The last piece of the puzzle is still missing. While it is very low-tech in nature, it is, nonetheless, invaluable. This is the fuse. A fuse can be as simple as a piece of metal held in either glass or plastic.
The fuse conducts electricity readily in normal operation. If an issue arises in the circuit causing it to draw more current than normal operation calls for, the excess current heats the metal to the melting point, breaking the circuit so the electricity stops flowing.
With all the pieces of basic electronics defined, think about how much space is taken by putting all these parts on a board to connect them together so they do something for us. If we could get rid of some of the packaging and wires for the different parts, we could have devices that are smaller, lighter, consume less electricity, and, even be more reliable. This idea is explored next.
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