Relaxation Oscillator

To design and study the Relaxation Oscillator.


An electronic oscillator is an electronic circuit that produces a repetitive, oscillating electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave. Oscillators convert direct current (DC) from a power supply to an alternating current signal. They are widely used in many electronic devices. Common examples of signals generated by oscillators include signals broadcast by radio and television transmitters, clock signals that regulate computers and quartz clocks, and the sounds produced by electronic beepers and video games.

Oscillators are often characterized by the frequency of their output signal:

  • An audio oscillator produces frequencies in the audio range, about 16 Hz to 20 kHz.
  • An RF oscillator produces signals in the radio frequency (RF) range of about 100 kHz to 100 GHz.
  • A low-frequency oscillator (LFO) is an electronic oscillator that generates a frequency below ≈20 Hz. This term is typically used in the field of audio synthesizers, to distinguish it from an audio frequency oscillator. Oscillators designed to produce a high-power AC output from a DC supply are usually called inverters.
There are two main types of electronic oscillator: 1) Linear or Harmonic Oscillator 2) Non-linear or Relaxation Oscillator.
Linear Oscillator: The harmonic or linear, oscillator produces a sinusoidal output. They are of two types:
  1. Feedback oscillator
  2. Negative resistance oscillator

Feedback Oscillator : The most common form of linear oscillator is an electronic amplifier such as a transistor or op amp connected in a feedback loop with its output fed back into its input through a frequency selective electronic filter to provide positive feedback. When the power supply to the amplifier is first switched on, electronic noise in the circuit provides a signal to get oscillations started. The noise travels around the loop and is amplified and filtered until very quickly it becomes a sine wave at a single frequency.
Feedback oscillator circuits can be classified according to the type of frequency selective filter they use in the feedback loop.

Negative Resistance Oscillators : In negative resistance oscillators, a resonant circuit, such as an LC circuit, crystal, or cavity resonator, is connected across a device with negative differential resistance, and a DC bias voltage is applied to supply energy. A resonant circuit by itself is almost an oscillator; it can store energy in the form of electronic oscillations if excited, but because it has some internal resistance or other losses the oscillations are damped and decline to zero. The negative resistance of the active device cancels the (positive) internal loss resistance in the resonator, in effect creating a resonator with no damping, which generates spontaneous continuous oscillations at its resonant frequency.