Are NMOS and PMOS semantically meaning enhancement NMOS and PMOS?

If so, how are depleted NMOS and PMOS called?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not semantic so much as depletion devices are so rare that everyone assumes you're speaking of the more common kind unless you make it explicit. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ ok, so you are meaning that at the timescale of depletion devices, NMOS and PMOS were meaning depleted NMOS and PMOS, while now, in modern times, since enhancement devices are now the most used, they mean enhancement ones. ok. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 19:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Most depletion mode devices are JFETs, where there is no need to specify they are depletion mode : it should be obvious there are no enhancement mode JFETs. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


Semantically, a word means whatever the author wants it to mean. So if you run across a work that uses "NMOS" to mean a kind of ground-clinging non-vascular plant that lives in moist areas -- just roll with it.

Typical usage is that if you just say "NMOS" or "PMOS" you mean enhancement mode, because these days depletion-mode MOSFETs are exceedingly rare. If you happen to be working with one you should refer to it as "depletion mode NMOS" or "depletion mode PMOS".

But if you run across an article that's really confusing until you finally realize that the author is talking about depletion mode, go back to the start, re-read, and be glad you're not reading about botany when you wanted to know about transistors.


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