Amplifiers

Arrow.com has amplifiers, comparators and dividers from leading electronics manufacturers in the industry including Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, Linear Technology, STMicroelectronics and Microchip. Shop a wide variety of amplifiers for RF, audio and video, comparators, op amps, and related evaluation boards and kits.

What is an amplifier?

An amplifier (or electronic amplifier) is a device that increases the amplitude of an electrical signal. They are categorized in respect to their ability to effectively amplify either a voltage or current input signal. A voltage amplifier amplifies the input voltage signals and produces a larger output voltage. Current amplifiers, also known as transimpedance amplifiers, sense the currents at the inputs, and output a voltage to the load. Transconductance and transresistance amplifiers swap this effect – an input voltage or current produces a larger output current or voltage respectively.

One key performance parameter of an electronic amplifier is its linearity, or its ability to accurately represent the input with the same shape signal in the time domain at the output. Other key performance parameters include the slew rate, frequency response, noise, and gain bandwidth.

How are amplifiers classified?

Amplifiers are classified as A, AB, B, C, D and E. The class represents the amount of variation an output signal has over one cycle if the input is a sinusoidal waveform. The more linear an amplifier is, the lower the distortion product. Class A is the most linear and class C is the least linear. Class C is not suitable for audio applications and typically is used in products like RF transmitters. Classes D and E are switching amplifiers that can utilize output circuit stages containing harmonic resonators, multiple supply rail switching, complimentary output techniques, and PWM and delta-sigma modulation to increase efficiency and reconstruct the input waveform at the output.

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