Electronic Definitions (A)

[A] Starting with the first letter of the alphabet, we show a list of electronic acronyms that start with letter a. This collection (set of acronyms, definitions and electronic terms) contains over 100 words with details for each. You may browse any of these words to find out more. Bolded words may contain larger description or some kind of article related to the acronym/definition. Some of these acronyms are: ADSR, ATAPI, ATM, ACL, ADC, ASCII, AXIS and other similar keywords.

Electronic Acronyms And Terms for [A]

Description Other Electronic Terms Somewhat Related;
AAL "ATM Adaptation Layer"

- ATM can support speeds ATM operates at the data link layer over either fiber or twisted-pair cable.

Abbreviated Dialing

- Is the use of a very short digit sequence to reach specific telephone numbers, such as those of public services. The purpose of such numbers is to be universal, short, and easy to remember. Typically they are two or three digits.  

"Adaptive Bandwidth Management"



- Advanced Broadcasting Systems of Canada.  

Absolute Value

- The value of an expression without regard for its sign. Sometimes called the magnitude. Given +5 and -5, the absolute value is S.  

AC or Alternating current (go back and add again)

- Alternating current, such as the power from a household electrical outlet. The value is constantly changing in a sine wave.

AC Current Gain, AC Cutoff, AC Equivalent Circuit, AC Ground, AC Load Line, AC Resistance, AC Saturation, Acceptor, Access Box, Access Time, Accumulator, ACD`s, ACK, ACL, ACT, Active Current Gain, Active Filter, Active Loading, Active Region, Active-Load Resistor, Activity Report, Actuator

AC Current Gain

- With a transistor, the ratio of ac collector current to ac base current.  

AC Cutoff

- The lower end of the ac load line. At this point, the transistor goes into cutoff and clips the ac signal.  

AC Equivalent Circuit

- All that remains when you reduce the dc sources to zero and short all capacitors.  

AC Ground

- A node that is bypassed to ground through a capacitor. Such a node will show no ac voltage when it is probed by an oscilloscope, but it will indicate a dc voltage when it is measured with a voltmeter.  

AC Load Line

- The locus of instantaneous operating points when an ac signal is driving the transistor. This load line is different from the do load line whenever the ac load resistance is different from the do load resistance.

Optimum Q Point

AC Resistance

- The resistance of a device to a small ac signal. The ratio of a voltage change to a current change. The key idea here is changes about an operating point.

Predicted Voltage Gain, Swamped Amplifier

AC Saturation

- The upper end of the ac load line. At this point, the transistor goes into saturation and clips the ac signal.  


- A trivalent atom, one that has three valence electrons. Each trivalent atom produces one hole in a silicon crystal.


Access Box

- Also called the" service box" and sometimes "house protector." This is where the phone company`s lines enter the home.  

Access Time

- The time interval between the instant at which data is called from store and the
instant at which the data can be used.

Another definition of access time:

- The time it takes for a device to access data. The access time quoted in milliseconds (ms) for hard disks and nanoseconds (ns) for memory is usually an average as it can vary greatly. Together with the transfer rate it is used to gauge the performance of hard disks and other devices. The Iower the number the better the performance.

Fixed Head Disk Unit




- Is a special storage register associated with the arithmetic logic unit used for
holding the results of a computation or data transfer.


"Automatic Call Distributors"

- A variant of PABXs which automatically present incoming calls in their arrival sequence to the first available answering position in an organisation.


ACL Asynchronous connectionless,
ref bluetooth
ACT "Advanced Crystal Technology"  

Active Current Gain

- The current gain in the active region of a transistor. That is what you usually find on a data sheet and what most people mean when they talk about current gain. (See saturated current gain.)  

Active Filter

- In the good old days, filters were made out of passive components like inductors and capacitors. Some filters are still made this way. The problem is that at low frequencies, inductors become very large in passive filter designs. Op amps give another way to build filters and eliminate the problem of bulky inductors at low frequencies. Any filter using an op amp is called an active filter.  

Active Loading

- This refers to using a bipolar or MOS transistor as a resistor. It`s done to save space or to get resistances that tie difficult with passive resistors.  

Active Region

- Sometimes called the linear region. It refers to that part of the collector curves that is approximately horizontal. A transistor operates in the active region when it is used as an amplifier. In the active region, the emitter diode is forward-biased, the collector diode is reverse-biased, the collector current almost equals the emitter current, and the base current is much smaller than either the emitter or collector current.

Active Current Gain, Switching Regulator

Active-Load Resistor

- A FET with its gate connected to the drain. The resulting two-terminal device is equivalent to a resistor.  

Activity Report

- FAX term. A printout of a list of incoming and outgoing messages with length and time of transmission. May be produced automatically or on demand.  


