Characteristics of an Opamp
The schematic symbols for an operational amplifier are shown in the figure above. View (A) shows the power supply requirements while view (B) shows only the input and output terminals. An operational amplifier is a special type of high-gain, DC amplifier. To be classified as an operational amplifier, the circuit must have certain characteristics. The three most important characteristics of an operational amplifier are:
1. Very high gain
2. Very high input impedance
3. Very low output impedance
Since no single amplifier stage can provide all these characteristics well enough to be considered an operational amplifier, various amplifier stages are connected together. The total circuit made up of these individual stages is called an operational amplifier. This circuit (the operational amplifier) can be made up of individual components (transistors, resistors, capacitors, etc.), but the most common form of the operational amplifier is an integrated circuit. The integrated circuit (chip) will contain the various stages of the operational amplifier and can be treated and used as if it were a single stage.