Automated testing of amplifier efficiency is made fast and flexible by using an active load that can simulate various conditions. The proposed method uses a controlled load that can range from 4 to 50 ohms with a phase between –60 and +60 degrees for frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. This active load has been used in an automated test procedure to capture efficiency maps of class-B and class-D amplifiers over a full range of operating conditions. While test results showed that the class-D amplifier outperformed the class-B amplifier, real-world efficiency was significantly lower than might be expected because of power supply efficiency, as well as the power consumption of driving stages and peripheral circuits.
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