Friday, December 8, 2023

Towards higher behaved Sallen-Key low go filters


The commonest kind of filter might be the low go. Amongst lively filters, the Sallen-Key’s probably the most extensively used topology (Determine 1).

Determine 1 A primary order op-amp-based Sallen-Key low-pass filter with broadband acquire 1+Rf0/Rg0.

Wow the engineering world along with your distinctive design: Design Concepts Submission Information

The switch operate of this filter is H(s) = (1+Rf0/Rg0) / (1+s·C0·R0). The op-amp-configured acquire has no impact on the C0-R0 filter, for which C0·R0 = 1/ω0. The values of C0 and R0 will be diversified with out modifying the filter traits so long as their product stays unchanged.

Determine 2 A second order op-amp-based Sallen-Key low-pass filter with broadband acquire 1+Rf/Rg.

The switch operate of the filter in Determine 2 is proven in Equation (1):

H(s) = (1+Rf/Rg) / [1 + s·(C2·(R1+R2) – Rf·R1·C1/Rg) + s2·R1·R2·C1·C2] = (1+Rf/Rg) / [1 + s/(Q·ω0) + (s/ω0)2]     (1)

From Equation (1), equating like powers of s yields Equations (2) and (3):

ω0 = 1/sqrt(R1·R2·C1·C2)         (2)


Q = 1/((C2·(R1+R2) – Rf·R1·C1/Rg)·ω0)         (3)

If you’re unfamiliar with s, Q or ω0, this reference [1] provides and transient tutorial.

Full filters would possibly include a primary and/or second order part or, of a number of second order sections presumably cascaded with a primary. Even for a given cutoff frequency, second order sections can have varied values of Q which rely upon response varieties equivalent to Bessel, Butterworth, and Chebyshev, and many others. It’s considerably of an artwork to rearrange a number of sections in an order which boosts each noise and clipping headroom. Noise will be diminished whereas sustaining the identical filter traits by lowering resistor values, however for these resistors apart from Rf and Rg, this sadly ends in bodily bigger and customarily costlier capacitors. And for response accuracy, increased Q sections place larger calls for on op amp gain-bandwidths. However this Design Thought is not going to be addressing any of those points. As an alternative, its aim might be to specify choose resistor and capacitor worth units which reduce the results of their tolerance-associated variations on the responses of second order sections. To perform this, use will be product of a filter design device of the sort obtainable from a number of semiconductor producers [2-4]. Such instruments have the benefit of mechanically producing element values from a set of efficiency necessities. Sadly, none of those instruments addresses the aforementioned aim. However calculations using these values can consider the sections’ Q and ω0 parameters, which may in flip be used to generate new element worth units that understand extra secure responses.

Taming response variations

To cite a reference [5], “desensitization is obtained in a twin means by rising the worth of the capacitance ratio ρ whereas maintaining the resistance ratio r equal to unity.” Within the case of Determine 2 above:

ρ = C1/C2         (4)


r = 1 = R2/R1      in order that      R1 = R2 = R         (5)

 Making use of Equations (4) and (5) to (3), we get hold of Equation (6):

R·(2·C1/ρ – C1·Rf/Rg) = 1/(Q·ω0)         (6)

Substituting the worth of ω0 from Equation (2) into (6) and once more making use of Equations (4) and (5), we discover that:  

Rf/Rg = 2/ρ – 1/(Q·sqrt(ρ))         (7)

It’s clear that the most important worth of ρ that produces a non-negative, and due to this fact realizable worth of Rf/Rg (one the place Rf/Rg = 0 and which might be applied by making Rf a brief and eradicating Rg from the circuit), is ρ = 4·Q2, in order that C1 = 4·Q2·C2. For a filter through which R1 = R2 having a given Q, this may yield the response with the least attainable sensitivity to element values. Let’s apply a few of these findings to an instance.

An instance

This can be a second order part obtained from one producer’s device:

Determine 3 An instance of a second order part from a producer’s device.

Straight away, we discover one factor that’s odd: each element is of an ordinary worth aside from C1. To get inside 1% of C1, at the very least two capacitors must be used. As we’ll see, a redesign can keep away from this further element. Making use of Equations (2) and (3), we discover that Q = 3.127 and ω0 = 5048. Let’s preserve the worth of C2 and select the following increased customary worth for C1 from what’s proven, 33n. Fixing in Equation (6) for R = R1 = R2, we get hold of 11693, the closest customary worth of which is 11.8k. Since ρ = 3.3, from Equation (7), Rf/Rg = .4300. We will due to this fact let Rg = 2490 and Rf = 1071 ≈ 1070.

Determine 4 reveals a 100 pattern Monte Carlo run with capacitor tolerances of 5% and resistor tolerances of 1%. Right here, the revised design is superimposed on prime of the unique one from Determine 3. (The broadband filters’ positive factors as a consequence of Rf/Rg have been normalized to unity in order that the response variations will be extra readily in contrast.) Be aware that the revised filter has much less variation. That is principally as a result of R1 and R2 have been made equal and fewer so as a result of ρ has been (solely) barely elevated.

