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Glossary of Electronic & Electrical Terms

Glossary of Electronic & Electrical Terms

All areas from outside edge of the bond pads inward, except where there is an active line in the device located beyond the outside edge of the bond pads.     

Measurement of dynamic or switching electrical parameters

A raised layer of metallization used for interconnection that is isolated from the die surface by only air.     

In mathematics and electronics, an algorithm is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations.  Digital Signal Processors (DSP) are often employed in electronic circuits to analyze or convert an electronic signal using an algorithm.

Either voltage or current that varies smoothly from zero to a maximum value in one direction, or polarity, and returns to zero. It then reverses its direction (polarity) and rises to a maximum value in the opposite direction, and then returns to zero to complete the cycle. This cycle is repeated continuously. The number of cycles per second is its frequency, measured in hertz (Hz). See SINE WAVE.     

A circuit whose output waveshape is an amplified version of its input waveshape. Also called a LINEAR AMPLIFIER.     

An electrical signal that has continuously varying voltages, frequencies, or phases.      

A digitally controlled switch that provides a conductive path for a linear or analog voltage in its ON state    

The unit of measurement of electrical current flow, named after André Ampère, a 19th century French physicist. One ampere is the value of current that will be maintained in a circuit with an electromotive force of one volt and a resistance of one ohm. One ampere = 6.25 x 10 ^18 electrons/second. See CURRENT.

The process of increasing the voltage, current, or power of an electrical or electronic signal.     

An electronic circuit that draws power from a supply voltage, or voltage source, to produce, at its output, an increased reproduction of the signal existing at its input. The amplifying component could be a transistor, vacuum tube, or an appropriate magnetic device.     

One of the two terminals of a diode (positive type material) or the output terminal (also positive type material) of a silicon controlled rectifier (SCR)     

A gradually changing voltage. The term is interchangeable with LINEAR VOLTAGE. For example, the voltage sensed by an automobile's speedometer is the analog of the speed of the automobile.     

A unit of length that measures wavelength and is equal to 0.1 of a billionth of a meter (1x10^-10 meters). It is named after Anders Ångström, a 19th century Swedish physicist.    

The moving part of a magnetic device consisting of one or more coils that are electrically connected to create the rotatable section of a generator. See ARMATURE in Glossary of Switches, Keyboards, and Electromechanical Relays.

Automated optical inspection




IIndividual, unpackaged silicon integrated circuits.     

A packaging technology similar to a pad grid array, in which a device's external connections are arranged as an array of conducting pads on the base of the package. However, in the case of a ball grid array, small balls of solder are attached to the conducting pads.     

A thermocompression bonding technique. The wire end is melted to form a ball, which provides a larger area of contact than otherwise possible.      

A packaging technology similar to a pad grid array. in which a device's external connections are arranged as an array of conducting pads on the base of the package. However, in the case of a ball grid array, small balls of solder are attached to the conducting pads.      

An electrical device consisting of one or more cells which converts chemical or solar energy into electrical energy. A battery provides a source of steady-state DC voltage.     

The Greek letter that designates the current gain of a bipolar transistor. It is the ratio of the transistor's output current (IC) to its input current (IB).     

The DC voltage applied across the terminals of a PN junction , whether the device is a diode, bipolar transistor, or JFET. A PN junction is forward biased when a positive voltage is applied to the P-region with respect to the N-region, and reversed biased when the voltage polarity is reversed.

A three-terminal semiconductor component with a three-layer structure of alternate negative and positive type materials (NPN or PNP). It provides current gain and voltage amplification in a circuit.     

The maximum time required for a fuse to open after being subjected to an excess of the device's rated current. Fuses are classified by blow time as slow, normal, or fast     

Attaching of a semiconductor die to the package or substrate.  Also called die attachment.     

Fine wire used for making electrical interconnection between various bonding pads to device terminal.     

Four semiconductor diodes configured as a bridge that acts to change AC to full-wave pulsating D     

A foil layer of resistance alloy bonded to a ceramic substrate providing a compensation technique to produce a very low TCR and insulated by a transfer molded case

A type of linear transmission medium. Some of the common types of cables include: hook up wire, coaxial (shielded) cables, lamp amd mains cable, figure-8 (zip) cable and fibre optics      

A pair of parallel "plates" separated by an insulator (the dielectric). Stores an electric charge, and tends to pass higher frequencies more readily than low frequencies. Does not pass direct current, and acts as an insulator. Electrically it is the opposite to an inductor. Basic unit of measurement is the Farad, but is typically measured in micro-farads (uF = 1x10^-6F) or nano-farads (nF - 1 x 10^-9F)     

One of the two terminals of a diode (negative type material) or the terminal (also negative type material) that is common to both input and output sections of an SCR     

A single unit of a battery that generates a DC voltage by converting chemical or solar energy into electrical energy.     

