National op-amp gets redesign

National op-amp gets redesign
Richard Ball Some 25 years after its introduction, the LM300 family of op-amps has been redesigned by National Semiconductor. The devices, as demanded by current systems, operate down to 2.7V with rail-to-rail outputs. Performance has been improved without increasing cost. Cyrille Claustres, European marketing manager, explained the company’s reasons for the redesign. “Many op-amps were introduced up to 25 years ago. They cannot meet today’s voltage and packaging requirements,” he said. Devices that can do the job are available, but as Claustres said: “Specialised low power, small products cannot meet the requirement of low cost.” The redesigned family includes the LM324, arguably the most popular device used today. By using a BiCMOS process, the designers were able to combine the superior noise characteristics of bipolar transistors and CMOS’ low power. Since a sub-micron process is used, thousands of die are available from a single wafer, reducing cost even though the op-amp has four times as many transistors than the original’s 13. Applications for the devices include mobile phones and audio amplifiers in handheld PCs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*