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Glossary

All electronic products and equipment contain components. There are four basic categories of electronic components: semiconductors, passive components, printed circuit boards, and electromechanical components (connectors, switches). Vishay manufactures semiconductors (discrete semiconductors and some types of integrated circuits) and passive components. These components are attached to printed circuit boards for use in end-products of all kinds.

Semiconductors

Discrete semiconductors (including rectifiers, diodes, and optoelectronic components) typically perform the function of switching, amplifying, rectifying, or transmitting electrical signals. Semiconductors are referred to as “active” components because they require power to function.
MOSFETs Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) function as solid-state switches to control power. For example, they turn off specific functions of notebook computers and mobile phones when these functions are not in use, thereby extending battery life. They also help convert power into levels required by other components. Vishay offers low- and high-voltage Siliconix TrenchFET® and planar MOSFETs in innovative package formats to switch and manage power very efficiently. Vishay is the number one manufacturer worldwide of low-voltage power MOSFETs.
Integrated Circuits (ICs) Integrated circuits combine the functions of multiple semiconductors and passive components on a single chip. IC products from Vishay are focused on analog signal switching and routing, power conversion, and power management. They are used in end products such as netbook, notebook, and desktop computers; mobile phones; and fixed telecommunications systems. The Vishay IC portfolio includes switchmode and linear regulators, MOSFET drivers, bus interface devices, and analog switches and multiplexers.
Rectifiers Rectifiers convert alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC), a unidirectional current required for operation of many electronic systems. For example, a bridge rectifier is used in a clock radio to change the AC voltage from a wall outlet to a specific DC voltage. Vishay rectifiers, including patented TMBS® devices, reduce power losses and improve efficiency in computing, telecommunications, and other applications. Vishay is the number one manufacturer worldwide of power rectifiers.
Modules Modules combine several components into a single package. Examples include Vishay’s extensive family of Gen VII power modules, each of which integrates two semiconductors in a diode, thyristor/diode, thyristor/thyristor, or Schottky rectifier combination. They are used in power supplies, temperature and motor control circuits, battery chargers, and other high-voltage industrial applications.
Diodes and Thyristors Diodes and thyristors are semiconductor components that allow voltage to be conducted in only one direction. Most diodes are based on semiconductor p-n junctions; in thyristors there are four layers of p-n material creating three p-n junctions. Both types of devices are used in a wide range of electronic systems to route, switch, and block radio frequency (RF), analog, and power signals. The Vishay diodes portfolio includes Schottky, switching, PIN, sinterglass, and rectifier devices, as well as products for transient voltage suppression, electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) filtering. Vishay is the number one manufacturer worldwide of diodes.
Optoelectronics Optoelectronic components emit light, detect light, or do both. Vishay’s broad range of optoelectronic components includes infrared data communications devices (IRDCs) for wireless two-way data transfer, optocouplers and solid-state relays for circuit isolation, IR emitters and IR receivers for one-way remote controls (as used in television sets, for example), optical sensors for detection, LEDs for light sources, and 7-segment displays. Vishay is the number one manufacturer worldwide of infrared components.

Passive Components

Passive components (resistors, capacitors, inductors) do not require a power supply to handle the signals that pass through them. They are used to store electrical charges, to limit or resist electrical current, and to help in filtering, surge suppression, measurement, timing, and tuning applications.
Resistors Resistors restrict current flow. Vishay manufactures many different types of resistive products, including single (discrete) resistors based on thin film, thick film, metal oxide film, carbon film, and wirewound technologies, as well as resistor networks and arrays, in which multiple resistors are combined in a single package. Vishay also manufactures thermistors, used for current protection and temperature sensing, as well as potentiometers, trimmers, and resistive transducers. Resistors are used in all electronic circuits. Vishay is the number one manufacturer worldwide of wirewound and other power resistors, leaded film resistors, and thin film surface-mount resistors.
Inductors Inductors are categorized as magnetics. Inductors use an internal magnetic field to change AC current phase and resist AC current. Inductor applications include controlling AC current and voltage and filtering out unwanted electrical signals. Transformers, also characterized as magnetics, are made up of two inductors on a common core of magnetic material. Transformers increase or decrease AC voltage or AC currents. Vishay innovations include IHLP® inductors, which feature higher frequency operation, higher current ratings, and smaller sizes than competing devices.
Capacitors Capacitors store energy and discharge it when needed. Applications include power conversion, DC-linking, frequency conversion, bypass, decoupling, and filtering. Types of capacitors manufactured by Vishay include tantalum (both solid and wet), ceramic (both multilayer chip and disk), film, power, heavy-current, and aluminum. Capacitors are used in almost all electronic circuits. Vishay is the number one manufacturer worldwide of wet and conformal-coated tantalum capacitors, as well as capacitors for power electronics. It is also one of the largest manufacturers of molded tantalum surface-mount capacitors.