Electronics Glossary – N

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Term Definition
n region The region in a semiconductor where conduction electron density exceeds hole density. Also called n zone.
N Series A large radio frequency connector covered by Military Specification. It has an impedance of 50ohms, and is designed to operate in the 0 to 11 GHz frequency range. It has a threaded coupling and is physically larger than a TNC connector.
NAB Abbreviation for National Association of Broadcasters. For several years, prior to January 1, 1958, it was known as National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters (NARTB).
nail head bonding A synonym for ball bonding.
NAND gate A logic circuit which performs the AND function and then inverts the result. A NOT-AND gate. See also AND gate, and NOR gate.
nano A prefix that indicates a factor 10-9, which is 0.000000001 or one billionth, abbreviated as “n.”
Nanosecond One-billionth of a second, typically abbreviated as “ns.”
Narrow Band A vaguely defined term to indicate bandwidth less than approximately one-third of an octave (1/3 of the center frequency).
narrow-band EMI EMI generated from a device operating at a specific and limited range of frequencies. See also EMI.
Natural Rubber (NR-isoprene) Rubber by itself is lacking in many properties required of wire and cable insulating and jacketing materials. However, by proper compounding and mixing with other products, it can be converted to a material with excellent physical properties, good electrical properties, and fair to moderate ozone resistance and chemical resistance.
NAVSTAR Navigation Satellite Timing and Ranging. (The official U.S. Government name given to the GPS satellite system)
NBR Nitrile-Butadiene Rubber.
NBR/PVC A blend of nitrile rubber and polyvinyl chloride, is recommended for oil and ozone resistant jacketing of flexible cord and fixture wires, cables, and ignition wires. NBR/PVC is said to offer toughness, smoothness, flame resistance, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion and heat deformation, and to give outstanding service when exposed to weather, light, fuel, oil, or ozone.
NC Normally Closed meaning the state of the contacts when the control circuit is not energized.
NCC network control center
NDIS network drive interface specification
NEC Abbreviation for National Electric Code.
Negative feedback Recycling of a signal that is 180° out of phase with the input to decrease amplification. Used in linear circuits to stabilize performance and minimize distortion.
negative logic Digital logic is termed negative when logic 0 is assigned the more positive level (ie higher voltage level than logic 1). Logic 1 is assigned the lower (more negative) level. It is the inverse of positive logic.
NEMA Abbreviation for National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
neon An inert element from Group O of the periodic table of chemical elements. Exists as a gas at normal temperatures and pressures. When ionized by current passing through it, as in neon signs, bulbs, pilot lights, test probes, etc, it produces a bright orange-red glow.
neoprene rubber A synthetic rubber used for a wide variety of wire and cable jacketing applications. The physical properties are similar to natural rubber but with better resistance to oil, ozone, heat, weather, and aging. It does not support combustion and resists abrasion and cutting.
Network Analysis The derivation of a network’s electrical characteristics (input and output impedance, forward and reverse transfer characteristics, transient response, etc.) through its configuration, component values and response to driving signals.
Network Interface Card NIC – The circuit board installed in a PC that provides the interface between a communicating PC and the network.
Network Management System NMS – A system responsible for managing at least part of a network. NMSs communicate with agents to help keep track of network statistics and resources.
network-leased line May refer to either a telephone or teletype network; usually has reference to telephone lines.
network-private wire May refer to either private telephone or private teletype network.
network-telephone A system of points interconnected by private voice-grade telephone whereby direct point-to-point telephone communications are provided. This traffic usually bypasses commercial switching facilities; the customer provides his own operating personnel for leased lines and facilities. Service is available from local common carriers.
network-teletype A system of points, interconnected by private telegraph channels – which provide hard copy and/or telegraphic coded (five-channel) punched paper tape – at both sending and receiving points. Typically, up to 20 way stations share send-receive time on a single circuit. If two or more circuits are provided, a switching center is required to permit crosscircuit transmission.
NEXT Near End Crosstalk.The unwanted noise coupled into a device’s receive circuit from its transmit circuit.
next higher assembly A term used to designate an assembly of the next higher level in the breakdown of a system.
NIC Network interface card.Allows a PC to attach to a network.
Nick A small cut or notch in conductor strands or insulation.
