An Avalanche Transistor is a bipolar junction transistor designed for operation in the region of its collector-current/collector-to-emitter voltage characteristics beyond the collector to emitter breakdown voltage, called avalanche breakdown region .
This region is characterized by avalanche breakdown, a phenomenon with a negative differential resistance. Operation in the avalanche breakdown region is called avalanche mode operation. It gives avalanche transistors the ability to switch very high currents with less than a nanosecond rise and fall times (transition times).
In order to overcome speed and breakdown voltage limitations which affected the first models of transistor when used in earlier computer digital circuits, the very first applications of avalanche transistor were in switching circuits and multivibrators.
Linear applications of this class of devices started later since there are some specific requirements to fulfill. Nowadays, there is still active research on avalanche devices transistors.
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