What is a Transistor Array?

A Transistor is a common type of semiconductor device, capable of amplifying or switching electrical signals and power. As a building block of modern electronics, transistors typically feature three or more terminals that establish connection to an external circuit and enable the application of power to control another terminal’s current. While transistors may be packed independently within a circuit, they may also be arranged onto a single semiconductor, establishing what is known as a transistor array.

The transistors of a transistor array may either function independently or work together to create a network of components. With a variety of arrangements, Transistor Arrays can serve a number of applications and uses. As a modern computer or other similar devices may contain millions of transistors in a single system, utilizing an transistor array can make assembly and manufacturing much easier.

For the construction of a lone transistor, layers of semiconductor materials such as silicon are compiled to create a conductive component that can amplify or dampen current. Transistors may be used for numerous functionalities, serving as sound wave amplifiers for a transistor radio, switches for digital circuits, and much more. By grouping multiple transistors together onto a single semiconductor surface, the mounting density may be increased for the means of saving space. This has enabled many manufacturers to reduce the size of their assemblies, allowing for components to become more compact while also increasing the speed and processing power of such systems.

The array of transistors may follow various configurations, though one of the most common types is to have a 14-pin dual in-line package (DIP). With the 14-pin DIP assembly, the transistors are placed in two rows of seven transistors. The 12-pin metal can package is also regularly used, such assemblies featuring their transistors on the outside of the circular construction. If transistors face issues and require replacement, most configurations will permit a technician to quickly and easily remove and install multiple transistors at once.

With an increased amount of transistors placed in an array, the precision of control provided over a system is increased. When a transistor array is constructed with a connected network, the transistors may work together to optimally amplify or dampen the current present within an assembly. This ensures more fine processes, benefiting the overall regulation of a large electrical charge.

When creating a transistor array, the two most common transistor types used are the bipolar junction transistor and field-effect transistor. Bipolar junction transistors (BJT) are a type that utilize electrons and electron holes as charger carriers, allowing for a small current to manage a larger current passing through two terminals. Field-effect transistors (FET), on the other hand, take advantage of an electric field to manage the current flowing through a semiconductor device. While bipolar junction transistors once commonly served many mainframes and minicomputers, a majority of modern computer systems now utilize integrated circuits that take advantage of field-effect transistors.


April 29, 2022
December 6, 2021

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