Schaumann, Rolf Department of Electrical Engineering, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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Electronic circuits whose primary function is to connect a high-impedance source to a low-impedance load without significant attenuation or distortion of the signal. Thus, the output voltage of a buffer replicates the input voltage without loading the source. An ideal voltage buffer is an amplifier with the following properties: unity gain, ; zero output impedance, ; and infinite input impedance, . For example, if the voltage from a high-impedance source, say a strain-gage sensor with 100 kΩ output resistance, must be processed by further circuitry with an input impedance of, say, 500 Ω, the signal will be attenuated to only of the sensor voltage if the two circuits are directly connected, whereas the full strain-gage voltage will be available if a buffer is used.
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