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Operational Amplifiers

May 6th Fact-of-the-Day

Solid-state operational amplifiers (op-amps) are widely used in a large variety of electronic circuit applications, but what, exactly, is an operational amplifier? Op-amps are fundamentally differential amplifiers (amplifiers that amplify the difference between two input signals, rather than amplifying a single input signal, as most ordinary amplifiers do) that have very high input impedance, low output impedance, and very high voltage gain. One of the two input signals is inverted when amplified. The other input signal is not inverted. There is a single output signal. Many op-amps require both positive and negative power supply voltages, but some require only a single positive or a single negative supply voltage. Most of the many applications can be classified into applications that utilize the very high voltage gain or applications that utilize the high-input to low-output impedance transformation for impedance-matching, often with external negative feedback that results in unity gain. ©2005 Martek, International. All rights reserved.

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