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Electronic Devices - Articles / Technical Papers

We have put together articles to help you learn about the many different types of Electronic Devices.
We go over everything from basic electronics to printed circuit boards and more! Please select from the Electronics Index!


|ARTICLES/TECHNICAL PAPERS|ACTIVE & PASSIVE COMPONENTS|ANALOG SWITCHES |BARE DIE | BASIC ELECTRONICS |
|BATTERIES| |CAPACITORS | DIELECTRIC |DIODES | ELECTRONIC DEVICES| GLOSSARY OF TERMS | INDUCTORS | MEMS OSCILLATORS |
|MICROELECTRONICS | OPTOELECTRONICS | PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS | QUARTZ CRYSTALS | RELAYS | RESISTORS |
SEMICONDUCTORS | THYRISTORS | TRANSDUCERS |TRANSISTORS | WAFER DICING |

 

ARTICLES / TECHNICAL PAPERS

The Secret Of Buying Bare Die Like A Veteran
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Why Use Bare Die - The Focus Is On Miniaturization
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Design Engineers! 5 Benefits Of Using Bare Die
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Don’t Resist The Resistor…They Deserve More Respect!
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High Temp/Downhole Applications Require Specialized Components
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Can Supercapacitors Surpass Batteries For Energy Storage?
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Tell Me! Using Bare Die Improves What?
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Batteries Versus Supercapacitors
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Design Engineers! One Reason To Use Bare Die!
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The Secret Of Specifying And Obtaining The Correct Bare Die To Build Hybrid Microcircuits
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Supercapacitor Basics
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Implanted Medical Devices - A Huge Industry!
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The Truth! Innovation Is Going On With Passive Components!
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The Shrinking World Of Electronics
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Why Are Silicon Wafers Round, Instead Of Rectangular?
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Top 5 Reasons To Use Ultracapacitors In Your Design
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Scientists Find New Semiconductor Materials Capable Of Surpassing Silicon and Stalling Moore’s Law
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Design Engineers! 8 Benefits Of Die Stacking!
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What’s Inside A Microchip?
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Know Your Electronic Components? Take The Quiz!
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Worlds Most Functional And Flexible Transistor Created!
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Liquid Transistors Show That Liquid Metal Electronics Are Possible and Practical
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Introducing A Transistor That Can Switch Between Two Energy States
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How These Power Transistors Will Allow Electronic Devices To Function For Years Without A Battery
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Capacitors That Can Take The Heat!
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The 5 Next Trends In Electronics
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This Is What A Stretchy Circuit Looks Like!
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Major Changes Impact Ceramic Caps
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Electronic Reliability In Space - Including Today’s Risks And How To Mitigate Them
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ELECTRONIC DEVICES

Definition
Electronic devices are components for controlling the flow of electrical currents for the purpose of information processing and system control. Prominent examples include transistors and diodes. Electronic devices are usually small and can be grouped together into packages called integrated circuits.

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ACTIVE & PASSIVE COMPONENTS

Active & Passive Components - What Is The Difference Between The Two?
Active and passive components consist of two types of electronic circuit elements. An active component delivers energy to an electric circuit, and has the ability to electrically control the flow of charge. A passive component can only receive energy, which it can either dissipate or absorb.
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ANALOG SWITCHES

Just what Does An Analog Switch Do?
The analogue (or analog) switch, also called the bilateral switch, is an electronic component that behaves in a similar way to a relay, but has no moving parts. The switching element is normally a pair of MOSFET transistors, one an N-channel device, the other a P-channel device.
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basic electronics

Integrated Circuits - What Are They?
An integrated circuit (IC), sometimes called a chip or microchip, is a semiconductor wafer on which thousands or millions of tiny resistors, capacitors, and transistors are fabricated.
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Schottky Diode - What Is It?
The Schottky diode (named after the German physicist Walter H. Schottky), also known as Schottky barrier diode or hot-carrier diode, is a semiconductor diode formed by the junction of a semiconductor with a metal. It has a low forward voltage drop and a very fast switching action. The cat's-whisker detectors used in the early days of wireless and metal rectifiers used in early power applications can be considered primitive Schottky diodes.
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BARE DIE

What Is Bare Die?
What is Bare Die? Where is it used? What are the benefits of using Bare Die? These are questions that many design engineers and buyers ask. Unless you have been doing this for a good number of years you will quickly find out that there is a lot more involved than just searching for a Part# on the Internet.
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BATTERIES

