Electronic Component Definitions


The Digi-Key Dictionary

What is a resistor? What can be used in place of germanium diodes? Let the Digi-Key Dictionary be your reference for electronic components, computer parts, and electronics industry term definitions. With many terms linked directly to our product pages, Digi-Key can help you find exactly what you are looking for and make your ordering process easy. Digi-Key has the largest selection available for immediate shipment, so do not forget to bookmark the page for future reference!

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1N34A

A popular germanium diode. Possible replacements include 1N4454, 1N4148, and 1N914.

A

AC

Alternating Current

AC DC Configurable Power Supply Chassis

The frame/shell portion of a configurable device that converts an alternating current input to a direct current output.

AC DC Configurable Power Supply Module

The circuit board portion of a configurable device that converts an alternating current input to a direct current output.

AC DC Converter

A device that converts an alternating current voltage input to a direct current voltage level output.

AC DC Converter, Offline Switcher

A semiconductor device that is used to control/switch a high voltage rail from a bridge rectifier within a power supply.

AC Fan

Cooling devices that are designed to produce a flow of air out of one side or end of the unit. The devices in this family are designed to be used with an alternating current.

AC, DC Motor

Devices designed to turn electricity into mechanical motion. These devices produce a continuous turning of a central shaft do to magnetic fields.

Accelerometer

Devices designed to detect and respond to changes in acceleration.

Active Interface Filter

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies and signals from a circuit using amplifying components.

Adjustable Inductor

Devices that are designed to store energy through the use of a magnetic field. Items in this family have an inductance level that can be changed by adjusting a central core.

Adjustable Power Resistor

A variable device that opposes the flow of current. The resistance of these devices is changed moving a central terminal between one end and the other of the component.

Alligator Clip, Crocodile Clip, Heavy Duty Test Clip

Most often used between an electronic circuit and a measurement device, these items are designed to provide a temporary electrical connection. Items in this family are spring loaded and contain two jaws with serrated teeth.

Aluminum Capacitor

A device for storing a charge of electricity. These devices are basically composed of an aluminum foil coated with an insulating layer, a sheet of paper saturated with electrolyte, and another aluminum foil. These devices are most often polarized and will be damaged if connected incorrectly.

Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor

Provides more capacitance for their size and weight than do other types of capacitors. Commonly consist of two aluminum plates separated by gauze or other absorbent material.

Ambient Light Sensor

Devices that are designed to sense light. Items in this family changes in the light surrounding the device.

Amplifier

Supplementary devices that are used to enhance the output from a sensor.

Analog Front End (AFE)

A semiconductor device that is used to condition an analog input signal.

Analog I/O Relay Module

Standardized pluggable devices used in I/O systems for monitoring or controlling systems or acquiring signals. Device in this family work with an analog signal.

Analog Multiplier, Divider

A semiconductor device that is designed to reroute linear signals.

Analog Output Reflective Optical Sensor

Devices designed to transmit a signal from one side of the device out to a reflective surface and back to the other side of the device. The device then senses interruptions to this signal and provides an analog output.

Analog Switch, Multiplexer, Demultiplexer

Devices that are designed to block or reroute data signals.

Analog to Digital Converter (ADC)

A semiconductor device that converts an incoming analog signal (a continuously varying signal with constant fluctuations) into an outgoing digital signal (a signal with a defined number of proportional discrete states).

Angle, Linear Position Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to changes in the angular position of the device.

ARINC (Aeronautical Radio Incorporated) Backplane Connector

Connectors that conform to a specific set of specifications (ARINC) for interconnection devices. These devices are used in board or panel systems where other circuit boards may be plugged into them.

ARINC Insert

Portions of connectors that can be removed and replaced. These connectors conform to a specific set of specifications (ARINC) for interconnection devices. They are used in board or panel systems where other circuit boards may be plugged into them.

Attenuator

Devices designed to reduce the strength of a signal.

Audio Amplifier

A device whose output is proportionally greater than it's input. Items in this family are meant to be used in audio circuits.

Audio Processing IC

A semiconductor device designed to filter, drive, amplify, convert, interface, etc., audio signals.

Audio Transformer

Devices that are designed to be used in circuits used to broadcast receive or reproduce sounds.


B

Backplane

Boards with a series of connectors attached to them. These boards are often located on the rear of a card rack. The connectors on the board will mate with the connectors on the boards or devices that are inserted into the card rack.

Backplane Connector Housing

Connectors that do not contain any contacts. These contactless connectors are designed for board or panel mount systems where other circuit boards by be plugged into them.

Balun

Devices designed to connect two circuits by converting or un-converting balanced and unbalanced loads.

Banana, Meter Interface Test Lead

Consisting of a probe, clip, or plug on one end and a banana plug interconnect on the other end. These cables provide a connection between a measurement device and an electronic circuit.

Barrel Audio Cable

A device with barrel shaped interconnects that are typically used in audio applications. The two most common types would be phone and phono (RCA) styles.

Barrel Power Cable

A device with barrel shaped interconnects that are typically used in power applications. These types of interconnects are most often defined by an inner and outer diameter.

Barrel, Bullet Terminal

Mating single conductor electrical devices. The male terminals are bullet shaped and the female terminals look like a hollowed out cylinder.

Bezel

Devices that are used to hold and define another device in a panel.

Bipolar Junction Transistor

A semiconductor device with three terminals that is used to switch or amplify signals. Bipolar junction transistors are designed as a NPN or PNP style.

Bipolar Junction Transistor Array

Grouping of transistors which may or may not be connected together. Each of these transistors has three terminals and is used to switch or amplify signals.

Blade Power Connector

Devices that have been designed to work with larger power requirements. Items in this category will have contacts that have a blade style.

Blade Power Connector Contact

Terminals that are used in connectors. These terminals are specifically used in connectors that require a blade style contact.

Blade Power Connector Housing

Connectors that do not contain any contacts. These contactless connectors are designed to be used with blade style terminals.

BNC

Bayonet Neill-Concelman

BNC Interface Test Lead

Consisting of a probe, clip, or plug on one end and a BNC interconnect on the other end. These cables provide a connection between a measurement device and an electronic circuit.

Board In, Direct Wire to Board Rectangular Connector

Device with a rectangular shape that are used to directly connect conductors to a printed circuit board without the use of a mating interconnect.

Board to Board Connector - PCI, PMC, FPGA, Mezzanine

The stacking of component cards to plug into a single bus.

Breakout Board Adapter

Devices that change one termination method to a different termination type.

Bridge Rectifier

An arrangement of diodes configured to convert the different polarities of an AC voltage into a DC voltage.

Buffer, Driver, Receiver, Transceiver

Semiconductor devices that are designed to provide isolation, sends or receives logic signals.

Buzzer

A device that produces an audible signal usually like a steady high pitched hum that is encased within a molded housing.

Bypass Diode

A diode whose main function is to "bypass" a failing solar cell. They are also called solar bypass diodes.


C

Cables, Wires - Management

Devices used to control, arrange, or guide cables or wires.

Cam Positioner

Equipment used to monitors the rotation of an encoder and provides output signals based on that rotation.

Capacitor

Devices for storing a charge of electricity.

Capacitor Array

A grouping of devices used to store a charge of electricity. The components may or may not be connected internally.

Carbon Film Resistor

The most common construction of a resistor. They are general purpose parts manufactured from carbon dust or graphite dust and a binding agent.

Card Edge Adapter

Devices designed to mate two boards with terminal pads to each other.

Card Edge Connector - Edgeboard

Devices designed to mate with a board that has terminal pads positioned along an edge of the item. The devices will vary based on the type and thickness of the board that it is supposed to mate with.

Card Edge Contact

Terminals that are used in connectors. These terminals are specifically used in connectors that have a card edge style.

Card Edge Housing

Connectors that do not contain any contacts. These contactless connectors are designed to be used with card edge components.

Card Extender

Boards that have a card edge connector or contact pads on one or both sides of the card. These boards can then be populated with components and connectors for design purposes.

Card Guide

Devices designed to align a board when it is inserted into a card rack.

Card Rack

A frame that is designed to hold a series of boards or devices of a specific height, length, and width. These sub racks are often placed into a larger rack.

CdS Photoconductive Cell

Devices that are designed to sense light. Items in this family change resistance with the intensity of the light.

Centronics Cable

Devices that contain d-shaped interconnects. These devices are often used to transmit data to and from a computer and external devices.

Ceramic Capacitor

A capacitor in which the dielectric material is ceramic. They are used as feed-through capacitors and for RFI/EMI suppression.

Ceramic Filter

A device that utilizes a ceramic material to accomplish its function.

Ceramic Resistor

A precision resistor that can withstand high temperatures without significant drift.

Chassis Mount Resistor

A device which opposes the flow of current. These devices most often have a metal jacket that is used to help dissipate the heat. These devices are most often mounted to a frame.

Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

A device which opposes the flow of current. These devices have two terminals. The terminals on these devices are meant to be soldered to the flat portion of a circuit board.

