(1) Short for power line communications, the use of the existing utility power grid as the medium to send broadband data communications. In theory, plugging a computer device into an existing power outlet would connect the user to the Internet by tapping into already established national and global power grid networks.
Power grids typically transmit electricity in three levels of voltage: low, medium and high. Medium voltage, typically ranging in the tens of thousands of volts, is what a utility substation will bring to a transformer, and the transformer will reduce the voltage into the low range before sending the electricity into a building. It is the low and medium voltages that PLC takes advantage of in order to transmit data at Ethernet-like speeds.
Some problems associated with the technology include no global technology standard, the different power usages of different countries, and the amount of noise that electronic equipment already produces on power lines.
PLC has applications in expansive networking, such as MANs or CANs, and smaller networking architectures, such as LANs and home networking.
(2) Short for product life cycle it is a marketing theory which dictates the the sequence of events, or lifespan divisions of any marketed product or brand, including technologies, consumer goods, and any item which is marketed to the public and sold at retail outlets on a national basis. Typically the PLC consists of four stages; introduction, growth, maturity and sales decline.
Short for programmable logic device, a generic term for an integrated circuit that can be programmed in a laboratory to perform complex functions. A PLD consists of arrays of AND and OR gates. A system designer implements a logic design with a device programmer that blows fuses on the PLD to control gate operation. System […]
Short for polymer, or polymeric, light-emitting diode, a backlighting, illumination and display technology. Polymers are substances formed by a chemical reaction in which two or more molecules combine to form larger molecules. PLEDs are thin film displays that are created by sandwiching an undoped conjugated polymer between two proper electrodes at a short distance. The […]
Short for Product Lifecycle Management, it refers to a set of software tools used for mechanical design, analysis and manufacturing to support products from when they are first conceived through distribution and retirement. *PLM is assembled from various software programs, rather than purchased outright as a single commercial off-the-shelf product. Once assembled, a well-designed PLM […]
Short for phase-locked loop, an electronic circuit that controls an oscillator so that it maintains a constant phase angle (i.e., lock) on the frequency of an input, or reference, signal. A PLL ensures that a communication signal is locked on a specific frequency and can also be used to generate, modulate and demodulate a signal […]
Short for public land mobile network, a generic term for a mobile wireless network that is centrally operated and administrated by an organization and uses land-based radio frequency transmitters or base stations as network hubs. PLMNs can stand alone and interconnect with one another or connect to a fixed system such as the PSTN. Cellular […]