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AC  Alternating Current (vs DC) 
ACK  Acknowledge (logic signal) 
ACIA  Asynchronous Communication Interface Adapter 
ACL  Advanced CMOS Logic (as in 74ACL245) 
A/D  Analog to Digital 
AF  Audio Frequency 
AFC  Automatic Frequency Control 
AGC  Automatic Gain Control AI Artificial Intelligence 
ALC  Automatic Level Control
ALU  Arithmetic Logic Unit 
A/N  Alphanumeric 
ANSI  American National Standards Institute 
ARRL  American Radio Relay League 
AS  Advanced Schottky (as in 74AS245) 
ASIC  Application-Specific Integrated Circuit 
ASK  Amplitude-Shift Keying
ATC  Air Traffic Control 
AV  Audio/Visual 
AVC  Automatic Volume Control


BASIC  Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code 
BBD  Bucket Brigade Device 
BCD  Binary Coded Decimal 
BEV  Billion Electron Volts 
BIFET  BIpolar Field-Effect Transistor 
BNC  Baby N Connector 
BPI  Bits Per Inch 
BPS  Bits Per Second 
BTW  By The Way B&W Black & White (TV) 
BW  BandWidth


 

CAD  Computer Assisted Design 
CADA  Computer Assisted Design and Analysis 
CADD  Computer Assisted Design and Development 
CAE  Computer Assisted Engineering 
CAM  Computer Assisted Manufacturing 
CAN  CANcel 
CAS  Column-Address Strobe (logic signal) 
CATV  CAble TeleVision 
CB  Citizens' Band 
CBI  Complementary Binary 
CC  Constant Current 
CCD  Charge Coupled Device (used in cameras) 
CCITT  International Telegraphy and Telephony Consultative Committee 
CCTV  Closed Circuit TeleVision 
CCW  Counter Clock-Wise 
CD  Compact Disk 
CD-I  Compact Disk - Interactive 
CD-ROM  Compact Disk - Read Only Memory 
CECL  Cascode Emitter-Coubled Logic 
CEMF  Counter ElectroMotive Force 
CerDIP  Ceramic Dual Inline Package 
CES  Consumer Electronics Show 
CF  Center Frequency 
CFM  Cubic Feet per Minute 
CISC  Complex Instruction Set Computer (vs RISC) 
CL  Current Loop 
CMOS  Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor 
CP/M  Control Program for Microcomputers (operating system) 
CPI  Character Per Inch 
CPU  Central Processing Unit 
CRC  Cyclic Redundancy Check (error detection scheme) 
CRT  Cathode Ray Tube (TV/Monitor display, vs LCD)
CS  Control Strobe (logic signal) 
CSA  Canadian Standards Association (UL's Canadian counterpart)
CTC  Counter/Timer Circuit 
CTS  Clear To Send (protocol signal) 
CV  Constant Voltage 
CVT  Constant Voltage Transformer 
CW  ClockWise

  

D/A  Digital to Analog
DAC  Digital to Analog Converter | Data Acquisition and Control 
DARPA  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 
DAV  Data AValiable | DatA Valid (logic signal) 
dB  deciBel 
DBA  DeciBels - Adjusted 
DBK  DeciBels - referred to 1 Kilowatt 
dBM  DeciBels - above or below 1 milliwatt 
DBV  DeciBels - Voltage 
DBX  DeciBels - above reference coupling 
DC  Direct Current (vs AC) 
DCD  Data Carrier Detect (protocol signal) 
DES  Data Encription Standard 
DIAC  Bilateral trigger diode 
DIL  Dual In Line 
DIN  Deutsche Industrie Normenausschuss 
DIP  Dual Inline Package 
DLC  Dual-Layer Capacitor 
DMA  Direct Memory Access 
DMM  Digital MultiMeter 
DOD  Department of Defense 
DOS  Disk Operating System 
DOT  Department of Transportation 
DP  Data Processing 
DPDT  Dual Pole Dual Throw (as in a switch) 
DPI  Dots Per Inch (as in resolution) 
DPST  Dual Pole Single Throw (as in a switch) 
DRAM  Dynamic Random Access Memory 
DS  Data Strobe (logic signal) 
DSO  Digital Storage Oscilloscope 
DSP  Digital Signal Processing 
DTL  Diode Transistor Logic (predecessor of TTL) 
DTMF  Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (aka Touch Tones(tm)) 
DTR  Data Terminal Ready (protcol signal) 
DVM  Digital Volt-Meter