A room in which the air is highly filtered in order to keep out impurities. Chip fabrication plants use clean rooms where the air is completely exchanged as much as seven times per minute. Workers go through an elaborate procedure to gown themselves in the "bunny suits" which are required to keep them from contaminating the atmosphere. Clean rooms are also used in the manufacture of hard disks. In the biotech industry, clean rooms keep the environment free of infectious bacteria and viruses.

Unpackaged diodes, bipolar transistors, SCRs, TRIACs, and field-effect transistors (FETs) - also called DICE     

A single component or group of interconnected components powered by a source of voltage and configured according to specified rules. A circuit performs a specific or a predetermined general task.    

An automatic, magnetic, or bimetallic device that will open a current-carrying circuit causing the circuit to become inoperative. This device is used to prevent circuit damage under a condition of excess current. Unlike a fuse that melts when its rating is exceeded, a circuit breaker can be reset automatically or manually when the circuit problem is corrected.     

A combination of an N-channel and a P-channel MOSFET in a single switching circuit. This circuit features very low power dissipation and the effective elimination of an external load resistor. The device responds to a digital pulse at its input by turning one section of the device ON and the other OFF, causing the turned OFF section to act as its high-resistance load. When the input pulse reverts to zero, the state of the two sections of the device are reversed.      

Resistance alloy in wire form wound on a former and insulated by a conformal coating of an epoxy resin, silicone enamel or vitreous enamel.      

A metallic cable constructed in such a way that the inner conductor is shielded from EMR (electromagnetic radiation) interference by the outer conductor. Coaxial cable is less susceptible to more transmission impairments than twisted pair cable, and it has a much greater bandwidth; thus coaxial cable is used by most analogue and digital systems for the transmission of low level signals

A length of insulated wire wound around a laminated iron or steel core, a ferrite or powdered iron core, or a non-ferrous material such as ceramic aluminum, or plastic. A non-ferrous core is called an "air core"since it is non-magnetic in nature.     

The output terminal of a bipolar transistor     

An arrangement of NPN and PNP bipolar transistors in which the polarity of the supply voltage applied to one device is the reverse of the other. The two transistors normally have identical electrical characteristics and are used as a matched pair.     

An individual part or element of an electrical or electronic circuit which performs a designated function within that circuit. It may consist of a single part, a combination of parts, or assemblies.     

A metal material that allows electrical current to flow and has essentially zero resistance.     

An adhesive material (usually epoxy) that has metal powder (usually silver) added to increase electrical conductivity     

Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (SAM) is a quick, non-destructive analysis technique. SAM uses ultrasound waves to detect changes in acoustic impedance in an Integrated Circuit (ICs) and other similar materials. Pulses of different frequencies are used to penetrate various materials to examine sample interiors for voids or delamination. Mu-Analysis performs C-mode SAM (or C-SAM), with both reflective and through-scan capabilities.  Assessing package reliability often requires the ability to study package interiors without destroying the packages. Scanning Acoustic Microscopy allows the user to examine different interfaces and determine the mechanical integrity of the assembly, all by non-destructive means.  Scanning acoustic microscopy probes with ultrasound pulses at various frequencies. At interfaces between materials having different acoustic impedance, an acoustic reflection (an echo) occurs. The intensity and polarity of this echo is recorded and presented as a color map of the sample.

The movement of electrons per second through a conductor or a component. It is measured in amperes and is designated by the letter, I. There are 6.25 x 10^18 electrons per second in one ampere. (10^18 = a billion billion) 

The time it takes for a voltage to be reduced to a given percent of the peak voltage.     

The time it takes for an electrical signal to propagate through a given path.     

A two-terminal bidirectional semiconductor diode AC switch used for triggering a TRIAC.     

A single square or rectangular piece of semiconductor material into which a specific electrical circuit has been fabricated.      

Bonding of die to a substrate or package.     

Electrical isolation of one or more elements of an integrated circuit by surrounding the elements with an isolating barrier such as semiconductor oxide.     

