What is voltage reference?

Voltage Reference

A voltage reference is an electronic device that produces a fixed (constant) voltage irrespective of the loading on the device, power supply variations, temperature changes, and the passage of time. Voltage references are used in power supply voltage regulators, analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters, and myriad other measurement and control systems. Voltage references vary widely in performance; a regulator for a computer power supply may only hold its value to within a few per cent of the nominal value, whereas laboratory voltage standards have precisions and stability measured in parts per million.

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Some articles on voltage reference:

Bob Widlar - National Semiconductor
... was in place, Widlar concentrated on voltage regulators and by the end of 1966 produced the industry's first integrated linear regulator ... current drain, and enabled operation over a wide range of power supply voltages ... These high-gain, very-low-voltage devices were capable of operating at very low input currents within the full military range of operating conditions ...
Bandgap Voltage Reference
... A bandgap voltage reference is a temperature independent voltage reference circuit widely used in integrated circuits, usually with an output voltage ...
Voltage Reference - Gas Filled Devices
... Gas filled tubes and neon lamps have also been used as voltage references, primarily in tube-based equipment, as the voltage needed to sustain the gas discharge is comparatively ... For example, the popular RCA 991 "Voltage regulator tube" is an NE-16 neon lamp which fires at 87 Volts and then holds 48–67 Volts across the discharge path ...

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