 

E2PROM  Electricaly Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory 
EAPROM  Electricaly Alterable Read Only Memory 
EBCDIC  Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code 
ECC  Error Checking and Correction 
ECL  Emitter Coupled Logic 
EEPROM  Electricaly Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory 
EGA  Enhanced Graphics Adapter 
EIA  Electronics Industries Association 
EL  ElectroLuminescent 
ELF  Extremly Low Frequency
EMF  ElectroMotive Force 
EMI  ElectroMagnetic Interference 
EMP  ElectroMagnetic Pulse 
ENIAC  Electronic Numerical Integrater and Computer (aka first computer) 
EOT  End Of Transmission (protocol signal) 
EPLD  Electricaly Programmable Logic Device 
EPROM  Electricaly Programmable Read Only Memory (UltraViolet erased) 
EQ  EQualizer 
ESA  European Space Agency 
ESD  Electrostatic Sensitive Device (aka CMOS :-) 
ESR  Equivalent Series Resistance 
EV  Electron Volt


 
 

F  Farad (measure of capacitance) 
FAA  Federal Aviation Administration 
FAST  Fairchild Advanced Schottky TTL (as in 74F245) 
FAX  Facsimile FCC Federal Communications Commision 
FDC  Floppy Disk Controller 
FET  Field Effect Transistor 
FF  Flip Flop
FFT  Fast Fourier Transform 
FIFO  First In First Out 
FILO  First In Last Out 
FM  Frequency Modulation 
FORTRAN  FORmula TRANslation 
FP  Floating Point 
FPLA  Field Programmable Logic Array 
FPU  Floating Point Unit 
FSK  Frequency-Shift Keying 
FTP  File Transfer Protocol 
FUBAR  Fouled/F***ed Up Beyond Any Recognition/Repair 
FVC  Frequency to Voltage Converter


   
 

GA  Gate Array 
GAL  Generic Array Logic
GCS  Gate Controller Switch 
GFCI  Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter 
GFI  Ground Fault Interrupter 
GFLOPS  Billions of FLOating Point operations per Second 
GIGO  Garbage In Garbage Out 
GND  GrouND 
GPIB  General Purpose Interface Bus 
GPS  Global Positioning System

 

 

HAL  Hardwired Array Logic 
HC  High speed Cmos (as in 74HC245) 
HCT  High speed Cmos with Ttl thersholds (as in 74HCT245) 
HD  High Density 
HDC  Hard Disk Controller 
HDTV  High Definition TeleVision 
HDX  Half DupleX 
HER  High Efficiency Red (as in a LED) 
HET  Hetetodyne 
HF  High Frequency 
HFS  Hierarchical File System 
HIC  Hybrid Integrated Circuit 
HP  Hewlett Packard (company) | Horse Power 
HPIB  Hewlett Packard Interface Bus 
HPIL  Hewlett Packard Interface Loop (as in HP41CX calculator) 
HTL  High Threshold Logic 
HVDC  High Volatage Direct Current 
HVPS  High Volatage Power Supply 
Hz  Hertz (cycles per second)


I2ICE  Integrated Instrumentation and InCircuit Emulation 
IA  Instrumentation Amplifier
IC  Integrated Circuit 
ICE  InCircuit Emulation 
IEEE  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 
IF  Intermediate Frequency 
IGFET  Insulated Gate Field Effect Transistor 
IMHO  In My Humble Opinion 
IMNHO  In My Not so Humble Opinion 
IOB  Input/Output processor 
IP  Interface Processor 
IR  Current/Resistance | InfraRed 
IRED  InfraRed Emitting Diode 
ISA  Instrument Society of America 
ISN  Information Systems Network 
ISO  In Search Of


