On the other hand, when no feedback is applied to the inverting input, the op-amp is said to work in the non-linear regime , we can also say in an open-loop configuration. Comparators are specific op-amps circuits that are meant to work in a non-linear mode and can be used as simple logic gates. A presentation of the circuit along with the basics about comparators is given in the first section. We show that being able to translate this value is important in order to properly design level detectors.
Schmitt triggers are discussed in a third paragraph, we will see how this kind of comparators work and how they can be used in real applications. Moreover, we highlight their advantages by comparing them to basic comparators. The functioning of this circuit is extremely simple and can be summarized depending on the value of V 1 :. If a sine waveform is applied as an input, the comparator can be used to convert a sine to a square signal:. In the previous subsection, the signal to compare was applied to the non-inverting input while the reference was on the inverting input of the op-amp.
However, the roles can be inverted in order to get an inverting comparator such as presented in Figure 4 :. Some complexity can be added with a voltage divider in the reference branch to either the non-inverting or inverting comparator in order to translate the tipping point. The tipping point is the value of V 1 for which the output suddenly changes from a high resp. If we consider an inverting comparator, the effect of the same voltage divider circuit will have the opposite effect.
Indeed, if the voltage divider is supplied with the positive resp. Moreover, the signal is inverted such as presented in Figure 5. The translation of the tipping point allows setting the threshold level of the comparator to a non zero level. When a variable input is applied to the circuit, such as the output of light or temperature sensor, a simple level detector can be made with this basic comparator.
The full configuration is shown in Figure 9 below, it is also known as a Schmitt trigger , we take as an example the non-inverting comparator:. Depending on the sign of V out , two thresholds specific to the inverting configuration can be defined:. The associated hysteresis plot for the inverting Schmitt trigger is given in Figure 12 :.
Schmitt triggers and comparators in general, as we briefly presented in Figure 8 are mainly used for the conversion of analogic signals to digital signals. One of the very appreciated properties of Schmitt triggers is their noise immunity , which means that the comparator will switch between the low and high output states only when the input is effectively triggering it. When considering again Figure 8 , we could imagine that during the second global light variation, the two peaks can be related to some noise coming from the user for example.
Thanks to the hysteresis that can be achieved with a Schmitt trigger , if the lower threshold is set below the minimum noise level, the background noise does not trigger the comparator:. Control systems feedback control system transfer function and characteristic equation transfer function of electrical circuit.
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