Circuit Board Indicator, Array, Light Bar, Bar Graph

A semiconductor device that emits light (Light Emitting Diode) when electricity runs through the circuit the component is in. The housed devices in this family are used to provide a visible condition of a circuit. These items may contain a single or multiple LED components.

Circuit Breaker

A resettable safety device used to automatically open an electrical circuit when a fault condition, such as an overload or short circuit, occurs.

Circuit Protection

Devices that are designed to keep components safe in situations where an excessive amount of current is suddenly introduced to a circuit.

Circular Cable

Devices that have a circular shape on the mating end of the device. These items are often distinguished by their shell size or style.

Circular Connector

Devices that have a circular shape on the mating end of the device. These items are often distinguished by their shell size or style.

Circular Connector Contact

Male or female terminals that are used in connectors. These terminals are specifically used in connectors that have a circular style.

Circular Connector Housing

Connectors that do not contain any contacts. These contactless connectors are designed with a circular mating end.

Clean Room Swab, Brush

Absorbent material on the end of rods and handles with bristles that are used to clean boards and devices.

Clean Room Treatment, Cleaner, Wipe

Materials used for cleaning or preventing static electricity.

Clock Buffer, Driver

Devices that are designed to ensure that a clock signal has quick rise and fall times.

Clock Generator, PLL, Frequency Synthesizer

Devices that are designed to provide a timing source from a reference signal.

CODEC

A semiconductor device that is used to transform data by compression/decompression. Transmission speeds can be improved and less storage space is taken up by compressing data.

Cold Cathode Fluorescent (CCFL) and UV Lamp

Light sources that use a mercury vapor to emit UV light that causes a phosphor coating to emit light (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) and other light sources that provide wavelengths in the Ultraviolet frequency range (750 THz ~ 30,000 THz).

Color Sensor

Devices designed to detect the color of light and provide an output based on the detected color.

Common Mode Choke

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. These devices allow equal and opposite current flow through the winding (differential mode) but suppress current flowing through the windings in the same direction (common mode).

Compass, Magnetic Field Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence of a magnetic field. Items in this family are designed as an electronic compass.

Computers, Office - Components, Accessories

Devices designed to be used with computers or integrated into equipment with microcomputers.

Connector, Interconnect

Devices of the same style that most often mate with another device of the same style but opposite gender in order to transfer signals or power from one area of a device to another.

Contacts - Leadframe

A specialized terminal.

Counter

Equipment used to keep a running total and/or control an external device based on that count.

Counter, Divider

A semiconductor device that counts the number of times a state changes or an event occurs or a semiconductor device that is designed to divide an input frequency.

CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device)

A programmable device composed of macrocells. A macrocell is composed of gates. Macrocells are grouped together to form logic blocks.

Crimp Head, Die Set

Portion of a crimper that is designed for a specific size of wire and/or type of contact to join a wire to a contact/terminal.

Crimper Applicator, Press

Devices used join wires to contacts by compressing a portion of the contact. These devices may or may not contain a head or die set which is made specifically for the wire size and contact/terminal type being used.

Crystal

Devices that perform their function through the use of some form of quartz material.

Current Sense Transformer

Devices that are designed to detect and for use in measurement of flow of electricity.

Current Transducer

Devices designed to detect and respond to changes in the flow of electricity in a wire or circuit.


D

Darlington Transistor

A transistor made of two bipolar transistors that are arranged so that the current amplified by the first transistor is further amplified by the second.

Data Encoder, Decoder, Converter

Devices that are designed to change data. Encoders change the input using a specific operation. Decoders reverse the process to provide the original data.

DC DC Converter

A device designed to change a direct current voltage input level to a one or more different direct current voltage output level.

DC DC Converter (Factorized)

A device designed to change a direct current voltage input level to a one or more different direct current voltage output level.

DC DC Switching Controller

Devices that produce a mostly constant voltage output by externally switching the device on and off. Switching regulators can provide higher output voltages then what is on the input.

DC DC Switching Regulator

Devices that produce a mostly constant voltage output by internally switching the device on and off. Switching regulators can provide higher output voltages then what is on the input.

DC Fan

Cooling devices that are designed to produce a flow of air out of one side or end of the unit. The devices in this family are designed to be used with a direct current.

DC to AC (Power) Inverter

Devices that take a direct current input and provide an alternating current output.

Delay Line

Devices that are designed to provide timing delay adjustments for a set amount of time.

Desoldering Braid, Wick

Braided wire that has had a rosin flux added. These items are used to aid in the removal of solder from a joint by absorbing the solder as it is heated.

DIAC

Diode for Alternating Current. DIACs only conduct after a specified "breakover" voltage has been reached. At that point the resistance of the part drops and increases in current. It stays conducting until it drops below the "holding current".

Digi-Reel

A custom quantity reel of continuous cut-tape made from a manufacturer's reel. An 18 inch leader and trailer are attached so that the sprocket holes are aligned enabling direct and flawless feeding into automated board assembly equipment and then rewound on to a plastic reel according to Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA) standards.

Digital Isolator

Devices that are used to electronically separate circuits but still allow for digital signals to be transferred between the circuits.

Digital Potentiometer

A semiconductor device designed to work like a variable resistor. Semi-conductive switches are placed between junctions of resistive elements. These switches are controlled so only one will be allowed on at a time. The resistance of the part will vary depending on which switch is on.

Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)

A semiconductor device that converts an incoming digital signal (a signal with a defined number of proportional discrete states) into an outgoing analog signal (a continuously varying signal with constant fluctuations).

DIMM

Dual In-Line Memory Module

DIN

Deutsches Institut für Normung

DIN 41612 Backplane Connector

Connectors that conform to a specific set of specifications (DIN 41612) for interconnection devices. These devices are used in board or panel systems where other circuit boards may be plugged into.

DIN Rail Channel

A plastic or metal bar that conforms to one of a set of standard widths and designs. Used to mount industrial control equipment, connectors, power supplies, etc., within a boxes and racks.

Diode, Rectifier

Semiconductor devices that are designed to allow current flow only in one direction.

Diode, Rectifier Array

A grouping of diodes that may or may not be connected together internally. Each of these diodes allows the flow of electricity in one direction and restricts the flow of electricity in the other direction.

DIP

Dual In-Line Package

DIP Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are usually groupings of small switches used as jumper blocks or small rotary type switches that require a tool to set.

Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS)

Devices that are used to produce an analog waveform digitally.

Discrete Fiber Optic Transmitter

Devices that are designed to transmit fiber optic signals.

Display Driver

Semiconductor device that is designed as an interface between a display and the rest of the circuit, providing the drive signals for the display.

Display, Monitor - Interface Controller

Devices that are used to supervise and regulate the information transmitted to a display.

Distance Sensor

Devices that are designed to transmit and receive infrared signals for use in a variety of circuits to measure the distance an object is away from the device.

DRAM

Dynamic Random Access Memory

DSL Filter

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. Items in this family are used to provide separation and filtering between digital subscriber line service and analog telephone line services that are transmitted and received on the same phone line.

DSP (Digital Signal Processor)

A semiconductor device that is used to perform mathematical operations on digital input signals. This is done in order to perform some function on the signal easier than it could have been done if it was an analog signal.

D-Sub Adapter

Devices used to convert from one connector style to another. Both ends of the device will contain a D-Sub/Shaped style connector.

D-Sub Backshell, Hood

Cases that are used to enclose the portion of a connector where the cables/wires are attached. These shells are used with connectors that have a shield or molded base that is in the form of a "D".

D-Sub Cable

Devices that have a "D" look to the mating end. Items in this family will have either male pins or female sockets for contacts. The size and layout of the "D" shape will determine the number and type of contact used in the device.

D-Sub Connector

Devices that have a "D" look to the mating end. Items in this family will have either male pins or female sockets for contacts. The size and layout of the "D" shape will determine the number and type of contact used in the device.

D-Sub Contact

Male or female terminals that are used with connectors that have a shield or molded base that is in the form of a "D".

D-Sub Terminator

Devices used to provide electrical termination. Items in this family have a "D" shape to the mating end.

DVI

Digital Visual Interface

Dust Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or the amount of dust.

DVI, HDMI Video Cable

Cables that have interconnects on one or both ends of the cable. These devices are often used for connecting to or between video sources.


E

EEPROM

Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory

Electric Double Layer Capacitor

A device for storing a charge of electricity. These devices are designed to have energy storage capabilities that are much greater than normal capacitors.

Electrical Tester, Current Probe

Devices that are designed to measure or test for an electrical condition which could include any or a combination of voltage, resistance, current, capacitance, frequency, etc.

Electrical, Specialty Fuse

A device designed to stop current flow when it exceeds a certain limit (overcurrent protection). The devices works by creating an opening in a material situated between two end terminals. The material will melt (blow) from an increase in heat generated by the device as the current flow changes. The amount of time it takes the device to blow is often defined as fast or slow-blow.

