Basic Electronic Components

Release on : Jan 17, 2019

If you are new to electronics or starting to build electronic circuits, then the important thing to do is to get familiar with few Basic Electronic Components and Equipment. Without understanding these basic electronic components i.e. their values, ratings, purpose etc. your circuit design might not function as expected.


There are many electronic components like Resistors, Capacitors, LEDs, Transistors, etc. and there are also many equipment like a Power Supply, Oscilloscope, Function Generator (or Signal Generator), Multimeter, etc.

In this tutorial, you can get a brief overview of few of the most common basic electronic components. For more information about a particular component, you can check out the link associated with individual component.

Basic Electronic Components

There are many ways to classify different types of electronic components but the most common way is to classify them in to three types:

1)Active Electronic Components,

2)Passive Electronic Components and

3)Electromechanical Components.

Active Electronic Components

Strictly speaking, an Active Component is a device that acts as a source of energy, like a battery. But the definition of Active Components differs according to a few electronic engineers who perform circuit analysis. Active components are defined as the devices that depend on energy source and can introduce power into a circuit.

For example consider the diode, which is an active component. When the diode is connected to the circuit and energy source is applied, it immediately does not conduct the electrons. It starts conducting only when its threshold value is reached. Thus it depends on the energy source for its working. Hence it is an active component.

Active Electronic Components can control the flow of electrons through them. Some of the commonly used Active Components are Transistors, Semiconductors(Diodes), ICs (Integrated Circuits), Power Sources (Batteries, AC and DC Power Supplies), etc.


A diode is a non-linear semiconductor device, that allows the flow of current in one direction. A Diode is a two – terminal device and the two terminals are Anode and Cathode respectively. The following is the symbol of a Diode.

There are again a variety of components that come under the category of Diodes. They are PN Junction Diode, Light Emitting Diode (LED), Zener Diode, Schottky Diode, Photodiode, and DIAC.