Accelerated life testing – testing mode applying burn-in conditions, aiming to simulate the ageing process and evaluating the time to wear-out.
Across-chip linewidth variation (ACLV) – the effect of changing the channel length variation within-die, caused by lithography limitations and other technological imperfections.
Across-chip mobility variation – the technique used to control the carrier mobility of ON current.
Active mask – a type of physical mask that defines all areas where p-, n-type of diffusion or transistor gates should be applied.
Activity factor – the probability that the circuit node switches between 0 and 1 states.
Active transistor state – transistor state, when a base-collector pn-junction is reverse-biased, and base-emitter is forward-biased. Read more.
Ad hoc clock distribution network – a network where a clock is routed randomly with possibility equalised wire lengths or add buffers to equalise the delay.
Ad hoc testing – testing techniques aimed to decrease combinational explosion of testing, including the following techniques: partitioning large sequential circuits, adding multiplexers, test points and providing for easy state reset.
Adaptive body bias – ability of chips to compensate for systematic die-to-die threshold variations to improve performance and decrease leakage.
Admittance – is a measure of electrical conductance, reciprocal to the impedance. Read more.
Admittance inverter – is an inverter designed to invert low admittance. It can be used to transform shunt-connected elements into series-connected elements and vice versa.
Admittance matrix – is a microwave network that connects currents and voltages the following way: .
ALD (Atomic layer deposition) – is a thin film deposition technique when chemical layer #1 is attached to the surface, and chemical layer #2 is used to produce a thin layer of required mterial.
Alternating Current (AC) – (AC) is an electric current in which the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction, whereas in direct current (DC, also dc), the flow of electric charge is only in one direction. The abbreviations AC and DC are often used to mean simply alternating and direct, as when they modify current or voltage. AC is the form in which electric power is delivered to businesses and residences. The usual waveform of alternating current in most electric power circuits is a sine wave. In certain applications, different waveforms are used, such as triangular or square waves.
Ammeter – a tool for measuring an electrical current in the circuit. Read more.
Ampere’s Law – is an integral part of Maxwel’s equations, represented by the following equation: .
Amplifier – is an electronic device, performing amplification functions. Read more.
Analogue Signals – An analogue signal is any continuous signal for which the time-varying feature (variable) of the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity, i.e., analogous to another time varying signal. For example, in an analogue audio signal, the instantaneous voltage of the signal varies continuously with the pressure of the sound waves. It differs from a digital signal, in which the continuous quantity is a representation of a sequence of discrete values which can only take on one of a finite number of values. The term analogue signal usually refers to electrical signals; however, mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, human speech, and other systems may also convey or be considered analogue signals.
Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC) – In electronics, an analogue-to-digital converter (ADC, A/D, or A-to-D) is a system that converts an analogue signal, such as a sound picked up by a microphone or light entering a digital camera, into a digital signal. An ADC may also provide an isolated measurement such as an electronic device that converts an input analogue voltage or current to a digital number representing the magnitude of the voltage or current. Typically the digital output is a two’s complement binary number that is proportional to the input, but there are other possibilities.
Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) – An application-specific integrated circuit is an integrated circuit (IC) chip customised for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use. For example, a chip designed to run in a digital voice recorder or a high-efficiency bitcoin miner is an ASIC. Application-specific standard product (ASSP) chips are intermediate between ASICs and industry standard integrated circuits like the 7400 series or the 4000 series ASIC chips are typically fabricated using metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) technology, as MOS integrated circuit chips.
ATEX – The ATEX directive consists of two EU directives describing what equipment and work space is allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere. ATEX derives its name from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive: Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosives.
Attentuator – An attenuator is an electronic device that reduces the power of a signal without appreciably distorting its waveform. An attenuator is effectively the opposite of an amplifier, though the two work by different methods. While an amplifier provides gain, an attenuator provides loss, or gain less than 1.
Band-Pass Filter (BPF) – is characterised with lower cut-off frequency and upper cut-off frequency. Read more.
Base (B) – is a lightly doped layer in BJT structure.
Bill of Materials (BOM) – A bill of materials or product structure (sometimes bill of material, BOM or associated list) is a list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts, and the quantities of each needed to manufacture an end product. A BOM may be used for communication between manufacturing partners or confined to a single manufacturing plant. A bill of materials is often tied to a production order whose issuance may generate reservations for components in the bill of materials that are in stock and requisitions for components that are not in stock.
Bipolar junction transistor (BJT) – a three terminal semiconductor device, based on three layers of p and n layers, with different doping concentration. Read more.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE, colloquially BLE, formerly marketed as Bluetooth Smart) is a wireless personal area network technology designed and marketed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) aimed at novel applications in the healthcare, fitness, beacons, security, and home entertainment industries. Compared to Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy is intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range. Mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, as well as macOS, Linux, Windows 8 and Windows 10, natively support Bluetooth Low Energy.
Branch – is part of an electric circuit, representing electric components. Read more.
Bridge rectifier – is a fully or half-controlled device, constructed with four thyristors or with two thyristors and two diodes. Read more.
