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Difference between active components and passive components

This page compares active components vs passive components and mentions difference between active components and passive components used in electronic circuit designs.

Introduction:
Electronic and electrical components are categorized into following types.
• Active and passive
• Reciprocal and non-reciprocal
• Lossy and lossless

Active Components

active components

• Active device is the one in which an external energy source increases the output energy on one or more ports.
• They produce energy in the form of voltage or current.

Examples of active components:
• Transistor• Diode• LED• Photodiode • Integrated circuit• Operational Amplifier • 7-segment display• Battery

Passive Components

Passive-Components

• Passive device is the one which does not have source that could add energy to your signal with one exception such as mixers. In mixer devices, local oscillator adds energy but due to working principle of mixer, no signal gain is possible.
• They store or maintain energy in the form of current or voltage.

Examples of passive components:
• Resistor• Inductor• LDR• Switch • Thermistor• Variable resistor • Capacitor• Transformer

Difference between Active components and Passive components

Following table mentions difference between Active components and Passive components.

Active Components Passive Components
They require external power supply to operate. They do not require external power supply to operate.
They have function of gain. They do not have function of gain.
They produce energy in the form of voltage or current. They store energy in the form of voltage or current.
Examples: Semiconductor diodes, transistors etc. Examples: Resistors, capacitors and inductors

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