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Any component, usually electronic and having known input and output, that can be readily inserted into or removed from a specific place in a larger system without knowledge of the component's detailed internal structure.

Related Terms


A circuit that returns a portion of the output signal of an electronic circuit or control system to the input of the circuit or system.


The modification of a controller to allow for time delays between the input to a control system and the response to the signal.


  1. The method of applying a signal to an electronic circuit or device. 2. The process of introducing electrons or holes into a semiconductor so that their total number exceeds the number present at thermal equilibrium. 3. The introduction of fuel, fuel and air, fuel and oxidizer, water, or other substance into an engine induction system or combustion chamber.


A feedback control system in which a computer operates on both the input signal and the feedback signal to effect control.



  1. The time interval between a change in the input signal to a process control system and the response to the signal.
  2. The time interval, after a response to one signal or event, during which a system is unable to respond to another. Also known as insensitive time.


A system of lacing in which angle irons are used in place of bars.


  1. A circuit that keeps the output of a radio transmitter or other device essentially constant, even in the presence of large changes in the input amplitude. Abbreviated ALC. 2. In an automotive vehicle, a system in which two air-chamber shock absorbers in the rear are fed compressed air by an electric compressor; pressure in the air chambers is determined automatically by sensors to maintain the vehicle at a predetermined height regardless of load.


A mechanical model of a nonmechanical system that responds to an input with an output corresponding to the response of the real system.


Referring to a system of numbers with a base of 2; used extensively in computers, which use electronic on-off storage devices to represent the numbers 0 and 1

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