Oscilloscope Glossary

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Term Definition
A/D

Analog-to-digital converter. Converts the analog signal received from the channel input into a digital information.

AC

alternating current = the flow of electric charge reverses its direction periodically.

accuracy
According to ISO 5725-1 the accuracy of a measurement refers to the closeness of the mean of the measurement results to the actual (true) value (trueness) and to the closeness of agreement within individual results (precision).  
ADC

Analog-to-Digital-Converter.

amplitude

Strength of a signal.

Analog-to-digital converter

Converts the analog signal received from the channel input into a digital information.

attenuation

Dimensionless ratio defining the decrease of signal amplitude. Reciprocal of gain. Sometimes expressed in decibels (dB).

auto range

The ability of an instrument to automatically switch to a measurement range which offers maximum resolution.

averaging

Calculation of an average measurement value to reduce noise in the signal.

AWG

Arbitrary Waveform Generator

AXIe

Open system modular instrumentation standard based on AdvancedTCA. Also known as "big brother of PXI". Using horizontal configurations for minimal rack space of large systems. Managed by the AXIe Consortium, see http://www.axiestandard.org/

bandwidth

Frequency range that can go through a circuit without significant loss of the signal amplitude. Bandwidth is typically specified by -3 dB limits.

Baud rate

Serial data transmission rate expressed in bits per second (bps).

BGA

Ball Grid Array = IC package type. Connection between the IC and the PCB is made by a grid of solder balls.

bipolar

Signal range including positive and negative values.

blind time

After each signal acquisition the oscilloscope needs some time for processing and analysis of the captured data. After that time the scope can again start to aquire new data. The time between these acquisitions is called blind time or dead time.

BNC

Bayonet Neill–Concelman connector - a radio frequency connector used for coaxial cable. Mainly available in 50 and 75 ohm versions and specified for use at frequencies up to 4 GHz (50 ohm) and 2 GHz (75 ohm).

Bode diagram

Plot of logarithmic amplitude ratio and phase angle to describe transfer functions.

C-PHY

MIPI Physical Layer Specification - this is the third specification developed by MIPI and uses 3 phase encoding on a three-wire interface to camera and display applications. More information see www.mipi.org.

calibration

Comparison between measurements – one made with an instrument of known magnitude or correctness (standard) and another made with the device to be calibrated. The measurements should be done in as similar a way as possible.