Glossary: Tech Jargon Used at CES

Here is a list of tech jargon often used at the Consumer Electronics Show.


* Blu-ray: High-definition DVD format supported by Sony (SNE) and others. Offers about three to six times more capacity than the current standard, with the potential to offer as much as 15 times.

* HD DVD: Competing high-definition DVD format from Toshiba and others. Offers slightly less storage capacity than Blu-ray.

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* HomePlug: Uses power lines to and in homes for high-speed data connections, such as for high-definition television.

* HPNA: Networks home computers much like a Local Area Network (LAN), but uses existing cable TV and phone wiring.

* Wi-Fi, also known as WLAN: De facto standard for short-range Internet wireless connections, usually to a broadband Internet access point.

* Bluetooth: Short-range wireless standard, often used between mobile phone and headsets and laptops.

* UWB (Ultra Wideband) or WiMedia UWB: High-speed wireless technology to transport media between devices in the home.

* Wibree: Proposed by Nokia (NOK) as a lower power cable alternative for connecting devices that do not require fast data speeds, such as mice and keyboards, to cell phones.

* High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI): Cable standard for connecting consumer electronics products and devices, specifically for high-definition video.

* UPnP (Universal Plug and Play): Protocol for connectivity among stand-alone devices and PCs from many different vendors.

* ZigBee: Very low-power wireless connection to and between home, building and infrastructure electronics, such as security equipment and hard-to-reach lighting.

* MoCA (Multimedia over Coax): For transporting digital entertainment and information over in-home coaxial cables.


* DSL (Digital subscriber line): Technology to boost speed of traditional copper phone wires for faster Internet speed.

* ADSL2, ADSL2+, VDSL (Video over DSL): Faster versions of the first inception of DSL. Speeds of up to several tens of megabits per second, enough for high definition video.

* WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access): Provides wireless broadband Internet access over large distances. Intel (INTC) is the main promoter.


* IPTV (Internet Protocol Television): Standard for telecoms operators to offer TV programming, including video on demand, over DSL.

* DVB-H: A digital TV broadcast standard designed for mobile devices. Eight times more energy efficient than DVB-T.

* DVB-T; A digital terrestrial TV broadcast standard, to replace analog broadcasts that need more radio spectrum.

* MediaFlo: A competing digital TV broadcast standard for mobile devices. Owned by Qualcomm (QCOM).

* DMB: Yet another competing standard. Built on the digital audio broadcast standard for digital radio.

* HDTV (High Definition Television): Broadcasts TV or video signal with about five times more picture detail than current standard-definition formats. Many TV sets with an "HD Ready" logo can only display 1280x720 pixels of the 1920x1080 pixels in the HDTV signal. Keep an eye out for "Full HD" sets.

* LCD (Liquid Crystal Display): Most popular flat-panel display technology, used in mobile devices, computer monitors and TVs. Works with a backlight and can be used in bright light.

* Plasma: Another flat-panel display technology, mostly used for large TV screens above 40 inches where LCD becomes more expensive. Pixels light up by themselves. No backlight needed.

* OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes): Currently used in small, simple applications such as mobile phones, but proponents say it could potentially replace LCD and plasma as it promises lower power consumption and cheaper manufacturing.

* CRT (Cathode Ray Tube): Mature technology for the well-known tube display used in the original television sets.


* GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications): Most popular mobile standard used by around 2 billion people. Most GSM networks have been upgraded with technology to enable data traffic and these upgrades are known as GPRS and EDGE.

* CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access): Competes with GSM, mostly used in the Americas and parts of Asia.

* UMTS or WCDMA; Also known as third-generation or 3G, UMTS is designed to use radio spectrum more efficiently and offers fast data speeds over a mobile network.

* HSDPA and HSUPA: Further advancement of 3G technology. Offers faster speeds of several megabits per second, which means a typical music track can be downloaded in a few seconds.

* CDMA20001x, EV-DO, EV-DO Rev A, EV-DO Rev. B: Faster CDMA standard, for music and video downloads and Internet browsing. The data rates of EV-DO can be compared with UMTS, while Rev. A speeds are comparable with HSDPA and Rev. B with HSUPA.

* VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol): Cuts up a phone conversation into digital bits and sends them as Internet Protocol packets over the Internet or over a dedicated part of a telecoms operator's network with guaranteed service levels.


* RFID (radio frequency identification): Simple chips that contain basic information about a product or service which can be read wirelessly when passed along a reader within several feet or less. Seen as the successor to the barcode.

* NFC (near field communication): Combines close-range RFID radio technology with application software for wireless transactions. Widely in public transport access cards, and seen as a keystone to turn mobile phones into wallets.