What Are Transistors

A transistor is a semiconductor part type component, providing for the capabilities of amplification and switching of electric currents. They serve countless amounts of applications including computers, cellular phones, aircraft, radios, hearing devices, and other electronic devices with their amplifying and powering capabilities. In this blog, we will discuss the operations of transistors as an amplifier and switch, as well as the various types that are present across electronic devices and applications.

While a switch may direct, connect, and disconnect the path of an electrical current within a circuit, a transistor can direct current and increase the strength as well. As an amplifier, a transistor can use a low voltage current within a pair of terminals to generate a stronger current in proportion to the lower voltage current. This amplification is achieved through small swings in the weaker current to create gains. Through this, amplification can benefit various applications, such as sound related electronics. With an amplifier transistor, devices such as hearing aids, loud speakers, radios, cellular phones, televisions, and other audio equipment can amplify sound for use. Amplification can also be used for signal processing as well, increasing the quality of transmission.

 As a switch, transistors undertake more simple operations, functioning in either an “on” or “off” state. When the transistor is in an “on” state, voltage is applied to the base of the transistor and is conducted to the collector and emitter, causing their currents to increase. On the other hand, a transistor in an “off” state is one that has no voltage applied to its base. As a switch, a transistor may be used for low to high power applications, ranging from logic gates to relays. Switch transistors may be used for the controlling of an LED light, DC motors, thermistors, and other electronic devices that benefit from on/off switching capabilities. The performance and capabilities of transistors as switches are dependent upon voltage, switching speed, and rise and fall times.

As a switch or amplifier, a transistor can come in many different types, including MOSFET, BJT, JFET, insulated-gate bipolar, and others. Transistors may also be denoted by their semiconductor materials, electrical polarity, power rating, maximum operating frequency, application, amplification factor, temperature, and even physical packaging.

 Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors, or MOSFETs, serve as the most common type of transistor, totaling 99.9% of all used transistors. MOSFETS are semiconductors with controlled oxidation. MOSFETS may act as either a switch or amplifier due to the presence of an insulated gate that determines the voltage and conductivity of the transistor. MOSFETs may be installed within digital and analog circuits, memory chips, microprocessors, and other devices. Since their inception in 1959, MOSFETs have served as the building block of modern electronics, revolutionizing the advancement of electronic technology and digital capabilities.

The bipolar junction transistor (BJT) is another transistor that served as the most widely used type from the 1950’s to 1960’s before they were superseded by MOSFETs. In the 1970’s, BJTs were still in use for analog circuits as an amplifier due to their linearity capabilities that were superior to MOSFETs at the time. Since the 1980’s, however, the MOSFET has surpassed the capabilities of most transistors for common electronic applications, and over 13 sextillion MOSFETs have been produced as of 2018.

Transistors can play countless roles for electronics due to their switching and amplifying capabilities. With transistors, digital and electronic evolution has skyrocketed, opening up new possibilities. Without transistors, we would not be able to have the computers, avionics, radios, cellular phones, and other electronics that we rely on. When it comes time to begin sourcing The semiconductor and memory accessories part type components you need, Cogent Purchasing has you covered with everything you are searching for. Cogent Purchasing is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the transistor parts and other aerospace components that you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@cogentpurchasing.com or call us at +1-914-359-2001.


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