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What is a Feedback Circuit?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 17, 2024
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A feedback circuit is an electrical circuit in which the signal, upon output, is directed back into the circuit through the same circuit’s input. The signal may be either voltage or current. When using feedback circuits, the amount of signal a circuit’s output provides can be altered by creating a pathway for the signal from the circuit’s output back into the input path for the same circuit. This can create a more stable circuit by both increasing the amount of signal in and decreasing the amount of signal out from the circuit.

Feedback circuits may be used for a number of reasons. One is because there are some instances where the amount of signal being distributed from an electrical circuit should be decreased before being delivered to the end user. This signal is decreased through the use of a feedback circuit, which acts to decrease the signal without interrupting the flow of signal being distributed by the circuit. It does this by tapping into the output signal and delivering a portion of it back through the same circuit’s input, thus creating an efficient and regulated signal throughout the circuit before the end signal is allowed to travel to the device using it.

Another use for a feedback circuit is to provide a stable circuit through the regulation of the input signal. This can be done by running the output signal back into the input. Since the circuit may contain elements that act as regulation devices to stabilize unregulated power sources, a steady and constant circuit may be achieved when the feedback route is run into the input signal for the circuit. This occurs when the regulated output signal, which has been stabilized throughout the circuit, is fed back into an unstable signal input.

One more of the common uses for a feedback circuit is for the amplification or gain of a signal throughout a feedback circuit. This amplification is created when the output signal from the circuit is run through an amplifier. The amplifier strengthens the signal being passed through it before it’s allowed to be run back into the input source for the circuit.

Amplification creates an intensified signal that is both stabilized and amplified in power. This allows for the circuit to be designed in a manner that produces a number of different performance preferences. The design and type of the original circuit is the determining factor in how the feedback circuit will behave.

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