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ABC of electronics terms

(To find chips for distinct functions, see the functional pages.)


local Harddisk cable definitions The HardWare Book (very good!) FAQ in text by Peter Macaulay <> Zipper Tubing

Where Manufacturer Daburn Electronic Specialty Cable

Cable modem
A modem for sending digital information over antenna cable systems. Non-profit research and development consortium of cable television system operators George Zimmerman's tutorials

Some of the major players in the multimedia/modem chipset world include:

See also 'ADSL'.

Cache - How it works

CAD/CAM software for PCB's
Computer Aided Design / Computer Aided Manufacturing software for making Printed Circuit Board's.

See EDA.

Caller ID
This is the information about the calling party which is send using modem signals between the first two rings when you're being called. Modern telephone equipment can receive and show this information. It's officially called Calling Number Delivery (CND).

local Definition Look under 'Caller ID Information'

Device for recording still or moving pictures.

See Video Camera.

PC Imaging is becoming more compelling and affordable than ever before, thanks to PC camera technologies from Intel.

Intel's new 971 PC Camera Kit is a comprehensive reference design that enables the quick time-to-market development of simpler, easier and more affordable PC Cameras.

See the technology that makes PC Cameras a snap to build, and the press release at..

local This entry got it's own page.

Where Manufacturer Aerovox AVX Corp Bourns Inc Circuit Components KEMET KOA-Speer Mallory-DuraCap International Mallory Capacitors Nichicon America Novacap Tusonix Roederstein, not yet 199904? Sprague WIMA

Captive Fastener
Where Manufacturer Captive Fasteners


Cardbus System Architecture
Don Anderson of Mindshare, Inc
ISBN: 0201409976
About $25 - WWW site of PCMCIA

Where Manufacturer Zero Corp

See also Enclosure and Rack

Commite' Consultatif Internationaux des Telephone et Telegraph (?)International institute for telephone and telegraph standards


Compact Disc. Philips: About the CD, CD-ROM, DVD-video, DVD_ROM, DVD+RW standards etc. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry IFPI: About pirated CD's in the Ukraine

CD-ROM programming Marcus W. Johnson

A possible bus for home automation. - Article in EDN

See also Lonworks

Cellular phone
Also called a mobile phone. (gone?)

Contract Equipment Manufacturer. They manufacture the products for OEM's like Cisco, Compaq, Dell, HP, IBM etc.


See also:
OEM Original equipment manufacturer
local Other CEM's

Comite' Europe'en de NormalisationEuropean standards commitee


Where Manufacturer Alpha Metals Links to chemicals and electronics stuff

Chess computer - How a chess computer works

CPU's in PC's by Aad Offerman FAQ FAQ, one big file FAQ in text

Chip making
Can you make your own chips?

local MISC mailing list
local Companies helping with making chips Semiconductor Subway: Semiconductor Research

I'm currently doing a project with some of my friends on creating a chip ourselves. We have a small program called IDaSS (Interactive Design and Simulation System) which works at register/buffer/operator/state machine level (mostly for microcontrollers and sorts. You can find it at (beta version, still in development)
It can be output to a silicon compiler to put onto the wafer.
Please let me know if you need any info, the programmer is my teacher.

Marc Rietman <>

A chipset is a set of chips working together and which are sold as a set. Usually people mean a set of chips to populate a PC mainboard.
These sets contain all the usual chips that used to be on the original AT motherboard like the two 8259's the 8255, 8253, 8244, the TTL glue, the memory refresh and parity. More modern stuff to set the refresh rates, cycle times etc. Lately also the IDE, floppy controller, printer port and serial ports have been integrated. I'm not sure if the RTC can also be integrated (except for the battery of course) but I guess so. The integration will never stop of course...
There were also chipsets for VGA cards and modems etc. though. They were usually sold together with a software packet so a manufacturer/seller only needed to assemble the stuff and sell it... Chipsets from Intel The form factor for the current ATX standard motherboards Tom's Hardware Guide Alle Metzlar's BIOS site

See also under BIOS.

Where Manufacturer Coilcraft Delevan

Order scarce chips via the Chipdir

Circuit Breaker
Where Manufacturer E-T-A

Circuit Schematic
Schematic drawing for making a PCB.

local About PCB making PWM circuits and more in HPGL Order schematics for repairing consumer electronics Analog Music Zone Circuits Archive Circuits Circuits NMEA interface schematic Electronic Cookbook Archive Gif format schematics (David I. Baldwin) Humperdinck House (Guitar effects) Lots of circuits More links to circuit sites Program with over 1100 electronic circuits etc. (Costs $39) Steve's Workbench at Radio Shack At Capilano using their format Musical instruments with tubes Guitar effects and more FC's Electronic Circuits AMZ musical schematics (slow on 20010513) Circuit Exchange International Electrical Engineering Homepage

title order at Amazon USA price indication
Encyclopedia of Electronic Circuits, Volume 7 ISBN: 0070151164 $32
3,000 Solved Problems in Electrical Circuits (Schaum's Solved Problems Series) ISBN: 0070459363 $20
The Forrest Mims Engineer's Notebook ISBN: 1878707035 $16 A have the old Radio Shack version!

