Texas Instruments | AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz (Rev. B) | Application notes | Texas Instruments AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz (Rev. B) Application notes

Texas Instruments AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz (Rev. B) Application notes
Application Report
SNOA505B – September 2007 – Revised May 2013
AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz
.....................................................................................................................................................
1
Introduction
The LMH6515 is a fully differential amplifier optimized for signal path applications up to 400 MHz and has
a 200Ω input. The absolute gain is load dependent; however the gain steps are always 1 dB. The
LMH6515 output stage is a class A amplifier.
This class A operation provides excellent distortion and linearity characteristics, making the LMH6515
ideal for voltage amplification and an ideal ADC driver where high linearity is necessary.
VCC
VCC
44.3 nH
200
200
LMH6515
VCM = VCC
10 pF
ADC
5
GAIN 1-5
LATCH
Figure 1. LMH6515 With Output Pull-Up Inductors
The LMH6515 output common mode should be set carefully; using inductors is one preferred method that
will give maximum output swing. AC coupling of the output is recommended. The inductors mentioned
above will shift the idling output common mode to the positive supply. Also, with the inductors, the output
voltage can exceed the supply voltage. Other options for setting the output common mode require supply
voltages above 5V. When using a supply higher than 5V make sure the output common mode does not
exceed the 5.25V supply rating.
Note the maximum voltage limit for the OUT+ and OUT− pins is 6.4V. When using inductors these pins
will experience voltage swings beyond the supply voltage. A 5V output common mode operating point
makes the effective maximum swing 5.6 VPP differential so system calibration and automatic gain control
algorithms should be tailored to avoid exceeding this limit.
2
Input Characteristics
The LMH6515 input impedance is set by internal resistors to a nominal 200Ω. Process variations will
result in a range of values as shown in the 5V Electrical Characteristics table in the LMH6515 600 MHz,
Digital Controlled, Variable Gain Amplifier Data Sheet (SNOSAX4). At higher frequencies, parasitics start
to impact the impedance. This characteristic depends on board layout and should be verified on the
customer’s system board.
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1
Output Characteristics
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At maximum gain the digital attenuator is set to 0 dB and the input signal will be much smaller than the
output. At minimum gain the output is 12 dB or smaller than the input. In this configuration, the input signal
size may limit the amplifier output amplitude, depending on the output configuration and the desired output
signal voltage. The input signal cannot swing more than 0.5V below the negative supply voltage (normally
0V) nor should it exceed the positive supply voltage. If it is too large, the input signal will clip and cause
severe distortion. Because the input stage self biases to approximately 1.4V the lower supply voltage will
impose the limit for input voltage swing. To drive larger input signals the input common mode can be
forced higher than 1.4V to allow for more swing. An input common mode of 2.0V will allow an 8 VPP
maximum input signal. The trade off for input signal swing is that as the input common mode is shifted
away from the 1.4V internal bias point the distortion performance will suffer slightly.
3
Output Characteristics
The LMH6515 is an open collector topology and has the option of two different output configurations. Each
output has an on chip 200Ω pull-up resistor. In addition, there is an internal 400Ω resistor between the two
outputs. This results in a 200Ω or a 400Ω differential load in parallel with the external load. The 400Ω
option is the high gain option while the 200Ω provides for less gain and is recommended unless more gain
is required.
The output common mode of the LMH6515 must be set by external components. Most applications benefit
from the use of inductors on the output stage and in particular, the 400Ω option requires inductors to be
able to develop an output voltage. The 200Ω option also requires inductors since the voltage drop due to
the on chip 200Ω resistors will saturate the output transistors. Although It is possible to use resistors and
high voltage power supplies to set the output common mode, this operation is not recommended unless it
is necessary to DC couple the output. If DC coupling is required the input common mode and output
common mode voltages must be taken into account.
