Electronics have become an integral part of our daily lives, from smartphones to home appliances. At the heart of these devices are electronic components, each performing specific functions to create the complex systems we rely on. Understanding these basic components and their functions is essential for anyone interested in electronics. This article provides a concise overview of the fundamental electronic components, their roles, and how they work together in electronic systems. Lone Star Technology’s familiarity with technology and electronics manufacturing makes it the premiere solutions specialist in the industry. Find out why, here!

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Electronic Circuit Parts

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Electronic circuits are built from a variety of components, each with its own specific function. Here’s a list of common electronic circuit parts:

  • Resistors: Control current flow and voltage levels within the circuit.
  • Capacitors: Store and release electrical energy; used in filtering and timing circuits.
  • Inductors: Store energy in a magnetic field; used in filtering and inductance.
  • Diodes: Allow current to flow in one direction only; used for rectification and signal modulation.
  • Transistors: Act as switches or amplifiers in circuits.
  • Integrated Circuits (ICs): Miniaturized circuits with multiple components for specific functions, like microprocessors or memory chips.
  • Transformers: Transfer electrical energy between circuits through electromagnetic induction.
  • Relays: Electrically operated switches that open or close circuits under control of another electrical signal.
  • Switches: Manually operated devices to open or close circuits.
  • Connectors: Join different parts of a circuit, like wires or components, together.
  • Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs): Provide a physical platform for mounting components and establish electrical connections between them.

Read more: Printed circuit boards: PCB assembly (PCBA) process

  • Oscillators: Generate repetitive signals, often used in clocks and radio transmitters.
  • Potentiometers and Variable Resistors: Resistors whose resistance can be adjusted manually.
  • Fuses and Circuit Breakers: Provide overcurrent protection.
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs): Emit light when electrically biased in the forward direction.
  • Sensors: Detect changes in the environment and send corresponding signals (like temperature, light, pressure sensors).
  • Crystals and Resonators: Provide a stable clock signal for electronic circuits, especially in microcontrollers and watches.
  • Varistors: Protect circuits against excessive transient voltages by changing resistance.
  • Thermistors: Resistors that change resistance with temperature changes.
  • Phototransistors: Transistors that are sensitive to light.

Each of these components plays a crucial role in the functionality of electronic circuits, their particular function and they are often combined in various ways to create complex electronic devices and systems.

Read more: 5 simple steps in the electronic assembly manufacturing process

Basic Electronic Components and their Functions


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Function: Resistors are perhaps the most fundamental of electronic components. Their primary function is to limit or regulate the flow of electrical current in a circuit, and they are used to control the voltage and current within the circuit.

Application: You’ll find resistors in almost every electronic device, used to adjust signal levels, terminate transmission lines, cables, and much more.


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Function: Capacitors store electrical energy temporarily and release it when needed. They are used to smooth out fluctuations in electrical supply, filter signals, and store energy in power applications.

Application: Capacitors are commonly found in power supplies, electronic filters, and signal processing circuits.


Function: Inductors, like capacitors, store energy, but they do so in a magnetic field created by an electric current. They are used to control current and filter out unwanted frequencies in a circuit.

Application: Inductors are often used in radio-frequency applications, power supplies, and in conjunction with capacitors to create tuned circuits.


Function: Diodes allow current to flow in one direction only, acting as a one-way valve. They are essential for converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC).

Application: Diodes are used in power supplies, signal demodulation, and protection circuits to prevent reverse current flow.


Function: Transistors are used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. They are the building blocks for modern electronic devices.

Application: Transistors are found in almost every electronic device, from radios and televisions to computers and mobile phones.

Integrated Circuits (ICs)

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Function: Integrated Circuits are miniaturized circuits consisting of several electronic components such as resistors, transistors, and capacitors. They are designed to perform various functions, from simple logic gates to complex microprocessors.

Application: ICs are used in virtually all electronic equipment, including computers, smartphones, and even household appliances.

Electronic components are the fundamental building blocks of modern technology. Understanding the basic function of each component is crucial for anyone interested in electronics, whether for professional development, education, or hobbyist projects. Each component has a specific role, but it’s their combination and interaction that create the complex functionalities in today’s electronic devices. As technology continues to advance, these components will evolve, but their core functions will remain integral to the design and operation of electronic systems.

Circuit Symbols of Electronic Components

In electronic schematics, different circuit symbols are used to represent various electronic components. Understanding these symbols is essential for reading and designing electronic circuits. Here’s a description of the circuit symbols for common various electronic system components:

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Resistor: Represented by a zig-zag line. Resistors impede the flow of current in a circuit. The symbol may vary slightly between American and European styles.

Capacitor: Illustrated as two parallel lines with a gap between them, symbolizing the plates of the capacitor. Polarized capacitors, like electrolytics, have a curved line to indicate the negative plate.

Inductor: Shown as a series of curved or angled lines, representing the coils of wire in an inductor.

Diode: Depicted as a triangle pointing to a line. The triangle represents the direction of conventional current flow (anode to cathode). For Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), arrows pointing away from the diode symbol indicate light emission.

Transistor: There are various symbols for different types of transistors. Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) have a symbol with three leads (emitter, base, and collector). Field-Effect Transistors (FETs) are represented with a line and a curve.

Integrated Circuit (IC): Often shown as a rectangle with lines coming out of each side, representing the input and output pins. The complexity inside the IC is not depicted in the symbol.

