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Passive Discrete Components

Active Discrete Components
Discrete Components

Discrete components are simply defined as single element (circuit) electronic devices. Discrete devices are subgrouped by passive (primarily to regulate voltage and current flows, although they cannot achieve power gain) and active (switching devices, with the exception of LED). Most commonly and for relevance in inspection methodologies, passive discrete components do not contain a silicon wafer while active components do. Active Discrete components increase the power of a signal and must be supplied with the signal and a source of power. The signal is fed into one connection of the active device and the amplified version taken from another connection. In a transistor, the signal can be applied to the base connection and the amplified version taken from the collector. The source of power is usually a direct current voltage from a battery or power supply. Examples are bipolar transistors, field effect transistors, light emitting diodes (LED), metal-oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFED), etc. Passive Discrete components do not increase the power of a signal. They often cause power to be lost. Some can increase the voltage at the expense of current, so overall there is a loss of power. Examples are resistors, capacitors, inductors and diodes (the latter is a special case).
Sources: IDEA Standard IDEA-STD-1010-B Acceptability of Electronic Components Distributed in the Open Market, Rev. B and White Horse Laboratories, Ltd