Electronics glossary

Common terminology

Terms that are commonly used in low voltage/DC/electronics.

Forward voltageVoltage used by a component as current travels through.
Forward currentCurrent that a LED/component pulls.
Cathode, Negative terminal on a diode.
Anode, Positive terminal on a diode.
Positive supply voltage, , ,
Negative supply voltage, , ,
Ground, , ⏚
RectifierDevice that converts to 1.
InverterDevice that converts to 2.
  • and are not always the same3, for example analog vs. digital ground4.
  • Forward voltage is sometimes referred to as "voltage drop"5.
  • Forward current is sometimes refer to as the "draw" of a component.
  • Rectifiers can exist in my forms, for example as 4 diodes in a bridge (known as a Graetz bridge1, and is used in alternators) connected in a way that only allows the current to pass through the bridge in one direction.

Communication buses

I²CInter-Integrated Circuit6 7.
SDASerial data line
SCLSerial clock line
SPISerial peripheral interface8 9.
CLK/SCLK/SCKSerial clock
MOSI/DINData output from main device/controller. Sometimes referred to as DIN (Digital input) as the input of the component.
MISOData output from client devices to target devices
CEChip enable
CSChip select (active low) signal from controller to address clients and start transmitting8.