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Making sense of the noise

Instrumentation amplifiers continue to meet precision needs. By Graham Pitcher.

Industrial environments are renowned for their electrically harsh conditions and provide one of the bigger challenges to designers of electronics systems. High voltages, machines, rotating machines and the like produce high levels of electrical noise and this can have a serious effect on the performance of electronics components, particularly amplifiers working at low levels. One of the solutions applied in these instances is the instrumentation amplifier.

But instrumentation amplifiers are not restricted to applications on the factory floor; many other systems require the precise amplification of low level signals. These applications include a number of medical systems, such as electrocardiograms (ecg), vital sign monitors and pacemaker monitors. The instrumentation amplifier is the device of choice in these applications because of its ability to extract the pertinent signals from ambient noise.

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Graham Pitcher

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