Here are some Abbreviations-Acronyms to refer too:

This list is constantly growing so if it’s not here now it could be tomorrow.




AC      Alternating Current (vs DC)

ACK     Acknowledge (logic signal)

ACIA    Asynchronous Communication Interface Adapter

ACL     Advanced CMOS Logic

A/D     Analog to Digital

AF      Audio Frequency

AFC     Automatic Frequency Control

AGC     Automatic Gain Control

AI      Artificial Intelligence

AKA  Also Known As

ALC     Automatic Level Control

ALU     Arithmetic Logic Unit

A/N     Alphanumeric

ANSI    American National Standards Institute

ARRL    American Radio Relay League

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

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 (aka ferroresonant by Sola(tm))

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 — aka German Standards Institute

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


FP      Floating Point

FPLA    Field Programmable Logic Array

FPU     Floating Point Unit

FSK     Frequency-Shift Keying

FTP     File Transfer Protocol

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

HTL     High Threshold Logic

HVDC    High Volatage Direct Current

HVPS    High Volatage Power Supply

Hz      Hertz (cycles per second)



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

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      Normally Closed (switch/relay)

NEDA    National Electronics Distributors Association

NEMA    National Electrical Manufacturers Association

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 🙂



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/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      Syste^me 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 (aka mate)

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/C Time Clock

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     TeraHertz

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


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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