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Cascode Loads and Amplifier Settling Behavior

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1 Author(s)
Nairn, D.G. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng, Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Cascode loads are commonly assumed to be frequency independent nevertheless: it is shown that cascode loads introduce a pole-zero pair into the amplifier's frequency response. Unfortunately, when designing high-gain high-speed amplifiers based on “all NMOS signal path” concepts, the pole-zero pair introduced by the PMOS cascode is likely to be located near the amplifier's closed-loop bandwidth. Unlike pole-zero pairs located far from the amplifier's closed-loop bandwidth, the effect of pole-zero pairs located near the amplifier's closed-loop bandwidth is highly dependent on the exact configuration of the amplifier. While not always possible, minimizing the capacitance on the cascode node minimizes the effects of this undesirable pole-zero pair.

Published in:

Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 1 )