BC546 VS BC547 Transistor: Understanding the Difference

Today we are going explain BC546 VS BC547 or the difference and similarities between these two transistors, their pin configurations, ratings and characteristics, and other useful info such as in what condition we can and in which conditions we can use them in place of each other and in which conditions we cannot. BC546 and BC547 both are popular transistors of BC54X transistors series. BC54X is the series of NPN transistors which also contains other transistors such as BC548, BC549 and BC550. All the transistors in this series have minor differences between them and are designed to use in general purpose small signal amplification and switching applications. All the transistors in this series are reliable to use, low cost and easily available due to which they are widely used in commercial equipment and appliances. Moreover due to their popularity then are also used by electronic students, experimenters and hobbyists.


BC546 VS BC547



BC546 VS BC547 Pin Comparison

As you can see in the pin comparison image above there is no difference between the pins of them. The first pin of both the transistors is “Collector”, second is “Base” and the third is “Emitter”.


Ratings & Characteristics Comparison:

Ratings & Characteristics BC546BC547
Collector-Emitter Voltage (Vceo)65V45V
Collector Current (Ic)100mA100mA
Total Device Dissipation (PD)625mW 625mW
DC Current Gain (hFE)110 To 800110 To 800
Frequency (fT)300 MHz300 MHz


Can We Use BC546 Instead of BC547

Looking at the above ratings and characteristics chart the BC547 has collector-emitter voltage is 65V, Collector current is 100mA, total device dissipation is 625mW, DC current gain is 110 to 800 and the transition frequency (fT) is 300MHz. The BC547 also has almost same ratings, the only difference is their collector-emitter voltage. But in this case the BC546 has higher collector to emitter voltage as compare to BC547 so you can easily replace it with BC547 in any condition whether it is use as a switch or amplifier or for any other purpose.


Can We Use BC547 Instead of BC546

Now in this condition you can still use the BC547 instead of BC546 in most of the conditions but in only one condition you cannot use it without knowing the actual voltage the load is driving. If the load that is derived with the BC546 transistor is upto 45V then you cannot use it in the place of BC546 because BC546 has higher collector to emitter voltage of 65V. But most of the times they are used in circuits that works under 24V such as in 3V, 5V, 6V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 18V circuits so this will not be a problem and you can still replace it with BC547.



So we have come to a conclusion that we can use BC546 transistor in the placeBC546 in all conditions and we can also use BC547 transistor in the place of BC547 in most conditions but only in one condition we cannot use it when the load voltage is upto 45V.




What is the difference between BC547 and BC548?

Both the transistors are of same series and NPN type but there is slightly difference between the two. Please visit the page BC547 VS BC548 of our site to find more details on that.


Is BC547 a Mosfet?

BC547 is not a MOSFET. It is an NPN BJT stands for bipolar junction transistor. It has maximum output current of only 100mA and available in TO-92 package.


What is difference between BC547 and BC557?

The major difference between these two transistors is their type. The BC547 is an NPN transistor while BC557 is a PNP transistor.


Is BC547 NPN or PNP?

It is an NPN transistor available in TO-92 package and it PNP complementary transistor is BC557.

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