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HomeElectronics Tutorials > Semiconductor Symbols and Abbreviations Tutorial
Physics Science Abbreviations

Semiconductor Symbols and Abbreviations

µA Microampere (average)
µa Microampere (peak)
A Ampere (AC rms or DC)
a Ampere (peak)
A (amp) Ampere
A/D Analog to digital
AC Alternating current
AC/DC Alternating current or direct current
ADC Analog-to-digital converter
AF Audio frequency
AFC Automatic frequency control
AFC Automatic flow controller, used in controlling the flow of gasses under pressure into a vacuum system
AFT Automatic fine tuning
AGC Automatic gain control
Ah Ampere hour
i Current gain
AM Amplitude modulation
AM/FM Amplitude modulation or Frequency modulation
AMM Analog multimeter
antilog Antilogarithm
p Power gain
apc Automatic phase control
v Voltage gain
AVC Automatic volume control
AWG American wire gauge
B Flux density
B Base electrode
BCD Binary coded decimal
bfo Beat frequency oscillator
BJT Bipolar junction transistor
BV Breakdown voltage
BVCEO Breakdown voltage, collector-to-emitter junction reverse biased (base open)
BVCER Breakdown voltage, collector-to-emitter junction reverse biased (specified resistance)
BVCES Breakdown voltage, collector-to-emitter junction reverse biased (base shorted)
BVCEX Breakdown voltage, collector-to-emitter junction reverse biased (base-emitter back biased)
BVCOB Breakdown voltage, collector-to-base junction reverse biased (emitter open)
BW Bandwidth
c Centi (10-2)
C Capacitance or capacitor
C Capacitance; collector electrode
C (Q) Coulomb
C(dep) Depletion layer capacitance
C(dif) Diffusion capacitance
CAD Computer aided design
CAM Computer aided manufacture
CATV Cable TV
CB Common base configuration
CB Citizen's band
CC Common collector
CE Common emitter
Ce Internal collector junction capacitance.
Cib Input Capacitance, common base
CL Load capacitance
cm Centimeter
cmil Circular mil
Cob Output capacitance, common base
Coe Output capacitance, common emitter
CPU Central processing unit
CR cr Junction diode
CRO Cathode ray oscilloscope
CRT Cathode ray tube
CT Total capacitance
cw Continuous transmission
d Deci (10-1)
D/A or D-A Digital to analog
DC Direct current
Di or Di Change in current
DIP Dual in-line package
DMM Digital multimeter
DPDT Double pole double throw
Dt or Dt Change in time
DTL Diode transistor logic
Dv or Dv Change in voltage
DVM Digital voltmeter
e Instantaneous difference in potential
E Emitter electrode
E DC or E rms Difference in potential
ECG Electrocardiogram
ECL Emitter coupled logic
EHF Extremely high frequency
EHV Extra high voltage
ELF Extremely low frequency
EMF Electromotive force
EMI Electromagnetic interference
EW Electronic warfare
f Frequency
fab Common base small-signal short-circuit forward current transfer-ratio cutoff frequency (emitter input)
fae Common emitter small-signal short-circuit forward current transfer-ratio cutoff frequency
FET Field effect transistor
FF Flip Flop
fil Filament
FM Frequncy modulation
fosc Maximum frequency of oscillation
fpg Power gain cutoff frequency
fr Frequency at resonance
fref Reference frequency
FSD Full scale deflection
fsk frequency-shift keying
G Gravitational force
G Conductance
G Giga (109 )
Gb Power gain (common base)
Gc Power gain (common collector)
Ge Power gain (common emitter)
gm Small-signal transconductance
gM, gFE Static or DC transconductance
GM, GFE Large-signal transconductance
H Henry
H Magnetic field intensity
H Magnetizing flux
h hecto (102)
h Hybrid
HF High frequency
hfb Common base small signal short-circuit forward current transfer-ratio