Buck-Boost Converter – The buck–boost converter is a type of DC-to-DC converter that has an output voltage magnitude that is either greater than or less than the input voltage magnitude. It is equivalent to a flyback converter using a single inductor instead of a transformer. Two different topologies are called buck–boost converter. Both of them can produce a range of output voltages, ranging from much larger (in absolute magnitude) than the input voltage, down to almost zero.
C – C is a general-purpose, procedural computer programming language supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope, and recursion, while a static type system prevents unintended operations. By design, C provides constructs that map efficiently to typical machine instructions and has found lasting use in applications previously coded in assembly language. Such applications include operating systems and various application software for computers, from supercomputers to embedded systems.
C++ – C++ is a general-purpose programming language created by Bjarne Stroustrup as an extension of the C programming language, or ‘C with Classes’. The language has expanded significantly over time, and modern C++ has object-oriented, generic, and functional features in addition to facilities for low-level memory manipulation. It is almost always implemented as a compiled language, and many vendors provide C++ compilers, including the Free Software Foundation, LLVM, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, and IBM, so it is available on many platforms.
Capacitor – is a system of two conductors, where an isolated electric field is created between two equal conductors and opposite charges. Read more.
Central Processing Unit (CPU) – A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor or main processor, is the electronic circuitry within a computer that executes instructions that make up a computer program. The CPU performs basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. The computer industry has used the term ‘central processing unit’ at least since the early 1960s. Traditionally, the term ‘CPU’ refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.
Collector (C) – lightly doped layer in BJT structure. Read more.
Common-base configuration – transistor configuration where the base is common for input and output voltages. Read more.
Common-emitter configuration – transistor configuration where the emitter is common for input and output voltages. Read more.
Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) – Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS), also known as complementary-symmetry metal–oxide–semiconductor (COS-MOS), is a type of MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) fabrication process that uses complementary and symmetrical pairs of p-type and n-type MOSFETs for logic functions. CMOS technology is used for constructing integrated circuit (IC) chips, including microprocessors, microcontrollers, memory chips (including CMOS BIOS), and other digital logic circuits. CMOS technology is also used for analog circuits such as image sensors (CMOS sensors), data converters, RF circuits (RF CMOS), and highly integrated transceivers for many types of communication.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) – Computer numerical control, and commonly called CNC) is the automated control of machining tools (drills, boring tools, lathes) and 3D printers by means of a computer. A CNC machine processes a piece of material (metal, plastic, wood, ceramic, or composite) to meet specifications by following a coded programmed instruction and without a manual operator.
Computational thinking – is a process of defining the problem and formulating automated solutions. Read more.
Cut-off transistor state – transistor state, when the collector-base and emitter-base pn-junctions are reverse-biased – transistor is off. Read more.
DC-to-DC Converter – A DC-to-DC converter is an electronic circuit or electromechanical device that converts a source of direct current (DC) from one voltage level to another. It is a type of electric power converter. Power levels range from very low (small batteries) to very high (high-voltage power transmission).
Dependent source – are sources, that are dependent on some parameters of the system. Read more.
Digital Signal Processor (DSP) – A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialised microprocessor (or a SIP block) chip, with its architecture optimised for the operational needs of digital signal processing. DSPs are fabricated on MOS integrated circuit chips. They are widely used in audio signal processing, telecommunications, digital image processing, radar, sonar and speech recognition systems, and in common consumer electronic devices such as mobile phones, disk drives and high-definition television (HDTV) products.
Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DACs) – In electronics, a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC, D/A, D2A, or D-to-A) is a system that converts a digital signal into an analogue signal. An analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) performs the reverse function. There are several DAC architectures; the suitability of a DAC for a particular application is determined by figures of merit including: resolution, maximum sampling frequency and others. Digital-to-analogue conversion can degrade a signal, so a DAC should be specified that has insignificant errors in terms of the application.
DIN-Rail – A DIN-Rail is a metal rail of a standard type widely used for mounting circuit breakers and industrial control equipment inside equipment racks. These products are typically made from cold rolled carbon steel sheet with a zinc-plated or chromated bright surface finish. Although metallic, they are meant only for mechanical support, and are not used as a busbar to conduct electric current, although they may provide a chassis grounding connection.
Direct Current (DC) – Direct current (DC) is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by sources such as batteries, power supplies, thermocouples, solar cells, or dynamos. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through semiconductors, insulators, or even through a vacuum as in electron or ion beams. The electric current flows in a constant direction, distinguishing it from alternating current (AC). A term formerly used for this type of current was galvanic current. Direct current may be obtained from an alternating current supply by use of a rectifier, which contains electronic elements (usually) or electromechanical elements (historically) that allow current to flow only in one direction. Direct current may be converted into alternating current with an inverter or a motor-generator set.
