This is a living glossary of terms and acronyms encountered in the embedded world
- 3A: Auto-focus, Auto-exposure, and Auto white-balance. (cameras)
- 3PL: Third-party logistics
- A-GPS: Assisted GPS
- AA: Active alignment (referring to camera modules)
- ABI: Application-binary interface
- AE: Auto-exposure
- AF: Autofocus
- AFC: Audio-frequency choke
- AOI: Automated optical inspection, area of interest
- AP: Application processor OR access point (wifi)
- API: Application programming interface.
- ASIC: Application-specific integrated circuit. A microchip designed for a special application.
- ATS: Automated test system, application test suite, Company: Automated Tooling Systems
- AWB: Auto-white balance (balances colors on cameras)
- B2B: Board-to-board connector
- BER: Bit error rate, a measure of performance of digital communications
- BLE: Bluetooth low-energy
- Boost: Takes input voltage and increases it
- BT: Bluetooth
- BTLE: Same as BLE. Bluetooth Low Energy
- BU: Bringup
- Buck: Takes input voltage and reduces it
- CA: Chromatic aberration, referring to a camera
- CCC: Code change control, a software development process
- CCM: Color correction matrix
- CI: Continuous integration. Testing every source code commit to make sure it builds properly.
- CISC: Complex instruction set computer
- CM: Contract Manufacturer
- CMF: Color, material, finish (ID, describes a design)
- COB: Close of business, chip on board
- COGS: Cost of goods sold
- Cortex-A: ARM processor family. Application processors with increased capabilities, typically able to run a full operating system such as Linux.
- Cortex-M: ARM processor family. Smallest and lowest power processors available by ARM.
- CPK: Complex process capability. A statistical measurement of a process's ability to produce output within the specified limits.
- CTB: Clear to build
- CV: Contrast value (camera)
- DFM: Design for manufacturing
- DFU: Device Firmware Upgrade
- Generally: The mode for USB products where there is no firmware or software on the device, before any install OR it thinks there is no software (erased device)
- USB Specific: a vendor- and device-independent mechanism for upgrading the firmware of USB devices with improved versions provided by their manufacturers, offering (for example) a way for firmware bugfixes to be deployed.
- DIP: Dual In-line Package
- DOA: Dead-on-arrival. Usually refers to new software versions not working or new boards having a flaw. This flaw is often catastrophic and renders the software/hardware unusable.
- DOE: Design of experiments. Commonly used to mean "experiment"
- DMM: Digital Multi-meter
- DQ / DQ'd: Disqualify or disqualified
- DSP: Digital signal processor
- DUT: Device under test
- DVT: Design validation & Test (production stage)
- EABI: Embedded ABI (application-binary interface). An ARM family of ABIs for embedded operating systems. One of the "subABIs" is GNU EABI, for Linux.
- ECN: Engineering Change Note (aka ECO)
- ECO: Engineering Change Order (aka ECN)
- eDP: Embedded Display Port, a standard for communicating with hardware displays
- EE: Electrical engineer[ing]
- eFPGA: embedded FPGA (Field programmable gate array)
- EHCI: Enhanced Host Controller Interface, a controller standard in USB 2.0
- EIS: External image stabilization (camera)
- EMI: Electro-magnetic interference
- EMMC: Embedded multi-media controller
- EOF: Cameras - End of Frame
- ESD: Electro-static discharge
- EVT: Engineering validation and test (production stage)
- FA: Failure analysis
- FAI: First article inspection. Measuring samples and comparing them to the specs/drawings.
- FASY: Final Assembly
- FATP: Final assembly, test, and packout. Follows SMA/SMT
- FCT: Functional & Connectivity Testing. Checks MLB assembly.
- FF: Form factor [enclosure] - actual product enclosure
- FFC: Flat flexible cable.
- FFT: Fast Fourier transform
- Flex: Refers to a flexible printed circuit. Also known as FPC.
