From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search
Two digital voltmeters
Two digital voltmeters

The field of electronics is the study and use of systems that operate by controlling the flow of electrons or other electrically charged particles in devices such as thermionic valves and semiconductors. The design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems is part of the fields of electronic engineering, and the hardware design side of computer engineering. The study of new semiconductor devices and their technology is sometimes considered as a branch of physics.


Electronic devices today

Electronics performs a wide variety of tasks. The main uses of electronic circuits are the controlling, processing and distribution of information, and the conversion and distribution of electric power. Both of these uses involve the creation or detection of electromagnetic fields and electric currents. While electrical energy had been used for some time to transmit data over telegraphs and telephones, the development of electronics truly began in earnest with the advent of radio.

CAD/ CAM of electronic circuits

Todays electronics engineers enjoy the ability to design circuits using premanufactured building blocks such as power supplies, resistors, capacitors, semiconductors such as transistors, and integrated circuits. Electronic design automation software programs include schematic capture programs such as ORCAD , used to make circuit diagrams and printed circuit board layouts.

Electronic systems

One way of looking at an electronic system is to divide it into the following parts:

  1. Inputs – Electronic or mechanical sensors (or transducers), which take signals (in the form of temperature, pressure, etc.) from the physical world and convert them into current/voltage signals.
  2. Signal processing circuits – These consist of electronic components connected together to manipulate, interpret and transform the signals.
  3. Outputs – Actuators or other devices (also transducers) that transform current/voltage signals back into useful physical form.

One example is a television set. Its input is a broadcast signal received by an antenna or fed in through a cable. Signal processing circuits inside the television extract the brightness, colour and sound information from this signal. The output devices are a cathode ray tube that converts electronic signals into a visible image on a screen and magnet driven audio speakers.

Electronic test equipment

Electronic components

Analog circuits

Most analog electronic appliances, such as radio receivers, are constructed from arrays of a few types of circuits.

Digital circuits

Computers, electronic clocks, and programmable logic controllers (used to control industrial processes) are constructed of digital circuits. Digital Signal Processors are another example.


Highly integrated devices:

Mixed-signal circuits

Mixed-signal circuits, also known as hybrid circuits, are becoming increasingly common. Mixed circuits contain both analog and digital components. analog to digital converters and digital to analog converters are the primary examples. Other examples are transmission gates and buffers.

Heat dissipation

Heat generated by electronic circuitry must be dissipated to improve reliability. Techniques for heat dissipation can include heatsinks and fans for air cooling, and other forms of computer cooling such as liquid cooling for computers .


Associated with all electronic circuits is noise. Types of noise include

Electronics theory

See also

External links

Wikibooks has more about this subject:

Tutorials and projects

Some other good sites

Types Major fields of technology Edit
Applied Science Computing technology | Electronics | Energy | Metallurgy | Microtechnology | Nanotechnology | Nuclear technology
Athletics and recreation Camping equipment | Playground | Sports | Sports equipment | Sports memorabilia
The Arts and language Communication | Graphics | Music technology | Visual technology
Business/information Construction | Information technology | Manufacturing | Machinery | Mining | Telecommunication
Defense Bombs | Guns and Ammunition | Weapons technology
Domestic/residential Domestic appliances | Domestic technology | Food products and production
Engineering Agricultural engineering | Bioengineering | Biochemical engineering | Chemical engineering | Civil engineering | Electrical engineering | Mechanical engineering | Petroleum engineering | Software engineering
Health Biomedical engineering | Biotechnology | Health technologies | Pharmaceuticals
Travel and trade Aerospace | Aerospace engineering | Motor vehicles | Space technology | Transport
Personal tools