Direct Random Access Memory (DRAM) – Dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) is a type of random access semiconductor memory that stores each bit of data in a memory cell consisting of a tiny capacitor and a transistor, both typically based on metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) technology. The capacitor can either be charged or discharged; these two states are taken to represent the two values of a bit, conventionally called 0 and 1. The electric charge on the capacitors slowly leaks off, so without intervention the data on the chip would soon be lost. To prevent this, DRAM requires an external memory refresh circuit which periodically rewrites the data in the capacitors, restoring them to their original charge. This refresh process is the defining characteristic of dynamic random-access memory, in contrast to static random-access memory (SRAM) which does not require data to be refreshed. Unlike flash memory, DRAM is volatile memory (vs. non-volatile memory), since it loses its data quickly when power is removed. However, DRAM does exhibit limited data remanence.
Electric charge – is a feature of matter that causes a force when placed into an electromagnetic field. Read more.
Electric current – is a flow of electric charge. Read more.
Electric power – is the rate of transferring energy by electric circuit during a unit of time. Read more.
Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM) – EEPROM (also E2PROM) stands for electrically erasable programmable read-only memory and is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers, integrated in microcontrollers for smart cards and remote keyless systems, and other electronic devices to store relatively small amounts of data but allowing individual bytes to be erased and reprogrammed. EEPROMs are organised as arrays of floating-gate transistors. EEPROMs can be programmed and erased in-circuit, by applying special programming signals. Originally, EEPROMs were limited to single byte operations, which made them slower, but modern EEPROMs allow multi-byte page operations. An EEPROM has a limited life for erasing and reprogramming, now reaching a million operations in modern EEPROMs. In an EEPROM that is frequently reprogrammed, the life of the EEPROM is an important design consideration.
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) – Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the ability of electrical equipment and systems to function acceptably in their electromagnetic environment, by limiting the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy which may cause unwanted effects such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) or even physical damage in operational equipment. The goal of EMC is the correct operation of different equipment in a common electromagnetic environment. It is also the name given to the associated branch of electrical engineering.
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) – Electromagnetic interference (EMI), also called radio-frequency interference (RFI) when in the radio frequency spectrum, is a disturbance generated by an external source that affects an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction. The disturbance may degrade the performance of the circuit or even stop it from functioning. In the case of a data path, these effects can range from an increase in error rate to a total loss of the data. Both man-made and natural sources generate changing electrical currents and voltages that can cause EMI: ignition systems, cellular network of mobile phones, lightning, solar flares, and auroras (northern/southern lights). EMI frequently affects AM radios. It can also affect mobile phones, FM radios, and televisions, as well as observations for radio astronomy and atmospheric science.
Embedded Electronics – An embedded system is a controller with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often with real-time computing constraints. It is embedded as part of a complete device often including hardware and mechanical parts. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today. Ninety-eight percent of all microprocessors manufactured are used in embedded systems.
Emitter (E) – heavily doped layer in the structure of BJTs. Read more.
Ethernet – Ethernet is a family of computer networking technologies commonly used in local area networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN) and wide area networks (WAN). It was commercially introduced in 1980 and first standardised in 1983 as IEEE 802.3. Ethernet has since retained a good deal of backward compatibility and has been refined to support higher bit rates, a greater number of nodes, and longer link distances. Over time, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies such as Token Ring, FDDI and ARCNET.
Extrinsic semiconductor – is a semiconductor where electrical properties are due to impurities in their structure. Impurities can create additional energy levels in a forbidden band. Impurities in a semiconductor can be two types – replacement and implementation. Read more.
Field-effect transistor – is a type of transistor that plays the role of the voltage-controlled amplifier. Read more.
Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) – A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or a designer after manufacturing – hence ‘field-programmable’. The FPGA configuration is generally specified using a hardware description language (HDL), similar to that used for an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). (Circuit diagrams were previously used to specify the configuration, as they were for ASICs, but this is increasingly rare). FPGAs contain an array of programmable logic blocks, and a hierarchy of reconfigurable interconnects that allow the blocks to be ‘wired together’, like many logic gates that can be inter-wired in different configurations. Logic blocks can be configured to perform complex combinational functions, or merely simple logic gates like AND and XOR. In most FPGAs, logic blocks also include memory elements, which may be simple flip-flops or more complete blocks of memory.
Filter – four-terminal devices that serve to transfer electrical current between the source and load in a certain frequency range. Read more.
Flash Memory – Flash memory is an electronic (solid-state) non-volatile computer memory storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. The two main types of flash memory are named after the NAND and NOR logic gates. The individual flash memory cells, consisting of floating-gate MOSFETs (floating-gate metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors), exhibit internal characteristics similar to those of the corresponding gates.
Flyback Converter – The flyback converter is used in both AC/DC and DC/DC conversion with galvanic isolation between the input and any outputs. The flyback converter is a buck-boost converter with the inductor split to form a transformer, so that the voltage ratios are multiplied with an additional advantage of isolation. When driving for example a plasma lamp or a voltage multiplier the rectifying diode of the boost converter is left out and the device is called a flyback transformer.
Frequency (of sinus wave signal) – is the amount of oscillations per second. Read more
Full-wave rectifier – is a semiconductor device converting AC signal into a DC voltage. Read more.
