A comparator can compare two voltages and output a signal indicating whether one is greater than the other. However, for balancing a lithium-polymer battery pack, I need to measure the difference between two cells which are not relative to ground.
The simplest solution is to just use voltage dividers to drop the voltage down to about 4.2V to compare against a reference voltage. However that solution would have a poor CMRR for higher voltage battery packs, with 6 to 8 cells. It would also be highly dependent on the divider accuracy, meaning expensive precision resistors.
I'm aware I can use op-amps to produce a difference signal. However, that would then require a further comparator to accomplish what I want. For an 8-cell battery pack, we would be looking at two op-amps and two comparators which is a lot; size and power consumption are important.
Basically I'm looking for a device which does this:
if((V1 - V2) >= V3) then output high else output low.