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Hardware

Terms related to computer hardware, including definitions about cables, connectors and power supply units and words and phrases about computing peripheral devices including the keyboard, mouse, audio speakers, and printers.

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  • 3270 (Information Display System) - The 3270 Information Display System, a product from IBM, was, prior to the arrival of the PC, the way that almost the entire corporate world interfaced with a computer.
  • 8-track tape - An 8-track tape is a hard plastic cartridge about the size of an external modem that houses a continuous loop of non-digital (analog) audio data stored on magnetic tape.
  • A-weighted decibels (dBA, or dBa, or dB(a)) - A-weighted decibels, abbreviated dBA, or dBa, or dB(a), are an expression of the relative loudness of sounds in air as perceived by the human ear.
  • adapter - An adapter is a physical device that allows one hardware or electronic interface to be adapted (accommodated without loss of function) to another hardware or electronic interface.
  • Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) - The Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) is an alliance of leaders in the broadcast and cable industry, the consumer electronics industry, and the computer industry that developed the ATVEF enhanced content specification.
  • aerogel - Aerogel is a translucent, synthetic solid-state substance with extremely low density and excellent thermal insulating properties.
  • AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) - Advanced Host Controller Interface, or AHCI, is a technical standard for an interface that enables software to communicate with Serial ATA (SATA) devices.
  • alien crosstalk (AXT) - Alien crosstalk (AXT) is electromagnetic noise that can occur in a cable that runs alongside one or more other signal-carrying cables.
  • AMD-V (AMD virtualization) - AMD-V (AMD virtualization) is a set of hardware extensions for the X86 processor architecture.
  • Apple - Apple is a prominent hardware and software company best known for its series of personal computers, the iPod and its innovative marketing strategies for its products.
  • AS/400 (IBM iSeries, AS/400e, eServer iSeries/400) - The AS/400 - formally renamed the 'eServer iSeries/400,' but still commonly known as AS/400 - is a middle-size server designed for small businesses and departments in large enterprises and now redesigned so that it will work well in distributed networks.
  • ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) - An ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is a microchip designed for a special application, such as a particular kind of transmission protocol or a hand-held computer.
  • ASSP (application-specific standard product) - In computers, an ASSP (application-specific standard product) is a semiconductor device integrated circuit (IC) product that is dedicated to a specific application market and sold to more than one user (and thus, "standard").
  • ATX - ATX is an industry-wide specification for a desktop computer's motherboard.
  • automated test equipment (ATE) - Automated test equipment (ATE) is computer-controlled equipment that tests electronic devices for functionality and performance.
  • automatic transfer switch (ATS) - An automatic transfer switch (ATS) is a device that automatically transfers a power supply from its primary source to a backup source when it senses a failure or outage in the primary source.
  • AV (audio/video) - AV, an abbreviation for audio/video, is frequently used as a generic term for the audio and video components and capabilities in home entertainment system and related product descriptions and reviews.
  • backup storage device - A backup storage device is used to make copies of data that is actively in use.
  • bang-bang (bang-bang control) - Bang-bang control is a type of control system that mechanically or electronically turns something on or off when a desired target (setpoint) has been reached.
  • barcode reader (POS scanner, bar code reader, price scanner) - A barcode reader, also called a price scanner or point-of-sale (POS) scanner, is a hand-held or stationary input device used to capture and read information contained in a bar code.
  • bare-metal restore - A bare-metal restore (also referred to as bare-metal recovery or bare-metal backup) is a data recovery and restoration process where a computer is restored to a new machine, typically after a catastrophic failure.
  • big-endian and little-endian - Endianness is a term that describes the order in which a sequence of bytes is stored in computer memory.
  • BIOS password - A BIOS password is a security precaution that requires a computer user to log into the machine's basic input/output system (BIOS) before a computer will boot up.
  • bit (binary digit) - A bit (short for binary digit) is the smallest unit of data in a computer.
  • blade server - A blade server, sometimes referred to as a high-density server, is a compact device containing a computer used to manage and distribute data in a collection of computers and systems, called a network.
  • Bloom Energy Server (Bloom box) - A Bloom Box, officially known as an Bloom Energy Server, is a modular stack of solid oxide fuel cells that can produce electricity.
  • Blue Gene - Blue Gene is a supercomputer development project at IBM for a series of high-performance system-on-a-chip (SoC) arcitectures with minimal power demands.
  • board support package - A board support package (BSP) is essential code code for a given computer hardware device that will make that device work with the computer's OS (operating system).
  • brain-computer interface (BCI) - Brain-computer interface (BCI) is a collaboration between a brain and a device that enables signals from the brain to direct some external activity, such as control of a cursor or a prosthetic limb.
  • British thermal unit (Btu) - A British thermal unit (Btu) is a standard unit of energy that is used in the United States and sometimes in the U.
  • build to order - Build to order is a methodology and manufacturing practice where a product is created once a confirmed order is received.
  • burn-in - Burn-in is a test in which a system or component is made to run for an extended period of time to detect problems.
  • bus network - A bus network is a local area network (LAN) topology in which each node -- a workstation or other device -- is connected to a main cable or link called a bus.
