Electronic Definitions (C)

[C] Presenting a list of electronic terms starting with letter c that are available for more detailed lookup for their definitions or abbreviation explanation. All terms are listed in alphabetical order for easy browsing.


Electronic Acronyms and Terms for [C] Description Other Electronic Terms Somewhat Related;

C or 1.5 C

- Is a high level language with low level features that enable the programmer to
avoid the use of assembly language.

C Band

- Frequency range from 3700 to 4200 MHz (3.7 4.2 GHz).  

C Pack

- Plastic integrated circuit package with "butt mounted" lead contacts on four sides  


- A combination of two or more insulated conductors in a single casing.

or An assembly of two or more conductors insulated from each other and enclosed in a protective sheath.


- Is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster; the data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation or a copy of data stored elsewhere.

cache memory


Cache Memory

- Is an extremely fast part of main store.


Temporary memory set aside to store the information that is accessed most frequently. The Pentium processor has 8Kb of inbuilt cache. This can be further speeded up by a secondary cache typically 256Kb. Part of your DRAM is often used to cache your hard disk.


"Computer Aided Design"  


- A ringing pattern  


"Computer Aided Engineering"  


"Common Air Interface"


"Common Air Interface" (Also "Call Arrival Indication")


- Is an instruction to transfer control to a subprogram

call arrival indication, call barring, call diversion, call forwarding, call intrusion, call management, call pickup, call screening, call splitting, call transfer, call waiting

Call Arrival Indication

- Ringing signal sent to the called terminal  

Call Barring

- Prevents outside call being made or linnets types of calls that may be made  

Call Diversion

- PABX feature allows calls to be automatically rerouted from one exte~ to another immediately or if the call is not answered within a set number of rings. Also called `Follow me` or `Call forwarding`.  

Call Forwarding


Call Diversion

- Is a telephony feature of some telephone switching systems which redirects a telephone call to another destination.  

Call Intrusion

- PABX feature allowing the user to break into another cafl. Cafl kn~ See Call management  

Call Management

- PABX feature to allow all incoming and outgoing cafis to be logged for control or checking purposes or for traffic flow analysis.  

Call Pickup

- PABX feature allowing 2 user to answer a call ringing on another extension.  

Call Screening

- TAM mode where incoming call can be heard over the loudspeaker and the user may decide whether to answer the call or not.  

Call Splitting

- Feature of a PABX allowing a user to make a call to an internal extension during an outside call and to switch between the two while maintaining privacy.

Same as Broker's call.

Call Transfer

- PABX term. The rerouting of a telephone call on an outside line to a different extension.  

Call Waiting

- Is a telecommunication service offered by a telephone service provider to a subscriber by which the subscriber may suspend a telephone call already in progress to accept a second call. The subscriber may switch between calls, typically by using the hook flash signal.  

Camp on Busy

- A signal that informs a busy telephone user that another call originator is waiting for a connection  


"Controller Area Network"  


- Carrierless Amplitude / Phase modulation

capacitor, capacitor input filter, end cap termination



- A passive electron storing two-terminal
device used in interfacing electronic circuit functions.

capacitor input filter

Capacitor Input Filter

- Nothing more than a capacitor across the load resistor. This type of passive filter is the most common.  


The radio frequency wave that is modulated by the baseband information signal.

carrier contacts, carrier pallets, carrier to noise ratio

Carrier Contacts

- contact leads for attaching leadless IC devices to a substrate  

Carrier Pallets

- A partitioned tray used to store or transport electrical devices  

Carrier to Noise Ratio

- The carrier to noise ratio (C/N ratio) is the ratio between the pure signal level and the accompanying noise level; the higher the ratio the better the clarity of the final demodulated signal.  

Carry Flag

- Is a single bit that is set to 1 when a carry occurs during a binary addition; this may he tested by the programmer.  


- Is a removable module containing software often permanently stored as an
integrated circuit.

Cascaded Stages

- Connecting two or more stages so that the output of one stage is the input to the next.  


