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They are usually used to regulate current flowing through a circuit or to control other factors such as other components, some devices in the circuit. The term is often used, for example, for a specialized integrated circuit that controls high-power switches in switched-mode power converters. An amplifier can also be considered a driver for loudspeakers, or a voltage regulator that keeps an attached component operating within a broad range of input voltages.
Typically the driver stage(s) of a circuit requires different characteristics to other circuit stages. For example in a transistor power amplifier circuit, typically the driver circuit requires current gain, often the ability to discharge the following transistor bases rapidly, and low output impedance to avoid or minimize distortion.
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