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The A-Z Rugged Computing Glossary [Free PDF Copy]

by Brett Daniel, on Jun 19, 2020 8:14:55 AM

The A-Z Rugged Computing Glossary

Graphic: Complete the form that appears on this page to receive your free copy of the Rugged Computing Glossary. Check back here periodically for updates!

The first-ever A-Z Rugged Computing Glossary, written, edited and designed by Trenton Systems, is now live.

Feel free to use the table of contents below to skip to the section of your choice.

You can also use the Ctrl + F or Command + F shortcut to find what you’re looking for.

Trenton Systems is accepting community contributions to the glossary and will post updated editions here periodically.

| # | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

About Trenton Systems

Trenton Systems is a ruggedized computer hardware manufacturer specializing in the design, manufacture, assembly, integration and support of truly made-in-USA rugged servers, workstations, processor boards, PCIe backplanes, storage servers, blade servers, PCIe expansion kits, mini PCs and customized high-performance computers for environmentally extreme applications worldwide.


#

1U (1RU) - one rack unit, equal to 1.75 inches
2U (2RU) - two rack units, equal to 3.5 inches
3U (3RU) - three rack units, equal to 5.25 inches
4U (4RU) - four rack units, equal to 7 inches
5U (5RU) - five rack units, equal to 8.75 inches

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A

Aerospace - the industry that designs and manufactures aircraft and spacecraft and which is also a frequent customer of rugged computer manufacturers
Application – the actual program or software supported by a rugged computer
ASPEED2600 - the latest generation of ASPEED Technology's server management processor

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B

Backplane - a board of electrical connectors that links a rugged computer's expansion boards and other printed circuit boards (PCBs)
Bandwidth - the highest amount of data that can be transmitted within a given time frame, expressed in bits per second
Baseboard management controller (BMC) - a service processor installed on a rugged computer's motherboard that uses sensors to remotely monitor and manage the state of a rugged computer's hardware
Basic input / output system (BIOS) - the program or software that controls the basic functions of a rugged computer's operating system
Blade server - a simplified, thin, modular, rugged computer housed inside of a rack enclosure alongside other simplified, thin, modular, rugged computers like it

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C

Cache - a memory component that stores data temporarily to make data retrieval faster and more efficient
CE – a mark of certification signifying that rugged computers sold in the European Union adhere to certain EU health, safety and environmental standards
Central processing unit (CPU) - the component of a rugged computer, complete with an arithmetic logic unit and control unit, that processes and manages data based on the instructions of a user or application
Chassis - the outer covering or case that contains and safeguards a rugged computer's internal components
Chipset – a collection of components on an integrated circuit that controls the transfer of data between the CPU, RAM and peripheral devices
Clock rate - how fast a rugged computer's central processing unit (CPU) can execute a set of instructions
Command and control (C2) - a military branch's management and directorial activities as they pertain to goal achievement and mission accomplishment
Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) - describes a rugged computer that's readily available for purchase by the general public, with no need for customization or tailoring
Compliance - the state of adhering or not adhering to certain military or industrial standards
Compliance testing - the process of determining adherence to certain military or industrial standards
Computer life cycle – the phases of a rugged computer's existence, typically beginning with planning and concluding with end-of-life
Computer system - the complete body of rugged computer hardware and software that enables functionality for the user or application
Computer-On-Module (COM) Express Type 7 - the seventh iteration of the COM Express standard, specifying the inclusion of four 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports and 32 Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) lanes for computer-on-modules
Customizable – the ability of a rugged computer to be tailored to certain requirements and specifications

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D

Data communications - the process of transferring electronic bits of information from one rugged computer to another
Data transfer rate - the actual speed at which data is sent and received between devices in a network
Defense - describes the industry or community of military personnel and contractors that frequently purchase rugged computers for their programs and applications
Digital video interface (DVI) - a standard for video connection written by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG) that supports both analog and digital signals
DisplayPort - a digital audio and video interface created by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) OR the socket on the rugged computer into which a DisplayPort cable is inserted
DO-160 - a standard of stress testing methods, published by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), used to assess the effects that a variety of real-world environmental conditions can have on avionics hardware
Double data rate (DDR) - a type of synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM) that transmits data twice as fast as regular SDRAM due to its rising-and-falling edge transference
Drive bay - an opening inside of a rugged computer into which hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SDDs) can be inserted

