I am always amused when I read in a manufacturer’s marketing description that they don’t use op amps in their audio designs – when what they actually mean is they don’t use the IC versions of them. Customers many times make this same mistake when they ask me “do you use op amps in your designs?” Most haven’t any clue exactly what an op amp is but they’ve read somewhere they shouldn’t like them. This is a dilemma for me when I answer it because I want to say “no” but the truth is “yes” but we don’t use IC versions of op amps – and that’s what you’re trying to stay away from – and rightfully so.
I thought it might be helpful to start a new mini series on these issues and get some answers for folks they can actually arm themselves with to be better informed. Are IC’s bad? What are discretes? What’s an op amp?
In the series we’ll make the distinction between discrete’s and IC’s, we’ll cover why designers would use one vs. the other, we’ll cover common mode rejection – what it is and why it’s important – and along the way I’ll explain what an op amp is, how they are designed, what their value is and why people use them. If there’s time and interest I’ll walk you through designing one yourself in our imagination lab.
Tomorrow we’re going to start the series out with a bit of history – a story about a man’s man. A hard driving, chain smoking, kamikaze skiing farm boy made good who changed the world as we know it forever.
Tomorrow, meet the Mayor of Silicon valley.