cascode amplifier[′ka‚skōd ′am·plə‚fī·ər]
An amplifier stage consisting of a common-emitter transistor cascaded with a common-base transistor (see illustration). The common-emitter-common-base (CE-CB) transistor pair constitutes a multiple active device which essentially corresponds to a common-emitter stage with improved high-frequency performance. In monolithic integrated-circuit design the use of such active compound devices is much more economical than in discrete designs. A similar compound device is the common-collector-common-emitter connection (CC-CE), also known as the Darlington pair. See Integrated circuits
The cascode connection is especially useful in wideband amplifier design as well as the design of high-frequency tuned amplifier stages. The improvement in high-frequency performance is due to the impedance mismatch between the output of the common-emitter stage and the input of the common-base stage.
Another important characteristic of the cascode connection is the higher isolation between its input and output than for a single common-emitter stage, because the reverse transmission across the compound device stage is much smaller than for the common-emitter stage. In effect, the second (common-base) transistor acts as an impedance transformer. This isolation effect makes the cascode configuration particularly attractive for the design of high-frequency tuned amplifier stages where the parasitic cross-coupling between the input and the output circuits can make the amplifier alignment very difficult. See Amplifier, Transistor