Category: General (143 terms) Generic technology terms explained Term AC Access ADC Definition "Alternating Current: the

common form of electricity from power plant to home/office. Its direction is reversed 60 times per second in the U.S.; 50 times in Europe. Contrast with DC." "Read, write, or update information on some storage medium, such as a disk." "Analogue-to-Digital Converter: a device that converts continuously varying analogue signals from instruments that monitor such conditions as movement, temperature, sound, etc., into binary code for the computer. It may be contained on a single chip or can be one circuit within a chip." "Artificial Intelligence: the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. Applications include: games playing, expert systems, natural language and robotics. AI also implies the ability to learn or adapt through experience." "American National Standards Institute. A standards-setting, non-government organisation which develops and publishes standards for voluntary use in the United States." "Application Programming Interface: a set of subroutines or functions that a program, or application, can call to tell the operating system to perform some task. The Windows API consists of more than 1,000 functions that programs written in C, C++, Pascal, and other languages can call to create windows, open files, and perform other essential tasks." "Long-term on- and/or off-site storage." "American Standard Code for Information Interchange: a standard developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) describing how characters can be represented on a computer. The ASCII character set consists of 128 characters numbered from 0 to 127 and includes numerals, punctuation symbols, letters, and special control codes such as end-of-line characters. Most personal computers use some form of the ASCII character set." "Application Specific Integrated Circuit: an integrated circuit chip designed for a particular use rather than general use. Many video boards and modems use ASICs." "Advanced SCSI Protocol Interface: an interface standard developed by Adaptec Inc. that has become one of the major SCSI interface standards for computers." "Refers to events that are not synchronised, or co-ordinated, in time. Most communication between computers and devices is asynchronous - it can occur at any time and at irregular intervals." "A copy of a file, directory, or volume on a separate storage device from the original, for the purpose of retrieval in case the original is accidentally erased, damaged, or destroyed." "The amount of data that can be moved through a particular interface in a given period of time, e.g. a 64-bit wide, 100 MHz SDRAM data bus has a bandwidth of 800 MBps." "Bulletin Board System: a term for dial-up on-line systems from which to download software, leave messages for other users, and exchange information. BBBs proliferated in the 1980s before the WWW became popular. A BBS functions somewhat like a stand-alone Web site, but without graphics. However, unlike Web sites, each BBS has its own telephone number to dial into." "Pertaining to a number system that has just two unique digits. For most purposes, the decimal number system is used, which has ten unique digits, 0 through 9. All other numbers are then formed by combining these ten digits. Computers are based on the binary numbering system, which consists of just two unique numbers, 0 and 1. All operations that are possible in the decimal system (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) are equally possible in the binary system." "A Binary Digit is the basic binary unit for storing data. It can either be 0 or 1. It takes 8 bits to equal a byte." "Data is organised into logical "blocks" for transmission between devices. Blocks may be fixed or variable length, with block sizes of 512 or 1024 bytes being particulary common. An example of a block format is: preamble, user data, CRC, postamble." "The drive that the operating system first loads from (usually :A: or :C)." "Bits Per Inch: a measure of how densely information is packed on a storage medium. See also Flux Density." "In simple terms a breakout is something that takes a grouped set and breaks it into its constituent parts. For example, a breakout box might be used to separate out the individual inputs and/or outputs of a single optical cable carrying multiple channels of audio." "A storage location used for temporary storage of data read from or waiting to be sent to some device. Use of a memory buffer - often referred to as a "cache" - is used to speed up access to many devices, such as a hard disk, CD-ROM or tape drive." "An electronic traffic lane through which electrical signals are carried from one chip to another chip. Most often used in the context of communication between the processor and other system components. There are many different kinds of bus including ISA, EISA, MCA and the local bus standards PCI and VL-Bus." "Eight bits treated as a unit and representing a character." "Generally quantifies the amount of data that can be stored on a storage device. Capacity is usually expressed in megabytes, meaning millions of bytes. This contrasts with RAM, where a megabyte refers to 1,048,576 bytes." "Computer and Communications Industry Association: a trade association composed of computer and communications firms. It represents their interests in domestic and foreign trade, and keeps members advised of relevant standards and regulatory policy." "Consultative Committee for International Radio communications."



Archive ASCII

ASIC ASPI Asynchronous Backup Bandwidth BBS


Bit Block

Boot Drive BPI Breakout



Byte Capacity CCIA


CeBIT Clone COM Port


CRC Crosstalk DAC

Daughter Board


Device Driver

DIN Connector Directory DLL

Drive Bay

DTR Dual Boot ECMA




Encoding Expansion Card File Server

"A computer exhibition hosted in Hannover, Germany in the spring of each year. The exhibition is a spin-off from the more broadly-based Hannover Fair trade show and debuted in 1986." "Any computer system compatible with the IBM PC standard." "The connectors and accompanying circuitry that allow serial devices - such as serial printers, modems, or mice - to be connected to PC. Communication ports are also called serial ports. To keep track of the devices, DOS assigns names that begin with the letters COM to communication ports (such as COM1 and COM2)." "COMputer Dealers EXposition: a twice yearly - once in the spring (in Atlanta) and once in autumn (in Las Vegas) - trade show originally created for computer dealers and distributors but nowadays also attended by large numbers of end users. The first COMDEX in the autumn of 1979 had 157 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees. By the end of the millennium the events were attracting more than 2,000 exhibitors and 200,000 people annually." "Cyclical Redundancy Check: a complex mathematical method that permits errors in long runs of data to be detected with a very high degree of accuracy." "Interference from an adjacent electronics circuitry." "Digital-to-Analogue Converter: a device (usually a single chip) that converts digital data into analogue signals. Graphics cards have traditionally required DACs to convert digital data to analogue signals that a monitor can process. Modems require a DAC to convert data to analogue signals that can be carried by telephone wires." "A printed circuit board that plugs into another circuit board (usually the motherboard). It is similar to an expansion board, but accesses the motherboard components (memory and CPU) directly rather than through the slower expansion bus." "Direct Current: an electrical current that travels in one direction and used within the computer's electronic circuits. Contrast with AC." "Dynamic Date Exchange: a mechanism used in Windows to transfer data between two applications or two separate instances of the same application. Windows itself uses DDE for a variety of purposes, from opening documents in running applications when a document icon is double-clicked in the shell to obtaining program icons for DOS applications. DDE is also used to support OLE. See also OLE." "A software routine that links a peripheral device to the operating system. It acts like a translator between a device and the applications that use it. Each device has its own set of specialised commands known only to its driver. In contrast, most applications access devices by using high-level, generic commands. The driver accepts these generic and translates them into the low-level specialised commands required by the device." " A German standard used mostly for audio applications. DIN connectors are used for keyboards, PS/2 style mice, MIDI, and Apple printer attachments." "An area or data structure in which information is stored regarding the location and contents of files and/or file structures. Also called directory partition." "Dynamic Link Library: a special type of Windows program containing functions that other programs can call, resources (such as icons) that other programs can use, or both. Unlike a standard programming library, whose functions are linked into an application when the application's code is compiled, an application that uses functions in a DLL links with those functions at runtime - hence the term "dynamic"." "Refers to a site in a where many mass storage devices can be internally installed. Usually a 5.25in-wide 1in-tall hole in a computer case. The number of drive bays in a computer determines how many such devices can be internally installed. The other common size is 3.5in. Bays are described as either internal or exposed. An internal bay is meant for hard disk drives, an exposed bay for removable media drives, such as a CD-ROM, tape backup or floppy disk unit. Some manufacturers use the terms hidden and accessible in place of internal and exposed." "Data Transfer Rate: the speed at which data is transferred between a host and a data recording device. Usually noted in KBps or MBps, and sometimes in MB/minute. Can mean a "peak" rather than a "sustained" transfer rate." "Allows the computer to boot to two different operating systems (DOS and UNIX, for example)." "European Computer Manufacturers Association; a non-profit international industry association founded in 1961 dedicated to the worldwide standardisation of information and communication systems, and responsible spearheading the development of a standard for holographic information storage." "Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer: the first computer to incorporate von Neumann's "stored program" concept, in which the programme executed by the computer was stored as data, rather than existing as wire connections. Designed in 1946, when EDVAC became fully operational in 1952 it comprised contained approximately 4,000 vacuum tubes and 10,000 crystal diodes." "Electronic Industries Association: a trade association representing the U.S. high technology community which began life in 1924 as the Radio Manufacturers Association. It has been responsible for developing some important standards, such as the RS-232, RS-422 and RS-423 standards for connecting serial devices. In 1988, it spun off its Information & Telecommunications Technology Group into a separate organisation known as the TIA." "Electro-Magnetic Interference; unwanted electrical noise that may "leak" from a power line in the form of a magnetic field capable of adversely affect electronic equipment and causing intermittent data corruption on data lines that have not been properly shielded." "A method whereby a group of data bits is translated into a group of recording bits." "A circuit board that fits into a computer expansion slot to add a certain function (like a modem, sound card, or SCSI interface)." "A computer that provides network stations with controlled access to shareable resources. The network operating system is loaded on the file server, and most shareable devices (disk subsystems, printers) are attached to it. The file server controls system security and monitors station-to-station communications. A dedicated file server can be used only as a file server while it is on the network. A non-dedicated file server can be used simultaneously as a file server and a workstation."


Form Factor

Format GB GBps Gflops GiB Gigabyte (GB)

GOPS GPF HSM Huffman Coding

Hz I/O I/O Address IBM PC IEC




Internet ISO Isochronous

Kbit KBps KiB

Kilobyte (KB)



"Permanent instructions and data programmed directly into the circuitry of read-only memory for controlling the operation of the computer or peripheral devices. Distinct from software, which is stored in read/write memory and can be altered." "The physical size and shape of a device. It is often used to describe the size of circuit boards. The physical size of a device as measured by outside dimensions. With regard to a disk drive, the form factor is the overall diameter of the platters and case, such as 3.5in or 5.25in, not the size in terms of storage capacity. If the drive is a 5.25in form factor it means that the drive is the same size as a 5.25in diskette drive and uses the same fixing points." "A preparatory process that is necessary before data can be recorded to some storage devices. Formatting erases any previously stored data." "Gigabyte: a unit of measure consisting of 1000MB." "Gigabytes per second: a performance measure used for mass storage devices and memory systems." "Gigaflops: 1 thousand million floating-point instructions per second." "Gibibyte: a unit of measure consisting of 1024MiB." "A gigabyte (derived from the Standard's Institute prefix giga-) is a unit of information or computer storage defined as one billion bytes by the Standard's Institute. It can alternately mean 2^30 bytes, though the preferred term for this is the Gibibyte (GiB). It's abbreviated GB." "Giga Operations Per Second: in the case of multimedia processing, more GOPS translate to better video quality." "General Protection Fault: the error code triggered when a Windows program causes a failure or lock-up." "Hierarchical Storage Management: System of ranking and storing information across a variety of device types." "For a given character distribution, by assigning short codes to frequently occurring characters and longer codes to infrequently occurring characters, Huffman's minimum redundancy encoding minimises the average number of bytes required to represent the characters in a text." "Hertz: the number of times something happens a second." "Input/Output: refers to data transfer from input devices (keyboard, mouse, scanner, etc.) to output devices (printer, screen, etc.)." "Memory location for a particular device (disk drive, sound card, printer port, etc.). Two devices cannot share the same I/O address space." "IBM created the PC industry when it launched its first PC in 1981. They were named PC, XT, AT etc." "International Electrotechnical Commission: the body that attempted to resolve the confusion surrounding the use of "MB" to mean either binary megabytes and decimal megabytes - depending on context - by their approval, in late 1998, of names and symbols for prefixes for binary multiples for use in the fields of data processing and data transmission. The acceptance of the symbols - "Ki", "Mi", "Gi" etc. - by the PC industry has been somewhat disappointing. " "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: a membership organisation that includes engineers, scientists and students in electronics and allied fields. Best known for its involvement in setting standards for computers and communications, such as the widely followed IEEE 802 standards for Local Area Networks." "An Apple computer intended for home, school, and small offices, and promoted by Apple as an easy-to-use, stylish computer that outperforms other low-cost options. The computer comes equipped with a 233MHz G3 processor, 32 MB SDRAM, 4GB hard disk drive, a 56K modem, and a Universal Serial Bus (USB), which allows a user to add devices without restarting the computer. Controversially, the iMac does not come with a floppy disk drive. Easily recognisable for its translucent blue casing, the computer sold quickly after its introduction in the summer of 1998." "A hardware or software protocol, contained in the electronics of the disk controller and disk drive, that manages the exchange of data between the drive and computer. The most common interfaces for small computer systems are AT (IDE) and SCSI." "The global computer network, composed of thousands of WANs and LANs that uses TCP/IP to provide worldwide communications to homes, schools, businesses and governments. The WWW runs on the Internet." "International Standards Organisation: an international body responsible for establishing and managing various standards committees and expert groups, including several image-compression standards." "Refers to processes where data must be delivered within certain time constraints. For example, multimedia streams require an isochronous transport mechanism to ensure that data is delivered as fast as it is displayed and to ensure that the audio is synchronised with the video. Contrast with Asynchronous and Synchronous." "Kilobit: a unit of measure consisting of 1000 bits. The unit often used in expressions of data transmission capacity." "Kilobytes per second: a performance measure used for mass storage devices and memory systems." "Kibibyte: a unit of measure consisting of 1024 bytes. One of the names and symbols for prefixes for binary multiples for use in the fields of data processing and data transmission approved as an IEC International Standard in December 1998. See also MiB, GiB and TiB." "A kilobyte (derived from the Standards Insitute prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage defined by the Standards Institute as 1000 bytes. Abbreviations for kilobyte include KB, kB, Kbyte, and kbyte. Note that "kilobyte" is also used to represent 1024 (2^10) bytes, though the preferred term for this is a kibibyte (KiB)." "The time between initiating a request for data and the beginning of the actual data transfer. For example, the average latency of a hard disk drive is easily calculated from the spindle speed, as the time for half a rotation. In communications, network latency is the delay introduced when a packet is momentarily stored, analysed and then forwarded. " "Term used to describe an application, architecture, protocol, system or system component etc. that has been in existence for a long time."

Low Profile Macintosh


MBps Media Megabyte (MB)


Mflops MHz MiB Microcode

Micron Microsecond Millisecond MIPS Moore's Law

MOPS MTBF MTTR Multitasking Multithreading Nanometre Nanosecond Network NMI Noise




OS Oscilloscope OSR

"Describes drives built to the 3.5in form factor, which are only 1in high. The standard form factor drives are 1.625in high." "Introduced by Apple Computer in 1984, the Macintosh marked a breakthrough in personal computer technology, featuring a graphical user interface (GUI) that utilised windows, icons and a mouse. The success of the Macintosh GUI led heralded a new age of graphics-based applications and operating systems, Microsoft's subsequent Windows interface copying many features from the Mac." "Used like stencils in the chip making process. When used with the UV light, masks create the various circuit patterns on each layer of the microprocessor. Also used to describe the information in the alpha channel of a graphic that determines how effects are rendered." "Megabytes per second: a performance measure used for mass storage devices and memory systems." "A component used to store data such as a tape, floppy disk or CD-ROM." "A megabyte (derived from the Standards Insitute prefix mega-, meaning a million) is a unit of information or computer storage that the Standards Insititute defines as one million (10^6) bytes. With memory, however, it is commonly given the quantity of 1,048,576 bytes (2^20). A megabyte is abbreviated MB." "Micro-electromechanical systems: the name for technology that embeds mechanical devices such as fluid sensors, mirrors, actuators, pressure and temperature sensors, vibration sensors and valves in semiconductor chips. MEMS combine many disciplines, including physics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, electrical engineering, optics and electronics." "Megaflops: 1 million floating-point instructions per second." "Megahertz: a measurement of frequency in millions of cycles per second." "Mebibyte: a unit of measure consisting of 1024KiB." "The lowest-level instructions that directly control a microprocessor. A single machine-language instruction typically translates into several microcode instructions. In modern PC microprocessors, the microcode is hard-wired and can't be modified." "µm: a unit of measure equivalent to one-millionth of a metre; synonymous with micrometre." "µs: one millionth of a second (.000001 sec.)." "ms: one thousandth of a second (.001 sec.)." "Millions of Instructions Per Second: refers to a computer processor's performance and is the benchmark for comparing standard for CPUs." "It was in 1965, three years before he was to become a co-founder of Intel Corporation, that Gordon Moore made the famous prediction that would thereafter be referred to as "Moore's Law" - that the number of transistors per integrated circuit would double every 18 months. Moore forecast that the trend would continue through 1975; in fact it has been maintained for far longer." "Millions of Operations Per Second." "Mean Time Between Failure: the average time a specific component is expected to work without failure." "Mean Time To Repair: the average time to repair a specific component." "The concurrent execution of several jobs." "Multiple concurrent threads of execution within a single application." "nm: one thousand millionth of a metre." "ns: one thousand-millionths of a second of a second (.000000001 sec.). Light travels approximately 8 inches in 1 nanosecond." "A group of two or more computer systems linked together. There are many types of computer networks, including LANs and WANs." "NonMaskable Interrupt: a high-priority interrupt that cannot be disabled by another interrupt. It is used to report malfunctions such as parity, bus and math co-processor errors." "Interference (static) that destroys the integrity of signals on electronic highways or communications lines. Noise can come from a variety of sources, including radio waves, nearby electrical wires, lightning, and bad connections. Noise is an analogue problem; once a signal is digitised, it is relatively immune to noise." "NT File System: the file system that is native to Microsoft Windows NT. NTFS is probably the most advanced file system available for personal computers, featuring superior performance, excellent security and crash protection, and the ability to handle large volumes of data." "Open Database Connectivity: a standard promulgated by Microsoft that allows databases created by various database management programs-such as DBASE, Microsoft Access, Microsoft FoxPro, and Oracle to be accessed using a common interface independent of the database file format. By relying on ODBC, one can write an application that uses the same code to read records from a DBASE file or a FoxPro file. Internally, ODBC drivers use a form of SQL to carry out database operations. See also SQL and WOSA." "Original Equipment Manufacturer: a company which develops, produces and sells computer and consumer hardware." "Object Linking and Embedding: an industry-standard method for inserting an object into a document. The document retains a connection, or link, with its original program so that double-clicking on the object in the document opens the object's original program. See also DLL." "Operating System: the software controlling the overall operation of a multipurpose computer system, including such tasks as memory allocation, input and output distribution, interrupt processing, and job scheduling." "A test instrument that displays electronic signals (waves and pulses) on a screen. It creates its own time base against which signals can be measured, and display frames can be frozen for visual inspection." "OEM Service Release: a version of Windows 95 incorporating bug fixes and new functionality released to PC



Peripheral Petabyte (PB)

PIC Picolitre PnP


Protected Mode Protocol PS/2 Random Access Real-time Removable Storage RPM RTF SOHO




TB Terabyte (TB)


vendors for bundling with new PCs. Not available as an upgrade to older versions of Windows 95." "The condition occurring when data is transmitted to a receiving device at a rate that's too fast for it to handle. See also Underrun and Flow Control." "Printed Circuit Board: a board upon which there are layers of printed circuits and onto which other integrated circuits can be soldered or otherwise attached." "Personal Computer Memory Card International Association: a consortium of computer manufacturers that devised the standard for the credit card-size adapter cards used in many notebook computers. PCMCIA defines three card types: Type I cards can be up to 3.3mm thick and are generally used for RAM and ROM expansion cards; Type II cards can be as thick as 5.5mm and typically house modems and fax modems; Type III cards are the largest of the lot (up to 10.5mm thick) and are mostly used for solid state disks or miniature hard disks. PCMCIA cards are also known as "PC Cards"." "Personal Digital Assistant: a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, and networking features. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, and personal organiser. Some PDAs are hand-held PC with tiny keyboards. Another class of device uses a touch-screen and stylus for data entry." "Any hardware device - such as a disk drive, tape drive, printer or modem - added to a system as a complement to the basic CPU." "A petabyte (derived from the Standard's Institute prefix peta- ) is a unit of information or computer storage defined by the Standards Institute as a quadrillion bytes, or a million gigabytes. It can alternately mean 2^50 bytes, though the preferred term for this is a pebibyte (PiB). The petabyte is abbreviated PB." "Programmable Interrupt Controller: a chip or device that prioritises interrupt requests generated by keyboards, serial ports, and other devices and passes them on to the CPU in order of highest priority. See also IRQ." "pl: a million millionth of a litre." "Plug and Play: a Microsoft/Intel specification that allows for self-configuration of computers and peripherals. A fully Plug and Play-enabled PC requires three PnP components: a PnP BIOS, PnP adapters and peripherals, and a PnP operating system. Adding a PnP-compliant device to a PnP PC requires little more than making the physical connection. The operating system, in conjunction with PnP logic present in the BIOS and in the device itself, handles the IRQ settings, I/O addresses, and other technical aspects of the installation to ensure that the device does not conflict with other installed devices." "Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX: a set of IEEE and ISO standards that define an interface between programs and operating systems. By designing their programs to conform to POSIX, developers have some assurance that their software can be easily ported to POSIX-compliant operating systems. This includes most varieties of UNIX." "A memory-addressing system supporting 32-bit instruction sets. I t mediates between different programs running at once, and keeps them within their memory boundaries." "A formal set of rules and descriptions of information formats that allow two computers to exchange information." "An IBM personal computer series introduced in 1987, superseding the original PC line. It introduced the 3.5in floppy disk, VGA graphics and Micro Channel bus. The latter has since given way to the PCI bus." "Ability to access any particular block by going directly to it. Memory and disk devices support random access; by contrast, tape storage devices do not." "In computing, refers to an operating mode under which data is received and processed and the results returned so quickly as to seem instantaneous." "A type of storage which allows the actual storage media to be removed from a drive and replace it with other media. It is used for the transportation of data between computers and for data backup." "Revolutions Per Minute." "Rich Text Format: a format in common use by word processors. It accepts both text and images, and retains text formatting and page layout." "Small Office/Home Office: refers to the small business or business-at-home user. This market segment has benefited greatly from recent technological advances, allowing it to compete on a level playing ground with the bigger companies." "Structured Query Language: a query language developed by IBM that relies on simple English-language statements to perform database queries. Almost universally supported in one form or another by relational databases on platforms of all types, SQL allows databases from different manufacturers and on different types of computers to be queried using a standard syntax. See also ODBC." "The underlying material on which a microelectronic device or storage media is built. Silicon is the most widely used substrate for chips, fibreglass for printed circuit boards and ceramic for multichip modules. Aluminium is commonly used for hard disks, glass for optical disks and mylar for floppy disks." "Refers to events that are synchronised, or co-ordinated, in time. Communication within a computer is usually synchronous and is governed by the microprocessor clock. Signals along the bus, for example, can occur only at specific points in the clock cycle." "Terabyte: a unit of measure for storage capacity 1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) bytes, or 1,000,000 (1 million) megabytes or 1,000 (1 thousand) gigabytes." "A terabyte (derived from the Standard's Institute prefix tera-) is a unit of information or computer storage defined by the Standard's Institute as one trillion bytes, or a thousand gigabytes. It can alternately mean 2^40 bytes, though the preferred term for this is a tebibyte (TiB). A terabyte is abbreviated TB." "Tebibyte: a unit of measure consisting of 1024GiB." "A multi-user, multiprocessor operating system developed by AT&T in the early 1970s. It exists in various forms and implementations and is the predominant operating system used by the Internet servers. It is not, however,





required by the user to access the Internet." "Value Added Reseller: a company which resells hardware and software packages to developers and/or end-users." "Video Electronics Standards Association: an international non-profit organisation established in 1989 to set and support industry-wide interface standards designed for the PC, workstation, and other computing environments. The VESA Local Bus (VL-Bus) standard - introduced in 1992 and widely used before the advent of PCI - was a 32-bit local bus standard compatible with both ISA and EISA cards." "A logical division of data, comprising of a number of files. In the context of hard disk drives, a volume is formatted by using a file system - such as FAT or NTFS - and has a drive letter assigned to it. A single hard disk can have multiple volumes and, unlike partitions, volumes can span multiple disks. Under the ISO 9660 standard, a "volume" refers to a single CD-ROM disc." "Windows Open Services Architecture: a collection of APIs that provide standard ways for Windows applications to access databases, telephony devices, messaging services, and other services. ODBC and MAPI are two examples of APIs that fall under the WOSA umbrella." "What You See Is What You Get: screen output that exactly (or very closely) matches the appearance of printed output. WYSIWYG displays were once rare on the PC platform, because most applications ran in character mode and had little control over the format of text rendered on the screen. Today WYSIWYG applications abound, because Windows allows more precise control over screen formatting and provides a device-independent interface to both screens and printers."

