Often, though, they are used for other purposes, such as to route signals in logic circuits. Transistors can be considered the workhorses of modern electronic circuits, and consequently many types of transistors have been developed, among which the most widely used are the bipolar junction transistor (BJT), the junction field-effect transistor (JFET), and the metal oxide silicon field-effect transistor (MOSFET).
Since active devices usually supply signal energy to an electronic circuit, and since energy can only be transformed and not created, a source of energy is needed when active devices are present. This energy is usually obtained from batteries or through rectification of sinusoidal voltages supplied by power companies. When inserted into an electronic circuit, such a source of energy fixes the quiescent operation of the circuit; that is, it allows the circuit to be biased to a given operating point with no signal applied, so that when a signal is present it will be processed properly. To be useful, an electronic circuit produces one or more outputs; often inputs are applied to produce the outputs. These inputs and outputs are called the signals and, consequently, generally differ from the bias quantities, though often it is hard to separate signal and bias variables. Biasing of electronic circuits is an important, non- trivial, and often overlooked aspect of their operation.
A convenient graphical representation of input-output behavior of a system, where the signal into the block represents the input and the signal out of the block represents the output. The flow of information (the signal) is unidirectional from the input to the output. The primary use of the block diagram is to portray the interrelationship of distinct parts of the system.
In basic diagrams, the standard symbols for the circuit components are arranged in correspondence with the operational principle of the device, as well as to facilitate the reading of the diagram. In design diagrams, all or some of the components are represented as equivalent circuits; in such diagrams, sources of electromotive force, current, resistance, inductance, capacitance, and so on are assumed to be components with lumped parameters.