Determine 4 A 100 pattern Monte Carlo run of the unique Determine 3 filter and a revised model the place R1 and R2 have been set to be equal and the ratio C1/C2 solely barely elevated. The filters’ Q’s and ω0’s are an identical. The broadband positive factors as a consequence of Rf/Rg have been normalized to assist within the comparability of response variations.

Nonetheless, issues can get higher. If we retain 10n for C2 and set ρ to be barely lower than 4·Q2 in order to make use of the usual worth of 390n for C1, the closest customary R worth turns into 3160. Rf/Rg falls nearly to 0, so we change Rf with a brief and take away Rg. Determine 5 reveals the end result.

Determine 5 A 100 pattern Monte Carlo run of the unique Determine 3 filter and a newly revised model. R1 and R2 have been set to be equal, and the ratio C1/C2 elevated to a close to optimum worth barely lower than the realizable most of 4·Q2. The broadband positive factors as a consequence of Rf/Rg have been normalized to assist within the comparability of response variations.

The Rf/Rg ratio within the producer’s Determine 3 design comes from a requirement for a complete acquire of 10dB in a four-section filter of which this part is a component. The producer determined to require every part to have a acquire of two.5 dB = 20·log10(1 + Rf/Rg). From a sensitivity standpoint, that is clearly not your best option. Ideally, second order sections’ op-amps must be configured for unity acquire (Rf/Rg = 0). We all know this from the beforehand quoted assertion from a reference [5] to reduce sensitivity by setting r to 1 and maximizing ρ, and from making use of that maximized worth to Equation (7).

You don’t want a producer’s device

You may design filter sections from tables of filter traits [6]. These tables record the Q’s and the ω0’s (proven within the reference as F0’s) for filters of a number of response varieties and orders from 2 via 10. Even quantity E orders require E/2 second order sections, whereas odd quantity O orders demand (O – 1)/2 second order sections and one first order part. The F0’s (that are the identical because the ω0’s on this Design Thought) are proven for a 3 dB attenuation frequency in radians per second listed within the column labeled -3 dB FREQUENCY. Merely multiply all F0’s by 2·π·F to alter the three dB attenuation frequency from 1 radian per second to F Hz. The Q’s are unchanged. The Q’s and ensuing ω0’s are required for deriving the element values for every part. Working from the tables is definitely extra correct than working from the instruments. It’s because some or the entire instruments’ element values have been approximated with customary values.


This Design Thought reveals create filters whose amplitude responses are minimally affected by tolerance-associated variations in elements’ values. First order filters’ ω0’s and second order filters’ ω0’s and Q’s will be obtained from semiconductor producers’ instruments or from filter design tables. Utilizing these values, one can proceed by first selecting an ordinary capacitor worth C. For a primary order filter, set:

C0 = C and R0 = 1/(C0· ω0)

and select the closest customary worth for R0.

For every second order filter, select a price of ρ which is the ratio of two customary worth capacitors. ρ must be larger than unity and huge sufficient to achieve the specified discount in response sensitivity, however no bigger than 4·Q2 for the part. Then set:

C2 = C

C1 = C2·ρ

R1# = R2# = 1/(ω0· sqrt(C1·C2) )

Rf/Rg = 2/ρ – 1/(Q·sqrt(ρ))

Select the closest customary worth for all elements with the # superscript. Approximate Rf/Rg by selecting customary values for 2 resistors, contemplating that smaller values decrease noise contributions however may overload the op amp’s output stage and/or exceed AC energy consumption necessities.

Think about using combination filters of solely odd orders and putting all of the requirement’s acquire within the first order part the place it’ll typically have the least impact on the combination frequency response. To maximise each noise and headroom, join the output of the bottom Q second order part to the enter of the following increased Q part and so forth in order that the final stage is the primary order one. Reversing the connection order minimizes noise and headroom. Some compromise between the 2 would seemingly be your best option.

Yet one more be aware: as a result of in excessive go Sallen-Key filters the placements of resistors R1 and R2 are swapped with these of capacitors C1 and C2, response sensitivities for this topology are minimized when the capacitor values are equalized and the resistor ratio is maximized! Maybe this can be a matter for a future Design Thought. (Oops, I simply spilled the beans! Not rather more to it than that.)

The design process introduced on this Design Thought gives the chance to reduce filter response sensitivities to variations because of the tolerances of resistor and capacitor values. Chances are you’ll want to think about this to your subsequent design.


  1., see particularly sections 3 and 6.
  6., particularly Figures 8.26 via 8.36. This reference does a fantastic job of describing the variations between the filter response varieties and filter realization basically.

Christopher Paul has labored in varied engineering positions within the communications business for over 40 years.

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