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Types of Electronic Components

5/21/2013 8:05:43 AM | by Anonymous

Electronic Components

Electronic components form the basics of any electronic device. They are the components that form the building blocks in these devices. The purpose of these components is to affect electrons and allow the device to function. They are usually available in singular form and are mostly industrial products. Every electronic device makes use of single electronic component to serve different functions such as storing memory, transmitting power, resisting current or sending signals, and when used together, these components serve their function to allow the electronic device to operate properly. These components usually have two or more electronic terminals that can either be soldered or connected to a printed circuit board in order to create an electronic circuit. The terminals allow the components to pass signals through the circuit board. The circuit board can then be used with a particular function such as a radio receiver, amplifier or oscillator.


Electronic components can be classified as active, passive or electromechanic. Active components can act as a source of energy as they have the ability to inject power into a circuit. Some example of active components can be transistors, batteries and vacuum tubes. Passive components on the other hand are components that do not have the ability to supply energy into the circuit, and therefore, they also cannot amplify any available power within a circuit. Some examples of these components can be resistors, capacitors and transformers. Lastly, electromechanical components are those that have the ability to carry out electrical operations by making use of electrical connectors or moving parts within the device. Listed below are some examples of electrical components.


Resistors and Capacitors

Resistors, as their name would suggest, are used in electric circuits to resist electric current. They prevent an electrical device from burning out due to excess current being supplied, and only allow a limited current to pass through to the other components of the circuit. Capacitors on the other hand are used to allow only alternating current (AC) to pass through and block direct current (DC). These two components are both considered passive as they consume energy but do not produce any energy.


Transistors and Transducers

Transistors are one of the key components in many electrical devices. They are a type of semiconductor that can amplify or switch signals. Arsenic and silicon are two of the very conductive metals that are used to make these components. The component itself has three parts, the base, collected and emitter, which each serve different functions. Transducers on the other hand have the ability to convert one type of energy into another. One example can be converting electrical signals into audio through a speaker. Transducers can be passive or active.


Inductors and Power Supplies

Every electrical device runs on electricity which is supplied by some source of power supply. Power supply can come from various forms such as batteries, fuel cells or generators. Also, as power supply components supply the device with electrical power, they are considered active electrical components. Inductors on the other hand, are passive components as they do not produce energy and thus are unable to supply the circuit with electrical energy. However, inductors have the ability to store electric energy using magnetism. This electric energy is generated by passing current, and some examples of inductors include transformers, speakers and solenoids.


Other Components

Aside from the electronic components listed above, there are several other types of components available in the market as well, that are used in circuits depending on the requirements of the circuit. Some examples can be protection devices that are used to protect an electrical device in case of excess current present in the circuit. Fuses, current limiters and circuit breakers can be classified as protection devices. Switches are present in almost every type of circuit and they allow a user to turn on or off the electrical circuit.

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