Category: Motherboard (66 terms) A comprehensive glossary of motherboard related terms Term ACPI ACR AGP Definition "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface: the successor to DPMA for controlling power management and monitoring the health of the system." "Advanced Communication Riser: a rival riser card architecture to Intel's CNR specification, which emerged at about the same time and offers similar features." "Accelerated Graphics Port: an Intel-designed 32-bit PC bus architecture introduced in 1997 allowing graphics cards direct access to the system bus (currently up to 100MHz), rather than going through the slower 33MHz PCI bus. AGP uses a combination of frame buffer memory local to the graphics controller, as well as system memory, for graphics data storage, vastly increasing the amount of memory available for 3D textures." "Audio Modem Riser: an Intel specification that defines a new architecture for the design of motherboards. AMR allows manufacturers create motherboards without analogue I/O functions. Instead, these functions are placed on a separate card which plugs in perpendicular to the motherboard so that the motherboard and "riser" card form a right angle." "The 16-bit bus started with the IBM-AT (Advanced Technology) systems. It is still the standard interface for most PC expansion cards. It is also known as the ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) bus." "AT Attachment: the specification, formulated in the 1980s by a consortium of hardware and software manufacturers, that defines the IDE drive interface. AT refers to the IBM PC/AT personal computer and its bus architecture. IDE drives are sometimes referred to as ATA drives or AT bus drives. The newer ATA-2 specification defines the EIDE interface, which improves upon the IDE standard. See also IDE and EIDE." "Advanced Technology Packet Interface: a specification that defines device side characteristics for an IDE connected peripheral, such as CD-ROM or tape drives. ATAPI is essentially an adaptation of the SCSI command set to the IDE interface." "The predominant motherboard form factor since the mid-1990s. It improves on the previous standard, the Baby AT form factor, by rotating the orientation of the board 90 degrees. This allows for a more efficient design, with disk drive cable connectors nearer to the drive bays and the CPU closer to the power supply and cooling fan." "The form factor used by most PC motherboards in the early 1990s. The original motherboard for the PC-AT measured 12in by 13in. Baby AT motherboards are a little smaller, 8.5in by 11in." "Basic Input Output System: a set of low-level routines in a computer's ROM that application programs (and operating systems) can use to read characters from the keyboard, output characters to printers, and interact with the hardware in other ways. It also provides the initial instructions for POST (Power On Self-Test) and booting the system files." "Balanced Technology Extended: Intel's interface specification developed as an evolutionary follow-on to the ATX form factor and designed to better accommodate modern-day PC technologies and lead to cooler, quieter, and more efficient PCs of all sizes." "Capability of the PIIX element of Triton chipset to effect data transfers from disk to memory with minimum intervention by the CPU, saving its horsepower for other tasks." "An intermediate storage capacity between the processor and the RAM or disk drive. The most commonly used instructions are held here, allowing for faster processing." "A number of integrated circuits designed to perform one or more related functions." "Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Random Access Memory: a bank of memory that stores a PC's







Bus Master IDE Cache Chipset CMOS RAM

CNR Concurrent PCI DIP Switch DMA




Expansion Bus FDD Frontside Bus Heat Sink Host Adapter IDE



Jumper LGA775

Local Bus LPX

MCA Motherboard NLX Northbridge PCI


permanent configuration information, including type identifiers for the drives installed in the PC, and the amount of RAM present. It also maintains the correct date, time and hard drive information for the system." "Communications and Networking Riser: An Intel riser card architecture that provides expanded audio, modem and networking functions." "An enhancement to the PCI bus architecture that allows PCI and ISA buses to transfer data simultaneously." "Switch mounted on PC board for configuration options." "Direct Memory Access: a process by which data moves directly between a disk drive (or other device) and system memory without requiring the involvement of the CPU, thus allowing the system to continue processing other tasks while the new data is being retrieved." "Dynamic Power Management Architecture: Intel's extensive set of power management features built in at the chipset level, with particular emphasis on intelligent power conservation and standby facilities." "Enhanced Integrated Device Electronics or Enhanced Intelligent Drive Electronics: an enhanced version of the IDE drive interface that expands the maximum disk size from 504Mb to 8.4Gb, more than doubles the maximum data transfer rate, and supports up to four drives per PC (as opposed to two in IDE systems). EIDE's primary competitor is SCSI-2, which also supports large hard disks and high transfer rates." "Extended Industry Standard Architecture: an open 32-bit extension to the ISA 16-bit bus standard designed by Compaq, AST and other clone makers in response to IBM's proprietary MCA (Micro Channel Architecture) 32-bit bus design. Unlike the Micro Channel, an EISA bus is backward-compatible with 8-bit and 16-bit expansion cards designed for the ISA bus." "Region of non-volatile memory used by BIOS and ICU (Intel Configuration Utility) or PnP operating system to record information about the current configuration of the system. " "Enhanced Small Device Interface: an interface standard developed by a consortium of the leading PC manufacturers for connecting disk drives to PCs. Introduced in the early 1980s, ESDI was two to three times faster than the older ST-506 standard. It has long since been superseded by the IDE, EIDE and SCSI interfaces." "An input/output bus typically comprised of a series of slots on the motherboard. Expansion boards are plugged into the bus. ISA, EISA, PCI and VL-Bus are examples of expansion buses used in a PC." "The interface which allows a floppy or tape drive to be connected to the motherboard." "The bus within a microprocessor that connects the CPU with main memory. See also Backside Bus." "A structure, attached to or part of a semiconductor device that serves the purpose of dissipating heat to the surrounding environment; usually metallic and often aluminium." "A plug-in board or circuitry on the motherboard that acts as the interface between the system bus and a peripheral device. IDE and SCSI are examples of peripheral interfaces that call their controllers host adapters." "Integrated Device Electronics or Intelligent Drive Electronics: a drive-interface specification for small to mediumsize hard disks (disks with capacities up to 504Mb) in which all the drive's control electronics are part of the drive itself, rather than on a separate adapter connecting the drive to the expansion bus. This high level of integration shortens the signal paths between drives and controllers, permitting higher data transfer rates and simplifying adapter cards. See also EIDE and SCSI." "Interrupt ReQuest: a signal generated by a device to request processing time from the CPU. Each time a keyboard button is pressed or a character is printed to a screen, an IRQ is generated by the requesting device. IRQ signals are transmitted along IRQ lines, which connect peripheral devices to a programmable interrupt controller, or PIC. A PC has 16 IRQs, and no two operational devices can share the same IRQ. " "Industry Standard Architecture: the architectural standard for the IBM XT (8-bit) and the IBM AT (16-bit) bus designs. In ISA systems, an adapter added by plugging the card into one of the 16-bit expansion slots enables expansion devices like network cards, video adapters and modems to send data to and receive data from the PC's CPU and memory 16 bits at a time. See also EISA." "Small metal blocks with black plastic handles for enabling or disabling specific functions on a motherboard or expansion card." "Land Grid Array 775: Intel's proprietary CPU interface form factor introduced in the summer of 2004. Similar to a pin grid array (PGA), the connection between LGA775 chip packaging and the processor chip is via an array of solder bumps rather than pins. Also referred to as Socket T." "A bus which co-exists with the main bus and connects the processor itself to the main memory. PCI is now the standard local bus architecture, having replaced the older VL-Bus." "A motherboard form factor which allows for smaller cases used in some desktop model PCs. The distinguishing characteristic of LPX is that expansion boards are inserted into a riser that contains several slots and are therefore parallel, rather than perpendicular, to the motherboard." "Micro Channel Architecture: a 32-bit bus architecture introduced by IBM for their PS/2 series microcomputers. Incompatible with original PC/AT (ISA) architecture." "The PC's main printed circuit board which houses the processor, memory and other components." "An Intel-designed motherboard form factor. It features a number of improvements over the ATX design providing support for new technologies such as AGP and allows easier access to motherboard components." "Refers to the System Controller component of a Pentium chipset, responsible for integrating the cache and main memory DRAM control functions and for managing the host and PCI buses. See also Southbridge." "Peripheral Component Interface: the 32-bit bus architecture (64-bit with multiplexing), developed by DEC, IBM, Intel, and others, that is widely used in Pentium-based PCs. A PCI bus provides a high-bandwidth data channel between system board components such as the CPU and devices such as hard disks and video adapters. Superseded the VL-Bus, which was widely used in 486 PCs in the early 1990s." "PCI Express; a version of the PCI computer bus that uses existing PCI programming concepts, but bases it on a




Slot 1

Slot 2 Slot A Socket 370 Socket 423 Socket 478 Socket 7 Socket 754 Socket 8 Socket 939

Socket 940

Socket A Socket AM2

Southbridge System Bus



completely different and much faster serial physical-layer communications protocol. While the original was a single parallel data bus that operated at 33MHz with a peak theoretical bandwidth of 132MBps, PCIe is a two-way serial connection that carries data in packets along two pairs of point-to-point data lanes. The first generation of PCIe architecture provided up to 8GBps of dedicated bi-directional bandwidth." "Mode Programmed Input Output Mode: a method of transferring data to and from a storage device (hard disk or CD device) controller to memory via the computer's I/O ports, where the CPU plays a pivotal role in managing the throughput. For optimal performance a controller should support the drive's highest PIO mode (usually PIO mode 4)." "PCI ISA IDE Xcelerator: a key component of the Peripheral Bus Controller chipset, responsible for integrating many common I/O functions found in ISA-based PC systems." "Power-On Self-Test: a set of diagnostic routines that run when a computer is first turned on." "Physical track on motherboard used to select which sides of which SIMMs will be involved in a data transfer. A given chipset supports only a certain number of RAS lines, thereby dictating how many SIMMs can be accommodated. A pair of SIMMs uses one RAS line; a pair of DIMMs uses two." "Small Computer System Interface: an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) interface between the computer and peripheral controllers. SCSI excels at handling large hard disks and permits up to eight devices to be connected along a single bus provided by a SCSI connection. The original 1986 SCSI-1 standard is now obsolete and references to "SCSI" generally refer to the "SCSI-2" variant. Also features in Narrow, Wide and UltraWide flavours. See also IDE." "Intel's proprietary CPU interface form factor for Pentium II CPUs. Slot 1 replaces the Socket 7 and Socket 8 form factors used by previous Pentium processors. It is a 242-contact daughtercard slot that accepts a microprocessor packaged as a Single Edge Contact (SEC) cartridge. Communication between the Level 2 cache and CPU is at half the CPU's clock speed." "An enhanced Slot 1, which uses a somewhat wider 330-way connector SEC cartridge that holds up to four processors. The biggest difference from Slot 1 is that the Level 2 runs at full processor speed." "AMD's proprietary 242-way connector SEC cartridge used by their original Athlon processor. Physically identical to Slot 1 but electrically incompatible. " "Intel's proprietary CPU interface form factor first introduced for its Celeron line of CPUs and subsequently adopted for later versions of the Pentium III family. " "Intel's proprietary CPU interface form factor used by its early Pentium 4 processors." "Intel's proprietary CPU interface form factor which replaced Socket 423 with the advent of the 0.13-micron Pentium 4 Northwood core. " "The CPU interface form factor for fifth-generation Pentium-class CPU chips from Intel, Cyrix, and AMD." "AMD's 754-pin CPU interface form factor introduced with its 64-bit Athlon 64 processor in the autumn of 2003." "Intel's proprietary CPU interface form factor used exclusively by their sixth-generation Pentium Pro CPU chip. Socket 8 is a 387-pin ZIF socket with connections for the CPU and one or two SRAM dies for the Level 2 cache." "AMD's 939-pin CPU interface form factor introduced in the summer of 2004. The Socket 939 marked the convergence of the mainstream and FX versions of the Athlon 64 CPU, which had previously used different interfaces, the Socket 754 and Socket 940 respectively." "AMD's 940-pin CPU interface form factor originally used by Opteron and FX versions of the Athlon 64 CPU. Replaced by for use by the latter in the summer of 2004 by Socket 939, which allowed for a less-expensive motherboard option, one with only four layers rather than from six to nine." "AMD's 462-pin CPU interface form factor which replaced Slot A at the time of the introduction of the Thunderbird and Spitfire cores used by AMD's Athlon and Duron desktop processor ranges respectively." "AMD's 940-pin CPU interface form factor, introduced in the spring of 2006. Incompatible with the previous Socket 939 and 940 interfaces, the new form factor marked the move away from DDR memory towards DDR2 memory." "Refers to the Peripheral Bus Controller component of a Pentium chipset, responsible for implementing a PCI-toISA bridge function and for managing the ISA bus and all the ports. See also Northbridge." "The primary pathway between the CPU, memory and high-speed peripherals to which expansion buses, such as ISA, EISA, PCI and VL-Bus, can connect. Also referred to as the external bus or host bus, and came to be used interchangeably with frontside bus (FSB) following the introduction of Intel's Dual Independent Bus (DIB) architecture in 1997." "A hard drive protocol which doubled the previous maximum I/O throughput to 33 MBps." "VESA Local Bus or VL-Bus: the 32-bit local-bus standard created by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) to provide a fast data connection between CPUs and local-bus devices. The VL-Bus was widely used in 486 PCs, but has since been replaced by the Intel PCI Bus." "Voltage Regulator Module: used to absorb the voltage difference between a CPU which may be added in the future and the motherboard." "Zero Insertion Force: a socket allows a processor to be upgraded easily and without the need for specialist tools. It clamps down on the microprocessor pins using a small lever located to the side of the socket. Socket 5 and Socket 7 are common types of ZIF socket."

Category: Microprocessors (73 terms)

CPU terminology explained Term ALU Definition "Arithmetic and Logic Unit: the smart part of a processor chip that performs commands like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. It also knows how to read logic commands like OR, AND, or NOT. Messages from the Control Unit instruct the ALU what to do and then it takes data from its close companion, the Registers, to perform the task." "The brand name given to AMD's family of "extra performance" processors, dating from the time of the Athlon CPU's transition from the Thunderbird core to the Palomino core in 2001." "A dedicated channel between the CPU and a Level 2 cache. The so-called dual independent bus (DIB) architecture allows a processor to use both this and the frontside bus (which connects the CPU with main memory) simultaneously. See also Frontside Bus." "Ball/Column Grid Array: a specification for pin lay-outs on micro chips, such as those used on a CPU chip." "Named after the nineteenth-century mathematician George Boole, Boolean logic is a form of algebra in which all values are reduced to either TRUE or FALSE. Boolean logic is especially important for computer science because of its suitably for use with the binary numbering system, in which each bit has a value of either 1 or 0. Another way of looking at it is that each bit has a value of either TRUE or FALSE." "The Bus Unit is the place where instructions flow in and and out of the microprocessor from the computer's main memory." "An electronic component that holds a charge." "Pronounced "sisk" and standing for Complex Instruction Set Computer, this relates to a microprocessor architecture that favours the richness of the instruction set (typically as many as 200 unique instructions) over the speed with which individual instructions are executed. See also RISC." "Boosts CPU performance by increasing the internal CPU clock, while maintaining the same I/O speed (for compatibility)." "The number of pulses emitted from a computer's clock in one second; it determines the rate at which logical or arithmetic gating is performed in a synchronous computer." "The Control Unit is one of the most important parts of the microprocessor because it is in charge of the entire process. Based on instructions from the Decode Unit, it creates control signals that tell the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and the Registers how to operate, what to operate on, and what to do with the result. The Control Unit makes sure everything happens in the right place at the right time." "Central Processing Unit: a formal term for the microprocessor chip that powers a personal computer. The Intel Pentium chip is one example of a CPU. The term sometimes also refers to the case that houses this chip. See also FPU." "The Data Cache works very closely with the "processing partners", the ALU, Registers and the Decode Unit. This is where specially labelled data from the Decode Unit are stored for later use by the ALU and where final results are prepared for distribution to different parts of the computer." "The Decode Unit does just that - it decodes or translates complex machine language instructions into a simple format understood by the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and the Registers. This makes processing more efficient." "A new generation of transistor built into an SOI substrate in such a way that its active silicon layer between source and drain is fully depleted so as to create a high conductivity channel." "The formal term for an area of silicon containing an integrated circuit. A die has many layers, each designed for a specific function, and refers to a semiconductor component or part that has not yet been packaged. The popular term for a die is chip." "Substance that is a poor conductor of electricity and will sustain the force of an electric field passing through it. Also called an insulator." "An electronic component that acts primarily as a one-way valve." "The introduction of an element that alters the conductivity of a semiconductor. Adding boron to silicon will create a P-type (more positive) material, while adding phosphorus or arsenic to silicon will create N-type (more negative) material." "Digital Signal Processor: a microprocessor-like device designed to process analogue to digital (& vice-versa) data streams. DSPs are used for a variety of devices in personal computers, including high-speed modems, multimedia sound boards, and real-time audio/video compression and decompression hardware." "Enhanced Intel Speed Step technology: an enhanced version of Intel's Speed Step technology which dynamically scales the speed of a processor between its default clock setting and a minimum speed, based on how much CPU horsepower is needed at that moment, so as to both reduce power consumption and heat." "Extended Memory 64 Technology: an enhancement to Intel's IA-32 architecture which allows a processor to run newly written 64-bit code and access larger amounts of memory when used with a 64-bit OS and application. These extensions do not run code written for the Intel Itanium processor." "A process using a chemical bath (wet etch) or a plasma (dry etch) that removes unwanted substances from the wafer surface." "Flip Chip Ball Grid Array: a micro CPU package for surface mount boards consisting of a die placed face-down on an organic substrate. Instead of using pins, the package uses small balls, which acts as contacts for the processor. The advantage of using balls instead of pins is that there are no leads that bend. The package uses 479 balls, which are .78 mm in diameter." "Flip Chip Plastic Grid Array: a micro CPU package, for socketable boards, consisting of a die placed face-down on

Athlon XP Backside Bus

BGA Boolean Logic

Bus Unit Capacitor CISC

Clock Doubling Clock Rate Control Unit


Data Cache

Decode Unit Depleted Substrate Transistor Die

Dielectric Diode Doping








HyperTransport IA-32 IA-64


Instruction Cache

Ions IPC

Itanium KNI

Logic Gate LSI

Main Memory


OverDrive P5 P6 PGA

Photolithography Photoresist Pipeline Processing

Polysilicon Prefetch Unit

an organic substrate. The package uses 478 pins, which are 2.03 mm long and .32 mm in diameter." "Floating Point Unit: a formal term for the math co-processors (also called numeric data processors, or NDPS) found in many personal computers. FPUs perform certain calculations faster than CPUs because they specialise in floating-point math, whereas CPUs are geared for integer math. Today, most FPUs are integrated with the CPU rather than packaged and sold separately." "Frontside bus: the bus within a microprocessor that connects the CPU with main memory. The so-called dual independent bus (DIB) architecture allows a processor to use both this and the backside bus (which connects the CPU and the Level 2 cache) simultaneously." "An industry standard high-speed, high-performance, point-to-point connection method for integrated circuits pioneered by AMD. It initially allowed for connection speeds of up to 6.4GBps." "Intel Architecture 32-bit. Intel's 32-bit architecture, also known as x86. IA-32 chips span the early 1990s Intel 486 series to the seventh-generation Intel Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon chips. See also IA-64." "Next generation 64-bit architecture made up of the 64-bit Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) jointly developed by HP and Intel and an IA-32 compatibility component. IA-64 supports 32-bit and 64-bit environments, and provides compatibility with PA-RISC and IA-32." "Integrated Circuit: a tiny complex of electronic components and their connections that is produced in or on a small slice of material (such as silicon). Its name results from the integration of previously separate transistors, resistors and capacitors - all on a single chip." "The Instruction Cache is a warehouse of instructions right on the chip, so that the microprocessor doesn't have to stop and look in the computer's main memory for instructions. This quick access makes processing fast as instructions are "fetched" to the Prefetch Unit where they are put in the proper order for processing." "Atoms or molecules that have a net electrical charge. In semiconductor manufacturing, ions are the source of chemical impurities that alter the conductivity of silicon." "Instructions Per Clock: a measure of how many instructions a CPU is capable of executing in a single clock. Since different processor architectures have different IPCs, clock frequency x IPC is a much truer measure of processor performance than clock frequency alone." "Brand name for the first product in Intel's IA-64 family of processors, formerly codenamed Merced." "Katmai New Instructions: the 70 new Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) instructions supported by the Pentium III - formerly codenamed Katmai - which came to market in the spring of 1999 designed to optimise the performance of multimedia and graphics applications." "A collection of transistors and resistors that implement Boolean logic operations on a circuit board. Transistors make up logic gates. Logic gates make up circuits. Circuits make up electronic systems." "Large Scale Integration: refers to the placement of thousands (between 3,000 and 100,000) of electronic components on a single integrated circuit. VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) is between 100,000 and one million transistors on a chip." "This is the big store house of data located within the main computer outside of the microprocessor. At times the Main Memory may send in data or instructions for the Prefetch Unit, which often get stored at an address in the Instruction Cache to be used later." "Metals, such as aluminium and copper are used to conduct the electricity throughout the microprocessor. Gold is also used to connect the actual chip to its package." "Intel's pop-out CPU packaging designed for mobile processors which includes an integrated L2 cache, introduced with Mobile MMX processor launched in early 1998." "MultiMedia eXtensions: Intel's upgraded Pentium processor which incorporates additional instructions designed specifically for processing multimedia data more efficiently and a larger 32Mb on-board cache. Codenamed P55C." "Support for so-called "No Execute" or NX technology is a joint venture hardware/software mechanism to defend against buffer overruns and consequent vulnerability to virus attack. AMD calls this technology "Enhanced Virus Protection", while Intel refers to this functionality as the "Execute Disable Bit"." "A user -installable microprocessor from Intel for the 486 microprocessor. Many PCs 486-based PCs were built with an "OverDrive" socket, which allowed a processor upgrade simply by inserting a faster OverDrive chip." "The Intel codename for the original 60/66MHz Pentiums introduced in 1993. Subsequent faster clock-speed chips were referred to as P54 and the MMX version as P55." "The Intel codename for the Pentium Pro, which is optimised for 32-bit applications. The P6 generation includes the Pentium Pro and Pentium II." "Pin Grid Array: a square chip package, either ceramic or plastic, with a high density of pins (typically 200 pins can fit in 1.5in square). In an SPGA (Staggered PGA), the pins are staggered and do not line up in perfect rows and columns." "The process of reproducing the chip's circuitry pattern onto the wafer surface by using ultraviolet light and stencils or masks to transfer the image photomechanically." "A material which becomes soluble when exposed to ultraviolet light. Used to help define circuit patterns during chip fabrication where it prevents etching or plating of the area it covers; also called resist." "A category of techniques that provide simultaneous, or parallel, processing within a CPU. It refers to overlapping operations by moving data or instructions into a conceptual pipe with all stages of the pipe processing simultaneously. For example, while one instruction is being executed, the computer is decoding the next instruction." "Conductive material used as an interconnect layer on a chip." "The Prefetch Unit decides when to order data and instructions from the Instruction Cache or the computer's main memory based on commands or the task at hand. When the instructions come in the most important task for the


Resistor RISC



Silicon Dioxide Silicon Ingot Silicon Wafer

Sledgehammer SMP





ULSI UV Light Vandepool technology VLSI

Wafer Fab

Prefetch Unit is to be sure all the instructions are lined up correctly to send off to the Decode Unit." "The Registers are a mini-storage area for data used by the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) to complete the tasks the Control Unit has requested. The data can come from the data cache, main memory or the control unit and are all stored at special locations within the Registers. This makes retrieval for the ALU quick and efficient." "An electronic component that resists the flow of current in an electronic circuit." "Reduced Instruction Set Computer: a microprocessor architecture that recognises a relatively limited number of instructions, favouring the speed at which individual instructions execute over the richness of the instruction set. See also CISC." "Single Edge Connect: a form of processor packaging first used by Intel's Pentium II CPU. Comprising a hardware module (cartridge) that contains the CPU and an external L2 cache, it plugs into a socket (Slot 1, Slot 2, etc.) on the motherboard which bears greater resemblance to a bus slot than an individual chip socket." "A solid-state substance with conductive properties that can be altered with electricity. Silicon performs as a semiconductor when chemically combined with other elements. A semiconductor is also halfway between a conductor and an insulator. When charged with electricity or light, semiconductors change their state from nonconductive to conductive or vice versa. The most significant product built from a semiconductor is the transistor." "Grown on a wafer during chip fabrication to serve as an insulating layer." "A large, cylindrical, single crystal made from purified silicon. The cylinder is sliced into thin wafers which are used for making computer chips." "Intel uses wafers of pure silicon cut from a silicon ingot to make microprocessors. Silicon, the primary ingredient of beach sand, is a semiconductor of electricity. Semiconductors are materials that can be altered to be either a conductor or an insulator." "Codename for AMD's x86-64 design for extending the iA-32 architecture to support 64-bit code and memory addressing." "Symmetric Multiprocessing: a computer architecture that provides fast performance by making multiple CPUs available to complete individual processes simultaneously (multiprocessing). Unlike asymmetrical processing, any idle processor can be assigned any task, and additional CPUs can be added to improve performance and handle increased loads." "Silicon-On-Insulator: silicon wafer with a thin layer of oxide - into which integrated circuits are built - buried in it. SOI substrates achieve superior isolation between adjacent devices in CMOS devices." "A family of high-performance RISC-based microprocessors from Intel. StrongARM chips are used in handheld devices such as PDAs and palmtops. The StrongARM technology was jointly developed by Digital Equipment Corporation and Advanced RISC Machines (ARM). In 1997, Intel acquired Digital's chip manufacturing facilities and continues to make the Alpha and StrongARM chips." "A CPU architecture that allows more than one instruction to be executed in one clock cycle. Processors can do this by fetching multiple instructions in one cycle, deciding which instructions are independent of other instructions, and executing them." "Thermal Design Power; the TDP of a system refers to the maximum amount of power (and accordingly, heat) that must be dissipated to avoid overheating or other power-related damage." "Translation Lookaside Buffer: a small piece of associative memory within a processor which caches part of the translation from virtual addresses to physical addresses. Such translations can often be very large and complex and the data structures that implement them too large to store efficiently on the processor. Instead, a few elements of the translation are stored in the TLB, which the processor can access extremely quickly. If a required translation for a particular virtual address is not present in the TLB the address will be resolved using the more general mechanism. Also referred to as Address Translation Cache." "A device used to amplify a signal or open and close a circuit. In a computer, it functions as an electronic switch, or bridge. The transistor contains a semiconductor material that can change its electrical state when pulsed. Invented in 1947 at Bell Labs, transistors have become the key ingredient of all digital circuits, including computers." "Ultra Large Scale Integration: more than one million transistors on a chip." "Ultraviolet Light has very short wavelengths and is just beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum. It is used to expose patterns on the layers of the microprocessor in a process much like photography." "An Intel technology - also referred to as virtualisation technology - that allows a single CPU to run more than one operating system at any given time." "Very Large Scale Integration: the process of placing hundreds of thousands (between 100,000 and one million) of electronic components on a single chip. Nearly all modern chips employ VLSI architectures, or ULSI (ultra large scale integration)." "Also known as a semiconductor fabrication plant, this is where all of a semiconductor's electronic components are interconnected onto a single die of silicon."

Category: Memory (75 terms) Memory terminology, including new and old technology Term Definition

Array Asynchronous Cache Auto Refresh BEDO DRAM

Burst Mode

Cache Controller Cache Hit Cache Memory


CELP Check Bits

CMOS COAST Column CompactFlash DDR






ECC optimised EDO DRAM



"The area of the RAM that stores the bits. The array consists of rows and columns, with a cell at each intersection that can store a bit. The large rectangular section in the centre of the die where the memory is stored." "An SRAM that does not require a clock signal to validate its control signals. About 30% lower in price and performance compared to synchronous cache." "Commonly referred to as CAS before RAS refresh or CE before RE refresh. An internal address counter increments the row address each time the memory controller initiates a CAS before RAS refresh cycle." "Burst EDO DRAM: a type of EDO DRAM that can process four memory addresses in one burst. Unlike SDRAM, however, BEDO DRAM can only stay synchronised with the CPU clock for short periods (bursts) and it can't keep up with processors whose buses run faster than 66 MHz." "Bursting is a rapid data-transfer technique that automatically generates a block of data (a series of consecutive addresses) every time the processor requests a single address. The assumption is that the next data-address the processor will request will be sequential to the previous one. Bursting can be applied both to read operations (from memory) and write operations (to memory)." "The circuit in control of the interface between the CPU, cache and DRAM (main memory)." "When the address requested by the CPU is found in cache. Conversely, cache miss is when its not found." "A small block of high-speed memory (usually SRAM) located between the CPU and main memory that is used to store frequently requested data and instructions. Properly designed, a cache improves system performance by reducing the need to access the system's slower main memory for every transaction." "Column Address Select (or Strobe): a control pin on a DRAM used to latch and activate a column address. The column selected on a DRAM is determined by the data present at the address pins when CAS becomes active. Used with RAS and a row-address to select a bit within the DRAM." "A Card Edge Low Profile socket is often used for cache modules." "Extra data bits provided by a DRAM module to support ECC function. For a 4-byte bus, 7 or 8 check bits are needed to implement ECC, resulting in a total bus width of 39 or 40 bits. On an 8-byte bus, 8 additional bits are required, resulting in a bus width of 72 bits." "Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor: a process that uses both N- and P-channel devices in a complimentary fashion to achieve small geometries and low power consumption." "Cache On A Stick: another popular design specification for cache modules." "Part of the memory array. A bit can be stored where a column and a row intersect." "CF: a flash memory format introduced by SanDisk Corporation in 1994 which has become widely used for handheld digital devices." "Double Data Rate: a memory technology that works by allowing the activation of output operations on the chip to occur on both the rising and falling edge of a clock cycle, thereby providing an effective doubling of the clock frequency without increasing the actual frequency." "Like DDR, DDR2 is a type of SDRAM in which data is sent on both the rising and falling edges of clock cycles in a data burst. DDR2 is the next evolutionary step in the DDR infrastructure whose improved design increases memory bandwidth. Since DDR2 runs more efficiently than standard DDR memory, it actually uses less power. DDR2 memory is not compatible with DDR memory, DDR2 modules having 240 contacts, compared with DDR modules' 184." "Dual In-line Memory Module: a form of chip packaging, designed to meet JEDEC standards, that is rapidly replacing SIMM as the module standard for the PC industry as memory subsystems standardise around an 8-byte data interface. Importantly, and unlike SIMMs, they can be used singly." "Dual In-Line Package chip housing with pins on each edge." "Data mask signal used by SDRAMs to provide byte masking during write operations. There is one DQM signal for every 8 bits of data width." "Dynamic Random Access Memory: the read/write memory used to store data in personal computers. DRAM stores each bit of information in a "cell" composed of a capacitor and a transistor. Because the capacitor in a DRAM cell can hold a charge for only a few milliseconds, DRAM must be continually refreshed in order to retain its data. See also EDO RAM and SRAM." "Direct Rambus DRAM: a totally new RAM architecture, complete with bus mastering (the Rambus Channel Master) and a new pathway (the Rambus Channel) between memory devices (the Rambus Channel Slaves). A single Rambus Channel has the potential to reach 500 MBps in burst mode; a 20- fold increase over DRAM." "Electrically Alterable Read-Only Memory." "Error Correction Code: a system of scrambling data and recording redundant data in stored data in order to enable the detection of errors that can be corrected by the device's controller when the data is read. ECC memory can detect up to 4-bit memory errors; only single-bit errors, however, can be corrected. See also CRC." "On a SIMM or DIMM, the use of a module addressing architecture that facilitates the use of the memory module by systems with ECC. ECC optimised memory modules do not have byte-write capability." "Extended Data Out Random Access Memory: a form of DRAM that has a two-stage pipeline, which lets the memory controller read data off the chip while it is being reset for the next operation. While similar in performance to synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), it cannot support bus speeds above 66MHz." "Enhanced Dynamic Random Access Memory: a form of DRAM that boosts performance by placing a small complement of static RAM (SRAM) in each DRAM chip and using the SRAM as a cache. Also known as cached DRAM, or CDRAM." "Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory: a special type of read-only memory (ROM) that can be erased and written electrically. EEPROM maintains its contents without power backup and is frequently used for system-board BIOS's."


