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Technical Abbreviations and Acronyms

Where would the government, business, medicine, the technical world, an the military be without an ample lexicon of abbreviations and acronyms? The government and military have entire departments dedicated to creating clever (or not so clever) acronyms for programs and systems.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does include many of the abbreviations and acronyms that I have run up against in my career. If you have any that should be added, please send me an e-mail.








A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
A
A Ampere
ACAlternating Current
ACKAcknowledge
ACIAAsynchronous Communication Interface Adapter
ACLAdvanced CMOS Logic
A/DAnalog to Digital
AFAudio Frequency
AFCAutomatic Frequency Control
AGCAutomatic Gain Control
AHAmpere-Hour
AIArtificial Intelligence
AKAAlso Known As
ALCAutomatic Level Control
ALUArithmetic Logic Unit
A/NAlphanumeric
ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute
ARRLAmerican Radio Relay League
ASAdvanced Schottky
ASCIIAmerican Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASICApplication Specific Integrated Circuit
ASKAmplitude Shift Keying
ATCAir Traffic Control
AVAudio/Visual
AVCAutomatic Volume Control
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B
BASICBeginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
BBDBucket Brigade Device
BCEBinary Coded Decimal
BEVBillion Electron Volts
BIFETBipolar Field-Effect Transistor
BJTBipolar Junction Transistor
BNCBayonet Neill-Concelman (connector)
BPIBits Per Inch
BPSBits Per Second
BTWBy The Way
B&WBlack & White
BWBandWidth
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C
CCapacitance
CADComputer Assisted Design or Computer Aided Drafting
CADAComputer Assisted Design and Analysis
CADDComputer Assisted Design and Development
CAEComputer Assisted Engineering
CAMComputer Assisted Manufacturing
CANCANcel
CASColumn Address Strobe
CATVCAble TeleVision
CBCitizens Band
CBIComplementary BInary or Computer Based Instruction
CBTComputer Based Training
CCConstant Current
CCDCharge Coupled Device
CCITTInternational Telegraphy and Telephony Consultative Committee
CCTVClosed Circuit TeleVision
CCWCounter Clock Wise
CDCompact Disk
CD-ICompact Disk - Interactiv
CDRCompact Disk Recordable
CDROMCompact Disk Read Only Memory
CDRWCompact Disk ReWriteable
CECLCascode Emitter Coupled Logic
CEMAConsumer Electronics Manufacturers Association
CEMFCounter ElectroMotive Force
CERDIPCERamic Dual Inline Package
CESConsumer Electronics Show
CFCenter Frequency or Cubic Feet
CFMCubic Feet per Minute
CIMComputer Integrated Manufacturing
CISCComplex Instruction Set Computer
CLCurrent Loop
CMOSComplementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
CP/MControl Program for Microcomputers
CPICharacters Per Inch
CPUCentral Processing Unit
CRCCyclic Redundancy Check
CRTCathode Ray Tube
CSControl Strobe (logic signal)
CSACanadian Standards Association
CTCCounter/Timer Circuit
CTSClear To Send (protocol signal)
CVConstant Voltage
CVTConstant Voltage Transformer
CWClockWise, Continuous Wave, Carrier Wave (for old-timers)
CYMKCyan Yellow Magenta blacK
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D
D/ADigital to Analog
DACDigital to Analog Converter or Data Acquisition and Control
DARPADefense Advanced Research Projects Agency
DAVData AValiable or DatA Valid
DBData Base
dBDeciBel
dBADeciBel - Adjusted
dBKDeciBel (1 kilowatt ref)
DBMData Base Management
dBmDeciBel (1 milliwatt ref)