- Sometimes referred to as a jack. Power controlled motor that moves the dish eastward or westward. Controlled by the indoor unit.  


- Is designed for complex online realtime monitoring (e.g. in military applications).



- A device to change the incoming 120 V ac into a needed value of dc.  


- analogue to digital conversion. Process of sampling and coding an analogue quantity or signal to produce a digital representation.  


- Is a device that adds digital signals. (See Full adder 12.20 Half adder 12.2l.)  


- Is the identification of a store location.

Absolute address
is the address of a store location as determined by the hardware.

Relative address
is the address of a store location relative to some `base address`. Subscripted variables may be stored using relative addressing techniques.

address calculation, address field, addressable cursor

Address Calculation

- Is the process of determining which store location is to be accessed by use of the
address field in a machine code instruction. There are a number of alternative

address field

Address Field

- The part that specifies the address where the data can he found. Also called the
operandfield or simply the operand.

address calculation, immediate addressing

Addressable Cursor

- Is one where the program has some control over its position usually by
specifying the coordinates of the point where it is to appear.


- Liquid or film compound for attaching materials to one another

esd packaging, fluid dispensing


"Adaptive Delta Modulation"  


"Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation"  


"Assymmetrical Digital Subscriber`s Line"

atu, vadsl, vdt



- Is an abbreviation for Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. These are the four parameters found on a basic synthesizer envelope generator.  

AF or Audio Frequency

- A range of frequencies discernible by the human ear approximately
20 Hz to 15 kHz.

afe, aftn


"Analogue Front End"  


"Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network"  


"Automatic Gain Control"  


"Advanced Graphics Port"

- Up to one on the motherboard, this slot is only used for AGP video cards.



"Advanced Hardware Architecture"  

Air Gap

- Clearance between conductive circuit traces on a substrate layer  


- A small engine fired when the spacecraft reaches its apogee to propel the satellite into a circular orbit.  


1.2 ALGOL68 (ALGOrithmic Language 1968)
- Is a version of the earlier language ALGOL60 substantially revised to include
structured programming features. Both these languages are designed to aid the
coding of algorithms.


- Is a finite set of rules giving a sequence of operations for solving a specific type
of problem.

Altai Tie Clip Microphone


AUL or Arithmetic Logic Unit

- Is the part of the central processing unit where arithmetic/logic operations are performed. Also called the arithmetic unit.

alumina substrate

Alumina Substrate

- Ceramic base material used for additive conductive circuit traces.  

AM or Amplitude Modulation

- A change in the level of a signal. For example, if a Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA) were being modulated by a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO), the result would be a periodic increase and decrease in the audio level of the signal. In musical terms this would be referred to as Tremolo. The abbreviation of Amplitude Modulation is AM.

Ambient Temperature, ami, Amper (Ampere), amplifier, amplitude, amvsb

Ambient Temperature

- The temperature of the surrounding medium, usually used to refer to the temperature of the air in which a structure is situated or a device operates.  


"Alternate Mark Inversion"  

Amper (Ampere)

The basic unit of current flow. An Ampere of current flow represents electron movement at a rate of one coulomb per second: that amount of current through one ohm of resistance with one volt applied.  


- A circuit that can increase the peak-to-peak voltage, current, or power of a signal.



- The size of a signal, usually it's peak value.

AM, ask, pam, phase splitter qam, qask


"Amplitude Modulation Vestigial Sideband"  

Analog Computer

- Is a computer in which data is represented by a continuously variable physical
quantity such as voltage or angular position.


An analog computer represents data as physical quantities and operates on the data by manipulating the quantities. It is designed to process data in which the variable quantities vary continuously , it translates the relationships between the variables of a problem into analogous relationships between electrical quantities, such as current and voltage, and solves the original problem by solving the equivalent problem, or analog, that is set up in its electrical circuits. Because of this feature, analog computers were especially useful in the simulation and evaluation of dynamic situations, such as the flight of a space capsule or the changing weather patterns over a certain area. The key component of the analog computer is the operational amplifier, and the computer's capacity is determined by the number of amplifiers it contains (often over 100). Although analog computers are commonly found in such forms as speedometers and watt-hour meters, they largely have been made obsolete for general-purpose mathematical computations and data storage by digital computers.

Analog to Digital Converter

- Is a device for converting analog signals into digital ones for subsequent
computer processing~ sometimes called a digitiser. A digital to analog converter
operates in the reverse direction.


- A likeness in some ways between dissimilar things that are otherwise unlike. The analogy between bipolar transistors and JFETs is an example. Because the devices are similar, many of the equations for them are identical except for a change of subscripts.  

Announce Only

- TAM mode for use on information lines where no incoming message is to be recorded.  

Annular Ring

- Width of conductive material around a via or hole provided in the substrate surface or layer.  


