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How does a voltage comparator work?

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Quick Answer

A voltage comparator circuit is a type of electronic circuit that compares the outputs of inverting and noninverting inputs to compare the voltages of two different sources. A voltage comparator can interpret the magnitude of the voltages of two different sources with this method, and it can determine which one has a greater total magnitude, according to All About Circuits.

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Full Answer

Voltage is a measurement of electric potential used in physics and engineering industries. Because it is important to have an accurate understanding of the specific properties of electronic systems, there is often a need to compare two different sources of voltages. A comparator uses a high-gain differential amplifier to compare the different voltages coming from two sources.

The comparator makes this comparison through output voltages. If it receives more saturation from the positive direction, the noninverting input is greater. If the comparator approaches a negative volt supply, or zero, then the inverting input has a greater voltage. By interpreting these signals, the comparator displays which source has a higher voltage. The specific outputs of a comparator vary from model to model, but many use an LED light to indicate the source with a higher voltage. Applications for voltage comparators include electrical engineering and similar industries.

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