Buffer amplifiers have unity gain. They are used to match impedances between two devices, or as isolators. Buffer amplifiers carry performance specifications such as operating temperature, input offset voltage, supply voltage, supply current and bandwidth.   Slew rate and bandwidth are also important considerations. With buffer amplifiers, slew rate at which the output voltage changes in response to a step input.   Bandwidth refers to the ability of a buffer amplifier to provide a...
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Q & A on Buffer Amplifiers

We asked our users for their input on Buffer Amplifiers. Here are the results of 27 users familiar with Buffer Amplifiers.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing buffer amplifier design?
3 answers
Answers:

Audio amplifier, automotive/robotic, agribusiness

~Nuryadi N, Student, Depok, Indonesia
GaAs ICs, InP ICs
~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA
GaN process
~Robert W, Design Engineer, Phoenix, AZ

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative buffer amplifiers?
3 answers
Answers:

Analog Devices and National Semiconductor

~Robert W, Design Engineer, Phoenix, AZ
Texas Instrument, Linear, Scale
~Nuryadi N, Student, Depok, Indonesia

National, Hittite, TI

~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used buffer amplifiers for?
9 answers
Answers:
Isolating high impedance audio/visual cables from low impedance terminations with or without gain.
~Engineering, Design, Moab, UT

Amateur radio transmitter and receiver construction. Low power, five watts or less.

~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Plymouth, MA

Use of amplifiers for lighting diodes led - command read relay

~Research & Development, lugano, Switzerland
Isolation for noisy or high-current environments.
~Engineer
RF, Video, and Power buffering mainly.
~Robert W, Design Engineer, Phoenix, AZ
RF signal distribution
~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA
Noise Filtering
~Engineering, Design, Vancouver, WA
CMOS Balanced for agribusiness
~Nuryadi N, Student, Depok, Indonesia
Computer, power
~Technical Support/Services, Caracas, Venezuela

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that buffer amplifiers have been used for.
3 answers
Answers:
PIN drivers used in ATE applications.
~Robert W, Design Engineer, Phoenix, AZ
Design IC CMOS with high slew rate.
~Nuryadi N, Student, Depok, Indonesia
Driving sampler/pulser modules.
~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of buffer amplifiers?
1 answers
Answers:
Oscillation, due mostly to inadequate bypassing of supplies.
~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
3 answers
Answers:
An array of 8 buffer amps in a small package for automotive testing applications.
~Engineer
Output impedance under 5 ohms rise/fall time < 100ps.
~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA
Shutdown with the output going high impedance when disabled. Thermal protection.
~Robert W, Design Engineer, Phoenix, AZ

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of buffer amplifiers?
3 answers
Answers:
Buying a device with more bandwidth than is needed. Forgetting to properly bypass the device.
~Robert W, Design Engineer, Phoenix, AZ
Properly terminate loads.
~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA

Note the use of impedance transformation because the digital system will not need to supply a large current.

~Nuryadi N, Student, Depok, Indonesia

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using buffer amplifiers?
2 answers
Answers:
Use good power supply bypassing, with caps right near the chip pins.
~Joel L, Design Engineer, Orinda, CA
Close attention to laboratory evaluation.
~Robert W, Design Engineer, Phoenix, AZ


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