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Discrete Semiconductors

These components do just one single basic function and together they creates an electric devices. Among these are diodes(rectification), transistors (amplification) and thyristors (switching – transistors can also perform swithching). Usually they have two or three terminals, but they can have even more.


The most known diode to everyone is of course a LED (Light emitting diode), but there is many types of diodes. Their work is to conduct current in a single direction. They have two or three terminals. Among the other diodes are rectifier diodes that convert AC signals into DC, Schottky diodes made of semiconductor-metal junction, they have a lower voltage drop and are mostly used in switch mode power supplies, Zener diodes conduct current in both directions but with a different voltage threshold, they are used as voltage references, voltage regulators and as overvoltage protection devices.



These are made for load swithcing and control. They are usually used in automation and can handle highly powered devices. Just like diodes, there are many types of thyristors. One of the many examples: DIAC - bidirectional trigger device, it activates when voltage flowing through reaches breakover voltage and TRIAC - a bidirectional switching device containing two thyristor structures with common gate contact, it’s used in AC loads.



There are two main branches, bipolar transistor and unipolar transistors (field-effect transistor - FET). Commonly it has three terminals, for bipolar it’s called collector, base, emitter and for unipolar drain, gate, source. Their most common use is the amplifications and switching, they create the core of all the electronic technology, it can be used as simple signal amplification or be part of larger logical circuit.