6. Technical Abbreviations, Acronyms, and
Units of Measurement

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

Countless abbreviations and acronyms are used in the computer industry. Table 6-1 lists some of the common ones.

Note - This list is not intended to be comprehensive. While it includes some common terms, other resources, such as those mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, contain many more. And, of course, new abbreviations and acronyms are created as technologies emerge. Also note that definitions of terms can vary from one computer discipline to another, and even within the same discipline, the style and wording of definitions may vary slightly from source to source.

    Table 6-1 Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Units of Measurement

Abbreviation  Name or Term
2-D           two-dimensional
3-D           three-dimensional
A             ampere
amp           ampere
ABI           application binary interface
AC            alternating current
ACM           Association for Computing Machinery
A/D           analog-to-digital
ADC           analog-to-digital converter
ADDR          address
ADP           automatic data processing
ADPCM         adaptive differential pulse code modulation
ADU           automatic dialing unit
AF            audio frequency
AFC           automatic frequency control
AI            artificial intelligence
ALGOL         Algorithmic Language
ALU           arithmetic and logic unit
a.m.          ante meridiem (morning)
AM            amplitude modulation
ANSI          American National Standards Institute
API           application program interface
ARPANET       Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
ASCII         American National Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASIC          application-specific integrated circuit
ASR           automatic send/receive
async         asynchronous
ATM           asynchronous transfer mode
AUI           attachment unit interface
b             bit
B             byte
BASIC         beginners all-purpose symbolic instruction code
BBS           bulletin board system
BCD           binary-coded decimal
BER           bit error rate
BIOS          Basic Input/Output System
bisync        binary synchronous
BJT           bipolar junction transistor
BNF           Backus-Naur Form
BOF           beginning of file
BOT           beginning of tape
bpi           bits per inch
bps           bits per second
Bps           bytes per second
BSC           binary synchronous communication
BSD           Berkeley Software Distribution
BSD           block schematic diagram
Btu           British thermal unit
c             centi (prefix)
C             coulomb
C             C programming language
ûC             Celsius
C             centigrade
CAD           computer-aided design
CAE           computer-aided engineering
CAI           computer-assisted instruction
CAM           computer-aided manufacturing
CASE          computer-aided software engineering
CCD           charge-coupled device
ccw           counterclockwise
CD-ROM        compact disc read-only memory
CDE           Common Desktop Environment
CGA           color graphics adapter
CISC          complex instruction-set computer
CLUT          color look-up table
CMOS          complementary metal-oxide semiconductor
COBOL         common business-oriented language
cpi           characters per inch
CPM           Control Program for Microcomputers
cps           characters per second
CPU           central processing unit
CRC           cyclic redundancy check
CRT           cathode ray tube
CRU           customer-replaceable unit
CTCA          channel-to-channel adapter
CUI           character user interface
cw            clockwise
d             deci (prefix)
da            deka (prefix)
D/A           digital-to-analog
DAC           digital-to-analog converter
DAT           digital audio tape
dB            decibel
DBMS          database management system
DC            direct current
DCE           data communication equipment
DES           Data Encryption Standard
DIF           data interchange format
DIMM          dual in-line memory module
DIP           dual in-line package
DMA           direct memory access
DMM           digital multimeter
DOS           Disk Operating System
dpi           dots per inch
DRAM          dynamic random access memory
DSP           digital signal processor
DSR           data set ready
DTD           Document Type Definition
DTE           data terminal equipment
DTR           data terminal ready
DVM           digital voltmeter
EAROM         electrically alterable read-only memory
EBCDIC        extended binary-coded decimal interchange code
ECC           error checking and correction
ECC           error correcting code
ECL           emitter-coupled logic
EDI           electronic data interchange
EDP           electronic data processing
EEPROM        electrically erasable programmable read-only memory
EEROM         electrically erasable read-only memory