Battery Types - Primary (Non-Rechargeable)
Alkaline battery (zinc manganese oxide, carbon)

Battery Types - Secondary (Rechargeable)
Aluminium-ion battery

Battery Applications
Automotive battery

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CAPACITORS

What Are Capacitors?
In really simple terms, a capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy electrostatically in an electric field. A capacitor holds a charge, similar to how a bucket holds water
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Tantalum Capacitors - What Are They?
A tantalum electrolytic capacitor is an electrolytic capacitor, a passive component of electronic circuits. It consists of a pellet of tantalum metal as an anode, covered by an insulating oxide layer that forms the dielectric, surrounded by liquid or solid electrolyte as a cathode.
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Common Capacitors and Their Names
Capacitors are divided into two mechanical groups: Fixed capacitors with fixed capacitance values and variable capacitors with variable (trimmer) or adjustable (tunable) capacitance values.
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What Are Ceramic Capacitors?
A ceramic capacitor is a non-polarized fixed capacitor made out of two or more alternating layers of ceramic and metal in which the ceramic material acts as the dielectric and the metal acts as the electrodes.
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What Are Film Capaciotrs?
Film capacitors or plastic film capacitors are non-polarized capacitors with an insulating plastic film as the dielectric. The dielectric films are drawn to a thin layer, provided with metallic electrodes and wound into a cylindrical winding.
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What Are Power Film Capacitors?
A related type is the power film capacitor. The materials and construction techniques used for large power film capacitors mostly are similar to those of ordinary film capacitors.
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What Are Electrolytic Capacitors?
Electrolytic capacitors have a metallic anode covered with an oxidized layer used as dielectric. The second electrode is a non-solid (wet) or solid electrolyte. Electrolytic capacitors are polarized. Three families are available, categorized according to their dielectric.
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What Are Supercapacitors?
Supercapacitors (SC) comprise a family of electrochemical capacitors. Supercapacitor, sometimes called ultracapacitor is a generic term for electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC), pseudocapacitors and hybrid capacitors.
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What Are Variable Capacitors?
Variable capacitors may have their capacitance changed by mechanical motion. Generally two versions of variable capacitors has to be to distinguished.
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SEMICONDUCTORS

Semiconductors - What Are They?
A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a conductor, such as metallic copper, and an insulator, such as glass. Its resistance decreases as its temperature increases, which is behavior opposite to that of a metal. Its conducting properties may be altered in useful ways by the deliberate, controlled introduction of impurities ("doping") into the crystal structure.
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What Is A Hybrid Integrated Circuit?
A hybrid integrated circuit, HIC, hybrid microcircuit, or simply hybrid is a miniaturized electronic circuit constructed of individual devices, such as semiconductor devices (e.g. transistors and diodes) and passive components (e.g. resistors, inductors, and capacitors), bonded to a substrate or printed circuit board (PCB).
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DIELECTRIC

What Is A Dielectric?
A dielectric (or dielectric material) is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field.
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diodes

Power Diodes - What Are They?
Diodes are the simplest semiconductor device having only two layers, two terminals and one junction.
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Avalanche Diodes - What Do These Do?
These are diodes that conduct in the reverse direction when the reverse bias voltage exceeds the breakdown voltage.
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Constant Current Diodes - What Are These?
These are actually JFETs with the gate shorted to the source, and function like a two-terminal current-limiting analog to the voltage-limiting Zener diode.
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Crystal Rectifiers Or Crystal Diodes - What Are They?
These are point-contact diodes. The 1N21 series and others are used in mixer and detector applications in radar and microwave receivers. The 1N34A is another example of a crystal diode.

Tunnel Diodes - What Do These Do?
These have a region of operation showing negative resistance caused by quantum tunneling, allowing amplification of signals and very simple bistable circuits.

Gunn Diodes - What Are These?
These are similar to tunnel diodes in that they are made of materials such as GaAs or InP that exhibit a region of negative differential resistance. With appropriate biasing, dipole domains form and travel across the diode, allowing high frequency microwave oscillators to be built.

Light-Emitting Diodes(LEDS) - What Do They Do?
In a diode formed from a direct band-gap semiconductor, such as gallium arsenide, charge carriers that cross the junction emit photons when they recombine with the majority carrier on the other side.
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Laser Diodes - What Are They?
When an LED-like structure is contained in a resonant cavity formed by polishing the parallel end faces, a laser can be formed. Laser diodes are commonly used in optical storage devices and for high speed optical communication.