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E

Edge - the location in an edge computing architecture where computation is performed at or near the data source
Edge computer - a rugged computer that's part of an edge computing architecture
Edge computing - a type of network architecture whereby data is processed at or near the data source OR the actual computation being performed at or near the data source
Embedded – used to describe a rugged computer that's contained or situated in a larger computer system
Embedded computer – a rugged computer, part of a larger computer system, designated with performing a specific task
End of life – a term used to describe the conclusion of a rugged computer's life cycle, at which point the manufacturer will no longer provide support for the computer
Error-correcting code (ECC) memory – a form of data storage that constantly monitors for memory errors to prevent data corruption
Ethernet – a wired technology that facilitates communication between devices in local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and metropolitan area networks (MANs)
Ethernet cable – an Ethernet-compatible cable that connects devices in LANs, WANs and MANs
Ethernet port – the socket on a device or network device into which an Ethernet cable is inserted
Expandable – the ability of a rugged computer or server to have its hardware capabilities augmented
Expansion card – a printed circuit board that's inserted into a slot on a motherboard or backplane to provide additional features and capabilities

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F

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the United States federal agency that regulates public forms of communication, e.g., radio, television and cable, both nationally and internationally
Form factor - the size and shape of rugged computer hardware and rugged computer components
Fully rugged - an unstandardized category that describes a rugged computer of medium durability or ruggedization

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G

Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) - an Ethernet technology standard that supports a bandwidth of 1 gigabit, or 1,000 megabits, per second
Graphics processing unit (GPU) – a specialized printed circuit board (PCB), complete with its own processor and memory, that assists with the creation of images for electronic display

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H

Hard disk drive (HDD) - a non-volatile-memory data storage device that uses magnetic platters to store and retrieve data
High-density embedded computing (HDEC) - a system host board (SHB) and backplane interconnect paradigm designed by Trenton Systems that brings application benefits to the high-performance computing requirements of the military, fire control, industrial automation and ruggedness-required sectors
Hot-swappable – the ability of a component or device to be added to or removed from a rugged computer system without powering down the computer
Humidity testing – a stress testing method found in MIL-STD-810 and other standards that involves subjecting a rugged computer to high levels of humidity to assess how well it endures or performs in a similar, real-world environment

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I

Industrial application - the program or software that performs a specific computational task for an industry or enterprise
Industrial automation - the use of autonomous control systems to manage industry-related processes, e.g., manufacturing and production
Industrial server - a rugged computer designed to support applications in a variety of industries, e.g., oil and gas, aerospace and telecommunications
Industrial standard - a document of technical criteria used by engineers during rugged computer stress testing to assess and determine whether a rugged computer is compliant with the established rules and requirements of an industry
Input / output (I/O) - used to describe the fundamental send and receive operations of a computer and its peripheral devices
Intel – a multinational technology company and leading manufacturer of integrated circuits
Intel Core - the Intel family of x86 central processing units (CPUs) that superseded Intel Pentium in 2006
Intel Xeon - the Intel family of x86 central processing units (CPUs) designed for high-end servers and workstations not typically found at the consumer level
Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) - a remote hardware monitoring system used to oversee servers and keep track of their technical health
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) - an independent, non-governmental organization that develops international industrial and commercial standards to support innovation and provide agreed-upon solutions
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) - a list of rules created by the United States government that implements the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) by controlling the import and export of defense-related articles to ensure national security
Internet of Things (IoT) - the network of internet-connected computing devices that send and receive data without human intervention

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J

Jack - a hole or socket into which a corresponding plug is inserted
Just a bunch of disks (JBOD) - a storage architecture consisting of numerous disk drives inside of a single storage enclosure

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K

It looks like we haven't added any terms to this section yet. Do you know of a term that should be here? Let us know!

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L

LAN cable - another term for Ethernet cable, named after the Ethernet cable's widespread usage in local area networks (LANs)
LAN port - another term for Ethernet port, named after the Ethernet port's widespread usage in local area networks (LANs)
Latency – the delay or lag that occurs after a data transfer request
Light-emitting diode (LED) - a semiconductor device that produces light when an electric current passes through it
Local area network (LAN) - a computer network of interconnected devices within a small geographic area, e.g., a house or office building