Flash Memory


HPM Index Interleave


Latch Level 1 Cache Level 2 Cache Level 3 Cache

Memory Bank

Memory Controller Memory Cycle MNOS MOS


Non-Volatile Memory


Parity Memory


Pipeline Burst Cache



"Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory: an integrated circuit memory chip that can store programs and data in a non-volatile state. These devices can be erased by high-intensity ultraviolet (UV) light and then rewritten, or "reprogrammed", in a manner similar to common DRAM. EPROM chips normally contain UV-permeable quartz windows exposing the chips' internals." "Flash memory is a non-volatile memory device that retains its data when the power is removed. The device is similar to EPROM with the exception that it can be electrically erased, whereas an EPROM must be exposed to ultra-violet light to erase. Commonly used in digital cameras." "Fast Page Mode RAM: a timing option that permits several bits of data in a single row on a DRAM to be accessed at an accelerated rate. Fast Page Mode involves selecting multiple column addresses in rapid succession once the row address has been selected." "Hyper Page Mode: in DRAM operation, another term for EDO or Extended Data Out." "The subset of the CPU address bits used to get a specific location within cache." "Generally refers to the arrangement of data in a non-contiguous way to increase performance. When used in the context of hard disk drives, it describes the way in which sectors are arranged on a track. When used in the context of memory subsystems, it refers to the process of taking data bits (singly or in bursts) alternately from two or more memory pages." "An organisation that establishes standards for memory operation, features, and packaging." "Notches in a memory module (DRAM DIMM or SIMM) that prevent them from being plugged into an incompatible system. For example, a DIMM keyed for 3.3V operation cannot be plugged into a socket designed for use with a 5V system." "Circuit element that stores a given value on its output until told to store a different value." "Cache that is closest to the processor: typically located inside the CPU chip. Can be implemented either as a unified cache or as separate sections for instructions and data. Also referred to as primary cache or internal cache." "Cache that is second closest to the processor; typically located on the system board. Also referred to as secondary cache and external cache." "Level 3 Cache: a memory reservoir near the processor that boosts performance beyond that possible with traditional two-level cache designs. First seen in early 1999 on AMD's K6-III CPU, a similar system was later used by Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor." "A logical unit of memory in a computer, the size of which the CPU determines. For example, a 32-bit CPU requires memory banks that provide 32 bits of information at a time. A bank can consist of one or more memory modules. " "An essential component in any computer. Its function is to oversee the movement of data into and out of main memory. It also determines what type of data integrity checking, if any, is supported." "Minimum amount of time required for a memory to complete a cycle such as read, write, read/write, or read/modify/write." "Metal Nitride Oxide Semiconductor: the technology used for EAROMs (Electrically Alterable ROMs); not to be confused with NMOS." "Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor: layers used to create a semiconductor circuit. A thin insulating layer of oxide is deposited on the surface of the wafer. Then a highly conductive layer of tungsten silicide is placed over the top of the oxide dielectric." "N-channel Metal Oxide Semiconductor: pertains to MOS devices constructed on a P-type substrate in which electrons flow between N-type source and drain contacts. NMOS devices are typically two to three times faster than PMOS devices." "Types of memory that retain their contents when power is turned off. ROMs, PROMs, EPROMs and flash memory are examples. Sometimes the term refers to memory that is inherently volatile, but maintains its content because it is connected to a battery at all times, such as CMOS memory and to storage systems, such as hard disks." "On a DRAM, the number of bits that can be accessed from one row address. The size of a page is determined by the number of column addresses. For example, a device with 10 column address pins has a page depth of 1024 bits." "A common method for ensuring the integrity of data stored in memory in which an additional data bit is generated and added to each data byte. Parity is able to detect only single bit errors reliably but cannot perform any correction. If more than one bit has been corrupted, the parity check may not detect a problem. The most commonly used forms of parity are even parity, odd parity, and checksums." "In DRAMs and SRAMs, a method for increasing the performance using multistage circuitry to stack or save data while new data is being accessed. The depth of a pipeline varies from product to product. For example, in an EDO DRAM, one bit of data appears on the output while the next bit is being accessed. In some SRAMs, pipelines may contain bits of data or more." "A type of synchronous cache that uses two techniques to minimise processor wait states - a burst mode that prefetches memory contents before they are requested, and pipelining so that one memory value can be accessed in the cache at the same time that another memory value is accessed in DRAM." "P-channel Metal Oxide Semiconductor: pertains to MOS devices constructed on an N-type silicon substrate in which holes flow between source and drain contacts." "Random Access Memory: the PC's primary storage area, used to write, store and retrieve information and program instructions which are then passed to the CPU for processing. The type of RAM used affects performance as the information stored here has to be refreshed many times per second by the processor. Manufacturers are continually coming up with new designs to provide the fastest possible access times at the lowest possible cost." "Row Address Select (or Strobe): a control pin on a DRAM used to latch and activate a row address. The row


Registered Memory


Secure Digital




Strobe Synchronous Cache Tag Tag RAM Volatile Memory



Write Back Write Through

selected on a DRAM is determined by the data present at the address pins when RAS becomes active." "The process used to restore the charge in DRAM memory cells at specified intervals. The required refresh interval is a function of the memory cell design and the semiconductor technology used to manufacture the memory device. There are several refresh schemes that may be used." "A type of SDRAM memory that uses registers to hold data for one clock cycle before it is moving it on and in so doing increases the reliability of high-speed data access. Registered memory modules are typically used only in server environments and other mission-critical systems. Registered and unbuffered memory cannot be mixed. the design of the processor's memory controller dictating which type is required." "A form of chip packaging that is similar to DIMMs to be used with the next generation of Direct DRAM memory subsystems." "Read Only Memory: an integrated circuit chip containing programs and data that can be accessed and read but cannot be modified." "Part of the RAM array; a bit can be stored where a column and a row intersect." "Synchronous DRAM: a type of DRAM designed to deliver bursts of data at very high speeds using automatic addressing, multiple page interleaving, and a synchronous (or clocked) interface. SDRAM can support bus speeds of up to 100MHz today and will probably support bus speeds of up to 200MHz in the future." "SD: a postage stamp size portable flash memory format developed by Toshiba, Sandisk and Panasonic. Content encoded on an SD card may be encrypted, providing copyright protection of intellectual properties. Expected to the industry standard for the warehousing and transfer of digital media including music, still and moving video, talking books, etc. " "Synchronous Graphics RAM: a single ported DRAM designed for high-speed, serial data, and usually used on graphics boards." "Single In-Line Memory Module: On Pentium-class PCs, SIMM-style RAM chips replaced the dual in-line package (DIP) chips, identifiable by two rows of protruding legs, that were popular in the 1980s. They are themselves being replaced by the DIMM module." "An ultra-compact flash memory format developed by Toshiba. About the size of CompactFlash, but as thin as a credit card, SmartMedia cards can be plugged into a SmartMedia socket or into a standard Type II PC Card slot with an adapter." "Small Outline J-Lead package: this plastic package, designed for memory chips, is a surface mount package with turned under leads that look like the letter J." "Static Random Access Memory: a form of RAM that retains its data without the constant refreshing that DRAM requires. SRAM is generally preferable to DRAM because it offers faster memory access times, but it is also more expensive to manufacture because it contains more electrical components." "An input that allows parallel data to be entered asynchronously." "An SRAM that requires a clock signal to validate its control signals. This enables the cache memory to run lockstep with the CPU. Can be either Burst or Pipelined Burst." "The subset of the CPU address bits used to compare the tag bits of the cache directory to the main memory address being accessed." "Cache is physically divided into two sections. The Tag RAM section stores the Tag address of the location of the data in cache. This section is smaller than the Data RAM section, which stores the actual data or instruction." "Memory that loses its contents when the power is turned off. A computer's main memory, made up of dynamic RAM or static RAM chips, loses its content immediately upon loss of power. Contrast ROM, which is non-volatile memory." "Video Random Access Memory: a dual-ported DRAM designed for graphics and video applications. One port provides data to the CRT, while the other is used for read/write transfers from the graphics controller. See also WRAM." "Windows Random Access Memory: a form of VRAM used exclusively by Matrox Graphics. WRAM has added logic designed to accelerate common video functions such as bit-block transfers and pattern fills. It can substantially speed up certain graphical operations such as video playback and screen animation." "Data written into the cache by the CPU is not written into main memory until that data line in the cache is to be replaced. Also referred to as Copy Back." "A technique for writing data from the CPU simultaneously into the cache and into main memory to assure coherency."

Category: Disk Storage (102 terms) Quick reference for disk terminology Term Access Time Definition "Time interval between the instant that a piece of information is requested from a memory or peripheral device and the instant the information is supplied by the device. Access time includes the actual seek time, rotational latency, and command processing overhead time." "The internal mechanism that moves the read/write head to the proper track. Typically consists of a rotary voice coil



Areal Density

AV Drive

Average Seek Time Bad Block Bad Track Table Bernoulli Drive

Boot Sector

Burst Transfer Rate Cache Buffer Clean Room Cluster Controller Controller Card Cylinder Data Separator Defect Management


Drive Geometry EDAP

Embedded Servo External Drive Fast Multiword DMA FAT

FCI Ferrite Floppy Drive

and the head mounting arms. One end of each head mounting arm attaches to the rotor with the read/write heads attached at the opposite end of each arm. As current is applied to the rotor, it rotates, positioning the heads over the desired cylinder on the media. Also known as the rotary actuator or positioner." "Advanced Host Controller Interface: developed by an industry group chaired by Intel, AHCI provides a standard interface to system driver/OS software for discovering and implementing such advanced SATA features as native command queuing (NCQ) and hot plug and power management." "The amount of data that's stored on a hard disk per square inch, and equal to the tracks per inch multiplied by the bits per inch along each track. In the context of tape storage, the number of flux transitions per square unit of recordable area, or bits per square inch." "Audio Video drive: a hard disk drive that is optimised for audio and video applications. Transferring analogue high-fidelity audio and video signals onto a digital disk and playing them back at high performance levels requires a drive that can sustain continuous reads and writes without interruption. AV drives are designed to avoid thermal recalibration during reading and writing so that lengthy transfers digital video data will not be interrupted, and frames will not be lost." "The average time it takes for the read/write head to move to a specific location. To compute the average seek time, divide the time it takes to complete a large number of random seeks by the number of seeks performed." "A block (usually the size of a sector) that cannot reliably hold data because of a media flaw or damaged format markings." "A label affixed to the casing of a hard disk drive that tells which tracks are flawed and cannot hold data. The list is typed into the low-level formatting program when the drive is being installed." "Named after a Swiss scientist who discovered the principle of aerodynamic lift, principal characteristic of a Bernoulli drive is that the flexible disk floats between the read/write heads, so there is no actual contact between the disk and the heads and, being flexible, it is less susceptible than a hard disk to head crashes." "Reserved sectors on disk that are used to load the operating system. On start-up, the computer looks for the master book record (MBR), which is typically the first sector in the first partition of the disk. The MBR contains pointers to the first sector of the partition that contains the operating system, and that sector contains the instructions that cause the computer to "boot" the operating system (from the phrase "pulling yourself up from your bootstraps")." "The maximum amount of data per second a drive can supply intermittently; this is limited by the disk interface and is typically 16.6 MBps (using PIO Mode 4)." "An intermediate storage capacity between the processor and the disk drive used to store data likely to be requested next. Also known as Data Buffer. See also Look Ahead." "An environmentally controlled dust-free assembly or repair facility in which hard disk drives are assembled or can be opened for internal servicing." "A group of sectors on a hard disk drive that is addressed as one logical unit by the operating system." "The chip or circuit that translates computer data and commands into a form suitable for use by the hard drive. Also known as the disk controller." "An expansion card that interprets the commands between the processor and the disk drive." "When disks are placed directly above one another along the shaft, the circular, vertical "slice" consisting of all the tracks located in a particular position." "On a hard disk drive that stores data and timing information in an encoded form, the circuit that extracts the data from the combined data and clock signal." "A technique ensuring long-term data integrity. Defect management consists of scanning disk drives both at the factory and during regular use, deallocating defective sectors before purchase and compensating for new defective sectors afterward." "In general, any circular-shaped data-storage medium that stores data on the flat surface of the platter. The most common type of disk is the magnetic disk, which stores data as magnetic patterns in a metal coating. Magnetic disks come in two forms: floppy and hard. Optical recording is a newer disk technology that gives higher capacity storage but at slower access times." "The functional dimensions of a drive in terms of the number of heads, cylinders, and sectors per track." "Extended Data Availability and Protection: Created by the RAID Advisory Board in 1997, EDAP introduces a classification system for the resilience of the entire storage system and that is not confined to disk-based storage alone. Availability of an EDAP-certified system is sustainable even in the event of failure, the degree of resiliency provided being reflected in the level of EDAP capability attributed to the system." "The method most disks use to help the head locate tracks accurately; servo fields are interspersed with the real data, acting like runway lights for the head to line up on." "A drive mounted in an enclosure, separate from the computer system enclosure, with its own power supply and fan, and connected to the system by a cable." "An alternative protocol to PIO modes for a controller to send and receive data to and from a drive." "File Allocation Table: the file system used by DOS and Windows to manage files stored on hard disks, floppy disks, and other disk media. The file system takes its name from an on-disk data structure known as the file allocation table, which records where individual portions of each file are located on the disk. Earlier versions of Windows used the 16-bit version known as FAT16. Windows 98 has the option of using FAT32, which supports larger partition sizes and smaller cluster sizes, thereby improving disk performance and increasing available disk space. See also VFAT." "Flux Changes per Inch. See also BPI." "A ferromagnetic compound of ferric oxide used in the construction of magnetic recording heads and media." "Practically all PCs come with a floppy disk drive. 3.5in high density 1.44MB floppy disks are now the standard.

Flux Density Fly Height

Formatted Capacity


Guide Rails Hard Disk

Hard Error HDA Head Head Crash High-Level Formatting

Home HVD

Interleave Factor

Internal Drive Kerr Effect Landing Zone LBA Look Ahead Low-Level Formatting LVD MFM Microdrive





They come in hard plastic cases and have replaced the older, literally floppy, 5.25in disks." "The number of magnetic field patterns that can be stored on a given area of disk surface, used as a measure of data density. The number is usually stated as flux changes per inch (FCI), with typical values in the tens of thousands." "The distance between the read/write head and the disk surface, made up of a cushion of air that keeps the head from contacting the media. Smaller flying heights permit denser data storage but require more precise mechanical designs." "The amount of room left to store data on a disk after writing the sector headers, boundary definitions, and timing information during a format operation. The size of a Quantum drive always is expressed in formatted capacity, accurately reflecting the usable space available." "Giant Magnetoresistive technology uses various thin film layers to produce a greater change in resistance and is even more sensistive than standard magnetoresistive technology. See also Magnetoresistive." "Graphics Processing Unit: a single-chip processor that creates lighting effects and transforms objects every time a 3D scene is redrawn. Off-loading these mathematically-intensive tasks from the main processor greatly increases overall system performance." "Plastic or metal strips attached to the sides of a hard disk drive mounted in an IBM AT and compatible computers so that the drive easily slides into place." "A type of storage medium that retains data as magnetic patterns on a rigid disk, usually made of a magnetic thin film deposited on an aluminium or glass platter. Magnetic read/write heads are mounted on an actuator that resembles a record needle pickup arm." "A data error that persists when the disk is reread, usually caused by defects in the physical surface." "Head Disk Assembly: The mechanical components of a disk drive (minus the electronics), which includes the actuators, access arms, read/write heads and platters. Typically housed in a sealed unit." "The tiny electromagnetic coil and metal pole used to create and read back the magnetic pat-terns on the disk. Also known as the read/write head." "Damage to a read/ write head and magnetic media, usually caused by sudden contact of the heads with the disk surface. Head crash also can be caused by dust and other contamination inside the HDA." "Formatting performed by the operating system's format program (for example, the DOS FORMAT pro-gram). Among other things, the formatting program creates the root directory, file allocation tables, and other basic configurations. See also Low-Level Formatting." "Reference position track for recalibration of the actuator, usually the outer track (Track 0)." "High Voltage Differential: the logic signalling system originally defined in the SCSI-2 standard. HVD has a maximum logic voltage of 5V and uses a paired plus and minus signal level to reduce the effects of noise on the SCSI bus. It was functionally replaced by LVD (Low Voltage Differential) in the SCSI-3 variant of the standard. HVD and LVD SCSI are not directly compatible but can be interconnected by the use of a special adapter." "Refers to a technique used by older hard disk drives to arrange sectors in a non-contiguous way so as to reduce rotational latency and thereby increase read/write performance. The interleave factor specifies the physical spacing between consecutive logical sectors." "A drive mounted inside one of a computer's drive bays (or a hard disk on a card, which is installed in one of the computer's slots)." "A change in rotation of light reflected off a magnetic field. The polarity of a magneto-optic bit causes the laser to shift one degree clockwise or counterclockwise." "The non-data area set-aside on a hard drive platter for the heads to rest when the system powers down." "Logical Block Addressing: the scheme by which the BIOS passes an operating system request for a given sector to a modern hard drive." "The technique of buffering data into cache RAM by reading subsequent blocks in advance to anticipate the next request for data. The look ahead technique speeds up disk access of sequential blocks of data." "The process of creating sectors on the disk surface so that the operating system can access the required areas for generating the file structure. Also known as initialisation." "Low Voltage Differential: the lastest type of SCSI used by hard disk drives in entry-level servers and workstations. Connects via a coloured ribbon cable and a 68-pin socket. Also known as Ultra Wide 2." "Modified Frequency Modulation: the data storage system used by floppy disk drives and older early hard disk drives. Had twice the capacity of the earlier FM method but was slower than the competing RLL scheme." "An ultra-miniature hard disk technology from IBM that uses a single one-inch diameter platter to provide either 170MB or 340MB storage capacity and either one or two GMR heads, the Microdrive is built into a Type II CompactFlash form factor." "Magneto-resistive heads detect the magnetic flux of a platter by using a sliver of a special material whose resistance changes according to the strength of an applied magnetic field; MR heads are more sensitive than TFI heads, allowing higher areal densities." "Native command queuing: a technology designed to increase performance of SATA hard disks by allowing the disk firmware to internally optimise the order in which read and write commands are executed. For NCQ to be enabled, it must be supported and turned on in the SATA controller driver and in the hard drive itself." "Command overhead refers to the processing time required by the controller, host adapter, or drive prior to the execution of a command. Lower command overhead yields higher drive performance. Disk overhead refers to the space required for non- data information such as location and timing. Disk overhead often accounts for about ten percent of drive capacity. Lower disk overhead yields greater disk capacity." "A portion of a hard disk accessible as a single logical volume, perhaps dedicated to a particular operating system or application."

Performance Physical Format Plated Media Platter PMR PRML


RAM Disk Read After Write Read Channel Read Verify Read/Write Head

Removable Disk



SCA Sector

Seek Time Servo Data Servo Motor Servo Platter Settle Time Shader Shock Rating Soft Error Soft-Sectored Spindle Spindle Speed


Superparamagnetic effect

"A measure of the speed of the drive during normal operation. Factors affecting performance are seek times, transfer rate, and command overhead." "The actual physical layout of cylinders, tracks, and sectors on a disk drive." "Disks that are covered with a hard metal alloy instead of an iron-oxide compound. Plated disks can store more data than their oxide-coated counter-parts." "A disk made of metal (or other rigid material) that is mounted inside a fixed disk drive. Most drives use more than one platter mounted on a single spindle (shaft) to provide more data storage surfaces in a smaller area." "Perpendicular Magnetic Recording; a technique for writing bits to magnetic media which allows for more room in which to pack data, thus enabling higher recording or "areal" densities." "Partial Response Maximum Likelihood: a technique used to differentiate a valid signal from noise which achieves improved accuracy by looking at entire waveforms rather than just peaks in isolation, using digital signal processing (DSP) to reconstruct recorded data. On magnetic disks PRML uses RLL encoding to provide a ratio of user data to recorded data of 8:9." "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks: when configured for performance a RAID writes and reads data in parallel from multiple drive simultaneously. In theory data can be moved at the speed of one drive multiplied by the number of drives working in parallel, although in practice management overheads reduce this significantly." "A "phantom" drive created by setting aside a section of RAM as if it were a group of regular sectors. Access to a RAM disk is very fast but data is lost when the system is reset or turned off." "A mode of operation that has the computer read back each sector immediately after it is written on the disk, checking that the data read back is the same as recorded. This slows disk operations, but raises reliability." "A drive's read channel performs the vital job of converting the head's analogue signal into accurate digital data." "A disk mode where the disk reads in data to the controller, but the controller only checks for errors and does not pass the data on to the system." "A device which uses induction to "write" a data pattern onto magnetic media; and which uses either inductance or magnetoresistance to "read" the data back. Heads come in many different shapes and forms, and are used for both contact and non-contact type recording." "Generally said of disk drives where the disk itself is meant to be removed, and in particular of hard disks using disks mounted in cartridges. Their advantage is that multiple disks can be used to increase the amount of stored material, and that once removed, the disk can be stored away to prevent unauthorised use." "Run Length Limited: a method used on some hard disks to encode data into magnetic pulses. RLL requires more processing, but stores almost 50 percent more data per disk than the older MFM (modified frequency modulation) method. The "run length" is the maximum number of consecutive 0s before a 1 bit is recorded." "Serial Advanced Technology Attachment: a new standard for connecting hard drives into computer systems. An evolution of the Parallel ATA physical storage interface, SATA is based on serial signalling technology, a single cable with a minimum of four wires creating a point-to-point connection between devices. The first implementation of SATA supported a transfer rate of 150 MBps." "Single Connector Attachment: Same speed SCSI interface as LVD, but integrates power and I/O information into a single 80-pin connector. Used in high-end servers to allow hard disks to be hot-swapped in a RAID array." "Describes the minimum segment of track length that can be assigned to store data. Magnetic disks are typically divided into tracks, each which contains a number of sectors. A sector contains a predetermined amount of data, such as 512 bytes. CDs can contain [(75 sectors per second) x (60 seconds per minute) x (number of minutes on disc)] sectors, the capacity of a sector depending on what physical format and mode is used for recording." "The time taken for the actuator to move the heads to the correct cylinder in order to access data." "Magnetic markings written on the media that guide the read/write heads to the proper position." "A closed-loop control system used to adjust head position and/or tape speed." "A separate surface containing only positioning and disk timing information but no data. Used only in a dedicated servo system." "The interval between the arrival of the read/write head at a specific track, and the lessening of the residual movement to a level sufficient for reliable reading or writing." "A shader is an algorithm which mathematically describes how an individual material is rendered to an object and how light interacts with its overall appearance." "A rating (expressed in Gs) of how much shock a disk drive can sustain without damage. Operating and nonoperating shock levels are usually specified separately." "A faulty data reading that does not recur if the same data is reread from the disk or corrected by ECC. Usually caused by power fluctuations or noise spikes." "Disks that mark the beginning of each sector of data within a track by a magnetic pattern." "The drive's centre shaft, on which the hard disk platters are mounted." "Velocity at which the disk media spins within a hard disk, measured in rpm (revolutions per minute). By the late 1990s EIDE hard disks generally features a 5,400rpm or 7,200 mechanism, while SCSI drives were usually either 7,200rpm or 10,000rpm." "Serial Storage Architecture: a peripheral interface from IBM whose ring configuration allows remaining devices to function if one fails. SCSI software can be mapped over SSA allowing existing SCSI devices to be used." "Introduced in 1979, Seagate's ST506 was the first hard disk drive for personal computers. Supporting 5.25in fullheight drives with a capacity of between 5MB and 40MB, the ST506 interface became an industry standard for the IBM PC and its successors, eventually being superseded by the IDE interface." "The point at which discrete magnetic areas of a disk's surface are so tiny that their magnetic orientation is unstable

Surface Sustained Transfer Rate T&L


Thermal Recalibration

Thin Film TPI

Track Transfer Rate

Unformatted Capacity VFAT

Voice Coil

Winchester Disk


at room temperature." "The top or bottom side of the platter that is coated with the magnetic material for recording data. On some drives one surface may be reserved for positioning information." "The amount of data a drive can continuously read or write per second." "Transform and Lighting: two separate engines on the GPU that provide for a powerful, balanced PC platform and enable extremely high polygon count scenes. Transform performance determines how complex objects can be and how many can appear in a scene without sacrificing frame rate. Lighting techniques add to a scene's realism by changing the appearance of objects based on light sources." "Thin film inductive heads use a minute coil deposited onto a thin film using the photo-etching techniques employed to create integrated circuits; as the magnetic flux of the platter cuts the coil it induces a detectable current." "The periodic sensing of the temperature in hard disk drives so as to make minor adjustments to the alignment servo and data platters. In an AV drive, this process is performed only in idle periods so that there is no interruption in reading and writing long streams of digital video data." "A type of coating allowing very thin layers of magnetic material used on hard disks and read/write heads. Hard disks with thin film surfaces can store greater amounts of data." "Tracks Per Inch: the number of tracks written within each inch of a storage medium's recording surface. In the context of hard disk drives, EIDE drives generally have a higher TPI than SCSI drives. Also referred to as Track Density." "Sub-division of the recording area of storage media, such as magnetic disks, optical discs and magnetic tape. " "The rate at which the disk drive sends and receives data from the controller. The sustained transfer rate includes the time required for system processing, head switches, and seeks, and accurately reflects the drive's true performance. The burst mode transfer rate is a much higher figure that refers only to the movement of data directly into RAM." "The total number of usable bytes on a disk, including the space that will be required later to record location, boundary definitions, and timing information. See also formatted capacity." "Virtual File Allocation Table: the 32-bit file system that Windows 95 uses to manage information stored on disks. An extension of the FAT file system, VFAT supports long filenames and 32-bit Protected Mode access while retaining compatibility with FAT volumes." "A fast and reliable actuator motor that works like a loudspeaker, with the force of a magnetic coil causing a proportionate movement of the head. Voice coil actuators are more durable than their stepper counterparts, since fewer parts are subject to daily stress and wear and also provide higher performance." "The term "Winchester" comes from an early type of disk drive developed by IBM that stored 30MB and had a 30millisecond access time; so its inventors called it a Winchester in honour of the .30-calibre rifle of the same name. Although modern disk drives are faster and hold more data, the basic technology is the same, so "Winchester" has become synonymous with "hard"." "Because outer tracks are longer than inner tracks they can store more data; consequently disks are divided into zones, each zone having a certain number of sectors per track."

