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Friday, May 6, 2011

Electronic devices and components

An electronic component is any physical entity in an electronic system used to affect the electrons or their associated fields in a desired manner consistent with the intended function of the electronic system. Components are generally intended to be connected together, usually by being soldered to a printed circuit board (PCB), to create an electronic circuit with a particular function (for example an amplifier, radio receiver, or oscillator). Components may be packaged singly or in more complex groups as integrated circuits. Some common electronic components are capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes, transistors, etc. Components are often categorized as active (e.g. transistors and thyristors) or passive (e.g. resistors and capacitors).

Passive Components

A passive component, depending on field, may be either a component that consumes (but does not produce) energy (thermodynamic passivity), or a component that is incapable of power gain (incremental passivity). An electronic circuit consisting entirely of passive components is called a passive circuit (and has the same properties as a passive component). Used without qualifier, the term passive is ambiguous.
  •  Resistor
Resistor is an Electronic Component
A resistor is a two-terminal passive electronic component which implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. When a voltage V is applied across the terminals of a resistor, a current I will flow through the resistor in direct proportion to that voltage. This constant of proportionality is called conductance, G. The reciprocal of the conductance is known as the resistance R, since, with a given voltage V, a larger value of R further "resists" the flow of current I as given by Ohm's law:
I= V / R
Resistors are common elements of electrical networks and electronic circuits and are ubiquitous in most electronic equipment. Practical resistors can be made of various compounds and films, as well as resistance wire (wire made of a high-resistivity alloy, such as nickel-chrome). Resistors are also implemented within integrated circuits, particularly analog devices, and can also be integrated into hybrid and printed circuits.
The electrical functionality of a resistor is specified by its resistance: common commercial resistors are manufactured over a range of more than 9 orders of magnitude. When specifying that resistance in an electronic design, the required precision of the resistance may require attention to the manufacturing tolerance of the chosen resistor, according to its specific application. The temperature coefficient of the resistance may also be of concern in some precision applications. Practical resistors are also specified as having a maximum power rating which must exceed the anticipated power dissipation of that resistor in a particular circuit: this is mainly of concern in power electronics applications. Resistors with higher power ratings are physically larger and may require heat sinking. In a high voltage circuit, attention must sometimes be paid to the rated maximum working voltage of the resistor.

  •  Inductor
Inductor is an Electronic Component
An inductor (or reactor) is a passive electrical component that can store energy in a magnetic field created by the electric current passing through it. An inductor's ability to store magnetic energy is measured by its inductance, in units of henries. Typically an inductor is a conducting wire shaped as a coil; the loops help to create a strong magnetic field inside the coil due to Ampere's Law. Due to the time-varying magnetic field inside the coil, a voltage is induced, according to Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction, which by Lenz's Law opposes the change in current that created it. Inductors are one of the basic components used in electronics where current and voltage change with time, due to the ability of inductors to delay and reshape alternating currents. Inductors called chokes are used as parts of filters in power supplies or to block AC signals from passing through a circuit.

  •  Capacitor
Capacitor is an Electronic Component
A capacitor (formerly known as condenser) is a device for storing electric charge. The forms of practical capacitors vary widely, but all contain at least two conductors separated by a non-conductor. Capacitors used as parts of electrical systems, for example, consist of metal foils separated by a layer of insulating film.
A capacitor is a passive electronic component consisting of a pair of conductors separated by a dielectric (insulator). When there is a potential difference (voltage) across the conductors, a static electric field develops across the dielectric, causing positive charge to collect on one plate and negative charge on the other plate. Energy is stored in the electrostatic field. An ideal capacitor is characterized by a single constant value, capacitance, measured in farads. This is the ratio of the electric charge on each conductor to the potential difference between them.
Capacitors are widely used in electronic circuits for blocking direct current while allowing alternating current to pass, in filter networks, for smoothing the output of power supplies, in the resonant circuits that tune radios to particular frequencies and for many other purposes.
The capacitance is greatest when there is a narrow separation between large areas of conductor, hence capacitor conductors are often called "plates", referring to an early means of construction. In practice the dielectric between the plates passes a small amount of leakage current and also has an electric field strength limit, resulting in a breakdown voltage, while the conductors and leads introduce an undesired inductance and resistance.
Source : Wikipedia

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