Includes IC devices that are sold on the open market in bare die, flip chip or wafer level chip scale package formats.

A test to determine the shear strength of the bond between a die and the base it is bonded to.     

Electrical isolation of one or more elements of an integrated circuit by surrounding the elements with an isolating barrier such as semiconductor oxide.      

One of a series of steps in the fabrication of a semiconductor. This step introduces a small amount of a chemical element, called impurity or dopant, into the substrate. These steps will produce either N-type or P-type regions to create the function of a desired component on the chip.  The conductivity of semiconductors may easily be modified by introducing impurities into their crystal lattice. The process of adding controlled impurities to a semiconductor is known as doping.

A switching circuit that turns ON and OFF in response to a digital or step-function pulse     

A two-terminal semiconductor device that will allow current to flow through it in only one direction. With the proper voltage polarity across the device, it will act as a conductor. When the voltage polarity is reversed, the device will act as a nonconductor, allowing no current to flow.     

A discontinuous or step-function electrical pulse characterized by an instantaneous change from zero to some finite level, either in a positive or negative direction with respect to a reference.

A name applied to any of the chip-to-substrate connections used to eliminate the first level of packaging: see also Chip-on-Board.     

An electrical current or voltage with a constant direction (polarity) with respect to a fixed reference. DC can be either positive or negative.     

(diodes, transistors, optoelectronic components) typically perform a single function in electronic circuits, the purpose of which is switching, amplifying, or rectifying and transmitting electrical signals. Semiconductors are referred to as "active" components because they require power to function.     

A wire bond operation carried out from a higher to a lower level or plane.    

The output terminal of a JFET or MOSFET

An assembly consisting of a magnet mounted on a frame, and a wire coil (armature) that can be rotated within the magnetic field. The function of the generator is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. See TURBINE.     

Conductive metallic strips normally inserted into an electrolyte to provide the chemical action needed to convert chemical energy into electrical energy.     

A solution of specific chemicals in a battery which convert chemical energy into electrical energy.     

The electrical force that exists across the terminals of an electrical generator, or battery. When connected to a load in a closed circuit, this force produces a voltage across the load and causes current to flow in that circuit. EMF is measured in volts and designated with the letter E (supply voltage) or V (load voltage).     

Considered to be the smallest unit of electrical charge.     

The accumulation of electrons on the surface of a nonconducting material when it is rubbed by another nonconducting material.   

A transfer of an electrostatic charge between a material with an excess of electrons and a material with a deficiency of electrons.     

One of the terminals of a bipolar transistor that is generally used as the terminal common to both the input and output sections of the device

Sealing or covering of a microcircuit to provide mechanical and environmental protection.     

Resistance alloy in wire form wound on a former and encased in an epoxy (or other suitable material) molded case.     

An optional step in the semiconductor manufacturing process in which a blank silicon wafer is prepared for fabrication. Silicon is precipitated in gaseous form to grow on the surface of the silicon wafer.

The base unit of capacitance - equal to the capacitance of a capacitor having an equal and opposite charge of 1 coulomb on each plate and a potential difference of 1 volt between the plates (Abbreviation - F). The Farad is a very large value, and is more commonly referred to as the pico-Farad (pF, 1 x 10^-12 Farad), nano-Farad (nF, 1 x 10^-9 Farad), micro-Farad (uF, 1 x 10^-6 Farad), and (less common) milli-Farad (mF, 1 x 10^-3 Farad)     

FET (FIELD-EFFECT TRANSISTOR)either a Junction FET (JFET) or a Metal Oxide Semiconductor FET (MOSFET).
It is a three-terminal semiconductor that acts either as an amplifier or digital switch. One of the major characteristics of a FET is that is has an extremely high input resistance and therefore, has no loading on previous circuitry.     

A circuit which is frequency dependent. The "pass band" is the range of frequencies allowed through, and the "stop band" is that range of frequencies which are blocked.      

A process used to remove or accentuate specific frequencies or frequency ranges of a signal     

An integrated circuit which is designed to electrically and mechanically interconnect by means of an appropriate number of bumps and is intended for facedown mounting.

Any material that is foreign to the microcircuit or package, or any non-foreign material that is displaced from its original or intended position within the microcircuit package.     

The length of time required for a diode in its reverse biased (OFF) state to recover to a stabilized ON state after a digital forward bias voltage is applied. If this time is 50 nanoseconds or less, the diode is applicable for use in computers and/or high-speed logic circuits.     