Category: Graphics (143 terms) "Still" graphic terms explained (not multimedia) Term 3D API Definition "A 3D application programming interface controls all aspects of the 3D rendering process. A mass of conflicting standards exist, including Microsoft's DirectX and OpenGL, Intel's 3DR, Reality Lab and Brender. Most are custom designed for either entertainment or serious 3D animation." "The display of objects and scenes with height, width, and depth information. The information is calculated in a coordinate system that represents three dimensions via x, y, and z axes." "Refers to how many pixels can be sent to the display horizontally and vertically. The most common combinations currently in use are 640x480 (VGA mode), 800x600 (SVGA mode), 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200." "A form of image distortion associated with signal sampling. A common form of aliasing is a stair-stepped appearance along diagonal and curved lines. Another is moir 鬠 two geometrically regular patterns such as two sets of parallel lines or two halftone screens superimposed." "Additional colour component in some representations of pixels, along with red, green, and blue (RGB). The alpha channel denotes transparency or opacity, often as a fractional value, used in blending and anti-aliasing." "An approach which uses the alpha channel to control how an object or bitmap interacts visually with its surroundings. It can be used to layer multiple textures onto a 3D object, or to simulate the translucency of glass or mask out areas of background." "The extra layer of 8-bit greyscale carried by a 32-bit graphic. This extra information is used to determine the transparency or edge characteristics of the image." "Hides the jagged effect of image diagonals (sometimes called jaggies) by modulating the intensity on either side of the diagonal boundaries, creating localised blurring along these edges and reducing the appearance of stepping."

3D Graphics Addressability Aliasing

Alpha Alpha Blending

Alpha Channel Anti-aliasing


"Unsightly visual side effect caused by defects in compression or other digital manipulation. Common artefacts include jaggies, polygon shearing (where 3D objects are torn or warped when screen refreshes can't keep up with 3D activity) and pixelation (where texture maps lose resolution and look blocky close up)." Asymmetrical Compression "A system which requires more processing capability to compress an image than to decompress an image. It is typically used for the mass distribution of programs on media such as CD-ROM, where significant expense can be incurred for the production and compression of the program but the playback system must be low in cost." Back Buffer "A hidden drawing buffer used in double-buffering. Graphics are drawn into the back buffer so that the rendering process cannot be seen by the user. When the drawing is complete, the front and back buffers are swapped." Bezier "A way of mathematically describing a curve, used by graphics programs such as MacroMedia FreeHand and Adobe Illustrator." Bi-linear Filtering "Improves the look of blocky, low-resolution 3D textures when viewed close up by blending and interpolating groups of texels to create a smoother image." Bit Depth "In colour images, the number of colours used to represent the image. Typical values are 8-, 16- and 24-bit colour, allowing 256, 65,536 and 16,777,216 colours to be represented. The latter is known as true colour, because 16.8 million different colours is about as many as the human eye can distinguish. Devices that support 32-bit colour use an 8-bit alpha channel to define a possible 256 levels of opacity. Also referred to as colour depth." Bitmap "Generally a graphics file in which every pixel on screen is represented by a piece of data, although some audio formats are also described as bitmapped. Contrast a vector image, in which only a description of the image is stored. Each pixel can be represented by one bit (simple black and white) or up to 32 bits (high-definition colour). Uses the file extension "bmp"." Blockiness "The consequence of portions of an image breaking into little squares due to over-compression or a video file overwhelming a computer's processor. See also Artefact." BLT "Bit-aLigned BLock Transfer: the process of copying pixels or other data from one place in memory to another." BPP "Bits Per Pixel: the number of bits used to represent the colour value of each pixel in a digitised image." Brightness "A measure of the overall intensity of the image. The lower the brightness value, the darker the image; the higher the value, the lighter the image will be." Bump Mapping "A 3D rendering lighting technique designed to give a texture a three-dimensional, animated feel." Camera "In 3D graphics, the viewpoint through which a scene is viewed. Flythroughs of scenes are conceptually a moving camera." CGA "Colour Graphics Adapter: a low-resolution video display standard, invented for the first IBM PC. CGA's highest resolution mode is 2 colours at a resolution of 640 x 200 pixels." Chroma "The colour portion of a video signal that includes hue and saturation information. Requires luminance, or light intensity, to make it visible. Also referred to as Chrominance." CIE "Commission International de l'Eclairage: the international organisation that establishes methods for measuring colour. Their colour standards for colourmetric measurements are internationally accepted specifications that define colour values mathematically." CIELAB (L*a*b*) "A colour model to approximate human vision. The model consists of three variables: L* for luminosity, a* for one colour axis, and b* for the other colour axis. CIELAB is a good model of the Munsell colour system and human vision." CIELUV (L*u*v) "A colour space model produced in 1978 by the CIE at the same time as the L*a*b model. CIE L*u*v is used with colour monitors, whereas CIE L*a*b is used with colour print production." Clip Art "A collection of icons, buttons and other useful image files, along with sound and video files, that can be inserted into documents." Clipping "Removing, from the processing pipeline to spare unneeded work, complete objects and surfaces which are outside the field of view (known as the "viewing frustrum"). Also known as Culling." CMYK "Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black: the four process colours that are used in four-colour printed reproduction. By overlaying or dithering combinations of these four inks in different proportions, a vast range of colours can be created." Colour Balance "The process of matching the amplitudes of red, green and blue signals so the resulting mixture makes an accurate white colour." Colour Palette "Also called a colour lookup table (CLUT), index map, or colour map, it is a commonly-used method for saving file space when creating colour images. Instead of each pixel containing its own RGB values, which would require 24 bits, each pixel holds an 8-bit value, which is an index number into the colour palette. The colour palette contains a 256-colour subset of the 16 million unique displayable colours." Compound Document "A file that has more than one element (text, graphics, voice, video) mixed together." Continuous Tone "An image that has all the values (0 to 100%) of grey (black and white) or colour in it. A photograph is a continuous tone image." Contrast "The range between the lightest tones and the darkest tones in an image. The lower the number value, the more closely the shades will resemble each other. The higher the number, the more the shades will stand out from each other." Decal "A texture that is placed specifically on one part of a 3D object." Decal Texture Blending "A blend technique where the triangle colour at each vertex is strictly the colour of the texture. The triangle's colour doesn't alter the texture colour." Density "The degree of darkness of an image. Also, percent of screen used in an image." Depth Cueing "Used in conjunction with fogging, depth cueing is the adjustment of the hue and colour of objects in relation to their distance from the viewpoint."

DIB File Format DisplayPort


DXF EGA Extrusion Flat Shading Fogging Fractals Frame Buffer


Gamma Correction Gamma Curve Gamut Geometry

GIF Gouraud Shading Gradient Graphics Card

Graphics Library

Graphics Processor Greyscale GUI

High Colour Highlight HSB Hue Image Image Resolution Jaggies

"Device-Independent Bitmap Format: a common bitmap format for Windows applications." "Digital display interface standard, approved by the member companies of the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) in 2006, designed to unify the desktop and notebook PC markets to a common high-bandwidth display interface. Uses DisplayPort Copy Protection (DPCP) rather than the more common HDCP copy protection scheme used by other display interface standards." "Digital Visual Interface; a digital interface specification created by an industry consortium - the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG) - that specifies a single plug and connector that accommodates both the new digital and legacy VGA interfaces. A graphics card?s digital signal is converted to analogue if the display device is analogue and received unconverted by digital devices, such as a flat panel monitor." "Drawing Exchange Format: the industry standard 3D data format." "Enhanced Graphics Adapter: the IBM standard for colour displays prior to the VGA standard. It specified a resolution of 640x350 with up to 256 colours and a 9-pin (DB-9) connector." "Taking a flat, 2-D object and adding a z plane to expand it into 3-D space." "The simplest form of 3D shading which fills polygons with one colour. Processor overheads are negligible and 3D games will allow the graphics to be stripped down to flat shading to improve the frame rate." "The alteration of the visibility or clarity of an object, depending on how far the object is from the camera. Usually implemented by adding a fixed colour (fog colour) to each pixel. Also known as Haze." "Along with raster and vector graphics, a way of defining graphics in a computer. Fractal graphics translate the natural curves of an object into mathematical formulas, from which the image can later be constructed." "Display memory that temporarily stores (buffers) a full frame of picture data at one time.Frame buffers are composed of arrays of bit values that correspond to the display's pixels. The number of bits per pixel in the frame buffer determines the complexity of images that can be displayed." "A mathematical curve representing both the contrast and brightness of an image. Moving the curve in one direction will make the image both darker and decrease the contrast. Moving the curve the other direction will make the image both lighter and increase the contrast." "A form of tone mapping in which the shape of the tone map is a gamma." "A mathematical function that describes the non-linear tonal response of many printers and monitors. A tone map that has the shape of this its compensating function cancels the nonlinearities in printers and monitors." "The range of colours that can be captured or represented by a device. When a colour is outside a device's gamut, the device represents that colour as some other colour." "The computation of the base properties for each point (vertex) of the triangles forming the objects in the 3D world. These properties include x-y-z co-ordinates, RGB values, alpha translucency, reflectivity and others. The geometry calculations involve transformation from 3D world co-ordinates into corresponding 2-D screen co-ordinates, clipping off any parts not visible on screen and lighting." "Graphics Interchange Format: an image used by CompuServe and other on-line formats. Limited to 256 colours but supports transparency without an alpha channel and animation." "A method of hiding the boundaries between polygons by modulating the light intensity across each one in a polygon mesh." "In graphics, having an area smoothly blend from one colour to another, or from black to white, or vice versa." "An expansion card that interprets drawing instructions sent by the CPU, processes them via a dedicated graphics processor and writes the resulting frame data to the frame buffer. Also called video adapter (the term "graphics accelerator" is no longer in use)." "A tool set for application programmers, interfaced with an application programmer's interface, or API. The graphics library usually includes a defined set of primitives and function calls that enable the programmer to bypass many low-level programming tasks." "The specialised processor at the heart of the graphics card. Modern chipsets can also integrate video processing, 3D polygon setup and texturing routines, and, in some cases, the RAMDAC." "Shades of grey that represent light and dark portions of an image. Colour images can also be converted to greyscale where the colours are represented by various shades of grey." "Graphical User Interface: a graphics-based user interface that incorporates icons, pull-down menus and a mouse. The GUI has become the standard way for users to interact with a computer. The first graphical user interface was designed by Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Centre in the 1970s, but it was not until the 1980s and the emergence of the Apple Macintosh that graphical user interfaces became popular. The three major GUIs in popular use today are Windows, Macintosh and Motif." "Graphics cards that can show 16-bit colour (up to 65,536 colours)." "The brightest part of an image." "Hue Saturation Brightness: with the HSB model, all colours can be defined by expressing their levels of hue (the pigment), saturation (the amount of pigment) and brightness (the amount of white included), in percentages." "The attribute of a visual sensation according to which an area appears to be similar to one of the perceived colours, red, yellow, green and blue, or a combination of two of them. Also referred to as tint." "The computerised representation of a picture or graphic." "The fineness or coarseness of an image as it was digitised, measured in Dots Per Inch (DPI), typically from 200 to 400 DPI." "Also known as Aliasing. A term for the jagged visual appearance of lines and shapes in raster pictures that results from producing graphics on a grid format. This effect can be reduced by increasing the sample rate in scan conversion."


Just-Noticeable Difference

Lathing LFB

Lighting Line Art Lossless Lossy

Luminance LZW

Mapping MDA Mesh Model

Midtones Mip Mapping Modelling Moir

Munsell Colour System NURBS On-The-Fly Switching OpenGL

Particle Animation PCX

Perspective Correction Phong Shading Pixelisation Polygon Polygon-Based Modelling Primitives


"Joint Photographic Experts Group: supported by the ISO, the JPEG committee proposes an international standard primarily directed at continuous-tone, still-image compression. Uses DCT (Discrete Cosine Transfer) algorithm to shrink the amount of data necessary to represent digital images anywhere from 2:1 to 30:1, depending on image type. JPEG compression works by filtering out an image's high-frequency information to reduce the volume of data and then compressing the resulting data with a compression algorithm. Low-frequency information does more to define the characteristics of an image, so losing some high frequency information doesn't necessarily affect the image quality." "In the CIELAB colour model, a difference in hue, chroma, or intensity, or some combination of all three, that is apparent to a trained observer under ideal lighting conditions. A just-noticeable difference is a change of 1; a change of 5 is apparent to most people most of the time." "Creating a 3-D surface by rotating a 2-D spline around an axis." "Linear Frame Buffer: a buffer organised in a linear fashion, so that a single address increment can be used to step from one pixel to the pixel below it in the next scan line in the frame buffer. The entire LFB can be addressed using a single 32-bit pointer." "A mathematical formula for approximating the physical effect of light from various sources striking objects. Typical lighting models use light sources, an object's position & orientation and surface type." "A type of graphic consisting entirely of lines, without any shading." "A way of compressing data without losing any information; formats such as GIF are lossless." "A way of compressing by throwing data away; this results in much smaller file sizes than with lossless compression, but at the expense of some artefacts. Many experts believe that up to 95 percent of the data in a typical image may be discarded without a noticeable loss in apparent resolution." "The amount of light intensity; one of the three image characteristics coded in composite television (represented by the letter Y). May be measured in lux or foot-candles. Also referred to as Intensity." "Lempel-Zif-Welch: a popular data compression technique developed in 1977 by J. Ziv and A Lempel. Unisys researcher Terry Welch later created an enhanced version of these methods, and Unisys holds a patent on the algorithm. It is widely used in many hardware and software products, including V.42bis modems, GIF and TIFF files and PostScript Level 2." "Placing an image on or around an object so that the image is like the object's skin." "Monochrome Display Adapter: the first IBM PC monochrome video display standard supporting 720x350 monochrome text but with no support for graphics or colours." "A graphical model with a mesh surface constructed from polygons. The polygons in a mesh are described by the graphics system as solid faces, rather than as hollow polygons, as is the case with wireframe models. Separate portions of mesh that make up the model are called polygon mesh and quadrilateral mesh." "Tones in an image that are in the middle of the tonal range, halfway between the lightest and the darkest tones." "A sophisticated texturing technique to ensure that 3D objects gain detail smoothly when approaching or receding. This is typically produced in two ways; per-triangle (faster) or per pixel (more accurate)." "The process of creating free-form 3-D objects." "A noticeable pattern of interference, often perceived as flickering. For example, a TV image of someone wearing a herringbone jacket can cause the effect. In images of closely spaced lines or other finely detailed patterns, these ripples or waves can appear on colour monitors as well as in scanned images. " "A system consisting of over 3 million observations of what people perceive to be like differences in hue, chroma, and intensity. The participants chose the samples they perceived to have like differences." "Nonuniform Rational B-Spline: a type of spline that can represent more complex shapes than a Bezier spline." "A term used regarding the changing of resolution or refresh rates without having to restart a PC." "Open Graphics Library: a standardised 2- and 3D graphics library that has its historical roots in the Silicon Graphics IrisGL library. It has become a de facto standard endorsed by many vendors and can be implemented as an extension to an operating system or a window system and is supported by most UNIX-based workstations, Windows and X Windows. Some implementations operate entirely in software, while others take advantage of specialised graphics hardware." "Rendering a 3D scene as millions of discrete particles rather than smooth, texture-mapped surfaces. Much more flexible but computer intensive." "A popular bitmapped graphics file format originally developed by ZSOFT for its PC Paintbrush program. PCX handles monochrome, 2-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit and 24-bit colour and uses Run Length Encoding (RLE) to achieve compression ratios of approximately 1.1:1 to 1.5:1." "Adjustment of texture maps on objects, viewed at an angle (typically large, flat objects) in order to retain the appearance of perspective." "A computation-intensive rendering technique that produces realistic highlights while smoothing edges between polygons." "Graininess in an image that results when the pixels are too big. Also referred to as Pixelated." "Any closed shape with four or more sides. In 3D, complex objects like teapots are decomposed, or "tessellated", into many primitive polygons to allow regular processing of the data, and hardware acceleration of that processing." "Representing 3-D objects as a set or mesh of polygons." "Smallest units in the 3D database. Usually points, lines, and polygons representing basic geometric shapes, such as balls, cubes, cylinders, and donuts. Some 3D hardware and software schemes also employ curves, known as "splines"." "Quad XGA: a QXGA display has 2048 horizontal pixels and 1536 vertical pixels giving a total display resolution

Radiosity RAMDAC Rasterisation Refresh Rate

Rendering Resolution Saturated Colours Saturation Scaling Setup Shading

Specular Highlights Spline Spline-Based Modelling Sprite SVGA

SXGA Tessellation Texel Texture Texture Filtering

Texture Mapping

Texture Memory TIFF

Time Line Transparency

Trichromatic True Colour Tweening UDI

UXGA Vector Graphics Vertex

of 3,145,728 individual pixels - 4 times the resolution of an XGA display." "Complex methods of drawing 3D scenes, which result in photorealistic images. Essentially, they calculate the path that light rays follow from objects to the viewer, and all the accompanying reflections. Also known as ray tracing." "The RAMDAC converts the data in the frame buffer into the RGB signal required by the monitor." "Rasterisation is the conversion of a polygon 3D scene, stored in a frame buffer, into an image complete with textures, depth cues and lighting." "Expressed in Hertz (Hz), in interlaced mode this is the number of fields written to the screen every second. In noninterlaced mode it is the number of frames (complete pictures) written to the screen every second. Higher frequencies reduce flicker, because they light the pixels more frequently, reducing the dimming that causes flicker. Also called vertical frequency." "Fundamentally this relates to the drawing of a real-world object as it actually appears. It often refers to the process of translating high-level database descriptions to bitmap images comprising a matrix of pixels or dots." "The number of pixels per unit of area. The finer the grid defining an area, the more pixels it contains and the higher its resolution. The higher the resolution the greater its capacity for reproducing detail. " "Strong, bright colours (particularly reds and oranges) which do not reproduce well on video; they tend to saturate the screen with colour or bleed around the edges, producing a garish, unclear image." "The colourfulness of an area judged in proportion to its brightness. For example, a fully saturated red would be a pure red. The less saturated, the more pastel the appearance. See also Chroma." "Process of uniformly changing the size of characters or graphics." "The conversion of a set of instructions concerning the size, shape and position of polygons into a 3D scene ready for rasterisation." "The process of creating pixel colours. Gouraud is a constant increment of colour from one pixel to the next, while Phong is much more complex and higher quality. Flat shading means no smooth blending of colours, each polygon being a single colour." "A lighting characteristic that determines how light should reflect off an object. Specular highlights are typically white and can move around an object based on camera position." "A 3D bezier curve used in modelling." "Representing 3-D objects as surfaces made up of mathematically derived curves (splines)." "A small graphic drawn independently of the rest of the screen." "Super-VGA; when SVGA first came out it was used to describe graphics adapters capable of handling a resolution of 800x600 with support for 256 colours or 1024x768 with 16-colour support. It subsequently came to be used to indicate a capability of 800x600 or greater, regardless of the number of colours available. " "Super XGA: a screen resolution of 1280x1024 pixels, regardless of the number of colours available. " "The process of dividing an object or surface into geometric primitives (triangles, quadrilaterals, or other polygons) for simplified processing and rendering." "A textured picture element; the basic unit of measurement when dealing with texture-mapped 3D objects." "A (2 dimensional) bitmap pasted onto objects or polygons, to add realism." "Bilinear or trilinear filtering. Also known as sub-texel positioning. If a pixel is in between texels, the program colours the pixel with an average of the texels' colours instead of assigning it the exact colour of one single texel. If this is not done, the texture gets very blocky up close as multiple pixels get the exact same texel colouring, while the texture shimmers at a distance because small position changes keep producing large texel changes." "The application of a bitmap onto a 3D shape to give the impression of perspective and different surfaces. Texture maps can vary in size and detail, and can be "projected" on to a shape in various different ways: cylindrically, spherically and so on." "Memory used to store or buffer textures to be mapped on to 3D polygon objects." "Tagged Image File Format: a popular file format for bitmapped graphics that stores the information defining graphical images in discrete blocks called tags. Each tag describes a particular attribute of the image, such as its width or height, the compression method used (if any), a textual description of the image, or offsets from the start of the file to "strips" containing pixel data. The TIFF format is generic enough to describe virtually any type of bitmap generated on any computer." "A scale measured in either frames or seconds; it provides an editable record of animation events in time and in sequence." "The quality of being able to see through a material. The terms transparency and translucency are often used synonymously; however, transparent would technically mean "seeing through clear glass," while translucent would mean "seeing through frosted glass."" "The technical name for RGB representation of colour to create all the colours in the spectrum." "The ability to generate 16,777,216 colours (24-bit colour)." "Also known as in-betweening; calculating the intermediate frames between two keyframes to simulate smooth motion." "Unified Display Interface; newly-proposed digital display interface specification designed for HDTV and PC usage, which supports the HDCP copy protection scheme and maintains compatibility with existing HDMI and DVI standards." "Ultra XGA: a screen resolution of 1600x1200 pixels." "Images defined by sets of straight lines, defined by the locations of the end points." "A dimensionless position in three- or four-dimensional space at which two or more lines (for instance, edges) intersect."


VGA Feature Connector Video Memory Video Scaling and Interpolation Virtual Desktop VM Channel VUMA Wireframe WMF X Windows


XYZ Planes

"Video Graphics Array: also referred to as Video Graphics Adapter. VGA quickly replaced earlier standards such as CGA (Colour Graphics Adapter) and EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter) and made the 640x480 display showing 16 colours the norm. Other manufacturers have since extended the VGA standard to support more pixels and colours. See also SVGA." "A standard 26-pin plug for passing the VGA signal on to some other device, often a video overlay board. This feature connector cannot pass the high-resolution signal from the card and is limited to VGA." "The graphics card RAM used in the frame buffer, the Z-buffer and, in some 3D graphics cards, texture memory. Common types include DRAM, EDO DRAM, VRAM and WRAM." "When scaled upwards, video clips tend to become pixelated, resulting in block image. Hardware scaling and interpolation routines smooth out these jagged artefacts to create a more realistic picture. Better interpolation routines work on both the X and Y axis to prevent stepping on curved and diagonal elements." "When a graphics card is capable of holding in its memory a resolution greater than that being displayed on the screen, the monitor can act as a "window" onto the larger viewing area which may be panned across the "desktop"." "Vesa Media Channel, VESA's video bus which avoids the main system bus." "VESA Unified Memory Architecture: a standard which establishes the electrical and logical interface between a system controller and an external VUMA device enabling them to share physical system memory." "All 3D models are constructed from lines and vertices forming a dimensional map of the image. Then texture, shading or motion can be applied. Also referred to as Polygon Mesh." "Windows Meta File: a vector graphics format used mostly for word processing clip art." "A windowing system developed at MIT, which runs under UNIX and all major operating systems. It uses a clientserver protocol and lets users run applications on other computers in the network and view the output on their own screen." "eXtended Graphics Array: also referred to as Extended Graphics Adapter. An IBM graphics standard introduced in 1990 that provides screen pixel resolution of 1024x768 in 256 colours or 640x480 in high (16-bit) colour. It subsequently came to be used to describe cards and monitors capable of resolutions up to 1024x768, regardless of the number of colours available." "The three dimensions of space; each is designated by an axis. The x- and y-axes are the 2D co-ordinates, at right angles to each other. The z-axis adds the third dimension. Z-buffers accelerate the rendering of 3D scenes by tracking the depth position of objects and working out which are visible and which are hidden behind other objects."

Category: Multimedia (153 terms) Multimedia terms - also refer to sound and graphics sections Term 1080i 24p Definition "One of the resolution specifications used in the HDTV, 1080i stands for resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The "i" stands for interlaced as opposed to progressive scanning, used in the other main HDTV standard, 720p." "Refers to 24fps progressive scan. This has been the frame rate of motion picture film since talkies arrived. It is also one of the rates allowed for transmission in the DVB and ATSC television standards, allowing them to handle film without needing any frame-rate change. It is now accepted as a part of television production formats, usually associated with high-definition, 1080-line, progressive scans. " "One of the resolution specifications used in the HDTV. 720p stands for resolution of 1280x720 pixels and the "p" means that the video is in progressive format. Other common HDTV resolutions are 1080i and 720i." "Adobe's system for producing documents to be displayed on the screen, with the correct fonts and layout." "Microsoft software component for handling and displaying digital video, including AVI, MPEG, and QuickTime. Incorporated into Windows 98 it is intended to replace Video for Windows. Renamed DirectShow in 1997." "Microsoft's object technology for the Web, will allow smooth animations and interactivity over the Internet." "Data compression software that continually analyses and compensates its algorithm, depending on the type and content of the data and the storage medium." "An ADD2 card is a PCI Express adapter card that can be used to display system output to a television, digital display, or simultaneously to a monitor and digital display." "In compression software refers to a specific formula used to compress or decompress video." "A video signal that represents an infinite number of smooth gradations between given video levels. Contrast with a Digital Video signal which assigns a finite set of levels." "Unequally scaled in vertical and horizontal dimensions. The term is used to describe the representation of a widescreen video image by squeezing it horizontally to fit into a conventional 4:3 aspect ratio for purposes of storage and transmission." "A file containing a series of GIF images that are displayed in rapid sequence by some Web browsers, giving an animated effect." "An editable line that objects follow during the course of an animation." "Small program that performs a limited range of tasks as part of a Web page." "Analogue Protection System: a technology developed by Macrovision that helps thwart attempts to copy

720p Acrobat ActiveMovie ActiveX Adaptive Compression ADD2 Algorithm Analogue Video Anamorphic

Animated GIF Animation Path Applet APS

Asset ATSC

Authoring System AV Avatar AVC



CCIR 601



Chapter CIF


Colour Cycling Colour Keying Compression CPPM


Decompression DeCSS

programming onto VCRs. Used on the majority of DVD-Video discs currently being produced, the technology is designed to degrade unauthorised copies made on consumer VCRs without impacting the original picture." "Term for all the constituent media files (such as text, graphics, sounds, video) that make up a multimedia movie." "An international, non-profit organisation responsible for developing voluntary standards for digital television in the USA, including the high definition television (HDTV) and standard definition television (SDTV) families of standards. See also DVB." "Software which helps developers design interactive courseware easily, without the painstaking detail of computer programming." "Audio Visual or Audio Video: refers to equipment used in audio and video applications, such as microphones, videotape machines (VCRs), sound systems and hard disk systems for storing digitised audio or video data." "Digital representation of yourself in a digital environment." "Advanced Video Coding; also known as MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-4 part 10 or H.264, this codec is expected to offer up to twice the compression of the current MPEG-4 ASP (Advanced Simple Profile) standard, as well as improvements in perceptual quality." "Audio Video Interleaved: Microsoft's file format for digital video and audio under Windows. Blocks of video and audio data are interspersed together in this format. It is cross-platform compatible, allowing *.AVI video files to be played under other operating systems." "Audio Video Kernel: DVI system software designed to play motion video and audio across hardware and operating system environments." "Audio-Video Support System: DVI system software for DOS. It plays motion video and audio." "Binary Large OBject: a database entity comprising multimedia objects - such as images, videos, and sound - stored as a collection of binary data." "Information that is represented in a digital form by a constant stream of bits is said to have a constant bit rate. This type of encoding has advantages for multimedia streaming applications where video will not be interrupted by sudden drops or spikes in the available bandwidth." "A recommendation developed by the International Radio Consultative Committee for the digitisation of colour video signals. The CCIR 601 recommendation deals with colour space conversion from RGB to VCrCb, the digital filters used for limiting the bandwidth, the sample rate (defined as 13.5 MHz), and the horizontal resolution (720 active pixels)." "Commodore Dynamic Total Vision: consumer multimedia system from Commodore that includes CD-ROM/CD audio player, Motorola 68000 processor, 1MB RAM, and 10-key infrared remote control." "Common Gateway Interface: a standard method of extending Web server functionality by executing programs or scripts on a Web server in response to Web browser requests. A common use of CGI is in form processing, where the browser sends the form data to a CGI script on the server, and the script integrates the data with a database and sends back a results page as HTML." "Computer Graphics Metafile: a standard format that allows for the interchanging of graphics images." "Copy Guard Management System: a method of preventing copies or controlling the number of sequential copies allowed. CGMS/A is added to an analogue signal (such as line 21 of NTSC). CGMS/D is added to a digital signal, such as IEEE 1394." "Subdivisions of a video title (e.g. movie) on a DVD-Video disc, each chapter being a scene or other section as defined during authoring." "Common Image Format: the standardisation of the structure of the samples that represent the picture information of a single frame in digital HDTV, independent of frame rate and sync/blank structure. An image that is digitised to CIF format has a resolution of 352 x 288 or 352 x 240." "COmpression DECompression: any technology that converts analogue signals, such as video and voice signals, into digital form and compresses them to conserve bandwidth on a transmission path. Used by QuickTime and Video for Windows to make videos smaller for storage and to expand them for display." "A means of simulating motion in a video by changing colours." "To superimpose one image over another for special effects." "The translation of data (video, audio, digital, or a combination) using a variety of computer compression algorithms and other techniques to reduce the amount of data required to accurately represent the content." "Content Copy Protection for Pre-recorded Media: the digital copy protection system used for DVD-Audio discs. Developed when the intended CSS-II method of DVD-Audio encryption was abandoned after the emergence of the DeCSS hack." "Content Protection for Recordable Media: copy protection for writable DVD formats that ensures that DVD discs cannot be copied - or that first-generation copies cannot be further copied - unless permitted by the content owner." "Content Scrambling System: the copy protection system used for DVD media. It is implemented in chipsets inside the DVD player." "Discrete Cosine Transform: a coding methodology - similar to Fast Fourier Transform - used, for example, in the JPEG and MPEG image compression algorithms to reduce the number of bits for actual data compression. DCT converts data into sets of frequencies, the first being the most meaningful. Latter frequencies are stripped away based on allowable resolution loss." "To reverse the procedure conducted by the compression software algorithm to return data to its original size and condition." "Open-source Linux computer code that appeared in late 1999 and allows encrypted DVD movies to be read. By reverse-engineering the Content Scrambling System (CSS) method that had been adopted by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) to prevent the playing of DVD movies on unlicensed DVD players, the developers