Thermal Diodes - What Do They Do?
This term is used both for conventional p–n diodes used to monitor temperature because of their varying forward voltage with temperature, and for Peltier heat pumps for thermoelectric heating and cooling. Peltier heat pumps may be made from semiconductor, though they do not have any rectifying junctions, they use the differing behaviour of charge carriers in N and P type semiconductor to move heat.

PhotoDiodes - What Do They Do?
All semiconductors are subject to optical charge carrier generation. This is typically an undesired effect, so most semiconductors are packaged in light blocking material. Photodiodes are intended to sense light(photodetector), so they are packaged in materials that allow light to pass, and are usually PIN (the kind of diode most sensitive to light). A photodiode can be used in solar cells, in photometry, or in optical communications. Multiple photodiodes may be packaged in a single device, either as a linear array or as a two-dimensional array. These arrays should not be confused with charge-coupled devices.

PIN Diodes - What Are These?
A PIN diode has a central un-doped, or intrinsic, layer, forming a p-type/intrinsic/n-type structure. They are used as radio frequency switches and attenuators. They are also used as large-volume, ionizing-radiation detectors and as photodetectors. PIN diodes are also used in power electronics, as their central layer can withstand high voltages. Furthermore, the PIN structure can be found in many power semiconductor devices, such as IGBTs, power MOSFETs, and thyristors.

Super Barrier Diodes - What Do They DO?
Super barrier diodes are rectifier diodes that incorporate the low forward voltage drop of the Schottky diode with the surge-handling capability and low reverse leakage current of a normal p–n junction diode.

Gold-Doped Diodes - These Do What?
As a dopant, gold (or platinum) acts as recombination centers, which helps a fast recombination of minority carriers. This allows the diode to operate at signal frequencies, at the expense of a higher forward voltage drop. Gold-doped diodes are faster than other p–n diodes (but not as fast as Schottky diodes). They also have less reverse-current leakage than Schottky diodes (but not as good as other p–n diodes). A typical example is the 1N914.

Snap-Off Or Step Recovery Diodes - What Are These?
The term step recovery relates to the form of the reverse recovery characteristic of these devices. After a forward current has been passing in an SRD and the current is interrupted or reversed, the reverse conduction will cease very abruptly (as in a step waveform). SRDs can, therefore, provide very fast voltage transitions by the very sudden disappearance of the charge carriers.

Stabistors Or Forward Reference Diodes - What Do These Do?
The term stabistor refers to a special type of diodes featuring extremely stable forward voltage characteristics. These devices are specially designed for low-voltage stabilization applications requiring a guaranteed voltage over a wide current range and highly stable over temperature.

Transient Voltage Suppression Diodes - They Do What?
These are avalanche diodes designed specifically to protect other semiconductor devices from high-voltage transients. Their p–n junctions have a much larger cross-sectional area than those of a normal diode, allowing them to conduct large currents to ground without sustaining damage.

Varicap Or Veractor Diodes - What Are These?
These are used as voltage-controlled capacitors. These are important in PLL (phase-locked loop) and FLL (frequency-locked loop) circuits, allowing tuning circuits, such as those in television receivers, to lock quickly on to the frequency. They also enabled tunable oscillators in early discrete tuning of radios, where a cheap and stable, but fixed-frequency, crystal oscillator provided the reference frequency for a voltage-controlled oscillator.

Zener Diodes - What Do These Do?
These can be made to conduct in reverse bias (backward), and are correctly termed reverse breakdown diodes.
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INDUCTORS

What Do Inductors Do?
An inductor, also called a coil, choke, or reactor, is a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores energy in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it.
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MEMS OSCILLATORS

MEMS Oscillators - MicroElectroMechanical System Oscillators Used As Timing Devices
Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) oscillators are timing devices that generate highly stable reference frequencies, which can measure time. These reference frequencies may be used to sequence electronic systems, manage data transfer, define radio frequencies, and measure elapsed time.
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MICROELECTRONICS

What Is Microelectronics?
Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics. As the name suggests, microelectronics relates to the study and manufacture (or microfabrication) of very small electronic designs and components. Usually, but not always, this means micrometre-scale or smaller.
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OPTOELECTRONICS

