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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
AC Alternating Current
ACK Acknowledge
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
AH Ampere-Hour
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
AS Advanced Schottky
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASIC Application Specific Integrated Circuit
ASK Amplitude Shift Keying
ATC Air Traffic Control
AV Audio/Visual
AVC Automatic Volume Control
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B
BASIC Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
BBD Bucket Brigade Device
BCE Binary Coded Decimal
BEV Billion Electron Volts
BIFET Bipolar Field-Effect Transistor
BJT Bipolar Junction Transistor
BNC Bayonet Neill-Concelman (connector)
BPI Bits Per Inch
BPS Bits Per Second
BTW By The Way
B&W Black & White
BW BandWidth
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C
C Capacitance
CAD Computer Assisted Design or Computer Aided Drafting
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
CATV CAble TeleVision
CB Citizens Band
CBI Complementary BInary or Computer Based Instruction
CBT Computer Based Training
CC Constant Current
CCD Charge Coupled Device
CCITT International Telegraphy and Telephony Consultative Committee
CCTV Closed Circuit TeleVision
CCW Counter Clock Wise
CD Compact Disk
CD-I Compact Disk - Interactiv
CDR Compact Disk Recordable
CDROM Compact Disk Read Only Memory
CDRW Compact Disk ReWriteable
CECL Cascode Emitter Coupled Logic
CEMA Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association
CEMF Counter ElectroMotive Force
CERDIP CERamic Dual Inline Package
CES Consumer Electronics Show
CF Center Frequency or Cubic Feet
CFM Cubic Feet per Minute
CIM Computer Integrated Manufacturing
CISC Complex Instruction Set Computer
CL Current Loop
CMOS Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
CP/M Control Program for Microcomputers
CPI Characters Per Inch
CPU Central Processing Unit
CRC Cyclic Redundancy Check
CRT Cathode Ray Tube
CS Control Strobe (logic signal)
CSA Canadian Standards Association
CTC Counter/Timer Circuit
CTS Clear To Send (protocol signal)
CV Constant Voltage
CVT Constant Voltage Transformer
CW ClockWise, Continuous Wave, Carrier Wave (for old-timers)
CYMK Cyan Yellow Magenta blacK
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D
D/A Digital to Analog
DAC Digital to Analog Converter or Data Acquisition and Control
DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
DAV Data AValiable or DatA Valid
DB Data Base
dB DeciBel
dBA DeciBel - Adjusted
dBK DeciBel (1 kilowatt ref)
DBM Data Base Management
dBm DeciBel (1 milliwatt ref)
dBV DeciBel (1 volt ref)
dBX DeciBel - above reference
DC Direct Current
DCD Data Carrier Detect (protocol signal)
DDS Direct Digital Synthesis
DES Data Encryption Standard
DIAC Bilateral trigger diode
DIL Dual In Line
DIN Deutsche Industrie Normenausschuss
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 Double Pole Double Throw
DPI Dots Per Inch
DPST Double Pole Single Throw
DRAM Dynamic Random Access Memory
DS Data Strobe
DSO Digital Storage Oscilloscope
DSP Digital Signal Processing
DSR Data Set Ready
DTL Diode Transistor Logic
DTMF Dual Tone Multi Frequency
DTR Data Terminal Ready
DVM Digital Volt-Meter
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E
E2PROM Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
EAROM Electrically Alterable Read Only Memory
EBCDIC Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code
ECC Error Checking and Correction
ECL Emitter Coupled Logic
EEPROM Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
EGA Enhanced Graphics Adapter
EHF Extremely High Frequency
EIA Electronics Industries Association
EL ElectroLuminescent
ELF Extremely Low Frequency
EMF ElectroMotive Force
EMI ElectroMagnetic Interference
EMP ElectroMagnetic Pulse
ENIAC Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator
EOT End Of Transmission
EPLD Electrically Programmable Logic Device
EPROM Electrically Programmable Read Only Memory
EQ EQualizer
ESA European Space Agency
ESD Electrostatic Sensitive Device or ElectroStatic Discharge
ESR Equivalent Series Resistance
EV Electron Volt
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F
F Farad
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FAST Fairchild Advanced Schottky
FAX Facsimile
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FDC Floppy Disk Controller
FDX Full DupleX
FET Field Effect Transistor
FF Flip Flop
FFT Fast Fourier Transform
FIFO First In First Ou
FILO First In Last Out
FM Frequency Modulation
FORTRAN FORmula TRANslato
FP Floating Point
FPGA Field Programmable Gate Array
FPLA Field Programmable Logic Array
FPP Floating Point Processor
FPU Floating Point Unit
FSK Frequency Shift Keying
FTP File Transfer Protocol
FUBAR Fouled Up Beyond Any Repair
FVC Frequency to Voltage Converter
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G
GA Gate Array
GAL Generic Array Logic
GCS Gate Controlled 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 (evolved from HPIB by Hewlett Packard)
GPS Global Positioning System