"American National Standards Institute "



A device used to transmit or receive signals. American term for aerial; usually associated with the term `dish`.  


"Avalanche Photodiode"  


- Total reflective area of dish

aperture blockage

Aperture Blockage

- Often caused by the LNB or LNB support rods casting a shadow across the reflective area of the dish.  


- Highest point. Usually referred in motorised dish setup terms as the highest point of the geostationary are.

offset fed antenna


- Is a scientific programming language using a specially designed character set
with applications in advanced mathematical work.


- Highest point (maximum altitude) of a geocentric orbit. (also see perigee).



- Something to do with IGBT's.  


- An application or package is one or more programs used for a particular task. For example: word processing invoicing or spreadsheeting. Applications are bought shrink wrapped (wrapped in cellophane for general use) or custom built for specific uses.

applications programmer

Applications Programmer

- Is a programmer who writes programs for specific user applications.  


- A way to retain your sanity with semiconductor devices. Exact answers are tedious and time-consuming and almost never justified in the real world of electronics. On the other hand, approximations give us quick answers, usually adequate for the job at hand.

ideal diode, ideal transistor, second approximation, third approximation


The imaginary curve created by a string of satellites in geostationary orbit.

dc return, positive clamper



"Association of Radio Industries and Businesses"

- Japanese radio standards body. ARIB and the European UMTS specifications were developed to be interoperable at an early stage.



"Aeronautical Radio Incorporated"  


"Advanced Research Machines"  


"Address Resolution Protocol".

- ARP is the method for finding a host's hardware address when only its network layer address is known.



"Advanced Research Projects Agency"  


"Automatic Repeat Request"


"automatic retransmission query"


"Analogue Real Time"  


"American Standard Code for Information Interchange"  


"Application Specific Integrated Circuits"  


"Application Specific Integrated Device"  


"Amplitude Shift Keying"

component/equipment storage, fluid dispensing, fraud, polygraph, surveillance

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of screen width to screen height. Conventional TV is 4:3 and HDTV is 16:9.  


"Automatic Send/Receive"  


- Is a program usually provided by the computer manufacturer to translate a
program written in assembly language into machine code. In general each
assembly language instruction is changed into one machine code instruction.
Also called an assembly) program.

assembly language, cross assembler, symbol table


- Is the process of converting a program written in assembly language into
machine code.

assembly language, assembly time

Assembly Language

- Is a language in which the form of instruction is closely related to the machine code used on the machine but the instructions are expressed in symbolic form often using mnemonics (e.g. Z80 assembler 6502 assembler).

assembler, assembly, symbolic addressing

Assembly Time

- Is used to describe either the period during which assembly takes place or the
length of this time.

Associative Storage

- Is storage that is identified by means of content rather than by an address. Also
called content addressable storage.


"Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface"

- An extension of ATA and a specification for devices that use the IDE interface, such as CD-ROM drives and tape backups.


"Asynchronous Time Division Multiplex(er)"  


"Automatic Test Equipment"

batteries history



"Asynchronous Transfer Mode"

- ATM is a high speed form of digital transmission applications include sending voice and data down the same cable enabling multimedia videoconferencing etc.
ATM is used widely and every day more and more as the number of Internet users grows ATM is more found to be usable and worth installing.

aal, b isdn


"Advanced Television Standards Committee"  


- Attenuation is a general term that refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal. Attenuation occurs with any type of signal, whether digital or analog. Sometimes called loss, attenuation is a natural consequence of signal transmission over long distances.  


"ADSL Transceiver Unit Broadband"  

Audio Amplifier

- Any amplifier designed for the audio range of frequencies, 20 Hz to 20 kHz.  

Audio Sub Carrier

- An audio signal transmitted within the bandwidth of a wider transponder signal.  

Audit Trail

- Is a record of the file updating that takes place during a Specific transaction. It enables a trace to be kept of all operations on files.  

Author Language

- Is a formal language used in the context of CAL with particular properties
appropriate to the development of teaching material.


- An autoresponder is a program (application) that automatically responds to an email message sent to a predefined address on the server. This is useful for automatically sending out information via email based on a user's emailed request. Autoresponder usually comes on the hosting server, but there are more sophisticated autoresponders that could be obtained for a fee (commercial autoresponders).  

Avalanche Effect

- A phenomenon that occurs for large reverse voltages across apn junction. The free electrons are accelerated to such high speeds that they can dislodge valence electrons. When this happens, the valence electrons become free electrons that dislodge other valence electrons.  


"Audible Warning Device"  


"Arbitrary Waveform Generator


"American Wire Gauge"


- Type of spacecraft stabilisation in which the body maintains a flexed attitude relative to the orbital track and the earths surface. The reference axes are roll pitch and yaw by nautical analogy.  


- Angle between antenna beam and meridian plane (measured in horizontal plane).  
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