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Definition: device


(1) Hardware. The term refers to any electronic or electromechanical machine or component from a transistor to a disk drive to a smartphone. A device always refers to hardware, never to software. However, a "device driver" refers to software written to activate (to drive) a specific hardware device (see driver).

A User or Client Device
In general conversation, "the user's device" refers to the hardware operated by a person and may refer to a smartphone, tablet, iPod, laptop or desktop computer, but not to devices in a network (see network device).

(2) In semiconductor design, a device is an active component, such as a transistor or diode, in contrast to a passive component, such as a resistor or capacitor.