Surface Mount FETs compared

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One particular electronics component that I often found difficult to pick for my projects is the venerable MOSFET. The FET is part of the Transistor family of semiconductors. There are many types of transistors, but they basically fall in one of these three broad categories:

  • Current-driven: BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor)
  • Voltage-driven: FET (JFET and MOSFET)
  • Other (e.g. phototransistors)


BJTs and FETs can be used for either switching or amplification, but generally one type performs better than the other.

Consider:

  • BJTs require a constant current flow through the base in order for the transistor to open. This base-driven current flow can easily exceed the current rating of microcontroller ports and additional drivers (BJTs or FETs) are often required to enable higher drive currents. BJTs however outperform FETs in terms of amplification factor. Although BJTs can be used for switching purposes, we often