Electronic – Full form of hFE of a digital multimeter


Digital multimeter, downloaded from Web

In digital multimeter, there is a transistor-check function, and there is a term hFE. I do-not know how-to use-it, however, different Websites say it is a measurement transistor's gain ("the ratio of the Ic/Ib") such as: https://www.quora.com/What-does-hFE-mean-on-a-multimeter ;etc. .

But I want to know, what-is the full-form (full-NAME) of hFE?

Best Answer

It is a mouth-full to say as a full name. I found this description here.

hFE is an abbreviation, and it stands for "Hybrid parameter forward current gain, common emitter", and is a measure of the DC gain of a junction transistor. So on a multimeter, it indicates a mode where the meter can measure (probably crudely), the HFE of a transistor.

EDIT: When I talk about transistor gain with other engineer's, we often use the term 'beta', yet in a datasheet 'hFE' is normally what is used by the manufacture based on calibrated equipment for a standalone transistor.

For some transistors hFE readings may be done at several crucial frequencies as well as DC. 'Beta' is a better term for common-base designs, or just a general statement about DC and/or AC current gain in a known circuit.

As a refinement of the original answer, @carloc mentioned that a 'hFE' spelling refers to a DC signal of relatively large amplitude, while 'hfe' refers to a small signal measured deferentially around some common bias point. No specific thresholds were given, though my original answer refers to 'hFE', the DC gain of the transistor.