Knowledge Base

Technical terms glossary of Micronas products

If you meet any unknown technical terms, do not hesitate to consult our glossary.
From A like “analog” to Y like “yield” - fined detailed explanations of the most used technical terms.

Glossary

The process of converting analog signals to digital signals. An analog to digital converter is the device which performs the conversion.
Analog
In comparison digital technology, which represents electrical signals as a sequence of numbers to be used for calculation in signal processing, analogue circuits process the electrical signals directly. Analog technology is considered to be less flexible than digital technology in many respects.
ARM7
ARM7 is the name of a microprocessor core family. One family member, for instance, is the ARM7TDMI core, which features a 32-bit embedded RISC processor, enabling system designers to build embedded devices requiring small size, low power and high performance. (RISC: This is an acronym for Reduced Instruction Set Computing. A microprocessor design which is intended to make operations run faster by processing a few simple instructions rather than many complex ones.)
ASIC, Application Specific Integrated Circuit
A logic circuit designed for a specific use and implemented in an integrated circuit.
ASSP, Application Specific Standard Product
A standard product that has been designed to implement a specific application function, as opposed to a general purpose product such as DRAM.
A unit of information; a computational quantity that can take one of two values, such as true and false or 0 and 1; also the smallest unit of storage – sufficient to hold one bit.
Bonder
When integrated circuits are packaged in housings, the electrical connectors of the actual IC have to be "bonded" to those in the housing. The machines used to do this are called bonders.
Bus/bus systems
In information technology, data is transferred in a predefined way via so-called bus interfaces. Buses can vary according to the specification of the physical transfer path, the data format and the transfer protocol.
Byte
A unit of measurement equal to eight bits.
An electronic device that stores energy. Capacitors help to maintain information stored by memory.
CMOS, Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
Semiconductor technology that allows the production of particularly energy-efficient ICs. CMOS is currently the dominant technology for the manufacture of complex circuits.
Codec
Any combination of encoder and decoder.
Controller
Also known as microcontrollers (µC). A combination of a microprocessor and a special control circuit on a dedicated IC. Microcontrollers are used for the control of most electronic and mechanical devices. Examples: instrument panels, radios, televisions, washing machines, etc.
The process of converting digital signals to analog signals. A digital to analog converter is a device which performs the conversion.
dB
decibell
dBFS
decibell full scale
Design-in, Design-win
A design-in is the integration of a component into device design. A design-win is achieved when a customer chooses a particular manufacturer’s ICs in its circuit board level product. Then, usually for the lifetime of that product, the manufacturer has a design-in.
Digital
The representation of data by a series of bits or discrete values such as 0s and 1s.
DRAM, Dynamic Random Access Memory
Most common type of digital memory. DRAM technology allows high packing density and consequently low price.
DSP
A DSP-programmable machine like a microcontroller, however built on a different internal architecture more appropriate for signal processing purposes.
A technology that refers to the computer-to-computer transmission of business information between trading partners.
EMAS
Voluntary eco-management and audit scheme for organizations based in the European Union for the evaluation and improvement of the environmental performance of organizations and the provision of relevant information to the public and other interested parties.
ESF, Environmental Protection, Industrial Safety and Fire Protection
Management System for Environmental Protection, Industrial Safety and Fire Protection
Wafer fabrication facility.
Flash
Freely programmable semiconductor memory which retains its content even when the power is switched off. This type of memory is used, for example, in microcontroller architecture so that the microcontroller will retain its characteristics for as long as is required after a single programming. This means that if something goes wrong, new controller versions (Flash versions) can be introduced very quickly into a production process.
Flash memory
A type of nonvolatile memory that can be erased and reprogrammed. This type of memory is used in microcontroller architecture so that the microcontroller retains its characteristics for as long as is required after a single programming. If any problems occur, new flash versions can be introduced very quickly into a production process.
Foundry
Semiconductor plant which does not have its own product development but which manufactures ICs on behalf of and according to the designs of other firms.
Frequency
Number of repetitions of a cycle of a video or audio signal per second. Measured in Hertz (Hz), or cycles, per second.
In a semiconductive platelet, the so-called Hall voltage is generated by the effect of an external magnetic field acting perpendicularly to the direction of the current. The size of the current is proportional to the strength of the magnetic field.
Hall sensor
Solid state semiconductor sensor which uses the Hall effect to measure the strength of a magnetic field. 
Hz, Hertz
The unit of frequency in measuring a signal. Higher Hz indicate higher frequencies.
Integrated circuit, chip. ICs are electronic components which can consist of several million functions embedded in a monolithic piece of silicon measured in square centimeters.
ISO 9001