EMI/RFI Filter (LC, RC Network)

Filters made from resistor - capacitor or inductor - capacitor configurations.

Energy Metering IC

Semiconductor devices that are designed to measure energy and power quality in single-phase or polyphase applications.

Environmental Tester

Devices that are designed to measure or test for an environmental condition like gas, humidity, PH, etc.

EPROM

Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory

ESL

Equivalent Series Inductance

ESR

Equivalent Series Resistance

Etching and Fabrication Equipment

Equipment that is used to create traces (connection paths) on a circuit board.

Excavator, Hook, Pick, Probe, Tuning Tool

Devices designed to help in the removal, testing, and tuning of components.

External Switched MOSFET, Bridge Driver

A semiconductor device that is designed to interface between power signals and an external MOSFET or Bridge architecture circuit.


F

Feed Through Capacitor

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. Items in this family have a third terminal that is normally connected to ground of the circuit.

Ferrite Bead and Chip

Devices that are designed to suppress high frequency noise (EMI). Items in this family are meant to be placed within an electronic circuit.

Ferrite Core for Cables and Wiring

Devices that are designed to suppress high frequency noise (EMI). Items in this family are meant to be placed around a cable.

Ferrite Disk, Plate

Devices that are designed to suppress high frequency noise (EMI). Items in this family are meant to be placed directly on a device that produces the noise.

FET

A semiconductor device with three terminals where the current flow through the device is controlled by an electric field. FET is short for Field Effect Transistor.

FET, Field Effect Transistor

Consists of two semiconductors junctions and three terminals (Gate, Drain, and Source). Can either be N-Channel, or P-Channel. The control channel is the gate. An N-channel FET turns on with a gate positive in respect to the source, a P-channel turns on with a gate negative in respect to the source.

FETs Array

A semiconductor device with three terminals where the current flow through the device is controlled by an electric field. FET is short for Field Effect Transistor.

FFC, FPC (Flat Flexible) Connector

Devices designed to accept flat flexible cables. The items in this family are mounted on a board and do not require a mate.

Fiber Optic Attenuator

Devices that are designed to decrease fiber optic signals.

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber Optics are cables that contain a glass or plastic thread enclosed within a jacketed material.

Fiber Optic Connector

Fiber Optics are connectors that contain a glass or plastic thread enclosed within a jacketed material.

Fiber Optic Receiver

Devices that are designed to receive fiber optic signals.

Fiber Optic Switch, Multiplexer, Demultiplexer

Devices that are designed to block or reroute fiber optic signals.

Fiber Optic Transceiver

Devices that are designed to receive and transmit fiber optic signals.

Fiber Optic Transmitter Drive Circuitry Integrated

Devices that are designed to transmit fiber optic signals. The items in this family also have drive components integrated into the device.

FIFO

First In, First Out

FIFOs Memory

A semiconductor device that stores data on a first in first out basis.

Film Capacitor

A device for storing a charge of electricity. The dielectric of these devices will be some form of a plastic film, a metalized film, or a combination of the two.

Firewire Cable (IEEE 1394)

Cables that have interconnects that meet the IEEE 1394 specification on one or both ends of the cable. These devices are often used to transmit data to and from a computer and external devices.

Flat Flex Cable (FFC, FPC)

FFC cables are a series of single flat conductor wires placed parallel to each other and molded together.

Flat Flex, Ribbon Jumper Cable

Lengths of flat, thin cable which house flat conductors placed parallel to each other that have the conductors exposed on both ends of the cable.

Flex Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond by changing resistance as it is bent.

Float Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in the amount of a medium that affect the level of the sensor.

Flow Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in the amount of a medium flowing along or through the sensor.

Flux, Flux Remover

Semi-liquid or paste material that are used to aid in the cleaning of solder material, aid in the flow of solder materials, and/ or aid in the removal of solder materials.

Force Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in the amount of pressure on the sensor.

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array)

A programmable device composed of an array of logic blocks and input/output blocks. A logic block is a grouping of flip-flops and a lookup tables that are wired together.

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) with Microcontroller

A programmable device composed of an array of logic blocks and input/output blocks. A logic block is a grouping of flip-flops and a lookup tables that are wired together. A microcontroller is also designed into the semiconductor package.

Free Hanging FFC, FPC (Flat Flexible) Connector

Devices designed to accept flat flexible cables. The items in this family are made to be mated to another interconnect.

Free Hanging, Panel Mount Rectangular Connector

Devices that contain contacts for connecting to wire or cable conductors. These items either hang freely from the connector or are mounted into a panel opening. All of these devices will have a rectangular look to the mating end.

Function Generator

Equipment designed to generate a variety of signal waveforms of varying amplitudes and time lengths.

Fuse

A device designed to stop current flow when it exceeds a certain limit (overcurrent protection). The devices works by creating an opening in a material situated between two end terminals. The material will melt (blow) from an increase in heat generated by the device as the current flow changes. The amount of time it takes the device to blow is often defined as fast or slow-blow.

Fuseholder

A device used to facilitate the easy insertion and removal of fuses in an electronic circuit.


G

GaNFET

Gallium Nitride power FET. They typically have low threshold voltages and have faster switching frequencies.

Gas Discharge Tube Arrestor (GDT)

These overvoltage devices allow current to flow through a gas. This happens when a high voltage (spike) ionizes the gas causing a discharge within the device.

Gas Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in the amount of a gas.

Gate and Inverter - Multi-Function, Configurable

A semiconductor device used in digital circuits to change the state of the output based on the state of the inputs. Items in this family can either have a variety of outputs or be set to provide specific logic outputs.

Gateway

A gateway converts information from one protocol to another. It works at the network layer 4 of the protocol.

Germanium Diode

An older technology diode that has very low forward voltage drop. Possible replacements may be found in RF diodes.

GPS

Global Positioning System

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)

These devices are designed to allow for a stoppage of current flow when the device detects a discrepancy between the current flow in the neutral and hot lines of a circuit.

Grounding Braid, Strap

Sleeves or strips of braided metal that are used for grounding and/or shielding.

Gunn Diode

Also known as a transferred electron device. They are used in high-frequency electronics. A Gunn diode has a region of negative differential resistance and is often used in electronic oscillators to generate microwaves.

Gyroscope

Devices designed to detect and respond to changes in angular acceleration along multiple axis.


H

Hall Effect Pushbutton Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are turned on or off through the use of an actuator that is depressed into the units body and creates a change in a magnetic field.

Hall Effect Sensor

Responds to a magnetic field and produces an output proportional to the proximity or strength of the field. Hall effect sensors are used for proximity switching, positioning, speed detection, and current sensing.

Hall Effect, Digital Switch, Linear, Compass (ICs)

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence of a magnetic field.

Hard Metric, Standard Backplane Connector

Connectors that conform to a set of specifications for interconnection devices. These devices are used in board or panel systems where other circuit boards may be plugged into. The connectors usually have a 2.0mm pitch from row to row and column to column.

HDMI

High-Definition Multimedia Interface

Heat Gun, Torch

A device used to emit hot air and supplementary items used with the tool. They are similar in shape and construction to a hair dryer, though they run at much higher temperatures.

Heat Shrink Fabric

Hollow pieces of plastic with one end open. These plastic pieces become smaller in size as they become warm. Most often used as insulation material when connecting wires together, heat shrink tubing also can be used to group wires together, insulate items from mechanical wear, and much more.

Heat Shrink Tubing

Hollow tubes of woven material with both ends open. These tubes become smaller in size as they become warm. Most often used as insulation material when connecting wires together, these tubes can be used to group wires together, insulate items from mechanical wear, and much more.

Heat Shrink Wrap

Hollow pieces of plastic with both ends open. These plastic pieces become smaller in size as they become warm. Most often used as insulation material when connecting wires together, heat shrink tubing also can be used to group wires together, insulate items from mechanical wear, and much more.

Heater Element Detector

Equipment used to monitor a device that produces heat from electricity.

Helical Filter

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. Items in this family use a spiral shaped wire wrapped around a central core.

HEMT

High Electron Mobility Transistor. They use a junction between two materials with different band gaps instead of a doped region. They are often used in high frequency products. They are also called HFETs.

Hex, Torx Key

A device that utilizes a star shaped bit.

High Brightness LED Power Module

A semiconductor device that emits light (Light Emitting Diode) when electricity runs through the circuit the component is in. The devices in this family are single LED assemblies.

Hot Swap, PoE Controller

Semiconductor device that provides the protection needed to allow other components to be inserted or removed from a circuit while there is power live in the circuit.

Hour Meter

Equipment used to monitor and display a property of a circuit with respect to time.


I

I/O Expander

Devices that are designed to increase the number of input/output ports.

I/O Relay Module Rack

A board that is designed to hold I/O Modules and the interconnects needed to connect the modules to devices that send or receive the required signals.

IC Battery

Devices that provide a power source for specific semiconductor devices.