(f)The number of cycles per second of an AC wave measured in hertz (Hz).     

A configuration of either two or four diodes that acts to change AC to full-wave DC The two-diode configuration is used in conjunction with a center-tapped secondary of a transformer. The four diode configuration is used when no center-tap exists at the transformer secondary and is called a BRIDGE RECTIFIER.     

Diodes, transistors, capacitors, and resistors     

The lowest frequency of a complex AC waveshape represented by a single sine

A short strip of metal having extremely low resistance and functioning as a protective device in a circuit. A fuse will melt when its rated current is exceeded, thereby opening the circuit.    

GALLIUM ARSENIDE (GaAs)Microelectronics wafer material typically used for high-speed circuit designs.     

The input or control terminal of an SCR, TRIAC, or FET     

Top layer of transparent insulating material that covers active area except for bond pads.     

The part of a circuit or system that is the reference for the voltages existing in that circuit or system. The ground consists of a material such as copper, steel, aluminum, or any other conductive material.

A single diode that acts to change AC to half-wave pulsating DC     

Multiples of a single sine wave (the fundamental frequency). The even harmonics are the 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc., and the odd harmonics are the 3rd, 5th, 7th , etc. All harmonics are multiples of their fundamental frequency.     

A metal base or plate onto which one or more components are mounted to absorb, carry away, or radiate the heat generated by the component(s). Overheating may result in the malfunction or destruction of the part(s) generating the heat or might cause damage to other parts of the circuit.     

The basic unit of inductance in which an induced electromotive force of one volt is produced when the current is varied at the rate of one ampere per second (Abbreviation: H)     

A gas tight seal.     

Similar to Bulk Metal Foil but with the epoxy case replaced with a hermetically sealed enclosure.     

The unit of measurement of the frequency of a sine wave or square wave, named after Heinrich Hertz, a 19th century German physicist. The term hertz designates the number of cycles per second exhibited by these waves.     

A filter which allows high frequencies to pass while blocking low frequencies    

A unit of measurement of mechanical power. It indicates the ability of a device or mechanism to do a specific amount of work over a period of time. It is equal to 550 foot-pounds per second in mechanical power or 746 watts in electrical power.     

A component containing one or more bare die and at least two circuit elements.     

Are optoelectronic components that enable two-way, wireless data transmission at very fast speeds. An infrared transceiver includes an IR emitting device, a detecting device, and an integrated control IC, all part of a special package design with two integrated optical lenses. IRDCs are used in PDAs, cell phones, computers,
digital cameras, and other products.    

A load applied to an amplifier (or other source) which is not a pure resistance. This is to say that its loading characteristics are frequency dependent. Impedance consists of some value of resistance in conjunction with capacitance and/or inductance. The equivalent circuits can vary from two components to hundreds.   

An element added to the semiconductor substrate material (either germanium, silicon, or gallium arsenide) in the fabrication process to create a P-type or N-type region. For germanium, the impurities are arsenic and bismuth. For silicon, the impurities are boron, phosphorus, and aluminum. and for gallium, arsenic and phosphorus.   

A condition of two wave forms when they cross the reference line at the same time and in the same direction.    

A coil of wire which exhibits a resistance to any change of amplitude or direction of current flow through itself. Inductance is inherent in any conductor, but is "concentrated" by winding into a coil. An inductor tends to pass low frequencies more readily than high frequencies. Electrically it is the opposite of a capacitor. Basic unit of measurement is the Henry (H), in crossover networks it will typically be measured in milli-henrys (mH = 1 x 10^-3) and for RF micro-henrys (uH) are common    

The IGBT combines the simple gate-drive characteristics of MOSFETs with the high-current and low-saturation-voltage capability of bipolar transistors. The IGBT combines an isolated gate FET for the control input, and a bipolar power transistor as a switch, in a single device. The IGBT is used in medium to high-power applications like switched-mode power supplies, traction motor control and induction heating.

A material that prevents the passage of electricity, heat or sound. The plastic coating on wires is an insulator, preventing the wires from coming into electrical contact with each other. Insulators are extensively used in electronics. Most good electrical insulators are also good thermal insulators    

A collection of active and passive devices (e.g. transistors and resistors) mounted on a single slice of silicon and packaged as a single component. Examples include operational amplifiers, Central Processing Units (CPUs), random access memory (RAM), etc.    

