What are the Main Differences Between Active and Passive Components in Electronics?

Active and passive elements are integral components in the electronics area. They help in the development and moving of various devices. These elements are incorporated into the electronic component’s settings and assist them in operating with utmost accuracy and precision. These devices are a fundamental part of electronic devices, but they vary from each other to a great extent. Here are a few notable benefits of active and passive components in electronics-

Based on external sources:

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Active components are the ones that require a stable external source to function in a connection or circuit. Passive components are the ones that need a reliable external source to work in a connection or circuit.

Examples of Active and Passive components:

Diode, SCR, Transistor, ICs, Direct Current generator, and Current & Voltage devices are the leading equipment that uses active components. Resistors, Motors, Capacitors, Transformers, and Inductors are typical devices that work on Passive components.

Let’s understand about active or passive elements with examples-

SCR or Silicon Controlled Rectifier is an active element. When SCR is provided with current solely, it does not start working. It begins its operation when connected to a proper voltage source.

A capacitor is one of the most used passive components. Whenever a capacitor is connected to a stable electric current source, it starts working immediately. It does not require any voltage or external source to begin working.

Based on production and storage of power:

Active elements are the one that creates energy in the form of either voltage or current. Passive elements work by saving energy. These elements have power either as voltage or current.

Management of current:

Active components have the credible powers to control and administer the current flow. They can modify the movement of current in devices with utmost precision. Passive components do not have the power to alter the movement of current. They have to work with the provided current flow only.

Amplification power:

Active components are pretty robust in the amplification of signals. Passive components are not capable of boosting or amplifying the signals. Active components win when it comes to the provision of power gain.

Based on energy composition:

Active components act as the energy donors in the equipment. Passive components work by being the energy contributors to the connections. Active components are classified in the linear category, whereas passive ones are put in the non-linear range. Linearity in active and passive components is described according to Ohm’s law. Linearity is described when the voltage drop in the device remains linear to the resistance offered in the device. Non-linearity refers to the electronic devices in which output signal strength does not fall in direct proportionality to input signal strength.

Lets discuss in details Active Components and Passive Components

Classification of Electronic Components:

Electronic gadgets are part of our daily life. If you are as old as me, you might remember when you used to wait to use the phonebooth to contact your friend after witing them a letter and stating when you can have a chat. Nowadays, you can hardly function if you forgot your phone rushing to catch that train as we are always tethered to them 24 hours 7days a week.

Anyway, back to electronic components. They are classified into two groups namely:

Active components

Active components supply current or energy in an electronic circuit and examples of these can be generators, alternators, diodes, transistor, voltage, MOSFET, Logic gates, and current sources.

What are active components?

Other examples of active components like amplifiers, vacuum tubes, and transistors will help us understand this basic electronic components. Active components tend to use external sources of power to add energy or power the circuit or system. In more simplistic terms, they control how electricity flows in a circuit.

Types of active components:

  • Integrated Circuits (All)
  • Processor
  • Power ICs
  • Digital Circuit
  • Analog Circuit
  • Ball Grid Arrays
  • Optoelectronic Components
  • Hall Effect Sensor
  • Current Sensor
  • LED / VFD / CRT / LCD / TFT
  • Rectifier Tubes
  • Vacuum Tubes
  • Battery & Power Supply
  • Electric Generator
  • Emitters
  • Gas discharge tube
  • Ignitron
  • Thyratron
  • Field-Effect Transistor (FET)
  • JFET (Junction Field-Effect Transistor)
  • MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor FET)
  • Diodes (All)
  • Rectifier Diode
  • Schottky Diode
  • Zener Diode
  • Unipolar / Bipolar Diode
  • Varicap
  • Varactor
  • Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
  • Transistors (All)
  • Photo Transistor
  • Darlington Transistor
  • Compound Transistor
  • Thyristors
  • Composit Transistors
  • Solar PV Cell, PV Panel
  • T flip flop & Logic circuit

Passive components

A passive component is a module that does not require energy to operate, except for the available alternating current (AC) circuit that it is connected to.
These types of components receive the energy which they can store, and dissipate in either a magnetic field or an electric field. You must have heard of resistors, inductors, transformers, and capacitors which are the most common examples of passive components.

What are passive components?

As their name suggest they do not require energy like power to operate and ,therefore, do not provide gain and amplification to a circuit but rather attenuate.

Types of passive components:

  • Resistors (All)
  • Capacitors (All)
  • Coil or Inductors
  • Resonators
  • Terminals and Connectors
  • Cables
  • Switches
  • Circuit Protection Devices
  • Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)
  • Memristor / Network
  • Transducers
  • Sensors
  • Detectors
  • Piezoelectric devices
  • Crystals
  • Antennas
  • Assembly Modules
  • Mechanical Devices such as a Fan, Lamp