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This question is meant to be a glossary of abbreviations used in electrical engineering.

Some abbreviations are very common and universal, and are therefore acceptable to use on this site. Others are quite localized or pet abbreviations used by individuals without a wide following, so are not acceptable on this site. One purpose of this question is to list all abbreviations so that others have a chance to decode them if encountered, but thru voting also show which ones are acceptable to use in a wide international context or not.

So here are some rules to make this question work:

  1. Each answer must only be for ONE abbreviation.

  2. This will be community wiki, so only ONE answer for each abbreviation. If you want to expand on a description, edit the existing answer for that abbreviation.

  3. This is going to get long, so consistant formatting will help. For each answer (abbreviation), start with just the abbreviation within HTML "h1" and "/h1" tags on a line by itself.

  4. Upvote answers for abbreviations you think would be acceptable to use in a post on this site without any expansion or explanation.

  5. Downvote abbreviations (answers) you think should not be used "bare" on this site. This will be community-wiki, so nobody will loose reputation as a result. In this special case, you are voting on the universality of the abbreviation, not on the quality of the writeup. If you don't like the write up, fix it instead.


INDEX

A - A(2) AC(7) ADC(15) ALU(3) AM(7) ASCII(12) ASIC(6) ASK(1) AWG(7)

B - BCD(5) BJT(16) BLDC(4) BNC(6) BPF(1) BW(3)

C - CAD(5) CAN(7) CC(1) CC-II(-1) CCCS(1) CCD(6) CMOS(16) CMRR(1) COG(0) CPLD(4) CPM(-1) CPU(7) CRO(-1)

D - DAC(15) DC(7) DEMUX(2) DFT(2) DIP(5) DLL(2) DMA(7) DRC(3) DSO(3) DSP(13) DTFT(0) DVD(-10) DVM/DMM(4)

E - ECL(4) EDA(6) EE(7) EEPROM(13) EMC(3) EMS(-7) EOS(0) EPROM(3) ESD(9)

F - F(2) FDNR(-3) FET(17) FFC(2) FFT(6) FIFO/LIFO(7) FM(7) FPGA(9) FSK(1) FSM(4)

G - GBW(5) GIC(-1) GND(16) GPIO(9) GPS(4)

H - H(2) HDTV(-11) HF(4) hFE(2) HPF(2) HVSP(-1) Hz(3)

I - i(-1) I/P(-7) I2S(1) IC(11) IF(4) IFT(1) IGBT(9) IGFET(0) ISP(4) I²C(13)

J - j(-1) JFET(10) JTAG(7)

K - KCL(6) KVL(6)

L - LCD(17) LED(19) LF(3) LPF(4) LSB, MSB(2) LUT(5) LVD(-1) LVDS(5) LVDT(0) LVS(-2)

M - MCU(6) MEMS(6) MIDI(4) MOSFET(17) MPU(-1) ms(2) MUX(6)

N - NEXT(-6) NPN(12) NTSC(0) NVM(0)

O - O/P(-7) OCXO(2) OLED(4) OP-AMP(8) OTA(3)

P - P-P(0) PAL (logic)(2) PAL (television)(0) PC(-1) PCB(17) PCBA(-5) PCM(4) PFM(-2) PIC(0) PID(9) PLL(9) PM(0) , duplicate(0) PNP(14) POR(3) PPM(-1) PSK(5) PUT(-1) PWM(24)

Q - QM(-6) QVGA(0)

R - RADAR(0) RAM(12) RF(5) RFID(6) RGB(4) RJ45(6) ROM(3) RTL (discrete logic)(2) RTL (Verilog)(2)

S - SAW(3) SCR(9) SD,SDHC(0) SDCC(-3) SMA(4) SMPS(9) SMT(5) SNR(5) SOC/SoC(5) SPI(13) SPICE(8) SRAM(6) SRPP(-2) STA(0)

T - TBH(-8) TCXO(2) THD(6) TRF(-1) TTL(10) TVS(4)

U - UART(12) UHF(4) UJT(0) UL(3) USART(4) USB(4)

V - V(2) VCA(1) VCC / VEE / VDD / VSS(14) VCCS(1) VCO(5) VCXO(3) VFD(3) VGA(-2) VHDL(7) VHF(5) VLSI(2) VNL,VFL(-1) VSWR(4)

W - W(2)

X - XO(1) XOR(3) XTAL(5)

Ω - Ω(0)

186 answers - Sun May 11 09:17:28 2014 (CET)

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PID

Proportional, Integral, Derivative. A type of controller used in control systems.

