operational amplifier

An operational amplifier is an integrated circuit, that is, a large collection of
individual electric and electronic circuits integrated on a single silicon wafer. An operational amplifier—or op-amp—can perform a great number of operations, such as addition, filtering, and integration, which are all based on the properties of ideal amplifiers and of ideal circuit elements. The introduction of the operational amplifier in integrated-circuit (IC) form marked the beginning of a new era in modern electronics. Since the introduction of the first IC op-amp, the trend in electronic instrumentation has been to move away from the discrete (individual-component) design of electronic circuits, toward the use of integrated circuits for a large number of applications. This statement is particularly true for applications of the type the non– electrical engineer is likely to encounter: op-amps are found in most measurement and instrumentation applications, serving as extremely versatile building blocks for any application that requires the processing of electric signals

operational amplifier
Op-amp model

The simplicity of the models will permit the use of the op-amp as a circuit element, or building block, without the need to describe its internal workings in detail. Integrated-circuit technology has today reached such an advanced stage of development that it can be safely stated that for the purpose of many instrumentation applications, the op-amp can be treated as an ideal device.

The Open-Loop Model

The ideal operational amplifier behaves very much as an ideal difference amplifier, that is, a device that amplifies the difference between two input voltages. Operational amplifiers are characterized by near-infinite input resistance and very small output resistance.

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