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Volume 49, Number 2, 2018 ACTA TECHNICA NAPOCENSIS

Electronics and Telecommunications


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ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON


OF UNIVERSAL gm-C BIQUAD STRUCTURES
Tomina Fabiola SALAJAN, Iulian CAMPANU,
Raul ONEŢ, Marius NEAG, Marina ŢOPA
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
tomina.salajan@bel.utcluj.ro

Abstract: This paper presents a comparative analysis of four multiple-input single-output (MISO) universal gm-C biquads -
functional blocks able to implement second-order transfer functions such as low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, band-stop and all-
pass without changes to their topology. The analysis focuses on the effects of the parasitic capacitances associated with the
unloaded nodes of the biquads - nodes where no capacitance is placed - and the performance of the resulting filters.
Performance comparison is based on both analytical analysis and simulation results and considers the orthogonality of the
biquads, area and current consumption, how the parasitic capacitances affect the main poles of the transfer function and the
capability of a differential implementation.

Keywords: universal biquad, gm-C, parasitic capacitance, transfer function, complex zero, imaginary zero

I. INTRODUCTION approximate the expressions for all the poles in the circuit.
A universal filter is defined as a structure that can The pole splitting method assumes the roots of the analysed
implement several transfer functions without needing any polynomial are grouped in distanced regions. If this is not
change in its structure. So, by simply changing where the the case for some of the poles, pole clustering will be
input signal is applied or from where the output signal is applied. One of the disadvantages of this method is that a
taken, low-pass (LP), high-pass (HP), band-pass (BP), pair of real roots can appear as a pair of complex roots.
notch and all-pass (AP) transfer functions can be obtained. Following this short Introduction section, the second
Various solutions can be employed to implement universal chapter deals with the Analysis of the four chosen universal
biquads [1], [2]. Voltage-mode implementations use biquad structures. The circuit schematics are shown, and
operational amplifiers – OA-RC topologies, or linear the location of the parasitic capacitors are identified for
transconductors – gm-C topologies, while current-mode each case. The transfer functions are derived for the circuits
implementations use current conveyors, CCs, or current without parasitic capacitances, then the poles are
feedback operational amplifiers, CFBOAs. Out of these, computed. Next the same procedure is performed
the gm-C topology is particularly well suited for silicon considering the parasitic capacitances. Suggestions about
integration and allows operating at frequencies up to sizing and tuning are presented. In third section, the four
hundreds of MHz. Moreover, the transconductance can be analysed universal biquads are sized for the same set of
continuously adjusted, thus enabling a precise control of requirements. Their transfer functions are obtained through
the transfer function parameters. This paper analyses four simulations and then their performances are discussed in
gm-C universal biquad topologies. the Comparison section. Also, suggestions for choosing the
The effect of various nonidealities, like frequency- most suitable universal biquad for a specific application are
dependent transconductance, the input and output parasitic provided. Lastly, conclusions are drawn.
capacitances of the transconductors, node parasitic
capacitances, and output parasitic conductance, on the II. gm-C BIQUAD STRUCTURES ANALYSIS
universal filters transfer function was derived through II.1. Abuelma’atti Universal Biquad
equations in [5]. In this paper, a similar analysis is used to The biquad presented in Figure 1 [4] employs 7 single-
compare four of the recently published structures of ended gm-cells to form a multiple-inputs single-output
second-order universal biquads [4]-[7], mainly by taking (MISO) universal biquad. This biquad can operate in both
into account the effect of the parasitic capacitances in the voltage and current modes, as well as transconductance and
unloaded nodes, i.e. nodes with no connected capacitors. transresistance modes. This versatility can prove very
For the analytical analysis of the biquads, the pole splitting useful as it can easily become an interface between circuits
and pole clustering methods described in [3] are used to that operate in different modes.

