The previous chapter introduced operational amplifiers, which have become the fundamental devices for constructing many electronic circuits. Op-amps are constructed of a number of transistors, resistors, diodes, and capacitors on a single silicon chip, resulting in their high reliability and low cost. But there is much more!
Op-amps can be used as a single stage or with several of them chained together, feeding the output of one to the input of the next. By clever selection of the external components (often referred to as lumped components), and like resistors, diodes, capacitors and inductors, operational amplifier circuits can perform a wide variety of mathematic and logic operations or act as filters. These useful circuits, made of op-amps and lumped components, are the focus of this chapter. There are many manufacturer-complied resources, often called application notes, for using op-amps. Some examples from Analog Devices, Inc. and National Semiconductor, Inc. are included in the Bibliography.
The chapter begins with arguably the most useful operational amplifier device, the instrumentation amplifier. Then we will explore several of the different op-amp-based mathematical operation circuits.
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