- FOD: Foreign objects & debris. E.g. dust in a camera module or metal chaff in a sealed box.
- FPC: Flexible printed circuit. Commonly known as a Flex
- FPGA: Field-programmable gate array
- FPU: Floating-point unit
- FPY: First pass yield.
- FQC: Final quality control
- FW: Firmware
- GMSL: gigabit multimedia serial link
- GPIO: General purpose IO. A pin on a chip that can be manually controlled by software for any generic purpose. Contrasts specialized pins, like I2S, I2C, SPI, signals.
- GRR/GR&R: Gage repeatability and reproducibility.
- GSM: Global supply manager
- HCI: Host controller interface (Bluetooth, USB), Human-computer interaction (interface design)
- Hot bar: Method of installing flexes to MLBs.
- HPC: High-performance computing
- I2C: Inter-IC Communication. Electronic protocol using two wires to talk to a chip.
- I2S: Inter-IC Sound. Electronic protocol used to transfer audio data (digital mics, codecs, speakers)
- IC: Integrated circuit
- ICD: Interface control document
- ICT: In-circuit testing. Checks MLB assembly.
- ID: Industrial design
- IDL: Interface design language
- IL: Imprint lithography
- IMU: Inertial Measurement Unit. Accelerometer, gyroscope, etc.
- IO, I/O: Input/output.
- IoT: Internet of things
- IP: Intellectual property
- IP core, IP block: A semiconductor intellectual property core. A reusable unit of logic, cell, or integrated circuit layout design that is the intellectual property of one party. Other designers will licenses these blocks for use in their own chips.
- IPC: Inter-process communication
- ISA: Instruction-set architecture
- ISP: Image signal procssor
- IQ: Image quality
- IQC: Incoming quality control
- JIT: Just-in-time
- LOC: Lines of code
- LOE: Level of effort
- LSB: Least significant bit
- LT, L/T: Lead-time. How long it takes to get a part made/shipped.
- LUT: Look-up table
- LVDS: Low-voltage differential signaling. When used in the context of hardware displays, it refers to FPD-Link, a hardware standard for communicating with displays.
- MAC: Media access control. Refers to an address.
- MCA: Multi-core association
- MCAPI: Multicore communications API, by the MCA (Multi-core Association)
- MCO: Mechanical Control Outline
- MCU: Main control unit. aka MLB or motherboard.
- ME: Mechanical Engineer
- MES: Manufacturing Execution System. AKA Shop floor system
- Mfg: Manufacturing
- MIH: Material in-house. Quantity on hand.
- MIL: Master issues list
- MIPI: Mobile Industry Processor Interface. A global, open membership organization that develops hardware interface specifications for the mobile ecosystem.
- MIPI CSI, MIPI Camera: MIPI Camera Serial Interface. A hardware standard for communicating with IC camera sensors.
- MIPI DSI: MIPI Display Serial Interface. A hardware standard for communicating with displays.
- MIPI Touch: A hardware standard for communicating with touch sensors embedded in displays
- MLB: Main logic board - AKA motherboard
- MMU: Memory management unit
- MOF: Middle of Frame
- MOQ: Minimum order quantiy. Minimum number of parts that can be ordered from a supplier.
- MP: Mass-production (production stage)
- MPM: Material PM
- MPN: Manufacturer Part Number.
- MPS: Master Production Schedule
- MRAPI: Multicore resource management API, by the MCA (Multi-core Association)
- MSB: Most significant bit
- MTAPI: Multicore task management API, by the MCA (Multi-core Association)
- NED: Non-enclosed device. Usually a fully-functional device without a normal form factor enclosure.
- NG: Not good
- NPI: New product introduction
- NTF: No trouble found
- NTBF: Not to be fixed
- NVIC: Nested vector interrupt controller. Present on some ARM cores, such as Cortex-M3
- OC: Optical center
- OCM: Original Contract Manufacturer
- ODM: Original design manufacturer. Makes a product to spec that's rebranded and sold by another company.
