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In this paper, a basic cell for low-power and/or low-voltage operation is identified. It is evidenced how different versions of this cell, coined as "flipped voltage follower (FVF)" have been used in the past for many applications. A detailed classification of basic topologies derived from the FVF is given. In addition, a comprehensive list of recently proposed low-voltage/low-power CMOS circuits based on the FVF is given. Although the paper has a tutorial taste, some new applications of the FVF are also presented and supported by a set of simulated and experimental results. Finally, a design example showing the application of the FVF to build systems based on translinear loops is described which shows the potential of this cell for the design of high-performance low-power/low-voltage analog and mixed-signal circuits.