DEC part number

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DEC part numbers are generally of the form 'ww-xxxxx-yy zzzz' (sometimes the first hyphen is omitted). DEC had a system for their part numbers, such that looking at a part number will generally tell you (based on the leading two-digit field, the 'class code') what kind of part it is: chip, cable, etc. The next field is a 'basic identifier', then comes a 'variation identifier'; the final, optional, field is the 'revision identifier'.

It should be noted that DEC had several other namespaces for things produced by the company (such as DEC engineering drawing numbers; and the identification numbers of FLIP CHIPs and later component PCBs, of the form 'Xyyyy', where 'X' is a capital letter, and 'yyyy' are digits), but these numbers are not 'DEC part numbers', as defined by the applicable DEC specifications (below).

This table lists the major class codes:

Class Type
10 Capacitors
11 Diodes
12 Mechanical and electro-mechanical items (connectors, pins, bearings, belts, fans, etc)
13 Resistors
15 Transistors
16 Transformers and inductors
17 Wire and fiber optic cables
18 Crystals and other oscillators
19 Bipolar integrated circuits
21 MOS chips (CPUs, etc)
23 Fixed memory chips (ROMs, etc)
24 Fiber-optic components
30 Core memory stacks, major components
36 Paper tape, punched cards, labels
50 Printed circuit boards
52 Pulse transformers
54 Assemblies (circuit cards, display panels, etc)
70 Cables/harnesses/backplanes
74 'Manufactured non-electrical parts' (includes decals, etc)
90 Fastener hardware (nuts, bolts, screws, washers, ties etc)
91 Hook up wire and tubing

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