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IGBT

Insulated Gate Bipolar transistor. A device that combines the high impedance input characteristics of a MOSFET with the high current output capabilities of a BJT.

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CAN

Controller area network, a message-based serial protocol with differential signaling.

tag wiki for

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JTAG

Joint Test Action Group

also used to describe the serial interface defined by this group

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VHDL

VHSIC Hardware Description Language

where VHSIC is Very High Speed Integrated Circuit

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AWG

American Wire Gauge, a wire gauge standard widely used in North America.

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SPICE

Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis

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FIFO/LIFO

FIFO: First-In, First-Out (a queue)

LIFO: Last-In, First-Out (a stack)

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OP-AMP

also

OpAmp

Operational Amplifier.

An amplifier with very high gain and differential inputs. That is, for a conventional op-amp, the output voltage is a large multiple of the difference between the voltage at the two inputs.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ These abbreviations should be separate. I don't think OA is as good or recognized an abbreviation, at least not without context. \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton May 1 '14 at 3:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've taken the liberty of removing OA, since OP-AMP is the more common abbreviation. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Johnson May 1 '14 at 17:56
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CPU

Short for Central Processing Unit.

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FM

Short for "Frequency Modulation"

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DC

Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge.

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AC

Alternating current is the flow of electric charge that periodically reverses direction.

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DMA

Direct-Memory Access, used for high-throughput interfaces in digital systems

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  • \$\begingroup\$ DMA and bus-mastering aren't restricted to high-throughput interfaces. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Voigt May 11 '14 at 19:58
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SRAM

Static Random Access Memory

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ASIC

Application-Specific Integrated Circuit

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BNC

Bayonet Neill–Concelman connector; a miniture quick-connect/disconnect RF coaxial connector

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LVDS

Low voltage differential signalling -- commonly used for high-speed digital communications and lcd display interfaces

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RJ45

Registered Jack 45. A famous one of the long list of registered jacks since it is used for most ethernets. It has 8 pins, connected to four twisted pair in common ethernet wiring.

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THD

Total Harmonic Distortion, which is a measure of how much noise is introduced as a result of non-linear processes.

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MCU

microcontroller. a small computer on a IC.

Notice: a small computer Not a processor. then it containing a processor core, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Should be only one abbreviation per answer. \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Apr 30 '14 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Should I modify this answer and separate it to three answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Roh Apr 30 '14 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, so they can be voted on individually. \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Apr 30 '14 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JYelton ok. thanks \$\endgroup\$ – Roh May 1 '14 at 3:29
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AM

Short for "Amplitude Modulation"

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EE

  • Electronics Engineer(ing)
  • Electrical Engineer(ing)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, Electrical Engineer. \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathon Reinhart May 3 '14 at 6:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes "double E" when spoken, but that is not common outside of our engineering community. \$\endgroup\$ – HL-SDK May 6 '14 at 13:41
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MUX

A multiplexer is a device that selects one of several analog or digital input signals and forwards the selected input into a single line.

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FFT

An algorithm that rapidly computes the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) of a periodic signal. FFT is very commonly used to mean the DFT, the output of the FFT algorithm.

See also: DFT, DTFT/CTFT, IFT

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EDA

Electronic Design Automation. A set of tools made to design electronic circuits. Wiki

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CCD

Charge-Coupled Device, used to describe some imaging devices

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Most often used in imaging today, but can also refer more generally to a type of logic or memory. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed May 1 '14 at 21:20
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RFID

Radio Frequency Identification

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SNR

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

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DIP

Dual-Inline Package, an integrated packaging style for through-hole assembly

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also known as 'DIL' \$\endgroup\$ – jippie May 2 '14 at 13:59
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