High-Voltage class-D power amplifiers: design and optimization

H. Ma

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    553 Downloads (Pure)


    ABSTRACT Nowadays transducers are ubiquitous as interfaces between the increasingly digital world and the real physical world. The same holds for the power amplifiers driving them. This thesis focuses on the design and optimization of high-voltage class-D amplifiers, which are used for driving capacitive piezoelectric actuator loads in active vibration/noise control applications. The main objective is to further enhance class-D power efficiency compared to existing class-D designs. To gain insight in class D power efficiency, a detailed analysis of high-voltage class-D dissipation sources is performed and a dissipation model including all the major dissipation sources is developed. The analysis shows that switching loss is a potential dominating dissipation source in high-voltage applications, while its contribution can be minimized by fast switching to eliminate V-I overlap losses. Moreover, it is shown that when varying the class-D switching frequency, a minimum total dissipation exists, with the optimal switching frequency depending on the output power. Furthermore, idle loss reduction by increasing the switching frequency and inserting a dead time to the power stage is backed by the analysis. Following the analysis, a fast-switching power stage is designed to aim for switching loss minimization. This output stage design features immunity to the on-chip supply bounce, realized by internally regulated floating supplies, variable driving strength for the gate driver, and an efficient 2-step level shifter design. Fast switching transitions and low switching loss are achieved with 94% peak efficiency for the complete class-D power stage in the realized chip. In addition, gate driver sizing procedures for the class-D output stage are discussed, showing that the variable gate driving strength can greatly improve efficiency when on-chip supply bounce is the limiting factor. Also based on the dissipation analysis, this thesis describes the design of an efficiency-improved high-voltage class-D power amplifier. The amplifier adaptively regulates its switching frequency for optimal power efficiency across the full output power range. This is based on detecting the switching output node voltage level at the turn-on transition of the power switches. For the final chip prototype, the amplifier achieves 93% efficiency at 45W output power, >80% power efficiency down to 4.5W output power and >49% efficiency down to 0.45W output power. Finally, for the aim of idle loss reduction, the linearity degradation of dead time insertion and switching frequency increase is discussed in this thesis. To cope with this linearity degradation, both open-loop and closed-loop error correction techniques are explored and it is further shown that a higher-order loop filter combined with uniform sampling once per switching cycle is potentially a suitable choice for closed-loop fixed-carrier class-D implementations.
    Original languageUndefined
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Nauta, Bram, Supervisor
    • van der Zee, Ronan A.R., Advisor
    Thesis sponsors
    Award date12 Jun 2015
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-3870-1
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2015


    • IR-96003
    • METIS-310600
    • EWI-26095

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