Discrete Semiconductors

We have a wide selection of discrete semiconductors across a range of transistors, diodes, rectifiers and modules. There are a number of brands to choose from including ON Semiconductors, Vishay, Infineon and DiodesZetex, amongst others.

What is a discrete semiconductor?

A discrete semiconductor is basically the opposite of an integrated circuit. It is an individual circuit that serves only one function as a single semiconductor, as opposed to multiple semiconductor components that you might find on a printed circuit board (PCB).

They are generally created for high power or frequency functions and as a result require specialist packaging.

What are some examples of discrete semiconductor devices?

Here are some individual device examples:

  • Thyristors: this type of semiconductor is often used as a switch running specific amounts of current through them
  • Zener diodes: these discrete devices are the most common type of component for voltage regulation
  • Bipolar transistors: carry both positive and negative charges in analog circuits
  • Bridge rectifiers: named so as they are built in specific configuration from diodes
  • MOSFET transistors: metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors are widely used for switching and amplifying signals
  • TRIACs: are bidirectional switches allowing current in both directions
  • JFET transistors: junction field effect transistors are voltage controlled and as a result provide resistance
  • Rectifier & Schottky diodes: capable of very fast switching with low voltage drops
  • DIACs: often used for triggering thyristors
  • Varactor diodes: found in everyday common appliances and are controlled by the voltage applied through them

What can discrete semiconductors be used for?

As they are the most basic parts of engineering, there are a wide range of uses, in both industrial and consumer applications:

  • Space saving: a Darlington transistor takes up less space than two transistors
  • Triggers: a DIAC can be used to trigger a TRIAC
  • Application switching: JFET transistors are often used in this way
  • Analogue & digital: MOSFET transistors can be used in both ways
  • Power controllers: Thyristors are often used for just this purpose
  • Voltage regulator: Zener diodes are most commonly used for these types of tasks
Related Products
GBU series bridge rectifiers in SIL PCB Mounting ...
GBU series bridge rectifiers in SIL PCB Mounting package from Fairchild Semiconductor. Glass Passivated Single-Phase Bridge RectifierHigh surge current capabilityWire Lead Structure for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) mounting.
Spring applied brakes to 60Nm torqueVery robust - ...
Spring applied brakes to 60Nm torqueVery robust - suitable for dynamic or static operationFactory preset torque, supplied with pilot bore hubBrakes asbestos free and adjustable for wearSuitable rectifiers and replacement rotors availableIncludes Friction Plate205 V'N' means adjustable torque.
KBU4x, KBU6x and KBU8x series bridge rectifiers in ...
KBU4x, KBU6x and KBU8x series bridge rectifiers in SIL PCB Mounting package from Vishay Semiconductor. Soldering pins for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) through-hole mountingHigh surge current capabilityIsolating voltage 1500VrmsPackage centre hole for fixing.
The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor or IGBT is ...
The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor or IGBT is a three-terminal power semiconductor device, noted for high efficiency and fast switching. The IGBT combines the simple gate-drive characteristics of the MOSFETs with the high-current and low–saturation-voltage capability of bipolar transistors by ...