Hardware Definitions

  • A

    active sensor

    An active sensor is a device with a transmitter that sends out a signal, light wavelength or electrons to be bounced off a target, with data gathered by the sensor upon their reflection. Active sensors contrast with passive sensors, which simply detect and respond to some type of input from the physical environment.

  • Amazon Prime Air drone

    Amazon's Prime Air drone is a delivery system in development that uses remote-controlled robotic vehicles to transport goods from the warehouse to the consumer. The drones are small, unmanned octocopters -- helicopters with eight rotors -- that use GPS navigation.

  • B

    Blue Gene

    Blue Gene is a supercomputer development project at IBM for a series of high-performance system-on-a-chip (SoC) arcitectures with minimal power demands. The series includes Blue Gene/L, Cyclops64, (formerly Blue Gene/C), Blue Gene/P and Blue Gene/Q.

  • bring your own wearables

    Bring your own wearables (BYOW) is a trend toward the use of employee-owned wearable computing devices in a business setting.

  • D

    drone (unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV)

    A drone, in a technological context, is an unmanned aircraft. More formally known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a drone is, essentially, a flying robot.

  • E

    embedded firmware

    Hardware makers use embedded firmware to control the functions of various hardware devices and systems much like a computer’s operating system controls the function of software applications.

  • embedded system

    An embedded system is some combination of computer hardware and software, either fixed in capability or programmable, that is designed for a specific function or for specific functions within a larger system.

  • G

    Google Glass

    Google Glass is a wearable, voice-controlled Android device that resembles a pair of glasses and displays information directly in the user's field of vision.

  • H

    headless system

    A headless system is a computer that operates without a monitor, graphical user interface (GUI) or the typical peripherals used to control it, such as a keyboard and mouse. Headless computers are often used in embedded systems and servers.

  • HiP7 and HiP8

    HiP7 and HiP8 are abbreviations for two versions of HiPerMOS, a complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) microchip technology invented by Motorola.

  • I

    Intel Atom

    Atom is Intel's family of x86 and x86-64 processors that are optimized for small computing devices, such as smartphones and mobile Internet devices (MIDs).

  • Intel Quark

    Intel Quark is an embedded system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor design intended for smaller mobile devices like wearable computers. As with their counterparts in elementary particles, Quark is smaller than  Atom. The Quark processor is said to be a fifth of the size of Atom and draw a tenth of the power.

  • intelligent device

    An intelligent device is any type of equipment, instrument, or machine that has its own computing capability.

  • M

    machine data

    Machine data is digital information created by the activity of computers, mobile phones, embedded systems and other networked devices.

  • MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems)

    A MEMS (microelectromechanical system) is a miniature machine that has both mechanical and electronic components.

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