IDC

Insulated Displacement Connector

IEEE

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IGBT

A multilayered semiconductor device with three terminals that can handle high currents but also has fast switching features. IGBT is short for Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor.

IGBT Array

A grouping of insulated gate bipolar transistors that may or may not be connected together internally. Each of these transistors that can handle high currents but also have fast switching features.

IGBT, Insulated Gate Bipolar Junction Transistor

A three terminal power device that is primarily used as a switch. It combines high efficiency and fast switching. They combine the isolated gate FET for the control, with a bipolar junction transistor as a switch.

Image Sensor

Devices designed to detect and change a viewable image into a digital signal.

Impedance

The opposition to the flow of alternating current. Composed of resistance and reactance.

Incandescent, Neon Lamp

Light sources that use a heated filament to emit light and light sources that contain neon (an inert gas) which emits light when the gas is excited (current flows through the tube).

Inclinometer

Devices designed to detect and respond to movement of the sensor from a level position along the X, Y, or X and Y axis.

Indication LED, Discrete

Small, low power LEDs designed for indication.

Inductance

The property of an inductor that opposes any change of current through it.

Inductors, Coils, Chokes

Devices that are designed to store energy through the use of a magnetic field.

Industrial Control, Meter

Equipment used to monitor or direct the way a machine operates.

Infrared, UV Emitter

Devices that transmit signals in the infrared frequency range (300 GHz ~ 400 THz). These devices are often used in remote controls.

Input I/O Relay Module

Standardized pluggable devices used in I/O systems for monitoring or controlling systems or acquiring signals. Device in this family convert a voltage input to a logic level signal.

Inrush Current Limiter (ICL)

Items designed to limit and initial large flow of electric charge that occurs when a device is first turned on.

Instrumentation Amp, OP Amp, Buffer Amp

A device whose output is proportionally greater than it's input. Items in this family are meant to be used in general purpose applications.

Insulator

A material that does not conduct electrical current.

Integrated Circuits (ICs)

A device that contains multiple elements and can provide many functions. These devices are built with materials that have an electrical conductivity that falls between the conductivity of a conductor and an insulator.

Interface Controller

Devices that are designed to control a signal between two points.

Interface Driver, Receiver, Transceiver

Devices that are designed to send or receive signals.

Internal Switch MOSFET, Bridge Driver

A semiconductor device that is designed to interface between power signals and an internal MOSFET or Bridge architecture circuit.

Ionizer Equipment

Devices that change the level of ionization of air particles in an area or items that work with these ionizers.

IrDA Transceiver Module

Industry driven set of specifications for infrared communications. IrDA stand for Infrared Data Association Transceiver.

ISM

Industrial, Scientific and Medical

Isolated, Non-Isolated - Step Up Down Autotransformer

Devices that are used to change the level of voltage from one side of the circuit to the other side of the circuit the item is installed in.

Isolator

Devices that are used to electronically separate circuits but still allow for signals to be transferred between the circuits.


J

JFET, Junction Field Effect

A type of transistor that is on until you turn it off by applying a voltage that is negative to the source. They are commonly used in circuits that require low power, low noise, and high impedance.

Joystick Potentiometer

An input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling.

Jumper Wire

A length of insulated, stiff, single conductor wire with stripped ends bent at 90 degree angles.

Jumper, Specialty Test Lead

Cables with some type of clip and/or connector on each end that are used for taking measurements and testing circuits.


K

Keylock Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family that use a key as an actuator. This actuator will turn along the center axis point but have a predetermined number of stopping positions. The key may or may not be removable at any number of these positions.

Keypad Switch

A grouping of buttons that are used to provide input to a machine. These buttons may or may not have logos that show each buttons' specific purpose.

Keystone - Faceplate, Frame

Devices with different number of panel mount openings and sizes that are used to hold connectors.

Keystone - Insert

Devices of different styles that snap into a wall plate to allow connection of external cable into wall run cables.


L

LAN

Local Area Network

Laser Diode

A semiconductor device that emits a high intensity beam of radiation (infrared, ultraviolet or visible light).

Laser Driver

Semiconductor device that is designed as an interface between a laser and the rest of the circuit, providing the drive signals for the laser.

Latch

A semiconductor device designed to store a logic state (bit). If the enable is set on the device then the outputs will be constantly changing based on changes in the inputs. Many types of latches exist including D (Delay), SR (Set Reset) and T (Transparent).

LCD

Liquid Crystal Display

LCD, OLED Character and Numeric Display Module

Devices that use a liquid crystal display (LCD) or an organic light emitting diode (OLED) to provide a visual representation of alpha-numeric characters.

LCD, OLED, Graphic Display Module

Devices that use a liquid crystal display (LCD) or an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display to provide visual graphics.

LDMOS

Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor. They are fabricated with an epitaxial silicon layer placed on a highly doped silicon substrate. They are often used in microwave and RF power amplifiers.

LED

Light Emitting Diode

LED Character and Numeric Display Module

Devices that use a light emitting diode to provide a visual representation of alpha-numeric characters.

LED Dot Matrix and Cluster Display Module

Devices that use light emitting diodes arranged in a matrix layout to provide visual graphics.

LED Driver

Semiconductor device that is designed as an interface between a LED and the rest of the circuit, providing the drive signals for the LED.

LED Lamp Replacement

Single LED devices that have a base that is the same as a type of a different light source. Used as a replacement and upgrade to a newer technology.

LED Lense

Clear or translucent surfaces used to provide diffusion of light emitted from a lamp or LED source.

LED Light Pipe

Devices designed to transmit light from a source to a different location.

LED Lighting, Color

LEDs that are designed for colored lighting or curing.

LED Lighting, White

LEDs that are designed primarily for lighting. They include color temperatures such as cool white, warm white, and natural white.

LED Reflector

Reflective surfaces that provide direction control of light emitted from a lamp or LED source.

LED Thermal Product

Devices designed to provide cooling of LED components.

Level Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in the amount of a medium that affect the level of the sensor.

LGH Cable

Cables designed for use with high voltages (greater than 4000 volts).

LGH Connector

Connectors designed for use with high voltages (greater than 4000 volts).

Lighting, Ballast Controller

A semiconductor device that is designed to interface between power signals and devices that control lighting.

Line Conditioner

Devices that provide a steady spike free (clean) output from the normal line power.

Line Filter

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. Items in this family are designed to be inserted between a supply source (line) and components or equipment (load) in order to prevent noise (electromechanical interference, radio frequency interference) from reaching the load.

Line Protection, Distribution, Backup

Devices designed to keep electronic instruments safe from surges, and short power outages. Instruments used to allow several electronic instruments to be used from one power source/outlet. Devices used to convert from direct current to alternating current.

Linear (LDO) Regulator

Devices that produce a mostly constant voltage output that is lower than the input voltage. Linear regulators have faster response times to input and output variances and have a low output noise.

Linear + Switching Voltage Regulator

Devices that contain switching regulators and linear regulators in one component. Ideal for condensing multiple rails into one package instead of multiple components that can take up more circuit area.

Linear Comparator

A semiconductor device that is designed to compare inputs.

Linear Rotary Potentiometer

A variable device that opposes the flow of current. The resistance of these devices is changed using a revolving stem that is attached to the central axis. The resistance varies equally as it is turned.

Linear Transistor Driver Voltage Regulator

Devices that produce a mostly constant voltage output by controlling an external transistor.

Liquid Level Controller

Equipment used to monitor or direct the way a machine operates based on the level of a liquid.

Logarithmic Rotary Potentiometer

A variable device that opposes the flow of current. The resistance of these devices is changed using a revolving stem that is attached to the central axis. The resistance varies exponentially as it is turned.

Logic Comparator

A semiconductor device that is designed to look at different inputs and based on the differences return an output. Different styles are available for that compare difference types of inputs.

Logic Flip Flop

A semiconductor devices designed to store a logic state (bit). The state of these devices remains stable until a trigger pulse is received. Flip-flops are edge sensitive devices. Several types of flip flops exist including D (Delay), JK, and SR (Set Reset).

Logic Gate and Inverter

A semiconductor device used in digital circuits to change the state of the output based on the state of the inputs. Each type of gate has different rules as to what the output will be. Common gate types include AND, OR, NAD, NOR, and NOT (inverter) styles.

Logic Output Optoisolator

Devices that are used to electronically separate circuits but still allow for signals to be optically transferred between two circuits. Components in this family use some form of a logic gate circuitry on the output of the device.

Logic Output Photo Detector

Devices that are designed to sense light. Items in this family provide a logic output based on the signal or lack thereof.

Logic Output Reflective Optical Sensor

Devices designed to transmit a signal from one side of the device out to a reflective surface and back to the other side of the device. The device then senses interruptions to this signal and provides a logic output.

Loupes, Magnifier

Equipment designed to view small objects by magnifying them through an optical lens.

LVDS

Low-Voltage Differential Signaling

LVDT Transducer (Linear Variable Differential Transformer)

An electrical transformer that is used for feedback to give positional information.