Manuscript received May 25, 2018 revised June 9, 2018


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Volume 51, Number 1, 2010 ACTA TECHNICA NAPOCENSIS
Electronics and Telecommunications
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Vin3 Iin1 Two nodes without placed capacitors have been identified
+
g3 -
in the Abuelma'atti biquad, so the parasitic capacitances
-
+ g4 present in those nodes are highlighted as Cp1 and Cp2 and
Vin2
Iin2
Vin4 Cp2 are used in the following analysis. The denominator of the
transfer function becomes of the fourth order, with two
-
+
g5 g6 +
- Vout
C1 C C C C
Iout
extra coefficients: s 4 P1 P 2 and s 3 ( P1 + P 2 ) . The
g4 g7 g4 g7
Iin3
-
+
g1 g2
+
-
- tranfer function poles are obtained using the pole-splitting
C2 g7
+
Cp1
and pole-clustering algorithms, and their expression is
Vin1
given in eq. (4).
Figure 1: Abuelma'atti universal biquad, with parasitic
1 g 3 g 6 C2 − g 3 g 6 C 2 −4 g1 g 3 g 4 g5C1C2
2 2 2
capacitances Cp1 and Cp2 highlighted.
p1 = − ;
2 g 4 C1C2
This filter provides five transfer functions, LPF, HPF, BPF,
1 g 3 g 6 C2 + g 3 g 6 C 2 −4 g1 g3 g 4 g5 C1C2
2 2 2
notch and APF, by setting the corresponding values to the
voltage and current inputs respectively [4]. The second p2 = − ;
2 g 4 C1C2 (4)
order voltage transfer function, given in eq. (1), has two
complex-conjugated poles. g4 g7 C p1 g 7 + C p 2 g 4
p3 = − ; p4 = − .
C p1 g 7 + C p 2 g 4 C p1C p 2
g5 g gg
s 2Vin 3 − s Vin 2 + s 6 Vin 4 + 1 5 Vin1
g 2 g3 C1 C1 C1C2 It becomes clear from eq. (4) that in order to push p3 and p4
Vout =  (1)
g4 g7 g g g g g far above the maximum operating frequency and reduce the
s2 + s 3 6 + 1 3 5 impact of the parasitic capacitances, they have to be kept
g 4 C1 g 4 C1C2
to a minimum, while g4 and g7 have to be as large as
The transfer function parameters are given in eq. (2): possible. This condition can be met using the proposed
sizing strategy.
g 2 g3 II.2. Lee Universal Biquad
H0 = ;
g4 g7 The biquad presented in Figure 2 [5] is also a multiple-
mode universal filter, as it can operate in voltage-mode,
g1 g 3 g 5 1 C1 g 4 g1 g 5
0 p = ; Qp = (2) current-mode, transconductance-mode and transresistance
g 4 C1C2 g6 C2 g 3 mode. It employs two grounded capacitors and five gm-
g1 g 5 g1C1 cells with multiple outputs. It has three current/voltage
0 z = ; Q0 z = . inputs and one current/voltage output, so it is a MISO
C1C2 g 5 C2 system. Although the components count is small, so a small
on-chip area and power dissipation can be achieved, a
One can notice that the cutoff frequency ω0p can be major disadvantage of this structure is that it cannot
adjusted through the product g1g3 if the ratio g1/g3 is kept support a fully-differential implementation.
constant, thus also keeping Qp constant. Qp can be Using this filter, it is possible to obtain five transfer
orthogonally controlled by modifying g6. The gain can also functions, LPF, HPF, BPF, notch and APF, by setting the
be controlled orthogonally through g2 and/or g7. A possible corresponding values to the voltage and current inputs,
sizing strategy is to choose C1=C2, g1, g4, g7 and the other respectively [5]. The second order voltage transfer function
circuit elements are found as given in eq. (3). is given in eq. (5) [5]:

C1C2 g2 gg
g5 = 02z ; g 6 = g5 ; s 2Vin 3 − s Vin 2 + 1 2 Vin1
g1 g3 C2 C1C2
Vout = (5)
 2 g4 g g g
g3 =  2 g 4 C1C2
= 02p
g 4C1C2
= g4 ;
0p s2 + s 3 + 2 3
0p
g1 g5 C C  2 C2 C1C2
g102z 1 2 0z (3)
g1
The cutoff frequency and the quality factor of this universal
g g g g 2 biquad are given in eq. (6). These can be orthogonally
g 2 = H 0 4 7 = H 0 4 27 = H 0 g 7 02z .
g3 0 p 0 p controlled through g2 and g3 by keeping the ratio constant
g4 2 and modifying their product.
0 z

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Volume 51, Number 1, 2010 ACTA TECHNICA NAPOCENSIS
Electronics and Telecommunications
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Vin3 +
Iin2 g3
+ Vin2 - 3
- + g2
C2 +
g3 - - C1
Vin2 - 2
Iin3 + g2
+ Iin1 -
+ g5
+
Vin1 +
+
g1
-
CP1
- +
g5 + g6
+ + -
Vin3 + - g4 g8
- -
g4 + C2
CP2 +
+ Iout
Vout Vin1
+ 1
g7
- Vout
g1 CP
Figure 2: Lee universal biquad, with parasitic - C1 +

capacitances Cp1 and Cp2 highlighted.


Figure 3: Neag 1 universal biquad, with parasitic
capacitance Cp highlighted.
g3 g 2 g3 C2 g 2
H0 = ; 0 p = ; Qp = ;
g4 C1C2 C1 g3 II.3. Neag 1 Universal Biquad
(6) The biquad presented in Figure 3 [6] contains eight gm-
g1 g 2 g1C2
0 z = ; Qz = . cells with a single output and two grounded capacitors. It
C1C2 g 2C1 has three inputs and one output, so it is a MISO type
universal filter. Filters with complex zeroes, pure
A possible sizing strategy is to choose C1, g3 and g5. It imaginary zeros, LPF, HPF, BPF and APF can be obtained
results that: by setting the corresponding values to the input voltages,
as shown in [6]. The voltage transfer function is given in
0 z CC C eq. (9).
C2 = C1 ; g 2 = 02p 1 2 = Q p2 g3 1 ;
0 p g3 C2
g 2 g5 gg g
g CC C
(7) Vin3 s 2 + Vin 2 s + Vin1 1 4 5
g 4 = 3 ; g1 = 02z 1 2 = Qz2 g 2 1 . g
Vout ( s) = 3
g3C2 g3C1C2
(9)
H0 g2 C2 g6 g g g g g
s2 + s 5 8 + 4 5 7
g6C2 g6C1C2
Lee biquad has two nodes without placed capacitances,
where Cp1 and Cp2 are considered for the following
The expressions of the canonical parameters - H0, ωp, ωz,
analysis. It results a 4th order transfer function, with
Qp and Qz -result as follows:
coefficients containing Cp1 and Cp2 found in both the
numerator and denominator, affecting the second order
transfer function parameters. The expressions of the poles g3 g 4 g5 g 7 g1 g 4 g5
H0 = ; = ; = ;
of the third order denominator were derived using the pole- g6 p g6C1C2 z g3C1C2
splitting and pole-clustering algorithms. Their dependence (10)
1 g5 C1 1 g5 C1
on the circuit elements is given in eq. (8). = g8 ; = g2 .
Qp g4 g6 g7 C2 Qz g1 g3 g 4 C2
 C p1 C p 2 
p1 = f  g 2 , g 3 , C1 , C2 , , ; These expressions highlight the following transfer function
 g5 g 4  parameter – controlling element pairs: (ωz and g1), (Qz and
 C p1 C p 2  g2), (ωp and g4), (Qp and g8) and (H0 and g3). A possible
p2 = f  g 2 , g 3 , C1 , C2 , , ; sizing strategy is to choose the values for the following
 g5 g 4  circuit elements: C1=C2, g1, g3 and g4. The values for the
 C p1 C p 2  (8) rest of the circuit elements are obtained as follows:
p3 = f  g 2 , g 3 , C1 , C2 , , ;
 g5 g 4 
g3 C2g C2g
 C p1 C p 2  g6 = ; g5 = z 2 1 3 ; g 7 =  p 2 1 6 ;
p4 = f  g 3 , C 2 , , . H0 g1 g 4 g 4 g5
 g5 g 4 
(11)
1 g 4 g6 g7 1 g1 g3 g4
In order to push p3 and p4 far above the maximum operating g8 = ; g2 = .
frequency, one needs to size g4 and g5 as large as possible
Qp g5 Qz g5
– similar to the Abuelma’atti universal biquad.

