1N4148 vs 1N914 or 1N4448

1N4148 vs 1N914 or 1N4448

Many young engineers having trouble with so many part numbers of general-purpose switching diodes and don’t know how to make the selection.

“1N914 and 1N4148 diodes can be used interchangeably. 1N4148 is considered as advanced version of 1N914 but technically there is not much difference. Only difference is that 1n4148 has low leakage current than 1n914, but even for some manufacturers the leakage current is same for both the diodes.
You didn’t mentioned, in which circuit you are using it, if the use is not critical then you can even use many other equivalent diodes like 1N914, 1N914A, 1N914B, 1N916, 1N916A, 1N916B, 1N4148, 1N4448.”

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“The 1N4448 can handle around 500mA compared to only 200mA for the 1N4148
The forward voltage under load is prety well the same at 1 Volt max”

instructables link

The differences:

Most of the general-purpose switching diodes are made with the same wafer process with a little tweet and difference measurement parameters and screening parameters.

It is very similar to buying eggs in the supermarket. Eggs from different farms of different sizes.

Diode manufacturers were creating a lot of part numbers based on a slight variation or even no variation for the sake of easy marketing.

1N914 and 1N4148 are the same in specifications.

1N4148 is more lucky to be chosen by mass volume manufacturers when they made cheap toys and keyboards in the early ’80s. There were 144 pieces of 1N4148 in each 144 keys keyboard but were replaced by micro-controller nowadays.

1N4448 and 1N4148 are the same

1N4448 and 1N4148 are the same, technically but with different specifications on the current handling.

Technically, the current (the power) handling is limited by the package DO35. If 1N4448 can handle 500mA, so does 1N4148.


How to make the selection?

As a good engineering practice, the component cost is the first priority. If 1N4148 can be used technically, then use 1N4148 over the other general-purpose diodes. You can probably buy 1N4148 as a small fraction of the cost comparing to the other diodes such as 1N914 or 1N4448.

The author was the global business manager of the Discrete division of National Semiconductor in Silicon Valley in the late ’80s.

You can buy 1N4148 on the 1N4148.com site.

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