Oscilloscope Glossary

Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)
Begin with Contains Exact termSounds like
Term Definition
dynamic range

Ratio of the maximum and minimum signal level that can be measured (typically expressed in dB). The dynamic range is realated to the resolution of the analog-digital-converter e.g.  8 bit resolution equals 256 steps.

ENOB

Effective Number of Bits - This is a measure for the dynamic performance of an analog-to-digital converter (also for a digital-to-analog converter). It specifies the quality of the conversion because this parameter considers not only the resolution (number of bits of the converter) but also the noise and distortion of the converter circuitry.

error

Deviation of a measurement from its true value.

Ethernet

Computer networking standard for local area networks (LAN). Standardized in 1983 as IEEE 802.3

eye diagram

Method to analyze high speed digital signals. The data signal is repetitively sampled and pulses are superimposed on each other such that the pattern on the oscilloscope display looks like a series of eyes. By analyzing the diagram (e.g. form and opening of the eyes) many system performance parameters can be derived.

Fast Fourier Transform

Algorithm to compute the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) and its inverse. Converts time (or space) to frequency and vice versa.

FFT

Fast Fourier Transform - algorithm to compute the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) and its inverse. Converts time (or space) to frequency and vice versa.

frequency

Number of cycles over a time period (normally per second). Expressed in Hz.

Gain

Magnitude ratio. Amount of amplification, normally expressed in dB.

Gbit/s

Gigabit per second = specifies a date rate i.e. 1,000,000,000 bits transfered per second.

GHz

1,000,000,000 Hz. Unit of frequency.

Gigahertz

1,000,000,000 Hz. Unit of frequency.

GPIB
GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus) - short range digital communications bus invented in the late 1960s by Hewlett-Packard for automatic test equipment. Also known as HP-IB, GP-IB and IEEE-488.
ground

Voltage reference point in a circuit. Has the same electric potential as the surrounding earth.

harmonic distortion

Normally specified in dBc sometimes in audio applications also specified as a percentage. It is the ratio of the rms signal to the rms value of the harmonic in question.

HDMI

High-Definition Multimedia Interface - audio/video interface

Hertz

Cycles per second. Unit of frequency.

HP-IB

Short range digital communications bus originally invented in the late 1960s by Hewlett-Packard for automatic test equipment. Also known as IEE-488, GP-IB and GPIB.

Hz

Hertz - Cycles per second. Unit of frequency.

I/O

Input/Output