Op amps are useful because their rules are simple and few. Equations for instance, may be simple because they make certain assumptions which, in some applications, are inconsequential. However, as the industrial world requires increasingly higher precision, there are many applications that require amplifiers to push these limits closer to the ideal.

Although unachievable by definition, the ideal op amp provides a complete collection of specifications to offer as targets for analog designers. Every application requires a different combination of specifications and the number of op amps continues to expand to fit those needs. Using novel techniques, these products get closer to the ideal than ever before, delivering outstanding performance operating on lower voltages at reduced current consumption. This paper introduces three new amplifier families from Linear Technology that illustrate this theme.