# Class A Output Stage - Recap Class A output stage is a simple linear current amplifier. It is also very inefficient, typical maximum efficiency between.

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Class A Output Stage - Recap Class A output stage is a simple linear current amplifier. It is also very inefficient, typical maximum efficiency between 10 and 20 %. Only suitable for low power applications. High power requires much better efficiency.

Why is class A so inefficient ? Single transistor can only conduct in one direction. D.C. bias current is needed to cope with negative going signals. 75 % (or more) of the supplied power is dissipated by d.c. Solution : eliminate the bias current.

Class B Output Stage Q 1 and Q 2 form two unbiased emitter followers Q 1 only conducts when the input is positive Q 2 only conducts when the input is negative Conduction angle is, therefore, 180° When the input is zero, neither conducts i.e. the quiescent power dissipation is zero

Class B Current Waveforms I out I C1 I C2 time

Class B Efficiency Average power drawn from the positive supply: I C1 Phase,  A/R L 0   A sin(  )

By symmetry, power drawn from +ve and –ve supplies will be the same. Total power, therefore: Load power: Efficiency:

Power Dissipation To select appropriate output transistors, the maximum power dissipation must be calculated. Just need to find the maximum value of P D to select transistors/heatsinks

051015 0 0.5 1 1.5 Peak Output Amplitude, A [V] Power [W] PLPL PSPS PDPD E.g. V S = 15 V, R L = 100 

P D is a quadratic function of A, Maximum Power Dissipation maximum when:

Efficiency / Power Dissipation Peak efficiency of the class B output stage is 78.5 %, much higher than class A. Unlike class A, power dissipation varies with output amplitude. Remember, there are two output devices so the power dissipation is shared between them.

Design Example Design a class B amplifier which will deliver up to 25 W into a 4  load. Supply voltages must be larger than A max so choose V s = 15V.

Each of the two output transistors must be able to safely dissipate up to 5.7 Watts. Using a TIP120 & TIP 125: But, with  JC = 1.92 °C/W i.e. Either two heatsinks rated at less than 20°C/W are required or a single heatsink rated at less than 10°C/W.

Suggested heatsink Dimensions, 50mm x 50mm x 9.5mm Accommodates two devices Rating 6.5°C/W Cost 60p inc VAT

Cross-Over Distortion A small base-emitter voltage is needed to turn on a transistor Q 1 actually only conducts when v in > 0.7 V Q 2 actually only conducts when v in < -0.7 V When 0.7 > v in > -0.7, nothing conducts and the output is zero. i.e. the input-output relationship is not at all linear.

Actual Input-Output Curve v in v out +V BE -V BE

Effect of Cross-Over Distortion

Audio Demo Undistorted original Class B amplifier output

Class B Summary A class B output stage can be far more efficient than a class A stage (78.5 % maximum efficiency compared with 25 %). It also requires twice as many output transistors… …and it isn’t very linear; cross-over distortion can be significant.

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