What are Electronic Components? Types, Classification and Major Applications of Electronic Components.

An electronic component is any basic discrete device in an electronic system used to affect electrons or their associated fields. They are the elements of circuit which helps in its functioning. Electronic components have a number of electrical terminals. These terminals connect to other electrical components to create an electronic circuit.

Classification of Electronic Components: Components can be classified as passive, active, or electro-mechanic components.

  1. Active components are devices that can amplify an electric signal and produce power. An active component functions as an alternating current circuit in devices. This helps the device to augment power and voltage. This component can execute its operations because it is powered by a source of electricity. All active components necessitate some source of energy which commonly is extracted from a DC circuit. Any characteristic active component will comprise an oscillator, transistor or an integrated circuit.
  2. Passive components can’t introduce net energy into the circuit. They also can’t rely on a source of power, except for what is available from the (AC) circuit they are connected to. As a consequence they can’t amplify (increase the power of a signal), although they may increase a voltage or current (such as is done by a transformer or resonant circuit). Passive components include two-terminal components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, and transformers.
  3. Electromechanical component is one that uses an electrical signal to cause some kind of mechanical change, such as motor turning. These normally use an electrical current to create a magnetic field which causes a physical movement. All types of relays and switches are available in this category. Electromechanical devices have both electrical and mechanical processes. A manually operated switch is an electromechanical component due to the mechanical movement causing an electrical output.

Applications of Electronic Components: An electronic circuit is a structure that directs and controls electric current to perform various functions including signal amplification, computation, and data transfer. It comprises several different components such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors, and diodes.

  1. Consumer Electronics: Office Gadgets such as calculators, Personal computers, Scanners and Printers, FAX machine, Front Projector etc. Home appliances such as Washing Machine, Refrigerator, Air Conditioner, Microwave Oven, Vacuum Cleaner etc. Audio and Video Systems such as Headphone, VCRs, DVD players, Color TVs, Microphone and Loudspeaker, Video game consoles. Advanced Consumer Devices such as Setup Box, ATM, Dishwasher, Smart Phones, PDA (personal digital assistant), Barcode Scanners, POS terminals. Storage Devices for optical playback and taping, and portable infotainment. Examples are DVDs, HDD jukebox, Portable MP3 player.
  2. Industrial Electronics: Electronic components are used for Industrial automation and motion control, Machine learning, motor drive control, Mechatronics and robotics, Power converting technologies, Photo voltaic systems, Renewable energy applications, Power electronics, and Biomechanics. Smart grid systems: Smart electric systems collect information from the communication technology and react accordingly based on power consumption. It is an application of intelligence, computing, and networked electricity systems. Industrial automation and motion control: Machines are replacing humans these days with increased productivity, time and cost. Moreover, safety is also considered for unmanageable works. Hence to delegate the human’s, automation has become the preferable choice for industries.
  3. Medical applications: Advanced sophisticated instruments are being developed for data recording and physiological analysis. They are proven to be more useful in diagnosing diseases and for healing purpose. Electronic components are being used in some of the medical devices and equipment are: Respiration Monitors for knowing the patient condition due to change in body temperature, pulse, respiration and blood flow. Defibrillator causes electrical shock to heart muscles and brings backs the heart to the normal working condition. Glucose meter for measuring sugar levels in the blood. Pace Maker for reducing and increasing the count of the heartbeat and many more.
  4. Defence and Aerospace: Defence and Aeronautical applications include: Missile Launching systems, Rocket Launchers for space, Aircraft systems, Cockpit controllers, Military Radars, Boom barrier for military applications
  5. Automotive: Anti-collision unit, Infotainment console, Anti-lock braking system, Cruise control, Traction control, Window regulators, Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and Airbag control.