Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image of semiconductor components source Freepik
Semiconductor components are defining the world of modern electronics. Most technological innovations heavily rely on the use of semiconductor components. Name any modern device, whether it is a smartphone, computer, or even electric car, you will not fail to identify the heavy presence of discrete semiconductor components. The use of semiconductor components has been growing at an exponential level over recent years. Also, the fact that several discrete semiconductor components can be made to work together in an integrated circuit is another reason behind their massive transformation in the world of modern electronics.
Overview of discrete semiconductor components in modern electronics
The term semiconductor refers to the type of material that is used for making these components. A semiconductor material is neither a full conductor nor an insulator. It sits right in the middle of the two materials. It can conduct the electric current when subjected to certain conditions.
A typical semiconductor material can contain pure elements such as germanium and silicon or it can be made of compounds such as gallium arsenide or cadmium selenide. Under normal circumstances, a semiconductor material will remain to be an insulator. However, electrical stimulation will turn it into a conductor. The electric current should even have specific characteristics to trigger any form of reaction from the semiconductor device.
There are lots of advantages that come with using discrete semiconductor components in modern electronics. The reliability of these devices is at the top of the list. Sine these devices have defined features and characteristics, it is easy to predict their reactions when included in electric circuits.
Some of the discrete semiconductor components that are considered the drivers of modern electronics include diodes, transistors, inductors, capacitors, varistors, thyristors, and thermistors among many others. Each of these components is designed to perform a specific task in an electric circuit. For example, diodes are used for determining the direction of the current flow while capacitors are used for energy storage. Transistors are used for switching and amplification functionalities while varistors protect other electronic components from the dangers of voltage spikes.
How discrete semiconductor components affect modern electronics
Here are some of the direct impacts of the discrete semiconductor components in the world of modern electronics.
They are the drivers of digital electronics
Digital electronics is at the core of modern electronics. It mainly focuses on the use of digital signals on different devices and appliances. Digital circuits are the building blocks of digital electronics. Several transistors are connected together to form logic gates, which end up defining the structure and behavior of digital electronics.
Logic gates, which mainly comprise discrete semiconductor components are used in microprocessors. They define the processing actions of the microcontrollers which on the other hand are in every other modern electronic device. The high switching speed of discrete semiconductor components makes them perfect for use in digital electronics. The speeds make it possible to build fast and powerful processors.
Discrete semiconductor components in power electronics
Power management is another key factor that defines modern electronics. There are various elements of power that make up modern electronics, and discrete semiconductor components seem to be at the core of all these elements.
One of the most basic applications of power is a switch. Some semiconductor components are used for executing the switching operations in electric circuits. A transistor is one of these components and it is designed to support the rapid-switching actions in electric circuits. To be precise, MOSFET and IGBT are used for the switching operations.
Energy storage is another impact of discrete semiconductors on modern electronics. They are used to facilitate the storage of electric charges for future use. Think of electric cars in which the energy is stored in batteries. The same theory works on renewable energy systems. Discrete components are used for facilitating the charging of these batteries.
Discrete semiconductor components are also used for facilitating energy optimization in modern electronics. Optimization entails ensuring that an electronic device uses maximum energy without any wastage. For example, diodes control the direction of current flow hence minimizing the possibility of current loss.
Discrete semiconductors for protection
Discrete semiconductors are also used for enhancing safety and protection in modern electronics. This is derived from the fact that they directly affect the flow of electric current in circuits. For example, diodes use their ability to determine the direction of current flow to protect or shield other components in the circuit. Other discrete devices protect electric circuits from the dangers of overcurrent and overvoltage.
Flexibility and scalability
Discrete semiconductor components have made it possible to come up with different solutions in the modern electronics. All that one needs to know is the function of the component. From there, you will proceed to implement the solution in your application.
When it comes to scalability, discrete semiconductors have made it easier to enhance the performance of the existing devices. All you need is to swap the current component with a more powerful one.
Reduced cost of modern electronics
When we compare performance vs. cost, it is easy to tell that modern electronic devices and appliances are cost-effective. The lower cost stems from the low cost of building the devices using discrete components.
From this article, it is clear that discrete semiconductor components have a direct impact on modern electronics. Whether it is a simple hand-held electronic device or a large and complex electronic appliance, you will not fail to identify the impact of discrete semiconductor components.
Are you working on a project that you believe will be part of modern electronics? You will definitely need to include discrete semiconductor components on your list. Of course, this is after defining all the key functions of the semiconductor components in your application.
Quality is of the essence when choosing discrete semiconductor components for modern electronic applications. The only way of getting quality components is by buying from reputable discrete semiconductor components manufacturers and suppliers. A reputable electronic component sourcing agent will ensure that you have access to such brands. All you need is to tell the agent the type of discrete components that you need and their specifications.
If you want to find more Electronic Components Distributors, please check out the following articles:
- The Art of Sourcing: How We Identify and Partner with Top IC Manufacturers - November 24, 2023
- Essential Electronics Test Equipment You Should Know About - November 24, 2023
- How To Finish PCBA Design Process Quickly? - November 24, 2023