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Distortions by Switching Errors in Digital Power Amplifiers Using Sigma Delta Coded Signals

The development of a fully digital audio power amplifier based on PWM or Sigma Delta technologies still has many unsolved practical problems. The most problematic part of the amplifier system is the switching (class-D) power stage. It is extremely difficult to turn on or off the high power voltage impulses as required for a high performance signal quality (e.g. 16 bit CD quality). In this paper the typical switching errors introduced by the power transistors, the power supply voltage and the load will be analysed formally and with computer simulations. From the results it can be seen, that a degrading of the Signal-to-Noise quality by harmonic distortions and unwanted modulation products occur by the signal errors in the output stage.

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