GUI Graphical User Interface (software)
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H
HAL Hardwired Array Logic
HC High speed CMOS
HCT High speed CMOS with TTL thresholds
HD High Density
HDC Hard Disk Controller
HDTV High Definition TeleVision
HDX Half DupleX
HER High Efficiency Red
HET Heterodyne
HF High Frequency
HFS Hierarchical File System
HIC Hybrid Integrated Circuit
HP Hewlett Packard or Horse Power
HPIB Hewlett Packard Interface Bus
HPIL Hewlett Packard Interface Loop
HTL High Threshold Logic
HVDC High Voltage Direct Current
HVPS High Voltage Power Supply
Hz Hertz (frequency in cycles per second)
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I
I2ICE Integrated Instrumentation and In Circuit Emulation
I2R Current (I) squared x Resistance
IA Instrumentation Amplifier
IC Integrated Circuit
ICE In Circuit 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
I/O Input/Output
IOP Input/Output Processor
IP Interface Processor or Internet Protocol
IR Current-Resistance or InfraRed
IRED InfraRed Emitting Diode
IRLED InfraRed Light Emitting Diode
IRQ Interrupt ReQuest
ISA Instrument Society of America
ISN Information Systems Network
ISO In Search Of
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J
JEDEC Joint Electron Device Engineering Council
JFET Junction Field Effect Transistor
JIS Japanese Industrial Standard
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory
JUG Joint Users Group
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K
k Kilo (1000 units)
kA Kilo Ampere (1000 A)
kbPS Kilo bits Per Second
kEV Kilo Electron Volts
kHz Kilo Hertz (1000 cycles per second)
kVA Kilo Volt Amperes
kW Kilo Watts
kWH Kilo Watt Hours
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L
L Inductance
L2FET Logic Level Field Effect Transistor
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
LLFET Logic Level Field Effect Transistor
LO Local Oscillator
LORAN LOng RAnge Navigation
LP Low Pass
LPC Linear Predictive Coding
LPM Lines Per Minute
LPT Line PrinTer
LSB Least Significant Bit or Lower SideBand
LSD Least Significant Digit
LSI Large Scale Integration
LUT Look Up Table
LW Long Wave
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M
mAH milliAmpere-Hour
MB MegaBytes
Mb Megabits
MBPS Million Bytes Per Second
MbPS Million bits Per Second
MCA Micro Channel Architecture
MCU Micro Computer 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
MILSPEC MILitary SPECification
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
MSDOS MicroSoft Disk Operating System
MSB Most Significant Bit
MSD Most Significant Digit
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet
MSI Medium Scale Integration
MTBF Mean Time Between Failures
MTS Multichannel Television Sound
MUF Maximum Useable Frequency
MUX Multiplexer
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N
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NC Not Connected or Normally Closed
NCO Numerically Controlled Oscillator
NEDA National Electronics Distributors Association
NEG NEGative
NEMA National Electrical Manufacturers Association
nF NanoFarad
NFS Network File Server
NiCad Nickel Cadmium
NiMH Nickel Metal Hydride
NMOS N-channel Metal Oxide Semiconductor
NMR Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
NO Normally Open
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NORAD NORth American Defense
NPN Negative Positive Negative
NPO Negative Positive 0 temperature coefficient
NPR Noise Power Ratio
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
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O
OBTW Oh, By The Way
OC Open Collector
OCR Optical Character Recognition
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
OO Object Oriented
OOP Object Oriented Programming
OPAMP OPerational AMPlifier
OS Operating System
OSCAR Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OTDR Optical Time Domain Reflectometry
OTOH On The Other Hand
OTP One Time Programmable
OVP Over Voltage Protection
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P
PA Power Amplifier or Public Address
PAL Programmable Array Logic
PBX Private Branch eXchange
PC Personal Computer or Printed Circuit or Program Counter
PCB Printed Circuit Board
PCC Plastic Chip Carrier
PCM Pulse Code Modulation
PEC PhotoElectric Cell
PEP Peak Envelope Power
PF Power Factor
PG Power Gain
PGA Pin Grid Array
PIA Peripheral Interface Adapter
PIC Priority Interrupt Controller or Parallax'es microcontroller name
PIV Peak Inverse Voltage
PIXEL PI(X)cture ELement
PLA Programmable Logic Array
PLCC Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier
PLD Programmable Logic Device
PLL Phase Locked Loop
PM Phase Modulation or Pulse Modulation
PNP Positive Negative Positive
POS Point Of Sale or POSitive
POV Peak Operating Voltage
PPI Pixels Per Inch
PPM Parts Per Million or Pulse Position Modulation
PPS Pulses Per Second
PRN Pseudo Random Noise
PROM Programmable Read Only Memory
PRV Peak Reverse Voltage or Peak Repetitive Voltage
PSG Programmable Sound Generator
PSI Pounds per Square Inch
PSK Phase Shift Keying
PTC Positive Temperature Coefficient
PTT Push To Talk
