A Resistive degeneration technique for linearizing open-loop amplifiers

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This brief presents a linearization technique for open-loop amplifiers. It utilizes the exponential {V}{-}{I} transfer of MOS transistors in weak-inversion together with a weak form of resistive degeneration. By using a specific relationship between the input transconductance and the source degeneration resistance, the amplifier is shown to have a significant reduction ( \sim 50\times ) in its third-order distortion component. Based on this linearization principle, two amplifier topologies are proposed by implementing the degeneration in (a) pseudo-differential and (b) common-mode configuration. The pseudo-differential degeneration scheme allows the amplifier to achieve more than 80dB linearity for 150mV {\text {pp-diff}} input swing at the expense of 35% lower power-efficiency. The common-mode degeneration eliminates this power penalty but exhibits 10dB worse linearity. To ensure an optimal linearity over process variation, a foreground calibration scheme is used to detect the nonlinearity. The nonlinearity correction is done by adjusting the bias current of the amplifier. The proof-of-concept amplifiers are constructed on a stripboard to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed linearization technique. With an input signal of 50mV {\rm pp{-}diff} , the two topologies achieve-105dB and-95dB HD3, respectively, improving the linearity of the state-of-The-Art open-loop amplifiers by at least 30dB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8957697
Pages (from-to)2322-2326
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Analog linearization
  • nonlinearity calibration
  • open-loop amplifier
  • resistive degeneration
  • switched-capacitor


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