Gallium Nitride (GaN) – Gallium nitride (GaN) is a binary III/V direct bandgap semiconductor commonly used in light-emitting diodes since the 1990s. The compound is a very hard material that has a Wurtzite crystal structure. Its wide band gap of 3.4eV affords it special properties for applications in optoelectronic, high-power and high-frequency devices. For example, GaN is the substrate which makes violet (405nm) laser diodes possible, without use of non-linear optical frequency-doubling. Its sensitivity to ionising radiation is low (like other group III nitrides), making it a suitable material for solar cell arrays for satellites. Military and space applications could also benefit as devices have shown stability in radiation environments.
Galvanic Isolation – Galvanic isolation is a principle of isolating functional sections of electrical systems to prevent current flow; no direct conduction path is permitted. Energy or information can still be exchanged between the sections by other means, such as capacitance, induction or electromagnetic waves, or by optical, acoustic or mechanical means. Galvanic isolation is used where two or more electric circuits must communicate, but their grounds may be at different potentials. It is an effective method of breaking ground loops by preventing unwanted current from flowing between two units sharing a ground conductor. Galvanic isolation is also used for safety, preventing accidental current from reaching ground through a person’s body.
Global Positioning System (GPS) – The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally NAVSTAR GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Air Force. It is a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. Obstacles such as mountains and buildings block the relatively weak GPS signals.
Graphical User Interface (GUI) – The graphical user interface is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicator such as primary notation, instead of text-based user interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation. GUIs were introduced in reaction to the perceived steep learning curve of command-line interfaces (CLIs), which require commands to be typed on a computer keyboard.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) – A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialised electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display device. GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles. Modern GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics and image processing. Their highly parallel structure makes them more efficient than general-purpose central processing units (CPUs) for algorithms that process large blocks of data in parallel. In a personal computer, a GPU can be present on a video card or embedded on the motherboard. In certain CPUs, they are embedded on the CPU die.
Ground – is a reference point in an electric circuit that allows the measurement of voltages in a circuit. Read more.
Heat sink – A heat sink (also commonly spelled heatsink) is a passive heat exchanger that transfers the heat generated by an electronic or a mechanical device to a fluid medium, often air or a liquid coolant, where it is dissipated away from the device, thereby allowing regulation of the device’s temperature at optimal levels. In computers, heat sinks are used to cool CPUs, GPUs, and some chipsets and RAM modules. Heat sinks are used with high-power semiconductor devices such as power transistors and optoelectronics such as lasers and light emitting diodes (LEDs), where the heat dissipation ability of the component itself is insufficient to moderate its temperature.
Inductance – is a circuit element that can store magnetic energy of magnetic field and can respond to EMF of the circuit. It is characterised by the inductance characteristics or magnetic flux – current characteristics. Read more
Inductor – An inductor, also called a coil or reactor, is a passive two-terminal electrical component which resists changes in electric current passing through it. It consists of a conductor such as a wire, usually wound into a coil. Energy is stored in a magnetic field in the coil as long as current flows. When the current flowing through an inductor changes, the time-varying magnetic field induces a voltage in the conductor, according to Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. According to Lenz’s law the direction of induced electromotive force (or “e.m.f.”) is always such that it opposes the change in current that created it. As a result, inductors always oppose a change in current, in the same way that a flywheel opposes a change in rotational velocity. Care should be taken not to confuse this with the resistance provided by a resistor.
Input/Output (I/O) – In computing, input/output or I/O (or, informally, io or IO) is the communication between an information processing system, such as a computer, and the outside world, possibly a human or another information processing system. Inputs are the signals or data received by the system and outputs are the signals or data sent from it. The term can also be used as part of an action; to ‘perform I/O’ is to perform an input or output operation. I/O devices are the pieces of hardware used by a human (or other system) to communicate with a computer. For instance, a keyboard or computer mouse is an input device for a computer, while monitors and printers are output devices. Devices for communication between computers, such as modems and network cards, typically perform both input and output operations.
Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) – An insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) is a three-terminal power semiconductor device primarily used as an electronic switch which, as it was developed, came to combine high efficiency and fast switching. It switches electric power in many modern appliances: variable-frequency drives (VFDs), electric cars, trains, variable speed refrigerators, lamp ballasts, air-conditioners and even stereo systems with switching amplifiers. Since it is designed to turn on and off rapidly, amplifiers that use it often synthesise complex waveforms with pulse-width modulation and low-pass filters. In switching applications modern devices feature pulse repetition rates well into the ultrasonic range – frequencies which are at least ten times the highest audio frequency handled by the device when used as an analogue audio amplifier.
Integrated Circuit (IC) – An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or ‘chip’) of semiconductor material that is normally silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny MOS transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, faster, and less expensive than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC’s mass production capability, reliability, and building-block approach to circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardised ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionised the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.