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Volume 51, Number 1, 2010 ACTA TECHNICA NAPOCENSIS
Electronics and Telecommunications
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g5
+ Apparently, the effect of CP over the transfer function is
-
more significant than in case of the other analysed biquads
Vin1
+ 1 and cannot be neglected. But the capacitance CP appears in
g1 + 2
Vout
- C1
g2
-
-
g3
parallel with the inductance Lech synthesized by the gyrator
C2 + implemented by g6 and g7, connected in antiparallel, and
Vin2 C3, as shown in Figure 4. The equivalent impedance seen
+
g4 in node 4 when considering the parasitic capacitance is
-
very close to the one obtained when neglecting CP, up to
Vin3
+ 4 the resonance frequency of the Lech-CP network, 𝑓𝑟𝑒𝑠 =
g8 + 3
- g6 1 𝑔6 𝑔7
. Thus, the effect of the parasitic capacitance CP
2𝜋 √ 𝐶3 𝐶𝑝
CP -
C3

on the biquad transfer function can be minimized by setting


-
g7
+
the resonance frequency, fres, well above the maximum
operating frequency.
Figure 4: Neag 2 universal biquad, with parasitic The expressions of the transfer function canonical
capacitance Cp highlighted. parameters, H0, ωp, ωz, Qp and Qz, are given in eq. (14).
When the parasitic capacitor, CP, in the unloaded node is
g8C3 g 2 g5 1 C
considered, the voltage transfer characteristic becomes of H0 = ; = ;Q = g g 2;
the third order, with one extra coefficient in the g7C2 p C1C2 p g3 2 5 C1
denominator: s3/Cpg6. The expressions for the poles were (14)
gg g 1 g1 g2 g8 C3
derived using the pole-splitting and pole-clustering z = 1 2 7 ; Qz = .
algorithms, and are given in eq. (12). g8C1C3 g4 g7 C1

These expressions highlight the following transfer function


g 4 g 5 g 6 g 7 C2
g 5 g8 + g 5 2 g8 2 − 4 parameter – controlling element pairs: (ωz and g1), (Qz and
1 C1 g4), (ωp and g5), (Qp and g3) and (H0 and g7). A possible
p1 = − ;
2 g 6 C2 sizing strategy is to choose the values for the following
circuit elements: C1, C2, C3, g1, g7, fres and to estimate the
g 4 g 5 g 6 g 7 C2
g 5 g8 − g 5 2 g8 2 − 4 value of CP. The values for the rest of the circuit elements
1 C1 are obtained as follows:
p2 = − ; (12)
2 g 6 C2
g6 C3C p g 7 C2
p3 = − . g 6 = (2  f res ) 2 ; g8 = H 0 ;
Cp g7 C3
g8C1C3 CC
In order to reduce the effect of the parasitic capacitance, g 2 =  z2 ; g5 =  p2 1 2 ; (15)
g1 g 7 g2
one has to increase the g6/Cp ratio up to at least 2 times
greater than the maximum operating frequency, such that 1 C2 1 g1 g 2 g8 C3
g3 = g 2 g5 ; g3 = .
the associated pole is taken to the high frequency range, Qp C1 Qz g 7 C1
where it will not affect the biquad behavior.
III. DESIGN EXAMPLE
II.4. Neag 2 Universal Biquad The four universal biquad structures are all sized in order
The universal biquad presented in Figure 4 [7] implements, to meet the same set of specifications: fp=fz=10 MHz,
with minimum adjustments, a large range of second order Qp=Qz=1 and H0=1, for ensuring a fair comparison. The
filters, from the usual low-pass and band-pass to transfer circuit elements, derived using the sizing strategies
functions with complex and fully-imaginary zeroes. This discussed in the previous section, are given in Table 1.
biquad utilizes eight gm-cells and three grounded Although several transfer functions can be obtained, only
capacitors. It has only one unloaded node, marked as node the high-pass transfer characteristic is presented here to
4 in Figure 4, together with the node parasitic capacitance, illustrate the performances of the analysed biquads.
CP. The expression of the output voltage, when CP is The biquads were implemented using a simple
neglected, is given in eq. (13) [7]. transconductor model with a very large output resistance,
Rout=1GΩ. Figure 5 presents, with dashed lines, the four
g4 g7 gg g
Vin3 s 2 + Vin 2 s + Vin1 1 2 7 analysed biquads frequency characteristics when the
gC g8C3 g8C1C3 parasitic capacitances are neglected, and, with continuous
Vout ( s) = 8 3 (13)
g 7 C2 g g g lines, the same frequency characteristics when parasitic
s2 + s 3 + 2 5 capacitances of 100 fF were placed in each unloaded node.
C2 C1C2
The effect of the parasitic capacitances can be noticed

