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What Are Different Types of Transistors?

Bipolar junction transistors help electronics function.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2014
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Transistors are an example of an electronic component that has continued to evolve in both usability and applications even as technology has advanced. Currently, there are dozens of different types of transistors that are in common use in a number of appliances and in many types of machinery and devices that are utilized in all forms of business.

Power bipolar transistors provide connectivity and flow of energy in a number of different devices. With a p-type or n-type layer that is located between the collector and emitter layers, they are powerful semiconductors that can capture a weak signal and significantly strengthen the integrity of the signal. Transistors of this type are often found in telecommunications equipment.

MOSFET RF transistors are an excellent example of field effect transistors that are designed for heavy-duty usage. As a metal-oxide semiconductor, they are able to handle a high amount of power for extended periods of time. Radio transmitters, television monitors, and stereo system amplifiers tend to include them in the construction of the devices.

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Silicon controlled rectifiers, more commonly known as SCR rectifiers, sport a four-layer design of thyristors that are manufactured with three terminals. One terminal is usually set up as an output connection, while the other terminal is set up as an input connection. The third terminal is usually configured for use as either input or output connections. SCR style transistors are generally great when high levels of voltage are required, as they have the ability to regulate the flow of alternating current when some factor causes the device to shut down temporarily.

Darlington transistors have the distinction of including two bipolars in one simple device. This type can provide high current gain while requiring less space than would be needed to house two independent bipolar transistors.

These and other types of transistors are often manufactured to allow for a variety of permutations in power capacity that are associated with different transistor packages. Many professional electricians will recommend that a set of PCB elements should be acquired to go with each of the transistor packages, making it possible to realize maximum efficiency from the components.

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