EGA           enhanced graphics adapter
EIA           Electronics Industry Association
E-IDE         Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics
EISA          Extended Industry Standard Architecture
EMI           electromagnetic interference
EOF           end of file
EOT           end of tape
EOT           end of transmission
EPROM         erasable programmable read-only memory
EPS           Encapsulated PostScript
EPSF          Encapsulated PostScript Format
F             farad
ûF             Fahrenheit
FAQ           frequently asked question
FAT           file allocation table
fax           facsimile
FCB           file control block
FE            framing (bit) error
FET           field-effect transistor
FIFO          first-in, first-out
FILO          first-in, last-out
FIPS          Federal Information Processing Standard
FLOP          floating-point operation
FLOPS         floating-point operations per second
FM            frequency modulation
Fortran       formula translation
FPA           floating-point accelerator
FPLA          field-programmable logic array
FPU           floating-point unit
FRU           field-replaceable unit
FTP           File Transfer Protocol
g             gram
G             giga (prefix)
Gbyte, GB     gigabyte
GID           group identification
GIF           graphics interchange format
GUI           graphical user interface
H             henry
HBA           host bus adapter
hex           hexadecimal
HF            high frequency
HFS           hierarchical file system
HMOS          high-speed negative-channel metal-oxide semiconductor
HSM           hierarchical storage management
HTML          Hypertext Markup Language
HTTP          Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Hz            hertz
IC            integrated circuit
IDE           Integrated Drive Electronics
IEEE          Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IHV           independent hardware vendor
I/O           input/output
IOP           input/output processor
IP            Internet Protocol
IPC           interprocess communication
IPS           inches per second
IPS           instructions per second
IPS           interrupts per second
IR            information retrieval
IR            infrared
IRQ           interrupt request
ISA           Industry Standard Architecture
ISA           instruction-set architecture
ISAM          indexed sequential access method
ISDN          integrated services digital network
ISO           International Organization for Standardization
ISV           independent software vendor
JFET          junction field-effect transistor
JPEG          Joint Photographic Experts Group
k             kilo (prefix)
K             Kelvin
Kb            kilobit
Kbyte, KB, K  kilobyte
kg            kilogram
kHz           kilohertz
km            kilometer
KSR           keyboard send/receive
kV            kilovolt
kW            kilowatt
kWh           kilowatt-hour
LAN           local-area network
lb            pound
LCD           liquid crystal display
LED           light-emitting diode
LF            low frequency
LIFO          last-in, first-out
LILO          last-in, last-out
LISP          List Processor
LP            line printer
lpi           lines per inch
LSB           least significant bit
LSD           least significant digit
LSI           large-scale integration
LSN           least significant nibble
LU            logical unit
LUN           logical unit number
LUT           look-up table
mA            microampere
mF            microfarad
mg            microgram
mH            microhenry
mm            micrometer
ms            microsecond
mV            microvolt
mW            microwatt
m             meter
m             micro (prefix)
m             milli (prefix)
M             mega (prefix)
mA            milliampere
MA            megampere
MAC           medium access control
MAC           memory access controller
Mb            megabit
Mbps          one million bits per second
Mbyte, MB     megabyte
mF            millifarad
MFLOPS        millions of floating-point operations per second
mg            milligram
mH            millihenry
MHz           megahertz
MIDI          Musical Instrument Digital Interface
MIPS          million instructions per second
MIS           management information system
mm            millimeter
MNP           Microcom Networking Protocol
modem         modulator-demodulator
MOS           metal-oxide semiconductor
MOSFET        metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor
MPEG          Moving Pictures Experts Group
ms            millisecond
MSB           most significant bit
MSD           most significant digit
MSI           medium-scale integration
MSN           most significant nibble
MTBF          mean time between failures
MTTR          mean time to repair
MTU           magnetic tape unit
MTU           maximum transfer unit
MUX           multiplexer
mV            millivolt
mW            milliwatt
MW            megawatt
n             nano (prefix)
