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Everything you know about electronic design!

An electronic circuit is composed of various smaller electronic components like capacitor, resistors, diodes, and transistors interconnected by a wire, through which current flows in the circuit. The electronic product design is usually done on a breadboard first (prototyping) which helps the designer to do modifications and enhance the circuit. These electronic circuits are used in various fields like computations, data transfer, and signal amplification. However, these days smaller components are soldered on a printed circuit board (PCB) rather than connecting with wires to form a closed circuit. Each and every smaller component is constructed as a single unit. Before the arrival of digital circuits (ICs) in the industry, every individual transistor, capacitors, resistors, diodes, and inductors were all distinct in nature.

Any electronic circuit or system can produce the desired output based on the input provided to the circuit. The designing of electronic circuits thus consists of analysis and synthesis of these interconnections. While designing these circuits whether it be an analog circuit or a digital circuit, a designer must be competent enough to predict the voltage and current at every node in the circuit. All simple linear and non-linear circuits can be analyzed manually using mathematical computations while the complex circuits require the use of dedicated software which allows the designer to create more accurate and effective designs. It helps in reducing the time, cost, and risks involved in creating the circuit prototypes.

The combination of components and wires allows various simple and complex operations to be performed in an electronic circuit. A few basic components found in any electronic device are:

Resistor – The function of a resistor is to resist the flow of current by dissipating electric power as heat. It is one of the most commonly used components in an electronic device. It is inscribed with colored rings on its body that indicate their resistance values.

Capacitor – A capacitor is a device used to temporarily hold an electric charge within itself to release it later on when more power is needed anywhere in the circuit. They are also a very common component of an electronic device and usually outnumbered only by resistors on a PCB.

Inductors – The function of an inductor is the same as that of a capacitor but, instead of storing electrostatic energy, it stores energy in the form of a magnetic field that is generated when a current flows through it. A coil of wire is the simplest inductor. The greater the number of windings a coil has, the stronger the magnetic field it can generate.

Potentiometer – A potentiometer is a form of variable resistor. It is usually available in rotary or linear types. In a rotary potentiometer, resistance is varied by moving the slider over a semi-circular resistor to control the amount of current passing through it. A linear potentiometer is also the same, except the slider is moved linearly on the resistor to change the amount of resistance produced.

Transformer – The function of a transformer is to increase or decrease the voltage while transferring the electrical energy from one circuit to another. There are two types of transformers based on their functions. A step-up transformer amplifies the voltage from a few hundred volts to several thousand volts, and a step-down transformer does the opposite and reduces the voltage from several thousand volts to a few hundred and is usually required in households.

Diodes – A diode consists of two points, an anode (+) and a cathode (-). It is a device that allows the current to flow in one direction only, from the anode to the cathode. This property of a diode is used to prevent the flow of current in the wrong direction which could cause damage to the circuit. The most popular example of it is the light-emitting diode or LED.

Role of a sensor in an electronic device

The role of a sensor in an electronic device is to detect changes in environmental conditions and correspondingly generate an electrical signal to that change, which is then sent to the different components of the circuit. The function of a sensor is to convert physical phenomena into electrical energy, which is much like that of a transducer that converts energy from one form into another. A wide variety of sensors can be found these days that react to different environmental stimuli such as light, sound, humidity, air quality, touch, moisture, and motion sensors. They can be anything from LEDs to detect infrared signals such as in TV remotes to a type of resistor in a resistance temperature detector (RTD).

Role of a microprocessor in an electronic device

A microprocessor is an integrated circuit (IC) that incorporates the main functions of a computer’s central processing unit (CPU). It is the central unit of a computer system that performs arithmetic and logical operations such as adding, subtracting, transferring the numbers from one place to another, and comparison of numbers. It is also called as the brain of the computer as it goes into motion as soon as the computer is switched on, and performs all the complex and logical tasks.

A microprocessor accepts and processes the binary data, and offers output based on the instructions stored in the memory. The data is processed using the microprocessor's arithmetical and logical unit, control unit, and a register array. The register array processes the data through a number of registers that act as temporary fast access memory locations. The flow of instructions and data through the system is managed by the control unit. A system controlled with a microprocessor can provide control tactics that would have been impractical otherwise with conventional electromechanical controls or purpose-built electronic controls.

Electronic designing is a simple process but requires a thorough understanding of the components and the needs of the circuit. Nowadays, electric circuit designing is done mostly on software before applying it to the circuit board. It allows the engineers to know the efficiency of the design and helps in making correction of the mistakes.

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