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Simple Definitions

The most important electronics terms, demystified in one place.

Offset Voltage

Our Take

For op-amps, while the voltage at the inputs should be the same, in reality, they never are. They’re going to be off by at least a little, and depending on the op-amp, it could be better or worse. This difference is called the offset voltage.

Book Definition

The differential DC voltage required between the inputs to force the output to zero volts.

Electronic Devices : Conventional Current Version, 9th Edition by Thomas L. Floyd


The input offset voltage


is a parameter defining the differential DC voltage required between the inputs of an amplifier, especially an operational amplifier (op-amp), to make the output zero (for voltage amplifiers, 0 volts with respect to ground or between differential outputs, depending on the output type).[1]

An ideal op-amp amplifies the differential input; if this input difference is 0 volts (i.e. both inputs are at the same voltage), the output should be zero. However, due to manufacturing process, the differential input transistors of real op-amps may not be exactly matched. This causes the output to be zero at a non-zero value of differential input, called the input offset voltage.

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