Internet of Things (IoT) – is a system of devices – such as sensors – connected to the internet, that are transmitting and storing data to the Cloud. IoT can be differentiated by different parameters, such as elements of AI, connection protocols, sensors, and others. Read more
ISO 26262 – ISO 26262, titled ‘Road vehicles – Functional safety’, is an international standard for functional safety of electrical and/or electronic systems in production automobiles defined by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) in 2011. Functional safety features form an integral part of each automotive product development phase, ranging from the specification, to design, implementation, integration, verification, validation, and production release. The standard ISO 26262 is an adaptation of the Functional Safety standard IEC 61508 for Automotive Electric/Electronic Systems. ISO 26262 defines functional safety for automotive equipment applicable throughout the lifecycle of all automotive electronic and electrical safety-related systems.
Light Emitting Diode – A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. Electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing energy in the form of photons. The colour of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photons) is determined by the energy required for electrons to cross the band gap of the semiconductor. White light is obtained by using multiple semiconductors or a layer of light-emitting phosphor on the semiconductor device.
Lithium-ion Batteries – A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery (abbreviated as LIB) is a type of rechargeable battery. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used for portable electronics and electric vehicles and are growing in popularity for military and aerospace applications. In the batteries, lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode during discharge, and back when charging.
Local Area Network (LAN) – A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office building. By contrast, a wide area network (WAN) not only covers a larger geographic distance, but also generally involves leased telecommunication circuits. Ethernet and Wi-Fi are the two most common technologies in use for local area networks. Historical network technologies include ARCNET, Token ring, and AppleTalk.
Long-Term Evolution (LTE) – In telecommunication, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data terminals, based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies. It increases the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements. The standard is developed by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and is specified in its Release 8 document series, with minor enhancements described in Release 9. LTE is the upgrade path for carriers with both GSM/UMTS networks and CDMA2000 networks. The different LTE frequencies and bands used in different countries mean that only multi-band phones are able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported.
LoRa – LoRa (Long Range) is a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technology. It is based on spread spectrum modulation techniques derived from chirp spread spectrum (CSS) technology. It was developed by Cycleo of Grenoble, France and acquired by Semtech the founding member of the LoRa Alliance.
Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) – A low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) or low-power wide-area (LPWA) network or low-power network (LPN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network designed to allow long-range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors operated on a battery. The low power, low bit rate and intended use distinguish this type of network from a wireless WAN that is designed to connect users or businesses, and carry more data, using more power. The LPWAN data rate ranges from 0.3kbit/s to 50kbit/s per channel. A LPWAN may be used to create a private wireless sensor network, but may also be a service or infrastructure offered by a third party, allowing the owners of sensors to deploy them in the field without investing in gateway technology.
Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor-Field-Effect Transistor (MOSFET) – The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET) is a type of transistor used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. Although the MOSFET is a four-terminal device with source (S), gate (G), drain (D), and body (B) terminals, the body (or substrate) of the MOSFET is often connected to the source terminal, making it a three-terminal device like other field-effect transistors. Because these two terminals are normally connected to each other (short-circuited) internally, only three terminals appear in electrical diagrams. The MOSFET is by far the most common transistor in both digital and analog circuits, though the bipolar junction transistor was at one time much more common.
Microcontroller (MCU) – A microcontroller (MCU for microcontroller unit) is a small computer on a single metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit chip. In modern terminology, it is similar to, but less sophisticated than, a system on a chip (SoC); an SoC may include a microcontroller as one of its components. A microcontroller contains one or more CPUs (processor cores) along with memory and programmable input/output peripherals. Program memory in the form of ferroelectric RAM, NOR flash or OTP ROM is also often included on chip, as well as a small amount of RAM. Microcontrollers are designed for embedded applications, in contrast to the microprocessors used in personal computers or other general purpose applications consisting of various discrete chips.
MicroLED – microLED, also known as micro-LED, mLED or µLED, is an emerging flat-panel display technology. microLED displays consist of arrays of microscopic LEDs forming the individual pixel elements. When compared with widespread LCD technology, microLED displays offer better contrast, response times, and energy efficiency. Along with OLEDs, microLEDs are primarily aimed at small, low-energy devices such as smartwatches and smartphones. OLED and microLED both offer greatly reduced energy requirements when compared to conventional LCD systems while also offering an infinite contrast ratio. Unlike OLED, microLED is based on conventional gallium nitride (GaN) LED technology, which offers far higher total brightness than OLED produces, as much as 30 times, as well as higher efficiency in terms of lux/W and thus lower power consumption than OLED. OLED also suffers from screen burn-in, while microLED does not, but microLED displays cannot be made flexible or transparent like OLED displays can.
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) – Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), also written as micro-electro-mechanical systems (or microelectronic and microelectromechanical systems) and the related micromechatronics and microsystems is the technology of microscopic devices, particularly those with moving parts. It merges at the nanoscale into nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and nanotechnology. MEMS are also referred to as micromachines in Japan and microsystem technology (MST) in Europe.
Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipelined Stages (MIPS) – MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipelined Stages) is a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA):A-1:19 developed by MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, based in the United States. There are multiple versions of MIPS: including MIPS I, II, III, IV, and V; as well as five releases of MIPS32/64 (for 32- and 64-bit implementations, respectively). The early MIPS architectures were 32-bit only; 64-bit versions were developed later. As of April 2017, the current version of MIPS is MIPS32/64 Release 6. MIPS32/64 primarily differs from MIPS I–V by defining the privileged kernel mode System Control Coprocessor in addition to the user mode architecture.