Maximum bandwidth with the LMH6515 is achieved by using the low gain, low impedance output option
and using a low load resistance. With an effective load of 67Ω a bandwidth of nearly a 1 GHz can be
realized. As the effective resistance on the output stage goes up the capacitance of the board traces and
amplifier output stage limit bandwidth in a roughly linear fashion. At an output impedance of 100Ω the
bandwidth is down to 600 MHz, and at 200Ω the bandwidth is 260 MHz. For this reason driving very high
impedance loads is not recommended.
Although bandwidth goes down with higher values of load resistance, the distortion performance improves
and gain increases. The LMH6515 has a common emitter Class A output stage and minimizing the
amount of current swing in the output devices improves distortion substantially.
The LMH6515 output stage is powered through the collectors of the output transistors. Power for the
output stage is fed through inductors and the reactance of the inductors allows the output voltage to
develop. In Figure 1 the inductors are shown with a value of 44.4 nH. The value of the inductors used will
be different for different applications. In Figure 1 the inductors have been chosen to resonate with the
ADC and the load capacitor to provide a weak band pass filter effect. For broad band applications, higher
value inductors will allow for better low frequency operation. However, large valued inductors will reduce
high frequency performance, particularly inductors of small physical sizes such as 0603 or smaller. Larger
inductors will tend to perform better than smaller ones of the same value even for narrow band
applications. This is because the larger inductors will have a lower DC resistance and less inter-winding
capacitance and hence a higher Q and a higher self resonance frequency. The self resonance frequency
should be higher than any desired signal content by at least a factor of two. Another consideration is that
the power inductors and the filter inductors need to be placed on the circuit board such that their magnetic
fields do not cause coupling. Mutual coupling of inductors can compromise filter characteristics and lead to
unwanted distortion products.
4
Digital Control
The LMH6515 has 32 gain settings covering a range of 31 dB. To avoid undesirable signal transients the
LMH6515 should be powered on at the minimum gain state (all logic input pins at 0V). The LMH6515 has
a 5-bit gain control bus as well as a latch pin. When the latch pin is low, data from the gain control pins is
immediately sent to the gain circuit (i.e. gain is changed immediately). When the latch pin transitions high
the current gain state is held and subsequent changes to the gain set pins are ignored. To minimize gain
change glitches multiple gain control pins should not change while the latch pin is low. In order to achieve
the very fast gain step switching time of 5 ns the internal gain change circuit is very fast. Gain glitches
2
AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz
SNOA505B – September 2007 – Revised May 2013
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Exposed Pad LLP Package
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could result from timing skew between the gain set bits. This is especially the case when a small gain
change requires a change in state of three or more gain control pins. If continuous gain control is desired
the latch pin can be tied to ground. This state is called transparent mode and the gain pins are always
active. In this state the timing of the gain pin logic transitions should be planned carefully to avoid
undesirable transients.
The LMH6515 was designed to interface with 3.3V CMOS logic circuits. If operation with 5V logic is
required a simple voltage divider at each logic pin will allow for this. To properly terminate 100Ω
transmission lines, a divider with a 66.5Ω resistor to ground and a 33.2Ω series resistor will properly
terminate the line as well as give the 3.3V logic levels. Care should be taken not to exceed the 3.6V
absolute maximum voltage rating of the logic pins.
5
Exposed Pad LLP Package
The LMH6515 is in a thermally enhanced package. The exposed pad is connected to the GND pins. It is
recommended, but not necessary, that the exposed pad be connected to the supply ground plane. In any
case, the thermal dissipation of the device is largely dependent on the attachment of this pad. The
exposed pad should be attached to as much copper on the circuit board as possible, preferably external
copper. However, it is also very important to maintain good high speed layout practices when designing a
system board. For suggested layout techniques, see the AN-1580 LMH6515EL Digital Controlled, Variable
Gain Amplifier Evaluation Board User' Guide (SNOA482).
