What’s a log amp?

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Logarithmic amplifiers correct input signal shifts by converting them to a constant output voltage. They are used in electrical circuits, medical devices, video circuits, fiber optics, and wireless devices. Advances in technology have made them more efficient and there are now three types: log DC, baseband, and demodulating. Each type has its own specific usage frame.

A logarithmic amp is used to identify any shifts in the input signal of a circuit and correct for them. The log amp corrects for drifts by converting the log input to a constant output voltage. Also referred to as a logarithmic amplifier, these types of electrical components have been used for years in electrical circuits for compressing input signals, as well as maintaining a stable signal in signal computation.

Today, logarithmic amps are often used in measurement or test devices. “Log amplifiers,” as a log amplifier is often called by technical operators familiar with them, also have many uses in medical device and video circuit applications. Finally, they are often used in addition to fiber optics and wireless devices.

The fiber optic cable and electronics industries began using log amplifiers in the 1990s to measure and maintain signal strength throughout the optical circuit after the technology had advanced to the point where the The use of these previously bulky and expensive devices had become technologically and economically efficient. Prior to the 1990s, log amps were expensive because they were typically difficult to manufacture. Advances in technology, however, have allowed for much more efficient production, decreasing the dimensions and thus making them more easily applicable. There are now three different types of logarithmic amp products.

The first and simplest form is called a log DC amplifier. Log DC amplifiers are strictly unipolar circuits, meaning they hold either the current or the voltage of an input signal, but never both. Typically, these types of log amplifiers are used within fiber based systems as a means of measuring signal strength within the system. However, they are not unique to fiber loops. DC log amplifiers are also used in devices in the fields of medical and biological research, mainly in units designed to process both biological and chemical samples.

The other two log amps are referred to as baseband and demodulating, and each have their own specific usage frame. Baseband, for example, is often used to compress rapidly changing signals used to power many AC-powered audio or video processing devices, while simultaneously compressing them to make them constant. Demodulating register amplifiers, on the other hand, are used more in signal transmission devices as a means of measuring the output signal supplied to the transmission unit.

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