Electronic Industries Alliance
Electronic Industries Alliance
Company typeOrganization
FateDormant, pending merger with National Electronic Distributors Association, rebranded into Electronic Components Industry Association
SuccessorElectronic Components Industry Association
SCART connector on an RCA Dimensia with EIA text

The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA; until 1997 Electronic Industries Association) was an American standards and trade organization composed as an alliance of trade associations for electronics manufacturers in the United States. They developed standards to ensure the equipment of different manufacturers was compatible and interchangeable. The EIA ceased operations on February 11, 2011, but the former sectors continue to serve the constituencies of EIA.[1]


RMA Resistor Color Code Guide, circa 1945–1950

In 1924, 50 radio manufacturers in Chicago formed a trade group called the Associated Radio Manufacturers.[2] This organization was designed to control the licensing of the large number of radio patents so that each member could have access to all the relevant patents necessary to build radio transmitters, antennas and receivers. Over time, new electronic technologies brought new members, non-manufacturer members, and name changes.

Names in chronological order:

The organization's headquarters were in Arlington, Virginia. The EIA divided its activities into the following sectors:

The EIA announced in 2007 that it would be dissolved into its constituent divisions,[2] and transferred operations soon after. The Alliance formally ceased to exist on February 11, 2011.[1] EIA designated ECA to continue to develop standards for interconnect, passive and electro-mechanical (IP&E) electronic components under the ANSI-designation of EIA standards. All other electronic components standards will be managed by their respective sectors.

The ECA merged with the National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) in 2011 to form the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA).[3] However, the EIA standards brand will continue for IP&E standards within ECIA.[4]

EIA standards

Main article: EIA standards

With the changing names of the EIA, the naming convention of the standards was also adapted. For example, a standard defining serial communication between computers and modems e.g. was originally drafted as a Recommended Standard,[5] thus the "RS" RS-232. Later it was taken over by the EIA as EIA-232. Later this standard was managed by the TIA and the name was changed to the current TIA-232. Because the EIA was accredited by ANSI to help develop standards in its areas, these standards are often described as (e.g. ANSI TIA-232, or formerly as ANSI EIA/TIA-232). As currently[when?] authorized, any ANSI standard designated at ANSI EIA-xxx is developed or managed by ECA (and, in the future, ECIA).[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Welcome". ecaus.org. Electronic Industries Alliance. 2011. Archived from the original on May 29, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011. The Electronic Industries Alliance ceased operations on February 11, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "The fall of EIA: What happened?". EDN. September 4, 2007. Archived from the original on November 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "NEDA, ECA merge, target counterfeit components". EDN. May 11, 2010. Archived from the original on November 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Standards - ECIA". www.ecianow.org. Archived from the original on September 14, 2014.
  5. ^ EIA RS-464. Electronic Industries Association. 1981 [December 1979]. p. insert. Recommended Standards are adopted by EIA without regard to whether or not their adoption may involve patents on articles, materials, or processes. By such action, EIA does not assume liability to any patent owner, nor does it assume any obligation whatever to parties adopting the Recommended Standard. This EIA Recommended Standard is considered to have international standardization implications, but there is no known IEC (or ISO) activity in this product area.