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June 25, 2018
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Microwave Acronyms - S

S Seimens A unit of electrical conductance named after German Ernst Werner von Siemens (thanks for the correction, Dr. Bill!)
SAG self-aligned gate  
SAR synthetic aperture radar  
SAS suspended air stripline  
SATCOM satellite communications Not an acronym, satcom is a portmanteau.
SAW surface acoustic wave A phenomenon where electrical energy is converted to a physical displacement on the surface of a solid, similar to a sound wave.
SC short circuit Opposite of open circuit.
SDR software-defined radio  
SEM scanning electron microscope A great toy for seeing stuff smaller than a wavelength of light (<~1 micron).
SFDR spurious-free dynamic range A measure of the range of amplitudes that a receiver can process.
SI semi-insulating As in a GaAs wafer that has no semiconductor grown on it.
SiC silicon carbide One of the possible wafers for growing gallium nitride devices (others include silicon, sapphire, and diamond).
SiGe silicon germanium The great white hope of major silicon IC manufacturers for microwave devices (notably IBM).
SILC stress induced leakage current  
SINAD signal plus noise plus distortion, to noise plus distortion ratio This is a new one on us!
SIR signal to interference ratio  
SIT static induction transistor A new microwave semiconductor device with a buried gate.
SIW substrate integrated waveguide A way to make dielectrically-loaded transmission lines on a single-layer substrate.
SLC single-layer cap Capacitor usually used in chip-and-wire construction, has excellent microwave properties.
SMA subminiature type A A ubiquitous microwave connector.
SMD surface mount device As opposed to a "through-hole" device.
SMMIC sub-millimeterwave MMIC A MMIC component that performs above 300 GHz.
SMT surface mount technology When parts are soldered to the top surface of a board, without leads soldering into through-holes. Generally, all microwave PWBs use SMT because it offers better impedance control.
SNA scalar network analyzer Used to measure return loss and gain, magnitude only.
snafu situation normal, all f**ed up One of two excellent acronyms that are the legacy of the greatest generation (see fubar).
SNR signal-to-noise ratio  
SOA safe operating area The combination of voltage, current, and temperature where you don't blow up your expensive power transistor.
SOD source-over-drain A layout option for multi-finger power FETs.
SOG source-over-gate A layout option for multi-finger power FETs.
SOI second-order intercept  
SOIC small outline integrated circuit A type of package
SOLT short-open-load-through A type of network measurement calibration.
SOT small outline transistor A type of package
SOTA sate-of-the-art Perhaps one of the most overused acronyms in engineering.
SOW statement of work In a contract, a list of the stuff you have to do to get paid.
S-parameters scattering matrix parameters The most commonly used descriptors of a microwave n-port network. See also our page on SNP (S-parameters for n-port networks).
SPC statistical process control  
SPDT single-pole, double throw A switch with one input and two outputs, or vice-versa.
SPST single-pole, single throw The simplest possible switch.
SP3T single-pole, three throw A switch with one input and three outputs, or vice-versa.
SRF Self-resonant frequency A parameter that you need to specify when you order lumped element components.
SRR split ring resonator A technique used to realize metamaterials.
SS small-signal Low-enough power level where linear operation is assured.
SSB single-sideband A type of receiver or downconverter that eliminates one sideband.
SSG small-signal gain Output power divided by input power, at a signal level that does not compress the gain.
SSMA sub-subminiature type A A rarely used type of microwave connector.
SSPA solid-state power amplifier  
STALO stable local oscillator  
STAR simultaneous transmit and receive  
STC sensitivity time control Another way to say "gain control". Thanks to Frank!
STE special test equipment Dedicated test equipment for a high-value job.
SUV small unit verification  
SWAG scientific wild-assed guess Slightly more accurate than a WAG. Thanks to Doug!
SWaP size, weight and power  
SWaP-C size, weight and power and cost  
SWaPP size, weight and PowerPoint Yes, we made this up.
SWR standing wave ratio An arcane way of specifying impedance mismatches, dating back to the old days when the old guys used standing wave meters because they didn't have network analyzers. You'll still hear people talking about "2:1 VSWR over all phase angles" instead of 10dB return loss over all phase angles. See also VSWR.
Author: Unknown Editor
Last Updated: 25 August 2017
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