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What is a bipolar transistor?

Example of an NPN Bipolar Transistor

A bipolar transistor, also known as a bipolar junction transistor (BJT), is a type of junction transistor. While a field-effect transistor is a unipolar device, a bipolar transistor is so named because its operation involves two kinds of carriers, holes and electrons.
Since a bipolar transistor was the first transistor to be invented, when one simply says "transistors," one generally means bipolar transistors.

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