What is saturation? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Electronics glossary:

Saturation is the fully conducting state in a semiconductor junction. The term is used especially in applications involving diodes and bipolar transistor s.

As the forward bias in a semiconductor P-N junction increases, the current through the junction also increases, up to a certain point. When the bias is increased beyond that point (called the saturation point), no further increase in the current occurs. A bipolar transistor becomes saturated when the base-emitter current reaches a maximum under conditions of changing bias. In the characteristic curve (current versus forward bias) of an amplifying or switching device, saturation is indicated by a leveling off of the curve as the forward bias increases.

In a ferromagnetic substance such as laminated or powdered iron, saturation is a condition in which an increase in magnetizing force fails to produce an increase in the magnetic flux density. When the magnetizing force is small, the flux density increases as the magnetizing force increases. But there is a limit to the flux density that can be obtained in a ferromagnetic material. When this limit is reached, the material is said to be at its saturation point. Magnetic saturation is usually undesirable in electronic circuits that use iron-core inductors or transformers.

This was last updated in September 2005
Contributor(s): umashankar
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Faraday constant

    - Faraday's constant, symbolized by the italic uppercase letter F, is the physical constant representing the electric charge in a mole. The unit is named for Michael Faraday, an early 19th century in... (WhatIs.com)

  • farad (F)

    - The farad is the standard international unit of capacitance. Both the farad and Faraday's constant are symbolized by the capital letter F; however they are different. Faraday's constant is a measur... (WhatIs.com)

  • ARM processor

    - An ARM processor is any of several 32-bit RISC (reduced instruction set computer) microprocessors developed by Advanced RISC Machines, Ltd. The ARM architecture was originally developed by Acorn Co... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Electronics

    - Terms related to electronics, including definitions about electrical components and words and phrases about computers, laptops parts, digital cameras, televisions and home appliances.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.