  • cache coherence - In a shared memory multiprocessor with a separate cache memory for each processor, it is possible to have many copies of any one instruction operand : one copy in the main memory and one in each cache memory.
  • cache memory - Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access more quickly than it can access regular random access memory (RAM).
  • CADE (Corporate Average Data center Efficiency) - CADE (Corporate Average Data center Efficiency) is a metric used to rate the overall energy efficiency of an organization's data centers.
  • camcorder (camera recorder) - A camcorder (camera recorder) is a portable electronic recording device capable of recording live-motion video and audio for later playback.
  • catastrophic failure - Catastrophic failure is a complete, sudden, often unexpected breakdown in a machine, electronic system, computer or network.
  • cell phone jammer - A cell phone jammer is a device that blocks transmission or reception of signals, usually by creating some form of interference at the same frequency ranges that cell phones use.
  • certification - In information technology as in other fields such as teaching, accounting, and acupuncture, certification is a formal process of making certain that an individual is qualified in terms of particular knowledge or skills.
  • channel partner - A channel partner is a person or organization that provides services or sells products on behalf of a software, hardware, networking or cloud services vendor.
  • chassis - A chassis (pronounced TCHA-see or CHA-see) is the physical frame or structure of an automobile, an airplane, a desktop computer, or other multi-component device.
  • chip - "Chip" is short for microchip, the incredibly complex yet tiny modules that store computer memory or provide logic circuitry for microprocessors.
  • chipset - A chipset is a group of integrated circuits (microchips) that can be used together to serve a single function and are therefore manufactured and sold as a unit.
  • Chromebook - Google Chromebook is a thin client laptop that is configured with the Chrome operating system (Chrome OS).
  • Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 - The Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 is a switch designed for the Hewlett-Packard (HP) BladeSystem c-Class of blade servers.
  • clean room - A clean room (or cleanroom) is an enclosed space in which airborne particulates, contaminants, and pollutants are kept within strict limits.
  • cluster - In a computer system, a cluster is a group of servers and other resources that act like a single system and enable high availability and, in some cases, load balancing and parallel processing.
  • CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) - CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) is the semiconductor technology used in the transistors that are manufactured into most of today's computer microchips.
  • coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) - Coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) is a method of combining multiple signals on laser beams at various wavelengths for transmission along fiber optic cables, such that the number of channels is fewer than in dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) but more than in standard wavelength division multiplexing (WDM).
  • cold backup (offline backup) - A cold backup, also called an offline backup, is a database backup during which the database is offline and not accessible to update.
  • collaborative robot (cobot) - A collaborative robot, also known as a cobot, is a robot that is capable of learning multiple tasks so it can assist human beings.
  • commodity - A commodity is a type of widely-available product that is not markedly dissimilar from one unit to another.
  • commodity hardware - Commodity hardware, in an IT context, is a device or device component that is relatively inexpensive, widely available and more or less interchangeable with other hardware of its type.
  • common test platform (CTP) - A common test platform (CTP), also called an open test standard (OTS), is a set of specifications defining test methods for diverse components of computer and electronic systems to be marketed as complete products.
  • compact disc (CD) - A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data in digital form.
  • compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) - A compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) is a fluorescent light bulb that has been compressed into the size of a standard-issue incandescent light bulb.
  • CompactFlash card (CF card) - A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store data on a very small portable device.
  • compaction - In a data center, compaction is the reduction or consolidation of hardware to make better use of physical floor space.
  • compatibility - Compatibility is the capacity for two systems to work together without having to be altered to do so.
  • composable infrastructure - A composable infrastructure is a framework that decouples device resources in order to treat them as services.
  • computer forensics (cyber forensics) - Computer forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular computing device in a way that is suitable for presentation in a court of law.
  • computer hardware - Computer hardware is a collective term used to describe any of the physical components of an analog or digital computer.
  • Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA) - The Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA) is an act of the UK Parliament passed in 1990.
  • computer worm - A computer worm is a type of malware whose primary function is to self-replicate and infect other computers while remaining active on infected systems.
  • computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) - A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is software that helps operations and maintenance staff identify and track the status of maintenance tasks and availability of replacement parts.
  • consumer device - Consumer device is an industry term for Internet-capable mobile computers that are marketed to individuals, not businesses.
  • conventional memory - DOS memory, sometimes referred to as conventional memory, refers to the memory -addressing scheme used in the original IBM and compatible PCs.
  • converged infrastructure reference architecture - A converged infrastructure reference architecture is a document that stipulates the components, design and configuration a CI appliance, which includes storage, compute and networking resources within a single-box system.