dBVDeciBel (1 volt ref)
dBXDeciBel - above reference
DCDirect Current
DCDData Carrier Detect (protocol signal)
DDSDirect Digital Synthesis
DESData Encryption Standard
DIACBilateral trigger diode
DILDual In Line
DINDeutsche Industrie Normenausschuss
DIPDual Inline Package
DLCDual Layer Capacitor
DMADirect Memory Access
DMMDigital MultiMeter
DODDepartment of Defense
DOSDisk Operating System
DOTDepartment of Transportation
DPData Processing
DPDTDouble Pole Double Throw
DPIDots Per Inch
DPSTDouble Pole Single Throw
DRAMDynamic Random Access Memory
DSData Strobe
DSODigital Storage Oscilloscope
DSPDigital Signal Processing
DSRData Set Ready
DTLDiode Transistor Logic
DTMFDual Tone Multi Frequency
DTRData Terminal Ready
DVMDigital Volt-Meter
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E
E2PROMElectrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
EAROMElectrically Alterable Read Only Memory
EBCDICExtended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code
ECCError Checking and Correction
ECLEmitter Coupled Logic
EEPROMElectrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
EGAEnhanced Graphics Adapter
EHFExtremely High Frequency
EIAElectronics Industries Association
ELElectroLuminescent
ELFExtremely Low Frequency
EMFElectroMotive Force
EMIElectroMagnetic Interference
EMPElectroMagnetic Pulse
ENIACElectronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator
EOTEnd Of Transmission
EPLDElectrically Programmable Logic Device
EPROMElectrically Programmable Read Only Memory
EQEQualizer
ESAEuropean Space Agency
ESDElectrostatic Sensitive Device or ElectroStatic Discharge
ESREquivalent Series Resistance
EVElectron Volt
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F
FFarad
FAAFederal Aviation Administration
FASTFairchild Advanced Schottky
FAXFacsimile
FCCFederal Communications Commission
FDCFloppy Disk Controller
FDXFull DupleX
FETField Effect Transistor
FFFlip Flop
FFTFast Fourier Transform
FIFOFirst In First Ou
FILOFirst In Last Out
FMFrequency Modulation
FORTRANFORmula TRANslato
FPFloating Point
FPGAField Programmable Gate Array
FPLAField Programmable Logic Array
FPPFloating Point Processor
FPUFloating Point Unit
FSKFrequency Shift Keying
FTPFile Transfer Protocol
FUBARFouled Up Beyond Any Repair
FVCFrequency to Voltage Converter
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G
GAGate Array
GALGeneric Array Logic
GCSGate Controlled Switch
GFCIGround Fault Circuit Interrupter
GFIGround Fault Interrupter
GFLOPSBillions of FLOating Point operations per Second
GIGOGarbage In Garbage Out
GNDGrouND
GPIBGeneral Purpose Interface Bus (evolved from HPIB by Hewlett Packard)
GPSGlobal Positioning System
GUIGraphical User Interface (software)
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H
HALHardwired Array Logic
HCHigh speed CMOS
HCTHigh speed CMOS with TTL thresholds
HDHigh Density
HDCHard Disk Controller
HDTVHigh Definition TeleVision
HDXHalf DupleX
HERHigh Efficiency Red
HETHeterodyne
HFHigh Frequency
HFSHierarchical File System
HICHybrid Integrated Circuit
HPHewlett Packard or Horse Power
HPIBHewlett Packard Interface Bus
HPILHewlett Packard Interface Loop
HTLHigh Threshold Logic
HVDCHigh Voltage Direct Current
HVPSHigh Voltage Power Supply
HzHertz (frequency in cycles per second)
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I
I2ICEIntegrated Instrumentation and In Circuit Emulation
I2RCurrent (I) squared x Resistance
IAInstrumentation Amplifier
ICIntegrated Circuit
ICEIn Circuit Emulation
IEEEInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IFIntermediate Frequency
