Chapter 9. Active Components

This chapter covers some of the vari- ous types of active components you might encounter, from diodes to ICs—in other words, devices that utilize semiconductors, referred to as solid-state components. We will also discuss some of the package types available for both through-hole and surface-mount components, as well as how to prevent damage to solid-state components from static discharge.

The primary emphasis here is on available types of solid-state devices and the packaging used in their manufacture, not on how these devices work. That would be another complete book (or two) in itself. If you want to know more about the internal operation of active components, take a look at Appendix A or one of the excellent texts listed in Appendix C.

Another key point of this chapter is datasheets. These are the defining documents for electronic components (and many other things as well). Learning to obtain and read a datasheet is a crucial skill for anyone dealing with electronic circuits. To that end, “How to Read a Datasheet” steps through the contents of a typical datasheet and also offers suggestions on where and how to obtain them.

The distinction between an active component and a passive one is based primarily on how a part deals with electrical energy. In Chapter 8, it was described as the difference between something that dissipates energy, or stores and releases energy, without the need for an external source of power, as opposed to something that ...

Get Practical Electronics: Components and Techniques now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.