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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.

NAN - RAC

  • NAND flash memory - NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.
  • nano-emissive display (NED) - A nano-emissive display (NED) is a high-resolution, full-color, lightweight, physically thin display that uses carbon nanotube technology.
  • nanochip - A nanochip is an integrated circuit (IC) that is so small, in physical terms, that individual particles of matter play major roles.
  • nanocomputer - A nanocomputer is a computer whose physical dimensions are microscopic.
  • nanofabrication - Nanofabrication is the design and manufacture of devices with dimensions measured in nanometers.
  • nanolithography - Nanolithography is the art and science of etching, writing, or printing at the microscopic level, where the dimensions of characters are on the order of nanometers (units of 10 -9 meter, or millionths of a millimeter).
  • nanomachine (nanite) - A nanomachine, also called a nanite, is a mechanical or electromechanical device whose dimensions are measured in nanometers (millionths of a millimeter, or units of 10 -9 meter).
  • nanopaper - Nanopaper is a 3D rendering of thermally stable nanomaterials made of long nanowires created from titanium oxide using a hydrothermal heating process.
  • nanorobot - A nanorobot is a tiny machine designed to perform a specific task or tasks repeatedly and with precision at nanoscale dimensions, that is, dimensions of a few nanometers (nm) or less, where 1 nm = 10-9 meter.
  • nanoscale technology - Nanoscale technology is a branch of nanotechnology in which standard size tools are used to manufacture simple structures and devices with dimensions on the order of a few nanometers or less, where one nanometer (1 nm) is equal to a billionth of a meter (10 -9 m).
  • nanotransistor - A nanotransistor is a transistor - the component that acts as an electronic signal switch or amplifier - that is near the scale of a billionth of a meter (or nanometer) in size.
  • nanotube (carbon nanotube) - A carbon nanotube (CNT) is a miniature cylindrical carbon structure that has hexagonal graphite molecules attached at the edges.
  • nanowire - A nanowire is an extremely thin wire with a diameter on the order of a few nanometers (nm) or less, where 1 nm = 10 -9 meters.
  • nearline storage - Nearline storage is the on-site storage of data on removable media.
  • nematic liquid crystal - A nematic liquid crystal is a transparent or translucent liquid that causes the polarization (that is, the focusing in a plane) of light waves to change as the waves pass through the liquid.
  • Netfinity - IBM's Netfinity is an Intel-based enterprise server line that is based on IBM's X-architecture.
  • nettop - A nettop is a small, low-power and relatively inexpensive desktop computer.
  • network interface unit (NIU or Network Interface Device) - A network interface unit (NIU) (sometimes called a network interface device) is a device that serves as a common interfacefor various other devices within a local area network (LAN), or as an interface to allow networked computers to connect to an outside network.
  • network-attached storage (NAS) - Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve data from centralized disk capacity.
  • night vision - Night vision is technology that provides users with some vision in total darkness and improved vision in low-light environments.
  • NLX - NLX is an industry-wide open specification for a space-saving computer motherboard.
  • non-disruptive upgrade (NDU) - A non-disruptive upgrade (NDU) is an update to software or hardware done without interruption to system service or data access.
  • non-volatile memory (NVM) - Non-volatile memory (NVMe) is a semiconductor technology that does not require a continuous power supply to retain the data or program code stored in a computing device.
  • non-volatile storage (NVS) - Non-volatile storage (NVS) is a broad collection of technologies and devices that do not require a continuous power supply to retain data or program code persistently on a short- or long-term basis.
  • NOR flash memory - NOR flash memory is one of two types of non-volatile storage technologies.
  • Northbridge - Northbridge is an Intel chipset that communicates with the computer processor and controls interaction with memory, the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus, Level 2 cache, and all Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) activities.
  • NRZ (non-return-to-zero) - NRZ (non-return-to-zero) refers to a form of digital data transmission in which the binary low and high states, represented by numerals 0 and 1, are transmitted by specific and constant DC (direct-current) voltage s.
  • NUMA (non-uniform memory access) - NUMA (non-uniform memory access) is a method of configuring a cluster of microprocessor in a multiprocessing system so that they can share memory locally, improving performance and the ability of the system to be expanded.
  • one-socket server - A one-socket server is a server based around a single motherboard with a single CPU socket.
  • open source hardware (open hardware) - Open source hardware, also called open hardware, is electronic or computer hardware built from design information that could be copyrighted or licensed but has instead been made available for public use at no charge.
  • optical computer (photonic computer) - An optical computer (also called a photonic computer) is a device that uses the photons in visible light or infrared (IR) beams,rather than electric current, to perform digital computations.
  • optical disc - An optical disc is an electronic data storage medium that can be written to and read from using a low-powered laser beam.
  • optical storage - Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser.
  • organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) - Organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) technology involves the use of organic semiconducting compounds in electronic components, notably computer displays.