NAND Flash – Flash memory is an electronic (solid-state) non-volatile computer memory storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. The two main types of flash memory are named after the NAND and NOR logic gates. The individual flash memory cells, consisting of floating-gate MOSFETs (floating-gate metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors), exhibit internal characteristics similar to those of the corresponding gates.
Nanoelectronics – Nanoelectronics refers to the use of nanotechnology in electronic components. The term covers a diverse set of devices and materials, with the common characteristic that they are so small that inter-atomic interactions and quantum mechanical properties need to be studied extensively. Some of these candidates include: hybrid molecular/semiconductor electronics, one-dimensional nanotubes/nanowires (e.g. Silicon nanowires or Carbon nanotubes) or advanced molecular electronics.
Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) – Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are a class of devices integrating electrical and mechanical functionality on the nanoscale. NEMS form the next logical miniaturisation step from so-called microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS devices. NEMS typically integrate transistor-like nanoelectronics with mechanical actuators, pumps, or motors, and may thereby form physical, biological, and chemical sensors. The name derives from typical device dimensions in the nanometer range, leading to low mass, high mechanical resonance frequencies, potentially large quantum mechanical effects such as zero point motion, and a high surface-to-volume ratio useful for surface-based sensing mechanisms. Applications include accelerometers and sensors to detect chemical substances in the air.
Near-Field Communication (NFC) – Near-field communication (NFC) is a set of communication protocols that enable two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm (11⁄2 in) of each other. NFC devices are used in contactless payment systems, similar to those used in credit cards and electronic ticket smart cards and allow mobile payment to replace or supplement these systems. This is sometimes referred to as NFC/CTLS (contactless) or CTLS NFC. NFC is used for social networking, for sharing contacts, photos, videos or files. NFC-enabled devices can act as electronic identity documents and keycards. NFC offers a low-speed connection with simple setup that can be used to bootstrap more capable wireless connections.
Non-volatile Memory (NVM) – Non-volatile memory (NVM) or non-volatile storage is a type of computer memory that can retrieve stored information even after having been power cycled. In contrast, volatile memory needs constant power in order to retain data. Examples of non-volatile memory include flash memory, read-only memory (ROM), ferroelectric RAM, most types of magnetic computer storage devices (e.g. hard disk drives, floppy disks, and magnetic tape), optical discs, and early computer storage methods such as paper tape and punched cards.
One-phase current – is a current that can be described with a formula . Read more
Optical communication system – is a system characterised with a large capacity to carry information. It can be used in any application where transfer of the information is required from one place to another. And can be classified into two categories – guided and unguided optical systems. Read more.
Optoelectronics – Optoelectronics (or optronics) is the study and application of electronic devices and systems that source, detect and control light, usually considered a sub-field of photonics. In this context, light often includes invisible forms of radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared, in addition to visible light. Optoelectronic devices are electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducers, or instruments that use such devices in their operation. Electro-optics is often erroneously used as a synonym, but is a wider branch of physics that concerns all interactions between light and electric fields, whether or not they form part of an electronic device.
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) – An organic light-emitting diode (OLED or Organic LED), also known as an organic EL (organic electroluminescent) diode, is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current. This organic layer is situated between two electrodes; typically, at least one of these electrodes is transparent. OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, portable systems such as smartphones, handheld game consoles and PDAs. A major area of research is the development of white OLED devices for use in solid-state lighting applications.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) – A somewhat misleading term used to describe a company that has a special relationship with computer and IT producers. OEMs are typically manufacturers who resell another company’s product under their own name and branding. When a computer technology producer manufacturers its product, for example, a computer graphics card, they will usually make two or more versions of the product. One version is distributed by the manufacturer direct to the consumer retail market, using its own branding and offering its own warranty and support. Other versions of the manufactured product will be distributed through the manufacturer’s OEM and authorised reseller distribution channels. Usually OEM products are the same quality as the retail versions, but warranties may be different, the manual and bundled software may be non-existent, and the cables and connectors required for installation might not be included. In some cases it may be large quantities of the product purchased in bulk by the OEM for mass-production of pre-built systems.
Passives – Passivity is a property of engineering systems, used in a variety of engineering disciplines, but most commonly found in analogue electronics and control systems. A passive component, depending on field, may be either a component that consumes (but does not produce) energy (thermodynamic passivity), or a component that is incapable of power gain (incremental passivity). A component that is not passive is called an active component. An electronic circuit consisting entirely of passive components is called a passive circuit (and has the same properties as a passive component). Used out-of-context and without a qualifier, the term passive is ambiguous. Typically, analogue designers use this term to refer to incrementally passive components and systems, while control systems engineers will use this to refer to thermodynamically passive ones.
Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMIC) – Power management integrated circuits (power management ICs or PMICs or PMU as unit) are integrated circuits for power management. Although PMIC refers to a wide range of chips (or modules in system-on-a-chip devices), most include several DC/DC converters or their control part. A PMIC is often included in battery-operated devices such as mobile phones and portable media players to decrease the amount of space required.
