Browse Definitions:
Definition

amplification factor (gain)

The amplification factor, also called gain , is the extent to which an analog amplifier boosts the strength of a signal . Amplification factors are usually expressed in terms of power .

The decibel (dB), a logarithmic unit, is the most common way of quantifying the gain of an amplifier. For power, doubling the signal strength (an output-to-input power ratio of 2:1) translates into a gain of 3 dB; a tenfold increase in power (output-to-input ratio of 10:1) equals a gain of 10 dB; a hundredfold increase in power (output-to-input ratio of 100:1) represents 20 dB gain. If the output power is less than the input power, the amplification factor in decibels is negative. If the output-to-input signal power ratio is 1:1, then the amplification factor is 0 dB.

Power amplifiers typically have gain figures from a few decibels up to about 20 dB. Sensitive amplifiers used in wireless communications equipment can show gain of up to about 30 dB. If higher gain is needed, amplifiers can be cascaded, that is, hooked up one after another. But there is a limit to the amplification that can be attained this way. When amplifiers are cascaded, the later circuits receive noise at their inputs along with the signals. This noise can cause distortion. Also, if the amplification factor is too high, the slightest feedback can trigger oscillation, rendering an amplifier system inoperative.

This was last updated in January 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive)

    A SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive) is a NAND flash-based storage or caching device designed to fit in the same ...

  • MTTR (mean time to repair)

    MTTR (mean time to repair) is the average time required to fix a failed component or device and return it to production status.

  • OpenStack Swift

    OpenStack Swift, also known as OpenStack Object Storage, is an open source object storage system that is licensed under the ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close