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PCB Glossary

5s seiri (sort), seiton (straighten), seiso (shine), seiketsu (standardize), shisuke (sustain)
Active Components Semiconductor devices, such as transistors and diodes that can change its basic characteristics in a powered electrical circuit, such as amplifiers and rectifiers.
Analog Circuit An electrical circuit that provides a continuous quantitative output as a response from its input.
Annular Ring The width of the conductor pad surrounding a drilled hole.
AOI Automated Optical Inspection
Artwork Printed circuit design.
Aspect Ratio The ratio of the board thickness to the smallest-hole diameter of the printed circuit board.
Assembly File A drawing describing the locations of components on a PCB.
ATE Automated Test Equipment. Equipment that automatically tests and analyzes functional parameters to evaluate performance of the tested electronic devices.
AXI Automatic X-ray Inspection
Bare Board An unpopulated PCB.
Base Copper Weight see Copper Foil
BBT Bare Board Test.
BGA Ball Grid Array. A SMD package in which solder ball interconnects cover the bottom surface of the package.
BIST Built-In Self Test. An electrical testing method that allows the tested devices to test itself with specific added-on hardware.
BOM Bill of Materials. A comprehensive listing of all subassemblies, components, and raw materials that go into a parent assembly, showing the quantity of each required to make the assembly.
CAD Computer Aided Design.
CAM Computer Aided Manufacturing.
CAM Files The files used for manufacturing PCB including Gerber file, NC Drill file and Assembly Drawings.
CBGA Ceramic Ball Grid Array. A ball grid array package with a ceramic substrate.
Chip The individual circuit or component of a silicon wafer, the leadless form of an electronic component.
Coating A thin layer of material, conductive, magnetic or dielectric, deposited on a substance surface.
COB Chip-on-Board.A configuration in which a chip is directly attached to a printed circuit board or substrate by solder or conductive adhesives.
Component Side The Side of a PCB on which most of components are mounted.
Conformal Coating Conformal Coating material is applied to electronic circuitry to act as protection against moisture, dust, chemicals, and temperature extremes that, if uncoated (non-protected), could result in damage or failure of the electronics to function
Contact Angle (Wetting Angle) The angle between the contact surfaces of two objects when bonding. The contact angle is determined by the physical and chemical properties of these two materials.
Copper Foil (Base Copper Weight) Coated copper layer on the board. It can either be characterized by weight or thickness of the coated copper layer. For instance, 0.5, 1 and 2 ounces per square foot are equivalent to 18, 35 and 70 um-thick copper layers.
Corrosive Flux A flux that contains corrosive chemicals such as halides, amines, inorganic or organic acids that can cause oxidation of copper or tin conductors.
CTE Coefficient of Thermal Expansion. The ratio of dimensional change of an object to the original dimension when temperature changes, expressed in %/oC or ppm/oC.
Curing The irreversible process of polymerizing a thermosetting epoxy in a temperature-time profile.
Curing Time The time needed to complete curing of an epoxy at a certain temperature.
DFM Design for Manufacturing
DFSM Dry Film Solder Mask.
DFT Design for Test
Die Integrated circuit chip as diced or cut from a finished wafer.
Die Bonder The placement machine bonding IC chips onto a chip-on-board substrate.
Die Bonding The attachment of an IC chip to a substrate.
Dielectric An insulating medium between conductors.
DIP Dual in-line package with two rows of leads from the base in standard spacing between the leads and row. DIP is a through-hole mounting package.
DMADV Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, Verify
DMAIC Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control
Double-Sided Assembly PCB assembly with components on both sides of the substrate.
DRC Design rule check.
Dry - Film Resists Coated photosensitive film on the copper foil of PCB using photographic methods. They are resistant to electroplating and etching processes in the manufacturing process of PCB.
ECM Electronic Contract Manufacturing
Edge Clearance The smallest distance from any conductors or components to the edge of the PCB.
Edge Connector A connector on the circuit-board edge in the form of gold plated pads or lines of coated holes used to connect other circuit board or electronic device.
Electroless Deposition The chemical coating of a conductive material onto a base material surface by reduction of metal ions in a chemical solution without using electrodes compared to electroplating.
Electroplating The electrochemical deposition of reduced metal ions from an electrolytic solution onto the cathode by applying a DC current through the electrolytic solution between two electrodes, cathode and anode, respectively.
EMS Electronic Manufacturing Services
ESD Electrostatic Discharge
ESR Electrostatically applied Solder Resist.
