Selecting the Right Comparator

Abstract: This application note describes comparator features and specifications as well as the differences between comparators and op amps. It also includes circuits that combine comparators and an internal reference, dual comparators used in window applications, and a quad comparator used to resolve a voltage or current measurement into one of four ranges.The comparator often stands in the shadow of its big brother, the operational amplifier (op amp). Its humble status is offset by the features which distinguish modern comparators and make them ideal for their basic task: comparing two voltages. This article explains comparator features and describes the parameters that should be considered when selecting comparators.