Major Electronic Components: An Overview

An electronic component is a basic discrete device in an electrical system used to design a circuit. Electronic components are generally grouped into three categories: basic electronic components, power sources, and test & measurement devices. This blog will cover each group and some of the components within each group.

Basic Electronic Components

Basic electronic components include capacitors, resistors, diodes, transistors, inductors, and more. A capacitor is a device made from two conductive plates with an insulator between them used to store electrical energy in the form of a field. Capacitors block the flow of DC signals and allow the flow of AC signals. They come in many different types and materials. A resistor is a two-terminal passive electronic component used to limit a current. They work on the principle of Ohm’s law, which states that voltage applied across the terminals of a resistor is directly proportional to the current flowing through it. Resistors can be further classified based on power rating, material, and resistance value. The two most common types of resistors are fixed and variable.

A diode is a device made from semiconductor material that allows current flow in one direction. They feature two terminals, one anode and one cathode. Diodes are most frequently used in converting circuits and come in many types such as PN diodes, Zener diodes, LEDs, photodiodes, and more. Transistors are three-terminal semiconductor devices used as a switching device and amplifier. In a transistor, the switching device can be either voltage or current controlled. Transistors come in two types: bipolar junction (BJT) and field-effect (FET). These devices are the most common electronic components, but not the only ones.

Power Sources

The two most common power sources used in circuits are DC power supplies and batteries. DC power suppliers are highly popular because of their consistency. In certain projects that require 5V or 12V, wall adapters can be used as an alternative to standard DC power supplies. Batteries are another type of electrical energy storage device. They are used to change energy from chemical to electrical and supply power to devices such as phones, flashlights, laptops, and so on. Batteries consist of one or more cells, each containing an anode, cathode, and electrolyte. They are available in many sizes as well as primary and secondary types. Primary types are usable until they discharge their power, while secondary types can be recharged and reused.

Test & Measurement Devices

When connecting electrical circuits, it is important to test certain parameters like voltage, frequency, current, resistance, capacitance, and more. As such, test & measurement devices such as oscilloscopes, multimeters, and signal generators have an important role. The oscilloscope is the most reliable of these devices, used to monitor signals that are constantly changing. Use of these devices allows users to make note of changes within a signal such as current and voltage. Oscilloscopes are used in industries such as electronic, industrial, medical, automobile, telecommunications, and more. A multimeter is a combination ammeter, ohmmeter & voltmeter. These devices are most commonly used to calculate parameters within the circuits such as voltage and current. Older multimeters were analog and featured a pointing needle, though modern multimeters are commonly digital.

Finally, a signal generator is a device used to generate different kinds of signals to test and troubleshoot different circuits. The signals most frequently generated by these devices are sine, triangle, square, and saw tooth. They are an essential device when designing a circuit with an oscilloscope and bench power supply.

Whatever type of electronic components you are in need of, be sure you are getting them from a trusted source. At Infinite Industrials, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of electronic components and many other parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.


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