Operational amplifier bandwidth and frequency response are key parameters for any circuit.

Typically operational amplifiers are used for comparatively low frequency circuits, but with the performance of these chips is improving all the time, much higher bandwidth op amps and op amp circuits are available. The bandwidth of the op-amp itself obviously has a bearing on the design of the op amp circuit and the frequency response or bandwidth available for the circuit.

Op amp bandwidth basics
The frequency response of a typical op amp chip will often start to fall at a very low frequency when operated in its open loop mode.

Open loop op amp frequency response The point at which the frequency starts to roll off is known as the break point [ typically the -3d point is known as the break point!. "ost op amps have their bandwidth limited as a result of what is called compensation which is added.

Op amp frequency compensation
"ost op amp chips have frequency compensation added to them. #t is introduced to ensure they remain stable and do not produce unwanted high frequency spurious oscillations. #t is required because stray capacitances in the chip can cause unwanted phase shifts at high frequencies, e.g. $ "%& and more. 'hile the stray capacitance levels may not be significant at low frequencies, they can cause significant problems at higher frequencies, and they are almost impossible to eliminate in the chip.

"odern chips continue to have it built in a standard. 1or a circuit like this. This frequency gives a good indication of the speed of the op-amp. Op amp frequency response with and without frequency compensation 1requency compensation is the ma0or reason why op-amps are not very fast devices . e*change some of the open loop gain for bandwidth. . comparators. The aim is to reduce the gain to less than unity at frequencies where there could be a possibility of oscillation. . in effect. Feedback vs bandwidth #n view of the very high gain of the operational amplifier it is possible to.as for bipolar transistors."ost op amp #( manufacturers solve this problem by intentionally reducing the open-loop gain at high frequencies.was a prime e*ample of this. %&. The frequency at which the Op amp open loop gain falls to unity. %owever they also had a low open loop break point. applying feedback will reduce the gain but increase the bandwidth.ater chips such as the +/$ had internal compensation making the chips much easier to use. )ery early op amps did not have this frequency compensation built into the chip and e*ternal compensation components were required on the pins provided .. is called fT .the higher frequency components of the signals are intentionally attenuated.the +. This compensation is now standard in all general purpose op amp chips. do not use negative feedback and as a result they are designed without compensation and their speed of operation is typically much faster than that of op amps. This is called compensation and it is normally implemented by bypassing one of the internal amplifier stages with a high-pass filter. %owever. #n the case of the +/$ it was 0ust $.

Closed loop op amp frequency response Op amp gain bandwidth product 'hen designing an op amp circuit. There are two scenarios for which the gain can be considered2 • Open loop gain: This form of gain is measured when no feedback is applied to the op amp. %owever it is not applicable for current feedback amplifiers because relationship between gain and bandwidth is not linear. #n other words it is running in an open loop format. f Op amp gain basics Operational amplifiers are normally used with feedback around the amplifier element itself. a figure known as the op amp gain bandwidth product is important. The op amp gain bandwidth product is generally specified for a particular op amp type an open loop configuration and the output loaded2 GB = Av !here" 3 4 op amp gain bandwidth product 5v 4 )oltage gain f 4 cut off frequency 6%&7 The op amp gain bandwidth product is constant for voltage-feedback amplifiers. 3ain figures for the op amp in . Therefore decreasing the gain by a factor of ten will increase the bandwidth by the same factor. This tailors the performance to what is needed.

integrators.. There are many ways in which the feedback can be applied .. This is the gain of the operational amplifier on its own Closed loop gain: This form of gain is measured when the feedback loop is operation.. 5lthough negative feedback is normally used for analogue circuits. Generic op amp negative feedback configuration #t is possible to calculate a general formula for the op amp gain in the circuit2 #sum = #in $ B ⋅ #out The output voltage can then be calculated from a knowledge of the input voltage.. typically between $. 1rom this the more specific scenarios can be developed. .• this configuration are normally very high. the circuit will operate according to the feedback placed around it.. The gain is measured with the loop closed and provided there is a sufficient difference between the open loop and closed loop gain. etc. The 8chmitt trigger is one e*ample where hysteresis is introduced into the system General gain scenario 9egative feedback is used to control the gain of the overall op amp circuit. . or it may be frequency dependent to produce filters for e*ample.e. The most common application is for comparators where the output is required at one of two levels. and $.. y applying negative feedback. a closed loop.. the overall gain of the circuit is much reduced. %owever it is possible to produce a generalised concept for applying negative feedback. and can be accurately tailored to the required level or to produce the required output format as in the case of filters. there are instances where positive feedback is used. . i. gain and feedback2 #out = A ⋅ #sum = A ⋅ #in $ A ⋅ B ⋅ #out This can now be used to generate the closed loop op amp gain equation.it may be independent of frequency.

The input to the op-amp itself draws no current and this means that the current flowing in the resistors <$ and <= is the same.:sing this generic equation it is possible to develop equations for more specific scenarios. The feedback can be frequency dependent. :sing ohms law )out ><= 4 -)in><$. %ence the voltage gain of the circuit 5v can be taken as2 5s an e*ample.. Basic inverting operational amplifier circuit #t is easy to derive the op-amp gain equation. #t offers a higher input impedance than the inverting op amp circuit.+ k ohms. . The two simplest e*amples of op am circuits using feedback are the formats for inverting and non-inverting amplifiers. an amplifier requiring a gain of ten could be built by making <= /+ k ohms and <$ /. degrees out of phase with the input and also provides a virtual earth input. This circuit has the output $. or flat as required. &on$%nverting op$amp gain The circuit for the non-inverting op-amp is shown below. %nverting op$amp gain The circuit for the inverting op-amp circuit is shown below.

The voltage at the inverting input is formed from a potential divider consisting of <$ and <=. the voltage at the inverting input must be the same as that at the non-inverting input. but by the e*ternal components in the negative feedback loop. These two circuits provide e*amples of where the op amp gain is controlled not by the internal gain of the chip itself. There are many other op amp circuits that use feedback to control the gain to provide a number of useful functions. but essentially both circuits are able to offer similar levels of gain. 5s the input to the op-amp draws no current this means that the current flowing in the resistors <$ and <= is the same.Basic non$inverting operational amplifier circuit The gain of the non-inverting circuit for the operational amplifier is easy to determine. The calculation hinges around the fact that the voltage at both inputs is the same. although the resistor values will not be the same for the same levels of op amp gain. and as the voltage at both inputs is the same. This arises from the fact that the gain of the amplifier is e*ceedingly high. #f the output of the circuit remains within the supply rails of the amplifier. Op-amp gain is very easy to determine. then the output voltage divided by the gain means that there is virtually no difference between the two inputs. This means that )in 4 )out * <$ > 6<$ ? <=7. The calculations for the different circuits is slightly different. . %ence the op amp gain equation for the voltage gain of the circuit 5v can be taken as2 5s an e*ample. an amplifier requiring a gain of eleven could be built by making <= /+ k ohms and <$ /.+ k ohms.