IGFETInsulated Gate Field Effect Transistor
IMHOIn My Humble Opinion
IMNHOIn My Not so Humble Opinion
I/OInput/Output
IOPInput/Output Processor
IPInterface Processor or Internet Protocol
IRCurrent-Resistance or InfraRed
IREDInfraRed Emitting Diode
IRLEDInfraRed Light Emitting Diode
IRQInterrupt ReQuest
ISAInstrument Society of America
ISNInformation Systems Network
ISOIn Search Of
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J
JEDECJoint Electron Device Engineering Council
JFETJunction Field Effect Transistor
JISJapanese Industrial Standard
JPLJet Propulsion Laboratory
JUGJoint Users Group
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K
kKilo (1000 units)
kAKilo Ampere (1000 A)
kbPSKilo bits Per Second
kEVKilo Electron Volts
kHzKilo Hertz (1000 cycles per second)
kVAKilo Volt Amperes
kWKilo Watts
kWHKilo Watt Hours
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L
LInductance
L2FETLogic Level Field Effect Transistor
LANLocal Area Network
LASCRLight Activated Silicon Controlled Rectifier
LASERLight Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
LCInductance and Capacitance
LCDLiquid Crystal Display
LCMLeast/Lowest Common Multiple
LDLine Driver
LEDLight Emitting Diode
LFLow Frequency
LIFOLast In First Out
LISPLISt Processing
LLFETLogic Level Field Effect Transistor
LOLocal Oscillator
LORANLOng RAnge Navigation
LPLow Pass
LPCLinear Predictive Coding
LPMLines Per Minute
LPTLine PrinTer
LSBLeast Significant Bit or Lower SideBand
LSDLeast Significant Digit
LSILarge Scale Integration
LUTLook Up Table
LWLong Wave
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M
mAHmilliAmpere-Hour
MBMegaBytes
MbMegabits
MBPSMillion Bytes Per Second
MbPSMillion bits Per Second
MCAMicro Channel Architecture
MCUMicro Computer Unit
MDACMultiplying Digital to Analog Converter
MECLMotorola Emitter Coupled Logic
MFLOPSMillions of FLOating Point operations per Second
MFMModified Frequency Modulation
MHzMegaHertz
MIDIMusic Instrument Digital Interface
MILMILitary
MILSPECMILitary SPECification
MIPSMillions of Instructions Per Second
MMUMemory Management Unit
MOMaster Oscillator
MOSMetal Oxide Semiconductor
MOSFETMetal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor
MOVMetal Oxide Varistor
MPUMain Processing Unit
MRMagnetic Resonance
MSDOSMicroSoft Disk Operating System
MSBMost Significant Bit
MSDMost Significant Digit
MSDSMaterial Safety Data Sheet
MSIMedium Scale Integration
MTBFMean Time Between Failures
MTSMultichannel Television Sound
MUFMaximum Useable Frequency
MUXMultiplexer
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N
NASANational Aeronautics and Space Administration
NCNot Connected or Normally Closed
NCONumerically Controlled Oscillator
NEDANational Electronics Distributors Association
NEGNEGative
NEMANational Electrical Manufacturers Association
nFNanoFarad
NFSNetwork File Server
NiCadNickel Cadmium
NiMHNickel Metal Hydride
NMOSN-channel Metal Oxide Semiconductor
NMRNuclear Magnetic Resonance
NONormally Open
NOAANational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NORADNORth American Defense
NPNNegative Positive Negative
NPONegative Positive 0 temperature coefficient
NPRNoise Power Ratio
NRZNon Return to Zero
NRZINon Return to Zero Invert
NSBNational Science Board
NSFNational Science Foundation
NSPENational Society of Professional Engineers
NTNetwork Terminator
NTCNegative Temperature Coefficient
NTSCNational Television Systems Committee
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O
OBTWOh, By The Way
OCOpen Collector
