Amplifiers are devices that are used to increase the power of an input signal, they're commonly found in audio equipment. An amplifier works by drawing power from a power supply and then creating a separate larger signal that is high in amplitude but stays in line with the original audio signal characteristics.
Amplifiers are extremely common electrical components that can be found in many consumer devices such as microphones, electric guitars and other musical instruments. They're also found in industrial applications, for example, RF amplifiers are used in RF control devices in process control systems.
A comparator is an electronic instrument that works in a similar way to an amplifier but how it differs is that instead of amplifying a signal, it is able to take two inputs and match the output to the highest input level.
Theyre often used to convert analogue to digital signals, converting music records to a digital version for example. In industrial applications, they can be found in null detectors, lever shifters and zero crossing detectors.
There are many different types of amplifiers and comparators that are available to suit a specific desired function. Some popular types are outlined below: