SBOA092A –October 2001
HANDBOOK OF OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER APPLICATIONS
Bruce Carter and Thomas R. Brown
While in the process of reviewing Texas Instruments applications notes, including thosefrom Burr-Brown – I uncovered a couple of treasures, this handbook on op ampapplications and one on active RC networks. These old publications, from 1963 and1966, 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of the finest works on op amp theory that I have ever seen.Nevertheless, they contain some material that is hopelessly outdated.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 includeseverything from the state of the art of amplifier technology, to the parts referenced in thedocument – 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 pottedmodules instead of integrated circuits. Many references to these numbers were made inthe text, and these have been changed, of course.In revising this document, I chose to take a minimal approach to the material out ofrespect for the original author, – Thomas R. Brown, leaving as much of the originalmaterial 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 uncompensatedoperational amplifiers.
Open loop applications and Comparators – Applications showing an operational amplifierused open loop, as a comparator have been deleted. At the time of original publication,there were no dedicated comparator components. Good design techniques now dictateusing a comparator instead of an operational amplifier. There are ways of safely using anoperational 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 thatprevents the output from saturating. These applications are shown.
Testing Operational Amplifiers – a section that had become hopelessly outdated. Testingtechniques are now tailored to the individual amplifier, to test for parameters important to itsintended purpose or target end equipment.