Delivery System Delta Frame Dichroic Mirror Digital Video Digitisation DirectX

DSP Solution



DVB Field Fill Factor




Frame Grabber Frame Rate

Front Projection Full-Motion Video GOP





Home Theatre

of the DeCSS utility made possible the online trading of DVD movies." "The equipment used by end users to run or "play" an interactive program." "Also called Difference Frame. Contains only the pixels different from the preceding Keyframe. Delta Frames reduce the overall size of the video clip to be stored on disk. See also Keyframe." "A mirror used to reflect light selectively according to its wavelength." "A video signal represented by computer-readable binary numbers that describe a finite set of colours and luminance levels." "Process of transforming analogue video signal into digital information." "This Microsoft Windows API was designed to provide software developers with direct access to low-level functions on PC peripherals. Before DirectX, programmers usually opted for the DOS environment, which was free of the limited multimedia feature set that characterised Windows for many years." "The use of a Digital Signal Processor in conjunction with mixed-signal devices and embedded software to collect, process, compress, transmit and display the analogue and digital data found in today's most popular multimedia applications." "Digital Satellite System, a network of satellites that broadcast digital data. An example of a DSS is DirecTV, which broadcasts digital television signals." "Digital Transmission Content Protection: a system devised for secure transmission in the home environment over two-way transmission lines such as the FireWire bus. DTCP prevents unauthorised copying of digital content while allowing legitimate copying for purposes such as time shifting." "DeskTop Publishing: use of a personal computer to produce high-quality printed documents. A DTP system allows use of different typefaces, various margins and justifications, and embedded illustrations and graphs." "A consumer digital video format endorsed by all major video equipment vendors. Using 1/4" (6.35mm) metal evaporated tape, DV is recorded at 25 Mbps (18.8mm/sec) on three-hour standard cassettes or MiniDV cassettes providing up to 90 minutes of record time in long-play mode." "The Digital Video Broadcasting project is a European consortia that has developed a set of standards that define digital broadcasting using existing satellite, cable, and terrestrial infrastructures. See also ATSC." "One-half of a complete video frame, consisting of every other analogue scan line." "Used in connection with digital display technologies (such as LCD and DLP) to convey how much of the area of a single pixel is used for the image as opposed to the grid surrounding the pixel. The higher the "fill factor" the better. See also Screen Door Effect." "A process used in both analogue and digital image processing to reduce bandwidth. Filters can be designed to remove information content such as high or low frequencies, for example, or to average adjacent pixels, creating a new value from two or more pixels." "Frames Per Second: an expression of frame rate." "FlashPIX: an emerging WWW standard for images. The FPX file format is a single, interoperable digital imaging format which supports other file formats like JPEG, PCX, PICT and TIFF. It has multi-resolutions because it stores images in multiple sizes." "A single, complete picture in video or film recording. A video frame consists of two interlaced fields of either 525 lines (NTSC) or 625 lines (PAL/SECAM), running at 30 frames per second (NTSC) or 25 frames per second (PAL/SECAM)." "A device that "captures" and potentially stores one complete video frame. Also known as frame storer." "How fast the source repaints the screen with a new frame. NTSC repaints the screen every 1/30th of a second for a frame rate for 30 frames per second. PAL is 25 frames per second. "Full-motion" playback of compressed MPEG files is at 30 frames per second." "Front projection is when a projection unit is positioned in front of the screen. See also Rear Projection." "FMV: video reproduction at 30 frames per second (NTSC-original signals), 25 frames per second (PAL-original signals) and 30 frames per second (compressed MPEG)." "In an MPEG signal the GOP is a group of frames between successive I frames, the others being P and/or B frames. The GOP concept allows the temporal redundancy across frames (from frame to frame) for video content to be reduced." "A video compression standard developed for video teleconferencing systems. It is DCT-based and resembles MPEG to some degree. It is hoped that this will be the standard that allows a videophone from one manufacturer to "talk" to a videophone from another manufacturer, just as two different FAX machines can "talk" to each other." "High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection: an encoding method for distributing digital content via a DVI (Digital Visual Interface) port. Using hardware on both the graphics adapter card and the monitor, HDCP encrypts data on route to a display device, where it is then decrypted. " "High-Definition Multimedia Interface; similar to DVI, but using a much smaller connector, HDMI is the first industry-supported uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface. Like DVI, it uses the HDCP copy protection scheme." "High Definition TV: a television system with approximately twice the horizontal and twice the vertical resolution of current 525-line and 625-line systems, component colour coding (e.g. RGB or YCbCr) a picture aspect ratio of 16:9 and a frame rate of at least 24 Hz. The principal scanning formats have active vertical scanning lines of 720 progressive (720p), 1080 interlaced (1080i). Though 1080i as higher resolution than 720p, it doesn't render motion quite as well the progressive scanning format." "a home theatre system is a combination of audio-video components - such as a TV, VCR, DVD player and surround-sound speaker system - designed to recreate the experience of watching a movie in a cinema."

HTML HTTP Hyperlink IEEE 1394

IMA Interactive Video

Interframe Coding Inverse Kinematics

Java JavaScript Keyframe

Laser Disc LCOS


miniDVD Mixed-Signal Device

Morph Motion Video Motion-JPEG MPC




Multimedia NLE


"Hypertext Markup Language: an ASCII text-based, script-like language for creating hypertext documents like those on the Internet's World Wide Web." "Hypertext Transfer Protocol: the way a Web browser and the server computer delivering Web pages communicate." "A pointer from text or from an image map to a page or other type of file on the WWW. On Web pages, hyperlinks are the primary way to navigate between pages and among Web sites." "An international high-performance serial-bus standard that offers the real-time data transfer of video, audio and peripheral applications through a universal I/O interface. With this technology, digital cameras, CD-ROMs, printers, hard-disk drives and audio/stereo equipment can move data at high speeds to desktops and portable computers through a single cable. Also known as FireWire." "Interactive Multimedia Association: formed in 1991 (rooted in IVIA, Interactive Video Industry Association), an industry association chartered with creating and maintaining standard specifications for multimedia systems." "The fusion of video and computer technology. A video program and a computer program running in tandem under the control of the user. In interactive video, the user's actions, choices, and decisions affect the way in which the program unfolds." "Compression techniques which track the differences between frames of video. Results in more compression over a range of frames than intraframe coding." "In an object hierarchy where there are parent and child objects, grabbing one child object at the end of a chain and automatically calculating the proper movements back to the first object, all according to a series of pre-programmed constraints. An example would be an articulated hand, where moving the tip of a finger causes all the other parts to move together in a properly jointed way." "Sun Microsystem's object oriented programming language, designed for networked systems such as the Web." "Netscape's simple scripting language for Web pages which allows simple interactivity to be built into a page." "Most video compression schemes work by taking keyframes at certain intervals and working out the differences between that frame and the following frames. This means that only small pieces of information need to be stored about each frame in order to allow the whole frame to be reconstructed. See also Delta Frame." "An optical disk used for full-motion video. In the 1970s, various videodisc systems were introduced, but only the Philips LaserVision survived. Began being superseded by DVD-ROM during 1998." "Liquid Crystal on Silicon: a liquid crystal layer on top of a pixelated, highly-reflective substrate. Below the substrate is a backplane that includes the electronics to drive the pixels. The backplane and liquid crystals are combined into a panel and packaged for use in a projection subsystem or "light engine."" "Media Control Interface: platform-independent multimedia specification published by Microsoft Corporation and others in 1990. Provides a consistent way to control devices such as CD-ROMs and video playback units." "Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extension: the format for transferring multimedia type file transfers across the Internet. Since email messages are designed for text data, this format converts non-text data into a text-based format." "A CD-R(W) disc containing up to 15 minutes of DVD-encoded video." "Collects analogue signals and converts them into digital data to be processed. Once a DSP processes and compresses the digital data, a mixed-signal device decompresses, transmits and displays the digital data as either digital or analogue signals." "Short for metamorphosing, morphing refers to an animation technique in which one image is gradually turned into another." "Video that displays real motion by displaying a sequence of images (frames) rapidly enough that the eyes see the image as a continuously moving picture." "A derivative of JPEG that includes some keyframe-based compression to make it suitable for video." "Multimedia PC: a specification developed by the Multimedia Council. It defines the minimum platform capable of running multimedia software. PCs carrying the MPC logo will be able to run any software that also displays the MPC logo." "Moving Picture Experts Group: a standards committee, supported by the ISO, formed to establish uniform methodologies and algorithms for digital audio and video compression." "MPEG-1 video, used in VideoCDs, is defined for non-interlaced, computer-type data streams. It is the form normally used with PCs. Typical MPEG-1 video compression ranges up to 100:1 for images comprised of 352 pixels (picture elements) by 240 lines at a refresh rate of up to 30 frames per second with 24-bit colour and CDquality sound." "The newer MPEG-2 standard offers resolutions of 720x480 and 1280x720 at 60 fps, with full CD-quality audio. This is sufficient for all the major TV standards, including NTSC, and even HDTV. MPEG-2 is used by DVDROMs and is capable of compressing a 2 hour video into a few gigabytes." "A standard for video compression that is targeted at bit rates of tens of kilobytes and below to accommodate applications for digitally-encoded moving pictures and synchronised audio that can be enabled only at very low bit rates. The low bit rates targeted by MPEG-4 are the operating points for widespread communication channels, such as public switched telephone network and low-cost wired and wireless networks." "Refers to the delivery of information that combines different content formats (motion video, audio, still images, graphics, animation, text, etc.)." "Non-Linear Editing: refers to the ability to manipulate digitised video on a computer under software control. The required file segments can be cut, pasted and copied anywhere in the timeline of your project. In the context of AV applications, NLE is to video editing what the word processor was to the typewriter. " "National Television Standards Committee: the industry group that formulated the standards for American

Overlay PAL


PX64 QuickTime Rainbow Effect

RCA Rear Projection Reed-Solomon




Screen Door Effect





SMPTE Timecode


television. An NTSC signal is a composite video signal used by televisions and VCRs in North America and some other parts of the world. The NTSC system uses 525 lines per frame, a field frequency of 60 Hz, a 30-frame per second update rate, and the YIQ colour space. Modern NTSC encoders and decoders may also use the YUV colour space." "The ability to superimpose computer graphics over a live or recorded video signal and store the resulting video image on videotape. It is often used to add titles to videotape." "Phase Alternating Line: video format - used in most of Western Europe, Australia and China as well as in various African, South American and Middle Eastern countries - with a 4:3 image format, 625 lines per frame, a field frequency of 50Hz and 4 MHz video bandwidth with a total 8 MHz of video channel width. PAL has a 25-frame per second update rate and uses YUV colour space." "Portable Document Format: Acrobat file format containing embedded fonts and graphics." "Personal Video Recorder: a generic term for the modern-day replacement of the VCR. Using hardware-based MPEG-2 compression like that used by DVDs, PVRs encode video data and store the data on a hard disk drive. PVRs have all of the functionality of VCRs, (recording, playback, fast forwarding, rewinding, pausing) plus the ability to instantly jump to any part of the program without having to rewind or fast forward the data stream. Also referred to a Digital Video Recorder." "Similar to MPEG, but adapted to slower bit rate. Typically used for video conferencing over an ISDN phone line." "Apple Computer's video environment (like Microsoft's Video For Windows). QuickTime video files must be converted to .AVI format to run under Microsoft's Video For Windows." "An artefact unique to single-chip DLP projectors which appears as a rainbow or multi-colour shimmer briefly noticeable by some people when they change focus from one part of the projector screen to another. It appears as a secondary image that appears at the viewer's peripheral vision and is typically noticeable when shifting focus from a high contrast area or bright object." "Radio Corporation of America: refers to the standard single-ended analogue cables used to connect audio and video devices together. Typically red/white inputs are for the left/right channels of sound and yellow is for video." "With rear projection, the projector is placed behind a translucent screen. See also Front Projection." "An error-correction encoding system that cycles data multiple times through a mathematical transformation in order to increase the effectiveness of the error correction, especially for burst errors (errors concentrated closely together, as from a scratch or physical defect). DVD uses rows and columns of Reed-Solomon encoding in a twodimensional lattice, called Reed-Solomon product code (RS-PC)." "Resource Interchange File Format: platform-independent multimedia specification (published by Microsoft and others in 1990) that allows audio, image, animation, and other multimedia elements to be stored in a common format. See also Media Control Interface (MCI)." "Run Length Encoding: Microsoft's video compression algorithm for base level multimedia PCs. Compresses 8-bit sequences only. Playback is also in 8 bit and isn't scaleable for higher power PCs." "Regional Playback Control: restrictions to prevent unauthorised playback of DVD discs in countries they were not intended for. " "The EIA standard for the combination of signals required to form NTSC colour video." "Real Time Video: single step compression of video." "Type of video signal used in Hi8, S-VHS and some laserdisc formats. S-Video is a hardware standard for the way a signal is carried on the cable itself and also defines the physical cable jacks. It transmits luminance and colour portions separately, using multiple wires, and avoids composite video encoding (such as NTSC) and the resulting loss of picture quality. Also known as Y-C Video." "The ability to vary the information content of a program by changing the amount of data that is stored, transmitted or displayed. In a video image, this translates into creating larger or smaller windows of video on screens (shrinking effect)." "Screen Door Effect (SDE) is common with LCD-based projectors and relates to a viewer's awareness of the grid, or spacing between the pixels. The lines which form the grid are, in fact, where the panel's control electronics are preventing light from shining through the panel." "Standard-definition television: a type of digital television operation method which is able to transmit and produce images which are of a higher quality than standard analogue broadcasts. SDTV is typically a 480i signal - where "480" represents the vertical resolution and "i" represents interlaced." "Sequentiel Coleur A Memoire: European video standard, used in France and Eastern Europe, with image format 4:3, 819 lines per frame, 50 Hz and 6 MHz video bandwidth with a total 8 MHz of video channel width. Like the similar PAL standard, it has a 25-frame per second update rate. The major difference from PAL is that SECAM uses FM-modulated chrominance." "Standard Interchange Format: format for exchanging video images of 240 lines with 352 pixels each for NTSC, and 288 lines by 352 pixels for PAL and SECAM. At the nominal field rates of 60 and 50 fields/s, the two formats have the same data rate." "Single Instruction Multiple Data: a method of efficiently processing data in which a single instruction is applied to multiple pieces of data simultaneously rather than to each piece of data individually. Repetitive tasks are effectively consolidated into a single one, greatly increasing the speed of data processing. Instructions of this nature are often associated with 3D graphics and multimedia. See also SSE." "An 80-bit standardised edit time code adopted by SMPTE, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. See also Time Code, for measuring video duration. Each frame is identified in the form hours:minutes:seconds:frames." "Standardised Red, Green and Blue: the colour space standard established by the International Electrotechnical


Streaming Subsampling SVCD Tearing Teleconference

Time Code







VidCap Video Capture Video Mapping Video1 VideoCD

Virtual Reality

Viterbi Decoder


Watermark Web

Commission which forms the basis of colour matching hardware devices such as CRT monitors, LCD panels, projectors, printers, scanners and digital cameras and applications, including the World Wide Web." "Streaming SIMD Extensions: Intel's SSE and SSE2 technologies are effectively sets of instructions for accelerating multimedia applications. SSE is found on Intel Pentium III processors; SSE2 is an incremental supported on Intel Pentium 4 processors. Some of the benefits of SSE/SSE2 include rendering higher quality images, high quality audio, MPEG2 video, simultaneous MPEG2 encoding and decoding and reduced CPU utilisation for speech recognition. See also SIMD." "A technique for transferring data such that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. Streaming allows the user to play media from the Internet immediately, without having first to download the entire media file. " "Bandwidth reduction techniques which reduce the amount of digital data used to represent an image. Part of a compression process." "Super VCD: an evolution of the VCD format that uses MPEG-2 compression to store between 35 and 80 minutes (depending on bit rate) of SVHS quality video on a CD. Also known as Chaoji VCD." "Video artefact in which portions of a video window are not updated in time for the next frame." "A general term for a meeting not held in person. Usually refers to a multi-party telephone call, set up by the phone company or private source, which enables more than two callers to participate in a conversation. The growing use of video allows participants at remote locations to see, hear, and participate in proceedings, or share visual data ("video conference")." "A frame-by-frame address code time reference recorded on the spare track of a videotape or inserted in the vertical blanking interval. It is an eight-digit number encoding time in hours, minutes, seconds, and video frames (e.g.:02:04:48:26)." "Uniform Resource Locator: a logical address that identifies a resource on the Internet." "The emerging Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standard implemented by Microsoft as Windows Media Video (WMV) 9 Advanced Profile. Formally known as SMPTE 421M, VC-1 minimises the complexity of decoding HD content through improved intermediate stage processing and more robust transforms decoding HD video twice as fast as the H.264 standard, while offering 2-to-3 times better compression than MPEG2 and at a quality claimed to be better than MPEG-4." "Video Cassette Recorder: a videotape recording and playback machine that is available in several formats. Sony's Beta tape was the first VCR format, but is now defunct. VHS 1/2in tape is the most commonly used format. Although VCRs are analogue recording machines, adapters allow them to store digital data for computer backup. See also VHS." "Video Device Interface: a software driver interface that improves video quality by increasing playback frame rates and enhancing motion smoothness and picture sharpness. VDI was developed by Intel and will be broadly licensed to the industry." "Variable Data Rate Video: in digital systems, the ability to vary the amount of data processed per frame to match image quality and transmission bandwidth requirements. DVI symmetrical and asymmetrical systems can compress video at variable data rates." "Video for Windows: a standard established by Microsoft for the integration of digital video, animation and sound which uses the .AVI file format. The necessary software drivers are incorporated into the Windows operating system." "A VCR format introduced by JVC in 1976 to compete with Sony's Beta format. VHS subsequently become the standard for home and industry, and Beta became obsolete. S-VHS (Super VHS) is a subsequent format that improves resolution." "Microsoft's Video For Windows program to capture video input to RAM or hard disk memory." "Performed by an expansion board that digitises full-motion video from a VCR, camera or other video source. The digital video is then stored in a compressed format on hard disk." "A feature allowing the mapping of an AVI, MPEG movie or animation on to the surface of a 3D object." "The default video compression algorithm in Microsoft's Video for Windows. Can produce 8- or 16-bit video sequences." "Format that allows the viewing of MPEG-1 (also known as the ISO IEC 11172 compression standard) video on CD-ROM. Originally devised by Philips, it allows for more than an hour of compressed video, the audio also being compressed and giving hi-fi standard. The whole point of VideoCD is cross-platform compatibility. The discs should work on suitably equipped PCs, Macs, dedicated VideoCD players, and CD-i systems. Video CD is based on the White Book standard developed by Philips and other industry leaders. Also referred to as VCD." "Technology that allows the user to experience 3D interaction with the computer. Some VR systems may incorporate special visors, helmets, gloves, and special 3D graphics technology to simulate the real world environment." "A decoding algorithm developed in the late 1960s by Andrew Viterbi and used to decode a particular convolutional code (i.e. that adds redundancy to the data to improve the signal-to-noise ratio). Viterbi decoders output a 0 or a 1 based on an estimate of the input signal. Viterbi decoders are needed for reading HD DVD and Blu-ray discs." "Virtual Reality Modelling Language: a database description language applied to create 3D worlds. VRML viewers, similar to HTML Web browsers, interpret VRML data downloaded from the Web and render it on your computer. This allows the bulk of the processing to be performed locally, and drastically reduces the volume of information for transmittal from the Web." "A background image. Typically used to decorate and identify pages in a Web site, a watermark remains stationary as the page scrolls." "Popular term for the World Wide Web."

Web Browser WML




"A client application that fetches and displays Web pages and other WWW resources to the user. The most popular browsers are Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator." "Wireless Markup Language: XML is a meta-language defined by the World Wide Web Consortium. This means that it is a series of rules for how to create other languages for specific applications. Content is not directly encoded in XML, but in a specific markup language defined using XML. WML is an example of a specific language for wireless applications that is fully compliant with XML's rules. WML is thus an XML application." "World Wide Web: a collection of richly formatted graphic/hypermedia documents located on computers around the world and logically linked together by the Internet. With a graphical Web browser users can "surf" the Web by clicking highlighted words on the screen. Each click activates a hypertext link, connecting the user to another Web location identified by a URL." "The colour space used in the CCIR601 specification. Y is the luminance component, and the Cr and Cb components are colour difference signals. Cr and Cb are scaled versions of U and V in the YUV colour space." "The colour space used in the NTSC colour system. The Y component is the black-and-white portion of the image. The I and Q parts are the colour components; these are effectively nothing more than a "watercolour wash" placed over the black and white, or luminance, component." "A colour encoding scheme for natural pictures in which luminance and chrominance are separate. The human eye is less sensitive to colour variations than to intensity variations. YUV allows the encoding of luminance (Y) information at full bandwidth and chrominance (UV) information at half bandwidth. YUV is used by the PAL colour system."

Category: Displays (79 terms) The various different monitors and the related jargon clarified Term Active Matrix Definition "An LCD technology used in flat panel computer displays. It produces a brighter and sharper display with a broader viewing angle than passive matrix screens. Active matrix technology uses a thin film transistor at each pixel and is often designated as a "TFT" screen. See also Passive Matrix." "Colour produced by "adding" colours, usually the combination of red, green and blue." "A light sensor at the top of the monitor which gauges ambient light in the work environment and automatically adjusts the brightness of the monitor for optimum viewing. This takes away the frequent and tedious task of manually adjusting brightness on the screen; it is particularly beneficial in environments where light in the office is subject to change throughout the day." "A positively charged electrode used to attract (negatively charged) electrons in a CRT monitor." "The phosphor separation method used in a Trinitron CRT in place of a shadow mask. A series of thin, closelyspaced vertical wires are used to isolate pixels horizontally. The pixels are separated vertically by the nature of the scan lines used to compose the image." "The relationship of width and height. When an image is displayed on different screens, the aspect ratio must be kept the same to avoid "stretching" in either the vertical or horizontal direction. For most current monitors, this ratio is 4:3. For HDTV, the ratio is generally 16:9." "A lens aberration that causes off-axis light electron beams to focus to an elliptical, rather than circular, spot. The larger the monitor size, the greater the problem." "A microprocessor-based feature of some monitors incorporating automatic synchronisation of their horizontal and vertical frequencies with those of the installed video graphics adapter. An autoscan monitor can thus operate with a wide range of video adapters." "An LCD screen that has its own light source from the back of the screen, making the background brighter and characters appear sharper." "A type of image distortion where vertical lines are bowed outwards, towards the edges of the screen." "The border around the edge of the screen, covering the extremities of a CRT. Also used to describe the rim around the perimeter of faceplates - often clip-on - of drive bays and even PC cases, used to vary their appearance." "The property of a material which causes incident light waves of different polarisations to be refracted differently by the material." "A problem where bright white areas have a slight halo around them." "A video connection type found on many high-end monitors. It consists of five separate cables for red, green, blue, horizontal and vertical synchronisation signals." "A unit of measurement of the intensity of light. An ordinary wax candle generates one candela. The maximum brightness for CRTs is about 100 to 120 cd/m2 and for TFTs, up to 250 cd/m2." "An electrode that is negatively charged. Electrons are released from the cathode in a CRT monitor." "Defines the whiteness of the white on the screen. Variations are measured in degrees Kelvin. Natural colours used in life-like images, such as people or landscapes, look more true to life when displayed at a colour temperature of 6500K. Black text on a white page is better represented by a colour temperature of 9300K." "A video signal format that includes the complete visual waveform, including: chrominance (colour), luminance (brightness), blanking pedestal, field, line, colour sync pulses and field qualising pulses."

