Saturday, August 04, 2012

Class B amplifier-Working

Unlike the Class A amplifier mode of operation above that uses a single transistor for its output power stage, the Class B Amplifier uses two complimentary transistors (an NPN and a PNP) for each half of the output waveform. One transistor conducts for one-half of the signal waveform while the other conducts for the other or opposite half of the signal waveform. This means that each transistor spends half of its time in the active region and half its time in the cut-off region thereby amplifying only 50% of the input signal.

Class B operation has no direct DC bias voltage like the class A amplifier, but instead the transistor only conducts when the input signal is greater than the base-emitter voltage and for silicon devices is about 0.7v. Therefore, at zero input there is zero output. This then results in only half the input signal being presented at the amplifiers output giving a greater amount of amplifier efficiency as shown below.

Class B- Circuit Diagram

In a class B amplifier, no DC current is used to bias the transistors, so for the output transistors to start to conduct each half of the waveform, both positive and negative, they need the base-emitter voltage Vbe to be greater than the 0.7v required for a bipolar transistor to start conducting. Then the lower part of the output waveform which is below this 0.7v window will not be reproduced accurately resulting in a distorted area of the output waveform as one transistor turns "OFF" waiting for the other to turn back "ON". The result is that there is a small part of the output waveform at the zero voltage cross over point which will be distorted. This type of distortion is called Crossover Distortion

Class B Output Wave


It is twice as efficient as class A amplifiers with a maximum theoretical efficiency of about 70% because the amplifying device only conducts (and uses power) for half of the input signal.

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