M

Magnetic Position, Proximity, Speed

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence of a magnetic field.

Magnetic Strip, Smart Card Reader

An input device that is designed to accept a specialized card. This card contains data that are stored in narrow bands of magnetic material located across the length of the card or the card contains an embedded microprocessor and memory.

Magnetic Wire Connector Terminal

Devices that are designed to be used with magnet wire (a thinly insulated wire conductor).

Magnetic, Reed Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are turned on and off by the presence or lack of a magnetic field.

MCX

Micro Coaxial

Memory Card Reader

An input and output device that is designed to accept one or more of several standardized versions of flash based storage cards.

Memory Card, Module

Devices used for storage of data.

Memory Module

Blocks of memory arranged on a small PC board with a card edge connection.

MEMS Sensor

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems. Sensors that produce their output based on a physical change on the part.

MESFET

Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor. They are similar to JFETs but instead of using a p-n junction for a gate, a schottky is used. They are used in microwave and RF circuits.

Metal Film Resistor

Precision resistors where high accuracy, low noise, and low temperature coefficient are required. They are usually made from Nichrome, tin oxide or tantalum nitride.

Metal Foil Resistor

High precision, high stability resistors. They tend to be quite large.

Mica and PTFE Capacitor

A device for storing a charge of electricity. The dielectric of these devices will be some form mica or polytetrafluorethylene.

Microcontroller

A semiconductor device that incorporates a processing unit (microprocessor), memory (EEPROM, EPROM, flash, SRAM, etc.), and some peripherals (clocks, converters, ports, timers, UARTs, etc.) into a single device.

Microcontroller, Microprocessor Module

A semiconductor device that incorporates a processing unit (microprocessor), memory (EEPROM, EPROM, flash, SRAM, etc.), and some peripherals (clocks, converters, ports, timers, UARTs, etc.) into a single device. Items in this family are laid out on circuit boards that are prepopulated with connectors or with the solder layout for connectors.

Microprocessor

A programmable semiconductor device that processes instructions.

MLCC

Multi Layer Ceramic Capacitor

Modem

Devices designed to allow transmission of data over telecom lines by modulating and demodulating the signal.

Modems IC and Module

Devices that modulate or demodulate an incoming signal.

Moisture Sensor, Humidity Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in the amount of humidity.

Monitor, Tester

Devices designed to check on the level of static electricity or test devices that monitor the level of static electricity.

Motion Sensor, Detector (PIR)

Devices designed to detect and respond to movement outside of the component but within the range of the sensor.

Motor and Fan Controller, Driver

A semiconductor device that is designed to interface between power signals and a fan or motor.

Motor Driver Board, Module

Devices designed to start, stop, and/or control the performance of a motor.

Motor, Solenoid, Driver Board/Module

Devices used to convert electrical energy into motion.

Multimeter

Equipment designed to measure and display capacitance, current, frequency, resistance, voltage, etc.

Multivibrator

A semiconductor that switches between states.


N

Navigation, Joystick Switch

A grouping of electromechanical devices used to start or stop current flow. The devices in this family are arranged around a central actuator. Depending on which direction the actuator is moved, the switch located in that direction is tripped.

Networking Solutions

Finished devices used for wired/wireless communication.

Niobium Oxide Capacitor

A device for storing a charge of electricity. These devices used Niobium Oxide as the anode material.

Non-Rechargeable Battery

Cells that use a chemical reaction to produce electrical current and are designed to be used once and discarded.

NPN

Bipolar transistor that comprises two semiconductor junctions that share a p-doped region.

NTC

Negative Temperature Coefficient

NTC Thermistor

Devices that change their resistance in reaction to changes in temperature. In a NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) thermistor, the resistance decreases as the temperature increases.

NVSRAM

Non-Volatile Static Random Access Memory


O

OLED

Organic Light Emitting Diode

Optical Sensor - Mouse

Optical Sensor Devices that are used in HID (Human Interface Device).

Optoelectronics

Devices used to emit, modulate, sense, transform, or transmit visible and non-visible wavelengths.

OR Controller, Ideal Diode

Device that is designed to control two or more power source signals.

Oscillator

Devices that are designed to produce a periodic alternating output at a specified frequency (rate).

Oscilloscope

Equipment designed to display and measure waveforms using amplitude or strength of the signal on the y-axis and time on the x-axis.

Oscilloscope Probe Test Lead

Cable assembly that is used to provide an electrical connection between an oscilloscope and an electronic circuit for the purposes of testing and measurement of signals.

Output I/O Relay Module

Standardized pluggable devices used in I/O systems for monitoring or controlling systems or acquiring signals. Device in this family convert a logic level signal to a voltage output.


P

Panel Indicator Pilot Light

Devices that are designed to emit a visible light to indicate a specific state of another device. These items are mounted into a panel.

Parity Generator and Checker

A semiconductor device that is used to produce and/or check on an extra bit that is transmitted with a signal. This extra bit is used to check for errors that occurred during transmission.

Patchbay Jack Panel

A grouping of circuits with the same connector style that are usually mounted in a standardized frame. These groupings allow for the circuits to be interconnected and monitored.

PC Card Memory

Devices designed as a memory storage medium on a small pc board that can be easily inserted and removed from an interconnect device. These items are available in a variety of styles.

PC Pin Receptacle, Socket Connector Terminal

Female gendered, single conductor electrical devices. Most of these items are board-mounted.

PC Pin Terminal

Male gendered, single conductor electrical device that is board-mounted.

Perforated Prototype Board

Circuit boards created for use when first designing an electronic circuit. Items in this family contain any predrilled openings.

PFC IC, Power Factor Correction IC

A semiconductor device designed to align the phase angle to approach zero between the voltage and current in an AC circuit.

Photodiode

Devices that are designed to sense light. Items in this family convert light into current.

Photoelectric, Industrial Optical Sensor

Photoelectric sensors designed primarily for industrial automation.

Phototransistor

A transistor whose gate is sensitive to light. The conductivity between the Gate/Source or Collector/Emitter changes based on the amount and intensity of light that falls on the cell (gate).

Photovoltaic (Solar Panel) Connector

Connectors designed specifically to be used with solar panels.

Photovoltaic Cell

A silicon PN junction that produces voltage from light.

Piezo Bender

A device that produces an audible signal usually like a steady high pitched hum that is not encased within a molded housing.

Pin Configurable Oscillator

Devices that are designed to produce a periodic alternating output at a specified frequency (rate). Components in this family will have different frequency outputs based on the interconnection of the terminals of the device.

PIR

Passive Infrared Sensor

PLD (Programmable Logic Device)

A configurable semiconductor device that contains an array of gates. Some devices are single time programmable (fusible links) while others are reprogrammable (contain EPRM, EEPROM or flash memory).

PLL

Phase Lock Loop

Pluggable Connector

These types of devices include various forms of SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), SFP (Small Form Pluggable), PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), and more.

PNP

Bipolar transistor that comprises two semiconductor junctions that share an n-doped region.

Potentiometer

Variable resistor that is adjusted either manually or digitally.

Power Controller

Equipment used to adjust power based on a setting or on an analog signal input.

Power Distribution Switch

A semiconductor device that is designed to allow power to be turned on or off based on different specifications.

Power Entry - Module

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. These devices also include a standard interconnection that is used to receive power.

Power Entry Connector - Inlet, Outlet, Module

Interconnect devices used in equipment to receive or supply power. Some of these items will include fuses, switches, covers, etc.

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Devices that are used to provide electrical current to equipment located at the end of wired local area networks.

Power Relay Over 2 Amps

Power, Over 2 Amps @ 30 VDC.

Power Supply - Board Mount

Devices that change one form of electrical energy into another. These supplies are meant to be mounted directly to a circuit board.

Power Supply - External/Internal (Off-Board)

Devices that change one form of electrical energy into another. These supplies are meant to be mounted outside of equipment or mounted internally without a board.

Power Supply (Test, Bench)

Equipment that is designed to supply a variable amount of voltage/current to components for testing purposes.

Power Supply Controller, Power Supply Monitor

A semiconductor device that is designed to monitor and/or control voltage rails within a circuit.

Power Transformer

Devices that are used to change the level of voltage from one side of the circuit to the other side of the circuit the item is installed in.

Pre-Biased Bipolar Junction Transistor, Digital Transistor

Grouping of pre-biased transistors which may or may not be connected together. Each of these transistors is used to switch or amplify signals and include extra components used to set a bias (operating) point.

Pre-Biased Transistor (Bipolar Junction Transistor), Digital

A semiconductor device with three terminals that is used to switch or amplify signals. These devices include extra components used to set a bias (operating) point. Bipolar junction transistors are designed as a NPN or PNP style.

Precision Trimmed Resistor

Resistors that are trimmed to provide precise values and tight tolerances.

Pressure Sensor, Pressure Transducer

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in the amount of force on the device.

Process, Temperature Controller

Equipment used to monitor or direct the way a machine operates based inputs into the device.