hfe Common emitter small-signal short-circuit forward current transfer-ratio (base input)
hFE Common emitter DC short-circuit forward current transfer-ratio current gain (IC / IB)
HFE Common emitter large-signal short-circuit forward current transfer-ratio
hib Common base small-signal short-circuit input impedance (emitter input)
hie Common emitter small-signal short-circuit input impedance (base input)
hob Common base small-signal open-circuit output admittance (emitter input)
hoc Common collector small-signal open-circuit output admittance (base input)
hoe Common emitter small-signal open-circuit output admittance (base input)
hp Horsepower
hrb Common base small signal open-circuit reverse transfer voltage ratio (emitter input)
hrc Common collector small signal open-circuit reverse transfer voltage ratio (base input)
hre Common emitter small signal open-circuit reverse transfer voltage ratio (base input)
Hz Hertz
I Current
i Instantaneous current
I/O Input/output
IB Average base current (DC)
Ib Instantaneous base current (AC rms)
ib Base current (peak)
I DC Base current
IC Integrated circuit
IC Collector current (DC)
Ic Collector current (AC rms)
ic Collector current (peak)
I DC Collector current
ICBO, ICO Collector cutoff current (emitter open)
ICEO Collector cutoff current (base open)
ICER Collector cutoff current (specified resistance base-emitter)
ICERV Collector cutoff current (reverse voltage on base)
IE Average emitter current (DC)
Ie Instantaneous emitter current (AC rms)
ie Instantaneous emitter current (peak)
Ie  Total emitter current
IEBO Emitter cutoff current (collector open)
Ieff  Effective current
IF Intermediate frequency
IF Forward current (DC)
iF Forward current (DC)
iFr Forward recovery current (specified instantaneous value)
Imax  Maximum current
Imin  Minimum current
IO Output current (DC)
IR Infrared
IR Reverse current (DC)
iR Reverse current (peak)
IR  Resistor current
iRr Reverse recovery current (specified instantaneous value)
IS  Secondary current
isurge Surge current
I Total current
IZ Average Zener current
iZ Instantaneous Zener current (AC rms)
IZK Zener knee current
IZM Zener maximum current
IZT Zener test current
JFET Junction field effedt transistor
K Coefficient of coupling
k Kilo (103)
K Kilohm
kHz Kilohertz
kV Kilovolt
kVA Kilovoltampere
kW Kilowatt
kWh Kilowatt-hour
L Coil, inductance
LC Inductance-capacitance
LC Conversion loss
LCD Liquid crystal display
L-C-R Inductance-capacitance-resistance
LDR Light-dependent resistor
LED Light emitting diode
LF Low frequency
LM Mutual inductance
LNA Low noise amplifier
LO Local oscillator
LSI Large scale integration
LT  Total inductance
M Mega (106)
M Mutual conductance
m Milli (10-3 )
mA Milliampere
mA Milliampere (average)
ma Milliampere (peak)
mAa-c Milliampere (AC rms)
mAd-c Milliampere (DC)
mag Magnetron
max Maximum
MF Medium frequency
mH Millihenry
MHz Megahertz
MI Mutual inductance
min Minimum
mm Millimeter
mmf Magnetomotive force
MOS Metal oxide semiconductor
MOSFET Metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor
MPU Microprocessor unit
MSI Medium scale integrated circuit
mV Millivolt
mW Milliwatt
mW Milliwatt (Max., Average, or rms)
mw Milliwatt (peak)
N Number of turns in an inductor
N Revolutions per minute
n Nano (10-9)
N Negative
nA Nanoampere
NC Normally closed
NC No connection
NEG, neg Negative
nF Nanofarad
NF Noise figure
nH Nanohenry
nm Nanometer
NO Normally open
NPN Negative-positive-negative
ns Nanosecond
nsec Nanosecond (Millimicrosecond)
nW Nanowatt
OP AMP Operational amplifier
P Pico (10-12)
P Power
p Instantaneous power
P Positive, also peak
P Power dissipation of all terminals (average total)