Additive Colour Ambient Light Sensor

Anode Aperture Grille

Aspect Ratio

Astigmatism Autoscan

Backlight Barrel Distortion Bezel Bifringence Blooming BNC Candela Cathode Colour Temperature

Composite Video



Deflection Yoke Degauss



Dot Pitch Dot Trio DPMS DSTN Dynamic Focus EDP Electron Beam Energy Star

FED Flat Panel Display Footlambert FST Ghosting HSF


Interlaced Invar Jitter LCD LED LEP Modes

"The term used to describe how accurately the three (red, green, and blue) electron beams converge to illuminate their respective phosphors in a colour monitor. The better the guns converge, the sharper the image. If a monitor shows poor convergence, edges of objects will have a red, blue or green tinge." "Cathode Ray Tube: the tube of a television or monitor in which rays of electrons are beamed onto a phosphorescent screen to produce images. Often used as a generic term for a computer monitor." "Colour Super-Twist Nematic: a passive matrix LCD technology developed by Sharp Electronics Corporation." "A type of monitor socket and cable plug found on all PC monitors. It consists of a single cable that carries all the video information and uses the same pin layout as the socket on a graphics card." "Display Data Channel: DDC 1/2B and 2AB are standardised techniques by which monitors and graphics cards communicate with each other to help establish the best resolution and refresh rate combination. DDC is only possible through a D-SUB connection." "The arrangement of electromagnets which can alter the direction of the electron beam that passes through it." "Magnetic interference caused by a change in the position of a monitor in relation to the earth's magnetic field or the presence of an artificial magnetic field can cause discoloration. To correct this, all colour monitors automatically degauss at power-on and some also have a manual degaussing button. This allows the monitor to compensate for the change in the magnetic field by realigning the electron guns." "Digital Light Processor: an all-digital display technology that turns image data into light. Enabled by a DMD device, DLP is capable of projecting sharp, clear images of almost any size without losing any of the original image's resolution." "Digital Micromirror Device: an array of semiconductor-based digital mirrors that precisely reflect a light source for projection display and hard-copy applications. A DMD enables Digital Light Processing and displays images digitally. Rather than displaying digital broadcast signals as analogue signals, a DMD directs the digital signal directly to your screen." "A measurement of distance between the centres of two same-colour phosphor dots on the screen. The closer the dots, the smaller the dot pitch, and the sharper the image. See also Stripe Pitch." "The standard phosphor triad arrangement." "Display Power Management Signalling: displays or monitors that comply with this can be managed by Power Management features found in CMOS configuration on Energy Saving PCs." "Double-layer SuperTwist Nematic: a passive-matrix LCD technology that uses two display layers to counteract the colour shifting that occurs with conventional supertwist displays. Also referred to as dual-scan LCD." "The ability of a CRT monitor's electron gun to adjust focus so that it is sharp across the whole screen - not just the centre." "Enhanced Dot Pitch: Hitachi's tube technology in which the phosphor triads are spaced closer together horizontally than they are vertically." "The invisible stream of electrons that flow from a CRT monitor's cathode to its screen." "Launched in 1993, this is a program established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a partnership with the computer industry to promote the introduction of energy-efficient personal computers which help reduce air pollution caused by power generation. To comply with the Energy Star guidelines, a computer system or monitor must consume less than 30 watts of power in its lowest power state." "Field Emission Display: a display technology which use vacuum tubes (one for each pixel) with conventional RGB phosphors." "A thin display screen that uses any of a number of technologies, such as LCD, plasma and FED. Traditionally used in laptops, flat panel displays are slowly beginning to replace desktop CRTs for specialised applications." "fL: a unit of luminance equal to 3.463 candelas per square metre." "Flat Square Tube: describes the viewing surface of a cathode ray tube that is nearly flat. Flatter screens give the appearance of straighter lines, and they can aid in the reduction of glare, compared to conventional tubes." "A visual effect in which an area of "on" pixels causes a shadow on "off" pixels in the same rows and columns. A particular problem with passive matrix LCDs." "Horizontal Scanning Frequency: indicates the speed, measured in kilohertz, at which a single horizontal line is drawn on the screen. Higher scan rates are needed to provide sharper, crisper images at higher resolutions. Also called scan rate." "High Temperature Poly-Silicon: A thin-film transistor (TFT) panel is an active matrix display containing a microscopic thin-film transistor in the corner of each pixel. HTPS panels allow driver ICs to be embedded into their TFTs, thereby allowing greater miniaturisation (higher pixel counts and higher aperture ratios)." "Scheme to display a video image by displaying alternate scan lines in two discrete fields." "Type of metal used in the shadow mask that provides more consistent images over time, by reducing warping of the shadow mask when bright images are displayed." "The interference that occurs - causing a shimmering effect that results in lines and characters to losing their focus when a TFT panel's clock and phase aren't perfectly synchronised." "Liquid Crystal Display: a display technology that relies on polarising filters and liquid crystal cells rather than phosphors illuminated by electron beams to produce an on-screen image." "Light Emitting Diode: a display technology that uses a semiconductor diode that emits light when charged. LEDs are usually red. It was the first digital watch display, but was superseded by LCD, which uses less power." "Light-Emitting Polymer: a display technology in which plastics are made to conduct electricity and, under certain conditions, emit light." "Specific frequencies at which the monitor (and/or computer) can display text or graphical information. Most

MPR2 Multi-Frequency

Multiscan nit nT OLED



Parallelogram Distortion Passive Matrix

PDP Phosphor Phosphor Triad Pincushion Distortion Pixel

Pixel Clock Speed Raster Response Time


Rotation Screen Regulation Shadow Mask

Slotted Mask Streaking

Stripe Pitch


monitors today support several frequencies. This is called multifrequency or multi-scanning, and it ensures that the monitor will perform with a variety of computers and applications." "Provides reduced electrostatic and electromagnetic emissions. MPR 1990, or MPR2, is a standard defined to measure emissions from devices such as monitors." "A monitor's ability to change resolution or refresh rate when signalled by a video adapter. Graphics adapters have the ability to "tell" a monitor to use various display resolutions and refresh rates. If the resolution or refresh rate is within a monitor's scanning range, multi-frequency monitors adjust to the resolutions and refresh rates "ordered" by the video adapter. Also known as multi-scanning. See also Modes." "A monitor that can display many different resolutions. A single-scan monitor can only display a particular resolution." "A unit of luminance equal to one candlepower measured at a distance of 1m over an area of 1 square metre. One nit is equal to 1 candela per square metre or 0.2919 fL (footlamberts)." "nano Tesla: a unit of measurement for magnetic flux density. A magnetic field of one Tesla is very strong - the earth's magnetic field is only tens of nano-Teslas." "Organic Light-Emitting Diode: a display device invented by Eastman Kodak in the early 1980s. OLEDs sandwich carbon-based films between two charged electrodes, one a metallic cathode and one a transparent anode. The organic films consist of a hole-injection layer, a hole-transport layer, an emissive layer and an electron-transport layer. When voltage is applied to the OLED cell, the injected positive and negative charges recombine in the emissive layer and create electro luminescent light. " "A condition that exists when a created image is larger than the visible portion of the display. Overscan helps relegate the relatively fuzzy perimeter of a CRT image to portions of the screen that are out of sight, and the overscan may disappear over time anyway. On the other hand, monitors with excessive overscan can lose icons and text at the edges of the display." "Developed by Silicon Images Inc. to provide an all digital link between a graphics card and an LCD monitor, PanelLink uses Transition Minimised Differential Signalling (TMDS) signalling technology, allowing a distance of up to 10m between the graphics card and the LCD panel." "A type of geometric distortion, where lines are parallel but not perpendicular." "A common LCD technology used in laptops. Passive matrix displays (DSTN, CSTN, etc.) are not quite as sharp and do not have as broad a viewing angle as active matrix (TFT) displays, but they have improved dramatically in recent years." "Plasma Display Panel: a display technology that works on the principle that passing a high voltage through a lowpressure gas creates light." "A luminescent substance, used to coat the inside of the cathode-ray tube display, that is illuminated by the electron gun in the pattern of graphical images as the display is scanned." "One red, one green and one blue phosphor that composes a pixel." "The opposite of barrel distortion. The vertical lines in a rectangular image curve inwards, with an increase in the distortion towards the edges of the image." "An abbreviation for picture element. In a raster grid, the pixel is the smallest unit that can be addressed and given a colour or intensity. The pixel is represented by some number of bits (usually 8, 16 or 24) in the frame buffer, and is illuminated by a collection of phosphor dots in the CRT that are struck by the beams of the electron gun." "The frequency or speed at which individual pixels (picture elements) in an image are written to the screen. The higher the pixel clock speed, the less likely there will be flicker." "A raster is a rectangular grid of picture elements representing graphical data for display. Raster operations (ROPs) can be performed on some portion or all of the raster." "It typically takes around 25ms for the liquid crystal inside a modern TFT panel to respond to the applied current, which is usually more than enough to fool the naked eye into seeing fluid movement. Quoted response times include an element of latency, when a pixel remains lit for a short time after the current has been removed." "Red-Green-Blue: a way of encoding images in computer graphics by describing a colour by the amount of the three basic colours Red, Green and Blue. Three bytes are required for "true colour" (three numbers between 0 and 255), giving a theoretical maximum of 16.7 million colours. Computer monitors are generally driven by an RGB signal. The other technique for output display is composite video, which typically offers less resolution than RGB." "Determines how well the image area lines up to the bezel; also called tilt." "A distortion where the size of the image varies according to the brightness of the screen content. A white rectangle will appear larger when surrounding a solid white rectangle than when surrounding a plain black area." "The perforated metal sheet that rests between the electron gun and a screen's phosphor coating to ensure that the three electron beams only strike the correct phosphor dots. A "shadow mask display" is a monitor which conforms to the conventional three-electron gun, shadow mask design." "A variation on the aperture grill phosphor triad approach which uses the slot-mask design used on many nonTrinitron TV sets." "A visual effect which is related to "white level shift" and "black level shift", where the difference in intensity between neighbouring white and black areas results in a discoloration. Occurs when a CRT's electron gun does not switch on and off quickly enough." "This is similar to dot pitch, but applicable tubes which the aperture grille method to separate phosphors. Dot stripe is measured as the distance between the vertical stripes that result. Measures of dot pitch and dot stripe are not directly comparable." "Magnetic fields, or more specifically, magnetic flux densities historically have been measured with a unit called the milligauss - 1 milligauss(mg) being equal to 0.001 Gauss(g). Electrical engineers and physicists use the Tesla as


TN Trapezoidal Distortion Unbalanced Pin

a unit of international standard, one Tesla being the equivalent to 10,000 Gauss or 10,000,000 milligauss. Typically the Tesla is used in technical journals and the milligauss unit is used in information for the general public." "Thin Film Transistor: a type of LCD flat-panel display screen, in which each pixel is controlled by from one to four transistors. TFT technology provides the best resolution of all the current flat-panel techniques. TFT screens are sometimes called active-matrix LCDs." "Twisted Nematic: the first LCD technology. It twists liquid crystal molecules 90 degrees between polarises. TN displays require bright ambient light and are still used for low-cost applications." "A type of geometric distortion where the vertical edges of an image slant inwards towards the top horizontal edge. Also called keystone distortion." "Describes concave and convex lines on opposite sides of the screen."

Category: Optical storage (110 terms) A reference for optical storage terminology Term ADPCM Definition "Adaptive Delta Pulse Code Modulation: an audio encoding compression technique which encodes the difference between the predicted value of the signal instead of the absolute value of the original waveform so that the compression efficiency is improved. This difference is usually small and can thus be encoded in fewer bits than the sample itself. Used in CD-I and CD-ROM XA recording." "Absolute Time In Pregroove: a part of a CD-R disc that specifies its characteristics, such as its manufacturer, capacity and supported writing speeds." "Burst Cutting Area: a zone near the hub of a DVD reserved for a barcode that can be etched into the disc by a laser. Since barcode cutting is independent of the stamping process, each disc can have unique data recorded on it, such as a serialised ID. DVD readers can use the laser pickup head to read the BCA." "Jointly developed by Philips and Sony, BD was the first "next-generation" DVD format to gain widespread industry support. Ultimately, the DVD Forum approved the rival HD-DVD format, proposed by Toshiba and NEC." "The standard for combining audio and data seamlessly on one CD. Also known as CD-Extra or CD-Plus." "A type of laser capable of writing bits with up to five times greater density than the infrared lasers commonly used. In 1993, IBM demonstrated a recording density of 2.5 billion bits per square inch on a magneto-optic disk. It is expected that blue lasers will be commercially used within a few years." "Generating a CD-ROM on a specialised writer (CD-R); "burn" comes from the heat generated by the highpowered laser needed to make the pits." "The plastic and metal carrier into which a CD must be inserted before it is loaded into some CD-ROM drives or CD recorders and which is a highly controversial feature of DVD-RAM media. Also called cartridge." "Constant Angular Velocity: CD-ROM drive method in which a steady spin speed is maintained, resulting in increased data transfer rates and reduced seek times as the head moves towards its outside edge. Has largely superseded CLV." "CD-R discs written that can be read in either a CD-DA player or in a CD-ROM reader." "Compact Disc-Digital Audio: jointly developed by Philips and Sony and launched in October 1982, CD-DA was the first incarnation of the compact disc, used to digitally record and play back music at unprecedented quality. The standard under which CD-DA discs are recorded is known as the Red Book." "A multisession disc containing a number of audio tracks in the first session, and one CD-ROM XA data track in the second session. Additional characteristics are defined in the Blue Book standard. An alternative to mixed-mode for combining standard CD-D audio (which can be played in a normal audio player), and a computer application, on a single disc. Also known as CD-Plus." "Compact Disc-Interactive: a compact disc format (developed by Philips and Sony) designed to allow interactive multimedia applications to be played through a computer/disc player attached to a television. The CD-i standard is called the Green Book." "A set of specifications defining a way of recording CD-i information on a CD-ROM XA disc. Used for Photo CD and Video CD." "Compact Disc-Recordable: also referred to as Compact Disc-Write Once (CD-WO). A type of disk drive that can create CD-ROMs and audio CDs, allowing users to "master" discs for subsequent publishing." "Compact Disc-Read Only Memory: a standard for compact disc to be used as a digital memory medium for personal computers. The 4.75in laser-encoded optical memory storage medium can hold about 650MB of data, sound, and limited stills and motion video. A CD-ROM player will typically play CD-DA discs, but a CD-DA player will not play CD-ROMs. The standard used for most CD-ROM formats is known as Yellow Book, based on the standard published by Philips." "CD-ROM Extended Architecture: a hybrid format, promoted by Sony and Microsoft, that combines CD-ROM and CD-i capabilities. The extension adds ADPCM audio to permit the interleaving of sound and video data to


Blu-ray Disc Blue Book Blue Laser

Burn Caddy CAV

CD-Compatible CD-DA



CD-i Bridge CD-R CD-ROM


CD-RW CIRC CLV Cue Sheet Curie Point DDCD






EDC EFM Finalisation


Gold Disc

Green Book HD-DVD High Sierra Format

animation and with sound synchronisation. It is an essential component of Microsoft's plan for multimedia computers and also the physical format for Kodak's Photo CD format." "Compact Disc-Rewritable: once known as CD-Erasable, or CD-E." "Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Code: the first level of error correction used in every compact disc, and the only one used for audio CDs. It consists of two Reed-Solomon codes interleaved crosswise." "Constant Linear Velocity: the traditional CD-ROM drive method in which motor speed is regulated to keep the track passing under the read head at a steady speed. See also CAV." "A list of audio files which are to be recorded to a CD in Red Book format. Also referred to as a compilation list." "The temperature at which the molecules of a material can be altered when subjected to a magnetic field. In optical material, it is approximately 200 degrees centigrade." "Double Density CD: CD format specified by Philips and Sony, and described in their informal Purple Book specification, which specifies CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW media with a storage capacity of 1.3GB. The media require special CD drives to handle it and was seen by many as a stop-gap solution pending the resolution of the standardisation and compatibility issues which surrounded DVD media at the time." "In Disc-at-Once mode, the whole disc is written without turning off the recording laser. All of the information to be recorded needs to be staged on the computer's hard disk prior to recording. The mode is especially useful for creating a master disc for subsequent mass production via a replicator since eliminates the linking and run-in and run-out blocks associated with multisession and packet recording modes, which often are interpreted as uncorrectable errors during the mastering process. It requires the pre-mastering software to send a "cue sheet" to the CD-R/DVD-R drive that describes the disc layout." "DIgital Video eXpress: a proprietary extension to the DVD-Video standard which effectively turns it into a payper-view system. Introduced in the second half of 1998, its backers - led by the Circuit City electronics chain abandoned the technology in mid-1999." "Direct OverWrite: with CD-RW, the traditional concept of erasure does not exist. New data is simply written over existing data in a single-pass. CD-RW is therefore known as a Direct Overwrite (DOW) system." "Digital Versatile Disk: the replacement for the ubiquitous compact disc. Like the CD it is available in a number of different formats. Unlike the CD, it is available with a number of capacities ranging from 4.7GB to 17GB." "A membership organization devoted to defining DVD standards for read-only, rewritable, video and audio use. Founded in late 1995 as the DVD Consortium, it was renamed in 1997." "A logo program that promotes compatibility with DVD-RAM and DVD-RW. Putting the emphasis for compatibility on the reader, not the writer, it defines a testing methodology to ensure drives are able to read both DVD-RAM and DVD-RW media." "A write-once optical media format designed for use by devices using DVD+RW technology." "A competing (with DVD-RAM and DVD-RW) rewritable DVD standard being promoted by Hewlett-Packard, Philips and Sony. Unlike the DVD-RAM standard, DVD+RW allows the use of bare discs. All three standards are incompatible. At one time the DVD-Forum - who do not support the standard - were insisting on the name being changed to "+RW" - but this appears to have had little effect." "A voluntary association of industry-leading personal computing manufacturers, optical storage and consumer electronics manufacturers." "DVD Recordable: the write-once DVD format. DVD-R discs are the DVD counterpart to CD-R discs." "A rewritable compact disc format that provides much greater data storage than today's CD-RW systems. The caddy-mounted discs will initially provide 2.6GB per side on single or double-sided discs." "The read-only format supports discs with capacities of from 4.7GB (enough for an MPEG-2 compressed fulllength movie) to 17GB and access rates of 600 KBps to 1.3 MBps. Backward-compatible with CD-ROMs." "Pioneer's rewritable DVD format, incompatible with the rival DVD-RAM and DVD+RW formats but generally compatible with DVD-ROM drives and consumer DVD players." "A consumer DVD format for displaying full-length digital movies. DVD-Video players attach to a television like a videocassette player. Unlike DVD-ROMs, the Digital-Video format includes a Content Scrambling System (CSS) to prevent users from copying discs. This means that today's DVD-ROM players cannot play DVD-Video discs without a software or hardware upgrade to decode the encrypted discs." "Error Detection Code: 32 bits in each sector which are used to detect errors in the sector data." "Eight to Fourteen Modulation: used on every CD for modulation and error correction." "When a disc is "finalised" the absolute lead-in and lead-out for the entire disc is written, along with information which tells the reader not to look for subsequent sessions. This final table of contents (TOC) conforms to the ISO 9660 file standard." "The process of writing the lead-in and lead-out information to the disc. This process finishes a writing session and creates a table of contents. Fixation is required for a CD-ROM or CD-Audio player to play the disc. Discs which are "fixated for append" can have additional sessions recorded, with their own session lead-in and lead-out, creating a multisession disc." "The recordable disc used in recordable CD systems. The blank disc is made of a bottom layer of polycarbonate, with a preformed track spiral which the recording laser follows when inscribing information onto the disc. This type of disc is therefore also called pre-grooved. A translucent organic dye layer is laid on top of the polycarbonate, then a reflective layer of gold. On top there are thin layers of lacquer and label." "The now defunct Philips/Sony specification for CD-i." "High Definition Digital Versatile Disc: the official, DVD Forum approved, next-generation DVD format, originally jointly specified and proposed by Toshiba and NEC." "The standard logical file format for CD-ROM originally proposed by the High Sierra Group, revised and adopted

Hybrid Image Pac Incremental writing

Information Area ISO 9660 Format

ISO 9660 Image ISRC


Land Laser Lead-In



Link Blocks Logical Block


Mini CD Mixed Mode MO Technology


Mount MSCDEX MultiRead



by the International Standards Organisation as ISO 9660." "Under the Orange Book standard for recordable CD, hybrid means a recordable disc on which one or more sessions are already recorded, but the disc is not closed, leaving space open for future recording." "In Photo CD, a set of five versions of the same image, at varying resolutions." "A mode of writing supported by DVD-R drives which allows files to be added to a DVD-R disc one recording at a time as an alternative to the disc-at-once method. Similar in concept to the packet writing technology employed by CD-R." "The space on a CD-ROM where the user data is written. It begins at the address 00:02:00." "An international standard specifying the logical format for files and directories on a CD-ROM. It provides a crossplatform format for storing filenames and directories which restricts the characters used to ensure all CD-ROM drives of all ages can read a data disc.The ISO 9660 data starts at track time 00:02:16 or sector 166 (logical sector 16) of track one. For a multisession disc the ISO 9660 data will be present in the first data track of each session containing CD-ROM tracks." "A single large file which is an exact representation of the whole set of data and programs as it will appear on a CD, in terms of both content and logical format." "International Standard Recording Code: some recorders allow the ISRC to be recorded for each audio track on a disc. The code is made up of: Country Code (2 ASCII characters), Owner Code (3 ASCII characters), Year of Recording (2 digits), Serial Number (5 digits)." "An extension of the ISO 9660 standard, developed by Microsoft to allow CDs to be recorded using long filenames, and using the Unicode international character set. Joliet allows use of filenames up to 64 characters in length, including spaces." "A non-indented area on an optical medium such as a CD-ROM or DVD disc. Contrast with Pit." "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation: a means of generating coherent light which can be focused to a very small spot size and ideal for reading compact discs, or writing CD-R and CD-RW discs." "An area at the beginning of each session on a recordable compact disc which is left blank for the session's Table of Contents (track numbers and start points). The lead-in is written when a session is closed, and takes up 4500 sectors on disc (1 minute, or roughly 9 megabytes). The lead-in also indicates whether the disc is MultiSession, and if the disc is not closed, which is the next writable address on the disc." "The area at the end of a session which indicates that the end of the data has been reached; there is no actual data written in the lead-out. The first lead-out on a disc is 6750 sectors (1.5 minutes, about 13.5 megabytes) long; any subsequent lead-outs are 2250 sectors (.5 minute, about 4.5 megabytes)." "Light Intensity Modulated Direct Overwrite: a storage technology that works on the same basic principle as MO drives but which uses magnets built into disk itself instead of a magnetic read/write head. This enables data to be written in a single pass of the read/write head rather than two." "Blocks created between Track-at-Once and Track Multi-session recording sessions. These are interpreted as "uncorrectable errors" on most mastering systems at replication plants." "The smallest addressable space on a disc. Each logical block is identified by a unique Logical Block Number (LBN), assigned in order starting from 0 at the beginning of the disc. Under the ISO 9660 standard, all data on a CD is addressed in terms of Logical Block Numbers." "Technically, refers to the process of creating a glass master from which compact discs will be reproduced in quantity. In desktop recordable CD systems, mastering is done together with premastering by the desktop CD recorder, and the term mastering is used generally to mean recording." "The 8cm version of the standard 12cm CD format, offering a storage capacity of 185MB. Used as a cheap and convenient form of removable storage in consumer devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players." "A compact disc which combines computer data and audio. The data is generally all contained in Track 1, and the audio in one or more following tracks." "Magneto-Optical Technology: a rewritable optical storage technology that uses a combination of magnetic and optical methods. Data is written on an MO disk by both a laser and a magnet. The laser heats the bit to the Curie point, which is the temperature at which molecules can be realigned when subjected to a magnetic field. A magnet then changes the bit's polarity. Writing takes two passes. Unlike with phase-change drives MO disks do not have to be "reformatted" when full. See also LIMDOW." "There are two recording modes for compact discs. In Mode 1, used with CD-ROM applications, 288 bytes of each sector are used for storing error correction code, and the remaining 2048 bytes per sector are available for user data. Mode 2, used in CD-I and CD-ROM XA, has two forms: Form 1 is similar to Mode 1, as it is also used to record data that requires error correction; Form 2 is used for recording information such as sound or images which do not require such extreme precision. Since less error correction is needed, more bytes in the sector can be freed for information storage, resulting in a data area of 2336 bytes per sector." "To install a compact disc so that the computer recognises its presence and can read data from it." "Microsoft DOS extensions for CD-ROM. Allows the DOS operating system to recognise a CD-ROM as a DOS volume." "An OSTA standard for CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives. Drives which follow the MultiRead standard can read commercial CDs (audio and data), CD-R discs, and CD-RW discs. They can also read discs written in fixed- or variable-length packets. This applies also to DVD." "The Orange Book specification which allows additional data to be appended to a previously recorded disc. A session is defined as an area including lead-in, program data and lead-out. Contrast the recording structure of a pressed CD-ROM or a CD-R written in Disc at Once mode that contains just. Also referred to as linked session." "The ability to record more than a single track on a disc. Track numbers are from 1 to 99. They continue to

Orange Book

OSTA P-channel Packet Writing

PCA PD Drive

Phase-change Technology

Photo CD



Post-Gap Pre-Gap


Program area Q-channel Random Erase

Red Book Replication Rock Ridge SCMS Second Sequential Erase Session Silver Disc Single Session

Subcode channel TOC

increment across session boundaries. e.g. if session 1 used tracks 1 to 4, session 2 would start at track 5. Track numbers may start at any value, but must be incremented sequentially on the disc." "The Philips/Sony specification for Compact Disc Magneto-Optical (CD-MO) and Write-Once (CD-WO) systems. Part II is the primary specification for CD-R media and defines both the physical structure and dimensions of a CDR disc as well as the use of certain portions of the recording surface: the Program area, the Power Calibration area (PCA), the Program Memory area (PMA), the Lead-in and Lead-out areas. It also Includes the specification for the Hybrid Disc technology on which Photo CD is based." "Optical Storage Technology Association: an international trade association dedicated to promoting use of writable optical technology for storing computer data and images." "One of the CD subcode channels. The P-channel is used to indicate the gap between tracks on a CD." "Track at Once writing is a form of incremental write which mandates a minimum track length and a maximum number of tracks per disc. A track written "at once" has 150 blocks of overhead for run-in, run-out, pre-gap and linking. Packet write, on the other hand, is a method whereby several write events are allowed within a track, thus reducing the overhead. These "packets" are bounded by 7 blocks, 4 for run-in, 2 for run-out and 1 link block. Packets can be of fixed or variable length." "Power Calibration Area: a space reserved at the beginning of the disc for calibrating the laser to record to that disc." "Refers to the Phase-change Dual optical technology as implemented in Panasonic's patented PD system. Similar to phase-change WORM technology (as used in CD-R) this uses an active layer with reversible properties allowing data to be overwritten in a single pass of the read/write head. This compares with the two-pass operation of conventional MO devices." "An optical storage technology in which the disk drive writes data with a laser that changes dots on the disk between amorphous and crystalline states. An optical head reads data by detecting the difference in reflected light from amorphous and crystalline dots. When full a phase-change disk can be erased (or "reformatted") using a medium-intensity pulse to restore the original crystalline structure. CD-RW uses phase-change technology." "A compact disc format developed by Kodak and Philips, based on the CD-i Bridge specification, that allows photographic images to be recorded and viewed on a CD-ROM. Up to 100 high resolution images can be stored on a Photo CD." "An indentation in an optical medium such as a CD-ROM or DVD. The laser beam is either absorbed in the pit or reflects off the non-indented areas, which are called lands. Using various algorithms, the reflections are converted into 0 and 1 bits." "Program Memory Area: on a recordable disc, an area which temporarily contains track numbers and their starting and stopping points (that is, the session TOC) when tracks are written in a session which is not yet closed. When the session is closed, this same TOC information is written in the session lead-in." "A space dividing tracks, recorded within the track data area at its end. The post-gap is 150 sectors (2 seconds) long and is required only where successive tracks are of different types." "A space dividing tracks, recorded before the track data area. The length of the pre-gap varies with the CD recorder and the types of tracks. Where successive tracks are both of data, one track is separated from another by a track pregap of 150 sectors (2 seconds). Where successive tracks are of different types, the pre-gap is usually of 225 sectors (or three seconds). If two successive tracks are audio, there may be no pre-gap at all." "The technical process of preparing data to be mastered onto a compact disc. It includes breaking the data into logical blocks and recording those blocks with the appropriate header (address) and error correction information. The result of premastering may be a tape ready to go for mastering, or, in the case of recordable CD systems, premastering and mastering are done in one operation, resulting in a ready-to-read compact disc." "The largest area on a CD containing the audio or CD-ROM information." "One of the CD subcode channels. The Q-channel is used to give timecode addresses and, in the lead-in, the Table of Contents." "The ability to erase a single file at a time from a CD-RW disc, freeing up disc space for immediate re-use, just as you would do on a hard or floppy disk. Part of the UDF 1.5 specification and implemented via UDF driver software such as Adaptec's DirectCD V2.0." "The Philips/Sony specification for audio (CD-DA) compact discs." "Or duplication. Making multiple copies of a compact disc." "The Rock Ridge extensions to ISO-9660 use some undefined fields in the standard to provide support for Unixlike features such long mixed-case filenames, symbolic links, and deep directories." "Serial Copy Management System: a measure introduced to tackle piracy problems which allows the consumer to make a single digital copy, for personal use, from a copyrighted source." "The reference used where a quantity of data, which if played in audio mode at 1x, would require 1 second to play. 75 sectors." "Erasing, or reformatting, an entire CD-RW disc so that it can be re-used. Contrast with Random Erase." "As defined under the Orange Book, a recorded segment of compact disc which may contain one or more tracks of any type (data or audio)." "A disc which is mastered by a stamping process. It is Read-Only and can not be modified." "The smallest collection of information that can be read by a CD-ROM compatible device. It contains the ISO 9960 file structure and files. A single session can contain a single track or multiple tracks. Contrast MultiSession and MultiTrack." "A separate low speed data channel on every CD. The subcode comprises 8 channels, designated "R" through "W"." "Table Of Contents: shows the number of tracks, their starting locations, and the total length of the data area of the

Track At Once

Track MultiSession



Virtual Image VOB Volume Descriptors White Book Wobble Groove WORM Write Direct Write First To HD Yellow Book

disc." "A writing mode that allows a session to be written in a number of discrete write events, called tracks. The mode mandates a minimum track length of 300 blocks (4 seconds), which equates to around 700KB, and a maximum of 99 tracks per disc. The disc may be removed from the writer and read in another writer before the session is fixated." "This write mode is very similar to Track At Once. In the Multisession environment, each "session" must contain at least one track. Again, the size of the track must be at least 300 blocks. Track Multisession mode allows tracks to be incrementally added to a disc (this should not to be confused with Incremental Writing). Each session will take up about 13.5MB of disc space in overhead; the so-called Lead-in and Lead-out areas." "Universal Disk Format: a file system for optical media developed by the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA). It was designed for read-write interoperability between all the major operating systems as well as compatibility between rewritable and write-once media. The standard allows for efficient recording of small packages of data, using incremental packet writing." "The condition occurring when the rate at which data is transmitted to a receiving device is insufficiently fast to avoid the device going into a "wait" state. Buffer underrun is best known in the context of CD recording, where if a recorder's buffer becomes completely emptied, the recordable CD is irretrievably damaged. See also Overrun." "A database of files to be written to CD, created by dragging and dropping files into the main window. Can be used to write directly to CD, or to master a real ISO 9660 image to hard disk." "Video Object File: the file format and extension specified for DVD-Video used files - such as DVD movies - that contains MPEG video, audio and navigation data. " "In ISO 9660, a set of information on the disc containing vital information about the CD and how the computer should read it." "The White Book defines the VideoCD specification. First published in 1993." "Refers to the undulating "wobble" signal moulded into the pre-grooved spiral track on recordable DVD media which is used to guide the recording laser beam during the writing process." "Write Once Read Many: an optical disk technology that allows the drive to store and read back data but prevents the drive from erasing information once it has been written." "The data referenced in a virtual image are written directly to the CD without first writing a real ISO 9660 image. This is temporarily written to the hard disk. Also referred to a on-the-fly." "Everything is written to the hard disk first. Contrast it to Write Direct. Also called ISO image." "The book which sets out the standard developed by Philips and Sony for the physical format of compact discs to be used for information storage - CD-ROM."

