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Glossary of terms

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Term Definition
Z-Axis   The axis perpendicular to the plane formed by the X and Y datum reference. This axis usually represents the thickness of the boards.
zener diode   A diode which is designed to work in a reverse biased condition, and is used primarily for voltage regulation.
zero Insertion Force (ZIF)   Refers to contacts or connectors which, when unplugged have electrical contacts which remain in an open position. The plug and socket connectors can be plugged together without any force being required. The contacts are then actuated by means of a mechanical lever, and come together to make electrical contact. This is particularly useful for very high pin count connectors, such as integrated circuit sockets.