 
 
 

JEDEC  Joint Electron Device Engineering Council 
JFET  Junction Field Effect Transistor 
JIS  Japanese Industrial Standard 
JPL  Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
JUG  Joint Users Group


K  Kilo (1000 units) 
KA  KiloAmpere (1000A) 
KBPS  KiloBits Per Second 
KEV  Kilo Electron Volts 
KHz  Kilo Hertz (1000 cycles per second) 
KVA  Kilo Volt Amperes 
KWH  Kilo Watt Hours

 

L  Inductance 
L2FET  Logic Level Field Effect Transistor 
LAN  Local Area Network
LASCR  Light Activated Silicon Controlled Rectifier 
LASER  Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation 
LC  Inductance and Capacitance 
LCD  Liquid Crystal Display 
LCM  Least/Lowest Common Multiple 
LD  Line Driver 
LED  Light Emitting Diode 
LF  Low Frequency
LIFO  Last In First Out 
LISP  LISt Processing (language) 
LO  Local Oscillator 
LORAN  LOng RAnge Navigation 
LP  Low Pass
LPC  Linear Predictive Coding 
LPM  Lines Per Minute
LPT  Line PrinTer (port - aka parallel port - of IBM PC fame) 
LSB  Least Significant Bit 
LSD  Least Significant Digit 
LSI  Large Scale Integration 
LUT  Look Up Table 
LW  Long Wave



 

MB  MegaBytes (1024 * 1024 bytes) 
MBPS  Million Bytes Per Second 
MCA  Micro Channel Architecture (IBM PS/2's bus) 
MCU  MicroComputer Unit 
MDAC  Multiplying Digital to Analog Converter 
MECL  Motorola Emitter Coupled Logic 
MFLOPS  Millions of FLOating Point operations per Second 
MFM  Modified Frequency Modulation 
MHz  MegaHertz 
MIDI  Music Instrument Digital Interface 
MIL  MILitary 
MIPS  Millions of Instructions Per Second 
MMU  Memory Management Unit 
MO  Master Oscillator 
MOS  Metal Oxide Semiconductor 
MOSFET  Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor 
MOV  Metal Oxide Varistor 
MPU  Main Processing Unit 
MR  Magnetic Resonance 
MS-DOS  MicroSoft Disk Operating System 
MSB  Most Significant Bit 
MSD  Most Significant Digit 
MSI  Medium Scale Intergration 
MTBF  Mean Time Between Failures 
MTS  Multichannel Television Sound (aka Stereo TV) 
MUX  Multiplexer



 

NASA  National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
NC  Not Connected (pin) | Normally Closed (switch/relay) 
NEDA  National Electronics Distributors Association 
NEMA  National Electrical Manufacturers Association 
NF  NanoFarad (measure of capacitance)
NFS  Network File Server 
NiCad  Nickel Cadmium (rechargable battery) TM of Saft America 
NMOS  N-channel Metal Oxide Semiconductor 
NMR  Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 
NO  Normally Open (switch/relay) 
NOAA  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
NORAD  NORth American Defense 
NPN  Negative Positive Negative (as in 2N2222 transistor) 
NPO  Negative Positive 0 temperature coefficient (cermaic capacitors) 
NPR  Nations Public Radio 
NRZ  Non Return to Zero 
NRZI  Non Return to Zero Invert 
NSB  National Science Board 
NSF  National Science Foundation 
NSPE  National Society of Professional Engineers 
NT  Network Terminator 
NTC  Negative Temperature Coefficient 
NTSC  National Television Systems Committee (Never The Same Color twice :-)



 

