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A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternatin g N and P-type material.

They act as bistable switches, conducting when their ga te receives a current trigger, and continue to conduct while they are forward bi ased (that is, while the voltage across the device is not reversed). Some sources define silicon controlled rectifiers and thyristors as synonymous.[ 1] Other sources define thyristors as a larger set of devices with at least four la yers of alternating N and P-type material, including:[2][3] Distributed Buffer - Gate Turn-off Thyristor (DB-GTO) Gate turn-off thyristor (GTO) Integrated gate commutated thyristor (IGCT) MOS composite static induction thyristor/CSMT MOS Controlled Thyristor (MCT) Reverse conducting thyristor Silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) Static induction thyristor (SITh) Triode AC switch (TRIAC