The operational amplifier, because of its versatility and ease of application, is the most widely used linear integrated circuit today. Because of this useful linear building block, many electronic circuits are much less complex. Due to the popularity of the operational amplifier, many different types are available that offer a variety of features. Which device to use for a specific application is a question that must be answered.
If the characteristics of the selected device are not adequate, total system performance may be less than desired. If the selected device is too complex for the job, system cost may be increased unnecessarily. The following paragraphs provide a summary of the various types of operational amplifiers. To assist in the selection of the most effective operational amplifier for a specific application, the features and key applications are presented.