Tell Me - What Are Optoelectronics?
Optoelectronics (or optronics) is the study and application of electronic devices and systems that source, detect and control light, usually considered a sub-field of photonics.
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PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS

What Is A Printed Circuit Board (PCB)?
A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate.
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PCB Overview
A basic PCB consists of a flat sheet of insulating material and a layer of copper foil, laminated to the substrate. Chemical etching divides the copper into separate conducting lines called tracks or circuit traces, pads for connections, vias to pass connections between layers of copper, and features such as solid conductive areas for EM shielding or other purposes.
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QUARTZ CRYSTALS

Quartz Crystals - Used As Resonators In ELectronic Circuits
Quartz crystals have several applications in the electronics industry. However, they are mostly used as resonators in electronic circuits.
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resistors

What Are Resistors?
The resistor is the most common and well-known of the passive electrical components. A resistor resists or limits the flow of electric current in a circuit. There are many uses for resistors: they are used to drop voltage, limit current, attenuate signals, act as heaters, act as fuses, furnish electrical loads and divide voltages.
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What Are Carbon Composition Resistors?
Carbon composition resistors (CCR) consist of a solid cylindrical resistive element with embedded wire leads or metal end caps to which the lead wires are attached.
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What Are Carbon Pile Resistors?
A carbon pile resistor is made of a stack of carbon disks compressed between two metal contact plates.Adjusting the clamping pressure changes the resistance between the plates.
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What Is A Carbon Film Resistor?
A carbon film is deposited on an insulating substrate, and a helix is cut in it to create a long, narrow resistive path. Varying shapes, coupled with the resistivity of amorphous carbon (ranging from 500 to 800 μΩ m), can provide a wide range of resistance values.
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What Are Thick and Thin Film Resistors?
Thick film resistors became popular during the 1970s, and most SMD (surface mount device) resistors today are of this type. The resistive element of thick films is 1000 times thicker than thin films,
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What Are Metal Film Resistors?
A common type of axial-leaded resistor today is the metal-film resistor. Metal Electrode Leadless Face (MELF) resistors often use the same technology.
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What Are Wire Wound Resistors?
Wirewound resistors are commonly made by winding a metal wire, usually nichrome, around a ceramic, plastic, or fiberglass core. The ends of the wire are soldered or welded to two caps or rings, attached to the ends of the core.
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What Are Foil Resistors?
In 1960 Felix Zandman and Sidney J. Stein presented a development of resistor film of very high stability.
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What Are Grid Resistors?
In heavy-duty industrial high-current applications, a grid resistor is a large convection-cooled lattice of stamped metal alloy strips connected in rows between two electrodes.
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What Are Potentiometers?
A potentiometer (colloquially, pot) is a three-terminal resistor with a continuously adjustable tapping point controlled by rotation of a shaft or knob or by a linear slider.
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What Are Resistance Decade Boxes?
A resistance decade box or resistor substitution box is a unit containing resistors of many values, with one or more mechanical switches which allow any one of various discrete resistances offered by the box to be dialed in.
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What Are Braking Resistors?
In general, resistors consume heat. By doing this, they can be used to stop or slow down a mechanical system. This type of resistor is called a dynamic braking resistor and the process is called dynamic braking.
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Why Do I Need A Shunt Resistor?
It's all about energy and how to measure the flow of electric current. How much money can I save? But first, let's talk a bit about just what a Shunt Resistor is and what does it have to do with measuring the flow of electric current.
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RELAYS

What Is A Relay?
A relay is an electrically operated switch. It consists of a set of input terminals for a single or multiple control signals, and a set of operating contact terminals. The switch may have any number of contacts in multiple contact forms, such as make contacts, break contacts, or combinations thereof.
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THYRISTORS

What Are Thyristors?
A thyristor (/θaɪˈrɪstər/) is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating P- and N-type materials. It acts exclusively as a bistable switch, conducting when the gate receives a current trigger, and continuing to conduct until the voltage across the device is reversed biased, or until the voltage is removed (by some other means).
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TRANSDUCERS

What Are Transducers?
A transducer is a device that converts energy from one form to another. Usually a transducer converts a signal in one form of energy to a signal in another.
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TRANSISTORS

