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Definition: CMOS


(Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) Pronounced "c-moss." The most widely used integrated circuit design. CMOS transistors are found in almost every electronic product from handheld devices to mainframes. CMOS uses PMOS and NMOS transistors wired together in a balanced fashion that causes less power to be used (for more details, see MOSFET). The first transistors were bipolar, which are still used when higher power is required. CMOS and bipolar are also used in combination. See FET, bipolar transistor and CMOS memory.




A Note From the Author
In the early 1980s, my wife Irma and I had a kitten at the beach named CMOS. When we introduced her to people, everyone thought "Sea Moss" was such a cute name for a beach cat. However, when we told them CMOS stood for "complementary metal oxide semiconductor," they didn't come around much any more! CMOS didn't last long, as I became quite allergic to her a few months later.