An electronic circuit is created with a combination of individual electronic components like resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors, and diodes, connected by conductive wires or traces through which electric current can flow. The combination of the electronic components and wires allows various simple and complex operations to be performed, the electronic circuits can amplify the signals, computations can be performed, and data can be moved from one place to another.
An electronic circuit can be categorized as an analog circuit, a digital circuit, or a mixed-signal circuit, which is a combination of an analog circuit and a digital circuit.
Digital electronics are electronics that operate on digital signals. Digital electronic circuits have electric signals that take on discrete values to represent logical and numeric values. These logical and numerical values constitute an information that is being processed. In binary encoding, one voltage represents a binary ‘1’ and another voltage represents a binary ‘0’. Digital circuits can provide both logic and memory, enabling them to perform arbitrary computational functions. It is utilized to create a general purpose computing chips and custom-designed logic circuits.
A digital circuit is typically constructed from small electronic circuits called logic gates that can be used to create combinational logic. A logic gate is generally created from one or more electrically controlled switches. An advantage of digital circuits when compared to analog circuits is that signals represented digitally can be transmitted without degradation due to noise. Storage of information is easier, it can be controlled by a software that allows new functions to be added without changing the hardware. Digital circuits are more expensive.
Analog electronics are electronic systems with a continuously variable signal. Analog describes the proportional relationship between a signal and a voltage or current that represents the signal.
Analog circuitry is built with two fundamental building blocks, the series, and parallel circuits. The basic components of analog circuits are wires, resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors. An analog circuit is designed to amplify, attenuate, provide isolation, distort, or modify the signal.
In a series circuit, the same current passes through a series of components. Meanwhile, in a parallel circuit, all the components are connected to the same voltage, and the current divides between the various components according to the resistance of the circuit.
There are two classifications of an analog circuit, these are the passive analog circuit and active analog circuit. A passive analog circuit consumes a no external electrical power while the active analog circuit uses an electrical power source to achieve the goal.
Meanwhile, the mixed-signals circuit is the combination of an analog circuit and a digital circuit on a single semiconductor. These are often used to convert analog signals to digital signals so that digital devices can process them. These circuits are more difficult to design and manufacture than analog-only or digital-only integrated circuits.
To test the new designs, breadboards, perfboards, and stripboards are commonly used. These boards allow the designer to make a quick change to the development of the circuit.