One of the main uses for operational amplifier ICs is within audio amplifiers but they find applications in a whole variety of other areas as well.
When used within circuits, op-amps utilise feedback around the basic chip to control the level of gain and produce the required form of signal at the output.
There are many op amp circuits that cover most of the main analogue functions that are needed. As a result of this, operational amplifiers have become the workhorse of the analogue electronics designer.
To achieve this there are very many forms of operational amplifier based circuits. A selection of op-amp circuits is given below:
- Op-amp inverting amplifier : The op-amp inverting amplifier is possibly the most widely used op amp circuit configuration. Not only does it provide gain, but it can also be used as a virtual earth amplifier. Read more about the op-amp inverting amplifier.
- Op-amp non-inverting amplifier : The non-inverting amplifier circuit provides gain and also a very high input impedance. Accordingly it is widely used in many amplifier input stages. Read more about the op-amp non-inverting amplifier.
- Op amp summing amplifier: Based around the inverting amplifier circuit with its virtual earth summing point, this circuit is ideal for summing audio inputs. It is widely used in audio mixer and many other applications where voltages need to be summed. Read more about the op-amp summing amplifier.
- Op-amp comparator: The comparator circuit is often used to provide a high or low signal dependent upon the relative states of the two inputs. Special comparator chips are normally used for this application, but they follow the same basic concepts as operational amplifiers. Read more about the op-amp comparator.
- Op-amp Schmitt trigger: The Schmitt trigger has different switching levels dependent upon whether the circuit is switching from high to low or vice versa. This gives the circuit noise immunity to the level of the difference between the two switching levels. Read more about the op-amp Schmitt trigger.
- Op-amp multivibrator: Multivibrators are used in a variety of different applications. Op-amp circuits often provide an effective solution. Read more about the op-amp multivibrator.
There are also many other op amp circuits that are useful to use. We will be adding more as time goes on, so be sure to check back again.
By Ian Poole