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Katie OQ
Katie OQ
12/27/2017 7:31:49 PM
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Input - or Output?
It might puzzle those for whom this material appears to be intended

to introduce an idea that occurs frequently in both analog and digital

disciplines. The output of a logic gate is the input to a following one;

the output of some amplifier will often be the input to another circuit

which overall performs some intended function.


What was meant in the contributed examples (I think) is that a node

at which a significant state-variable of a closed-loop system appears,

can (usefully) be regarded as both input and output, a very common

situation.  For example, in a two-transistor differential LC oscillator,

it's impossible to say which of the nodes directly associated with the

tank elements is not both input and output.  Or, consider the case of

an R-S flip-flop, or a two-transistor relaxation oscillator, and so on.


Indeed, I think it is true to assert that, the existence of a node which

can be said to be simultaneously both input and output is a property

that exclusively arises in closed-loop systems.  (Please correct me, if

this is not formally correct).  Even a parallel-tuned LC resonator is a

closed-loop system.


Teaching analog design to novices is already a challenge. If they are

told that "some circuits (of an unspecified type) exhibit the odd fact

that there exists at least one node which may be regarded, equally,

as either the input or the output of a circuit", this might well stick in

an impressionable mind, distracting him or her from the fundaments

of broader topics. I believe that a teacher (of any subject) must use

the minimum number of new, necessary topics as possible, in order

to avoid the risk that, one or two of the students may be distracted

by pondering for too long about something that sounded like a very

profound and important concept – which somehow they still did not

understand.  It happened to me, when I was being taught calculus,

about sixty years ago.


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