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Volume 51, Number 1, 2010 ACTA TECHNICA NAPOCENSIS
Electronics and Telecommunications
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starting from frequencies above 1 GHz, where the extra Table 2: Comparison between the computed values (c)
poles introduce attenuation. of the filters’ poles and the ones obtained using
The expressions of the poles caused by the parasitic simulations (s).
capacitances, derived in the previous section, are validated p1 [MHz] p2 [MHz]
p3 p4
through simulations: the positions of the poles are Poles [GHz] [GHz]
computed using the derived formulae and compared with real im real im real real
the values obtained using a “Pole-Zero” simulation Abuel c 4.32 -9.02 4.32 9.02 1.13 4.52
ma’atti s 4.29 -9 4.29 9 2.26 2.27
performed in Cadence Virtuoso environment. Table 2
shows that the values obtained analytically and those c 8.4 -5.22 8.4 5.22 0.984 3.98
Lee
s 8.51 -5.24 8.51 5.24 1.7 2.26
obtained from simulation are in very good agreement.
c 5 -8.66 5 8.66 1.99 -
Neag 1
s 5 -8.67 5 8.67 1.979 -
Table 1: Values of the circuit elements of the 4 c 5 -8.66 5 8.66 - -
analysed biquads. Neag 2
s 4.99 -8.65 4.99 8.65 - -
Circuit Abuel- Lee Neag 1 Neag 2
elements ma’atti Abuelma'atti and Lee biquads have two unloaded nodes,
g1 [uS] 727 1070 551 551 increasing the number of poles, when considering the
g2 [uS] 1420 369 1100 716 parasitic capacitances effect. Still, the main poles, p1 and
g3 [uS] 1420 1070 1250 628 p2, are affected by the parasitic capacitances only in the
g4 [uS] 1420 1070 1250 628 case of Lee biquad. In comparison, Neag 1 and Neag 2
g5 [uS] 543 1420 716 551 biquads have only one unloaded node, thus, Neag 1 and
g6 [uS] 543 - 1250 200 Neag 2 biquads present a smaller sensitivity to parasitic
g7 [uS] 1420 - 551 902 capacitances.
g8 [uS] - - 1100 902 By analyzing the circuit elements values presented in Table
C1 [pF] 10 10 10 10 1, it can be seen that Neag 1 biquad has the lowest gm
C2 [pF] 10 10 10 10 spread, defined as the ratio between the minimum and
C3 [pF] - - - 10 maximum gm values used in the biquad.
Cp [pF] - - 0.1 0.1 When considering the tunability criterion, neither of the
Cp1 [pF] 0.1 0.1 - - four analysed biquads is orthogonal, but various strategies
Cp2 [pF] 0.1 0.1 - - can be found for each biquad in order to vary the gain or
the cutoff frequency and the corresponding quality factor
IV. COMPARISON OF THE ANALYSED BIQUAD through parameter-controlling element pairs, as
STRUCTURES demonstrated in the previous chapter.
The four presented universal biquad structures are Finally, only Neag 1 and Neag 2 structures can be extended
compared by considering various criteria, as follows. to implement fully differential filters, which allows
Neag 2 biquad uses the largest number of gm-cells, so it reducing common-mode noise and disturbances and
increases linearity.
has larger die size and power consumption compared to Table 3 summarizes the comparison between the four
Abuelma'atti, Lee and Neag 1 biquads, which all use the universal biquads and it can be used as a guideline for
same number of gm-cells. choosing the most suitable biquad for a given set of
specifications.
a) Abuelma’atti b) Lee

