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The information presented in this cross reference is based on TOSHIBA's selection criteria and should be treated as a suggestion only. Please carefully review the latest versions of all relevant information on the TOSHIBA products, including without limitation data sheets and validate all operating parameters of the TOSHIBA products to ensure that the suggested TOSHIBA products are truly compatible with your design and application.
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Basically, a bipolar transistor amplifies a small current entering the base to produce a large collector current. It is a current-driven device since the collector current is controlled via the base current. The current gain varies with the collector-emitter voltage (VCE). In the active region shown in the right-hand figure, a bipolar transistor provides a gain called a DC current gain (hFE) . In this region, the collector current remains almost constant regardless of the collector-emitter voltage (VCE). On the other hand, in the saturation region, a bipolar transistor exhibits a DC current gain of only 10 to 20, where the collector current considerably varies with VCE.
A field-effect transistor (FET) controls the width of a current path called the channel that is created by the voltage applied across the gate and source terminals. Changes in the channel width causes the drain-source resistance to change. Therefore, an FET is a voltage-driven device.
An IGBT is a device that combines a MOSFET, a type of FET, in the front stage and a bipolar transistor in the rear stage. An IGBT operates in the same manner as an FET when it turns on. Therefore, an IGBT is also a voltage-driven device.