OC  Open Collector 
OCR  Optical Character Recognition 
OEM  Original Equipment Manufacturer 
OS  Operating System 
OSCAR  Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio 
OSHA  Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
OTDR  Optical Time Domain Reflectrometry 
OTOH  On The Other Hand 
OTP  One Time Programmable (as in PROM or plastic EPROM) 
OVP  Over Voltage Protection



 

PA  Power Amplifier | Public Address 
PAL  Programmable Array Logic (TM of Monolithic Memories) 
PBX  Perivate Branch eXchange 
PC  Personal Computer | Printed Circuit | Program Counter 
PCB  Printed Circuit Board 
PCC  Plastic Chip Carrier 
PCM  Pulse Code Modulation 
PEC  PhotoElectric Cell 
PF  Power Factor 
PG  Power Gain 
PGA  Pin Grid Array 
PIA  Peripheral Interface Adapter 
PIC  Priority Interrupt Controller | Prallax'es microcontroller name 
PIV  Peak Inverse Voltage 
PLA  Programmable Logic Array 
PLCC  Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier 
PLD  Programmable Logic Device 
PLL  Phase Locked Loop 
PM  Phase Modulation | Pulse Modulation 
PNP  Positive Negative Positive (transistor) 
POS  Point Of Sale 
POV  Peak Operating Voltage 
PPM  Parts Per Million 
PPS  Pulses Per Second 
PRN  Pseudo Random Noise 
PROM  Programmable Read Only Memory 
PSG  Programmable Sound Generator 
PSI  Pounds per Square Inch (pressure) 
PSK  Phase Shift Keying 
PTT  Push To Talk (microphone) 
PUT  Programmable Unijunction Transistor 
PV  PhotoVoltaic 
PWM  Pulse Width Modulation 
PWR  PoWeR



 

QA  Quality Assurance 
QC  Quality Control 
QIC  Quarter Inch Cartridge 
QIP  Quad Inline Package 
QSM  Quad Surface Mount

 


 

R&D  Research and Development 
RAD  Radiation Absorbed Dose 
RADAR  RAdio Detection And Ranging 
RAM  Random Access Memory 
RAS  Row Address Strobe (logic signal) 
RC  Radio Control | Resistance and Capacitance 
RCV  ReCeiVe 
RD  Receive Data | ReaD (logic signal) 
RDA  Deceive Data 
RDY  ReaDY 
REM  Roentgen equivalent man 
REP  Roentgen equivalent Physical 
RET  RETurn 
RF  Radio Frequency 
RFI  Radio Frequency Interference 
RGB  Red Green Blue 
RH  Relative Humidity 
RHDP  Right Hand Decimal Point 
RISC  Reduced Instruction Set Computer (vs CISC) 
RLC  Resistance Inductance Capacitance 
RLG  Ring Laser Gyroscope 
RMI  Radio Magnetic Interference 
RMS  Root Mean Square
ROM  Read Only Memory 
RPM  Revolutions Per Minute 
RPN  Reverse Polish Notation (as in HP calculators) 
RPS  Revolutions Per Second 
RS  Reed Solomon (error correction) 
RT  Real Time | Rise Time 
RTD  Resistance Temperature Detector 
RTI  Real Time Interrupt 
RTL  Resistor Transistor Logic 
RTOS  Real Time Operating System 
RTS  Request To Send (protocol signal)



 

