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Rail-to-rail amp extends light sensor's resolution, range

Posted: 24 Apr 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:EL8178  Light sensors  Rail-to-rail op amps 

Light sensors are appearing in every sort of consumer application, aiding in aspects like power conservation. Since a wide range of products are portable, they use battery power and are therefore configured for single-supply operation. Single-supply operation introduces limitations on analogue circuitry. One of the most obvious trade-offs is reduced input voltage range. Upgrading to a rail-to-rail amplifier will restore this sacrifice.

Rail-to-rail op amps, like the EL8178, include dual input pairs to allow the input signal to travel the full power supply range (and a bit beyond.) For maximum resolution on the light sensor, the non-inverting terminal is biased at the supply voltage. This accommodates the complete response of the light sensor, improving the output dynamic range as much as 45 per cent.

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