Inf electronics, a common-source amplifier is one of three basic single-stage field-effect transistor (FET) amplifier topologies, typically used as a voltage or transconductance amplifier. The easiest way to tell if a FET is common source, common drain, or common gate is to examine where the signal enters and leaves. The remaining terminal is what is known as "common". In this example, the signal enters the gate, and exits the drain. The only terminal remaining is the source. This is a common-source FET circuit. The analogous bipolar junction transistor circuit is the common-emitter amplifier.
The common-source (CS) amplifier may be viewed as a transconductance amplifier or as a voltage amplifier. (See classification of amplifiers). As a transconductance amplifier, the input voltage is seen as modulating the current going to the load. As a voltage amplifier, input voltage modulates the amount of current flowing through the FET, changing the voltage across the output resistance according to Ohm's law. However, the FET device's output resistance typically is not high enough for a reasonable transconductance amplifier (ideally infinite), nor low enough for a decent voltage amplifier (ideally zero). Another major drawback is the amplifier's limited high-frequency response. Therefore, in practice the output often is routed through either a voltage follower (common-drain or CD stage), or a current follower (common-gate or CG stage), to obtain more favorable output and frequency characteristics. The CS–CG combination is called a cascode amplifier.
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