Transistors - What Do They Do?
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is composed of semiconductor material usually with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit.
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Transistors - What Are The Advantages Of Using Them?
The key advantages that have allowed transistors to replace vacuum tubes in most applications are:
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Transistors - Are There Limitations To Using These Devices?
Transistors do have some limitations.
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Bipolat Junction Transistor(BJT) - What Is it?
Bipolar transistors are so named because they conduct by using both majority and minority carriers. The bipolar junction transistor, the first type of transistor to be mass-produced, is a combination of two junction diodes, and is formed of either a thin layer of p-type semiconductor sandwiched between two n-type semiconductors (an n–p–n transistor), or a thin layer of n-type semiconductor sandwiched between two p-type semiconductors (a p–n–p transistor).
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Field-Effect Transistors(FET) - What Are These?
The field-effect transistor, sometimes called a unipolar transistor, uses either electrons (in n-channel FET) or holes (in p-channel FET) for conduction. The four terminals of the FET are named source, gate, drain, and body (substrate).
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Metal-Oxide Silicon Transistor(MOSFET) - What Does This Transistor Do?
The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor(MOS), is a type of field-effect transistor (FET) that is fabricated by the controlled oxidation of silicon. It has an insulated gate, whose voltage determines the conductivity of the device.
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Can A Transistor Be Used As A Switch?
Transistors are commonly used in digital circuits as electronic switches which can be either in an "on" or "off" state, both for high-power applications such as switched-mode power supplies and for low-power applications such as logic gates.
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Can A Transistor Be NA Amplifier?
The common-emitter amplifier is designed so that a small change in voltage (Vin) changes the small current through the base of the transistor; the transistor's current amplification combined with the properties of the circuit means that small swings in Vin produce large changes in Vout. Various configurations of single transistor amplifier are possible, with some providing current gain, some voltage gain, and some both.
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Ultra-Thin Transistors - Something New
Technology breakthrough yields ultra-thin transistors. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology developed ultra-thin transistors, with novel insulators, from 2D materials.
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LDMOS - Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Transistor
These transistors are used in microwave/RF power amplifiers. These transistors are often fabricated on p/p+ silicon epitaxial layers.
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WAFER DICING

Wafer Dicing - How Bare Die Is Separated From A Wafer
Wafer dicing is the process by which die are separated from a wafer of semiconductor following the processing of the wafer. The dicing process can be accomplished by scribing and breaking, by mechanical sawing (normally with a machine called a dicing saw) or by laser cutting.
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Glossary of Electronic & Electrical Terms

ACTIVE CIRCUIT AREA
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.     

AC TEST
Measurement of dynamic or switching electrical parameters

 AIR (COUPLING) BRIDGE
A raised layer of metallization used for interconnection that is isolated from the die surface by only air.     

ALGORITHM
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.

ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC)
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.     

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

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

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

AMPERE
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.

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

AMPLIFIER
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.     

ANODE
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)     

ANALOG VOLTAGE
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.     

ÅNGSTROM UNIT
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.    

ARMATURE
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.

AOI
Automated optical inspection

Ag
Silver

Al
Aluminum

Au
Gold

BARE DIE
IIndividual, unpackaged silicon integrated circuits.     

BALL GRID ARRAY (BGA)
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.     

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

BALL GRID ARRAY (BGA)
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.      

BASE
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.     

BETA
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).     

BIAS VOLTAGE
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.

BIPOLAR TRANSISTOR
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.     

BLOW TIME
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     

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

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

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

BULK METAL FOIL
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

CABLE
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      

CAPACITOR
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)     

 CATHODE
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     

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

 CLEAN ROOM
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.

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

 CIRCUIT
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.    

 CIRCUIT BREAKER
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.     

CMOS (COMPLEMENTARY MOSFET
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.      

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

COAXIAL CABLE
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

COIL
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.     

COLLECTOR
The output terminal of a bipolar transistor     

COMPLEMENTARY BIPOLAR TRANSISTORS
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.     

COMPONENT
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.     

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

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

CONFOCAL SCANNING ACOUSTIC MICROCOPY (CSAM)
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.

CURRENT
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) 

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

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

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

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

DIE ATTACH
Bonding of die to a substrate or package.     

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

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

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

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

DIFFUSION
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.

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

DIODE
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.     

DIGITAL VOLTAGE
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.

DIRECT CHIP ATTACH (DCA)
A name applied to any of the chip-to-substrate connections used to eliminate the first level of packaging: see also Chip-on-Board.     

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

DISCRETE SEMICONDUCTORS
(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.     

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

DRAIN
The output terminal of a JFET or MOSFET

ELECTRICAL GENERATOR
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.     

