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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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DEMUX

or

DMX

A demultiplexer is a device taking a single input signal and selecting one of many data-output-lines, which is connected to the single input.

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  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ DMX is likely to be confused with a stage lighting automation standard. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond May 5 '14 at 11:20
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RTL (Verilog)

Register-Transfer Level. A subset of the Verilog / VHDL language that is synthesisable.

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Also Resistor-Transistor Logic, mostly obsoleted by TTL. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond Apr 30 '14 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Check again. It's not 'Resistor' or 'Transistor' or 'logic' \$\endgroup\$ – hassansin Apr 30 '14 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I checked. Sometimes it is. doctord.dyndns.org/courses/Topics/Digital_Logic/digital/… Your move. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond Apr 30 '14 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh, that's not what RTL is used for!! \$\endgroup\$ – hassansin Apr 30 '14 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well it's true you won't see the original RTL very often nowadays. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond Apr 30 '14 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BrianDrummond is correct; RTL also stands for "Resistor Transistor Logic". There are also DTL, IIL, and a plethora of other digital logic families that didn't make it big. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Hass May 2 '14 at 11:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianDrummond I created a separate RTL (logic) entry. \$\endgroup\$ – jippie May 5 '14 at 9:56
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PAL (logic)

Programmable Array Logic. Sometimes also sold under GAL.

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FFC

Flexible Flat Cable. (Or sometimes Flat Flexible Cable.) Usually refers to the thin, flat, high signal-density cables used for board-to-board or board-to-wire communication. They are commonly used on display modules and often have small pitch.

The board-to-wire connectors used to connect the cables are referred to as FFC connectors.

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DFT

The Discrete Fourier Transform. A ordered sequence of numbers that represent the energy and phase of a discrete, periodic signal at some frequency (the frequency represented by the n-th term depends on how fast or 'close together' your input samples are; see other references).

For a discrete signal with period N, ${x_0,...,x_{N-1}}$, the DFT will be of length N, and the DFT at each $k$ from 1 to N is:

$$\tilde{X}(k)=\sum_{n=0}^{N-1}x(n)\cdot e^{-i2\pi k n/N}$$

Not to be confused with the DTFT!

See also: DTFT/CTFT, IFT, FFT

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I2S

Inter-IC sound. (sometimes reffed to as IIS). electrical serial bus used for connecting digital audio devices together. The I2S bus separates clock and serial data signals, it is the most common form of PCM audio data transmission in modern consumer electronics.

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POR

Power-on Reset. A microcontroller featuring a POR (the majority, if not all, modern micros) detects when the power is rising from below the operation threshold, and once it hits a sufficient level to operate stably, triggers a chip-wide reset that fully initializes all peripherals and registers to the specified initial state.

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LSB, MSB

Least Significant Bit.

Most Significant Bit.

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SD,SDHC

Secure digital, Secure Digital High Capacity

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QFP

Quad Flat Package

(A surface mount IC package)

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ARM

Advanced RISC Machine.

(Architecture for computer processors)

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RISC, CISC

RISC - Reduced Instruction set computing.

CISC - Complex Instruction set computing.

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EMI

Electromagnetic Interference. Undesirable and possibly problematic signal emitted by an electronic device. Emission of EMI is often restricted by organizations such as the United State's Federal Communications Commission.

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RTL (discrete logic)

Resistor-Transistor Logic, mostly obsoleted by TTL. There are also DTL, IIL, and a plethora of other digital logic families that didn't make it big

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STA

Static Timing Analysis: A method for verifying timing in digital design.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ May I know why down-voted? \$\endgroup\$ – hassansin Apr 30 '14 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably was somebody that doesn't know jack about digital design, I'll compensate when the vote counter resets. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Apr 30 '14 at 16:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's a correct acronym, but I'd argue something that should be spelled out if used on this site. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Voigt May 1 '14 at 15:58
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CCCS

Current Controlled Current Source

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VCCS

Voltage Controlled Current Source

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VCA

Voltage Controlled Amplifier

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DLL

Short for "Delay Locked Loop".

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BPF

Short for Band Pass Filter. A Band Pass Filter attenuates frequencies outside its pass-band, it attenuates frequencies below its lower cut off frequency and above its higher cut off frequency.

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QM

Quine-McCluskey, an algorithm for minimizing two level logic.

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CMRR

Common Mode Rejection Ratio. Defined for an op-amp as: $$ CMRR = \frac{Diff\ mode\ gain}{Common\ mode\ gain } $$

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TFT

Thin Film Transistor.

(A special kind of FET used in LCD.)

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QAM

Quadrature amplitude modulation.

A digital (or analog) modulation scheme where the amplitudes of two orthogonal carrier waves (in-phase and quadrature) are modulated.

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V

SI symbol for volt - measure of electric potential, abbreviated as:

mV

Millivolt - one thousandth (10-3) of a volt

µV

Microvolt - one millionth (10-6) of a volt

nV

Nanovolt - one bilionth (10-9) of a volt

kV

Kilovolt - one thousand (103) volts

MV

Megavolt - one million (106) volts

GV

Gigavolt - one billion (109) volts

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  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that putting the SI units goes too far from the scope of this post. \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio May 2 '14 at 7:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Especially since kV, and nV are in common usage as well, the attempt other definitions with units are making to show the common ranges completely fails here. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Voigt May 11 '14 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenVoigt I agree about kV and added it to my anser I've never actually seen nV, and it doesn't even show up on a Google search so I'm leaving that one out. \$\endgroup\$ – tcrosley May 11 '14 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tcrosley: Check the noise density for your favorite low-noise opamp, the datasheet will list it in $$nV / \sqrt{Hz}$$ \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Voigt May 11 '14 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenVoigt Thanks for the example. \$\endgroup\$ – tcrosley May 12 '14 at 2:53
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IEEE

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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HDMI

High-Definition Multimedia Interface. A compact audio/video interface for transferring uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from a HDMI-compliant source device to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device.

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BLE

Bluetooth Low Energy. Newest Bluetooth technology using Bluetooth 4.0 and has a range of 50m instead of 10.

(Only android 4.3 devices with BLE support can use BLE and apple products newer than the iPhone 4G).

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EMS

Electronic manufacturing services, companies that design, test, manufacture, distribute, and provide return/repair services for electronic components and assemblies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)

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DVD

Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc

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