What is solid-state technology, and how did it revolutionize electronic devices? Explained!
What is solid-state technology?
Solid-state technology uses semiconductor devices to replace moving parts. The term “solid-state” originated in the 1960s during the beginning of the semiconductor era. At that time, it was used to describe how semiconductors transfer electricity differently than older vacuum tubes – in a solid state as opposed to a gaseous one.
Why is it called a Solid State?
The term “solid-state” refers to how electrical signals move through solids rather than gases. In the past, electricity was conducted through various elements in a vacuum tube that had to be heated up. Now, we have solid-state devices like transistors that use conductors to control signal flow and don’t require any heat.
- A small change in the input signal’s amplitude is immediately translated into a greater output amplitude within a transistor in a transistor amplifier.
- A signal is applied to the “grid” of a vacuum tube and the resulting output of the same frequency is more amplified in a vacuum tube amplifier after the tube has warmed up.
A transistor is constructed similarly to a sandwich, with an emitter, base, and collector. These three components work together at much lower DC voltages and don’t need “warm-up” time! An integrated circuit chip is a collection of transistors and wires connecting them to digital circuits.
Solid-state and integrated circuits
Transistors, diodes, and other components are often combined to create an integrated circuit (IC), also called a chip or microchip. This solid-state device connects individual components to a thin substrate of semiconductor material.
The IC then packages everything into a miniaturized electronic circuit. Integrated circuits are used in many electronic devices, including cars, airplanes, microwaves, TVs, smartphones, and computers.
In a solid-state component, the current flows in two ways: negatively charged electrons or positively charged electron deficiencies called holes. Some semiconductors consist mostly of electrons; others consist mostly of holes. Both the electron and hole are referred to as charge carriers.
Application & Benefits Of Solid State Technology In the Electronic Industry:
Diodes, which are solid state devices that transform alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), have largely replaced rectifier vacuum tubes, which were used to convert AC to DC. Incandescent bulbs have been phased out in favor of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a solid-state device used in computer and monitor indicators. Multiple bright LEDs are also utilized in many vehicles third stoplights and traffic signals throughout the United States.
You can find many solid-state miniature electronic components:
- The cameras and disk drive sensors are mounted on thin, flexible printed circuits.
- The beeping sound of a cell phone, a page, or an automobile dashboard alarm alert.
- The voice chip in an answering machine.
- TV remote control & laser pointer.
- In a digital camera and a camcorder, the image sensor is used.
Solid state devices also can be found in USB drives, SD cards, micro SD cards, newer types of hard drives, the SIM card that goes in your phone, and smart cards such as chip and pin credit and debit cards. Radios, televisions, calculators, CD players, pacemakers, and video games are just a few examples of solid-state devices.
The majority of electronic devices today use solid-state technology, which means they rely on semiconductors. Since the invention of the transistor in 1947, solid-state technology has allowed for rapid development in portable devices and computers. Semiconductor technology is found in popular consumer electronics such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and smartwatches. Solid state technology requires less energy to power up and isn’t as bulky as older alternatives like vacuum tubes.