OCROptical Character Recognition
OEMOriginal Equipment Manufacturer
OOObject Oriented
OOPObject Oriented Programming
OPAMPOPerational AMPlifier
OSOperating System
OSCAROrbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio
OSHAOccupational Safety and Health Administration
OTDROptical Time Domain Reflectometry
OTOHOn The Other Hand
OTPOne Time Programmable
OVPOver Voltage Protection
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P
PAPower Amplifier or Public Address
PALProgrammable Array Logic
PBXPrivate Branch eXchange
PCPersonal Computer or Printed Circuit or Program Counter
PCBPrinted Circuit Board
PCCPlastic Chip Carrier
PCMPulse Code Modulation
PECPhotoElectric Cell
PEPPeak Envelope Power
PFPower Factor
PGPower Gain
PGAPin Grid Array
PIAPeripheral Interface Adapter
PICPriority Interrupt Controller or Parallax'es microcontroller name
PIVPeak Inverse Voltage
PIXELPI(X)cture ELement
PLAProgrammable Logic Array
PLCCPlastic Leaded Chip Carrier
PLDProgrammable Logic Device
PLLPhase Locked Loop
PMPhase Modulation or Pulse Modulation
PNPPositive Negative Positive
POSPoint Of Sale or POSitive
POVPeak Operating Voltage
PPIPixels Per Inch
PPMParts Per Million or Pulse Position Modulation
PPSPulses Per Second
PRNPseudo Random Noise
PROMProgrammable Read Only Memory
PRVPeak Reverse Voltage or Peak Repetitive Voltage
PSGProgrammable Sound Generator
PSIPounds per Square Inch
PSKPhase Shift Keying
PTCPositive Temperature Coefficient
PTTPush To Talk
PUTProgrammable Unijunction Transistor
PVPhotoVoltaic
PWMPulse Width Modulation
PWRPoWeR
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Q
QAQuality Assurance
QCQuality Control
QICQuarter Inch Cartridge
QIPQuad Inline Package
QSMQuad Surface Mount
QWERTYStandard keyboard layout
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R
RResistance
R&DResearch and Development
RADRadiation Absorbed Dose
RADARRAdio Detection And Ranging
RAMRandom Access Memory
RASRow Address Strobe
RCRadio Control or Resistance and Capacitance
RCVReCeiVe
RDReceive Data or ReaD
RDADeceive Data
RDYReaDY
REMRoentgen Equivalent Man
REPRoentgen Equivalent Physical
RETRETurn
RFRadio Frequency
RFIRadio Frequency Interference
RGBRed Green Blue
RHRelative Humidity
RHDPRight Hand Decimal Point
RISCReduced Instruction Set Computer
RLCResistance Inductance Capacitance
RLGRing Laser Gyroscope
RMIRadio Magnetic Interference
RMSRoot Mean Square
ROMRead Only Memory
RPMRevolutions Per Minute
RPNReverse Polish Notation
RPSRevolutions Per Second
RSReed Solomon
RSSIReceived Signal Strength Indication
RTReal Time or Rise Time
RTDResistance Temperature Detector
RTIReal Time Interrupt
RTLResistor Transistor Logic
RTOSReal Time Operating System
RTSRequest To Send
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S
S/HSample and Hold
S/NSignal to Noise
SAWSurface Acoustic Wave
SBCSingle Board Computer
SCASubCarrier Adapter
SCISerial Communication Interface
SCLSerial CLock
SCRSilicon Controlled Rectifier
SCSSilicon Controlled Switch
SCSISmall Computer System Interface
SDStandard Deviation
SDIStrategic Defense Initiative
SDRAMSynchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory
SEMScanning Electron Microscope
SEMISemiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute
SFCpolyStyrene Film Capacitor
SGSignal Ground
SHFSuper High Frequency
SISystem International
SIMMSingle Inline Memory Module
SINADSIgnal-to-Noise-And-Distortion
SIOSerial Input and Output
SIPOSerial In Parallel Out
SLCSingle Layer Ceramic
SMSurface Mount
SMDSurface Mount Device