"Computer Aided Software Engineering"

case temperature

Case Temperature

- This is the temperature of the transistor case or package. When you pick up a transistor, you are in contact with the case. If the case is warm, you are feeling the case temperature.  

Cassegrain Antenna

- A parabolic dish using a secondary hyperbolic subreflector. Achieves higher efficiency than primary type because angle of wavefront entry to feedhorn is less. Usually central focused.  


- The amount of alloy that has been deposited on device leads or contacts after solder processing  

Catenary Wire

- A support wire for overhead cables not used electrically  


"Computer Aided Test Generator"  


- An electron emitter. A cathode has a more negative voltage relative to some other place. Used in older Television sets. (Cathode Tube)

batteries history, graphical display unit, Oxidation, Redox, VDU


"Community Antenna Television" head end



"Charge Coupled Device"  


"Centre commun d'études de télévision et télécommunications"  


"Copper Clad Invar"

- metal core laminated substrate used as an alternative material for applications using plcc's.


"International Radio Consultative Committee"


Comité Consultatif International des Radiocommunicaltdion


"International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee"


"International Radio Consultative Committee"


"Comité Consultatif International Télégraphique et Téléphonique"  


"Communications Channel Signalling System"  


"Closed Circuit Television"  


"Central Control Unit
"Camera Control Unit"


"Carrier Detect" - is a control signal present inside an RS-232 serial communications cable that goes between a computer and another device, such as a modem.


"Compact Disc" - is a digital optical disc data storage format that was co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was originally developed to store and play only sound recordings but was later adapted for storage of data.

cd rom, cdc, cdi, cdit, cdm, cdma, cdma2000, cdr, CDSL, cdt


- Stands for "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory." A CD-ROM is a CD that can be read by a computer with an optical drive. The "ROM" part of the term means the data on the disc is "read-only," or cannot be altered or erased.  


"Computing Devices Canada"  


"CD Interactive" - This is a CD ROM system developed by Philips (along with Sony and Panasonic). It was devised to work on TV sets. A CDi player also accepts ordinary audio CDs and connects to a hifi system. Additionally it plays Photo CDs a standard developed by Kodak that allows photographic images scanned from 35 mm negatives to be shown on a TV screen. A plugin adaptor will connect a CDi player to a PC so that CDi software is usable on the computer platform as well as on a TV.



"Centre D`Interception Telephonique" - french security services eavesdropping service under a park in Paris.  


"Code Division Multiplex"

cdma, cdma2000


"Code Division Multiple Access"
- A spread spectrum communication technique, the basis of most 3G systems.


- 3G air interface standard
a Qualcomm trade name
Comes in 1X (1.25MHz channel) and 3X (3 x 1.25MHz channel) types.


"Common Data Rate"


"CD Recordable" (CDR).
- Currently most CDROM and CDi discs and players are read only devices so unlike video tapes they cannot be used to record video music or other data.


"Consumer Digital Subscriber Line"
- Basically customers would subscribe for CDSL to gain faster access to the Internet.


"Cambridge Display Technology"  


"Commission Electrotechnique Internationale"  


- A communications system which uses interlinked receivers/transmitters, each of which covers a particular area, or cell. Used for mobile and other portable telephone communications.

dect, gsm, ioca


"Code Excited Linear Predictive Coding"  


"Contract Electronic Manufacturing"  


"Comite Europeen de Normalisation"

cenelec, centrally focused antenna, centrex, centronics


"Comit European en de Normalisation Electrotechnical"  

Centrally Focused Antenna

- Refers to a circular dish shape whereby the focal point is at the centre  


- PABX facilities provided by the local exchange  


- Parallel computer interface commonly used to connect to printer  


"conference of european posts and telecommunications"


"conference europeene des administrations de postes et telecommunications"

- a standard setting body for Europe

Ceramic Capacitors

- a monolithic layered dielectric and alloy film device  


- Material used in the manufacture of resistive devices  


- Communications electronics security group
cheltenham spin off


"Coherent Frequency Shift Keying"  

Chain Printer

- Is a line printer where the characters are carried on a continuous chain between print hammers and paper  


- is any physical path followed by data particularly between a central processing unit and a peripheral device or by extension between the user's program and a file on backing store.  