Programmable Display Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family have a visual output that can be designed to display different graphics based on the state of the switch.

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)

Module used for industrial automation and control.

Programmable Oscillator

Devices that are designed to produce a periodic alternating output at a specified frequency (rate). Components in this family can have their output frequency programmed (set) to a custom rate.

Programmable Timer and Oscillator

Devices that can be set to provide timing pulses at a specified frequency.

Programmable Unijunction Transistor (PUTs)

A multilayered semiconductor device with three terminals that allows several operating characteristics to be programed by the use of external resistors.

PROM

Programmable Read-Only Memory

Protection Relay and System

Equipment used to monitor and protect industry devices.

Proximity Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to movement outside of the component but within the range of the sensor.

PTC

Positive Temperature Coefficient

PTC Resettable Fuse

A device designed to stop current flow when it exceeds a certain limit (overcurrent protection). The devices works by increasing its resistance as its temperature rises due to the current increase. This trips the device. Once voltage is removed from the circuit, the device will cool and reset. PTC is an acronym for Positive Temperature Coefficient.

PTC Thermistor

Devices that change their resistance in reaction to changes in temperature. In a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) thermistor, the resistance increases as the temperature increases.

Pulse Transformer

Devices that are designed to transfer pulses (signals/voltage with a rapid rise time, a duration of constant signal/voltage, and then a rapid fall time) from one side of a circuit to another.

Punchdown, Blades

Hand tool that is used to terminate cables to an insertion displacement connecter/wiring block.

Punches

A hand tool composed of a metal rod. This rod has a flat end that is struck by a hammer. The other end is a shaped tip and is used to drive out pins, rivets, etc.

Pushbutton Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are turned on or off through the use of an actuator that is depressed into the units body.

PWM

Pulse Width Modulation


Q

Quick Connect Terminal

Mating single conductor electrical devices. The male terminals have a blade-shape of a specific length. These items are designed to be easily connected and disconnected.


R

Real Time Clocks

Devices that provide time and/or date information for use by other components.

Rechargeable Battery

Cells that use a chemical reaction to produce electrical current and are designed to be recharged and used multiple times.

Rectangular Terminal

Single conductor electrical connection. These devices have a rectangular shape to the non-cable end and may or may not contain an opening for mounting to a stud.

Rectifier Diode

A diode which is designed for a waveform that periodically reverses direction. They are often used in DC Power Supplies, and High Voltage DC power transmission systems.

Relay Socket

Devices that are used to aid in the insertion and removal of relays from a circuit.

Relays

Devices that can switch the current flow on and off in one circuit using the current flow in another circuit.

Remote Phosphor

Phosphor lenses that convert light from blue LEDs to white.

Remote Receiver Photo Detector

Devices that are designed to be used in remote controls.

Resistor

A passive electrical component that resists or regulates the flow of current. Used to limit the current to a component or in a circuit.

Resistor Color Code

Color Scheme used to identify values on parts that, because of size, part numbers may not be possible to print.

Resistor Network, Resistor Array

A grouping of devices that oppose the flow of current. These devices may or may not be connected together within the package.

Resonator

Devices that are designed to produce a periodic alternating output at a specified frequency (rate). Components in this family will either use a ceramic material in their manufacturing or will convert signal voltages into acoustic waves at one end of the device that are received at the other end of the device and converted back to signal voltages.

RF Amplifier

Devices that are designed to increase the strength of a radio frequency signal.

RF Antenna

A device used to receive and transmit electromagnetic waves. These antennas are designed to be used by devices that work at radio frequencies (15 kHz to 100 GHz).

RF Coaxial Cable

Cables designed to connect high frequency circuits together. These devices come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and work best up to a specific frequency.

RF Coaxial Connector

Connectors designed to connect high frequency circuits together. These devices come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and work best up to a specific frequency.

RF Coaxial Connector Terminator

Devices used to provide electrical termination. Items in this family have a Coaxial/RF connector style on the mating end.

RF Demodulator

Devices that are designed to extract a signal from a modulated wave (a wave that has been changed with the use of a frequency, amplitude, phase, etc.).

RF Detector

Devices that are designed to sense radio frequency signals.

RF Diode

A semiconductor device with two terminals that tends to allow the flow of electricity in one direction and restrict the flow of electricity in the other direction. The devices in this family are designed be used in equipment involving radio frequencies.

RF Diplexer

Devices that can separate and combine signals.

RF Directional Coupler

Devices that are designed to connect multiple inputs together.

RF FETs

A semiconductor device with three terminals where the current flow through the device is controlled by an electric field. The devices in this family are designed be used in equipment involving radio frequencies. FET is short for Field Effect Transistor.

RF Filter

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. Items in this family are designed to be used in high frequency applications.

RF Front End (LNA + PA)

Devices that are used to amplify a signal (Low Noise Amplifiers, Power Amplifier).

RF Mixer

Devices that are used to change the frequency of a signal.

RF Modulator

Devices that are designed to change a signal into a modulated wave (a wave that has been changed with the use of a frequency, amplitude, phase, etc.).

RF Power Controller IC

Devices that are used to manage the different requirements for power used in a circuit.

RF Power Divider/Splitter

Devices that are designed to break an input into multiple outputs.

RF Receiver

Devices that are used to take in a radio frequency signal.

RF Receiver, Transmitter, and Transceiver Finished Unit

Devices that are used to send and/or take in a radio frequency signal.

RF Shield

Metal devices that are designed to provide protection for components from electromagnetic interference.

RF Switch

Devices that are designed to block or reroute a signal.

RF Transceiver

Devices that are used to send and/or take in a radio frequency signal.

RF Transistor (BJT)

A semiconductor device with three terminals that is used to switch or amplify signals. The devices in this family are designed be used in equipment involving radio frequencies. Bipolar junction transistors are designed as a NPN or PNP style.

RF Transmitter

Devices that are used to send a radio frequency signal.

RF/IF and RFID

Devices that are designed to mix, modulate, receive, transmit, etc. radio frequencies.

RFI and EMI - Shielding and Absorbing Material

Devices that are designed to block or reduce interference from electromagnetic and radio frequencies.

RFID

Radio Frequency Identification

RFID Antenna

A device used to receive electromagnetic waves. These antennas are designed to be used at specific radio frequencies by devices that identify and track items using electronic labels (tags).

RFID Reader Module

A complete radio frequency identification module.

RFID Transponder, Tag

A small device that incorporates a receiver and transmitter. These devices communicate with radio frequency identification readers and are designed to work at the specific frequencies associated with radio frequency identification.

Rheostat

A two terminal variable resistor used to vary current.

Ring Terminal

Single conductor electrical connection. These devices have a circular or oval shape to the non-cable end and opening for mounting to a stud.

RMS to DC Converter

Devices that are designed to convert an RMS (root mean square) signal into a DC (direct current) signal.

Rocker Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are turned on or off through the use of an actuator that rocks along a center axis. The depressed side of the actuator will be lower than the opposite side.

Rotary Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are composed of a turntable center actuator that has one or more decks (thin circular boards) of contacts.

Router

A router is a device that forwards packets based on address. A router uses the IP address instead of the MAC address that a switch uses. Routers work on the 3rd layer of the protocol.

RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector)

Devices that change their resistance in reaction to changes in temperature. The specific metals used in RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) devices show a known change in resistance as the temperature changes.


S

SAS

Serial Attached SCSI

SATA

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment

SAW Filter

Devices that are designed to remove unwanted frequencies from a circuit. Items in this family convert signal voltages into acoustic waves at one end of the device. These waves travel the length of quartz device at a specific frequency. The waves are reconverted back to signal voltages on the other end. SAW stands for Surface Acoustic Wave.

Scale Dial

A removable device with a face that is marked in predefined units to indicate the degree that a unit has been turned.

Schottky Diode

Schottky diodes have low forward voltage drops and have very fast switching action.

SCR Thyristor (Silicon Controlled Rectifier)

A four layer thyristor (PNPN) with three terminals that is used to control current. SCR is short for Silicon Controlled Rectifier.

Screw Terminal

Single conductor electrical connection. These devices have a bolt or screw to which a conductor can be attached.

SCSI

Small Computer System Interface

SDL, SEMCONN Connector

Specialized shielded interconnect devices.

Selector Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family have an actuator that turn back and forth along a center axis point but have a predetermined number of stopping positions.

Sensor and Detector Interface

Devices that are designed to be used to facilitate communications between sensors and the rest of the circuit.

Serializer, Deserializer

Devices that are designed to convert parallel data into serial for transmission or take a serial signal and convert it into parallel data for use in a circuit.

Shift Register

A semiconductor device that is composed of multiple flip flops with the output of one being used as the input for the next.

Shock Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence of a sudden change in acceleration most often using piezoelectric principles.

Shockley Diode

A diode named after William Shockley. It is equivalent to a thyristor with a disconnected gate.

Shunt, Jumper

Devices designed to connect two pin contacts that are separated by a specific distance.