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M

Mechanical shock – a sudden, forceful impact OR the test method in MIL-STD-810 that involves subjecting a rugged computer to sudden, forceful impacts and assessing durability and performance
Metropolitan area network (MAN) - a computer network of interconnected devices spanning a geographic area the size of a major city
Military computer - a rugged computer certified to military standards and specifically designed for use by the armed forces
Military server - a rugged server certified to military standards and specifically designed for use by the armed forces
Military standard - a document of technical criteria used by engineers during rugged computer stress testing to assess and determine whether a rugged computer is compliant with the established rules and requirements of the armed forces
MIL-S-901 - a military standard used to assess and determine a shipboard rugged computer's resistance to high-impact mechanical shock
MIL-STD-461 - a military standard that determines the electromagnetic capability of a rugged computer
MIL-STD-810 - a military standard consisting of a broad range of environmental testing procedures used to determine the durability of a rugged computer in certain environments, e.g., high-temperature, high-humidity and high-altitude environments
MIL-STD-810G - the iteration of MIL-STD-810 directly preceding MIL-STD-810H
MIL-STD-810H - the latest iteration of MIL-STD-810, directly succeeding MIL-STD-810G
Mini-ITX - a small motherboard form factor developed by VIA Technologies and commonly seen in small form factor rugged computers, e.g., mini PCs
Mini PC –a small form factor, lightweight, rugged computer that has undergone stress testing for usage in extreme conditions
Mission - a critical military assignment
Mission-critical - used to describe hardware or software that is essential to the continuous operation of a highly important, often high-stakes military assignment or endeavor
Mission-critical application – a program or software that is essential to the continuous operation of a highly important, often high-stakes military assignment or endeavor
Mission-critical server - a rugged computer that is essential to the continuous operation of a highly important, often high-stakes military assignment or endeavor
Mission-critical system - a system into which a rugged computer is integrated that is essential to the continuous operation of a highly important, often high-stakes military assignment or endeavor
Motherboard - the main circuit board in a rugged computer that connects and facilitates communication between a system's primary components

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N

Non-volatile memory express (NVMe) - a high-performance, low-latency storage interface designed for accessing PCIe-based solid-state drives (SSDs)

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O

It looks like we haven't added any terms to this section yet. Do you know of a term that should be here? Let us know!

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P

PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) – an association of more than 140 technology companies that develops standards for high-performance telecommunications, military, industrial and general-purpose embedded computing applications
PCIe backplane – an expansion board that offers additional PCIe slots for rugged computers
PCIe expansion - the process of extending a rugged computer's PCIe capabilities with a PCIe backplane or expansion kit
PCIe expansion kit – a set of rugged components capable of increasing the number of PCIe slots a rugged computer can utilize, consisting of a target card, a host card, cables, a PCIe backplane and expansion chassis
PCIe Generation 3 - the third generation of PCIe, introduced by the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) in 2010 and supporting an 8.0 GT/s data transfer rate and a 1-16 GB/s bandwidth
PCIe Generation 4 - the fourth generation of PCIe, introduced by the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) in 2017 and supporting a 16 GT/s data transfer rate and a 16-32 GB/s bandwidth
PCIe lane – the data transmission pathway for PCIe, the number (x1, x2, x4, x8, x16) of which defines the transfer rate and bandwidth of a PCIe slot
PCIe slot – the opening on a motherboard or backplane into which PCIe expansion cards are inserted
Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) - a high-speed interface standard for connecting additional graphics cards (GPUs), Local Area Network (LAN) ports, NVMe solid-state drives (SSDs), Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports and other hardware to a rugged computer's motherboard
Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) – the association of technology companies that responsible for maintaining, developing and publishing the PCIe standard and its new generations
Platform Controller Hub (PCH) - an Intel chipset family introduced in 2008
Printed circuit board (PCB) – an electronic board that mounts and connects a rugged computer’s electronic components
Processor – a general term that typically refers to a rugged computer's central processing unit (CPU)
Processor board – a printed circuit board on which a rugged computer's central processing unit (CPU) is situated
Program – the software or application powered by a rugged computer OR a long-term project or undertaking

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Q

It looks like we haven't added any terms to this section yet. Do you know of a term that should be here? Let us know!