Channel Resistance

- Is about the JFET and about the pinch off voltage  


- Is the popular iiaine for an integrated circuit  

Chip Creak

This is an electronics phenomenon where the IC/Pins expand  

Chip Resistors

- A resistive film element applied to a thin ceramic substrate with each element end attached to an alloy end cap terminator.  


"Corporate Headquarters Office Technology System"  


- Term used to describe the colour difference signals of TV picture for example BY RY and GY. Sometimes the abbreviation `chroma` is used.  


"Commission Internationale de L`Eclairage"  


"Common image format"  


"Computer Integrated Manufactunng"  


- Commander In Chief Atlantic  


- A Complete Electrical Path

in circuit test short circuit output current, short circuit protection


"Complex Instruction Set Computer"  


"Common Image Structure Data Rate"  


"Comité Intennationale de Perturbations Radiotechniques"  

Clarke Belt

- The circular orbit at 35800 km (22247 Mls) above the equator where the satellites appears stationary to earth receivers. Named after its discoverer Arthur C Clarke.  

Class A Operation

- This means the transistor is conducting throughout the ac cycle without going into saturation or cut off  

Class B Operation

- Biasing of a transistor in such a way that it conducts for only half of the ac cycle  


"Calling Line Identification."

- This delivers the number of the party calling before the call is collected



- Is the electronic unit that synchronises related pieces of equipment by
generating pulses at a constant rate.

clock rate, clock track

Clock Rate

- Is the frequency at which the clock operates  

Clock Track

- Is a series of optical or magnetic marks on the relevant input medium giving location information which defines the read areas.  


8 Close (a file)
- Is the correct method of giving up access to a file on backing store; this allows operations hidden from a user such as clearing of buffers to be successfully

closed loop quantity, closed subroutine

Closed Subroutine

- Is one where separate calls to the subroutine use the same piece of code  


"Colour Lookup Table"  


"Covert Methods Of Entry"  


"Complementary metal oxide semiconductor"

- Complementary means that it has NPN and PNP transistors. Digital circuits tend to use very little current, because the paths for current flow are effectively open circuits except during the transition between states.

cmos inverter


"Common Mode Rejection Ratio"  


- French National Centre for Scientific Research  


"Carrier to Noise Ratio"  


- US term for the local telephone exchange  

Co Located

- Two or more satellites orbiting at the same geostationary location  


"Cache On A Stick"  


"COmmon Business Oriented Language"

- Is used for business data processing


- Is a set of program instructions

bar code reader, code security, codec, codel, machine code instruction


Code Security

- Electronic `handshake` between handM and baw unit of a cordless telephone  





"Congressional Delegation"  


"Congressional Delegation"  

Coding Sheet

- Is a special form on whicti program instructions may be written  

Coductivity Modulation

- Of a semiconductor, the variation of the conductivity of a semiconductor through variation of the charge carrier density.  


"Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division"  


- The largest part of a transistor. It is called the collector because it collects or gathers the carriers sent into the base by the emitter.

collector cutoff current, collector diode, common collector amplifier

Collector Cutoff Current

- The small collector current that exists when the base current is zero in a CE connection.  

Collector Diode

- The diode formed by the base and collector of a transistor  

Colpitts Oscillator

- One of the most widely used LC oscillators. It consists of a bipolar transistor or FET and an LC resonant circuit.  


"Computer Output on Microfilm"

- Is a technique for producing computer output directly on microfilm.


"COmmon Algorithmic Language"

- Is an enhanced version of BASIC providing structured programming features.


"Communications Intercept/Intelligence"  

Common Collector Amplifier

- This is an amplifier whoa collector is at ac ground. The signal goes into the base and comes out of the emitter.  