SiCFET

Silicon Carbide FET. They are characterized by high switching speeds and low capacitances.

Sidac

Silicon DIAC. In general they have higher breakover voltages and current handling. Sidacs only conduct after a specified "breakover" voltage has been reached. At that point the resistance of the part drops and increases in current. It stays conducting until it drops below the "holding current".

Signal Buffer, Repeater, Splitter

Devices that are designed to hold, retransmit, or separate data signals.

Signal Relay Up to 2 Amps

An electromechanical device which turns a large load on or off through the use of a smaller control signal. The contacts on these devices have a rating of 2 amps or less.

Signal Switch, Multiplexer, Decoder

Semiconductor devices that are designed to block or reroute logic signals.

Signal Terminator

Devices that are designed to provide an electrical end to a signal path to prevent the signal from being reflected back into the circuit.

Signal Transformer Array

Grouping of devices that are designed to store energy through the use of a magnetic field. Items in this family have an inductance level that can be changed by the rearranging the way the components are connected.

Signal Translator

Semiconductor devices that are designed to provide changes between different logic levels (voltage levels).

Silicon Capacitor

A capacitor that is designed for applications where high temperatures are of the main concern.

Single Board Computer (SBC)

Computer built on a single board. Includes microprocessors, memory, input/outputs and other peripherals.

Siren

A device that produces a loud audible signal or warning. The frequency emitted by the device can be continuous, pulsing, or vary between two or more tones.

Slide Switch

A device whose function is accomplished by using a stem that moves between one end and the other of the component.

Slot Type Photointerrupters Logic Output

Devices designed to transmit a signal from one side of the device out to the other side of the device. The device then senses interruptions to this signal and provides a logic output.

Slot Type Photointerrupters Transistor Output

Devices designed to transmit a signal from one side of the device out to the other side of the device. The device then senses interruptions to this signal and provides a transistor output.

Smart Cable

Cables with interconnects on one or both ends of the cable. These devices will have electronic components built into one or both of the connector ends.

Snap Action, Limit Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are turned on or off through the use of an actuator that trips when it reaches a limit of travel. The actuator can be some sort of plunger, lever, arm, etc., that activates when it is depressed.

Socket and Insulator

Devices that are designed to house and allow for the easy insertion and removal of crystals and oscillators in a circuit.

SODIMM

Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module

Solar Cell

Devices designed to convert solar (light) energy into electrical energy.

Solder

Metal Alloys that are used to join metal surfaces to each other.

Solder Lug Terminal

Single conductor electrical connection. These devices have an opening on one end that can be threaded over a screw or bolt. The other end can be soldered to a wire.

Solder Sleeve

Small hollow pieces of shrinkable tubing that have rings of solder incorporated into them. As these devices are heated, the tube shrinks and the solder melts, in order to splice cables.

Solder Sponge

Devices that are designed to clean a solder iron, tweezers, tip, etc.

Solder Stencil, Template

A mask that is used to apply solder in a specific area on a board.

Soldering Iron, Tweezer, Handle

The portion of a solder station or a soldering device that is heated to a point where it can melt solder.

Soldering Station

A base unit used to supply power, air, and/or a vacuum to a separate iron, tweezers, etc.

Soldering, Desoldering Tip, Nozzle

A variety of ends of differing shapes and sizes for use in specific situations with soldering and desoldering equipment.

Solderless Breadboard

Circuit boards created for use when first designing an electronic circuit. Items in this family have predrilled and linked openings that allow for components and wires to be inserted and connected together the need for solder.

Solenoid

Devices that contain a metal cylinder core that moves in and out of the component based on the current flow through the device.

Solid State Hard Drive

Devices that are used to store data but read from or write to the device without the use of any movable parts.

Solid State Lighting Connector

These devices are designed to work with specific solid state lighting equipment.

Solid State Relay

An electronic device, without any mechanical parts, which turns a large load on or off through the use of a smaller control signal.

Spade Terminal

Single conductor electrical connection. These devices have an open (fork) shape to the non-cable end.

Spectrum Analyzer

Equipment designed to display and measure waveforms using amplitude or strength of the signal on the y-axis and frequency on the x-axis.

Spiral Wrap, Expandable Sleeving

Hollow tubes of plastic or other materials with both ends open. The tube is split down the length of the tube and the seam is tucked into or over the tube, or the tube has a spiral cut down the length of the tube allowing the item to expand. A special tool is available to aid in installation.

Splice Enclosure, Protection

A device that is used to house or enclose several cables or wires that have been attached to each other.

Spring Loaded and Pressure Contact

Terminals designed to mate using pressure to hold a pad on a pad or a pin on a pad. The terminals can be spring loaded and will retract into a housing.

Spring Loaded Rectangular Connector

Terminals designed to mate using pressure to hold a pad on a pad or a pin on a pad. The terminals can be spring loaded and will retract into a housing or be formed to provide a spring type action.

SRAM

Static Random Access Memory

Staking Tool

Devices used to connect terminals, rivets, etc. by reforming a metal end.

Static Control Clothing

Apparel specifically designed to be used in clean rooms or static free work areas.

Static Control Device Container

Items that are used to hold other objects. These items are specifically designed to be used to for ESD/static protection.

Static Control Grounding Cord, Strap

Devices that are designed to aid in the remove static electricity from a person. Most often these devices are composed of strips of a conductive material that is attached to a person's wrist or around person's foot and then makes connection to a ground or grounding material.

Static Control Grounding Mat

A large area of material that is designed to help eliminate static electricity when the mat is connected to ground.

Static Control Shielding Bag, Material

A container made from a flexible metal. These bags protect the items placed in them from damage due to static electricity.

Static Control, ESD, Clean Room Product

Products that aid with the control, measurement and elimination of the buildup of electrical charge on a device. Also, products that are used inside clean room environments when there can be no contamination.

Stepper Motor

Devices designed to turn electricity into mechanical motion. These devices take digital pulses and convert them into incremental movements (steps) of a central shaft.

Strain Gage

Devices designed to detect and respond by changing resistance as pressure is applied to the sensor.

Supercap, Supercapacitor

Do not have a conventional dielectric. They have the greatest energy density of all of the capacitors.

Supervisors IC

A semiconductor device that is designed to monitor and/or control voltage rails within a circuit with an ability to interface with a microcontroller for faster control.

Surface Mount Resistor

A small resistor that it meant for lower power applications.

Surge Protector Power Distribution

Devices that provide multiple output connections from a single output connection. In some devices surge protection is provided for the output connections.

Surge Suppression IC

Devices that are designed to keep electrical devices safe from excess voltage and/or current. Components in this family are designed using semiconductor materials.

Switch

Devices that are used to turn a circuit on or off (make or break).

Switching Converter, SMPS Transformer

Devices that are designed to be used in Switch Mode Power Supplies.

System On Chip (SoC)

A semiconductor device that incorporates all the components, circuits and functions necessary for an electronic system on a single chip.


T

Tactile Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are often very small and are turned on or off through the use of an actuator that is depressed into the units body. These devices also provide feedback to the user through an audible click and/or a change in pressure upon reaching the trigger point.

Tantalum Capacitor

A device for storing a charge of electricity. The dielectric material of these devices will be an oxidized form of tantalum.

Telecom Interface

Devices that are designed to help facilitate communications between external sources and an electronic circuit. Items in this family are designed to work in communication systems.

Temperature Probe

Devices designed to detect the amount of heat at different levels over a length of wire or cable.

Temperature Regulator

Devices that are designed to keep components safe in situations where there is an excessive amount of temperature. Component in this family will open or close a circuit that they are installed in when the switching temperature of the device is exceeded.

Temperature Sensor, Temperature Transducer

Devices designed to detect the amount of heat at different levels.

Terminal Block Header, Plug and Socket

Devices that mate together to complete connections. Most often the header devices are populated on a circuit board. The plugs are attached to wires or cables and mate to the headers.

Terminal Block Jumper

Devices used to electrically connect two or more terminal blocks together.

Test and Measurement

Devices that are used to provide reference properties (quantity, capacity, degree, etc.) of electronic circuits.

Test Clip - Grabber, Hook

Most often used between an electronic circuit and a measurement device, these items are designed to provide a temporary electrical connection. Items in this family are spring loaded and have a hooked end.

Test Point

Terminals that are used specifically to provide an electrical connection between a piece of test equipment and a circuit.

Test Probe Tip

Devices that are used to connect equipment to the circuit/unit being tested. Often the device consists of a cylindrical rod with either a pointed or a hooked end on one side and a wire lead on the other.

Thermal Adhesive, Epoxy, Grease, Paste

Devices that are designed to secure and/or provide for enhanced thermal transfer between heat sinks and components. The items in this family are in a spreadable semi-liquid state.

Thermal Cutoff, Cutout (TCO)

Devices that are designed to keep components safe in situations where there is an excessive amount of temperature. Component in this family will open the circuit they are installed in when the functioning temperature of the device is exceeded.