  • convertible tablet - A convertible tablet is a computer that can function as either a standalone touch screen device or as a notebook with a physical keyboard.
  • coprocessor - A coprocessor is a special set of circuits in a microprocessor chip that is designed to manipulate numbers or perform some other specialized function more quickly than the basic microprocessor circuits could perform the same task.
  • core router - A core router is a router that forwards packets to computer hosts within a network (but not between networks).
  • CPE device - A CPE device is telecommunications hardware located at the home or business of a customer.
  • cryogenics - Cryogenics is the study of material sciences at extremely low temperatures.
  • customer premises equipment (CPE) - Customer premises equipment (CPE) is telecommunications and information technology equipment kept at the customer's physical location rather than on the service provider's premises.
  • cycle time - Cycle time is the time, usually measured in nanosecond s, between the start of one random access memory (RAM) access to the time when the next access can be started.
  • DASD (direct access storage device) - Direct access storage device (DASD, pronounced DAZ-dee), is a general term for magnetic disk storage devices.
  • data center chiller - A data center chiller is a cooling system used in a data center to remove heat from one element and deposit it into another element.
  • data center evaporative cooling (swamp cooling) - Evaporative cooling, also known as swamp cooling, is a strategy for cooling air that takes advantage of the drop in temperature that occurs when water that's exposed to moving air begins to change to gas.
  • data glove - A data glove is an interactive device, resembling a glove worn on the hand, which facilitates tactile sensing and fine-motion control in robotics and virtual reality.
  • daughterboard (or daughter board, daughter card, or daughtercard) - A daughterboard (or daughter board, daughter card, or daughtercard) is a circuit board that plugs into and extends the circuitry of another circuit board.
  • Daylight Saving Time patch - A Daylight Saving Time patch is a modular piece of code created to update systems, devices and programs for compatibility with new start and end dates for Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the United States, Canada and Bermuda.
  • design reuse - In information technology, design reuse is the inclusion of previously designed components (blocks of logic or data) in software and hardware.
  • desktop gadget - A desktop gadget is a software widget, or a small application, that is designed to sit on a user's desktop screen in much the same way that apps reside on smartphones and tablets.
  • device ID (device identification) - A device ID (device identification) is a distinctive number associated with a smartphone or similar handheld device.
  • digital audio broadcasting (DAB) - .
  • Digital Data Storage (DDS, DDS-1, DDS-2, DDS-3, DDS-4) - Digital Data Storage (DDS) is a format for storing and backing up computer data on tape that evolved from the Digital Audio Tape (DAT) technology.
  • digital pen - A digital pen is a battery-operated writing instrument that allows the user to digitally capture a handwritten note or drawing.
  • digital printing - Digital printing describes the process of transferring a document on a personal computer or other digital storage device to a printing substrate by means of a device that accepts text and graphic output.
  • digital projector (digital projection display system) - A digital projector, also called a digital projection display system, is a specialized computer display that projects an enlarged image on a movie screen.
  • digital video - Digital video is audio/visual data in a binary format.
  • direct access - In computer storage, direct access is the ability to obtain data from a storage device by going directly to where it is physically located on the device rather than by having to sequentially look for the data at one physical location after another.
  • direct-attached storage (DAS) - Direct-attached storage (DAS) is computer storage that is connected to one computer and not accessible to other computers.
  • disk array - A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object storage.
  • disk cache - A disk cache is a mechanism for improving the time it takes to read from or write to a hard disk.
  • diskette (floppy disk) - A diskette is a random access, removable data storage medium that can be used with personal computers.
  • DLT (digital linear tape) - Before the popular Linear Tape-Open Consortium came into existence, Quantum had its proprietary digital linear tape (DLT) format.
  • document reader - A document reader is a device that converts an electronic file or printed matter to a form suitable for use by people with visual impairment.
  • dongle - A dongle (pronounced DONG-uhl) is a mechanism for ensuring that only authorized users can copy or use specific software applications, especially very expensive programs.
  • DRAM (dynamic random access memory) - Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that is typically used for the data or program code needed by a computer processor to function.
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  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

  • What is risk management and why is it important?

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

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  • encryption key

    In cryptography, an encryption key is a variable value that is applied using an algorithm to a string or block of unencrypted ...

  • payload (computing)

    In computing, a payload is the carrying capacity of a packet or other transmission data unit.

  • script kiddie

    Script kiddie is a derogative term that computer hackers coined to refer to immature, but often just as dangerous, exploiters of ...

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  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

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  • cloud NAS (cloud network attached storage)

    Cloud NAS (network attached storage) is remote storage that is accessed over the internet as if it is local.

  • Terabyte (TB)

    A terabyte (TB) is a unit of digital data that is equal to about 1 trillion bytes.

  • object storage

    Object storage, also called object-based storage, is an approach to addressing and manipulating data storage as discrete units, ...

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