SNAFUSituation Normal, All Fouled Up (other variations on F-word possible)
SNRSignal to Noise Ratio
SMTSurface Mount Technology
SOSerial Output or Small Outline
SOICSmall Outline Integrated Circuit
SOJSmall Outline J-leaded
SOLVSOLenoid Valve
SONARSOund NAvigation and Ranging
SOPSmall Outline Package
SPSignal Processor or Stack Pointer
SPDTSingle Pole Double Throw
SPISerial to Parallel Interface
SPICESimulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis
SPLSound Pressure Level
SPSTSingle Pole Single Throw
SQLStructured Query Language
SRShift Register
SRAMStatic Random Access Memory
SSBSingle SideBand
SSISmall Scale Integration
SSIXSSubmarine Satellite Information eXchange System
SSRSolid State Relay
SSTVSlow Scan TeleVision
SVGASuperior Versatile Graphics Adapter (800 x 600 pixels)
SWShort Wave
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T
T/HTrack and Hold
TCTemperature Coefficient
TCP/IPTransmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
TDTunnel Diode
TDDTelecommunication Devices for the Deaf
TDRTime Domain Reflectometry
TEMTransverse ElectroMagnetic
TFTransfer Function
TFDThin Film Detector
TFELThin Film ElectroLuminescent
TFTThin Film Transistor
THDTotal Harmonic Distortion
THzTerra Hertz
TITexas Instruments (a company)
TIGTungsten Inert Gas
TMTransverse Magnetic (wave)
TRTransient Response
TRIACTRIode AC switch (bilateral SCR)
TSTime Sharing
TTLTransistor Transistor Logic
TVTeleVision
TWTTraveling Wave Tube
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U
UARTUniversal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter
_Fmicro Farad
UHFUltra High Frequency
UHVUltra High Vacuum
UJTUniJunction Transistor
ULUnderwriters Laboratories
ULSIUltra Large Scale Integration
UPCUniversal Product Code
UPSUninterruptible Power Supply
USARTUniversal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter
USBUniversal Serial Bus or Upper SideBand
UTCUniversal Time Code
UVUltraViolet
UVAUltraViolet Alpha
UVBUltraViolet Beta
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V
VVolt
VAVolt Ampere
VACVolts Alternating Current
VARVARiable or Volt Amperes Reactive
VARICAPVARIable CAPacitance diode
VCCSupply Voltage
VCDVariable Capacitance Diode
VCOVoltage Controlled Oscillator
VCRVideo Cassette Recorder
VDCVolts Direct Current
VDDSupply Voltage
VEESupply Voltage
VFVacuum Fluorescent
VFCVoltage to Frequency Converter
VFOVariable Frequency Oscillator
VGAVersatile Graphics Adapter (640 x 480 pixels)
VHFVery High Frequency
VLFVery Low Frequency
VLSIVery Large Scale Integration
VLTVideo Look up Table
VOLVOLume
VOMVolt OhmMeter
VOXVoice Operated transmit
VRVoltage Regulator or Virtual Reality
VRAMVideo Random Access Memory
VSVertical Sync
VSSSupply Voltage
VTVirtual Terminal
VTMVoltage Tunable Magnetron
VTOVoltage Tuned Oscillator
VTVMVacuum Tube Volt Meter
VXOVariable crystal Oscillator
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W
WACKWait before ACKnowledge
WDTWatch Dog Timer
WHWatt Hour
WHRWatt HouR
WPWord Processor
WPMWords Per Minute
WRWRite
WVWorking Voltage
WVDCWorking Volts DC
WwWire Wound or Wire Wrap
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X
XGAeXtended Graphics Adapter
XMTTransMiT
XOFFTransmit OFF
XONTransmit ON
XTALCrysTAL
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Y
YAGYttrium Aluminum Garnet
YIGYttrium Iron Garnet
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Z
ZDZero Defects
ZDTZero Defect Tolerance
ZIFZero Insertion Force
ZIPZigzag Inline Package


    Thanks to W. Lindsey for additions  2/20/2006

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