A variable gain amplifier using a photo coupler for a low frequency IF amplifier stage

Yoshio Tsuda*, Shigeru Shimamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper presents a practical implementation scheme of the variable gain amplifier (VGA) using a Cds photo coupler (Cds PC) as a variable resister at the feedback loop. The fundamental design policies of IF amplifier stage in superheterodyne receiver were described. We demonstrated the VGA's experimental results. The results indicated the excellent IIP3 of +25 dBm achieved by a gain of 15 dB, and the reasonable thermal stability and variable gain range. Third-order intermodulation distortion (IMD3) comparison between the proposed VGA and conventional PIN diode attenuation type VGA was evaluated and the result indicated that the proposed VGA surpassed the PIN VGA. The proposed VGA was practically fabricated in 455kHz IF amplifier stage for an airborne VHF communication receiver in order to improve the large signal handling capability to eliminate numerous interferences resulting from the collocated airborne VHF communication systems on the aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Feb


  • Cds photo coupler
  • IF amplifier
  • Intermodulation distortion
  • Superheterodyne receiver
  • Variable gain amplifier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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