SNOS760C May 1999 – September 2014 LM7171
There are many things to consider when designing PC boards for high speed op amps. Without proper caution, it is very easy to have excessive ringing, oscillation and other degraded AC performance in high speed circuits. As a rule, the signal traces should be short and wide to provide low inductance and low impedance paths. Any unused board space needs to be grounded to reduce stray signal pickup. Critical components should also be grounded at a common point to eliminate voltage drop. Sockets add capacitance to the board and can affect high frequency performance. It is better to solder the amplifier directly into the PC board without using any socket.
Active (FET) probes are ideal for taking high frequency measurements because they have wide bandwidth, high input impedance and low input capacitance. However, the probe ground leads provide a long ground loop that will produce errors in measurement. Instead, the probes can be grounded directly by removing the ground leads and probe jackets and using scope probe jacks.
It is important in high speed applications to keep all component leads short. For discrete components, choose carbon composition-type resistors and mica-type capacitors. Surface mount components are preferred over discrete components for minimum inductive effect.
Large values of feedback resistors can couple with parasitic capacitance and cause undesirable effects such as ringing or oscillation in high speed amplifiers. For LM7171, a feedback resistor of 510Ω gives optimal performance.