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) – A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Components are generally soldered onto the PCB to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it.
Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) – A programmable logic controller (PLC) or programmable controller is an industrial digital computer which has been ruggedised and adapted for the control of manufacturing processes, such as assembly lines, or robotic devices, or any activity that requires high reliability control and ease of programming and process fault diagnosis. PLCs were first developed in the automobile manufacturing industry to provide flexible, ruggedised and easily programmable controllers to replace hard-wired relays, timers and sequencers. Since then, they have been widely adopted as high-reliability automation controllers suitable for harsh environments. A PLC is an example of a ‘hard’ real-time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a limited time, otherwise unintended operation will result.
Python – Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. Created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991, Python’s design philosophy emphasises code readability with its notable use of significant whitespace. Its language constructs and object-oriented approach aim to help programmers write clear, logical code for small and large-scale projects.
Radio Frequency (RF) – Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an alternating electric current or voltage or of a magnetic, electric or electromagnetic field or mechanical system in the frequency range from around 20 kHz to around 300 GHz. This is roughly between the upper limit of audio frequencies and the lower limit of infrared frequencies; these are the frequencies at which energy from an oscillating current can radiate off a conductor into space as radio waves. Different sources specify different upper and lower bounds for the frequency range.
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) – Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. Passive tags collect energy from a nearby RFID reader’s interrogating radio waves. Active tags have a local power source (such as a battery) and may operate hundreds of meters from the RFID reader. Unlike a barcode, the tags don’t need to be within the line of sight of the reader, so it may be embedded in the tracked object. RFID is one method of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC).
Random Access Memroy (RAM) – Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read or written in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory. In contrast, with other direct-access data storage media such as hard disks, CD-RWs, DVD-RWs and the older magnetic tapes and drum memory, the time required to read and write data items varies significantly depending on their physical locations on the recording medium, due to mechanical limitations such as media rotation speeds and arm movement.
Real-Time Clock (RTC) – A real-time clock (RTC) is a computer clock (most often in the form of an integrated circuit) that keeps track of the current time. Although the term often refers to the devices in personal computers, servers and embedded systems, RTCs are present in almost any electronic device which needs to keep accurate time.
Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) – A real-time operating system (RTOS) is an operating system (OS) intended to serve real-time applications that process data as it comes in, typically without buffer delays. Processing time requirements (including any OS delay) are measured in tenths of seconds or shorter increments of time. A real-time system is a time bound system which has well defined fixed time constraints. Processing must be done within the defined constraints or the system will fail. They either are event driven or time sharing. Event driven systems switch between tasks based on their priorities while time sharing systems switch the task based on clock interrupts. Most RTOSs use a pre-emptive scheduling algorithm.
Relays – A relay is an electrically operated switch. It consists of a set of input terminals for a single or multiple control signals, and a set of operating contact terminals. The switch may have any number of contacts in multiple contact forms, such as make contacts, break contacts, or combinations thereof. Relays are used where it is necessary to control a circuit by an independent low-power signal, or where several circuits must be controlled by one signal. Relays were first used in long-distance telegraph circuits as signal repeaters: they refresh the signal coming in from one circuit by transmitting it on another circuit. Relays were used extensively in telephone exchanges and early computers to perform logical operations.
Resistance – is a element of a circuit, characterised by the volt-ampere characteristics of the circuit (corresponding to the resistor). Read more.
Resistors – A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. Resistors act to reduce current flow, and, at the same time, act to lower voltage levels within circuits. In electronic circuits, resistors are used to limit current flow, to adjust signal levels, bias active elements, and terminate transmission lines among other uses. High-power resistors, that can dissipate many watts of electrical power as heat, may be used as part of motor controls, in power distribution systems, or as test loads for generators. Fixed resistors have resistances that only change slightly with temperature, time or operating voltage. Variable resistors can be used to adjust circuit elements (such as a volume control or a lamp dimmer), or as sensing devices for heat, light, humidity, force, or chemical activity.
Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) – The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2002/95/EC, (RoHS 1), short for Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union.
RISC-V – RISC-V (pronounced ‘risk-five’) is an open-source hardware instruction set architecture (ISA) based on established reduced instruction set computer (RISC) principles. Unlike other academic designs which are optimised only for simplicity of exposition, the designers state that the RISC-V instruction set is for practical computers. It is said to have features to increase computer speed, yet reduce cost and power use. These include a load–store architecture, bit patterns to simplify the multiplexers in a CPU, simplified standards-based floating-point, a design that is architecturally neutral, and placing most-significant bits at a fixed location to speed sign extension. Sign extension is said to often be on the critical timing path.
