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The information presented in this cross reference is based on TOSHIBA's selection criteria and should be treated as a suggestion only. Please carefully review the latest versions of all relevant information on the TOSHIBA products, including without limitation data sheets and validate all operating parameters of the TOSHIBA products to ensure that the suggested TOSHIBA products are truly compatible with your design and application.
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The power supply units of PCs and other devices incorporate multiple DC power supplies. A power supply line provided by a power supply unit is referred to as a power rail.
The entire range from the maximum voltage of a power line (VCC) to its minimum voltage (GND or minimum negative voltage, VEE) is referred to as rail-to-rail.
Op-amps having a common-mode input voltage range that almost covers the GND-VCC or VEE-to-VCC range are called rail-to-rail input op-amps (or full-swing op-amps).
The output stage may also be rail-to-rail. Op-amps with rail-to-rail input and output voltage ranges are called rail-to-rail input/output op-amps.
The differential input stage of most of the conventional op-amps is composed of P-channel MOSFETs. When the input voltage is close to VDD, op-amps with a differential input pair composed of P-channel MOSFETs do not provide a normal output, because a current source enters the linear region and gain is reduced.
Op-amps with a differential input pair composed of N-channel MOSFETs do not provide a normal output when the input voltage is close to GND.
Conversely, op-amps with a differential input pair composed of P-channel MOSFETs provide a normal output even when the input voltage is close to GND.
The input stage of rail-to-rail input op-amps, which consist of an N-channel differential MOSFET pair and a P-channel differential MOSFET pair connected in parallel, covers almost the entire voltage range from GND to VDD.
The following documents also contain related information:
Basics of Operational Amplifiers and Comparators
Is there any way to amplify a signal with a voltage close to the power supply level?
Are there any considerations for using an op-amp at low voltage?
What is the common-mode input voltage of an op-amp?
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Operational Amplifiers and Comparators
Operational Amplifier ICs and Comparator ICs
Input and output full range