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They were almost solely responsible for the electronics revolution of the first half of the twentieth century. They took electronics from parlor tricks and gave us radio, television, phonographs, radar, long-distance telephony and much more. They played a leading role in the field of microwave and high power transmission as well as television receivers until the middle of the 1980s. IBM products to use transistors in their design.
From that time on transistors were almost exclusively used for computer logic and peripherals. Circuits and components can be divided into two groups: analog and digital. A particular device may consist of circuitry that has one or the other or a mix of the two types. The number of different analog circuits so far devised is huge, especially because a ‘circuit’ can be defined as anything from a single component, to systems containing thousands of components. Good examples of analog circuits include vacuum tube and transistor amplifiers, operational amplifiers and oscillators. One rarely finds modern circuits that are entirely analog.
These days analog circuitry may use digital or even microprocessor techniques to improve performance. This type of circuit is usually called “mixed signal” rather than analog or digital. Sometimes it may be difficult to differentiate between analog and digital circuits as they have elements of both linear and non-linear operation. An example is the comparator which takes in a continuous range of voltage but only outputs one of two levels as in a digital circuit. In fact, many digital circuits are actually implemented as variations of analog circuits similar to this example—after all, all aspects of the real physical world are essentially analog, so digital effects are only realized by constraining analog behavior. Digital circuits are electric circuits based on a number of discrete voltage levels. To most engineers, the terms “digital circuit”, “digital system” and “logic” are interchangeable in the context of digital circuits.
Most digital circuits use a binary system with two voltage levels labeled “0” and “1”. Often logic “0” will be a lower voltage and referred to as “Low” while logic “1” is referred to as “High”. Quite often the logic designer may reverse these definitions from one circuit to the next as he sees fit to facilitate his design. The definition of the levels as “0” or “1” is arbitrary.