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Glossary

NI ATCA FPGA Modules Help

Edition Date: March 2017

Part Number: 376468A-01

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Prefixes

Symbol Prefix Value
p pico 10 -12
n nano 10 -9
µ micro 10 -6
m milli 10 -3
k kilo 10 3
M mega 10 6
G giga 10 9
T tera 10 12

Numbers/Symbols

nV nanovolts 10-9 volts
µV microvolts 10-6 volts
µΩ microohms 10-6 ohms
mΩ milliohms 10-3 ohms
MΩ megaohms 106 ohms
pA picoamps 10-12 amperes
nA nanoamps 10-9 amperes
µA microamps 10-6 amperes
mA milliamps 10-3 amperes

A

ADC analog-to-digital converter—A hardware component that converts analog voltages to digitized values. An ADC can convert an analog signal to a digital signal representing equivalent information.

C

CLIP component-level intellectual property (IP)

D

DAC double data rate type three
DDR3 digital-to-analog converter—An electronic device, often an integrated circuit, that converts a digital number into a corresponding analog voltage or current.
DES dual-edge sampling
DRAM dynamic random access memory—A form of random access memory (RAM). Each bit of information is stored as a charge on a capacitor. This charge must be regularly refreshed to maintain the charge (performed every few milliseconds).

F

FIFO first-in-first-out memory buffer—A data buffering technique that functions like a shift register where the oldest values (first in) come out first.
FPGA field-programmable gate array—Fundamentally, an FPGA is a semi-conductor device which contains a large quantity of gates (logic devices), which are not interconnected, and whose function is determined by a wiring list, which is downloaded to the FPGA. The wiring list determines how the gates are interconnected, and this interconnection is performed dynamically by turning semiconductor switches on or off to enable the different connections.

H

Hertz, Hz
  1. The SI unit for measurement of frequency. One hertz (Hz) equals one cycle per second.
  2. The number of scans read or updates written per second.

I

I/O input/output—The transfer of data to/from a computer system involving communications channels, operator interface devices, and/or data acquisition and control interfaces.
I/Q data The translation of the magnitude and phase data of a signal from a polar coordinate system to a complex Cartesian (X,Y) coordinate system.

J

jitter The rapid variation of a clock or sampling frequency from an ideal constant frequency.

M

MGT multi-gigabit transceiver
modulation A process, or the result of a process, by which characteristics of a carrier wave are altered according to information in the baseband signal to generate a modulated wave that is transmitted.

P

PLL phase-locked loop—An electronic circuit that controls an oscillator so that the circuit maintains a constant phase angle relative to a reference signal.

Q

QSFP quad small form-factor pluggable

R

Reference Clock Clock to which a device phase locks another, usually faster, clock. A common source for the Reference Clock is the 10 MHz oscillator present on the PXI backplane.
RF radio frequency—Refers to the radio frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum. RF is often used to describe a range of sub-infrared frequencies from the tens of MHz to several GHz.
RTM Rear Transition Module
RX, Rx Receive data or signals. RX refers to the hardware receiver; Rx refers to receive operations in software.

S

sample rate The rate at which a device acquires an analog signal, expressed in samples per second (S/s). The sample rate is typically the clock speed of the analog-to-digital converter (ADC).
SMA A small type of threaded coaxial signal connector typically used in higher frequency applications.

T

TX, Tx Transmit data or signals. TX refers to the hardware transmitter; Tx refers to transmit operations in software.

V

VCO voltage-controlled oscillator—An oscillator with a frequency determined by a control voltage.
VCXO voltage-controlled crystal oscillator

 

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