Emitter Circuit

- A transistor circuit where the emitter is common or grounded  

Common Mode Signal

- A signal that is applied with equal strength to both inputs of a cliff amp or an op amp  


- Compressor and expander

- A method of audio noise reduction used in cordless telephones


- A noisereduction technique involving compression applied at the transmitter with complementary expansion at the receiver  


- A circuit or device that detects when the input voltage is greater than a pre determined limit. The output is either a low or a high voltage. The predetermined limit is called the trip point.

flag, schmitt trigger, trip point

Compensating Capacitor

- A capacitor inside an op amp that prevents oscillations  

Compensating Diodes

- These are the diodes used in a class B push-pull emitter follower. These diodes have current-voltage curves that match those of the emitter diodes.  

Compilation Error

- Is an error detected during compilation  

Compilation Time

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


- Is a program that translates a highlevel language program into a computer`s machine code or some other lowlevel language.  

Component Contact

- The lead or area provided on a device for electrical and mecharical attachment to the circuit conductors of a substrate

solder fillet

Component Identification

esm 2/c4  

Component/Equipment Storage

Investigate build quality, Determine the level of equipment protection, How securely is equipment supported, Stored equipment should be easily identified, Establish how easy the system is to use, Check ESD performance, Measure the footprint, How easily can the manufacturer, Ascertain lead times, Identify value added features that will improve productivity  

Composite Baseband

- The raw demodulator output prior to filtering and clamping and (usually) prior to deemphasis. Contains all transmitter subcarriers.

composite signal

Composite Signal

- Ambiguous term variously used to refer to composite baseband or composite video  

Composite Video

- Complete video signal including synchronising luniinance and colour information with Teletext where transmitted. Does not include audio or data subcarriers.  

Compression Contact Connector

- A connector designed to electrically rnate to contact areas of two parallel substrate surfaces  


- Is a machine that under the control of a stored program automatically accepts and processes data and supplies the results of that processing.

computer engineer, computer generations, computer operator, computer security, computer system

Computer Engineer

- The person responsible for the maintenance of the hardware  

Computer Generations

- A convenient means of distinguishing between advances in computer technology  

Computer Operator

- Is the person who operates the computer and where appropriate responds to requests from the operating system and from remote users in a timesharing system.  

Computer Security

- Is the protection of computer systems from theft or damage to their hardware, software or electronic data, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.  


"Communicalions Satellite Corp"  


- A material that has many free electrons due to its atoms' outer ring having less than 4 electrons, which is less than the 8 needed for chemical and/or electrical stability.

interconnection, multilayer, necking down, Neutral Wire, Ohm`s Law, Phase voltage, sla, thermal noise, trace width

Conference Call

- Several parties connected together in one telephone conversation

smart cards


Is the particular choice of hardware and its connections making up a computer system.  

Conformal Coatings

- Is a thin polymeric film which conforms to the contours of a printed circuit board to protect the board's components. Typically applied at 25-250 μm thickness, it is applied to electronic circuitry to protect against moisture, dust, chemicals, and temperature extremes.  


- Is a data item with a fixed value  

Contact Geometry

The physical shape of the land pattern provided to electrically and mechanically attach electronic devices to the substrate  

Contact Pins

- Leads of an electronic device, connector or module used for electrical interface  

Continuous Stationery

- Is paper perforated at page intervals and fanfolded to form a pack normally used in a printer. It can be a series of preprinted forms.  

Control Unit

- Is that part of the central processing unit that supervises the execution of program instructions.  


- Of the same polarisation  

Copper Foil

- Thin copper alloy sheet material bonded to a rigid or flexible substrate for chemically etching of circuit conductors  


"COmmon Realtime Application Language"

- Is used for online realtime systems.


- A telephone that uses radio waves to send signals back and forth between the handset and the base. The base is connected to the phone lines.

batteries, battery, code security, compander, dect, dual channel operations, frequency allocation changes, imtft, paging, surveillance


"Comrol of substances hazardous to health"  

Coupling Capacitor

- A capacitor used to transmit an ac signal from one node to another

direct coupling

Coupling Circuit

- A circuit that couples a signal from a generator to a load. The capacitor is in series with the Thevenin resistance of the generator and the load resistance.  

