Application Report SBOA092A –October 20011 HANDBOOK OF OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER APPLICATIONS Bruce Carter and Thomas R. BrownABSTRACT While in the process of reviewing Texas Instruments applications notes, including those from Burr-Brown – I uncovered a couple of treasures, this handbook on op amp applications and one on active RC networks. These old publications, from 1963 and 1966, respectively, are some of the finest works on op amp theory that I have ever seen. Nevertheless, they contain some material that is hopelessly outdated. This includes everything from the state of the art of amplifier technology, to the parts referenced in the document – even to the symbol used for the op amp itself: These numbers in the circles referred to pin numbers of old op amps, which were potted modules instead of integrated circuits. Many references to these numbers were made in the text, and these have been changed, of course. In revising this document, I chose to take a minimal approach to the material out of respect for the original author, – Thomas R. Brown, leaving as much of the original material intact as possible while making the document relevant to present day designers. There were some sections that were deleted or substantially changed: •=“Broadbanding” operational amplifier modules – replaced with discussion of uncompensated operational amplifiers. •=Open loop applications and Comparators – Applications showing an operational amplifier used open loop, as a comparator have been deleted. At the time of original publication, there were no dedicated comparator components. Good design techniques now dictate using a comparator instead of an operational amplifier. There are ways of safely using an operational amplifier as a comparator – if the output stage is designed to be used that way - as in a voltage limiting operational amplifier – or if clamping is added externally that prevents the output from saturating. These applications are shown. •=Testing Operational Amplifiers – a section that had become hopelessly outdated. Testing techniques are now tailored to the individual amplifier, to test for parameters important to its intended purpose or target end equipment.
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