A single-wire (plus ground) communications protocol.

A/D Converter

An Analog to digital converter is a circuit that converts analog signals into digital data.


A sensor or transducer for measuring acceleration.


ADAS: Advanced driver-assistance systems are systems to help the driver in the driving process. When designed with a safe human-machine interface, they should increase car safety and more generally road safety.


The qualification test sequence developed by the AIAG automotive organization for ICs.

Ambient lighting

Using LED light strips creates new concepts for the interior the driver can influence individually in terms of color.

Ambient Temperature

The temperature of the air near an IC or a component.

Ambient Temperature Sensor

Ambient temperature sensors are measuring the temperature of the air near an IC or a component.


An application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is a circuit developed individually for a specific application and a specific customer.


An application specific standard product (ASSP) is an integrated circuit developed individually for a specific application. It can be marketed to several customers as an application standard.


The amount of data a digital channel or line can transport versus the time.

Bare Die

A bare die is a single chip without a package.


The device accommodates signals traveling either direction though a single channel.


A power bipolar transistor is a specialized version of a bipolar transistor that is optimized for conducting and blocking large electric currents and very high voltages.

BLDC motor

A BLDC motor’s magnetic rotor is not mechanically connected to the electrical supply. The necessary rotating field must be provided externally by electronics energizing the stator coils and creating the electric field. The motor is operated in a closed loop.

Boost Converter

A power supply that boosts an input voltage up to a higher, regulated voltage.


Often refers to using the output of a step-up converter to drive the main power FET switch. By this it can provide more gate drive than the input can supply alone.


A switch-mode voltage regulator in which output voltage can be above or below the input voltage.

Burst Mode

A temporary high-speed data-transfer mode that can transfer data at significantly higher rates.


A communication standard that allows the exchange of information between several participants on an electronic or optical basis. Among the standards used in the automobile are the following: LIN, CAN, and FlexRay™.

Charge Pump

A charge pump means a power supply which uses capacitors to store and transfer energy to the output. Charge is transferred from one capacitor to another under control of regulator and switching circuitry.


An electronic circuit that contains electric functions realized in semiconductor material.


Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) is the basic technology for manufacturing microchips with a high integration rate and low energy consumption.


Control unit that can convert AC voltages of various rates and frequencies.

Daisy Chain

A method of propagating signals along a bus in which the devices are connected in series and the signal passed from one device to the next. One positive aspect is that the daisy chain scheme permits assignment of device priorities based on the electrical position of the device on the bus.


Direct current

DC-DC Controller

A DC-DC converter (switch-mode power supply) in which the power switch (usually a power MOSFET) is external to the IC.


The Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is a method for testing and evaluating a design for robustness.


Electrically erasable programmable read-only memory.

Embedded System

A system in which the computer/microcontroller is included as an integral part of the system.


Electrostatic Discharge: Release of stored static electricity.

Exposed Pad

An exposed pad is offered in some packages e.g. to improve thermal dissipation or lower the impedance of the ground connection.

Fan Controller - Linear

An integrated circuit that varies the speed and airflow of a cooling fan using a variable voltage.

Fan Controller - PWM

An integrated circuit that varies the speed and airflow of a cooling fan using a pulse-width-modulated (PWM) voltage.


The high-speed bus system FlexRay™ is a standard for time-critical applications e.g. in automotive networks. Among other fields of use, FlexRay™ facilitates real-time communication in active chassis control systems.


Full scale; frame sync


Graphical user interface


HALIOS® (high ambient light independent optical system) technology is distinguished by its infrared-based detection of three-dimensional motion. Optical outside influences such as strong incidence of light or dust do not affect the performance. The electronic compensation of external light influence is the technically deciding function.

Heat Sink

A heat sink is thermally-connected to a electronic component, designed to conduct heat away from the device.


An element connected between the supply and the load. High-side current sensing applications measure current by looking at the voltage drop across a resistor placed between the supply and the load.


The acronym HMI stands for human-machine interface. It describes the different ways a human being can operate a machine.


Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning: Industry term for the systems and technology responsible for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in buildings. HVAC systems regulate comfort (temperature and humidity), energy efficiency, and air quality.


I²C is short for "inter-IC bus." I²C is a two-wire, low-speed, serial data connection IC bus used to run signals between integrated circuits, generally on the same board.

Integrated Circuit (IC)

An electronic circuit consisting of different miniaturized electronic components (e.g. resistors, capacitors, transistors, etc.) integrated into semiconductor material.