The conductive path required to achieve electrical connection from a circuit element to the rest of the circuit.    

The intermixing of two frequencies. It is often caused by non-linear distortion within an amplifier or loudspeaker   

A three-terminal semiconductor device constructed with a PN junction at its input and a conducting channel as the output section. The PN junction of the input section is reverse biased to provide an extremely high input resistance. It is generally utilized in a high-input resistance, linear amplifier circuit. 

That portion of the component area from which material has been removed or modified by trimming or dicing.    

A qualification or a process that indicates that a semiconductor die has been tested to a specified or determined level of quality or "goodness".   

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Originally, lasers were either gas or precious stone (e.g. ruby), but are now made using semiconductors. Laser light is coherent, meaning that the emitted light waves are in phase, which gives the light a strange appearance since our eyes were never designed to observe coherent light     

LAT (Lot Acceptance Tests)
The performance of every semiconductor die is unique, although two die may derive from the same family, the same fab or even the same wafer, their electrical performance will never be 100% identical due to natural differences in atomic composition.  To be sure of a products consistency an Element Evaluation/LAT can be performed. This is usually needed when a customer requires the added assurance that their product will meet specified electrical test criteria. Often the part will need to function in extreme environments, for example when product is to be used in military applications. Testing can cover both the mechanical and electrical reliability of the product and a LAT will determine whether or not a particular batch (diffusion lot) of semiconductor die are capable of meeting pre-defined operating limits.     

A metallic frame containing leads and a base to which an unpackaged integrated circuit is attached. After encapsulation, the outer part of the frame is cut away and the leads are bent into the required shapes.   

A protective device that provides a very low resistance path to any voltage above its rated value.     


Visible distance or space between two features that are observed not to touch at the magnification in use.     

The AC voltage supply that provides the prime source of electrical power for office, laboratory, factory, and home electrical and electronic equipment. Throughout North, Central, and South America, the line voltage is nominally specified as 120 volts AC, at 60 hertz. In Europe, the line voltage is nominally specified as 240 volts AC, at 50 hertz. Line voltage can be either privately or publicly generated.     

A device, component, appliance, system, or machine to which an electrical force (voltage) is applied. Resistance is inherent in the structure of a load and is an integral part of an electrical or electronic circuit.   

Passive components, including inductors and transformers, that use an internal magnetic field to change the phase of electrical current. Magnetic devices are used to change voltage levels and to isolate system sections with different ground levels. Inductors are used to control AC current and voltage and filter out unwanted electronic signals.     

The output terminals of a TRIAC, alternately acting as an anode or a cathode as its AC supply voltage varies from positive to negative.     

A resistive device that protects against excess voltage surges in a circuit. It is called a metal oxide varistor (MOV). Below its rated voltage, its extremely high resistance has no effect on a circuit. Above its rated voltage, it sharply changes to an extremely low value resistor.     

One or more layers of microcircuit metal conduction paths     

One-thousandth of an inch (x 10 -3 inches). Equal to 25.4 microns.     

A three-terminal semiconductor component with a built-in capacitor at its input and a conducting channel in its output structure. It has an extremely high input resistance and is either an enhancement type or enhancement/depletion type. The enhancement type MOSFET operates as a normally-off digital switch or as an analog switch. The enhancement/depletion type operates as an extremely high-input resistance linear amplifier.  

A bond of a small wire to a conductor or chip device.     

A section of semiconductor wafer with circuitry and components etched into the top; Also called a die or chip.     

(um)A unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter.     

A hybrid which contain at least two bare die.     

Two or more levels of metal or any other material used for interconnections that are isolated from each other by insulating material.  

The narrowing of leads or wire.     

A material that has essentially infinite resistance.  It protects the circuit by isolating components and conductors from each other to prevent them from touching each other, thereby avoiding the possibility of a short circuit.  

The unit of measurement of resistance symbolized by the Greek letter, omega (W). It is named after George Ohm, a 19th century German physicist. One ohm is the value of resistance through which an electromotive force of one volt will maintain a current of one ampere. See RESISTANCE.     

The relationship that exists between the electrical parameters of voltage (electrical pressure), resistance (the opposition to the voltage), and current (the flow of electrons in the circuit). Ohm's Law states that the amount of current flowing in a circuit is equal to the applied voltage divided by the circuit resistance.    

Emit or detect light in electronic circuits. Types include infrared data
communications devices (IRDCs) for wireless two-way data transfer; optocouplers for circuit isolation; IR emitters for one-way remote control; optical sensors for detection; and LEDs for light sources.     

