Electronic Design

Online Design Environment Demystifies Op-Amp Puzzles

The specification of operational amplifiers requires designers to sort through a rat's nest of parameters. There are dozens of suppliers, selection guides, databooks, and FAEs to consult. To make the task easier, National Semiconductor's "Amplifiers Made Simple" online design tool speeds the selection, design, and test of many types of op amps. It automates a process that until now has been a manual, hands-on affair.

The tool quickly searches National's analog amplifier portfolio. Users can select from standard topologies and enter system requirements. It then searches National's op amps to recommend appropriate devices and creates a customized circuit. For example, designers can prescribe supply voltage, integrator cutoff frequency, output swing, and other parameters and simulate the resulting circuit online.

The tool lets designers select from 60 different amplifiers in four different applications to create over 450 circuits. This capability will be expanded to National's entire portfolio of 420 op amps in 30 different application areas for a total of more than 4000 potential circuit designs.

The tool offers access to the latest Spice models, parametric data, and package information to let designers simultaneously compare the performance of multiple devices. The simulation kernel in play, Intusoft's IsSpice4 client-server product, is the backbone of its multiprocessor simulation architecture. The tool is interfaced to the network via an intuitive GUI and waveform viewer created by National Semiconductor.

Once designers have settled on the correct op amp for their application, the tool takes shipping information for overnight delivery of sample devices. Use of the environment is free of charge.


National Semiconductor Corp.

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