Buffers and line drivers refer to special integrated circuit (IC) devices, which are designed to separate the input and output circuits. By isolating the input circuit, buffers and line drivers are capable of reducing the load and sending signals over long distances. Line drivers are equipped with the special ability to adapt input logic to a defined line driving standard.
How do buffers and line drivers work?
Each input load of the circuits adds a capacitive load over the amplifier. As a result, the current required for voltage transition also increases, leading to overloaded outputs. Using buffers and line drivers reduces this load. Thus, the circuit performance is prevented from being compromised.
Buffers and line drivers are primarily used in digital systems. For instance, they are used in:
Clock trees on PCBs to facilitate low noise and high-speed logic signals.
Digital systems to transmit digital signals across circuit boards.
Analog audio devices to connect a speaker system with a CD player.