Technology Behind The Product

Patent Number: 5,343,166

Efficient high fidelity audio power amplifier

Abstract: A power amplifier circuit having a cascode transistor configuration with at least one gain transistor biased for Class-A or Class-AB operation and at least one cascode transistor, and having at least one isolated high impedance current source connected across the gain transistor(s) to provide an alternate path for bias current other than through the cascode transistor(s). In a complementary symmetry embodiment of the amplifier, a bias voltage across the gates of the complementary gain transistors ensures Class-A (or -AB) operation, while either a single current source connected across both gain transistors or a pair of current sources, each connected across one gain transistor, provides the alternate bias current path. In a single-ended embodiment of the amplifier, a current sink to one of the power supply terminals assures forward bias for Class-A (or -AB) operation, and a single current source is connected across the sole gain transistor. The cascode configuration can employ either a common drain or a common source connection for the gain transistor(s). The current source(s) reduce bias current through the cascode transistor(s) and thereby reduce power dissipation as the cascode transistor(s) holds the voltage drop across the gain transistor(s) relatively constant.

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