Acronym for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

This nonprofit U.S. engineering organization develops, defines, and reviews standards within the electronics and computer science industries.

Some of the IEEE standards accepted into common use:

IEEE 754

A standard for computer manipulation of FloatingPoint numbers, rounding behaviour under various calculations etc. Commonplace on computer hardware these days, and it’s hard to believe that, before this came along, getting meaningful results from numerical calculations involved some quite amazing voodoo black magic. See the foreword by Professor William Kahan to the Apple Numerics Manual, 2nd ed (ISBN 0-201-17738-2) for descriptions of some of this.

IEEE 802

A grouping for a whole bunch of standards governing local-area networking, including Ethernet and Wi-Fi.

IEEE 802.2

The definition for the common frame format used in Ethernet, Wi-Fi and other IEEE 802 protocols.

IEEE 802.3

Also known as Ethernet. Addenda to the original (10Mb/s) spec include 802.3u (“fast” Ethernet, 100Mb/s) and 802.3z (gigabit Ethernet, 1000Mb/s).

IEEE 802.5

Also known as TokenRing.

IEEE 802.11

A set of specifications for wireless networks, also known as Wi-Fi. Comes in various flavours: 802.11b (the first popular form, on the 2.4GHz band, with a claimed bandwidth of 11Mb/s), 802.11a (on the 5GHz band, never very popular), 802.11g (also on 2.4GHz but with claimed bandwidth up to 54Mb/s, probably the most common nowadays), 802.11n (even higher bandwidth, still not yet finalized, which hasn’t stopped vendors bringing out products conforming to “pre-N” or “draft-N” specs).

IEEE 802.16

Another specification for wireless networks, also known as Wi-Max. Intended for fixed locations, whereas Wi-Fi is designed to cope with communication between moving units.

IEEE 1003

Also known as POSIX.

IEEE 1275

Also known as OpenFirmware.

IEEE 1394

Also known as FireWire.