6
Interfacing to ADC
The LMH6515 was designed to be used with high speed ADCs such as the ADC14155/V155. AC coupling
provides the best flexibility especially for IF sub-sampling applications. Any resistive networks on the
output will also cause a gain loss because the output signal is developed across the output resistors. The
chart Maximum Gain vs. External Load shows the change in gain when an external load is added.
The inputs of the LMH6515 will self bias to the optimum voltage for normal operation. The internal bias
voltage for the inputs is approximately 1.4V. In most applications the LMH6515 input will need to be AC
coupled.
The output common mode voltage is not self biasing, it needs to be pulled up to the positive supply rail
with external inductors as shown in Figure 1. This gives the LMH6515 the capability for large signal
swings with very low distortion on a single 5V supply. The internal load resistors provide the LMH6515
with very consistent gain. A unique internal architecture allows the LMH6515 to be driven by either a
differential or single ended source. If driving the LMH6515 single ended the unused input should be
terminated to ground with a 0.01 µF capacitor. Directly shorting the unused input to ground will disrupt the
internal bias circuitry and will result in poor performance.
SNOA505B – September 2007 – Revised May 2013
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AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz
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3
Interfacing to ADC
NC
VCC
LATCH
GAIN_0
4
3
2
1
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IN-
7
14
OUT+
GND
8
13
LOAD+
12
OUT-
GAIN_1
15
11
6
GAIN_2
IN+
10
LOAD-
GAIN_3
16
9
5
GAIN_4
GND
NC
VCC
LATCH
GAIN_0
4
3
2
1
Figure 2. Internal Load Resistors
5V
GND
5
16
NC
IN+
6
15
OUT-
IN-
7
14
OUT+
GND
8
13
NC
VOUT
9
10
11
12
GAIN_4
GAIN_3
GAIN_2
GAIN_1
+
5V
Figure 3. Using High-Gain Mode (400Ω Load)
4
AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz
SNOA505B – September 2007 – Revised May 2013
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Power Supplies
NC
VCC
LATCH
GAIN_0
4
3
2
1
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5V
GND
5
16
IN+
6
15
OUT-
IN-
7
14
OUT+
GND
8
13
VOUT
+
12
GAIN_1
11
GAIN_2
10
GAIN_3
GAIN_4
9
5V
NC
VCC
LATCH
GAIN_0
4
3
2
1
Figure 4. Using Low-Gain Mode (200Ω Load)
5V
GND
5
16
IN+
6
15
OUT-
IN-
7
14
OUT+
GND
8
13
VOUT
+
9
10
11
12
GAIN_4
GAIN_3
GAIN_2
GAIN_1
5V
Figure 5. Alternate Connection for Low-Gain Mode (200Ω Load)
7
Power Supplies
As shown in Figure 2, the LMH6515 has a number of options for power supply connections on the output
pins. Pin 3 (VCC) is always connected. The output stage can be connected as shown in Figure 3,
Figure 4, and Figure 5. The supply voltage range for VCC is 4V to 5.25V. A 5V supply provides the best
performance while lower supplies will result in less power consumption. Power supply regulation of 2.5%
or better is advised.
Of special note is that the digital circuits are powered from an internal supply voltage of 3.3V. The logic
pins should not be driven above the absolute maximum value of 3.6V. For details, see Section 4.
Additional information on the LMH6515 can be found online in the product folder and in the datasheet.
SNOA505B – September 2007 – Revised May 2013
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AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz
Copyright © 2007–2013, Texas Instruments Incorporated
5
References
8
References
•
•
6
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LMH6515 600 MHz, Digital Controlled, Variable Gain Amplifier Data Sheet (SNOSAX4)
AN-1580 LMH6515EL Digital Controlled, Variable Gain Amplifier Evaluation Board User' Guide
(SNOA482)
AN-1718 Differential Amplifier Applications Up to 400 MHz
SNOA505B – September 2007 – Revised May 2013
Submit Documentation Feedback
Copyright © 2007–2013, Texas Instruments Incorporated
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