V. CONCLUSIONS
Four recently published gm-C universal biquad structures
were analysed in this paper. Their transfer functions were
derived when considering the parasitic capacitances from
the unloaded nodes. The analytical expression of the poles
was approximated using the pole-splitting and pole-
c) Neag 1 d) Neag 2 clustering algorithms. For each analysed structure, a sizing
strategy that allows minimizing the effects of the
parasitical capacitances was proposed.
The analysis was validated with a sizing example, where a
simple transconductor model was used. Further research
will also consider the effect of real gm-cells.
The analysed structures were compared, by taking into
account various criteria like: number of gm-cells, number
Figure 5: a) Abuelma'atti, b) Lee, c) Neag1 and d) Neag2
of unloaded nodes, the effect of the parasitic capacitances
universal biquad high-pass transfer characteristics:
on the biquad performances, the orthogonality and the
without parasitic caps - dashed line; with placed parasitic
capability of a fully differential implementation. Of course,
caps of 100fF at the unloaded nodes - continuous line).
no clear winner could be designated, but depending on the

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Volume 51, Number 1, 2010 ACTA TECHNICA NAPOCENSIS
Electronics and Telecommunications
________________________________________________________________________________

requirements of the system in which the universal biquad


is to be used, suggestions were given to help the designer
make the most suitable choice.

Table 3: Comparison between the four presented


universal biquad structures.
Abuel
Lee Neag 1 Neag 2
ma’atti
No. of gm cells
(outputs)
8 8 8 9
No. of unloaded
nodes
2 2 1 1
No. of poles 4 4 3 2
Cpar affects p1, p2 No Yes No No
Allows differential
implementation
No No Yes Yes
Gm spread 1:2.6 1:2.9 1:2.26 1:4.51

REFERENCES
[1] M. Neag, "Sisteme cu circuite integrate analogice",
Mediamira, 2008.
[2] Deliyannis, T., Y. Sun, JK. Fidler, "Continuous time
active filter design", CRC Press, USA, 1999.
[3] Marina Dana Ţopa, "Analiza simbolica a circuitelor
electronice", Casa Cărţii de Ştiinţă, 1998.
[4] Abuelma'atti, Muhammad Taher, and Abdulwahab
Bentrcia. "A novel mixed-mode OTA-C universal
filter", International Journal of Electronics 92.7, 2005:
pp. 375-383.
[5] Lee, Chen-Nong. "Multiple-mode OTA-C universal
biquad filters", Circuits, Systems and Signal
Processing 29.2, 2010: pp. 263-274.
[6] Neag, Marius, Liviu Nedelea, Marina Ţopa, Lelia
Feştilă, "A New OTA-C Electronically Tunable
Orthogonal Universal Biquad", Proceedings of the
International ProRISC, 23-24 November, 2006,
Veldhoven, Olanda, pp. 61-66.
[7] Neag, Marius, Raul Oneţ, and Marina Ţopa. "A new
OTA-C universal biquad resonates out the main
parasitic capacitance." Circuit Theory and Design,
2009. ECCTD 2009. European Conference on. IEEE,
2009, pp. 124-128.