A series of international standards (including ISO-9000, -9002, -9004, etc.) for quality assurance in business practices, ratified by the ISO beginning in 1987. Certification of compliance is important for selling many types of goods and services (including data-communications equipment and services), especially of government bodies.
ISO, International Standards Organization
The international organization responsible for developing and maintaining worldwide standards for manufacturing, environmental protection, computers, data communications, and many other fields.
Local Interconnect Network
Logic
Mathematical treatment of formal logic in which a system of symbols is used to represent quantities and relationships. AND, OR and NOT are examples of symbols of logical functions. Each function can be translated into a switching circuit, or gate. Since a switch (or gate) has only two states – open or closed – it makes possible the application of binary numbers for solutions of problems. The basic logic functions obtained from gate circuits are the foundation of computing machines.
Assembly of more than one integrated circuit in a package.
Memory
Any device that can store data in machine-readable format. Usually used synonymously with random access memory and read-only memory.
Micron (µ)
A metric unit of linear measure which equals one millionth of a meter. A human hair is about 100 microns in diameter.
Mixed-signal Chip
A chip which combines circuits for processing analog signals and circuits for processing digital signals.
With respect to memory, a storage device whose contents are preserved when its power is off.
Original Design Manufacturer.
OEM
Original Equipment Manufacturer.
In order to use an integrated circuit in an electronic appliance, it has to be packaged. The package protects the chip against damage and supplies the electrical connections to the system.
PDIP, Plastic Dual In-line Package
A through-hole package that terminates in two straight, parallel rows of pins or lead wires. Through-hole mounting: The electrical connection of components to the surface of a conductive pattern using component holes.
Photo Mask
A transparent (glass or quartz) plate covered with an array of patterns used in making an IC. Each pattern consists of opaque and transparent areas that define the size and shape of all circuit and device elements. The photo mask is used to expose selected areas, and defines the areas to be processed. Photo masks may use emulsion, chrome, iron oxide, silicon or other material to produce the opaque areas.
PLCC, Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier
A plastic package with compliant J-leads on all sides.
Product families/families
Versions of semiconductor components on the basis of a common design. Product families allow Micronas customers to exchange individual ICs and thus make different products from a single product development process.
Protocol
The standard or set of rules that two computers use to communicate with each other.
PSDIP, Plastic Shrink DIP
A package resembling a DIP, with a lead pitch of 1,788 mm, used in applications requiring high mounting densities (typical for TV applications).
PTO89
Chip package type.
A generic term for a surface mount technology flat package with leads on all four sides; commonly used to describe chip carrier-like devices with gull-wing formed leads.
A type of data storage device for which the order of access to different locations does not affect the speed of access. This is in contrast to, for example, a magnetic disk or magnetic tape where it is much quicker to access data sequentially because accessing a non-sequential location requires physical movement of the storage medium rather than electronic switching.
ROM, Read Only Memory
A type of data storage device that is manufactured with fixed contents. The term is most often applied to semiconductor integrated circuit memories, of which there are several types, and CD-ROM. ROM is inherently non-volatile storage – it retains its contents even when the power is switched off, in contrast to DRAM. ROM is often used to hold programs for embedded systems since these usually have a fixed purpose.
RTC
Real-time Clock
Planning software developed by SAP AG that integrates back-office functions.
Semiconductor
A material, typically crystalline, that can be altered to allow electrical current to flow or not flow in a pattern. Common semiconductors are silicon, germanium and gallium-arsenide. The term is also used to apply to ICs made from these materials.
Silicon
The raw material for silicon can be found in almost limitless quantities in the form of quartz sand (silicic acid). It is the second most common element on earth after oxygen. A third of the earth's crust is made of silicon. A costly process is required to turn the raw material into the pure form required by the semiconductor industry. In this form, only one foreign atom is present per billion atoms of silicon.
Switch
An analog IC that, on command, either passes or blocks an electrical signal.
System-on-chip
A highly integrated chip containing all the electronics for a complete working product on a single chip.
Process for controlling traffic through the use of navigation and communication technologies built into cars.
Test Facility
Institution for structural and complementary application testing ensuring full functionality of the component across the entire specification. Initial standard tests involve contact on the silicon wafer, and in a second step the cased unit is tested at various temperatures.
TO92, Transistor-outline package
Chip package type
TQM, Total Quality Management
Method for the systematic investigation and comprehensive improvement of a company's working processes. TQM methods are now used worldwide in all industries.
A thin slice of pure silicon onto which active semiconducting circuits - integrated circuits or ICs - are built using a lithographic process.
When used in connection with manufacturing: the ratio of the number of usable products to the number of produced products.