Idle Mode™

A method for energy saving for switching regulators by skipping pulses when the circuit is only lightly loaded.


IEC stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission: An "organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies."

IGBT Module

Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor Modules (IGBTs) are semiconductor components used in power electronics due to their robustness, high blocking voltage, and their ability to be triggered with negligible power.


IO-Link is a communication standard for connecting sensors and actuators to an industrial automation system.


Infrared Light that has a frequency below the visible light spectrum.


Infrared Data Association: A group of device manufacturers that developed a standard for transmitting data via infrared light waves.


International Standards Organization


Joint Electron Device Engineering Council


The KNX protocol is a global standard for data exchange most often used in building automation.


A low drop out is a linear voltage regulator that will operate even when the input voltage barely exceeds the desired output voltage.


Light-Emitting Diode: A semiconductor device that emits light.


The Local Interconnect Network is a low data-rate, single-wire communications system, used in e.g. automotive applications.

Linear Mode

A linear-pass element (BJT or FET) which is used to control/regulate the charging voltage/current.

Linear Regulator

A voltage regulator is placed between a supply and the load and provides a constant voltage by varying its effective resistance.


An element connected between the load and ground. Low-side current sensing applications measure current by looking at the voltage drop across a resistor placed between the load and ground.


Manifold absolute pressure


Micro-electro-mechanical systems are in particular sensors based on semiconductor technologies. Among other values, they can detect pressure, acceleration, or tilt.


A combination of analog and digital signals simultaneously generated, controlled, or modified on one and the same chip.


Metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor; metal-oxide silicon field-effect transmitter. In a MOSFET, the conductive channel between the drain and source contacts is controlled by a metal gate separated from the channel by a very thin insulating layer of oxide. The gate voltage establishes a field that allows or blocks current flow.


An organic light emitting diode is a luminous thin-layer component made of organic semiconductor materials distinguished by LED in that its electric current density and luminance are lower and no monocrystalline materials are required.

Overvoltage Protection

Overvoltage Protection protects downstream circuitry from damage due to excessive voltage, e.g. from the DC voltage coming from an external power source.


Pulse-Frequency Modulation: A pulse modulation technique in which the frequency is varied with the input signal amplitude. The duty cycle of the modulated signal does not change. Because it is always a square wave with changing frequency, PFM is also referred to as square-wave FM.


The PIR sensor (for passive infrared) is the most commonly used type of motion detector. It shows the optimal response to angle changes, i.e. when a person walks by the sensor.


A method for using pulse width to encode or modulate a signal. The width of each pulse is a function of the amplitude of the signal.


"Quad, flat, no-lead" package.


Quarter small-outline package


A relay is an electromagnetic switching device to operate one or more switch contacts.


An electronic device e.g. an integrated circuit to control and amplify because a small voltage or current, or a physical stimulus, allows the semiconductor to pass or block electrical current.


Single Ended Primary Inductor Converter: A DC-DC converter topology that acts both as a boost and a buck converter.


Small outline integrated circuit, a packaging technology.


Serial Peripheral Interface. A 3-wire serial interface.

Stepper Motor

A stepper motor is a synchronous motor whose rotor (rotatable motor part with a shaft) can be rotated through a controlled electromagnetic field of stator coils (stator = non-rotatable motor part), rotating step by step, by either a minimal angle (step) or its multiple.

System on a Chip

A System on a Chip (SoC) e.g. combines a microprocessor, interface elements and mixed signal functions in a single IC.

Thermal Shutdown

Deactivating a circuit when a measured temperature is beyond a predetermined value in order to protect the IC.


A device that contains both a transmitter and receiver.

TS 16949

TS 16949 is an ISO Technical Specification that aligns previous American (QS-9000), German (VDA6.1), French (EAQF) and Italian (AVSQ) automotive quality systems standards within the global automotive industry. Together with ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS 16949:2002 specifies the quality system requirements for the design/development, production, installation and servicing of automotive related products.


Thin shrink small-outline package


Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter: An IC that converts parallel data to serial, for transmission; and converts received serial data to parallel data.


USPA stands for ultrasonic park assist systems, monitoring the parking process and informing the driver optically and acoustically on the distance to the next object.

Voltage Regulator

A circuit which is connected between the power source and a load, which provides a constant voltage despite variations in input voltage or output load.


The basic material in chip production. A wafer is a disc sawn out of a single silicon crystal and polished.


A feature of a microprocessor supervisory circuit that monitors software execution in a microprocessor or microcontroller. It takes appropriate action, e.g. a reset, if the processor has a malfunction.

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