The width dimensions or distances that is intended by design.     

Electronic measurement tool which allows one to view a waveform. The vertical axis shows amplitude and the horizontal axis shows time.

A layer of an integrated circuit created to provide isolation between conductive layers. 

An enclosure for a single element, an integrated circuit, or a hybrid circuit. It provides hermetic or non-hermetic protection, determines the form factor, and serves as the first level interconnection externally for the device by means of package terminals. A package generally consists of a bottom part, called the case or header, and a top part, called the cover or lid. These are sealed into one unit.     

A generic term used to describe the bonding location on the inside of the package.     

Insulating layer directly over a circuit or circuit element to protect the surface from contaminants, moisture, or particles.   

Resistors, capacitors, and inductors do not require a power supply to handle the signals that pass through them. Passive components are used to store electrical charges, to limit or resist electrical current, and for filtering, surge suppression, measurement, timing, and tuning applications.     

A thermocompression bonding technique. The wire end is compressed into the pad or conductor area    

The time required to complete one cycle of AC and is calculated as the reciprocal of the frequency (1/f). It is measured in seconds and designated with the letter T. 

The generation of an electrical current in a circuit containing a photosensitive device when the device is illuminated by visible or non-visible light.     

That value of reverse bias voltage applied to the input of a J-FET linear amplifier to cut off its channel and reduce its output current to zero.    

The simplest semiconductor structure. As a discrete device, it is called a diode. It consists of a positive or P-region (containing positive ions) in junction with a negative or N-region (containing negative electrons).     

The rate at which work is done and measured in watts (W). In electrical and electronic circuits, Power (P) = Supply Voltage (E) x Supply Current (I) or Load Voltage (VL) x Load Current (IL). See WATT.    

An area equipped with appropriate ESD protective materials and equipment. It provides a site where ESD voltage is limited below the ESD sensitivity level of the component or equipment being handled or manufactured.     

Rectified AC voltage, either positive or negative, with respect to a reference. Half-wave pulsating DC voltage uses only one-half of the available AC voltage. Full-wave DC voltage uses both halves of the AC voltage wave shape. 

The quality factor of an inductor.  An ideal inductor would have no resistance or energy losses. However, real inductors have winding resistance from the metal wire forming the coils. Since the winding resistance appears as a resistance in series with the inductor, it is often called the series resistance. The inductor's series resistance converts electric current through the coils into heat, thus causing a loss of inductive quality. The quality factor (or Q) of an inductor is the ratio of its inductive reactance to its resistance at a given frequency, and is a measure of its efficiency. The higher the Q factor of the inductor, the closer it approaches the behavior of an ideal, lossless, inductor. High Q inductors are used with capacitors to make resonant circuits in radio transmitters and receivers. The higher the Q is, the narrower the bandwidth of the resonant circuit. 

A semiconductor diode, or group of diodes, that acts to change AC to pulsating DC  .  

A uniform pattern of die on the same wafer.     

An arbitrarily selected point or section of a circuit or system to which the polarities and values of the circuit voltages are referred. See GROUND.     

The assurance that a component will perform in a specified manner for a specified time under a set of specified conditions that include electrical, mechanical, thermal, and environmental stresses. The concept of reliability encompasses the elements of both quality and longevity. See STABILITY.     

The electrical characteristic of a component, material, circuit, or system which acts to limit current in a circuit. It is measured in ohms (W) and designated with the letter R. Resistance depends on the molecular structure and dimensions of a component or device and on the configuration of a circuit or system. See OHM. 

A silicon device with four layers (PNPN) having an input control terminal (gate), an output terminal (anode) and a terminal common to both input and output (cathode). It generally operates as an AC switch for lighting and heating control.     

The lines that separate the die from each other on a wafer where dicing occurs.     

Joining the package case header or substrate to its cover or lid.     

Insulated or uninsulated resistance alloy wire formed to make the resistance element with integral or welded leads for through hole applications.     

Silicon carbide is a semiconductor, which can be doped n-type by nitrogen or phosphorus and p-type by aluminum, boron, gallium or beryllium.  Metallic conductivity has been achieved by heavy doping with boron, aluminum or nitrogen.  It benefits are that it is a wide band-gap material which allows it to isolate large electric fields, it is able to operate reliably at very high temperatures, and has excellent thermal conduction properties.