Covalent Bond

- The shared electrons between the silicon atoms in a crystal represent covalent bonds because the adjacent silicon atoms pull on the shoed electrons, just as two tug-of-war teams pull on a rope.  


- The insulating material or film laminated over each outside surface on a flemble substrate having etched circuit conductors  


"Customer Premise Equipment."  


"Continuous phase frequency shift keying"  


"Components Per Hour"  


"Control Program/Monitor or Control Program for Microcomputers"

- Is the name given to a commonlyused operating system for microcomputers that are based on the Z80 microprocessor chip.


"Crisis Pre Planning Group"  


"Central Processing Unit" Normally refers to the main processor or chip inside a PC

Another definition of cpu:

- Is the main part of the computer consisting of the registers arithmetic unit and control unit.

samba, scsi


- Common term for when your computer freezes



"Cyclic Redundancy Check"  

Credit Card Memory

- A type of memory typically used in laptop and notebook computers  

Critical Frequency

- Known as the cutoff frequency, break frequency, corner frequency, etc.

compensating capacitor

Cross Assembler

- Is an assembler that runs on one computer but that produces code for another  

Cross Compiler

- Is a compiler that runs on one computer but that produces code for another  

Crossbar Switching

- A method of interconnecting signal paths by means of a horizontal/vertical matrix of switch contacts  


- Unwanted signals passing from one circuit to another  


- The metaphor used to describe the action of an SCR when it is used to protect a load against supply overvoltage  


"Centre for Environmental Physics Rescarch"  


"Cathode Ray Tube"  


- Refers to the making and breaking of algorithms to conceal or otherwise encrypt information  


- The geometric structure that occurs when silicon atoms combine. Each silicon atom has four neighbors, and this results in a special shape called a crystal.

crystal supplier


"Circuit switched data network"  


"Camera Sense Multiple Access"

csma c/a, csma c/d


"CSMA/collision avoidance"  


"CSMA/collision detection"  


- Configurable system on chip  


"Chip Sandwich Package"

"Chip Scale Package"


"Companded single sideband/amplitude modulation"  


"Channel Service Unit"  


"Cordless telephone"

Another definition of CT:
- Career Trainee

ct1, ct2, cti, cts


"Cordless telephone mandard"  


"Cordless telephone standard"  


"Computer Telephony Integration"  


"Clear To Send"  


"Closed User Group" Enables users to be assembled into groups of varying sizes and geographical areas.  

Curing Chamber

- An oven or enclosure designed to cure epoides or other materials at an elevated temperature  

Current Booster

- A device, usually a transistor, that increases the maximum allowable load current of an op-amp circuit  

Current Feedback

- A type of feedback where the feedback signal is proportional to the output current  

Current Limiting

- Electronically reducing the supply voltage so that the current does not exceed a predetermined limit

foldback current limiting, short circuit protection

Current Mirror

- A circuit that acts as a current source whose value is a reflection of current through a biasing resistor and a diode  

Current Sensors, Transformers, Transducers

- Aim Dynamics supplies power monitoring equipment, including split core current transformers, DC current transducers, and flexible current transformers  

Current Source

- This is an energy source that produces a constant current through a load resistance of any value

current mirror, reductio ad absurdum, stiff current source


- Is a character that indicates the current display position on a visual display unit

icons, mouse, palette, screen editing

Cutoff Frequency

- Identical to the critical frequency  

Cutoff Point

- Approximately the same as the lower end of the load line  

Cutoff Region

- The region where the base current is zero in a CE connection  


"Continuously Variable Slope Deltamodulation"  


"Continuous Wave"



"Chinese Wireless Telecomunications Standards Organisation"  

Cycle Time

- Is the time interval between the start and restart of a particular hardware operation  


- Is the name given to the set of tracks in a multidisk pack that can be read without
moving the reading head


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