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R

Rack mount server - a rugged computer designed for installation in a server rack
Rack server - another term for a rugged rack mount server
Rack unit (RU) - a measurement of height for rugged rack mount servers and server racks, expressed as RU, with one RU equaling 1.75 inches
Random-access memory (RAM) - a type of volatile memory that stores a rugged computer's short-term data for easy retrieval by the central processing unit (CPU)
Recommended Standard 232 (RS-232) - a standardized protocol that specifies the electrical, mechanical and functional characteristics for serial communication between rugged computers, their network devices and their peripheral devices
Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) - a storage technology that creates a data loss fail-safe by merging two or more hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs) into a cohesive storage unit or array
Registered dual in-line memory module (RDIMM) - a type of dual in-line memory module typically found in rugged servers that uses a register on the DIMM as a buffer between a computer's DRAM modules and memory controller, resulting in better memory performance
Registered jack 45 (RJ45) - a standardized eight-pin connector, found on the end of Ethernet / LAN cables, that connects rugged computers to the internet
Registered jack 45 (RJ45) port – the port on a personal device or network device into which an RJ45 connector is inserted
Requirements - another term for the specifications that customers desire in a rugged computer
Revision control - the management of changes to hardware and software over an extended period to ensure that customers receive the same compatible products in the future
Rugged / ruggedized – used to describe the durability of a hardened, stress-tested rugged computer designed to perform and survive in extreme environments
Rugged blade server - a blade server that's been stress-tested to perform and survive in extreme environments
Rugged chassis - a chassis that's been stress-tested to perform and survive in extreme environments
Rugged computer – a server, workstation, mini PC or other device with compute capability that’s been stress-tested to perform and survive in extreme environments
Rugged mini PC - a mini PC that's been stress-tested to perform and survive in extreme environments
Rugged server - a server that's been stress-tested to perform and survive in extreme environments
Rugged storage - a storage medium, e.g., a JBOD, that's been stress-tested to perform and survive in extreme environments
Rugged workstation - a workstation that's been stress-tested to perform and survive in extreme environments
Ruggedization - the process of stress testing a rugged computer or rugged component

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S

Scalable - the ability of a rugged computer to be expanded or upgraded to meet the requirements of an ever-increasing workload
Semi-rugged - used to describe rugged computers with limited ruggedization that are often seen at the consumer level supporting law enforcement and business-related applications and projects
Serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) - a computer bus interface that connects a computer's host controller to storage devices, e.g., hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs)
Server - a rugged computer that provides resources and services to clients on a network
Server rack - an enclosure, typically 19 inches in width, into which rugged rack servers are inserted
Shock - another term for mechanical shock OR the title of the stress testing method found in MIL-STD-810
Size, weight and power (SWaP) - used to describe a rugged computer that's been optimized for usage in mission-critical programs based on the reduction of its dimensions, mass and energy consumption
Small form-factor pluggable (SFP) port - a slot on a network device into which small form-factor pluggable transceivers are inserted to transmit data at high speeds
Small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceiver - a hot-swappable, pinky-sized metal component that, when connected to a device using a copper or fiber optic cable, allows for the high-speed transmission of data
Small outline dual in-line memory module (SODIMM) - a memory module smaller than a traditional dual in-line memory module (DIMM), often used on Mini-ITX motherboards and in other small form factor rugged computers
Solid-state drive (SSD) - a low-latency, non-volatile-memory storage device that uses flash memory, as opposed to magnetic platters, to store data
Specifications - the technical listing of a rugged computer's hardware and compute capabilities
Stress test - a procedure used to assess and determine the durability of a rugged computer
Stress-tested - describes a rugged computer that has undergone one or more stress tests
System host board (SHB) – a single-board computer that interfaces with a PCIe backplane

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T

Temperature testing – a series of stress testing methods found in MIL-STD-810 and other standards that involves exposing a rugged computer to high temperatures, low temperatures or a combination of the two to assess durability and subsequent performance in similar, real-world environments
Thermal design power (TDP) - a measurement, expressed in watts, of the maximum amount of heat that a component is expected to produce while in use
Thread - a sequence of programmed instructions executed by a central processing unit (CPU) and managed by an operating system's scheduler
Throughput - the exact amount of data transmitted within a given time frame, expressed in bits per second
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) - a specification for crypto processors, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), that provides hardware security using a microchip

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U

Ultra-rugged - used to describe an often fanless, sealed, conformal-coated rugged computer that can endure severe or extremely harsh environmental conditions
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) - an independent, non-profit organization that performs quality and safety tests on various products, including rugged computers
Universal serial bus (USB) - a technical standard that specifies connection properties for cables, connectors and ports intended to facilitate communication between host devices and peripheral devices

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V

Vibration / vibe testing – a stress testing method in MIL-STD-810 that involves exposing a rugged computer to intense shaking and juddering to assess how well it endures in a similar, real-world environment
Video graphic array (VGA) - a technical standard that specifies connection properties for cables, connectors and ports intended to facilitate video display for monitors and projectors

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W

Wattage - a measurement for power expressed in watts
Wide area network (WAN) - a vast data network spanning a large geographic area and interconnecting many local area networks (LANs)
Workstation - a powerful, specialized, networked, desktop rugged computer designed to support resource-intensive applications

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X

Xeon motherboard - a motherboard equipped with an Intel Xeon CPU

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Y

It looks like we haven't added any terms to this section yet. Do you know of a term that should be here? Let us know!

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Z

It looks like we haven't added any terms to this section yet. Do you know of a term that should be here? Let us know!

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Topics:rugged computersrugged serversrugged computing glossaryrugged computing

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