S/H   Sample and Hold 
S/N   Signal to Noise (ratio) 
SAW   Surface Acoustic Wave 
SBC   Single Board Computer 
SCA   SubCarrier Adapter 
SCI   Serial Communication Interface 
SCL   Serial CLock 
SCR   Silicon Controller Rectifier 
SCS   Silicon Controller Switch 
SCSI   Small Computer System Interface 
SDI   Strategic Defense Initiative 
SEM   Scanning Electron Microscope 
SEMI   Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute 
SFC   polyStyrene Film Capacitor 
SG   Signal Ground 
SI   Systeme International (international system of units) 
SIMM   Single Inline Memory Module 
SIO   Serial Input and Output 
SIPO   Serial In Parallel Out 
SLC   Sigle Layer Ceramic (capacitor) 
SM   Surface Mount 
SMD   Surface Mount Device 
SNR   Signal to Noise Ratio 
SO   Serial Output | Small Outline | Significant Other 
SOIC   Small Outline Integrated Circuit 
SOJ   Small Outline J-leaded (chip package) 
SOLV   SOLenoid Valve 
SONAR   SOund NAvigation and Ranging
SOP   Small Outline Package 
SP   Signal Processor | Stack Pointer 
SPDT   Single Pole Double Throw (switch) 
SPI   Serial to Parallel Interface 
SPICE   Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis 
SPL   Sound Pressure Level 
SPST   Single Pole Single Throw (switch)
SQL   Structured Query Language (for databases) 
SR   Shift Register
SRAM   Static Random Access Memory 
SSB   Single SideBand 
SSI   Small Scale Integration 
SSR   Solid State Relay 
SSTV   Slow Scan TeleVision 
SW   Short Wave


T/H  Track and Hold 
TC  Temperature Coefficient 
TCP/IP  Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol 
TD  Tunnel Diode 
TDD  Telecomunication Devices for the Deaf 
TEM  Transverse Electromagnetic (wave) 
TF  Transfer Function 
TFD  Thin Film Detector 
TFEL  Thin Film ElectroLuminescent 
TFT  Thin Film Transistor 
THD  Total Harmonic Distortion 
THz  TetraHertz 
TIG  Tungsten Inert Gas 
TM  Transverse Magnetic (wave) 
TR  Transient Response 
TS  Time Sharing 
TTL  Transistor Transistor Logic 
TV  TeleVision 
TWT  Traveling Wave Tube


UART   Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter uF micro Farad (measure of capacitance) 
UHF   Ultra High Frequency 
UHV   Ultra High Vacuum 
UJT   UniJunction Transistor 
UL   Underwriters Laboratories 
ULSI   Ultra Large Scale Integration 
UPC   Universal Product Code 
UPS   Uninterruptible Power Supply 
USART   Universal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter 
UTC   Universal Time Code 
UV   UltraViolet 
UVA   UltraViolet Alpha 
UVB   UltraViolet Beta


VA  Volt Ampere 
VAC  Volts Alternating Current 
VAR  VARiable 
VCC  Supply Voltage - positive 
VCD  Variable Capacitance Diode
VCO  Voltage Controlled Oscillator 
VCR  Video Cassette Recorder 
VDC  Volts Direct Current 
VDD  Supply Voltage - negative 
VF  Vacuum Fluorecent 
VFC  Voltage to Frequency Converter 
VFO  Variable Frequency Oscillator (vs a crystal oscillator) 
VHF  Very High Frequency 
VLF  Very Low Frequency 
VLSI  Very Large Scale Integration 
VLT  Video Look up Table 
VOL  VOLume 
VOM  Volt OhmMeter 
VOX  Voice Operated transmit ("trans" = X as in "Xmitter") 
VR  Voltage Regulator 
VRAM  Video Random Access Memory (aka Very fast RAM) 
VS  Vertical Sync 
VSS  Supply Voltage - Negative 
VT  Virtual Terminal 
VTM  Voltage Tunable Magnetron 
VTVM  Vacuum Tube Volt Meter 
VXO  Variable crystal Oscilator


WACK  Wait before ACKowledge 
WDT  Watch Dog Timer 
WHR  Watt HouR 
WP  Word Processor 
WPM  Words Per Minute 
WR  WRite (logic signal) 
WV  Working Voltage 
WW  Wire Wound | Wire Wrap


XMT  TransMiT 
XTAL  crysTAL


YAG   Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (laser) 
YIG   Yttrium Iron Garnet


ZD   Zero Defects 
ZIF   Zero Insertion Force 
ZIP   Zigzag Inline Package | Compression scheme

 


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