Complex and simple circuits come together in a perfect amalgam to form electronics, the very same electronics you use every day. From the moment you wake up and snooze your alarm to getting up and walking downstairs to turn on that coffee machine of yours, you’ll also find yourself mindlessly picking up your smartphone and scrolling through your feed before you step out. Pick up any device and you could peel back its layers to reveal complex tiny circuits, subsystems, and modules. Some components you’ll find in every other device while others are more dedicated. Here we’ll be discussing the more common circuits and components used frequently in everyday devices.
1: Resistive Divider Circuit
One of the common circuits you’ll find in your electronics is the resistive divider circuit. A resistive divider circuit can be alternately called a voltage divider circuit. You can use a resistive divider to easily drop the voltage to the desired range. They are relatively cheap and easy to find and take up little space on a circuit board.
2: Operational Amplifier
Operational Amplifiers or Op-Amps as they are commonly called are one of the basic components of electronic circuits. Op-Amps are useful for DC amplification and have extensive uses in signal conditioning, filtering and performing mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, integration, and differentiation, etc.
3: Filter Capacitor
A filter capacitor is a capacitor that filters out a certain frequency or range of frequencies from a circuit. This is highly useful for the elimination of noise from a system or a circuit. They can also help smoothen DC power supplies and for glitch removal on DC power rails.
4: On/Off Switch
A relay switch circuit or an On/Off Switch is very commonly used in electronics. Relays themselves consume only a small amount of power to operate but can control motors, heaters, and lamps which can draw relatively large amounts of power. They are hence used to either turn on or off a circuit as required.
5: Level Shifter
The electronics you use come with integrated circuits that operate on different voltages. Some run on lower voltages i.e. 3.3V or 1.7V while others could run on higher such as 5V. Now in order to interface these different voltages on one common system, the signal may either be reduced or increased to the required voltage level for each chip. A level shifter is a circuit used in this case. They are both easy to implement and require fewer external components. They are widely used in interfacing outdated devices and SD cards, SIM cards, etc.
A microcontroller is a compact integrated circuit designed to govern a specific operation in an embedded system. You will find a microcontroller in nearly every modern electronic product. A microcontroller provides a programmable platform to build any number of products. Lower level microcontrollers can run smaller devices such as microwaves while larger, more complex microcontrollers can be used in a car’s engine.
7: Voltage Reference
A voltage reference or a voltage reference circuit is an electronic component or circuit that produces a constant direct current (DC) output voltage irrespective of variations in external conditions such as temperature, pressure, humidity, current demand, etc. They are useful when precision measurements are required or a known voltage reference is needed.
8: Voltage Supplies
All electronic circuits require the right voltage to operate; some even require multiple voltages for individual components to work. You can reduce a higher voltage to a lower voltage simply by using a voltage regulator. When higher voltages are required from a lower voltage source a DC step-up converter is useful.
9: Current Source
Some electrical circuits require a steady fixed current such as for a thermistor-based temperature sensor or to control the output power of a laser diode or an LED. High power versions of current sources require more components and more complex circuits.
10: ESD Protection
Everyday devices and circuits are subjected to all levels of voltages at times which can cause errors or even damage the circuits. In this case, ESD protection devices (anti-static components) can come in handy. An ESD protection device can protect a circuit from electrostatic discharge (ESD) in order to prevent a malfunction or breakdown of an electronic device.