Lab Guide: Glossary of Terms

AVR A family of microcontrollers from Atmel, descended from the Intel 8051 microcontroller.
DIP (Dual Inline Package) A kind of integrated circuit that has two rows of 0.1″ spaced pins suitable for sticking into a solderless breadboard.
FTDI The company that makes the FT232RL chip, a USB-UART converter used on the Arduino.  We also call the chips “FTDI chips.”
H-Bridge A circuit used to control a motor.  It can switch the power on and off (PWM) and control the motor’s direction of rotation.
I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) a two-wire addressable serial communication protocol.  Also called TWI.
ICSP (In Circuit Serial Programmer) A device used to program microcontrollers via an ISP port.
ISP (In System Programming) A six-pin port that an ICSP can use to program a microcontroller via its SPI interface.
IR Infrared radiation, often used for detection, ranging, and low-range wireless data transmission.
JTAG (Joint Test Action Group) A device or protocol or port used to program and debug a microcontroller.
L298 A high-current integrated circuit containing two H-bridges.  Ours come mounted on a red Solarbotics interface board.
L293 A low-current integrated circuit containing two H-bridges.  Our are just DIP integrated circuits.
PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) A technique for generating a variable analog level in an energy storage device (such as a motor or capacitor) using a digital output.
SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) A four-wire master-slave serial communication protocol.
TWI (Two Wire Interface) See I2C.
UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) A one- or two-wire point-to-point serial communication protocol (e.g. a COM port on Windows).

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