Although the semiconductor device is generally thought of as a low-power component, some semiconductor devices are used at very high power, examples being the reverse-blocking thyristor (usually referred to as the thyristor) and the bidirectional thyristor (usually referred to as the triac). Both these devices are widely used in industrial applications where they may be used, for example, to control the speed of rotating machinery or to determine the amount of current supplied to an electric furnace in order to control the furnace temperature. At the other end of the scale they are used in the domestic field in such items as washing machines to control motor speed and in television sets where they may be used to stabilise d.c. supplies against mains variation or changes in load current.
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