Amplifier combines high precision with lowest power consumption

11th December 2017
Lanna Cooper

The first operational amplifier (op amp) to combine ultra high precision with what the company claims to be the industry’s lowest supply current has been announced by Texas Instruments. With power-to-precision performance, the LPV821 zero-drift, nanopower op amp enables engineers to attain the highest DC precision, while consuming 60% less power than competitive zero-drift devices.

The LPV821 is designed for use in precision applications such as wireless sensing nodes, home and factory automation equipment, and portable electronics.

The LPV821 op amp is the newest device in TI’s low power amplifier portfolio, which enables engineers to design lighter, smaller and more portable applications with lower capacity batteries and longer system life times.

Key features and benefits of the LPV821 op amp

  • Exceptional power-to-precision performance: Consuming only nanoamps of supply current, while providing the high precision benefits of optimised offset, drift and 1/f noise (flicker noise), the LPV821 is beneficial for applications where both precision and low power are essential system needs, including industrial gas detectors, field transmitters and battery packs.
  • Sixty percent lower power consumption: With what the company claims to be the best-in-class supply current of 650nA, the LPV821 extends battery lifetimes and enables lower power budgets in precision systems than competitive zero-drift devices.
  • High DC precision: TI’s zero-drift technology delivers a low initial offset of 10µV and an offset drift of 0.02µV/°C, eliminating temperature drift and flicker noise, and enabling engineers to attain the highest DC precision and dynamic error correction. Additionally, self-calibration technology helps engineers save system development cost and speed time to market.
  • No duty cycling: Nanopower consumption enables always-on applications such as continuous and blood glucose monitoring, and other electrochemical cell applications. Additionally, the low supply current decreases the external circuitry required to turn the amplifier on and off.
  • High-impedance sensor operation: An input bias current of 7pA and low flicker noise at 3.9µVp-p enables operation with high-impedance sensors, delivering more accurate measurements in precision systems.

Engineers can pair the LPV821 op amp with the TLV3691 nanopower comparator or ADS7142 nanopower Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) to programme a threshold that will automatically wake up a MicroController (MCU) such as the CC1310 SimpleLink Sub-1GHz MCU, further reducing system power consumption.

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