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).
There are many electronic components on the market today, including:
- Interconnecting electronic components (connectors, plugs and sockets, printed circuit boards)
- Passive components (fuses, capacitors, inductors)
- Active components (solid-state - diodes, integrated circuits, transistors)
- Active components (thermionic - thermionic valves, cathode ray tubes)
- Display devices (cathode ray tubes, liquid crystal displays)
- Electromechanical sensors and actuators (microphones, loudspeakers, switches)
- Thermoelectric devices (thermistors, thermocouples)
- Photoelectric devices (photodiodes, photovoltaic cells)
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