Let's Compare Capacitor and Transistor


A capacitor (originally known as condenser) is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy in an electric field.

capacitor n : an electrical device characterized by its capacity to store an electric charge [syn: {capacitance}, {condenser}, {electrical condenser}]

capacitor \ca*pac"i*tor\ (k[.a]*p[a^]s"[i^]*t[~e]r), n. a device used in electronic circuits to hold electrical charge, consisting of two conducting plates separated by a nonconducting (dielectric) medium; it is characterized by its capacitance. Syn: condenser, electrical condenser. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC]

capacitor An electronic device that can store electrical charge. The charge stored Q in Coulombs is related to the capacitance C in Farads and the voltage V across the capacitor in Volts by Q = CV. The basis of a {dynamic RAM} cell is a capacitor. They are also used for power-supply smoothing (or "decoupling"). This is especially important in digital circuits where a digital device switching between states causes a sudden demand for current. Without sufficient local power supply decoupling, this current "spike" cannot be supplied directly from the power supply due to the inductance of the connectors and so will cause a sharp drop in the power supply voltage near the switching device. This can cause other devices to malfunction resulting in hard to trace {glitch}es. (1995-04-12)


A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power.

transistor n : a semiconductor device capable of amplification [syn: {junction transistor}, {electronic transistor}]

Transistor \Trans*ist"or\, n. [transfer + resistor, from its ability to tranfer a current across a resistor.] (Electronics) a component used in electronic devices consisting of three regions of at least two types of a semiconducting material, such as doped silicon, connected to each other and to three electrodes in a conducting path so as to modify the current or voltage in an electronic circuit. Note: Transistors are used in almost all modern electronic devices, having replaced the vacuum tube in most applications. Since they are based on the electronic characteristics of solids, they are called solid-state devices. Typically a transistor is composed of p, n, and p-type semiconductors in series, or of n, p, and n, with the center region being a thin layer between the two outer regions. An electronic signal input to the central layer may be substantially amplified by such a device. In integrated circuits, many thousands of transistors may be etched into a single small wafer of silicon. [PJC]

transistor A three terminal {semiconductor} amplifying device, the fundamental component of most active electronic circuits, including digital electronics. The transistor was invented on 1947-12-23 at {Bell Labs}. There are two kinds, the {bipolar transistor} (also called the junction transistor), and the {field effect transistor} (FET). Transistors and other components are interconnected to make complex {integrated circuit}s such as {logic gate}s, {microprocessor}s and memory. (1995-10-05)

Data Sources:

  • capacitor: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • capacitor: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • capacitor: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (27 SEP 03)
  • transistor: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • transistor: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • transistor: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (27 SEP 03)

Current rating: 3.7

Your Comparisons - Capacitor And Transistor