Category: Sound (47 terms) Terms related to sound technology are explained here Term 16-Bit Audio 3D Sound Definition "A unit of measure that indicates the resolution of a digitised sound sample. The higher the resolution, the better the audio fidelity. 16-bit audio is the standard used for standard audio Compact Discs (CD-DA)." "A blanket term for technologies that alter the way sound is distributed in real-world space. Spatialisation broadens the soundstage (the area in space where the sound seems to be coming from), making it more dramatic and spacious, and gives the illusion of pushing it beyond the physical location of the speakers. Positional audio uses encoded audio streams to position sounds realistically in the space around the listener when the sounds are played back on compatible equipment." "A unit of measure that indicates the resolution of a digitised sound sample. The higher the resolution, the better the audio fidelity. Audio that is digitised using 8 bits of resolution is slightly better in fidelity than normal AM radio." "A positional audio technology and audio API developed by Aureal Semiconductor Inc. A3D enables a real-life audio experience by surrounding the listener with sounds in all three dimensions using only a single pair of ordinary speakers or headphones." "An Intel-recommended standard for PC audio circuitry. The specification reduces noise by partitioning analogue and digital components into separate modules." "Audio Interchange File Format: used for high end audio applications." "Unix sound file format popular on the Internet." "A doubling effect used to enhance sound." "A perceptual digital audio coding technique capable of delivering multichannel digital surround sound. It incorporates 6 (5.1) discrete channels; each channel can carry a different signal simultaneously (left front, right front, centre, left rear, right rear, sub-woofer)." "A digital audio encoding system from Dolby used in movie and home theaters. First used in 1995, Dolby Digital employs Dolby's AC-3 (Audio Coding-3) coding and compression technology and provides six channels of audio, known as 5.1 for front left, front right, front center, rear left, rear right and subwoofer." "The DVD audio-only storage format similar to CD-Audio. DVD-Audio is facing stiff competition from a number

8-Bit Audio A3D

AC 97 AIIF AU Chorus Dolby AC-3

Dolby Digital



FM Synthesis Gain General MIDI HRTF MIDI

MIDI Mapper MiniDisc


MPEG Audio

MPEG-2 Audio

Multi-Timbral Obstructions


Physical Modelling Synthesis Polyphony Psychoacoustics RealAudio Reflections Reverb RIAA


Roland GS S/PDIF Sampling

Sampling Rate

of other high fidelity audio standards." "Environmental Audio Extensions: a hardware and software audio standard developed by Creative Labs. And used originally in the company's SoundBlaster cards. EAX has subsequently become a widely supported standard offering 3D positional audio and allowing the manipulation of sounds so that they can appear to be heard in different listening environments." "Frequency Modulation Synthesis: an outdated technique for synthesising music reproduction but still widely supported to provide compatibility with older games software." "The increase in signalling power as an audio signal is boosted by an electronic device. It is measured in decibels." "A table of 128 standard sounds or instruments for MIDI cards and synthesisers." "Head-Related Transfer Functions: Refers to the mathematics that models the way a human ear localises the direction of a sound." "Musical Instrument Digital Interface: a specification that standardises the interface between computers and digital devices that simulate musical instruments. Rather than transmit bulky digitised sound samples, a computer generates music on a MIDI synthesiser by sending it commands just a few bytes in length. These contain all the information a sound board needs to reproduce the desired sound - the type of instrument, the pitch, duration, volume, attack, decay, etc. are all specified by the protocol. Each channel of a MIDI synthesiser corresponds to a different instrument, or "voice". Programming several channels simultaneously produces symphonic sound." "Windows multimedia translator for MIDI hardware and software." "MD: a compact digital audio disc from Sony that comes in read-only and rewritable versions. Introduced in late 1993, the MiniDisc has been popular in Japan. The read-only 2.5in disc stores 140MB compared to 650MB on a CD, but holds the same 74 minutes worth of music due to Sony's Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding (ATRAC) compression scheme, which eliminates inaudible portions of the signal." "Standardised as ISO-MPEG Audio Layer-3 (IS 11172-3 and IS 138-3), MP3 employs a lossy compression technique, with bits of information being discarded to allow data to be compressed into files which are relatively small in comparison with WAV files but which retain subjective CD quality." "MPEG defined three levels or layers of audio compression. Which layer a type of equipment uses depends on the desired level of compression. These three layers compress audio data streams by roughly four, six and eight times respectively, around 64, 128 and 192Kbit/s per channel. In practical terms, these compression rates make possible radio broadcasting of CD-quality music. All three layers are defined for both monaural and stereo sound. Definitions for surround sound and other high fidelity applications are under consideration." "Supplies up to five full bandwidth channels (left, right, centre, and two surround channels), plus an additional low frequency enhancement channel, and/or up to seven commentary/multilingual channels. The MPEG-2 Audio Standard will also extend the stereo and mono coding of the MPEG-1 Audio Standard to half sampling-rates (16 KHz, 22.05 KHz, and 24 KHz), for improved quality for bitrates at or below 64 Kbits/s, per channel." "The number of simultaneous instruments a synthesiser can play." "Even when sounds originate in the same room, they are often obstructed by objects like furniture before they reach a person's ears. However, because the sound remains in the same room as the listener, the reverberation effect on these sounds will not be muffled - reverberation will spread round a whole room regardless of individual obstructions." "Sounds that originate from a sound source behind a wall or door or other solitary object. In so doing, they are subtly altered - usually with a volume drop and muffling, depending on the material and thickness of the obstruction." "A revolutionary method for generating sound. This technique emulates the impulse patterns of real-world instruments using a software model." "The number of voices a synthesiser can play at any one time." "The study of how the human brain perceives sound. Findings relating to which sounds are and are not heard by the human ear have been used in the formulation of various audio compression techniques, including MP3." "Extreme audio compression scheme used on the Internet to provide streamed audio over ordinary modems" "Sounds that originate from a sound source and bounce off walls, floors, ceilings and other obstructions before reaching the listener." "The sum of all sound reflections in a given environment." "Recording Industry Association of America: The association formed by the recording companies in the United States to promote the recording industry and to defend its legal rights. The RIAA equalisation curve is a compensation method applied to a signal from a record deck pick-up. Phono pre-amps have RIAA circuitry builtin." "The name given to the specialised software that extracts raw audio data from a music CD. The ability to extract audio digitally relies on a feature of newer CD-ROM drives that allows the digital data from audio CDs to be passed through the computer's bus (IDE, SCSI) just like CD-ROM data." "Roland General Synthesiser and General MIDI are two overlapping specifications for defining the standard sets of MIDI sounds that are associated with specific commands." "Sony/Philips Digital Interchange Format: an interface standard that lets users connect sound equipment (such as sound boards and speakers) via a pure digital signal." "The first step in the process of converting an analogue signal into a digital representation. This is accomplished by measuring the value of the analogue signal at regular intervals called samples. These values are then encoded to provide a digital representation of the analogue signal." "In digitising operations, the frequency with which samples are taken and converted into digital form. The sampling frequency should be at least twice that of the analogue frequency being digitised. Thus, the sampling rate for hi-fi


Sequencer Sound Blaster

Sound Card

TAPI Toslink

Voice recognition WAV

WaveTable Synthesis


playback is 44.1kHz, slightly more than double the 20kHz frequency humans can hear." "Secure Digital Music Initiative: A secure digital format for distributing music over the Internet. Announced in February 1999, it is backed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Sony, Warner, BMG, EMI and Universal - the top five music production companies. At the time of its announcement, the new format was expected in products by Christmas 1999." "Software for recording and editing MIDI files." "A family of sound cards from Creative Labs. The Sound Blaster protocol has become the de facto audio standard for PCs. Monaural versions of Sound Blaster cards were introduced in 1989, and a stereo version three years later. The Sound Blaster AWE32 and AWE64 are 16-bit sound cards that provide WaveTable MIDI with 32 and 64 voices respectively." "Also called sound board and audio adapter, this is an expansion board that records and plays back sound, providing outputs directly to speakers or an external amplifier. The de facto standard for sound card compatibility in PCs is Creative Labs' Sound Blaster." "Telephony Application Programming Interface: permits Windows applications to program telephone-line-based devices such as modems and fax machines in a device-independent manner." "A fibre optic digital audio connection used to connect a digital source component (e.g., DVD player, CD player, etc.) to a receiver or pre-amplifier. By passing the "raw" digital audio signal using laser (light) pulses, interference and degradation are minimised. The means of interconnect used for connecting MiniDisc players to stereos and certain sound cards." "The conversion of spoken words into computer text. Speech is first digitised and then matched against a dictionary of coded waveforms. The matches are then converted into text as if the words were typed on the keyboard." "Waveform Audio: the native digital audio format used in Windows. WAV files use the .wav file extension and allow different sound qualities to be recorded. Either 8-bit or 16-bit samples can be taken at rates of 11025Hz, 22050Hz and 44100Hz. The highest quality (16-bit samples at 44100Hz) uses 88KB of storage per second." "A common method for generating sound electronically on a PC. Output is produced using a table of sound samples -actual recorded sounds - that are digitised and played back as needed. By continuously rereading samples and looping them together at different pitches, highly complex tones can be generated from a minimum of stored data without overtaxing the processor." "Yamaha's extension of General MIDI that provides many instrument variations and more digital effects. Many instrument parameters can be controlled in real-time."

Category: Printers (33 terms) From old to modern, printer terms demystified Term Banding Bleeding Bubble Jet Definition "Bands of discrete colour or tone that appear when an inkjet can't reproduce a smooth graduation from one colour to another. Instead there are noticeable jumps between one value and the next." "A print distortion where adjacent colours run and merge into one another, sometimes caused by excess ink or paper which is too absorbent." "Canon's trade name for its thermal drop on demand ink jet printer technology. The ink is heated, which produces a bubble that expands and ejects the ink out of the nozzle. As the bubble cools, the vacuum created draws fresh ink back into the nozzle." "This 36-pin connection was designed by Centronics Corp. and has become the preferred way to attach most printers to a PC parallel data port." "Cheaper, single cartridge inkjets use the Cyan Magenta Yellow model. Black, referred to as composite black, is made up from the three colours. Dye-sublimation uses these three colours on the print ribbon." "The creation of black from cyan, magenta and yellow inks. Mixing inks is not a perfect operation, and composite black is often muddy. This is why the CMYK model is used in professional printing. See also True Black." "A technique used by colour printing technologies which is a compromise between increased halftone cell size (giving more shades per halftone cell) and increased resolution (giving less invisible halftone cells)." "A method for printing continuous-tone images on laser printers in which the greyscale information is represented by randomly located printer dots. Diffuse dithers do not photocopy well because of the small, random, dot location in the image." "The process of intentionally mixing colours of adjacent pixels. Dithering is usually needed for 8-bit colour, and sometimes for 16-bit. It allows a limited colour set to approximate a broader range, by mixing groups of varyingcolour pixels in a semi-random pattern. Without dithering, colour gradients like sky or sunset tend to show "banding" artefacts." "A type of printer, also known as serial dot matrix, that uses one or two columns of dot hammers to form images out of dots. The more dot hammers used, the higher the resolution of the printed image." "A specialist print technology used for demanding graphic arts and photographic applications that require continuous tone output." "A term used when describing printed text quality. Feathering occurs when deposited ink follows the contours of

Centronics Interface CMY Composite Black Contone Diffuse Dither


Dot Matrix Dye-Sublimation Feathering



Inkjet Laser Printer

LCD Printer

LED Printer

LPT1 Parallel Port



Piezo-Electric Pigment Inks

PostScript Printer Dot Process Colours Raster Image Thermal Transfer Thermo Autochrome Toner True Black WPS

the paper. Depending on the viscosity of the ink, the rougher the grain of the paper the more pronounced the feathering will be." "Graphical Device Interface: a component of Windows that permits applications to draw on screens, printers, and other output devices. A GDI-compliant printer will print exactly what is displayed on a Windows screen without having to transpose it into a printer language. Since all the processing happens on the PC, the printer doesn't require since image processing circuitry, reducing its price." "A method of expressing colour gradation in continuous-tone images. The image is resolved into dots, with dark colour being expressed by a large number of dots and diluted colour is by a smaller number of dots. The dot patterns used are called dithers. Halftone dots are not the same as printer dots." "A printer technology where ink is splashed onto the printer paper to form an image or character." "A type of printer that utilises a laser beam to produce an image on a drum. The light of the laser alters the electrical charge on the drum wherever it hits. The drum is then rolled through a reservoir of toner, which is picked up by the charged portions of the drum. Finally, the toner is transferred to the paper through a combination of heat and pressure. This is also the way copy machines work." "Similar to a laser printer. Instead of using a laser to create an image on the drum, however, it shines a light through a liquid crystal panel. Individual pixels in the panel either let the light pass or block the light, thereby creating a dot image on the drum." "An electrophotographic printer that uses a matrix of LEDs as its light source. The LED mechanism is much simpler than its laser printer counterpart. A stationary array of LEDs is used instead of numerous moving parts, and the LEDs are selectively beamed onto the drum." "The first parallel or printer port on a PC." "An I/O channel for a parallel device, like a printer, which sends and receives data eight bits at a time over 8 separate wires. Maximum throughput is around 500 Kbit/s. Increasingly, other devices such as removable storage drives, scanners etc. share the printer parallel port using a "pass through" mechanism." "Printer Control Language: a protocol designed by Hewlett-Packard to allow PCs to communicate with its laser printers. PCL has become a de facto standard for laser and ink jet printers and is supported by virtually all printer manufacturers. "HP compatible" or "LaserJet compatible" means that a printer supports the PCL command set." "Page Description Language: a language for describing the layout and contents of a printed page used with laser printers. The best-known PDLs are Adobe PostScript and Hewlett-Packard PCL (Printer Control Language). Both PostScript and modern versions of PCL are object-oriented, describing a page in terms of geometrical objects such as lines, arcs, and circles." "The property of certain crystals that causes them to oscillate when subjected to electrical pressure (voltage)." "While conventional inks are essentially oil-based dyes, pigment inks consist of tiny chunks of solid pigment suspended in a liquid solution. According to their proponents, pigment inks offer richer, deeper colours and have less tendency to run, bleed or feather." "A page description language developed by Adobe. Generally used by laser printers, PostScript is becoming increasingly common in high-end inkjets too." "The individual pixel in a halftone image. The size of a printer dot is variable, ranging from zero (all white) to the size of the halftone screen (all black)." "The four primary ink colours (CMYK) used in colour printing." "An image defined as a set of dots/pixels in a column-and-row format. Rasterisation is the process of determining values for the dots/pixels in a rendered image. See also Bitmap." "A printer technology that uses heat to transfer coloured dye onto paper." "A print technology which has emerged in digital camera companion printers and which is claimed to produce photographic-quality output on a par with the more well-known dye-sublimation technique." "A special type of ink used by copy machines and laser printers. Toner consists of a dry, powdery substance that is electrically charged so that it adheres to a drum, plate, or piece of paper charged with the opposite polarity." "Black produced by a separate black ink rather than the "composite black" produced from a mixture of cyan, magenta and yellow. See also Composite Black." "Windows Print System: the scheme supported by Windows 95 in which the operating system spools data from an application in Enhanced Metafile Format (EMF), instead of raw printer data. The spooler interprets the data in the background and then passes appropriate commands to the printer. Like with GDI, all the processing is done on the PC."

Category: Communications (195 terms) A comprehensive glossary of communications terminology Term 3G Definition "Abbreviation for Third Generation: the generic term used for the next generation of mobile communications systems, providing enhanced capacity, quality and data rates and promising exciting new services in all of the areas of voice, text and data." "3rd Generation Partnership Project; a collaboration agreement established in December 1998 that brings together a number of telecommunications standards bodies, with the objective of creating a globally applicable third



AM Analogue

Answer Mode

Asynchronous Communication AT Command Set ATM

Auto Answer

Auto-Reliable Mode

Automatic Dialling AWG

B Channel BABT BACP Baseband

Baud Rate BISYNC




Bridge Broadband

Cable Modem

generation (3G) mobile phone system based on evolved Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) specifications, now generally known as the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) system." "Acknowledgement: notification sent from one network device to another to acknowledge that some event - for example, receipt of a message - occurred." "Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line: the most promising of the family of xDSL technologies, in which the data rate from the ISP is greater than the data rate to the ISP. Projections are for capacities of more than 6 Mbit/s to the home and anywhere between 64- and 640 Kbit/s from the home to the ISP." "Amplitude Modulation: a data transmission technique that blends the data signal into a carrier by varying (modulating) the amplitude of the carrier." "In an analogue signal numerical values are represented by physical variables such as voltage, current, etc. Analogue video represents an infinite number of smooth gradations between given video levels. Analogue devices are characterised by dials and sliding mechanisms. See also Digital." "A modem is put into Answer Mode when a call from another computer is expected. The modem uses "originate mode" when calling another computer. Although a modem can operate in either mode, some modems operate only in originate mode. To communicate with these modems, a modem can switch to answer mode after placing (originating) a call." "Communication between computers at irregular intervals. To handle this kind of communication, the modem adds start and stop bits to each character it sends. The start bit lets the receiving computer know when a new character has started. The stop bit indicates the end of the character." "The set of industry-standard commands, developed by Hayes, used to control the modem. Most modems are "Hayes compatible"." "Asynchronous Transfer Mode: a network technology for both LANs and WANs based on transferring data in cells or packets of a fixed size that supports real-time voice and video as well as data. The topology uses a connectionoriented technique similar to the analogue telephone system, maintaining a connection for the duration of a transmission." "The modem automatically answers the phone after a certain number of rings. This is in contrast to manual answering, where a person sends an AT command to the modem to cause the modem to answer a ringing telephone." "The modem automatically negotiates with the remote modem for a connection, determines whether or not it can use error control and data compression during a transmission, and determines which error control and data compression protocol it can use." "The modem automatically dials the telephone. This is in contrast to manual dialling, where a person dials the number." "American Wire Gauge: a standard measuring gauge for certain conductors, including copper. The higher the AWG number the thinner the wire. The origins of the gauge lie in the number of times the wire was run through a wire machine to reduce its diameter. Thus a 24-guage wire was thinner than an 18-guage wire because it had been run through a wire machine 6 more times." "This is an ISDN communication channel that bears or carries voice, circuit or packet conversations. The B-channel is the fundamental component of ISDN interfaces. It carries 64,000 bits per seconds in either direction." "British Approval Board for Telecommunications: any modem used in the UK must have this approval. A green circle indicates BABT approval, a red triangle means it has not been approved." "Bandwidth Allocation Control Protocol: a protocol that works in conjunction with Multilink PPP to manage bandwidth dynamically. BACP lets two devices negotiate adding or subtracting bandwidth as needed." "Characteristic of a network technology where only one carrier frequency is used and all the available bandwidth is used for each transmission. Ethernet is an example of a baseband network. It is sometimes referred to as Narrowband. Contrast with Broadband." "The number of symbols transmitted per second. This is not always the same as the bps rate (see also BPS), because a given symbol, or baud, may have more than one bit." "BInary SYNChronous: a major category of synchronous communications protocols, developed by IBM and used in mainframe networks. Bisync communications require that both sending and receiving devices are synchronised before transmission of data is started. Contrast with asynchronous transmission." "Bits Per Second: the speed at which data travels over a communications circuit. For example, a modem that operates at 2400 bits per second can transfer 2400 binary digits each second. A character normally consists of seven or eight of these binary digits, plus the start and stop bits that separate the character from other transmitted characters." "Refers to a short-range radio technology aimed at simplifying communications among Net devices and between devices and the Internet. It also aims to simplify data synchronisation between Net devices and other computers. Bluetooth's founding members include Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba." "Basic-Rate Interface: the basic ISDN setup, consisting of two 64 Kbit/s B-channels (bearer channels), which carry data and voice in both directions, and one 16 Kbit/s D-channel, which carries call-control information. See also PRI." "A device that operates at the data link layer (Layer 2) of the OSI reference model and whose function is to connect and pass packets of information between two network segments." "Refers to any communications channel with a bandwidth greater than a voice-grade (4 kHz) and generally implies a transmission system that splits the available bandwidth into separate channels to use concurrently. Also referred to as Wideband. Contrast with Baseband." "A modem that uses part of the capacity of the local cable system to transmit data rather than TV channels to the


Carrier CCITT



Clear To Send Client-Server

CO Coaxial Cable


Command Mode

Comms Software Configuration Profile


D-Channel Data Carrier Detect Data Compression

Data Set Ready Data Terminal Ready DCE Dial Modifiers Digital



home. It works much like a Local Area Network. Unlike the typical cable system, where TV signals can only be broadcast to the home, information is allowed to be transmitted in both directions." "Carrierless Amplitude Phase: a multilevel multiphase encoding method and one of the two main modulation methods that can be used with ADSL technology. CAP uses frequency modulation techniques for sending signals over standard copper twisted-copper wire, giving data bit combinations a form of both amplitude and phase. Unlike DMT, CAP uses the whole frequency range from 4KHz up to 1.1MHz as a single channel. It is used in the V.32/V.32bis modem communication standard." "The base signal used to transmit data across a telephone line. The modem modulates this signal (alters its frequency or phase) to encode the data to be transmitted." "Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraph: an international standards organisation dedicated to creating communications protocols that will enable global compatibility for the transmission of voice, data, and video across all computing and telecommunications equipment. Changed its name to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 1993." "Code Division Multiple Access: a technology for digital transmission of radio signals that uses digital encoding and spread-spectrum RF techniques to let multiple users share the same RF channel. In CDMA, a frequency is divided using codes, rather than in time or through frequency separation." "Cellular Digital Packet Data: a wireless communications protocol - widely used by law enforcement agencies which enables users to transmit packets of data over the cellular network using a portable computing device and a CDPD modem." "CTS: an RS-232C signal that tells the computer it can start sending information. See also Request To Send (RTS)." "A network architecture in which each computer or process on the network is either a "client" or a "server". Servers are powerful computers or processes dedicated to managing disk drives (file servers), printers (print servers), or network traffic (network servers ). Clients are typically PCs or workstations on which users run applications. Contrast Peer-to-peer." "Central Office: a facility that serves local telephone subscribers. In the CO, subscribers' lines are joined to switching equipment that allows them to connect to each other for both local and long distance calls." "Cable consisting of a hollow outer cylindrical conductor that surrounds a single inner wire conductor. Two types of coaxial cable are currently used in LANs: 50-ohm cable, which is used for digital signalling, and 75-ohm cable, which is used for analogue signalling and high-speed digital signalling." "The situation that occurs when two or more devices attempt to send a signal along the same channel at the same time. The result of a collision is generally a garbled message. All computer networks require some sort of mechanism to either prevent collisions altogether or to recover from collisions when they do occur." "One of the two operating modes of the modem, sometimes called local mode or terminal mode. In command mode, the modem interprets any information it receives from the local computer (or terminal) as modem commands. It tries to perform the commands sent to it, and it returns result codes indicating the results of the commands. See also On-Line Mode." "A program that sets up a modem and provides a user interface to the various modem functions." "The current operating characteristics of a modem, stored in its S-registers. Whenever a modem command to change one of the operational characteristics (such as setting the volume control or turning the speaker on or off) is issued, the modem changes the values in the S-registers to reflect the changes." "Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection: the media access mechanism used by Ethernet and IEEE 802.3 wherein devices ready to transmit data first check the channel for a carrier. If no carrier is sensed for a specific period of time, a device can transmit. If two devices transmit at once, a collision occurs and is detected by all colliding devices. This collision subsequently delays retransmissions from those devices for some random length of time." "This is an ISDN communication channel used for sending information between the ISDN equipment and the ISDN central office switch. The D-channel can also carry "user" packet data at rates up to 9.6 Kilobits." "DCD: an RS-232C signal that indicates the modem is receiving a carrier signal from a remote modem." "The encoding of text or data so that it takes up less space (fewer bits). CCITT V.42bis and MNP Class 5 are two different data compression protocols. Data compression allows a modem to transmit more information in a shorter period of time and thus increases its data throughput. Decompression by a receiver reverses the process." "DSR: an RS-232Ccircuit that is activated to let a DCE know when a DTE is ready to send or receive data." "DTR: an RS-232C signal that tells the modem the local computer (or terminal) is ready for data transmission." "Data circuit terminating equipment: a device used to connect two DTEs over a network. A modem is a DCE." "AT commands that instruct the modem in dialling the telephone. Dial modifiers specify things like whether to use pulse or tone dialling, when and how long to pause between numbers, and whether to dial a stored number." "A method of signal representation by turning a voltage on or off. Each on or off state represents a binary 1 or 0, respectively. Unlike analogue signals, digital signals can be repeatedly regenerated without introducing noise or distortion. See also Analogue." "A satellite television provider, offering Internet access by satellite dish." "Discrete MulitiTone: one of the two main modulation methods that can be used with ADSL technology. DMT divides the frequency spectrum supported by standard copper twisted-pair wire into 256 sub-frequencies from 64Khz to 1.1MHz. Each sub-frequency is an independent channel and has it own stream of signals. See also CAP." "Data Over Circuit-Switched Voice: an ISDN adapter feature that allows data to be sent over a B-channel normally provisioned for voice, avoiding per-minute tariffs often applied to ISDN data calls." "Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum: one of two types of spread spectrum radio (the other being FHSS) that continuously change frequencies or signal patterns. DSSS multiplies the data bits by a very fast pseudo-random bit