Although a variety of semiconductor materials are available, the most commonly used is silicon and integrated circuits are popularly known as silicon chips, or simply chips.  

A smooth, continuously moving waveshape that has no break in its appearance. It has positive and negative half-cycles that are generally symmetrical with respect to a reference. The cyclical repetition of these waves produces a wave shape that has a specified frequency in hertz (number of cycles per second) and a specified amplitude.     

Stock Keeping Unit. A common term for a unique numeric identifier, used most commonly in online business to refer to a specific product in inventory or in a catalog.     

A thick mixture of water and fine wafer particles produced during the wafer sawing process. If wafer is not cleaned properly, slurry can be seen as a very fine particle deposit over the surface of individual die, sometimes forming patterns from the spray of the mixture.     

A rectangular-shaped (step-function) periodic wave with a positive and negative half-cycle of equal lengths of time or duration. A square wave consists of a sine wave's fundamental frequency combined with the odd harmonics (multiples) of its fundamental frequency.     

The ability of a component, circuit, or system to maintain a fixed level of operation within specified tolerances under varying external conditions. Changing conditions include voltage, frequency, temperature, and longevity. See RELIABILITY.     

A fixed polarity of positive or negative voltage with respect to a reference. This form of voltage is used as the power source for electronic circuits.     

The base material upon which the passivation, metallization and circuit elements are added to built a device.     

A strip of insulated resistance alloy with surface mount terminations. The insulation may be either an epoxy transfer molded case or a conformal coating.  

The free end of wire extending beyond the bond impression.     

The change in the characteristic of a component which occurs because of a change in temperature. TC can be specified either as the number of parts per million (ppm) change per °C change in temperature, or as a percent change in value per °C change in temperature.     

A strip of insulated resistance alloy with through hole terminations. The insulation may be either an epoxy transfer molded case or a conformal coating. 

Transconductance is an expression of the performance of a bipolar transistor or field-effect transistor (FET). In general, the larger the transconductance figure for a device, the greater the gain (amplification) it is capable of delivering, when all other factors are held constant.

Formally, for a bipolar device, transconductance is defined as the ratio of the change in collector current to the change in base voltage over a defined, arbitrarily small interval on the collector-current-versus-base-voltage curve.  For a FET, transconductance is the ratio of the change in drain current to the change in gate voltage over a defined, arbitrarily small interval on the drain-current-versus-gate-voltage curve.  The symbol for transconductance is Gm. The unit is the siemens, the same unit that is used for direct-current (DC) conductance.

The symbol for transconductance is gm. The unit is the siemens, the same unit that is used for direct-current (DC)conductance.  If dI represents a change in collector or drain current caused by a small change in base or gate voltagedE, then the transconductance is approximately:

gm = dI / dE

As the size of the interval approaches zero -- that is, the change in base or gate voltage becomes smaller and smaller -- the value of dI / dE approaches the slope of a line tangent to the curve at a specific point. The slope of this line represents the theoretical transconductance of a bipolar transistor for a given base voltage and collector current, or the theoretical transconductance of an FET for a given gate voltage and drain current.

Conductance is an expression of the ease with which electric current flows through a substance. In equations, conductance is symbolized by the uppercase letter G. The standard unit of conductance is the siemens (abbreviated S), formerly known as the mho. When a current of one ampere (1 A) passes through a component across which a voltage of one volt (1 V) exists, then the conductance of that component is 1 S. The siemens is, in fact, equivalent to one ampere per volt. If G is the conductance of a component (in siemens), I is the current through the component (in amperes), and E is the voltage across the component (in volts), then:

G = I/E

In general, when the applied voltage is held constant, the current in a direct-current (DC) circuit is directly proportional to the conductance. If the conductance is doubled, the current is also doubled; if the conductance is cut to 1/10 its initial value, the current also becomes 1/10 as great. This rule also holds for most low-frequency alternating-current (AC) systems, such as household utility circuits. In some AC circuits, especially at high frequencies, the situation is more complex, because some components in these systems store and release energy, as well as dissipating or converting it.

