Electronic component: Wikis


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Various components


An electronic component is a basic electronic element usually packaged in a discrete form with two or more connecting leads or metallic pads. Components are intended to be connected together, usually by soldering to a printed circuit board, to create an electronic circuit with a particular function (for example an amplifier, radio receiver, or oscillator). Components may be packaged singly (resistor, capacitor, transistor, diode etc.) or in more or less complex groups as integrated circuits (operational amplifier, resistor array, logic gate etc.)


Very often electronic components are mechanically stabilized, improved in insulation properties and protected from environmental influence by being enclosed in synthetic resin

Components may be passive or active:


Terminals and connectors

Devices to make electrical connection


Cables with connectors or terminals at their ends


Components that may be made to either conduct (closed) or not (open)


Components used to resist current.

  1. See the Transducer section below for resistors used to sense environmental conditions (Thermistor, Photo resistor, RTD...)
  2. See the Protection section below for resistors used for current or voltage limiting (MOV, Inrush Limiters...)

Protection devices

Passive components that protect circuits from excessive currents or voltages

  1. While these components technically belong to the Wire, Resistor and Vacuum classes, they are grouped here based on their use.
  2. Active components that perform a protection function are in the Semiconductor class, below.


Components that store electrical charge in an electrical field. Capacitors are used for filtration in the electronic circuits. Capacitors in general pass changing (e.g. AC) and block unchanging (e.g. DC) voltage levels.

Magnetic (inductive) devices

Electrical components that use magnetism


Components that use more than one type of passive component

Piezoelectric devices, crystals, resonators

Passive components that use piezoelectric effect

  • Components that use the effect to generate or filter high frequencies
    • Crystal - Is a ceramic crystal used to generate precise frequencies (See the Modules class below for complete oscillators)
    • Ceramic resonator - Is a ceramic crystal used to generate semi-precise frequencies
    • Ceramic filter - Is a ceramic crystal used to filter a band of frequencies such as in radio receivers
    • Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filters
  • Components that use the effect as mechanical Transducers.

Power sources

Sources of electrical power

Transducers, sensors, detectors

  1. Transducers generate physical effects when driven by an electrical signal, or vice-versa.
  2. Sensors (detectors) are transducers that react to environmental conditions by changing their electrical properties or generating an electrical signal.
  3. The Transducers listed here are single electronic components (as opposed to complete assemblies), and are passive (see Semiconductors and Tubes for active ones). Only the most common ones are listed here.
  • Audio (see also Piezoelectric devices)

Solid State components, Semiconductors

Electronic control components with no moving parts. Active components


A device which conducts electricity in only one direction.


Integrated circuits

Hybrid Circuits

Display technologies



Thermionic Valve, Vacuum Tube

Active devices that operate in vacuum



Discharge devices


Assemblies, modules

Multiple electronic components assembled in a device that is in itself used as a component

Prototyping aids

Mechanical accessories



Standard abbreviations

Component name abbreviations widely used in industry:

  • AE: aerial, antenna
  • B: battery
  • BR: bridge rectifier
  • C: capacitor
  • CRT:cathode ray tube
  • D or CR: diode
  • DSP:digital signal processor
  • F: fuse
  • FET:field effect transistor
  • GDT: gas discharge tube
  • IC: integrated circuit
  • J: wire link ("jumper")
  • JFET: junction gate field-effect transistor
  • L: inductor
  • LCD:Liquid crystal display
  • LDR: light dependent resistor
  • LED: light emitting diode
  • LS: speaker
  • M: motor
  • MCB: circuit breaker
  • Mic: microphone
  • MOSFET:Metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor
  • Ne: neon lamp
  • OP: Operational Amplifier
  • PCB: printed circuit board
  • PU: pickup
  • Q: transistor
  • R: resistor
  • RLA: RY: relay
  • SCR: silicon controlled rectifier
  • SW: switch
  • T: transformer
  • TFT:thin film transistor(display)
  • TH: thermistor
  • TP: test point
  • Tr: transistor
  • U: integrated circuit
  • V: valve (tube)
  • VC: variable capacitor
  • VFD: vacuum fluorescent display
  • VLSI:very large scale integration
  • VR: variable resistor
  • X: crystal, ceramic resonator
  • XMER: transformer
  • XTAL: crystal
  • Z or ZD: Zener diode

See also


  1. ^ Young EC, The Penguin Dictionary of Electronics, Penguin Books, 1988

Simple English

An electronic component is a basic electronic element. These components can be connected together. Components can be single items (resistor, transistor) or in more or less complex groups as integrated circuits (logic gate, resistor array).


List of electronic cable and connectors


A thin metal conductor


A flexible conducting electrical or optical link.

  • cable connector: connector at either end of a cable.
  • cable matcher: an impedance matching device that allows non-standard cable to be used with a particular device.
  • cable modem: a device that links a computer to the Internet using an existing cable television line. This system gives high speed access to the Internet by sharing the coaxila cable that is used to distribute cable television signal.
  • cable plant = all the cables, connectors and patch panels within a building or office.
  • cable tester = test equipment used to find breaks or faults or cracks in cabling.
  • cabling = cable as a material.
  • co-axial cable = is the kind of cable used by cable TV companies between the community antenna and user homes and businesses. Coaxial cable is sometimes used by telephone companies from their central office to the telephone poles near users. It is also widely installed for use in business and corporation Ethernet and other types of local area network. Coaxial cable is called coaxial because it includes one physical channel that carries the signal surrounded by another concentric physical channel, both running along the same axis. The outer channel serves as a ground. Many of these cables or pairs of coaxial tubes can be placed in a single outer sheathing and, with repeaters, can carry information for a great distance. Coaxial cable was invented in 1929 and first used commercially in 1941. AT&T established its first cross-continental coaxial transmission system in 1940. Depending on the carrier technology used and other factors, twisted pair copper wire and optical fiber are alternatives to coaxial cable.
  • ribbon cable = A flat, thin cable containing many parallel wires. Because of their shape, ribbon cables are ideal for situations where space needs to be conserved. They're used, for example, within a computer chassis to connect disk drives to the disk drive controllers.
  • type cable = a specification for cable defined by IBM.


A device usually made up of a display unit and a keyboard which allows entry and display of information when on-line to central computer system.

  • intelligent terminal, smart terminal = a computer terminal which contain a CPU and memory, allowing basic data processing to be carried out, usually with the facility to allow the user to program it independently of the host computer.
  • terminal adapter = a device that connects a computer to a digital communications line;e.g., to link a PC to an ISDN line. A terminal adapter transfers digital signals from the computer to the lin, whereas a modem is used to connect s computer to an analogue communications line, such as a telephone line, and needs to convert digital signals to and from an anologue form.
  • terminal area = part of a printed circuit board at which edge connectors can be connected.
  • terminal controller = a hardware device or IC which controls a terminal including data communications and display.
  • terminal identity = a unique code transmitted by a view data terminal to provide identification and authorisation of a user.
  • terminal interface = a hardware and software combination demand to control the function of a terminal from the computer.


A physical device with a number of metal contacts that allow devices to be easily linked together.

  • connector plug = a device at the end of a fibre-optic or copper cable that receives and contains something.


A mechanical or hard state device that can electrically connect or isolate two or more lines.

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