John wrote in '':

Does anyone know a good site to find circuit diagrams for televisions? I need a circuit diagram for a 'Toshiba colour TV' model no. 145E7B.

Usual answer for people in the UK: Go to your local public libaray. There is an annually published book of schematics (and other service info) titled "Television Servicing". Normally in the reference dept.

I copied one for a Toshiba 175T9B just this Saturday...

There are also series for VCRs, and for Satellite receivers.

Regards, Mike.

COMSOL the largest range of embedded development tools in Europe

C Programming Language Steve Summit's FAQ in HTML
local Using C versus Assembler How they work Online Training: Embedded C Programming (part 1) Online Training: Embedded C Programming (part 2) Article: Using C pointers, structures and unions

C++ Library - FAQ, part 1 - FAQ, part 2 - FAQ, part 3 - FAQ, part 4 - FAQ, part 5 - FAQ, part 6

Calling Number Delivery.

See Caller ID.


Common Object File Format
The book:
Understanding and Using COFF
By Gintaras R. Gircys
ISBN: 0937175315
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
632 Petaluma Avenue
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(O'Reilly is also quite active on the Internet.)
  • It's out of print
  • O'Reilly has no stock on hand
  • They have specifically said it will never be reprinted
  • They would be willing to put the info on the web but they have no idea how to do that, so it won't happen any time soon.
Ken Greenberg <>
Description of the format from SUN.
Emails about COFF.

Where Manufacturer Coilcraft Delevan

Commodore 64/128
Famous computers made by CBM.

Chips that it contained:
6581 C64's sound chip (SID). It has 3 AM* synthsizer channels and one 4-bit sample channel...
6510 CBM Basically a 6502 with 2 8bit I/O ports added to it (Used for memory paging and tape I/O) (Or just one 6-bit I/O port?)
6526 CIA (Complex Interface Adapter). A super I/O chip with 2 8bit I/O channels, a serial port, real-time clock, 2 programmable timer/counters.
906114-01 2Kx4 SRAM*
6569R3 C64's video chip

More about the special chips that they contained

See also:

Communication Program
A communication program is needed to talk from your software development computer with your embedded controller project.

It's use is mainly:

Platform suggested programs to use where to find?
UNIX CU standard
UNIX Kermit GNU?
DEC UNIX Tip standard
Linux Minicom (looks like DOS's Telix/Procom) standard,
Windows3.1 'Terminal' standard
Windows3.1 Procomm for DOS Simtel,
Windows3.1 Telix for DOS Simtel
Windows3.1 Telix for Windows Simtel
Windows95 ?
Windows98 ?

Passive backplane specification for (industrial) PCI

CompactPCI (gone?) Bought by the Motorola Computer Group

CompactPCI Systems Magazine

Where What
local 68332 mailing list discussion about which compiler to buy FAQ in text by John R. Levine <> Free compilers and interpreters C compiler for PIC with source code Compiler companies Compiler overview Compiler overview Compiler construction tools Free (8051?) C compilers and assemblers Languages for the C64 (6502) (gone?) Small C compiler for Z80 Avocet's C compilers

Where Manufacturer Borland

A CD-ROM for compiler developers

There is a CD-ROM from Prime Time Freeware titled Prime Time Freewarefor Unix (version 4-2 is the latest) that contains all sorts of publicdomain goodies including an extensive language section with tools likeflex, bison, Cocktail Toolkit, etc. and sources of an enormous numberof language compilers/interpreters etc. They pack other topics likedocprep, cad, databases etc. onto the CDs (4 ?) that constitute therelease which costs $50. You can check out the contents etc. on theirhome page Narayanaswamy

Computer Architecture
This generally means how the central processor is build (RISC versus CISC* for example). Computer architecture

Connector SIMM pinouts Connectors in general Tomi Engdahl's site for PC stuff - (gone?) TheRef: Mainly floppy and HD* connections

Where Manufacturer 3M Advanced Interconnect AMP Inc. Amphenol Berg Electronics Circuit Assembly Corp. Daburn Electronic Dale Deutsch EDAC Elco Hollingsworth Interconnect Devices, Inc. Kycon Cable and Connector Methode Mill-Max Molex Inc. Panduit Phoenix Contact Samtec Trompeter Electronics Tyco Electronics

See also PCI.

For converting units see under Unit.

MCU from NS

See local


Complex Programmable Logic Device More info

See also FPAA, FPGA, PLD and VHDL.

Central Processing Unit. (What's now a single chip main processor in a computer, was originally a complete PCB full with discrete logic. The 2900 range from AMD could be used, but the big companies like IBM all used their own designs. These processors were called bit-slice because the words that were to be handled were sliced into 1 and later 4 bits per chip (registers, ALU's, busses, buffers).
Some hobbyists even built their own CPU's this way but the i4004, i4040, i8008 and i8080 generally put a stop to that for most of them... - Great Microprocessors of the Past and Present

Cyclic Redundancy Check

local CRC CRC Guide (91K)

Crossref IC
Where Manufacturer NTE Electronics

local This subject got it's own page now...

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