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The open-loop gain of an operational amplifier is the gain obtained when no feedback is used in the circuit. Open loop gain is usually exceedingly high; in fact, an ideal operational amplifier has infinite open-loop gain. Typically an op-amp may have a maximal open-loop gain of around . Normally, feedback is applied around the op-amp so that the gain of the overall circuit is defined and kept to a figure which is more usable. The very high open-loop gain of the op-amp allows a wide range of feedback levels to be applied to achieve the desired performance.
The definition of open-loop gain (at a fixed frequency) is
where is the input voltage difference that is being amplified. The dependence on frequency is not displayed here.
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