Exponential converter

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An exponential converter is a pair of matched PNP transistors, forming an exponential voltage-to-current converter.

Early synthesizer VCOs (voltage controlled oscillators) were difficult to keep in tune. For a stable analogue audio VCO, the design solution in use since the 1970s has been to use a pair of matched PNP transistors, to form an exponential voltage-to-current converter. The input base-emitter voltage is exponentially related to the collector current. By having the second transistor configured, so that its current is in the opposite direction to the first, most of the temperature dependence is cancelled out. Any remaining temperature dependence is dealt with by using a positive temperature coefficient thermistor (tempco) in thermal contact with the matched transistor pair, in the feedback path of an op-amp voltage summer at their input.[1]

See also

Voltage controlled oscillator


Further reading

  • Electronic Music Circuits by Barry Klein, The Exponential Converter, pp. 83-87

External links