Browse Definitions :
Definition

transistor

Contributor(s): Patrick O'Malley

A transistor is a device that regulates current or voltage flow and acts as a switch or gate for electronic signals. Transistors consist of three layers of a semiconductor material, each capable of carrying a current.

The transistor was invented by three scientists at the Bell Laboratories in 1947, and it rapidly replaced the vacuum tube as an electronic signal regulator. A transistor regulates current or voltage flow and acts as a switch or gate for electronic signals. A transistor consists of three layers of a semiconductor material, each capable of carrying a current. A semiconductor is a material such as germanium and silicon that conducts electricity in a "semi-enthusiastic" way. It's somewhere between a real conductor such as copper and an insulator (like the plastic wrapped around wires).

The semiconductor material is given special properties by a chemical process called doping. The doping results in a material that either adds extra electrons to the material (which is then called N-type for the extra negative charge carriers) or creates "holes" in the material's crystal structure (which is then called P-type because it results in more positive charge carriers). The transistor's three-layer structure contains an N-type semiconductor layer sandwiched between P-type layers (a PNP configuration) or a P-type layer between N-type layers (an NPN configuration).

A small change in the current or voltage at the inner semiconductor layer (which acts as the control electrode) produces a large, rapid change in the current passing through the entire component. The component can thus act as a switch, opening and closing an electronic gate many times per second. Today's computers use circuitry made with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. CMOS uses two complementary transistors per gate (one with N-type material; the other with P-type material). When one transistor is maintaining a logic state, it requires almost no power.

Transistors are the basic elements in integrated circuits (IC), which consist of very large numbers of transistors interconnected with circuitry and baked into a single silicon microchip.

This was last updated in October 2015

Continue Reading About transistor

Join the conversation

5 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

It's helpful but I need more information about NPN and PNP transistors.
Cancel
Oh ! my god ,is this website even real or a futuristic projection which i have somehow accessed due to time-warp ?..
With such a surreal comprehension and lucidity ,you simply nailed it...Kudos to your efforts..
Cancel
I wish my silly professor explained it like this.
Cancel
Many thanks!
Cancel

Definition: The transistor is a semiconductor device which transfers a weak signal from low resistance circuit to high resistance circuit. The words trans mean transfer property and istor mean resistance property offered to the junctions. In other words, it is a switching device which regulates and amplify the electrical signal likes voltage or current.

The transistor consists two PN diode connected back to back. It has three terminals namely emitter, base and collector. The base is the middle section which is made up of thin layers. The right part of the diode is called emitter diode and the left part is called collector-base diode. These names are given as per the common terminal of the transistor. The emitter based junction of the transistor is connected to forward biased and the collector-base junction is connected in reverse bias which offers a high resistance.


Cancel

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

  • tokenization

    Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols that retain all the essential ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)

    The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is United States legislation that defines a framework of guidelines and ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

Close