Transformer: Illustrated as two coils (lines or rectangles) near each other, symbolizing the inductive coupling. A dashed line or two parallel lines between the coils may represent the core.

Switch: Represented by a break in a line with a lever-like symbol. The design varies depending on the type of switch (e.g., pushbutton, toggle).

Battery: Shown as a pair of lines of different lengths, representing the positive and negative terminals. Multiple pairs in series can represent a multi-cell battery.

Ground: Indicated by a set of one to three horizontal lines of decreasing width, symbolizing the earth ground.

Crystal Oscillator: Depicted as a rectangle with two leads. Sometimes, it’s shown with two small capacitors connected to ground, representing the load capacitance.

Fuse: Shown as a rectangle or a line with a break in the middle, indicating the fuse element.

Potentiometer: Represented by an arrow across or through a resistor symbol, indicating an adjustable resistance.

Variable Capacitor: Illustrated similarly to a standard capacitor but with an arrow through it, indicating adjustability.

Relay: A rectangle (representing the coil) with a line showing the switch that is actuated by the coil.

Light Bulb: Represented by a circle with a cross or loop inside, symbolizing the filament.

Each of these symbols is standardized for easy recognition and is used globally in electronic circuit diagrams. Knowing these symbols is crucial for anyone involved in electronics, from hobbyists to professional engineers.

Questions to Consider

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1. What are the parts of an electronic circuit?

The parts of an electronic circuit typically include components like resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors. Additionally, circuits often contain integrated circuits (ICs), switches, connectors, and sometimes more specialized components like sensors, relays, transformers, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These components are interconnected, usually on a printed circuit board (PCB), to form a complete circuit that performs a specific function.

2. What are the five components of an electronic circuit?

Five fundamental components of an electronic circuit are resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and inductors. These components are essential for controlling current flow, the electrical charge, storing energy, rectifying signals, amplifying currents or voltages, and filtering electrical signals in various electronic devices and systems.

3. What are electrical and electronic components?

Electrical and electronic components are basic discrete devices used in electronic circuits to control the flow of electricity and perform various functions. These include resistors, capacitors, transistors, diodes, inductors, integrated circuits, and other elements like switches and relays. While electrical components refer to broader devices that manage electrical power, electronic components specifically pertain electrical elements used to the manipulation of electronic signals within a circuit.

4. How do you manufacture electronic components?

Manufacturing electronic components involves several steps, including design, material selection, fabrication, assembly, and testing. The process typically starts with designing the component and creating a detailed blueprint. Materials like semiconductors, metals, and plastics are then selected and shaped into the component using processes like etching, molding, and soldering. Components are assembled onto circuit boards and tested for functionality, quality, and reliability. Advanced techniques like surface-mount technology are often used for miniaturized and complex components. The entire process requires precision equipment and clean-room environments to ensure high-quality and consistent results. Contact Lone Star Tech today to find out we can solve your manufacturing needs!

5. What is the NAICS code for electronic manufacturing?

The North American Industry Classification System code for electronic manufacturing can vary depending on the specific type of electronic products being manufactured. However, a general NAICS code often used for electronic manufacturing is 3344, which covers Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing. For more specialized electronics manufacturing companies, other specific codes within the 334 series might be applicable.

6. What is commonly used material in manufacturing electronic component?

A commonly used material in manufacturing electronic components is silicon, primarily due to its excellent semiconductor properties. Other frequently used materials include copper for electrical connections, various metals for components like resistors and capacitors, plastics and ceramics for insulation and substrate, and solder (typically a tin-lead or lead-free alloy) for attaching components to circuit boards.

7. Who is the largest manufacturer of electronic components?

As of 2023, the largest manufacturer of electronic components is Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Based in Taiwan. Foxconn is a major global player in the semiconductor device and the electronics manufacturing services industry, notably famous for assembling Apple’s iPhone among other consumer electronics products.

8. Who manufactures electronic components?

Apart from Foxconn, other top manufacturers in the electronic and computer components sector include:

a. Samsung Electronics:

Based in South Korea, Samsung is a leading manufacturer of a wide range of electronic components, including semiconductors, displays, and batteries.

b. Intel Corporation:

A global leader in the semiconductor industry, Intel is known for its microprocessors and chips used in computers and servers.

c. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC):

The world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, TSMC specializes in the manufacturing of a wide variety of integrated circuits.

d. Texas Instruments:

Known for its semiconductors and integrated circuits, Texas Instruments is a major player in the electronics industry.

These companies are key players in the global electronics industry, known for their technological innovation, large-scale manufacturing capabilities, customer first, and wide range of products. Find out why some companies chose Lone Star Tech for their manufacturing needs!

Read more: Taiwan electronics manufacturers

9. Where do most electrical components come from?

Most electronic components come from a global supply chain that involves manufacturing facilities around the world. Major electronics manufacturing countries include China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and the United States. These countries produce a significant portion of electronic components, ranging from semiconductors to passive components like resistors and capacitors. The supply chain is interconnected, with materials sourced from different regions, and components often assembled in countries with cost-effective labor. This global network ensures a steady supply of electronic components to meet the demands of various industries.

Read more:The best place to manufacture electronics in 2023

Achieve Manufacturing Goals with Lone Star!

With many experienced years in automotive and consumer electronics, we support businesses at all stages in manufacturing and supply chain projects. If you’re looking for manufacturer of electronics or electronic manufacturing services, Lone Star Technology has the solutions to your assembly electronics contract manufacturing needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out today!