Error Control Escape Sequence Ethernet



FIFO Firewall

Flash ROM

Flow Control FSK FTP Full-Duplex Gateway Gigabit Ethernet



GSM Guard Time Half-Duplex

pattern that "spreads" the data into a large coded stream that takes the full bandwidth of the channel." "Data terminal equipment: an end device on a communications circuit, such as a computer terminal or PC." "The way modems exchange data: half duplex or full duplex. With half duplex transmissions, only one modem can send data at a time. Full duplex transmissions allow both modems to send data simultaneously." "A four-wire European telephone company standard that carries data at 2.048 Mbit/s. The European-equivalent of a US T1 line." "Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution: a technology that gives GSM and TDMA similar capacity to handle services for 3G. EDGE was developed to enable the transmission of large amounts of data at rates of 384 Kbit/s." "The Effective Isotropic Radiated Power of a transmitter (uplink) is the power that the transmitter appears to have if the transmitter was an isotropic radiator, i.e., if it radiated equally in all directions. By virtue of the gain of a radio antenna, dish, radio telescope or optical telescope, a beam is formed that preferentially transmits the energy in one direction. The EIRP is given by the product of the gain and the transmitter power." "Enhanced Parallel Port: a parallel port that conforms to the EPP standard developed by the IEEE 1284 standards committee. The EPP specification transforms a parallel port into an expansion bus that can handle up to 64 disk drives, tape drives, CD-ROM drives, and other mass-storage devices." "The encoding of text or data so that a receiving modem can detect and sometimes correct errors in data transmissions. LAPM and MNP classes 1 through 4 are two different error control protocols." "A sequence of three characters (normally "+++") that switches the modem from the on-line mode to the command mode without breaking the telephone connection." "Developed by Xerox, Digital and Intel (IEEE 802.3) , this is the most widely used LAN access method. Normally, all stations on a segment share the total bandwidth, which is either 10 Mbit/s (Ethernet), 100 Mbit/s (Fast Ethernet) or 1000 Mbit/s (Gigabit Ethernet). With switched Ethernet, each sender and receiver pair have the full bandwidth." "European Telecommunications Standards Institute: a non-profit membership organisation founded in 1988, dedicated to standardising telecommunications throughout Europe. It promotes worldwide standards, and its efforts are co-ordinated with the ITU." "Federal Communications Commission: the U.S. Government agency that supervises, licenses, and regulates electronic and electromagnetic transmission standards." "Fibre Distributed Data Interface: an ANSI standard token passing network that uses optical fibre cabling and transmits at 100 Mbit/s up to two kilometres. Typically used as backbones for wide area networks (WANs)." "Frequency Division Multiple Access: a mobile communications technique in which radio spectrum is divided into frequency bands." "Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum: a radio transmission method that continuously changes the Center frequency of a conventional carrier several times per second according to a pseudo-random set of channels, thereby making illegal monitoring extremely difficult, if not impossible. See also DSSS." "First In-First Out: a storage method that retrieves the item stored for the longest time. See also LIFO." "A firewall provides a buffer - implemented either in hardware or software, or combination of both - that resides between an internal network and the Internet. It can be configured to allow only specific kinds of messages from the Internet to pass to the internal network, thereby protecting it from intruders or hackers who might try to use the Internet to break into those systems." "A type of memory used for firmware in modems and other digital devices. Unlike conventional ROM (read-only memory), flash ROM can be erased and reprogrammed, making it possible to update a product's firmware without re-placing memory chips." "The mechanism that regulates the flow of data between two devices. Modems typically have two methods of flow control software flow control (XON/XOFF) and hardware flow control (CTS/RTS)." "Frequency Shift Keying: a data transmission technique that blends a data signal into a carrier by varying (modulating) the frequency of the carrier." "File Transfer Protocol: a set of rules that allows two computers to communicate with each other as a file transfer is carried out." "Usually used in reference to communications channels or devices. Means that data can be simultaneously sent and received. Also used to escribe a soundcard's ability to record and playback digital audio simultaneously." "A hardware bridge device that serves as a junction between two different types of network and that contains the necessary protocol translation software to enable them to exchange information." "The latest version of Ethernet. It offers 1 Gbit/sec raw bandwidth - 100 times faster than the original Ethernet - yet is compatible with existing Ethernets, because it uses the same CSMA/ CD and Media Access Control (MAC) protocols." "General Packet Radio Service: an enhancement for GSM and TDMA core networks that introduces packet data transmission. GPRS uses radio spectrum very efficiently and provides users with "always on" connectivity and greater bandwidth." "Global Positioning System: refers to satellite-based radio positioning systems that provide 24 hour threedimensional position, velocity and time information to suitably equipped users anywhere on or near the surface of the Earth (and sometimes off the earth). GPS technology is used in a wide range of applications, including maritime, environmental, navigational, tracking and monitoring." "Global System for Mobile Communications: first introduced in 1991, GSM is the largest digital mobile standard in use today. Implemented in 400MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands." "A period of time during which the modem must not receive characters. The escape sequence has a guard time to ensure that data sent from a remote modem isn't interpreted as an escape sequence." "Data transmission in 2 directions, but only 1 direction at a time."






Hub IMT-2000







Local Loop Loop Qualification Loopback Test MAC


"High-level Data Link Control: An ISO communications protocol used in X.25 packet switching networks. The HDLC protocol embeds information in a data frame that allows devices to control data flow and correct errors at the data link layer." "Home Phoneline Networking Alliance: an association of industry-leading companies working together to ensure adoption of a single, unified phoneline networking standard and the development of a range of interoperable home networking solutions." "Home Radio Frequency: a wireless personal area network (PAN) technology from the HomeRF Working Group, founded in 1998 by Compaq, IBM, HP and others. HomeRF uses the Shared Wireless Access Protocol (SWAP) and provides an open standard for short-range transmission of digital voice and data between mobile devices (laptops, PDAs, phones) and desktop devices." "High Speed Circuit Switched Data: the final evolution of circuit switched data within the GSM environment. HSCSD enables the transmission of data over a GSM link at speeds of up to 57.6kbit/s. This is achieved by cocatenating consecutive GSM timeslots, each of which is capable of supporting 14.4kbit/s. Up to four GSM timeslots are needed for the transmission of HSCSD." "High Speed Downlink Packet Access; a packet based data service feature of the WCDMA standard which provides UMTS networks with an upgrade path that allows data transmission over a 5MHz bandwidth WCDMA downlink of up to 8-10Mbit/s (and more than 20Mbit/s for MIMO systems)." "A common connection point for devices in a network. Often used to describe the device that serves as the centre of a star-topology network." "International Mobile Telecommunications-2000: an ITU initiative to define a standards framework for 3G mobile systems providing access - by means of one or more radio links - to a wide range of telecommunications services supported by the fixed telecommunication networks (e.g. PSTN/ISDN/IP) and to other services which are specific to mobile users." "Infrared Data Association: a standard for transmitting data via infrared light. IrDA ports enable the transfer of data between IrDA devices such as computers and printers without using a cable." "Integrated Services Digital Network: the CCITT standard that defines a completely digital telephone/telecommunications network which carries voice, data, and video over existing telephone network infrastructure. ISDN provides two 64 Kbit/s channels, which can be combined or used independently for both voice and data. It is designed to provide a single interface for hooking up a phone, fax machine, PC, etc." "Internet Service Provider: a company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, subscribers are provided with the necessary software, a username, password and access phone number. Using a modem or ISDN terminal adapter they can then log on to the Internet, browse and download from the WWW and send and receive email. An amount of free Web space is generally provided, allowing the subscriber to create a Web site and thereby have a presence on the Web." "International Telecommunications Union: the United Nations agency for telecommunications. The ITU combines the standards-setting activities of the predecessor organisations formerly called the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) and the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR), being charged with establishing and co-ordinating standards for electronic communications worldwide." "A protocol, jointly developed by Lucent Technologies and Rockwell International Corp., to achieve 56 Kbit/s modem transmissions over ordinary phone lines. K56flex allows downloads at up to 56 Kbit/s; uploads are limited to the normal V.34 speed of 33.6 Kbit/s. See also X2." "Kilobits Per Second: a measure of data transfer speed. Modems, for example, are measured in Kbit/s. Note that one Kbit/s is 1,000 bits per second, whereas a kilobyte is 1,024 bytes. Data transfer rates are measured using the decimal meaning of K whereas data storage is measured using the powers-of-2 meaning of K. This measure is often expressed as "Kbps". However, this is also sometimes used to mean "Kilobytes per second" (as well as the the more common "KBps"). To avoid confusion the PC Technology Guide uses "Kbit/s" throughout." "Local Area Network: a computer network technology designed to connect computers separated by a short distance. The local group of linked computers are generally connected to a single, shared server." "Link Access Procedure For Modems: one of the two protocols specified by V.42. LAPM provides error control when a modem is communicating with another modem that supports LAPM." "Last In First Out: a queuing method in which the next item to be retrieved is the item most recently placed in the queue. See also FIFO." "Random signal disturbances that sometimes occur over telephone lines. Noise can disrupt communications and corrupt the transmitted data. The ratio of the usable signal to unusable noise on a communications link is referred to as the signal-to-noise ratio. Fibre optic cables are far less susceptible to noise than metal wire cables." "The lines between a customer and the telephone company's central office, often called the "last mile." Local loops use copper-based telephone wire." "This is a test done by the phone company to make sure the customer is within the maximum ISDN distance of 18,000 feet from the central office that services that customer." "Diagnostic test where characters that are sent to the modem are immediately sent back from the modem so the computer can compare the characters sent with the characters received." "Medium Access Control: general standard for the data link layer in the OSI Reference Model. The IEEE divides this layer into two sub-layers - the logical link control (LLC) layer and the media access control (MAC) layer. The MAC sub-layer is the lower of the two and is responsible for moving data packets to and from one Network Interface Card (NIC) to another across a shared channel. It varies for different network types and is defined by the IEEE 802 family of standards." "Metropolitan Area Network."

Manual Dialling MAPI Mbit/s

Mid Span Repeater MIMO



Modulation MP

Multiplexer Napster NIC Node



Off-Hook OFTEL On-Hook On-Line Mode



Packet PAN Parity


"Dialling a remote modem from a telephone connected to the modem. This is in contrast to automatic dialling, where the modem dials the number." "Messaging Application Programming Interface: an API developed by Microsoft and other computer vendors that provides Windows applications with an implementation-independent interface to various messaging systems." "The measure of data transfer speed to mean 1 million bits per second. This is often expressed as "Mbps". But this is also sometimes used to mean "Megabytes per second" (as well as the the more common "MBps"). To avoid confusion the PC Technology Guide uses "Mbit/s" throughout." "A device that amplifies the signal coming or going to the central office. This device is necessary for ISDN service if you are outside the 18,000 feet distance requirement from the central office." "Multiple-in, multiple-out; an antenna technology for wireless communications that takes advantage of multiplexing to increase bandwidth, range and transmission reliability by using multiple antennas at both the source (transmitter) and the destination (receiver). " "Musen Kensa-kentei Kyokai: the Government of Japan's authorised radio terminal equipment inspection institute." "Microcom Networking Protocol: a series of standards, running from MNP Class 1 to MNP Class 10, designed to improve communications between modems but now superseded by LAPM. They do not stand alone, but operate in conjunction with other modem standards." "MOdulator/DEModulator: a modem transforms (modulates) digital information into an analogue signal that can be sent across a telephone line. It also demodulates an analogue signal it receives from the telephone line, converting the information contained in the signal back into digital information." "Converting a data stream into sounds to be sent down a phone line. The opposite is demodulation. See also Modem." "Multilink PPP: a protocol that allows the combination of both B-channels for a total of 128 Kbit/s using synchronous PPP framing. Unlike the older hardware-based BONDING specification, MP is implemented in software and requires only that the communications software support the protocol." "A device that integrates serial digital waveforms into a single channel by partitioning the inputted data into segments and combining them together into a bitstream." "Created in 1999, Napster is a controversial music indexing service that gives individuals access to one another's MP3 files by creating a unique file-sharing system via the Internet." "Network Interface Card: a card that is installed in a computer system to provide network communication capabilities to and from that computer." "Endpoint of a network connection or a junction common to two or more lines in a network. Nodes can be processors, controllers, or workstations. The term is often used generically to refer to any entity that can access a network, and is frequently used interchangeably with device." "Network Operating System: an operating system that includes special functions for connecting computers and devices into a local-area network (LAN). Some operating systems, such as UNIX and the Mac OS, have networking functions built in. The term NOS, however, is generally reserved for software that enhances a basic operating system by adding networking features." "Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing: a wireless communications technology and modulation technique that divides available spectrum into multiple radio frequency (RF) channels. In OFDM, a single transmitter transmits on many different, independent frequencies, which typically results in a signal with high resistance to interference." "The condition of a telephone line that corresponds to picking up the telephone receiver. A modem creates an offhook condition when it tries to communicate on a telephone line." "The UK government regulator for telecommunications, first established in the mid-1980s to oversee the introduction of competition in a market dominated by British Telecom." "The condition of a telephone line that corresponds to hanging up the telephone receiver. A modem creates an onhook condition to break its connection to a telephone line." "One of the two operating modes of the modem, also called data mode. In on-line mode, the modem interprets all information sent to it as data. The only exception is the escape sequence (normally "+++"), which returns the modem to command mode without breaking the connection." "Open System Interconnection: an ISO standard for worldwide communications that defines a framework for implementing protocols in seven layers. Information is passed down through the layers until it is transmitted across the network, where it is passed back up the stack to the application at the remote end." "Private Automatic Branch eXchange: an in-house telephone switching system that interconnects telephone extensions to each other, as well as to the outside telephone network. Modern PBXs use all-digital methods for switching and can often handle digital terminals and telephones along with analogue telephones." "A logical grouping of information that includes a header containing control information and (usually) user data. Packets are most often used to refer to network layer units of data." "Personal Area Network: refers to the ability of small devices such as cellphones, pagers, PDAs, and wearable computers to exchange data wirelessly within the physical limits of someone's personal space." "A data encoding scheme that computers (and terminals) use to check the validity of transmitted characters. This scheme adds an extra bit to each character, which the transmitting computer sets or clears based on the type of parity the computers agree to use (odd or even). For example, if the computers use even parity, the transmitting computer sets or clears the parity bit so that there are an even number of bits set in each character it transmits. The receiving computer checks each character and flags a parity error if any character has an odd number of bits set." "Pulse Coded Modulation: a technique for converting an analogue signal with an infinite number of possible values into discrete binary digital words that have a finite number of values. The waveform is sampled, then the sample is

PCS PDC Peer-to-Peer PM POTS



Pulse Dialling


Quantisation RADIUS


Reliable Connection Request To Send RF RJ11 RJ45



S-Registers SAN SDLC Serial Port

Shannon's Law

quantised into PCM codes. PCM is a digitisation technique used by the CCITT V.90 standard , not a universally accepted standard in its own right." "Personal Communications Services: the collective term for US mobile telephone services in the 1900MHz frequency band." "Personal Digital Cellular: a Japanese standard for digital mobile telephony in the 800MHz and 1500MHz bands." "A network architecture in which each workstation has equivalent capabilities and responsibilities. Contrast ClientServer." "Phase Modulation: a data transmission technique that blends a data signal into a carrier by varying (modulating) the phase of the carrier." "Plain Old Telephone Service: the basic analogue (nondigital) telephone service - standard single line telephones, telephone lines, and access to the public switched network. There are no added features, such as call waiting or call forwarding, with POTS." "Point to Point Protocol: a protocol that allows a computer to connect to the Internet through a dial-in connection and enjoy most of the benefits of a direct connection; including the ability to run graphical front ends such as Internet Browsers. PPP is generally considered superior to SLIP, because it features error detection, data compression, and other elements of modern communications protocols that SLIP lacks." "Primary-Rate Interface: the enhanced ISDN setup, consisting of 23 B-channels (30 in Europe) and one D-channel. See also BRI." "Phase Shift Keying: a data transmission technique that blends a data signal into a carrier by varying (modulating) the phase of the carrier by a certain number of degrees for each succeeding signal." "Public Switched Telephone Network: refers to the international telephone system based on copper wires carrying analogue voice data. This is in contrast to newer telephone networks base on digital technologies, such as ISDN and FDDI." "A method of dialling the telephone where the modem sends pulses (which you hear through the handset as clicks) to represent the telephone numbers (one pulse for a one, two pulses for a two, etc.). Pulse dialling is normally associated with rotary-dial phones. See also Tone Dialling." "Quadrature Amplitude Modulation: modulation technique used by high speed modems combining amplitude and phase modulation of the data signal. QAM generates four bits out of one baud. For example, a 600 baud line (600 shifts in the signal per second) can effectively transmit 2,400 bit/s using the technique." "The process of representing a voltage with a discrete binary digital number. Approximating an infinite valued signal with a finite number system introduces an error called quantisation error or noise." "Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service protocol: a client/server security protocol that allows network managers to reduce the risk of distributing security information across many devices by centralising authentication and permission attributes in a single server. " "Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line: an implementation of ADSL that automatically adjusts the connection speed on start up to adjust for the quality of the telephone line, thereby allowing the service to function over longer distances than does ordinary ADSL." "A connection between two modems where they communicate using an error control protocol (such as LAPM or MNP)." "RTS: an RS-232C signal that requests the modem to send data. It initiates any data transmission between the computer (or terminal) and the modem. It is answered by a Clear To Send (CTS) signal." "Radio Frequency: the range of electromagnetic frequencies above the audio range and below visible light. All broadcast transmission, from AM radio to satellites, falls into this range, which is between 30KHz and 300GHz." "A common jack type most often used for connecting analogue phones, modems and fax machines to a communications line." "The most commonly used connection standard in networks. Its connector looks almost identical to a standard telephone jack, only slightly bigger. Twisted pair cabling is used - comprising two independently insulated wires twisted around each other. One wire carries the data while the other wire is grounded and absorbs any signal interference. This can come in unshielded (UTP) and shielded (STP) versions. Nodes are connected individually to the network, so if one connection fails, the rest of the network can continue to operate." "A device that operates at the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI reference model and whose function is to use one or more metrics to determine the optimal path along which network traffic should be forwarded. Routers forward packets from one network to another based on network layer information. Occasionally referred to as "gateway" although this definition of gateway is somewhat outdated." "A standardised connection system for connecting a device to the serial port of a computer or terminal. This is the recommended standard of the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) for exchanging information between DTE (such as computers) and DCE (such as modems)." "The RAM in a modem that is used to store its current configuration profile (operating characteristics)." "Storage Area Network: a high-speed special-purpose network that interconnects different kinds of data storage devices - such as tape libraries and disk arrays- with associated data servers on behalf of a larger network of users." "Synchronous Data Link Control: Proposed by IBM in the 1970's, SDLC is the primary data link protocol used in their SNA networks. It is a bit-oriented synchronous protocol that is a subset of the HDLC protocol." "The circuits and connector that facilitate communication between a computer and serial devices such as printers, modems, plotters, mice, and custom laboratory equipment. On a PC, this socket is a DB-9 or DB-25 male connector. It is a full-duplex device, using separate lines for transmitting and receiving data at the same time. Maximum throughput is 115.2 Kbit/s. Also called a COM or communications port." "Defines the relationship between the maximum throughput in any given channel to the presence of noise."




SNR Start/Stop Bits STP Switch Switched Ethernet




Token Ring Tone Dialling

Topology Transceiver

Twisted Pair





"Serial Line Internet Protocol: a protocol that allows a computer to connect to the Internet through a connection and enjoy most of the benefits of a direct connection, including the ability to run graphical front ends such as Internet Browsers. SLIP is also used to run TCP/IP over phone lines. See also PPP." "Switched Multimegabit Data Service: a high-speed, switched data communications service offered by telephone companies for interconnecting separate local area networks (LANs) into a single wide area network (WAN). Prior to SMDS's arrival in 1995, the only way to connect LANs was through a dedicated private line. SMDS is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative because it is more flexible and usually more economical." "Systems Network Architecture: a mainframe network topology introduced by IBM in 1974. Originally designed as a centralised architecture with a host computer controlling many terminals, SNA has evolved over the years so that it now also supports peer-to-peer networks of workstations. SNA incorporates data protocols, network interface cards and just about every facet of communication." "Signal-to-Noise Ratio: a measure of link performance arrived at by dividing signal power by noise power. Typically measured in decibels. The higher the ratio, the clearer the connection." "The bits at the beginning and end of a data block when using asynchronous data transmission. See also Asynchronous Communication." "Shielded Twisted Pair: telephone wire that is wrapped in a metal sheath to eliminate external interference. See also UTP." "A device that operates at the data link layer (Layer 2) of the OSI reference model and whose function is to filter and forward packets of information according to their destination address." "An Ethernet network that runs through a high-speed switch. Changing to switched Ethernet means replacing the Ethernet hub with a switch. As a result the full bandwidth - 10 Mbit/s for Ethernet or 100 Mbit/s for Fast Ethernet is made available to each sender and receiver pair." "A four-wire USA telephone company standard that carries data at 1.544Mbit/s. The US-equivalent of a European E1 line." "Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol: a set of communication protocols developed by the U.S. Department of Defense that allows dissimilar computers to share information over a network. TCP checks for lost packets, puts the data from multiple packets into the correct order and requests that missing or damaged packets be resent." "Time Division Multiplexing: a data communications technique that interleaves separate data streams into one highspeed transmission by assigning each stream a different time slice in a set. The receiving end then divides the single stream back into its original constituent signals." "Time Division Multiple Access: a mobile communications technique in which a radio frequency channel is divided into time slots, each of which lasts for a fraction of a second. TDMA divides a 30KHz channel into six time slots that are allocated in pairs, resulting in three usable TDMA channels. Any given conversation can use one or more of every third time slot on an ongoing basis during a call." "A local area network (LAN) technology developed by IBM (IEEE 802.5). Packets are conveyed between network end stations by a token moving continuously around a closed ring that uses twisted wire cable to connect nodes." "One of two methods of dialling the telephone. (The other is pulse dialling.) With tone dialling, the modem sends tones of different frequencies to represent the telephone numbers. Tone dialling is normally associated with pushbutton (touch-tone) phones and is also called Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) dialling." "The pattern of interconnection between nodes in a communications network." "a term used to describe a combination of transmitter and receiver. In the context of networking, a transceiver is an electronic interface or adapter between the Ethernet coaxial cable and the drop cable that attaches to network devices to provide the drive, reception, and collision detection between physical network media." "Two insulated wires, usually copper, twisted together and often bound into a common sheath to form multi-pair cables. In ISDN, these cables are the basic path between a subscriber's terminal or telephone and the PBX or the central office." "Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter: the chip that drives a serial port. IBM chose the National INS8250, better known simply as "the 8250", for the serial ports in its original PC. The subsequent 16550 UART provided support for speeds of 9,600 bps and greater." "Universal Mobile Telecommunications System: a 3G standard, being developed under the auspices of ETSI, and intended mainly for the evolution of GSM networks." "Universal Serial Bus: Intel's standard for attaching peripherals to PCs. Designed for low to medium data throughput, it should remove the need to install many devices internally once it gains widespread acceptance. The original 1995 USB1.1 standard supports a rate of 12 MBit/s, the subsequent USB2.0 standard up to 480 Mbit/s." "USB Implementers Forum: a non-profit corporation founded by the group of companies that developed the Universal Serial Bus specification to provide a support organization and forum for the advancement and adoption of USB technology. The Forum facilitates the development of high-quality compatible USB peripherals (devices), and promotes the benefits of USB and the quality of products that have passed compliance testing." "Unshielded Twisted-Pair: a four-pair wire medium used in a variety of networks. UTP does not require the fixed spacing between connections that is necessary with coaxial-type connections. See also STP." "UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network: the name of the WCDMA radio network in UMTS." "An ITU modem standard for data transmission at up to 33.6 Kbit/s. V.34 is the successor to several earlier ITU standards, and most V.34 modems can interoperate with older, slower modems." "An ITU's modem standard, agreed on 4 February 1998, which brought to an end a year-long 56 Kbit/s standards battle between the rival proprietary X2 and K56Flex standards." "Variable Bit Rate: maximum throughput set in advance, but data not always sent evenly."









X.10 X.25



"Voice over IP: The technology used to transmit voice conversations over a data network using the Internet Protocol. The data network involved might be the Internet itself, or a corporate intranet, or managed networks used by local or long distance carriers and ISPs. The technique promises drastically reduced costs to carriers and therefore prices to end users. Also referred to as IP Telephony." "A virtual private network is a private data network that makes use of the public telecommunication infrastructure (typically the Internet), maintaining privacy through the use of a tunnelling protocol and security procedures. It can be contrasted with a system of owned or leased lines that can only be used by one company, the idea of a VPN being to afford the same capabilities but at a much reduced cost." "Wide Area Network: a geographically dispersed network formed by linking several computers or local area networks (LANs) together over long distances, usually using leased long-distance lines. WANs can connect systems across town, in different cities, or in different regions of the world." "Wireless Application Protocol: a protocol that enables Internet services to be delivered to small-screen mobile devices. The application via which WAP-enabled devices access Web content is referred to as a "micro-browser"." "Wideband Code Division Multiple Access: a 3G wideband radio technique which makes highly efficient use of radio spectrum and is capable of supporting data rates of up to 2 Mbit/s, sufficient to allow simultaneous access to several voice, video and data services at once." "The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance is a non-profit international association formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of wireless Local Area Network products based on IEEE 802.11 specification. " "Wired Equivalent Privacy data encryption is defined by the 802.11 standard to prevent access to the network by "intruders" using similar wireless LAN equipment and capture of wireless LAN traffic through eavesdropping. WEP allows the administrator to define a set of respective "Keys" for each wireless network user based on a "Key String" passed through the WEP encryption algorithm. Access is denied by anyone who does not have an assigned key." "Branding that denotes products that have been certified as being interoperable. The scheme was originally operated by WECA - the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance - and applied to products conforming to the IEEE 802.11b wireless networking standard. WECA was subsequently renamed the Wi-Fi- Alliance and the brand applied also to IEEE 802.11a products." "Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access: an implementation of the IEEE 802.16 standard, WiMAX provides metropolitan area network connectivity at speeds of up to 75 Mbit/sec. WiMAX systems can be used to transmit signal as far as 30 miles." "Wireless LAN: a local area network that transmits over the air typically in an unlicensed frequency such as the 2.4GHz band. Wireless access points (base stations) are connected to an Ethernet hub or server and transmit a radio frequency over an area of several hundred to a thousand feet which can penetrate walls and other non-metal barriers." "A communications protocol for remote control of electrical devices designed for operation over standard household electrical wiring. It transmits data using Amplitude Modulation. " "An ITU standard for packet-switching networks approved in 1976, X.25 defines layers 1, 2, and 3 in the OSI Reference Model. Such networks are widely used for point of sale (POS) terminals, credit card verifications and automatic teller machine (ATM) transactions. New packet-switched networks employ frame relay and SMDS technologies rather than X.25." "Technology developed by U.S. Robotics for achieving modem transmissions at close to 56 Kbit/s over ordinary phone lines. See also K56flex." "Digital Subscriber Line: it shares the same phone line that the telephone service uses, but because it uses a different part of the phone line's bandwidth, it does not interfere with normal phone service. This is possible because there is a significant amount of unused capacity in current phone wires. The technology will allow subscribers to hook up DSL modems to a local Internet Service Provider (ISPs) and still be able to talk on the phone - all using the same phone line. The "x" represents a variety of possible methods and information rates that can be handled through DSL." "A way of controlling the flow of data between a modem and its host computer and between two modems, also called software flow control. XON stands for "Transmitter On" and XOFF stands for "Transmitter Off". If the modem receiving data needs time to process the data or do some other task, it sends an XOFF signal to the host computer (or sending modem). The host computer (or sending modem) then waits until it receives an XON signal before sending more data."

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