Oscilloscope Glossary 
Term  Main 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 analogdigitalconverter e.g. 8 bit resolution equals 256 steps. 
ENOB  Effective Number of Bits  This is a measure for the dynamic performance of an analogtodigital converter (also for a digitaltoanalog 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 HewlettPackard for automatic test equipment. Also known as HPIB, GPIB and IEEE488.

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  HighDefinition Multimedia Interface  audio/video interface 
Hertz  Cycles per second. Unit of frequency. 
HPIB  Short range digital communications bus originally invented in the late 1960s by HewlettPackard for automatic test equipment. Also known as IEE488, GPIB and GPIB. 
Hz  Hertz  Cycles per second. Unit of frequency. 
I/O  Input/Output 