Glossary: General


Application Specific Integrated Circuit. A circuit designed for a specific application, as opposed to a general purpose circuit, such as a microprocessor. Using ASICs as components in electronic devices can improve performance, reduce power consumption, increase safety and reduce costs.

Bluetooth is an open standard for wireless transmission of voice and data between mobile devices (PCs, handheld computers, telephone and printers.)

High-speed transmission. The term is used to define the speed of communication lines or services and most commonly refers to T1 (1.544 Mbit/s) rates or better, even though the actual rate may be much lower or higher, depending on the application.

Compact Disc - Read Only Memory. An optimal disc that is used to store text, graphics and audio data for computer applications. The contents may not be changed or rewritten.

A cookie is a piece of text that a web site can store on your computer to enable it to recognize you when you return to the site.

Digital Signal Processor. This is a circuit that is specially designed for digital signals in processor-intensive applications, such as wireless communications links and image processing. DSP circuits are often used in consumer products, such as mobile phones, faxes and digital TVs.

Digital Versatile Disc. An optic disc with the same physical size as a CD but with significantly greater storage capacity.

The most common standard for network communication in LANs (Local Area Networks).

A standard for high-speed wireless LANs that supports data rates up to 54 Mbit/s. This system is similar to 802.11a and uses the same 5 GHz frequency band.

IEEE 802.11
A family of standards for wireless LANs. The 802.11 standard supports 1 or 2 Mbit/s transmission on the 2.4 GHz band. IEEE 802.11b specifies an 11 Mbit/s data rate on the 2.4 GHz band, while 802.11a allows up to 54 Mbit/s on the 5 GHz band.

Internet Protocol. A network and transport protocol used for exchanging data over the Internet. See also TCP/IP.

Local Area Network. A communication network that serves users within a limited geographic area. The most common type of LAN is Ethernet.

Linux is an open source operating system within the Unix family. Because of its robustness and availability, Linux has won popularity in the open source community and among commercial application developers.

Megabits per second = one million data bits, zeroes and ones, per second. This is a measure of how quickly data is transmitted over a communication link.

Multi-Function Peripheral. Hardware that combines several functions in a single unit, such as a combined fax, copier, printer and scanner.

Network connectivity
The physical (wired or wireless) and logical (protocol) connection of a computer network or an individual device to a network, such as the Internet or a LAN.

Original Equipment Manufacturer. This is a designation for companies that manufacture equipment that is then marketed and sold off to other companies under their own names.

Personal Digital Assistant. A handheld computer that provides a calendar and organizer for personal information. A PDA normally contains at least one database with names and addresses, to-do lists and a notepad.

Print server
A thin server that connects a printer to a network and allows users to share the printer. It may be a separate unit or a plug-in card in the printer.

A set of formalized rules that describe how data is transmitted over a network. Low-level protocols define the electrical and physical standard, while high-level protocols deal with formatting of data. TCP and IP are examples
of high-level LAN protocols.

Really Simple Syndication. An XML-based file format for distributing web content as RSS feeds.

A computer or software application that provides services to other computers connected via a network. The most common example is a file server that has a local disk and handles requests from clients to read and write files on
this disk.

System on a chip (SOC)
An ASIC that is specially developed to meet the requirements of a given application in which the objective is to integrate most functionality on a single chip, thereby realizing benefits in terms of price, performance and reliability. Examples of functions that are often integrated in an SOC are microprocessors, memory and interfaces.

Transmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol. The TCP/IP protocol defines how data can be transmitted in a secure manner between networks. TCP/IP is the most widely used communications standard and is the basis for the Internet.

Thin server
A network-based device that is designed to perform a specialized set of server functions, such as a print server or NAS (Network Attached Storage). A thin server offloads general-purpose application servers and makes using the network more efficient by providing functionality that is easier to install and more reliable than a conventional server.

(Universal Serial Bus) A plug-and-play interface between a computer and peripheral devices (scanners, printers etc)