Op Amps

Op Amps, short for Operational Amplifiers, are semiconductor devices commonly used in analogue electronic circuits. They work by receiving an input signal and amplifying it into a stronger output signal. Op Amps offer a very high voltage gain amplifiers.

How do Op Amps work?
Op Amps provide mathematical operations such as addition, multiplication, differentiation, and integration. They are voltage amplifiers which usually have a differential input and a single-ended output.
There are two inputs into an Operational Amplifier which are called inverting (-) and non-inverting (+) inputs. If you were to increase the voltage to the inverting input, the output voltage decreases. Alternatively, if you increase the voltage to the non-inverting input, the output voltage increases. If an equal voltage is supplied to both inputs, the output will not change.

What is a differential amplifier?
Op Amps are often referred to as differential amplifiers. This is because the output of an Op-Amp is relative to the difference between the input voltages.

Where are Op Amps used?
Operational amplifiers have a wide variety of uses in electronic circuits. Here are some examples of how they are used:

Crystal oscillators and waveform generators
Audio- and video-frequency pre-amplifiers and buffers
Integrators
Comparators
Analogue-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analogue (DAC) converters
Voltage Clamps
Analogue Calculators
Filters
Differentiators
Precision rectifiers
Linear voltage regulators
Current regulators
Precision rectifiers
Precision peak to peak detectors

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