A rectifier is a processing module that modifies the shape of an input signal by allowing only the positive or negative portion of the waveform to pass through while blocking or inverting the other portion. There are two main types of rectifiers: half-wave rectifiers and full-wave rectifiers.
- Half-wave rectifier: A half-wave rectifier allows either the positive or negative half of the input signal to pass through while blocking the other half. When the positive half is allowed to pass through, and the negative half is blocked, it is called a positive half-wave rectifier. Conversely, when the negative half is allowed to pass through, and the positive half is blocked, it is called a negative half-wave rectifier. In both cases, the blocked portion of the waveform is set to zero.
- Full-wave rectifier: A full-wave rectifier takes both the positive and negative halves of the input signal and inverts one of the halves, resulting in a unipolar output signal where the entire waveform is either positive or negative. This process essentially “folds” the waveform over the zero-voltage line, creating a new waveform with doubled frequency and all positive or all negative amplitude values.