Thermal Heat Sink

Cooling devices that work by absorbing heat from an object and then dissipating that heat into the surrounding air.

Thermal Management IC

A semiconductor device that controls the power in a circuit based on temperature.

Thermal Management Server Rack

Devices that are used to provide cooling within a standardized frame.

Thermal Pad, Thermal Sheet

Devices that are designed to secure and/or provide for enhanced thermal transfer between heat sinks and components. The items in this family are in the form of a thin, cuttable, rectangular, flexible sheet. Some of these items may be precut to fit on predefined component sizes.

Thermocouple, Temperature Probe Test Lead

Consisting of a plug end and a tip end, these devices are used when measuring temperature.

Thermoelectric, Peltier Module

Devices that are designed for thermal transfer using the Peltier effect (as current passes through the junction of two different metals or semiconductors, heat is produced on one side of the junction and absorbed on the other side).

Thermometer

Equipment designed to measure and display changes in temperature.

Thick Film Resistor

They are the most widely available and lowest cost of any resistor type. They are used in general purpose applications where tight tolerances and low temperature coefficients are not critical. They consist of a binder material with conductive or resistive particles.

Thin Film Capacitor

A device for storing a charge of electricity. These devices are composed of thin film layers deposited on a substrate and separated by a dielectric.

Thin Film Resistor

They are typically used in applications that require low noise, high stability, and high accuracy. They are produced in a vacuum or low pressure system, and are more stable but expensive than thick films.

Through Hole Resistor

A resistor whose leads are formed pins or wire. Includes axial and radial resistors.

Thumbwheel Potentiometer

A device that varies resistance through the use of a rotary disk that is attached to the center axis of the component or the use of pressable actuators.

Thumbwheel Switch

A device that makes or breaks connection through the use of a rotary disk that is attached to the center axis of the component or the use of pressable actuators.

Tilt Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to movement of the sensor.

Time Delay Relay

An electromechanical device that turns a large load on or off through the use of a smaller control signal. These devices have some sort of built in circuit used to control events (initiation or triggering of the relay) using time.

TNC

Threaded Neill-Concelman

Toggle Switch

An electromechanical device used to start or stop current flow along a circuit. Devices in this family are turned on or off through the use of an actuator in the shape of a bat or lever that pivots through an arc at its base.

Touch Screen Controller

A semiconductor device that is designed to work with a specific type of touch screen.

Touch Screen Overlay

Devices that are designed to overlay a screen or a display itself that provides for movement of a through physical contact (usually with a finger or stylus) on the display.

Transformer

Devices that transfer, usually through the use of a pair of wound coil wires, electrical energy from one circuit to another.

Transistor

A general term that includes Bipolar Junction Transistors, MOSFETs, JFETs (Junction Field Effect Transistor). A semiconductor used to amplify or switch a electronic signal and electrical power.

Transistor, Photovoltaic Output Optoisolator

Devices that are used to electronically separate circuits but still allow for signals to be optically transferred between two circuits. Components in this family use a transistor on the output of the device.

TRIAC

Triode for alternating current. They belong to the thyristor family and are closely related to SCRs. Unlike an SCR a TRIAC is bidirectional and can be triggered with a positive or negative current applied to the gate. Once triggered the device continues to conduct until the current drops below a threshold - the "holding current". Often used for motor speed regulation, temperature control and power switches.

TRIAC, SCR Output Optoisolator

Devices that are used to electronically separate circuits but still allow for signals to be optically transferred between two circuits. Components in this family use a TRIAC or SCR on the output of the device.

Trimmer

A device for storing a charge of electricity. In these devices the capacity of the stored charge can be changed.

Trimmer Potentiometer

A variable device that opposes the flow of current. The resistance of these devices is changed using a rotary portion of the device (usually needing a separate tool) that is attached to the center axis of the component.

Tunnel Diode

An older diode that has negative resistance at a point in conduction, also known as an Esaki diode.

Turret Terminal

Devices that contain one or more circular flanges arranged around a center post.

TVS Diode

A semiconductor device designed to limit or stop surges in a voltage level. The items in this family are designed using diodes (a components that to conduct in just one direction). TVS is an acronym for Transient Voltage Suppression (Suppressor).

TVS Metal Oxide Varistor

A semiconductor device designed to limit or stop surges in a voltage level. The items in this family are designed using varistors - variable resistors (components that change resistance with the voltage level). TVS is an acronym for Transient Voltage Suppression (Suppressor).

TVS Thyristor

A semiconductor device designed to limit or stop surges in a voltage level. The items in this family are designed using thyristors (components that allow current flow only when triggered). TVS is an acronym for Transient Voltage Suppression (Suppressor).


U

UARTs (Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter)

Devices that are designed to convert parallel bits into serial bits for transmission or convert serial bits into parallel bits for use in a circuit. UART is short for Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter.

Ultrasonic Receiver, Transmitter

Devices designed to detect and respond to the presence or a change in high frequency sound waves.

Unperforated Prototype Board

Circuit boards created for use when first designing an electronic circuit. Items in this family do not contain any predrilled openings.

UPS System

An uninterruptable power supply is used to keep power to external devices for a couple of minutes during a power outage.

USB Cable

Cables that have a USB interconnects on one or both ends of the cable. These devices are often used to transmit data to and from a computer and external devices or used to power/charge an electronic device.

USB Flash Drive

Devices designed as a memory storage medium on a small pc board with a USB interconnect style that can be easily inserted and removed from a USB port.

USB, DVI, HDMI Connector

Devices most often used to provide a connection port between a computer and some other device.


V

V/F and F/V Converter

Devices that are designed to convert a frequency into a voltage or a voltage into a frequency.

Vacuum Fluorescent (VFD) Display Module

Devices that use heated filaments that cause phosphor coated plates to emit light within a vacuum.

Value Display Potentiometer

A variable device that opposes the flow of current. The resistance of these devices is changed by pushing a button or rotating a wheel. The values that the device is being changed to are displayed on the front of the unit.

Variable Capacitance Diode (Varicap, Varactor)

A semiconductor device with two terminals that has a capacitance which will vary with the amount of voltage applied across the terminals.

Variable Capacitor

A capacitor whose capacitance is designed to change. They are commonly used in tuning circuits and impedance matching.

Variable Resistor

A resistor whose resistance changes with based on input. It's track may consist of carbon, cermet or a coil of wire. They come in the form of rotary, sliders, or digital potentiometers.

Variable Transformer

An adjustable device used to provide power.

VCO, Voltage Controlled Oscillator

Devices that are designed to produce a periodic alternating output at a specified frequency (rate). Components in this family can have their output frequency changed by applying a voltage to it.

Vibration Sensor

Devices designed to detect and respond to vibrations of the device.

Video Amp and Module

A device whose output is proportionally greater than it's input. Items in this family are meant to be used in video circuits.

Video Inspection System

Equipment that aids in visual inspection of electronic circuit boards and more.

Voice Record and Playback

Devices that are designed to be store and or reproduce an audible signal.

Voltage Inverter

Devices designed to provide a large voltage output using a small input voltage. These devices are most often used in specific backlighting situations.

Voltage Reference

A semiconductor device designed to produce a fixed voltage regardless of temperature, power supply and load variations.


W

Wall Wart AC AC Wall Adapter

An enclosed complete unit that converts an alternating current voltage input to a different alternating current voltage level output.

Wall Wart AC DC Desktop

An enclosed complete unit that rectifies an alternating current voltage input to a direct current output.

Wire Duct, Raceway

Long enclosed contains that are designed to hold wires and cables that are not strung through a wall or ceiling.

Wire Pin Terminal

Male gendered, single conductor electrical devices that need to be mounted to a wire.

Wire Splice Terminal

Devices that are designed to provide a single termination point to join multiple conductors.

Wire Stripper

Devices designed to cut through the insulation of a wire or cable, but not through the conductive material.

Wire Tie Gun

Devices used to tighten and/or cut wire tie fasteners.

Wire to Board Terminal Block

Device that are used to directly connect conductors to a printed circuit board without the use of a mating interconnect.

Wire Wrap

An insulated single conductor wire with exposed ends that are wound around a contact.

Wireless Charging Coil

Coils made for inductive power transfer.

Wirewound Resistor

Very accurate and stable. They are used in tuning networks and precision attenuator circuits.


X


Y


Z

Zener Diode

A diode that the meant to operate in reverse bias. It takes advantage of the diodes reverse breakdown voltage, and is manufactured with a very specific and sharp breakdown. They are commonly used for providing a reference voltage, or for protecting semiconductor devices from momentary voltage pulses.

Zener Diode Array

A grouping of zener diodes that may or may not be connected together internally. Each of these diodes allows the flow of electricity in one direction but also allows the flow of electricity in the other direction when the voltage reaches a specified value.

Zener Diode Single

A semiconductor device with two terminals that allows the flow of electricity in one direction but also allows the flow of electricity in the other direction when the voltage reaches a specified value.