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Review of Jung: Op Amp Applications

Download Op Amp Applications (zip file) from Analog Devices

This Analog Devices seminar notes by Walter Jung will teach you many advanced techniques that help you to utilize Op Amps in such a way that they deliver there optimum performance to you. The notes are meant to help you to use existing Op Amps in your circuits, not to design Op Amps yourself. Nevertheless, in some of the chapters they do not simply treat Op Amps as Black Boxes but explain a lot of details of what is going on inside some high performance Op Amps. Take a look at the notes, if you find them useful you can also get them as a book: Op Amp Applications Handbook.

The notes assume that you already have a good knowledge about the fundamentals of Op Amps. If you are new to Op Amps, you might want to take a look at Op Amps For Everyone by Mancini (or, in case you need some general foundations, take a look at some resources on Practical Analog Electronics ) before you continue with the more advanced treatment by Jung. Even though the notes are for the advanced reader, they do not contain much mathematics. They are clearly focused on practical applications and not on the theory.

Chapters 1 and 7 are probably the most important ones. Even though chapter 1 is called Op Amp Basics, it contains only a short introduction to the Op Amps Basics. Instead you will find lots of detailed information about Op Amps for the intermediate or advanced reader. Precision OP Amps and High Speed Op Amps are also covered.

Chapter 2 covers some close relatives of the Op Amp: The Instrumentation Amplifier, the Programmable Gain Amplifier and the Isolation Amplifier. Probably the most interesting one of these is the Instrumentation Amplifier as it can be used for precision measurements even in relatively noisy environments (under certain conditions). Furthermore, it is instructive to study the different configurations that can be used to build an instrumentation amplifier from two or three op amps.

Chapter 3 is about using Op Amps together with Analog- to-Digital and Digital-to-Analog Converters, but there is not much about Op Amps in this chapter.

Chapter 4 about sensor signal conditioning is more interesting, because the electrical characteristics of some of the sensors that are discussed put very high demands on the Op Amp and the circuit in general. In one example, a photodiode current in the pico ampere range has to be measured, which leads to an interesting discussion of guard techniques (to prevent leakage).

In chapter 5 about Analog Filters you will not learn much about Op Amps. They are used as the active element in the filters, but not much is said about them, most of the time they are just assumed to be ideal amplifiers. But if you are interested in filters, this chapter may be quite interesting. It does not only cover well known configurations like Sallen-Key, but also more exotic ones like the Bainter Notch and describes the advantages and disadvantages of them (in the second part of the chapter. The first part is a general introduction to filters with a moderate amount of mathematics).

Chapter 6 covers amplifiers for all frequency ranges: Audio amplifiers, video amplifiers, amplifiers for communication systems. Chose the one that interests you most. The last section, however, could be interesting for everyone (with an intermediate or advanced knowledge of Op Amps): It teaches you how to build compound amplifiers. If the available Op Amps do not quite suit your needs, just add another Op Amp (or transistors) at the output (or in some cases at the input) of the original Op Amp and include it in the feedback loop. Sounds simple, but Jung teaches you that you have to carefully analyze the stability of the resulting amplifier.

Chapter 7 which is called Hardware and Housekeeping Techniques is not so much about Op Amps, but is an icredible valuable source of advice for every designer of real world circuits, whether they contain Op Amps or not. Dielectric absorption in capacitors, parasitic thermocouples, chips that are destroyed by ESD, excessive noise that is caused by EMI - if you want to know about these and a zillion other issues and how you can prevent them from hurting you, you should study this chapter very carefully.

Chapter H contains a lot of very detailed info about Op Amp history, together with a long list of references if you want to probe even further. It contains many schematics of old Op Amp designs (or circuits that can be considered the ancestors of the op amp), ranging from circuits that were build with tubes, then transistors and finally integrated circuits. The most important (or innovative) parts of the schematics and the ideas that were behind them are explained in detail. If you are in a hurry to learn the most important things about (present day) Op Amps this chapter will not be very useful. But if you have some time, then maybe you can find some inspiration here for your own designs.

You should also take a look at some recommendations for other books on Op Amps. And some of the other free Analog Devices Seminar Notes may also interest you.

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