Category Archives: Transistors

Researchers Develop Thermoelectric Organic Transistors

Linkoping University scientists have made possible an organic transistor that is driven by temperature changes instead of by an electrical signal. Made of a thermoelectric material, the transistor brings about an appreciable current modulation for just a single degree rise or fall in temperature. Professor Xavier Crispin, based at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics of the university, states that heat driven transistor is the first logic circuit to be developed that makes use of thermoelectricity. Wide Read more [...]

What is an LDO and How Does it Work?

When you need a voltage regulator for your circuit and do not have much of a voltage head room, the trick is to use an LDO or a low-dropout regulator. Normal regulators need voltage headroom of roughly around 3V to allow good regulation, but LDOs can do with a lot less – of the order of a few 100 millivolts. However, there are other considerations as well. To regulate and control an output voltage, it is necessary to source it from a higher input voltage supply. For normal regulators, the voltage Read more [...]

AT21CS01 from Atmel: This EEPROM Does Not Require External Power Source

AT21CS01 from Atmel is a two pin serial EEPROM. Astonishingly, it does not have a Vcc or power supply pin characteristic of any IC and does not require an external power source to work. This amazing memory IC operates with only a data pin and a ground pin. The memory in the IC is organized as 128x8 bits, that is, a total of 1-kbits. The single-wire device, AT21CS01, operates with only an SI/O and GND pin. The SI/O signal functions as a combination of data and power line. That means, apart from Read more [...]

How Does Switching Affect Semiconductors?

Even though ICs rule the world of electronics, the transistor does all the work. Within each IC are millions upon millions of transistors perpetually switching on and off so that the IC can carry out its intended functions. Even if one of the multitudes of transistors were to stop switching, the IC could lose part or all of its functionality. Circuits handling digital signals most often use transistors to switch from a high state to a low state and vice versa. It is usual to call a circuit point Read more [...]

Phosphorene Challenges Graphene as a Semiconductor

Though silicon has been the basis of semi-conductors for decades, it is facing stiff competition from other materials that promise to deliver several extras to consumers who like to enjoy more flexibility with their gadgets. For some time, graphene, a one atom thick allotrope of carbon has been under consideration for use in electronic devices because its thin structure allows electrons to travel across it much more rapidly than they would do across silicon. However, graphene has severe limitations, Read more [...]

How to Select Voltage References

Sensing applications use Analog to Digital Converters and Digital to Analog Converters and the accuracy of their readings depends on the voltage reference used. Most often the voltage reference used are very simple components with only two or three pins. However, the performance of these references depends on several parameters and careful attention is necessary when selecting the proper one. Typically, applications use either a shunt or a series voltage reference. A series voltage reference is Read more [...]

What are IGBTs?

An IGBT or the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor is an amalgamation of a MOS and a bipolar transistor. It combines the best performances of both devices - the easily driven MOS gate and the low conduction loss of the bipolar. This effective device is quickly displacing most power bipolar transistors that were an obvious choice for high voltage and high current applications. IGBTs offer a balance in tradeoffs between conduction loss, switching speed and ruggedness. Manufacturers are now tweaking IGBTs Read more [...]

Transistors: What Is The Difference Between BJT, FET And MOSFET?

BJTs, FETs and MOSFETs are all active semiconductor devices, also known as transistors. BJT is the acronym for Bipolar Junction Transistor, FET stands for Field Effect Transistor and MOSFET is Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor. All three have several subtypes, and unlike passive semiconductor devices such as diodes, active semiconductor devices allow a greater degree of control over their functioning. Depending on their subtypes, operating frequency, current, voltage and power Read more [...]

How RTPs Help To Save Expensive PCBs from Thermal Runaway PowerFETs

Although powerFETs or power Field Effect Transistors are very robust devices used in the automotive industry - they have their limitations. In the automotive environment, powerFETs go through the tortures of extreme temperature variations together with severe thermo-mechanical stresses. They face noisy short circuits, high arcing, intermittent shorts as well as inductive loads. These shocks can fatigue the device over time, and it can fail in a short, an open or resistive mode. For example, if Read more [...]

What is a MOS-FET?

MOS-FET, which is an abbreviation of Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor, is a very important kind of transistor. Many IC's are constructed of arrays of MOS-FETS on a tiny sliver of silicon. They are very small, easy to manufacture and many MOS-FETS consume a small amount of power making them an excellent choice for many applications. It is the most common type of transistor available for either digital or analog circuits, replacing the bipolar transistor which was much more common Read more [...]