addition to transferring the AC signal (or information), the first stage also provides DC bias to the next. Thus, there is no need for a DC blocking capacitor to be used in order to interconnect the circuits, and this method is also known as DC coupling.

DC bias
The provision of DC bias only occurs in a group of circuits that forms a single unit, such as an op-amp. Here the internal units or portions of the op-amp (like the input stage, voltage gain stage, and output stage) will be direct coupled and will also be used to set up the bias conditions inside the op-amp (the input stage will also supply the input bias to the voltage gain stage, for example). However when two opamps are directly coupled the first op-amp will not supply any bias to the next - any DC at its output will form the input for the next. The resulting output of the second op-amp now represents an offset error if it is not the intended one. [edit]Uses This technique is used by default in circuits like IC op-amps, since large coupling capacitors cannot be fabricated on-chip. That said, some discrete circuits (such as power amplifiers) also employ direct coupling to cut cost and improve low frequency performance. [edit]Offset


One advantage or disadvantage (depending on application) of direct coupling is that any DC at the input appears as a valid signal to the system, and so it will be transferred from the input to the output (or between two directly coupled circuits). If this is not a desired result, then the term used for the output signal is output offset error, and the corresponding input signal is known as input offset error. [edit]Error


Temperature drift and device mismatches are the major causes of offset errors, and circuits employing direct coupling often integrate offset nulling mechanisms. Some circuits (like power amplifiers) even use coupling capacitors—except that these are present only at the input (and/or output) of the whole system but not between the individual circuit units inside the system. [edit]Advantages The advantage of direct coupling is very good low frequency response, often from DC (if the input/output coupling capacitors are not used) to the highest operating frequency that the system will allow. Most industrial applications that require monitoring of slowly changing signals (such as those from thermistors, thermocouples, etc.) must have a very good DC amplification with minimum offset errors and hence they have to be directly coupled throughout by default, and have offset correction or trimming incorporated into them.

In this type of amplifier. [edit]Advantages There are several advantages of using this type of amplifier. The amplification of D/C (zero frequency) is possible only by this amplifier. Lower cut-off frequency is zero and upper cut-off frequency is determined by values of components used. also known as "DC amp". This can be removed using differential amplifier. is necessary. there are also several known disadvantages. medical instruments such as the electrocardiograph. hence it later becomes the building block for differential amplifier and operational amplifier. Any noise or stray pickup appearing at the input is also present at the output in amplified form. etc and is referred to as 'drift'. Amplifiers which have capacitor coupling between stages are not usable in these cases. also quite inexpensive Can be used to amplify zero and low frequency signals Provides uniform frequency response up to a high frequency. called a dc (direct-current) or direct-coupled amplifier. These . There are many different situations where it is necessary to amplify signals having a frequency spectrum which extends to zero. amplification of low frequency (below 10 Hz) signals is only possible using direct coupling. Some typical examples are amplifiers in electronic differential analyzers (analog computers). This is because use of coupling and bypass capacitors is not possible as they provide very high capacitive reactance. the frequency response of this amplifier is quite flat all the way down to DC (0 Hz). a special form of A device for amplifying signals with direct-current components. refers to a type of amplifier. This is caused by temperature variations.     http://en. Transistor parameters change with temperature. transformers. some DC component is present at output. because the gain at zero frequency is zero. inductors. This drawback can be removed using differential amplifier. Therefore. certain types of feedback control systems. These include:  Unwanted change in output voltage without any change in the input is often observed. At high frequencies gain decreases. Even if input is AC. [edit]Disadvantages In addition to the advantages. aging of components. as this type can be used for both direct current and alternating current signals. hence output is affected by temperature variations.Direct coupled amplifier Direct coupled. including:     Simple circuit arrangement as there are minimum number of components For above reason. and instrumentation amplifiers. As a result. due to high gain. Unlike other multistage amplifiers. and others. the output of one stage of the amplifier is connected to the input of the next stage directly without using any reactivecomponents like capacitors. Current The common use of the term "DC Amp" does not mean "direct current amplifier".

The offset voltage of matched transistor pairs of differential amplifiers can be a source of serious problems in precision analog dc amplifier applications. Some type of coupling circuit must be used between successive amplifier stages to prevent the relatively large supply voltage of one stage from appearing at the input of the following stage. This is true because in this circuit the performance depends on the difference of the device parameters. or a VBE multiplier circuit. Biomedical engineering.amplifiers will also amplify alternating-current (ac) signals. See also Amplifier. It is generally recognized that the differential amplifier is the most stable dc amplifier circuit available.answers. It is possible to reduce the effective input offset voltage to below ±1 mV by using chopper-stabilized amplifiers employing offset-nulling or auto-zero techniques. a series of diodes. and transistors can be manufactured using the planar epitaxial technique with very close matching of their .answers. amplifying the modulated signal. If a dc amplifier is formed by a cascade of npn stages. Typically the offset voltage of matched metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) transistor pairs can be reduced to within ±20 mV by careful processing. The use of both npn and pnp transistors is a possible http://www. However. Interstage direct-coupling in transistor dc amplifiers must be implemented with special care. the pnp transistors available in monolithic form have relatively poor current-gain and frequency-response characteristics. A method of amplifying dc (or slowly varying) signals by means of ac amplifiers is to modulate a carrier signal by the signal to be amplified. Analog computer. there is a positive dc level buildup toward the positive supply voltage. These circuits must pass dc signals with the least possible amount of attenuation. The problem can be overcome by using a level-shift stage between each stage to shift the output dc level toward the negative supply with minimum attenuation of the amplified signal. and demodulating at the output. This voltage buildup limits the linearity and amplitude of the available output swing. Control systems. Instrumentation amplifier. However. These techniques are essentially sampled-data methods and are based on the concept of measuring periodically the offset voltage and subsequently storing it as a voltage across a holding capacitor and then subtracting it from the signal plus the offset. Read more: http://www. even this low offset voltage in many applications is unacceptable. Practical dc level-shift stages suitable for monolithic circuit applications can use Zener diodes.

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