NaN           not a number
NC            no connection
NC            normally closed
NC            numerical control
NF            noise figure
NIC           network interface card
NMOS          negative-channel metal-oxide semiconductor
NO            normally open
NRZ           nonreturn to zero
NTSC          National Television Standards Committee
NVRAM         nonvolatile random access memory
W             ohm
OCR           optical character recognition
OEM           original equipment manufacturer
OS            operating system
OSI           Open Systems Interconnection
oz            ounce
p             pico (prefix)
PABX          private automatic branch exchange
PAL           programmable array logic
PAM           pulse amplitude modulation
PBX           private branch exchange
PC            personal computer
PC            printed circuit
PCB           printed circuit board
PCI           Peripheral Component Interconnect
PCM           pulse code modulation
PCMCIA        Personal Computer Memory Card International Association
PDL           page description language
PDL           program design language
PDM           pulse duration modulation
PDS           partitioned data set
PF            power factor
PHIGS         Programmer's Hierarchical Interactive Graphics System
PID           process identifier
PIO           programmed input/output
pixel         picture element
PLA           programmable logic array
p.m.          post meridiem (afternoon)
PMI           Protected Mode Interface
PMOS          positive-channel metal-oxide semiconductor
POSIX         Portable Operating System Interface for Computer Environments
POST          power-on self-test
ppb           parts per billion
ppm           parts per million
ppm           pages per minute
PPM           pulse position modulation
PPP           point-to-point protocol
PROM          programmable read-only memory
PS            power source
PU            power unit
rad           radian
RAID          redundant array of inexpensive disks
RAM           random access memory
RC            resistance-capacitance
RCVR          receiver
RF            radio frequency
RFI           radio frequency interference
RGB           red, green, blue
RISC          reduced instruction-set computer
RLL           run-length-limited
RO            receive only
ROM           read-only memory
RPC           remote procedure call
RTF           rich text format
RTL           resistor-transistor logic
R/W           read/write
RZ            return to zero
s             second
sec           second
SAM           sequential access method
SAP           service access point
SCCS          Source Code Control System
SCN           specification change notice
SCR           silicon-controlled rectifier
SCSI          small computer system interface
SGML          Standard Generalized Markup Language
SHF           super-high frequency
SIMM          single in-line memory module
SIP           single in-line package
SLIP          serial-line Internet protocol
SLSI          super-large-scale integration
SMF           system management facilities
S/N           signal-to-noise ratio
SQL           structured query language
SRAM          static random access memory
SSI           small-scale integration
SVGA          Super VGA
SWR           standing wave ratio
sync          synchronous
T             tera (prefix)
TC            temperature coefficient
TCP           Transmission Control Protocol
TCP/IP        Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
TELEX         teletypewriter exchange
TIFF          tag image file format
TSO           timesharing option
TSR           terminate-and-stay-resident
TTL           transistor-transistor logic
TTY           teletypewriter
TWX           teletypewriter exchange service
UART          universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter
UHF           ultra-high frequency
UID           user identification
ULSI          ultra-large-scale integration
UPS           uninterruptible power supply
URL           Uniform Resource Locator
U.S.          United States
USRT          universal synchronous receiver-transmitter
UUCP          UNIX-to-UNIX Copy
UV            ultraviolet
V             volt
VAC           volts alternating current
VAR           value-added reseller
VCO           voltage-controlled oscillator
VDC           volts direct current
VDT           video display terminal
VESA          Video Electronics Standards Association
VEU           volume end user
VF            voice frequency
VGA           video graphics adapter
VHF           very high frequency
VL            VESA local bus
VLB           VESA local bus
VLF           very low frequency
VLSI          very large scale integration
VRAM          video random access memory
VSAM          virtual sequential access method
W             watt
WAIS          Wide-Area Information Server
WAN           wide-area network
Wh            watt-hour
WORM          write once, read many
WWW           World Wide Web