Active and Passive Components

At AER Technologies, a commonly asked question is the difference between active and passive components on a printed circuit board repair. On any electrical unit, there are both active and passive components. The difference between an active and passive component is simple, active components control the current or energy flow in an electronic unit and have the ability to provide a power gain whereas passive components lack in this area. Active components also require a source of power to function and every electronic circuit needs at least one active component.

Active components include Transistors and Diodes. Here is a break down of the functions of each component:

  • Transistor can work as an amplifier from which it takes a small amount of energy and literally amplifies to a larger amount
  • Diodes allow electrical currents to only flow in one direction

Passive components include capacitors, resistors, inductors, and transformers. Below is a break down of each component:

  • Capacitors have the ability to store energy
  • Resistors resist current flow
  • Inductors resist changes in current flow
  • Transformers change the voltage, either increasing or decreasing to suit the electronic device

Thus brings us to the concerns of integrated circuits and microprocessors. These components house both active and passive components which are small in size due to the demand for shrinking electronics and their limited space on small circuit boards. To go further into detail, microprocessors are similar to integrated circuits but also house computer processors.

Have a damaged active or passive component on your PCB? Give AER Technologies a call at (714) 446-6083 or visit our website for a free quote. AER has over 60 years of experience in PCB rework and has the ability to replace any damaged component.


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