A unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a meter, which is the same as one millionth of a millimeter. It is the most common unit used to describe the manufacturing technology used in the semiconductor industry.


Nanotechnology is science, engineering or technology at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers.  It originated with the goal of being able to manipulate one atom or molecule at a time. Semiconductor manufacturing processes now routinely operate in this range. Nanotechnology has potential applications in healthcare, personal care, biomaterials, medicine, electronics, chemicals and areas yet to be explored. An example is the improvement of solar cell efficiency using ‘nanopillars’ – a nanoscale material type which can be used for bulk applications.

Network Centric Operations


NCO is a term used in military activity. It describes the provision of robustly networked, collaborative armed forces capabilities. NCO covers the complete command, control and communication infrastructure. The objective is to enable soldiers, commanders and equipment to have immediate secure controlled access to every relevant asset. Real-time information sharing across surveillance systems, and land, sea & air weapons, integrated with command-and-control IT systems is needed to implement NCO.

Network Marketing

A type of organization that markets its products through a multi-level network marketing structure. This usually means consumers selling to consumers, but success often depends on identification of local and regional managers, together with central control of promotional materials and initiatives. This has proven to be a successful business strategy for companies selling personal care, vitamins, weight loss and household products.

Non Disclosure Agreement


A confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement limits the use of information provided by a discloser to a recipient. It is an important way to protect confidential information. As the value of the confidential information increases, so does the relative complexity of the agreement. An NDA is a document signed by both the discloser and the recipient.

Non-Productive Time

Non-Productive Time (NPT) is the time when drilling operations are interrupted for whatever reason, for example unpredictable weather or technical issues, and is a key measure of cost-effective and successful drilling operations.

North American Free Trade Agreement


NAFTA is an abbreviation for North American Free Trade Agreement. This agreement establishes the rules for tariff- and quota-free trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Numerical Control


A numerical control system enables control of the motion and action of a machine tool or similar equipment using coded instructions. These coded instructions are often referred to as ‘tapes’, because the earliest NC systems read their instructions from holes punched in paper tapes. Now, NC systems can receive instructions through connected computer networks.


Nutraceuticals are foodstuffs which provide health benefits in addition to their basic nutritional value. These may include fortified foods as well as dietary supplements that can be sold in capsules, tablets or powders.