Rotating electrical machine – is a microelectromechanical system, operating on the laws of electric and magnetic fields, consisting of rotor, stator, and windings. One of the examples of microelectromechanical systems is rotating electric machines. The key role in the operation of electric machines is played by windings. Read More
Semiconductors – are a class of materials characterised with electron conductivity. They are capable of changing their features depending on different external conditions (temperature, light, electromagnetic field and others). Semiconductors can be intrinsic and extrinsic. Read more.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) – The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signalling protocol used for initiating, maintaining, and terminating real-time sessions that include voice, video and messaging applications. SIP is used for signalling and controlling multimedia communication sessions in applications of Internet telephony for voice and video calls, in private IP telephone systems, in instant messaging over Internet Protocol (IP) networks as well as mobile phone calling over LTE (VoLTE).
Signals – are functions of one or several independent variables. There are two types of signals – discrete-time and continuous-time. Discrete-time signals are defined at the discrete moment of time and the mathematical function takes the discrete set of values. Read more.
Silicon Carbide (SiC) – Silicon carbide (SiC), also known as carborundum, is a semiconductor containing silicon and carbon. It occurs in nature as the extremely rare mineral moissanite. Synthetic SiC powder has been mass-produced since 1893 for use as an abrasive. Grains of silicon carbide can be bonded together by sintering to form very hard ceramics that are widely used in applications requiring high endurance, such as car brakes, car clutches and ceramic plates in bulletproof vests. Electronic applications of silicon carbide such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and detectors in early radios were first demonstrated around 1907. SiC is used in semiconductor electronics devices that operate at high temperatures or high voltages, or both. Large single crystals of silicon carbide can be grown by the Lely method and they can be cut into gems known as synthetic moissanite.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) – A solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently, typically using flash memory, and functioning as secondary storage in the hierarchy of computer storage. It is also sometimes called a solid-state device or a solid-state disk, although SSDs lack the physical spinning disks and movable read-write heads used in hard drives (‘HDD’) or floppy disks.
Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) – Static random-access memory (static RAM or SRAM) is a type of semiconductor random-access memory (RAM) that uses bistable latching circuitry (flip-flop) to store each bit. SRAM exhibits data remanence, but it is still volatile in the conventional sense that data is eventually lost when the memory is not powered. The term static differentiates SRAM from DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) which must be periodically refreshed. SRAM is faster and more expensive than DRAM; it is typically used for CPU cache while DRAM is used for a computer’s main memory.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a control system architecture that uses computers networked data communications and graphical user interfaces(GUI) for high-level process supervisory management, but uses other peripheral devices such as programmable logic controller (PLC) and discrete Proportional Integral Differentiator (PID) controllers to interface with the process plant or machinery. The use of SCADA has been also considered for management and operations of project-driven-process in construction.
System-on-Chip (SoC) – A system on a chip or system on chip (SoC or SOC) is an integrated circuit (IC) that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system into a single chip. It may contain digital, analogue, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions—all on a single chip substrate. SoCs are very common in the mobile electronics market because of their low power consumption. A typical application is in the area of embedded systems. The contrast with a microcontroller is one of degree. Microcontrollers typically have under 100KB of RAM (often just a few kilobytes) and often really are single-chip-systems, whereas the term SoC is typically used for more powerful processors, capable of running software such as the desktop versions of Windows and Linux, which need external memory chips (flash, RAM) to be useful, and which are used with various external peripherals. In short, for larger systems, the term system on a chip is hyperbole, indicating technical direction more than reality: a high degree of chip integration, leading toward reduced manufacturing costs, and the production of smaller systems. Many systems are too complex to fit on just one chip built with a processor optimised for just one of the system’s tasks.
System-on-Module (SoM) – A system on a module (SOM) is a board-level circuit that integrates a system function in a single module. It may integrate digital and analog functions on a single board. A typical application is in the area of embedded systems. Unlike a single-board computer, a SOM serves a special function like a system on a chip (SoC). The device integrated in the SOM typically requires a high level of interconnection for reasons such as speed, timing, bus-width etc., in a highly integrated module. There are benefits in building a SOM, as for SoC; one notable result is to reduce the cost of the base board or the main PCB. Two other major advantages of SOMs are design-reuse and that they can be integrated into many embedded computer application.
Switches – In electrical engineering, a switch is an electrical component that can ‘make’ or ‘break’ an electrical circuit, interrupting the current or diverting it from one conductor to another. Switch has an internal mechanism which removes or restores the conductive path when it is being operated. It may be operated manually, for example, a light switch or a keyboard button, may be operated by a moving object such as a door, or may be operated by some sensing element for pressure, temperature or flow.
TensorFlow – TensorFlow is a free and open-source software library for dataflow and differentiable programming across a range of tasks. It is a symbolic maths library, and is also used for machine learning applications such as neural networks. It is used for both research and production at Google.
Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) – Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) is a common performance metric used for high-performance SoCs. TOPS per watt extends that measurement to describe performance efficiency. The higher the TOPS per watt the better and more efficient a chip is.
Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) – Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a set of standards under development by the Time-Sensitive Networking task group of the IEEE 802.1 working group. The TSN task group was formed in November 2012 by renaming the existing Audio Video Bridging Task Group and continuing its work. The name changed as a result of extension of the working area of the standardisation group. The standards define mechanisms for the time-sensitive transmission of data over deterministic Ethernet networks.