Amplifier vs Operational Amplifier
Amplifiers are very important electronic devices used in electronics and various other fields. Amplifier is a device which will increase the power of a given input signal using an external power source. Amplifiers are widely used in fields such as electronics, data acquisition, audio engineering, electrical engineering, signal processing, and numerous other fields. In this article, we are going to discuss what amplifiers and operational amplifiers are, the operation of amplifiers and operational amplifiers and their application, and finally the comparison between an amplifier and operational amplifier, summarizing the difference between an amplifier and operational amplifier at the end.
What is an Amplifier?
Amplifiers are devices which are used to increase the power of an input signal with the aid of an external power source. The signals are usually in the form of current signals or voltage signal. They can also have a form such as airflow or water flow. Amplifiers have several qualities that have to be considered. Some of the most important of these qualities are gain, bandwidth, efficiency, linearity noise and output dynamic range.
Gain of an amplifier is defined as the ratio of the amplitude of the output signal to the amplitude of the input signal. Bandwidth of the amplifier is the frequency range where the gain is at a maximum range. Amplifiers are also classified according to the efficiency. A class A amplifier has a very low efficiency whereas class D amplifiers have a very high efficiency. Amplifiers are very important in fields such as music and audio engineering, signal processing, data analysis and various other fields.
What is an Operational Amplifier?
Operations amplifiers, which are more commonly known as op-amps, are a type of amplifiers that are highly useful in electronics industry. An op-amp has two input terminals, two power inputs and one output terminal. The input terminals are known as inverting input and non-inverting input. An ideal op-amp has a gain of infinity with infinite resistance between input terminals and zero resistance in the output terminal. In practice, the input resistance is very large, and the output resistance is very small. The maximum output voltage of the op-amp is equal to the operating voltage coming from the external power source.
Op-amp is a differential amplifier, which means the amplifier amplifies the voltage difference between the inverting input and the non-inverting input. This allows the op-amp to operate on common mode signal rejection. The 741 op-amp is one of the most common and successful op-amps in the history of manufacturing. Operational amplifiers are very useful in signal comparison, noise reduction, switching, measurements, differentiation, integration, addition, and subtraction circuits.
What is the difference between Amplifier and Operational Amplifier?
• Amplifiers can be either electronic or mechanical in common definition whereas operational amplifiers are electronic amplifiers.
• Amplifiers, in general, have a limited capability of amplifying DC signals but all op-amps are capable of amplifying DC signals.