PUT Programmable Unijunction Transistor
PV PhotoVoltaic
PWM Pulse Width Modulation
PWR PoWeR
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Q
QA Quality Assurance
QC Quality Control
QIC Quarter Inch Cartridge
QIP Quad Inline Package
QSM Quad Surface Mount
QWERTY Standard keyboard layout
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R
R Resistance
R&D Research and Development
RAD Radiation Absorbed Dose
RADAR RAdio Detection And Ranging
RAM Random Access Memory
RAS Row Address Strobe
RC Radio Control or Resistance and Capacitance
RCV ReCeiVe
RD Receive Data or ReaD
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
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
RPS Revolutions Per Second
RS Reed Solomon
RSSI Received Signal Strength Indication
RT Real Time or Rise Time
RTD Resistance Temperature Detector
RTI Real Time Interrupt
RTL Resistor Transistor Logic
RTOS Real Time Operating System
RTS Request To Send
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S
S/H Sample and Hold
S/N Signal to Noise
SAW Surface Acoustic Wave
SBC Single Board Computer
SCA SubCarrier Adapter
SCI Serial Communication Interface
SCL Serial CLock
SCR Silicon Controlled Rectifier
SCS Silicon Controlled Switch
SCSI Small Computer System Interface
SD Standard Deviation
SDI Strategic Defense Initiative
SDRAM Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory
SEM Scanning Electron Microscope
SEMI Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute
SFC polyStyrene Film Capacitor
SG Signal Ground
SHF Super High Frequency
SI System International
SIMM Single Inline Memory Module
SINAD SIgnal-to-Noise-And-Distortion
SIO Serial Input and Output
SIPO Serial In Parallel Out
SLC Single Layer Ceramic
SM Surface Mount
SMD Surface Mount Device
SNAFU Situation Normal, All Fouled Up (other variations on F-word possible)
SNR Signal to Noise Ratio
SMT Surface Mount Technology
SO Serial Output or Small Outline
SOIC Small Outline Integrated Circuit
SOJ Small Outline J-leaded
SOLV SOLenoid Valve
SONAR SOund NAvigation and Ranging
SOP Small Outline Package
SP Signal Processor or Stack Pointer
SPDT Single Pole Double Throw
SPI Serial to Parallel Interface
SPICE Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis
SPL Sound Pressure Level
SPST Single Pole Single Throw
SQL Structured Query Language
SR Shift Register
SRAM Static Random Access Memory
SSB Single SideBand
SSI Small Scale Integration
SSIXS Submarine Satellite Information eXchange System
SSR Solid State Relay
SSTV Slow Scan TeleVision
SVGA Superior Versatile Graphics Adapter (800 x 600 pixels)
SW Short Wave
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T
T/H Track and Hold
TC Temperature Coefficient
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
TD Tunnel Diode
TDD Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf
TDR Time Domain Reflectometry
TEM Transverse ElectroMagnetic
TF Transfer Function
TFD Thin Film Detector
TFEL Thin Film ElectroLuminescent
TFT Thin Film Transistor
THD Total Harmonic Distortion
THz Terra Hertz
TI Texas Instruments (a company)
TIG Tungsten Inert Gas
TM Transverse Magnetic (wave)
TR Transient Response
TRIAC TRIode AC switch (bilateral SCR)
TS Time Sharing
TTL Transistor Transistor Logic
TV TeleVision
TWT Traveling Wave Tube
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U
UART Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter
_F micro Farad
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
USB Universal Serial Bus or Upper SideBand
UTC Universal Time Code
UV UltraViolet
UVA UltraViolet Alpha
UVB UltraViolet Beta
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V
V Volt
VA Volt Ampere
VAC Volts Alternating Current
VAR VARiable or Volt Amperes Reactive
VARICAP VARIable CAPacitance diode
VCC Supply Voltage
VCD Variable Capacitance Diode
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator
VCR Video Cassette Recorder
VDC Volts Direct Current
VDD Supply Voltage
VEE Supply Voltage
VF Vacuum Fluorescent
VFC Voltage to Frequency Converter
VFO Variable Frequency Oscillator
VGA Versatile Graphics Adapter (640 x 480 pixels)
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
VR Voltage Regulator or Virtual Reality
VRAM Video Random Access Memory
VS Vertical Sync
VSS Supply Voltage
VT Virtual Terminal
VTM Voltage Tunable Magnetron
VTO Voltage Tuned Oscillator
VTVM Vacuum Tube Volt Meter
VXO Variable crystal Oscillator
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W
WACK Wait before ACKnowledge
WDT Watch Dog Timer
WH Watt Hour
WHR Watt HouR
WP Word Processor
WPM Words Per Minute
WR WRite
WV Working Voltage
WVDC Working Volts DC
Ww Wire Wound or Wire Wrap
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X
XGA eXtended Graphics Adapter
XMT TransMiT
XOFF Transmit OFF
XON Transmit ON
XTAL CrysTAL
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Y
YAG Yttrium Aluminum Garnet
YIG Yttrium Iron Garnet
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Z
ZD Zero Defects
ZDT Zero Defect Tolerance
ZIF Zero Insertion Force
ZIP Zigzag Inline Package


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