Because of the bistable characteristics of semiconductor devices, whereby they can be switched on and off, and the efficiency of gate control to trigger such devices, thyristors have been found to be ideally suited for many industrial applications. As already pointed out in Sections 1.2 and 1.3, their compactness, reliability, low losses, and fast turn-on and turn-off times have given them specific advantages over saturable-core reactors and gas tubes. Out of the several members of the thyristor family described in Chapters 1 and 4, the SCR and the triac have high ratings for voltage and current, and are widely used for power control. The other thyristors are used for low-power applications, and as switching devices in control and digital circuits.
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