Glossary of EE Terms


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  • Cable Telephony

    This is the idea of using digital communications techniques to provide enhanced home telephone service via the exisiting home cable-TV connections. The bandwidth of cable is high enough to simultaneously support interactive cable-TV, telephone communications, and on-line data services. In this scenario, the cable connection becomes the primary link to the information highway vs. twisted pair telephone wire or a wireless connection.

  • CAN – Controller Area Network

    CAN (Controller Area Network) is a serial bus standard that was originally developed for automobiles but is frequently used in industrial automation systems as a fieldbus. It is designed to allow devices to communicate with each other without a host computer. The devices that are connected by a CAN network are typically sensors, actuators, and controller modules. The devices are not connected directly to the bus, but through a host processor and a CAN controller. The CAN data link layer protocol is described in ISO 11898.

  • Carrier to Noise Ratio (CNR)

    SNR measured relative to a modulated carrier; may be defined in a specific frequency band depending on the transmission standard.

  • Chip

    A single frequency output from a frequency hopping signal source.

  • Chip Rate

    In spread spectrum systems, this is the rate at which the pseudo-random noise code is applied. In frequency hopping systems, chip rate is the inverse of the dwell time which the output frequency occupies a single carrier frequency. Also called "chipping rate".

  • Chirp

    Pulsed frequency modulation scheme in which a carrier is swept over a wide frequency band during a given pulse interval.

  • Chromatography

    Chromatography is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures.

  • Clearance (from definition in iCoupler Quick Sales Reference)

    Clearance is the shortest straight line distance through the air between conductive parts.

  • Clock Pulse Width (Latch Pulse Width)

    Clock Pulse Width is the minimum amount of time that the Clock pulse should be left in the logic "1" state to achieve rated performance.

  • Common-Mode Rejection Ratio (CMRR)

    The ratio of the common-mode voltage range (CMVR) to the change in the input offset voltage (∆VoO5) over this range. The result is express in dB CMRR (dB) = 20log (∆VIN /(∆VO5).

  • Common-Mode Voltage Range (CMVR) or Common Mode Range (CMR)

    Also known as input voltage range, CMVR is the allowable input voltage range at either input before clipping or excessive nonlinearity is seen at the output.

  • Comparator

    On chip comparator allows square wave generation for clocking purposes.

  • Complex Image Rejection

    In a traditional two-part upconversion, two images are created around the second IF frequency. These images are redundant and have the effect of wasting transmitter power and system bandwidth. By placing the real part of a second complex modulator in series with the first complex modulator, either the upper or lower frequency image near the second IF can be rejected.

  • Complex Modulation

    The process of passing the real and imaginary components of a signal through a complex modulator (transfer function = ejt = cos t + jsin t) and realizing real and imaginary components on the modulator output.

  • Conversion Speed (Rate)

    The number of repetitive conversions per second for a full-scale change to specified resolution and linearity.

  • Coriolis Force

    When an object is moving in a periodic fashion (either oscillating or rotating), rotating the object in an orthogonal plane to its periodic motion causes a translational force in the other orthogonal direction. Gyroscopes measure angular rate by measuring the Coriolis Force generated when an internal vibrating mass is rotated.

  • Creepage (from definition in iCoupler Quick Sales Reference)

    Creepage is the shortest distance between conductive parts along the surface of a device.

  • Cross-correlation

    The degree of agreement between two unlike signals.

  • Current Output (Iout)

    A current-output DAC provides an output current that is proportional to the input digital code; a typical full scale output current range would be 0 to 20 mA. Iout DACs are usually connected to a load of zero ohms at ground potential, but in real life they will work with non-zero load impedances to develop voltage outputs within a specified “voltage out compliance range”.

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