Browse Definitions:
Definition

bipolar transistor

See also field-effect transistor (field-effect transistor) and transistor.

A bipolar transistor is a semiconductor device commonly used for amplification. The device can amplify analog or digital signals. It can also switch DC or function as an oscillator. Physically, a bipolar transistor amplifies current, but it can be connected in circuits designed to amplify voltage or power.

There are two major types of bipolar transistor, called PNP and NPN. A PNP transistor has a layer of N-type semiconductor between two layers of P-type material. An NPN transistor has a layer of P-type material between two layers of N-type material. In P-type material, electric charges are carried mainly in the form of electron deficiencies called holes. In N-type material, the charge carriers are primarily electrons.

The bipolar transistor has advantages and disadvantages relative to the field-effect transistor (field-effect transistor). Bipolar devices can switch signals at high speeds, and can be manufactured to handle large currents so that they can serve as high-power amplifiers in audio equipment and in wireless transmitters. Bipolar devices are not especially effective for weak-signal amplification, or for applications requiring high circuit impedance.

Bipolar transistors are fabricated onto silicon integrated circuit (IC) chip. A single IC can contain many thousands of bipolar transistors, along with other components such as resistors, capacitors, and diodes.

This was last updated in April 2005

Continue Reading About bipolar transistor

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

When does a bipolar transistor act as a closed switch?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

  • supercookie

    A supercookie is a type of tracking cookie inserted into an HTTP header by an internet service provider to collect data about a ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close