Nitrile-Butadiene Rubber NBR – Specific properties depend on the actual composition but generally, this rubber offers excellent resistance to oils and solvents.
NMEA National Marine Electronics Association – A U.S. standards committee that defines data message structure, contents, and protocols to allow the GPS receiver to communicate with other pieces of electronic equipment.
NMOS N-channel metal-oxide semiconductor. A MOS IC using n-type material for the channels.
NO Normally Open meaning the state of the contacts when the control circuit is not energized.
No Load Loss (Core Losses) These losses are caused by the magnetizing of the core and are always present. The way they are measured is by running full voltage with no load on the transformer
No Load Voltage Voltage level present at the output pins of a converter when 0% load is applied.
NOC network operations center
node (1) An end point to any branch of a network or a junction common to two or more branches. Terminals and other equipment that communicate over the network are nodes in a network. (2) A zero point. Specifically, a current node is a point of zero current; a voltage node is a point of zero voltage.
noise An extraneous signal in an electrical circuit, capable of interfering with the desired signal. Loosely, any disturbance tending to interfere with the normal operation of a device or system. Classes of noise include burst or popcorn noise, intermediate frequency noise at low audio frequencies, white (thermal) noise, etc. Signals from power supply or ground line coupled into an amplifier output may be considered noise.
Noise Figure The ratio of the input signal to noise ratio to the output signal to noise ratio for a circuit or system, expressed in decibels. The noise figure of a receiver determines the minimum detectable signal amplitude.
Noise Floor The level of signal below which a receiver cannot detect a signal due to the noise generated within the receiver.
Noise margin (VIL min VOL max) or (VOH min VIH max) which ever lowest.
Nominal A descriptor applied to a dimension representing the center of the range of tolerance or a value if o tolerance is applied.
Nominal Value Ideal value that is used as a reference point. Typically, it is not the same as the value actually measured.
Non-Harmonic Signals Spurious signals produced by a circuit, the frequencies of which are not integral multiples of any signals either produced or processed by the circuit.
Nonlinear Material Magnetic material that exhibits a permeability which changes dramatically when MMF is varied.
Non-Linearity An impedance that does not linear relationship with voltage and current. The deviation of any parameter from a linear relationship with another.
Non-recurring Engineering NRE – Engineering activity that is required to design, develop or enhance a product but is not required for the production of an existing product.
NOR gate A logic circuit which performs the OR function and then inverts the result. A NOT-OR gate.
Normal Operating Current The highest steady state current that is expected to flow in a circuit under normal operating conditions. At the maximum ambient operating temperature of the circuit, the hold current of a PolySwitch device used to protect the circuit is typically greater than the normal operating current.
NOT The logical operator having that property which if P is a statement, then the not of P (P) is true if P is false, and the not of P (P) is false if P is true.
npn transistor A bipolar transistor having a p-type base between an n-type emitter and an n-type collector. The emitter should be negative with respect to the base, and the collector should be positive with respect to the base.
NRE non-recurring engineering – Engineering activity that is required to design, develop or enhance a product but is not required for the production of an existing product.
NRZ data rates Nonreturn to zero. A datatransmission format in which a change of state is required each time a logical 1 is presented. NRZ requires half the transitions as a RZ format and can therefore transmit data at twice the speed. See also RZ data rates.
ntc Negative temperature coefficient.
n-type Semiconductor material that has been doped with donor impurity atoms that produce free electrons in the material. Conduction mode is by free electrons. Also such material when donor atoms predominate over acceptor atoms.
n-type conductivity The conductivity associated with conduction electrons in a semiconductor.
N-type Material A semiconductor material to which a donor dopant has been added, resulting in net negative charge
n-type semiconductor An extrinsic semiconductor in which the conduction electron density exceeds the hole density. The net ionized impurity concentration is donor type.
numerical aperture The light gathering ability of a fiber, defined as the sine of half the angle that contains 90% of the optical power that is captured by the fiber.
numerical control Pertaining to the automatic control of processes by proper machine interpretation of numerical data.
nylon The generic name for synthetic fiber- forming polyamides. Available in three forms for wires and cables: as a yarn for wire sleeving and braid; as an extrusion material (primarily for jackets); and as a coating.