Electronics Dictionary

This electronics dictionary contains articles, acronyms and definitions covering the latest in electronics technology to the older tech beginnings of consumer electronics.

If you would like to read the articles, browse through our sitemap for faster access.

Use the Google search box to search the electronics dictionary.

Custom Search

Acceleration - In networking terms, this refers to accelerating (increasing the speed) data transfer. For example, web accelerators (such as propel) speed up a dial up internet connection by 'cutting' the graphics and blocking ads. Here is a very detailed and in-depth article about the latest acceleration technologies.

Access - In computer terms, to obtain data from a storage device.

Active X - a type of programming that adds interactivity with web pages.

ACPI - Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. An industry standard for power management of computers. This configuration is controlled through the bios and / or software settings.

AC/DC Voltage - A device that is capable of using ac (alternating current) or dc (direct current) voltage.

Actuator - A device that converts an electronic signal into a mechanical motion.

AC Voltage - Alternating Current. This is the type of electricity that is found in your home. AC voltage in the home is commonly 110 volts for most ordinary consumer electronic items. Dryers and bigger appliances are usually 220 volts. Some industrial equipment requires 440 volts and above. European countries use 220 volts for most household items.

Address - In internet terms, the "web address" identifies the specific location of an internet site. In computer terms, address identifies where data is located.

ADC - Analog to Digital Converter.

Administrator - A power user who control everything on a website.

Admittance - The measure of how easy alternating current will flow. Measured in siemens.

ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A set of DSL technologies that allocate more bandwidth in one direction than the other.

ADX - Automatic Data Exchange.

AF - Audio Frequency.

AGC - Automatic Gain Control

AI - Artificial Intelligence. Programs or machines using AI "learn" as we do by making decisions. Click here for an article about Artificial Intelligence.

Algorithm - A defined set of rules that produces the desired results. This word is used frequently by search engines, referring to the set of rules it uses that produces results from search terms.

Alignment - How text appears. Text can be left, right, centered and justified.

Alternate text - Word(s) that will appear in a browser when a picture is not displayed or when the mouse is hovered over the pic. Can also be used with accessibility programs for the blind.

Alternator - AC generator. A car's alternator produces ac voltage and is then converted to dc voltage

ALU - Arithmetic Logic Unit. The part of a CPU that does the math calculations

Alarm Pager - A component of a home alarm system that once the alarm is triggered, it will send messages to a phone, personal pager, or etc.

AMD - Advanced Micro Devices. A CPU chip maker that is in close competition with Intel chips. CPU's are often offered at substantially lower prices with similar performance.

Ampere - The flow rate of electricity. Also called amps. Abbreviated "A".

Amplification - To increase the power or strength of a signal.

Amplifier - An electronic component that increases a signal.

Analog - Electronic signal that sends information by variation of time.

Analog TV - Over the air television broadcast that uses magnetic waves to display sound and pictures.

Android OS - Android operating system is an OS that now belongs to Google. It is primarily used in cell phones and Tablet PC's. The Android Marketplace boosts several thousand free apps to download.

Ankle biters - Low level computer hackers that create havoc on major networks for pleasure and not for monetary gain.

Anode - The negative terminal of a battery.

ANSI - American National Standards Institute. Organization that sets standards for how things are manufactured or procedurally done.

Antenna - Metal device which picks up and delivers signals to a receiver; most commonly used for receiving radio signals.

Antenna Gain - The ability of an antenna to focus in on signals from a specific direction.

Anti Virus program - A program designed to protect data from malicious attacks by hackers. Click here for an article on tips on anti virus programs.

Aperture - The opening in a digital camera lens where light travels through to the inside of the camera.

API - Application Program Interface. In terms of programming, this refers to a set of functions or routines that allows interface with an operating system (i.e. - dll files)

Appleshare - Apple's (Macintosh) server software for LAN's.

Application software - A program that helps the user carry out a specified task (i.e. Internet Explorer is a web browser).

Arc - An electrical flash caused by the ionization of a vapor or gas.

Archive - The process of moving data from a primary storage device to a secondary storage device (i.e. backup your files from a hard drive to a cd). Click here for an article about backup in Windows XP Home Edition

ARP - Address Resolution Protocol.

ARPNET - Advanced Research Projects Agency. Back in 1969, these folks connected computers at different universities. The beginnings of the internet. ARCNET was created by Data corporation in 1977.

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A type of  8 digit code that represents the letters of the alphabet and other characters. On a keyboard, each key represents a different ASCII code. Sometimes pronounced ASK-TWO or ASKEE.

Aspect Ratio - The numerical relationship of height to width on a television screen.

ASR - Automatic Send and Receive.

Assembly Language - A translation of machine binary code into a form easier to read for human use.

Asynchronous - Data stream that is sent with start and stop bits (this shows where the data began and ended). This data transmission method uses flow control rather than a clock to synchronize data.

Attenuation - The loss of electrical signal from where it began (i.e. - How much signal loss occurs over a length of cable. Another example is the signal loss in cell phones because they are further away from towers).

Attenuator - An electronics device (resistors) used to reduce signal or power strength

Autoexec.bat - This file starts every time your computer boots. Bat means that it is a batch file, which means it is an automatic executing file.

Atomic Clock - A clock based upon the transition of the caesium 133 atom. Highly accurate and reliable. Click here to read more information about the atomic clock.

ATSC - Advanced Television Systems Committee. DTV system used by American broadcasters.

AVC - Automatic Volume Control.

Avionics - The science of aviation electronics.

AWG - American Wire Gauge. An American standard which sets the diameter of wire (i.e. 16 gauge wire).

Azimuth - For satellite tv dish pointing, this term refers to moving the satellite tv dish left and right.

Disclaimer - We do not and will not accept any type of responsibility for any tips, information or recommendations given on this website.

Copyright 2006 Wilsons Electronics Dictionary