Difference between Electronics and Power Electronics

Electronics and Power Electronics are the two branches of electrical and electronics engineering. They seem similar, but there are many differences between them. In this article, we will explain what electronics and power electronics are and the major differences between them.

What is Electronics?

The term Electronics represents the field of engineering which deals with the study of emission, behavior and control of electrons in vacuum, gases and semiconductors and with the electronic devices such as diode, transistors, etc.

Based on the type of signal processing, the electronics is broadly classified into two types viz. analog electronics and digital electronics. Where, the analog electronics consists of those devices that can function with continuous-time signals, whereas the digital electronics consists of those devices that functions with the discrete-time signals.

What is Power Electronics?

Power electronics is a sub-branch of electrical engineering which deals with the processing of high currents and voltages in various electrical systems. Basically, the power electronics is the combination of electronics and high power electrical engineering, where the operation of devices used is similar to electronic devices, but operates at high voltage and current ratings.

At present, the power electronics is widely being used in various fields of electrical engineering such power generation, power transmission and distribution, power control, railway electrification, space industries, power supplies, renewable energy, etc.

Differences between Electronics and Power Electronics

Both electronics and power electronics seem similar, however, there are many difference between these two subjects which are highlighted in the following table −

Basis of Difference Electronics Power Electronics
Definition Electronics is the field of engineering and physics that deals with the study of behavior, movement and effects of electrons and with the solid state devices. Power electronics is the branch of electrical engineering which deals with the behavior and operation of high voltage and current devices used to control and deliver electrical power.
Part Electronics is the part of various electronics engineering steams such as electronics and communication, electronics and telecommunication, etc. Power electronics is the part of electrical engineering.
Voltage and current rating Electronics works with low voltage and low current ratings. Power electronics works with high voltage and high current ratings.
Noise In electronics, the noise and distortion are high. Power electronics has low noise and distortion.
Power losses In electronics, low power losses occur. In power electronics, the power losses are relatively high.
Electrical safety hazards In electronics, there is no or very low electrical safety hazards. Power electronics involves high electrical safety hazards.
Purpose The main purpose of electronics is to capture and analyze the data of a system. The purpose of power electronics is to operate a system efficiently.
Applications Electronics is used in amplification, rectification, multiplexing, encoding, wireless transmission of signals, data processing, etc. Power electronics is used in control, rectification, inversion, conversion, etc. of high electrical power.
Devices Some examples of electronic devices are computers, smartphones, FM radios, TVs, watches, diodes, signal transistors, etc. Some examples of practical power electronics devices are SMPS, battery chargers, VFDs, UPS, Inverters, etc.


In this article, we have listed all the key differences between electronic and power electronics by considering various parameters such as basic definition, voltage and current ranges, applications, field of engineering, etc. The most significant difference is that electronics is the field of engineering which deals with the devices that operate on low voltages and currents, while power electronics deals with the devices that operate on high voltages and currents.