We are excited to release our new Application Note that describes the theory and method used by Custom MMIC to characterize the second order intercept point (IP2) of its wideband amplifiers. We offer a large selection of wideband amplifiers as standard products with superior IP2 levels.
Distortion in amplifiers can take many different forms. One type of distortion occurs when the output signal level gets large and approaches the 1 dB compression point of the amplifier. In this case, the output waveform is compressed or even clipped, and this action generates unwanted harmonics which are added to the desired signal.
A second type of distortion, which can happen at any output power level, occurs when two signals at distinct but closely separated frequencies are presented to the input of the amplifier. Nonlinearities within the active devices cause these two signals to multiply together, and this multiplication produces distortion tones at frequencies different than, but related to, the input signals. The most prominent tones generated in this fashion are known as second-order and third-order distortion, where the order refers to the particular harmonic generated by the multiplication.
Third order distortion affects every amplifier, as the distortion tones are close in frequency to the desired signals, so they appear within the bandwidth of the amplifier. Second order distortion, by contrast, does not affect every amplifier since these tones are not close in frequency to the desired signals, so they can fall out-side the operating bandwidth of the amplifier, especially in narrow band designs.
Download our application note to learn more today.