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What are transistors?

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2014-02-27 10:37:14
2014-02-27 10:37:14

Transistors are semiconductor devices which can be used as switches (to turn on and off an electrical signal or current path) and also as a signal amplifier in a circuit. There are two broad types of transistors BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor) and FET (Field Effect Transistors).

- Neeraj Sharma

A transistor is a silicon device with 3 leads, emiter, collector, and base. It is used both as a fast switching device and for signal amplification. It is said to be "saturated" when maximum current is flowing and "cutoff" when no current is flowing from the emiter to the collector. It takes a difference of approx. .7 volts between the emiter and base to turn it "on".

Good switch but actually inferior in sound quality to its predicessor, the "Thermionic" or good ole vacuum tube. If you don't believe me, listen to a guitarist play through both a transistor and vacuum tube guitar amp. You will be quite amazed!!!

For signal amplification the input signal goes into the base and the amplified output signal is taken at the collector with the transistor operating, or biased, between cutoff and saturation. It would be normally biased in between cutoff and saturation for the signal to be "linear" or non distorted. The signal at the collector will be inverted (180 phase shift) with respect to the input signal.

There are other applications where the output is taken at the emiter where the signal is not inverted (in phase) with respect to the input signal. This configuration, generally, has no gain or has what is called "unity gain". Sometimes you see this when separate stages need to be impedance matched for maximum efficiency.

The transistor is first "biased" or configured for a specific amount of gain and the output signal is taken at the collector with a higher amplitude than the input at the base.

A transistor is a semiconductor device

used to amplify and switch electronic

signals and electrical power . It is

composed of semiconductor material

with at least three terminals for

connection to an external circuit. A

voltage or current applied to one pair

of the transistor's terminals changes

the current through another pair of

terminals. Because the controlled

(output) power can be higher than

the controlling (input) power, a

transistor can amplify a signal.

Today, some transistors are packaged

individually, but many more are found

embedded in integrated circuits .

The transistor is the fundamental

building block of modern electronic

devices, and is ubiquitous in modern

electronic systems. Following its

development in 1947 by John Bardeen ,

Walter Brattain , and William

Shockley, the transistor

revolutionized the field of electronics,

and paved the way for smaller and

cheaper radios, calculators, and

computers, among other things. The

transistor is on the list of IEEE

milestones in electronics, and the

inventors were jointly awarded the

1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their

achievement.

1

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Silicon and germanium are the elements used in transistors

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Anywhere from none to many billions, depending on the computer.vacuum tube computers had no transistorstransistorized computers had a few thousand to a few hundred thousand transistorsintegrated circuit computers had a few tens of thousands to a few million transistorsmicroprocessor computers have had a few thousand to many billions of transistors

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Transistors are used for switching devices! What gave you the idea they aren't?

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A modern micro processor has atleast 100 million transistors.


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