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

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

ELECTROMOTIVE FORCE (EMF)
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).     

ELECTRON
Considered to be the smallest unit of electrical charge.     

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

ELECTROSTATIC DISCHARGE (ESD)
A transfer of an electrostatic charge between a material with an excess of electrons and a material with a deficiency of electrons.     

EMITTER
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

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

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

EPITAXIAL GROWTH (EPI)
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.

FARAD
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.     

FILTER
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.      

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

FLIP-CHIP
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.

FOREIGN MATERIAL
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.     

FORWARD RECOVERY TIME
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.     

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

FULL-WAVE RECTIFIER
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.     

FUNCTIONAL CIRCUIT ELEMENTS
Diodes, transistors, capacitors, and resistors     

FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY
The lowest frequency of a complex AC waveshape represented by a single sine
wave.     

FUSE
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.     

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

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

GROUND
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.

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

HARMONICS
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.     

HEAT SINK
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.     

HENRY
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)     

HERMETIC SEAL
A gas tight seal.     

HERMETICALLY SEALED BULK METAL FOIL
Similar to Bulk Metal Foil but with the epoxy case replaced with a hermetically sealed enclosure.     

HERTZ (HZ)
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.     

HIGH-PASS
A filter which allows high frequencies to pass while blocking low frequencies    

HORSEPOWER (HP)
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.     

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

INFRARED DATA COMMUNICATION
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.    

IMPEDANCE
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.   

IMPURITY
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.   

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

INDUCTOR
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    

INSULATED GATE BIPOLAR TRANSISTOR (IGBT)
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.

INSULATOR
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    

INTEGRATED CIRCUIT (IC)
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.    

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

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

JFET (JUNCTION FIELD-EFFECT TRANSISTOR)
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. 

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

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

LASER
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.     

LEAD FRAME
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.   

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

LINEAR AMPLIFIER
See ANALOG AMPLIFIER (LINEAR)     

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

LINE VOLTAGE
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.     

LOAD
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.   

MAGNETICS
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.     

MAIN TERMINAL 1 AND MAIN TERMINAL 2
The output terminals of a TRIAC, alternately acting as an anode or a cathode as its AC supply voltage varies from positive to negative.     

METAL OXIDE ELEMENT
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.     

METALLIZATION
One or more layers of microcircuit metal conduction paths     

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

MOSFET (METAL-OXIDE SEMICONDUCTOR FIELD-EFFECT TRANSISTOR)
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.  

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

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

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

MULTICHIP MODULE (MCM)
A hybrid which contain at least two bare die.     

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

NECKDOWN
The narrowing of leads or wire.     

NONCONDUCTOR (INSULATOR)
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.  

OHM
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.     

OHM'S LAW
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.    

OPTOELECTRONIC COMPONENTS
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.     

ORIGINAL WIDTH
The width dimensions or distances that is intended by design.     

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

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

PACKAGE
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.     

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

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

PASSIVE COMPONENTS
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.     

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

PERIOD
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. 

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

PINCH-OFF VOLTAGE
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.    

PN JUNCTION
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).     

POWER
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.    

PROTECTED AREA
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.     

PULSATING DC VOLTAGE
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. 

Q-FACTOR
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. 

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

RETICLE
A uniform pattern of die on the same wafer.     

REFERENCE
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.     

RELIABILITY
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.     

RESISTANCE
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. 

SCR (SILICON CONTROLLED RECTIFIER)
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.     

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

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

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

SILICON CARBIDE
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.

SILICON CHIP
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.  

SINE WAVE
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.     

SKU
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.     

SLURRY
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.     

SQUARE WAVE
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.     

STABILITY
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.     

STEADY-STATE DC VOLTAGE
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.     

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

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

TAIL, WIRE
The free end of wire extending beyond the bond impression.     

TEMPERATURE COEFFICIENT (TC)
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.     

THROUGH HOLE METAL STRIP
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
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




TRAYING PICK & PLACE
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.     

TRIAC (TRIODE AC SWITCH)
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.     

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

TURBINE
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.  

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

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

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

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

VIA
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.     

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

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

VOLT
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    

VOLTAGE
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.     

VOLTAGE ARRESTOR
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. 

WAFER
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     

WATT
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.     

WAVELENGTH
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).     

WIRE BOND
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.  

ZENER
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.

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Source: Wikipedia