List of Miscellaneous Integrated Circuits and Modules

There’s many integrated circuits and modules that perform one or more useful tasks that a circuit designer would otherwise have had to make themselves with a combination of circuit fragments, such as logic gates, op amps, timers, transistors, etc.

Integrated circuits:

CD 4017 Decade Counter

4017 has 10 outputs. In it’s basic circuit, the output 0 starts out being the only one that is high. 1 through 9 are low. With a high pulse to the clock pin, output 0 drops low and output 1 goes high. Each new high pulse to the clock pin makes the next higher number high while the rest are low.

If output 9 is high when the clock pin gets a pulse, then output 9 goes back to low, and output 0 is set high again.

  • High pulse to reset pin sets the output 0 high and outputs 1 to 9 low.
  • Enable pin needs to be held low in order to step up which output is high with each high pulse to the clock pin. If Enable pin is high, then the output that is currently high will stay high while the rest of the outputs stay low, even as there are high pulses being given to the clock pin.

Voltage regulator IC:

When you need a lower voltage than the supply voltage, but not much power (current) then a regulator might be right for you. They basically limit current as needed to maintain a voltage that their output.

Voltage regulators commonly come in the same 3 terminal packaging as transistors. Such as the TO-92 and TO-220.


Modules are complete circuits, usually including one or more integrated circuit, that are built on boards. They are usually complex circuits that a lot of people need, so mass produced units will probably provide higher quality at a lower cost than DIY building them.

Buck converter module:

When your load needs significant current at a lower voltage than the supply voltage, then a buck converter is likely what will want.

The extra voltage from the supply is converted into much of the current that powers the load. Therefore, the higher voltage source doesn’t have to provide as much current as the load needs. If there was a perfect conversion, then the power source would provide the exact same amount of power as the load uses up, and therefore no power would be wasted in the conversion.

Actual buck converters will lose some power in the conversion. If the buck converter is 95% efficient, then 5% of the power source power is lost in the conversion.

It may take more power to power the buck converter than what a very small load will use up. So in those cases, you might as well just use a voltage regulator.

Stepper motor module

Stepper motors have multiple coils in them that allow them to turn the shaft to a certain position, and/or turn to the shaft a certain amount of times based on the number of steps it takes. The modules take signals for other sources, and provide power to the stepper motor coils based on those signals.

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