Conductance is inversely related to resistance. If R is the resistance of a component or device (in ohms), then the conductance G (in siemens) is given by:

G = 1/R

Careful die handling is paramount to maintain overall quality and good die yields from the wafer once it has been sawn. Due to the delicate nature of the product (particularly on the active side of the die), using a Pick and Place machine allows us to apply the absolute minimum contact and relative force required to remove die from the foil ring frame after saw. Although there are circumstances where a degree of manual removal is necessary it is always preferable to opt for an automated process by using a Pick & Place machine as the possibility mechanical damage to the die is greatly reduced Pick Place automation is also necessary to deal with high volumes and enables us to offer fast output turn-arounds which are simply not possible otherwise. A good example to use would be a small transistor, even our most dextrous and experienced clean room operative could not hope to manually remove 1,750 die in an hour! Lastly, the use of an automatic Pick and place machine also enables us to guarantee 100% die orientation, this ensures complete compatibility with end customer equipment where once again high-speed production is required. 

Pick & Place -
The sawn wafer remains on the ring frame and is fixed to a plate in the center of the Pick Place machine.  The foil supporting the sawn wafer is now stretched to increase the space between each die. The operator manually adjusts the X & Y co-ordinates to center on a die by viewing it on a magnified screen.  The actual die are removed from the foil through the use of single or multiple ejector pins which push up from under the foil and release the die by applying pressure to the backside.  To collect the raised die, a vacuum powered mechanical arm sweeps across, picks up the die and releases it into the appropriate carrier. Although the Pick & Place machine requires expert calibration to set-up, once this is done an operator can systematically remove the die one by one from the foil and deposit them into their chosen output carrier very quickly.     

A three-terminal silicon device that functions as two SCRs configured in an inverse, parallel arrangement, providing a means of providing load current during both halves of the AC supply voltage. A TRIAC is generally used for motor speed control. Since load current (armature current) flows during both halves of the applied AC voltage, the motor rotates smoothly at all rotational speeds.     

The phenomenon of transferring electrons from one non-conductive material to another when friction is produced between them. See ELECTROSTATIC CHARGE.     

A mechanical structure with rotatable blades mounted onto its assembly and mechanically coupled to an electrical generator. When a turbine is placed in the path of flowing water, steam, or moving air, the movement of the water, steam, or air across the blades causes them to turn. The generator's armature rotates within a magnetic field which produces electrical energy at the terminals of the generator. See ELECTRICAL GENERATOR.  

A wire bonding operation carried out from the die up to the package post.  

A semiconductor diode that acts as a variable capacitor whose value changes inversely to reverse bias voltage.     

Resistor whose resistance can be changed by turning a shaft. See also "potentiometer and rheostat.     

A metal (zinc) oxide over-voltage protective device. See METAL OXIDE ELEMENT.     

A small hole formed through the wafer or Printed Circuit Board and metallized, causing electrical connection to be made from the front (the side on which the circuitry is formed) to the backside of the wafer, substrate, or Printed Circuit Board.     

Is understood to be separation between two elements that is clearly visible at 100x magnification.     

Any region where bare semiconductor material or passivation is visible within the design areas of the metallization     

The unit of measurement of electromotive force necessary to produce one ampere of current in a circuit having a total resistance of one ohm. The volt is named for Alessandro Volta, an 18th century Italian physicist    

The electromotive force that exists across a voltage source (supply voltage) or a load in a circuit. Its unit of measurement is a volt. See ELECTROMOTIVE FORCE.     

A fast-acting, over-voltage protective device that can absorb or short a voltage to ground when the voltage is in excess of the device's rated value. 

A disk of semiconductor material that forms the base on which a number of integrated circuits are built. Typical 4, 6, 8, or 12 inches in diameter and between .010 & .030 thick     

The unit of measurement for electrical power, named after James Watt, an 18th century Scottish engineer. One watt of power is dissipated when a voltage of one volt is applied across a load of one ohm resulting in one ampere of current in the circuit. See POWER.     

The physical distance between the beginning and the end of a cycle in a periodic wave (sine wave or square wave) as it travels through space or through a conductor. Wavelength is measured in meters (or in Ångstrom units) and is designated with the Greek letter lambda (l).     

The use of tiny wires that are soldered to the bare die on one end and to metal leads of the chip package on the other. Before the advent of flip chips and solder ball techniques, wire bonding was the traditional interconnection method to and from the chip.  

A semiconductor diode with the unique characteristic of providing a predictable value of voltage breakdown (called zener voltage) when in its reverse biased mode. At the breakdown mode, it exhibits a very sharp break from its nonconducting state into its breakdown state, maintaining a constant value of reverse voltage across it. The zener diode operates as a voltage regulator, voltage reference, and excess voltage circuit protection device.