  • oscillation - Oscillation, in general, is a periodic fluctuation between two things; in the broadest sense, oscillation can occur in anything from a person's decision-making process to tides and the pendulum of a clock.
  • oscilloscope - An oscilloscope is a laboratory instrument commonly used to display and analyze the waveform of electronic signals.
  • P/390 - The P/390 is basically an IBM mainframe system adapted to run on a personal computer.
  • pagefile - In storage, a pagefile is a reserved portion of a hard disk that is used as an extension of random access memory (RAM) for data in RAM that hasn't been used recently.
  • Panasas - Panasas is a scale-out NAS (network-attached storage) vendor that produces hardware and software for demanding technical and enterprise environments.
  • parallel presence detect (PPD) - Parallel presence detect (PPD) is a method of using resistors to communicate a memory module's speed and density to the basic input/output system (BIOS) when a computer boots (starts or restarts).
  • parallel processing - Parallel processing is a method in computing of running two or more processors (CPUs) to handle separate parts of an overall task.
  • parameter RAM (PRAM or parameter random access memory) - PRAM (parameter RAM or parameter random access memory) is a special battery-powered form of random access memory in certain Macintosh computers where vital system information such as the date and time are stored.
  • partition - Partitioning a hard disk drive is the first step in preparing it for data storage.
  • patch antenna - A patch antenna is a wafer-like directional antenna suitable for covering single-floor small offices, small stores and other indoor locations where access points cannot be placed centrally.
  • patch cord - A patch cord is a length of cable, with connectors on the ends, that is used to connect an end device to something else, such as a power source.
  • patch panel - A network patch panel is a mounted hardware unit containing ports used to interconnect and manage LAN cables as well as connect them to the internet and wide area networks.
  • PCMCIA card - A PCMCIA card is a credit card-size memory or I/O device that connects to a personal computer, usually a notebook or laptop computer.
  • PDP-11 (Programmed Data Processor-11) - PDP-11 (Programmed Data Processor-1 is one of the most famous computers in computing history, one of a series manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) from the early 1960s through the mid-1990s.
  • Peltier effect - The Peltier effect is a temperature difference created by applying a voltage between two electrodes connected to a sample of semiconductor material.
  • performance testing - Performance testing is the process of determining the speed, responsiveness and stability of a computer, network, software program or device under a workload.
  • permittivity (electric permittivity) - Permittivity, also called electric permittivity, is a constant of proportionality that exists between electric displacement and electric field intensity.
  • Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) - The PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) is an industry group organized in 1989 to promote standards for a credit card-size memory or I/O device that would fit into a personal computer, usually a notebook or laptop computer.
  • personal digital assistant (PDA) - Personal digital assistants were the precursors to smartphones.
  • Personal Response System (PRS) - In education, the Personal Response System (PRS) is an instructional technology tool composed of a proprietary software application that is installed on the facilitator's computer, a wireless receiver, and hand-held infrared transmitters that have been assigned to students to record their responses to multiple choice or yes/no questions.
  • personal video recorder (PVR) - A personal video recorder (PVR) is an interactive TV recording device, in essence a sophisticated set-top box with recording capability (although it is not necessarily kept on top of the television set).
  • petabyte - A petabyte is a measure of memory or data storage capacity that is equal to 2 to the 50th power of bytes.
  • PFC (power factor correction or power factor controller) - PFC (power factor correction; also known as power factor controller) is a feature included in some computer and other power supply boxes that reduces the amount of reactive power generated by a computer.
  • phase-change cooling (vapor cooling) - Phase-change cooling, also called vapor cooling, is a microprocessor-cooling technology that works according to the same principles as a conventional refrigerator, freezer or air conditioner.
  • phased antenna system - .
  • phlashing - Phlashing is a permanent denial of service (PDoS) attack that exploits a vulnerability in network-based firmware updates.
  • PHOLED (phosphorescent organic light-emitting device) - PHOLED (phosphorescent organic light-emitting device) is a proprietary display technology developed by the Universal Display Corporation (UDC) that uses soluble phosphorescent small molecule materials to create organic light-emitting devices (OLED s).
  • photonic ink (P-Ink) - Photonic ink (P-Ink) is a substance that can change color electronically.
  • photovoltaic cell (PV Cell) - A photovoltaic cell (PV cell) is a specialized semiconductor diode that converts visible light into direct current (DC).
  • physical computer - A physical computer is a hardware-based device, such as a personal computer.
  • PictBridge - PictBridge is the name of an industry standard for firmware (built-in software) that allows digital cameras and printers to communicate directly with each other.
  • pipelining - In computers, a pipeline is the continuous and somewhat overlapped movement of instruction to the processor or in the arithmetic steps taken by the processor to perform an instruction.
  • Pivot3 - Pivot3 is a hyperconverged appliance vendor that has deployed over 16,000 infrastructures and all-flash arrays in over 50 countries around the world.
