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>Clipping Circuits

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June 13, 2011 by todayscircuits


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Clipping circuit is a wave-shaping circuit, and is used to either remove or clip a portion of the applied wave in order to control the shape of the output waveform. One of the most basic clipping circuit is the half-wave rectifier. A half-wave rectifier clips either the negative half cycle or the positive half cycle of an alternating waveform, and allows to pass only one half cycle.  Such a  circuit has great applications in radars, digital computers and other electronic systems for removing unwanted portions of the input signal voltages above or below a specified level. Another application is in radio-receivers for communication circuits where noise pulses that rise well above the signal amplitude are clipped down to the desired level. Clipping circuits are also referred to as voltage limiters, amplitude selectors, or slicers.

Classifications Of Clippers

Clipping circuit consists of non-linear and linear devices. The non-linear devices gen­erally used for clipping are diodes and transistors. According to non-linear devices used, clippers may be classified as
  • Diode clippers and
  • Transistor clippers.
According to biasing, the clippers may be classified as
  • Unbiased clippers and
  • Biased clippers.
According to configuration used the clippers may be
  • Series diode clippers
  • Parallel or shunt diode clippers
  • A series combination of diode, resistor and reference supply
  • Multi-diode clippers consisting of several diodes, resistors and reference voltages
  • Two emitter-coupled transistors operating as an over-driven difference amplifier.
According to level of clipping the clippers may be
  • Positive clippers
  • Negative clippers
  • Biased clippers and
  • Combination clippers


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