- OMM: Optical measurement machine
- OOBA: Out of box audit. Sampling of post-packout units to verify cosmetics, manufacturing process, functionality of devices.
- OTP: One Time Programmable. Refers to chip settings that can only be programmed one time, e.g. chip fusing, PMIC settings.
- OQC: Outgoing quality control
- Packout: Manufacturing stage where shipping software is installed and the device is packaged.
- PCB: Printed circuit board
- PCBA: Printed circuit board assembly
- PD: Product design
- PE: Process Engineer (Mfg), Principle Engineer (Engineering)
- PFOL: Product first offline. Review first production units onsite at company location.
- PHY: Indicates a "physical" layer, or the actual electrical connection and encoding hardware of a communication protocol
- PLL: Phase-locked loop
- PLM: Project lifecycle management. The process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products.
- PM: Program/project manager
- PMIC: Power management IC
- PMU: Power management unit
- POC: Proof-of-concept
- PN, P/N: Part number
- Post-snap: After a form factor unit has been completely closed - assembly is finished.
- PRQ: Post ramp qualification. A controlled production run done during MP (after ramp) to validate a change prior to converting full production to the new design. Often done to validate new part versions or alternate sources.
- PSA: Platform-security architecture (ARM concept), pressure-sensitive adhesive
- PT: Prototype
- PTS: Camera/Video: Presentation time stamp, playback time stamp.
- PTZ: Pan, tilt, & zoom (camera)
- PVT: Production validation and test (production stage)
- Ramp: Production stage where volumes are increased steadily until they hit MP levels
- RBOM: Rest of BOM
- RC: root cause, the primary failure leading to an issue.
- RFC: Radio-frequency choke
- RI: Relative illuminance, referring to a lens.
- RISC: Reduced instruction set computer
- ROI: Region of interest, return on investment
- RPC: Remote procedure call
- RTC: Real-time clock
- RTFM: Real-time for the masses
- RTOS: Real-time OS
- RX: Receive
- SCM: Source code management, supply chain management
- SDHC: SD (as in SD card) High Capacity
- SDIO: Secure digital input/output. Electronics communication bus.
- SDXC: SD (as in SD Card) Extended Capability
- SERDES: Serializer/Deserializer. A pair of functional blocks commonly used in high-speed communications to compensate for limited input/output. These blocks convert data between serial data and parallel interfaces in each direction.
- SFC: Shop floor control
- SFR: Special function register - provides an interface to core and peripheral hardware functionality of a microprocessor or microcontroller. They are commonly mapped into the processor’s address space, similar to RAM
- SHA: Secure hash algorithms. A family of cryptographic hash functions that are commonly used in computer systems.
- SIMD: Single-instruction, multiple data
- SIP: System-in-a-package. A number of integrated circuits enclosed in a single module (package)
- SKU: Shop Keeping Unit, Stock Keeping Unit. Internally generated part numbers used to keep track of inventory/sales.
- SMA: Surface mount assembly. Refers to putting parts on a PCB. After SMA, a PCB is referred to as a PCBA.
- SMT: Surface mount technology. Also refers to the SMA + board testing process as a whole.
- SN, S/N: Serial Number
- SoC: System-on-a-chip. A complex processor with peripheral devices included in a single chip package
- SOF: Cameras - Start of Frame
- SOM: System-on-module. A board-level circuit that integrates a system function in a single module.
- SPE: Secure processing environment, an ARM concept
- SPI: Serial peripheral interface [communication bus]
- SRP: Stack resource policy, a scheduler implementation
- SVE: scalable vector extension
- TAB: Tape automated bonding
- T/C: Thermal cycling
- TEE: Trusted execution environment (ARM concept)
- TIL: Test issues list
- TX: Transmit
- UI: User Interface
- UX: User Experience
- VFP: Vector floating point
- WH: Warehouse
- WLP: Wafer-level packaging.
- WS: Working sample. AKA Prototype