Op Amp Applications Handbook by Walt Jung
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Op Amp Applications Handbook by Walt Jung

The signal-processing products of Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), along with those of its worthy competitors, have always had broad applications, but in a special way: they tend to be used in critical roles making possible—and at the same time limiting—the excellence in performance of the device, instrument, apparatus, or system using them. Think about the op amp—how it can play a salient role in amplifying an ultrasound wave from deep within a human body, or measure and help reduce the error of a feedback system.

The data converter—and its critical position in translating rapidly and accurately between the world of tangible physics and the world of abstract digits; the digital signal processor—manipulating the transformed digital data to extract information, provide answers, and make crucial instant-by-instant decisions in control systems; transducers, such as the life-saving MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes; and even control chips, such as the one that empowers the humble thermometric junction placed deep in the heart of a high-performance—but very vulnerable—microcomputer chip.

From its founding two human generations ago, in 1965, ADI has been committed to a leadership role in designing and manufacturing products that meet the needs of the existing market, anticipate the near-term needs of present and future users, and envision the needs of users yet unknown—and perhaps unborn—who will create the markets of the future.

These existing, anticipated and envisioned “needs” must perforce include far more than just the design, manufacture and timely delivery of a physical device that performs a function reliably to a set of specifi cations at a competitive price. We’ve always called a product that satisfi es these needs “the augmented product,” but what does this mean? The physical product is a highly technological product that, above all, requires knowledge of its possibilities, limitations and subtleties.

But when the earliest generations—and to some extent later generations—of such a product appear in the marketplace, there exist few (if any) school courses that have produced graduates profi cient in its use. There are few knowledgeable designers who can foresee its possibilities. So we have the huge task of creating awareness; teaching about principles, performance measures, and existing applications; and providing ideas to stimulate the imagination of those creative users who will provide our next round of challenges.

This problem is met by deploying people and publications. The people are Applications Engineers, who can deal with user questions arriving via phone, fax, and e-mail—as well as working with users in the fi eld to solve particular problems. These experts also spread the word by giving seminars to small and large groups for purposes from inspiring the creative user to imbuing the system, design, and components engineer with the nuts-and-bolts of practice.

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