Embedded Glossary

Are you unfamiliar with a technical term in connection with embedded technologies, or do you need a reliable definition? In the TQ glossary on this topic you will find explanations of frequently used terms from our business areas.

Alphabetical list

 A    B    C    D    E    F    H    I    L    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T  

AOI - Automatic optical inspection

Device with high-performance sensors and camera systems for visible inspection of modules.

ARM Cortex™-A9 - Microcontroller based on ARM Architecture

The ARM Cortex™-A9 MPCore is a 32-bit multicore processor with up to 4 cache-coherent Cortex A9 cores, each implementing the ARMv7 instruction set (source: Wikipedia).


BGA - Ball Grid Array

Active component with flat connection grid and solder balls.

BST - Boundary-Scan-Test

Inspection of an assembly with the aid of boundary-scan-capable components on this assembly.

You distinguish:

  • Interconnection test: if there are several boundary-scan-capable devices on the board, check the existing connections between these devices. 
  • Cluster test: Checking the non-boundary-scan-capable devices on the board using the boundary-scan-capable devices

CEM - Contract Electronic Manufacturing

Contract manufacturing of electronic assemblies and systems (see also EMS).

COM - Computer-on-module

Embedded modules are ready-made microcontroller modules that provide all the functionalities of a computer in a very small space. TQ offers embedded modules (TQ Minimodules) with Freescale, Intel, AMD, VIA or Infineon processors (Power Architecture™, ARM, ColdFire®, x86 and C166).


DfM - Design for manufacturing

DfM stands for "Design for Manufacturing" and means that an assembly or a device is continuously developed and designed in such a way that it can be optimally manufactured from a cost and quality point of view.

In "Design for Manufacturing", the following aspects in particular must be taken into account:

  • High proportion of identical parts (-> low set-up costs, faster assembly, lower costs)
  • Optimum PCB layout with regard to assembly and soldering processes
  • As few different manufacturing and assembly steps and processes as possible
  • Assembly-friendly mechanics
  • Coordinated tolerance chains
  • No unnecessarily tight tolerances

DFR - Design for Reliability

DFR stands for "Design for Reliability"and means that an assembly or device is consistently designed and built to provide high reliability, low failure rate and long life.

In "Design for Reliability", the following aspects in particular must be taken into account:

  • System, product, design and process FMEA
  • Redundant design, parallel/serial switching
  • Increased safety distances / specification reserves of the components - "Factor 2 design
  • Use of proven, robust technologies
  • Printed circuit board structures, number of layers, TG and TD reserves
  • semiconductor structures
  • Capacitors, chokes: Structure sizes
  • NOR- instead of NAND-Flash, Single Level Cell (SLC) instead of Multi Level Cell (MLC)
  • Avoidance of unnecessary complexity in hardware and software

DFS - Design for Service

DFS stands for"Design for Service" and means that an assembly or device is developed and designed to be service-friendly.

The following aspects in particular must be taken into account when designing for service:

  • High proportion of common parts (spare parts stocking)
  • Long-term component availability
  • Modular design
  • Good testability (DFT)
  • Good dismountability
  • Good accessibility of assemblies and components

DfT - Design for Testability

DfT stands for "Design for Testability" and means that an assembly or a device is continuously developed and designed in such a way that it can be optimally tested from a cost and quality point of view..

In "Design for Testability", the following aspects in particular must be taken into account and implemented, where possible and appropriate:

  • AOI-compliant PCB layout
  • Test points for FPT or ICT (Flying Probe Test or In Circuit Test)
  • ICT-compatible circuit design (especially for digital ICT)
  • BST functionality (Boundary Scan Test)
  • Integrated function test functions
  • Integrated self-test functions
  • Multi-stage testing process with tests as close as possible to the production process in each case

DTC/DFC - Design to Cost / Design for Cost effectivity

DTC/DFC stands"Design to Cost / Design for Cost effectivity":
The following aspects in particular must be taken into account in the "design to cost" process:

  • Cost-optimized component selection
  • Ensuring sufficient long-term component availability
  • Bundling at component and manufacturer level (volume effect)
  • Use of appropriate, mature technologies
  • Avoidance of unnecessary requirements and unnecessarily close tolerance
  • Integrated supply chain management (low logistics costs)
  • Implementation of DFM (low manufacturing and assembly costs with high quality)
  • Implementation of DFT (low testing costs with high quality)
  • Implementation DFl & DFR (low warranty costs)
  • Implementation of DFS (low service costs)
  • Obsolescence Management

EBB - Embedded Building BlocksIntel®

TQ offers a modular embedded PC platform based on COM Express as part of the COMSys Embedded Building Blocks initiative. The COM Express platform is a modular embedded PC platform that is designed to meet the requirements of both the consumer and industrial sectors.

Embedded System

System in which embedded modules are used, for example in TQ industrial PCs.

EMV - Electromagnetic Compatibility

Condition in which technical devices do not influence each other undesirably.

EOL - End of life

Articles that are no longer manufactured and are no longer available.


FKT - Functional test

Checking the function of individual sub-areas as well as the complete assembly (similar to their later operating conditions).

FPT - Flying Probe Test

Checking the correct processing and partially the parameters and function of the components on an assembly.


HMI - Human Machine Interface

Human beings operate machines by means of human-machine interfaces. HMI are, for example, the computer keyboard or a steering wheel.


ICT - In-Circuit-Test

Checking the correct processing and partially the parameters and function of the components on an assembly.

IPC - Industrial PC

Computers that are designed for tough industrial use. TQ Industrial PCs stand out from the crowd:

  • High robustness
  • Long availability
  • Extended temperature range
  • Low energy consumption
  • Passive cooling
  • Designed for strong vibration
  • High modularity
  • High functionality


Arrangement of components and conductor paths in or on an electronic assembly (circuit board unbundling).


NRND - Not Recommended for New Designs




Outsourcing of company tasks to service companies.

ODM - Original Design Manufacturer

Company that develops and manufactures products on behalf of customers. The product is sold under the customer's brand name.

The ODM offering of the TQ-Group includes:

  • Custom products
  • From concept to finished product
  • Based on the TQ solution kit (hardware, software, mechanics)
  • Complete Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer

Manufacturers of components that are integrated unchanged into devices of other manufacturers. 

The OEM offer of the TQ-Group includes the following standard products: 

  • Modules (TQ-Minimodules)
  • Base platines
  • Interface assemblies
  • Control components
  • Controls and
  • Industrial PCs

OM - Obsolescence Management

Obsolescence Management implements concepts for long-term supply with electronic assemblies. The Obsolescence Management strategy developed by TQ offers optimal protection against obsolete ("no longer in use") components, complex redesigns, unsafe sources and cost-intensive brokerware.


P2020 - QorIQ processor

QorIQ Dual Core Communication Processor up to 1.2 GHz from Freescale Semiconductor.

PCN - Product Change Notification

Manufacturer information on product changes.

PLM - Product Lifecycle Management

Product life cycle management controls all processes related to a product during its entire life cycle.



Microcontroller based on Power Architecture.

QorIQ is a series of microcontrollers based on Power Architecture from Freescale Semiconductor. It consists of the 5 product families P1-P5, which are all based on the e500 processor core or its successors. They are used in embedded systems, especially as network devices (routers, switches). (Source: Wikipedia)


Rapid Prototyping

Process for the production of sample assemblies in the shortest possible time.

RoHS - Restriction of hazardous substances

EC Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.


Smart Metering

Solutions for intelligent electricity metering, such as those offered by IEQualize.

SMD - Surface Mounted Device


SMT - Surface Mount Technology

Printed circuit board assembly on the surface of the printed circuit board.


Target Costing


THT - Through Hole Technology

With Through Hole technology, printed circuit boards are provided with holes into which the wire connections of the components and assemblies are inserted.


Traceability of a product regarding:

  • Manufacturing
  • Assembly
  • Processing
  • Storage
  • Consumption
  • (in accordance with DIN EN ISO 8402)