p Power dissipation of all terminals (peak)
PA Public address or power amplifier
pA Picoampere
PAL Programmable Array Logic
PAM, pam Pulse amplitude modulation
Pap Apparent power
Pav Average power
Pb Power dissipation of base (average)
pb Power dissipation of base (peak)
Pc Power dissipation of collector (average)
pc Power dissipation of collector (peak)
PCB Printed circuit board
PCM, pcm Pulse-code modulation
Pd Power dissipation of device (average)
PDM Pulse-duration modulation
Pe Power dissipation of emitter (average)
pe Power dissipation of emitter (peak)
pF Picofarad
PIV Peak inverse voltage
PLD Programmable Logic Device
PLL Phase locked loop
PM Phase modulation, also Permanent magnet
PNP Positive-negative-positive
POT, pot Potentiometer
P-P Peak to peak
PPM Pulse-position modulation
PRF Pulse repetition frequency
PRT Pulse repetition time
pw Pulse width
PWM, pwm Pulse width modulation
Q Charge, also quality
q Instantaneous charge
Q Transistor
R Potentiometer
RAM Random access memory
RB External base resistance
rb', rBB' Internal base spreading resistance
RC Resistance-capacitance, also Radio controlled
RC External collector resistance
rcvr Receiver
RE External emitter resistance
rect Rectifier
ref Reference
rf Radio frequencies
RF Radio frequencies
RFI Radio frequency interference
RL Load resistor
RL Resistance, load
RLC Resistance-capacitance-inductance
RMS, rms Root mean square
ROM Read only memory
rpm Revolutions per minute
Rsat Saturation resistance
SCR Silicon controlled rectifier
SHF Super high frequency
SIP Single in-line package
SNR Signal-to-noise ratio
SPDT Single pole double throw
sq cm Square centimeter
SSB Single sideband
SW Short wave
SWR Standing-wave ratio
SYNC, sync Synchronous
T Tera (1012)
T Torque
T Transformer
t Time in seconds
T Temperature
t Time
TA Temperature, ambient
TC Time constant, also temperature coefficient
TC Temperature, case
TCBV Temperature coefficient of breakdown voltage
td Pulse delay time
TE Transverse electric
temp Temperature
tf Pulse fall time
tfr Forward recovery time
THz Terahertz
Tj Junction temperature
TM Transverse magnetic
tP Pulse time
TR Transmit-receive
tr Pulse rise time
ts Pulse storage time
TTL Transistor-transistor logic
TV Television
TWT Travelling wave tube
UHF Ultra high frequency
UHV Ultra high voltage
UJT Unijunction transistor
UV Ultraviolet
V Vacuum tube
v Instantaneous voltage
V Volt (DC)
v Volt (peak)
V, v Volt
VA Volt ampere
Va-c Volt (AC)
Vav Voltage (average value)
VBB Base voltage (DC) supply
VBE DC voltage base to emitter
VBE Emitter voltage (DC) (base to emitter)
Vc Capacitive voltage
VCC Collector voltage (DC) supply
VCE DC voltage collector to emitter
VCEsat Collector to emitter saturation voltage
VCO Voltage controlled oscillator
VEC Emitter voltage (DC) (emitter to collector)
VEE Emitter voltage (DC) supply
VF Forward voltage drop
Vfe Floating potential
VHF Very high frequency
Vin Input voltage
VL Inductive voltage
VLF Very low frequency
Vm, Vmax Maximum voltage
VO Output voltage (DC)
vO Output voltage (DC)
VOM Volt ohm milliameter
Vout Output voltage
Vp Primary voltage
VPT Voltage, punch-through
VR Reverse voltage (DC)
Vr Reverse voltage (peak)
VS Source voltage
VSWR Voltage standing wave ratio
VT Total voltage
VZ Zener voltage
W Watt
W Watts (Max., Average, or rms)
w Watts (peak)
XC Capacitive reactance
XL Inductive reactance
Y Admittance
Z Impedance
Zin Input impedance
Zo Output impedance
Zp Primary impedance
Zs Secondary impedance
ZT Total impedance
Zz Zener impedance
Zzk Zener impedance, knee
Zzt Zener impedance, test

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