LM358 vs LM393: A Comparison of Operational Amplifier ICs

Operational amplifiers (op-amps) play a crucial role in various electronic circuits, offering amplification, signal conditioning, and comparison functionalities. Two commonly used op-amp ICs, the LM358 and LM393, have found widespread application across different projects. This article aims to compare the LM358 and LM393 op-amps, highlighting their features, differences, and suitable use cases.

LM393 vs LM358

Overview of LM358

The LM358 is a dual operational amplifier IC that provides low-power consumption, a wide supply voltage range, and versatile performance characteristics. It is well-known for its cost-effectiveness and ease of use, making it popular among hobbyists, students, and professionals alike. The LM358 is designed for single-supply applications and can handle input and output signals that include ground. Its internal circuitry supports a broad range of applications, such as amplification, LM358 Op-Amp Integrator, LM358 square wave generator, LM358 op-amp filter for filtering, and buffering.

Key Features of LM358

  • Dual op-amp: The LM358 consists of two separate operational amplifiers in a single IC package, enabling the user to work with multiple independent amplification channels.
  • Low power consumption: The LM358 operates with low power requirements, making it suitable for battery-powered devices and energy-efficient designs.
  • Wide supply voltage range: It can operate with a wide range of supply voltages, typically ranging from 3V to 32V, making it compatible with various power sources.
  • High gain bandwidth product: The LM358 offers a decent gain bandwidth product, allowing for amplification and processing of signals up to a certain frequency range.

Overview of LM393

The LM393 is a dual voltage comparator IC that compares two input voltages and produces a digital output based on their relative magnitudes. Unlike traditional op-amps, the LM393 is specifically designed for comparison purposes. It finds applications in circuits that require precise voltage level comparisons or where the detection of thresholds or transitions is necessary.

Key Features of LM393

  • Dual voltage comparator: The LM393 comprises two independent voltage comparators in a single package, facilitating the comparison of two different input voltages.
  • Wide supply voltage range: Similar to the LM358, the LM393 can operate with a wide range of supply voltages, typically spanning from 2V to 36V, providing flexibility in various applications.
  • Open collector outputs: The LM393 features open collector outputs, which allow for easy interfacing with other digital circuits, microcontrollers, or devices.
  • Low output saturation voltage: The LM393 exhibits low output saturation voltage, ensuring accurate comparison results even with small voltage differentials.

For example application of LM393 comparator see Light and Darkness sensor Circuit with LM393.

Comparison of LM358 and LM393

While the LM358 and LM393 share certain similarities, they differ in their primary functionalities and applications:

  • Operational Amplifier vs. Voltage Comparator: The LM358 is primarily an operational amplifier, offering amplification and signal conditioning capabilities, whereas the LM393 is specifically designed as a voltage comparator, focusing on precise voltage level comparisons.
  • Internal Circuitry: The internal circuitry of the LM358 is optimized for amplification, filtering, and buffering tasks, making it suitable for a wide range of general-purpose applications. In contrast, the LM393's internal structure is tailored for comparing voltage levels and generating digital output signals based on the comparison results.
  • Suitable Use Cases: The LM358 is well-suited for applications requiring amplification, filtering, or buffering, such as audio amplifiers, sensor signal conditioning, and active filters. On the other hand, the LM393 is ideal for projects that demand voltage level comparisons, such as threshold detectors, motor control, and digital logic interfaces.
  • Output Characteristics: The LM358 provides a traditional operational amplifier output, which can produce a continuous analog voltage signal based on the input and amplification. In contrast, the LM393 features open collector outputs, which provide a digital output in the form of a logic signal (typically high or low) based on the voltage comparison.


The LM358 and LM393 op-amp ICs are valuable components with distinct features and applications. The LM358 is a dual operational amplifier suitable for amplification, filtering, and buffering tasks, offering versatility and low power consumption. On the other hand, the LM393 is a dual voltage comparator specifically designed for comparing voltage levels and generating digital outputs, making it ideal for applications requiring precise threshold detection and logic interfaces.

Choosing between the LM358 and LM393 depends on the specific requirements of the project. If amplification and signal conditioning are essential, the LM358 is a suitable choice. For voltage comparisons and digital output generation, the LM393 provides the necessary functionality.

It's important to consider factors such as power consumption, input/output requirements, and the specific nature of the project when selecting between the two ICs. Both the LM358 and LM393 have proven their reliability and versatility, and their availability and cost-effectiveness make them popular options for a wide range of electronic designs.

Remember to consult the datasheets and application notes provided by the manufacturer for detailed specifications, pin configurations, and additional guidelines to ensure the optimal utilization of these op-amp ICs in your specific applications.


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post