Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Ultra-low power op-amp

In Hardware on Nov 17, 2012 at 00:01

Op-amps are one of the building blocks of the modern analog electronics industry.

Here’s an interesting one, the MAX4470 .. MAX4474 series:

Screen Shot 2012 11 14 at 13 09 51

Simple layout, again in a tiny SMD package:

DSC 4269

The other members of this family are dual and quad versions, if you need more op-amps.

This chip is nice because of its phenominally low current consumption: 750 nA at 5V. It gets even better: at 3.3V, I measured a ridiculously low 190 nA!

Here are some more specs from the Maxim datasheet:

Screen Shot 2012 11 14 at 13 14 17

Might not be the highest-performance op-amp out there, but still – this thing could be quite handy to implement comparators, voltage followers, oscillators, amplifiers, filters, and more. Especially when the “power budget” is really really low.

PS. I’m assuming this chip isn’t oscillating with the above test setup, but in normal use you really need to tie the input pins to something to avoid that.

  1. I think you might have to thank the mobile phone industry for your last two posts :-)

  2. Great performance – especially the input pin tolerance of below ground input all the way to the supply rail. It comes at a cost though, the 9kHz GBW product is low (better at 40kHz on the 4464), which restricts usage to signals typically <<1kHz. Still fine for a slow moving sensor like an LDR or picking up and conditioning a tiny mains sample.

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