  • pixie dust or antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media - Pixie dust is the informal name that IBM is using for its antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media technology, which can increase the data capacity of hard drives to up to four times the density possible with current drives.
  • pizza box server - The term "pizza box server" refers to the shape of a computer server enclosed in a rectangular and horizontally-arranged chassis and often installed in a rack with similar servers.
  • planned obsolescence - Planned obsolescence is the concept that a product should be designed and produced with the knowledge that it will only be popular, useful and functional for a limited length of time.
  • PLUGE pattern (picture line-up generation equipment pattern) - A PLUGE (picture line-up generation equipment) pattern is a test pattern used to calibrate the black level on a video display.
  • polled interrupt - In a computer, a polled interrupt is a specific type of I/O interrupt that notifies the part of the computer containing the I/O interface that a device is ready to be read or otherwise handled but does not indicate which device.
  • polymer LED (light-emitting polymer or polyLED) - Polymer LED (light-emitting diode) - sometimes called light-emitting polymer or polyLED - is a technology based on the use of polymer as the semiconductor material in LEDs.
  • port interface card (PIC) - A port interface card (PIC) is a computer circuit board that provides multiple, diverse interfaces for connections to external networks.
  • portable keyboard (handheld keyboard) - A portable keyboard (or handheld keyboard) is one that is designed to be used with wireless devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smartphones.
  • portable media center - Portable media center is a term for a handheld multimedia device that can play digital music, image, and movie files that have been downloaded from the Internet or stored on a personal computer.
  • pounds per square inch (PSI) - PSI is commonly used to measure the pressure of gasses (pneumatic pressure) or liquids (hydraulic pressure).
  • power distribution unit (PDU) - A power distribution unit is a device for controlling electrical power in a data center.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) - Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology for wired Ethernet local area networks (LANs) that allows the electrical current necessary for the operation of each device to be carried by the data cables rather than by power cords.
  • power usage effectiveness (PUE) - Power usage effectiveness (PUE) is a metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data center.
  • power-up (or power-on) - Power-up (or the synonym "power-on") is a verb meaning to apply electrical power to a device - that is, to "turn it on" as most of us would say about turning on a light switch when entering a dark room.
  • PPGA (plastic pin grid array) - PPGA (plastic pin grid array) is a microchip design from Intel that has the silicon core of the microchip facing down toward the computer motherboard.
  • pressure sensing - Pressure sensing is the capacity for some system to sense the force exerted on a surface per unit area and express that force in the strength of an electric signal.
  • preventive maintenance - Preventive maintenance is the practice of routinely taking measures in hardware administration that reduces the risk of failures and improves the likelihood of quick recovery in the event that a failure does occur.
  • primary storage (main storage) - Primary storage is the collective methods and technologies used to capture and retain digital information that is in active use and critical for an organization’s operations.
  • printer - A printer is a device that accepts text and graphic output from a computer and transfers the information to paper, usually to standard size sheets of paper.
  • private cloud (internal cloud or corporate cloud) - Private cloud is a type of cloud computing that delivers similar advantages to public cloud, including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture.
  • processing in memory (PIM) - Processing in memory (PIM, sometimes called processor in memory) is the integration of a processor with RAM (usually DRAM or SRAM) on a single chip.
  • processor (CPU) - A processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer.
  • product development (new product development - NPD) - Product development, also called new product management, is a series of steps that includes the conceptualization, design, development and marketing of newly created or newly rebranded goods or services.
  • product footprint - The product footprint is an assessment of the impact a particular product has on the environment.
  • programmable automation controller (PAC) - Programmable automation controller (PAC) is a term that is loosely used to describe any type of automation controller that incorporates higher-level instructions.
  • ProLiant - ProLiant, an "industry standard" computer server from Compaq, typifies the popularly-priced server that is designed to satisfy general computing needs at various levels in an enterprise.
  • propagation delay - Propagation delay, symbolized tpd, is the time required for a digital signal to travel from the input(s) of a logic gate to the output.
  • proportional control - Proportional control is a control system technology based on a response in proportion to the difference between what is set as a desired process variable (or set point) and the current value of the variable.
  • proprietary solution - A proprietary solution is a hardware or software product or combination of products and services that is tied to a specific vendor, to the exclusion of all other vendors.
  • prototype - In software development, a prototype is a rudimentary working model of a product or information system, usually built for demonstration purposes or as part of the development process.
  • proximity sensing - Proximity sensing is the ability of a robot to tell when it is near an object, or when something is near it.
  • PS/2 connector - A PS/2 connector is a round connector with six pins that some makes of personal computer use for the keyboard or mouse connection.
  • PXE (Preboot Execution Environment) - Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) refers to various methods of getting an IBM-compatible computer, typically running Windows, to boot up without the need for a hard drive or boot diskette.

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