An electronic oscillator is an electronic circuit that produces a repetitive electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave. They are widely used in many electronic devices. Common examples of signals generated by oscillators include signals broadcast by radio and television transmitters, clock signals that regulate computers and quartz clocks, and the sounds produced by electronic beepers and video games.
Oscillators are often characterized by the frequency of their output signal: an audio oscillator produces frequencies in the audio range, about 16 Hz to 20 kHz. An RF oscillator produces signals in the radio frequency (RF) range of about 100 kHz to 100 GHz. A low-frequency oscillator (LFO) is an electronic oscillator that generates a frequency below ≈20 Hz. This term is typically used in the field of audio synthesizers, to distinguish it from an audio frequency oscillator.
Oscillators designed to produce a high-power AC output from a DC supply are usually called inverters.