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How to know if the given component is IC or Transistors? Answered

most od the IC and Transistors look alike. and just by looking i can't tell if it is transistor os IC. i need some help.


The answer is that you can't Transistors and intergrated circuits come in a variety of body styles. As Steve mentioned, the IC that makes a voltage regulator often comes in a three terminal body like a TO-92. So do temperature sensors like the LM34. But transistors are often packaged in DIP8, DIP6, and other packages, both as singles and as arrays. Opamps, temperature sensors, voltage regulators and other ICs often come packages in a TO-39 can, which in some ways might resemble a transistor to the uninitiated. And so on, and so on... I haven't even touched on SMT. As Lemonie points out, the best method of identifying the purpose of a component is to use the PN located on the body and look it up.

Transistors are almost exclusively going to have three pins / legs on them, with a relatively small body, with all of the pins facing the same direction. A good example of a transistor can be found at http://www.reuk.co.uk/OtherImages/labelled-transistor.jpg

ICs, on the other hand, will likely have at least 4-6 pins, but are commonly found up to 32 pins, and still many more after that. These pins will be on the sides of the IC package. These are usually a square package. A good example of an IC can be found at http://virlab.virginia.edu/VL/Semiconductor_science/IC_process/bitmaps/IC_process_intro.jpg

Yes, but most common regulators are transistors as well. On curcitboards they have the same label Q for instance.

Regulators contain transistors, as do all ICs, that doesn't make them transistors.

You need to put the alphanumeric code on the case into a search. E.g. I have a lot of things that look like transistors, which have "C945" printed on them
Any of the links from this search would probably tell me what they are.