FATE Functional Automatic Test
FFE Fuzzy Front End
FIFO First In, First Out
Fine Pitch Fine pitch is more commonly referred to surface-mount components with a lead pitch of 25 mils or less.
Finger A gold-plated terminal of a card-edge connector. Also see Gold Finger.
Flux The material used to remove oxides from metal surfaces and enable wetting of the metal with solder.
FMEA Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
FQA Final Quality Audit
FR4 Flame Retardent laminate made from woven glass fiber material impregnated with epoxy resin.
Functional Test The electrical testing of an assembled electronic device with simulated function generated by the test hardware and software.
Gerber File Data file used to control a photo plotter.
Gold Finger The gold-plated terminal of a card-edge connector. Also see Finger.
Ground Plane A conductive plane as a common ground reference in a multilayer PCB for current returns of the circuit elements and shielding.
HDI High Density Interconnect.
Hermetic Airtight sealing of an object.
Hole Density The number of holes per unit area on a PCB.
ICT In Circuit Test
In-Circuit Test Electrical test of individual component or part of the circuit in a PCB assembly instead of testing the whole circuit.
Interstitial Via Hole An embedded through-hole with connection of two or more conductor layers in a multilayer PCB.
IPC Is a standard for the assembly and production requirements of electronic equipment and assemblies
ISO 9001 The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards is designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders
ISO/TS16949 The ISO/TS16949 is an ISO technical specification aimed at the development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain
JIT Just in Time
Kaizen Kaizen is a form of continuous process improvement that has been adopted in many development and manufacturing organizations
Kan Ban Kan Ban is a system to control the logistical chain from a production point of view
Laminate A composite material made by bonding together several layers of same or different materials.
Lamination The process manufacturing a laminate using pressure and heat.
LCA Life Cycle Analysis
Leakage Current A small amount of current that flows across a dielectric area between two adjacent conductors.
Legend A format of printed letters or symbols on the PCB, such as part numbers and product number or logos.
LPI Liquid Photo-Image able solder mask that uses photographic imaging to control a thinner mask deposition than the dry film solder mask.
MDA Manufacturing Defect Analyzer
MI Manufacturing Instructions
Minimum Conductor Space The smallest distance between any two adjacent conductors, such as traces, in a PCB.
Minimum Conductor Width The smallest width of any conductors, such as traces, on a PCB.
Multilayer PCB Circuit boards consisting three or more layers of printed circuits separated by laminate layers and bonded together with internal and external interconnections.
NC Drill Numeric Control drill machine used to drill holes at exact locations of a PCB specified in NC Drill File.
Net list List of parts and their connection points which are connected in each net of a circuit.
Node A pin or lead to which at least two components are connected through conductors.
NPD New Product Development
NPTH Non Plated Trough Hole.
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
Pad The portion of a conductive pattern for connection and attachment of electronic components on the PCB.
PCB Printed Circuit Board.
PCMCIA Personal Computer Memory Card International Association.
PDCA Plan–Do–Check–Act or Plan–Do–Check–Adjust
PEC Printed Electronic Component.
Pick-and-Place A manufacturing operation of assembly process in which components are selected and placed onto specific locations according to the assembly file of the circuit.
Pitch The center-to-center spacing between conductors, such as pads and pins, on a PCB.
Plating Resist Material deposited as a covering film on an area to prevent plating on this area.
PLCC Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier. A component package with J-leads.
Poka Yoke A Poka-Yoke is any mechanism in a lean manufacturing process that helps an equipment operator avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka)
PTH Plated Through Hole. A plated hole used as a conducting interconnection between different layers or sides of a PCB either used as connection for through-hole component or as a via.
PWB Printed Wiring Board.
QMS Quality Management System
Reflow Soldering Melting, joining and solidification of two coated metal layers by application of heat to the surface and predeposited solder paste.
Resist Coating material used to mask or to protect selected areas of a pattern from the action of an etchant, solder, or plating.
RF Radio Frequency. A circuit design that operates in a range of electromagnetic frequencies above the audio range and below visible light. All broadcast transmission, from AM radio to satellites, falls into this range, which is between 30KHz and 300GHz.
RoHS Restriction of Hazardous Substances
Route (or Track) A layout or wiring of an electrical connection.
Screen Printing A process for transferring an image from a patterned screen to a substrate through a paste forced by a squeegee of a screen printer.
Silk Screen (Silk Legend) Epoxy-ink Legend printed on PCB. The most common colors used are white and yellow.
Six Sigma Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement
SMD Surface Mount Device.
SMOBC Solder Mask Over Bare Copper.
SMT Surface Mount Technology.
SOIC Small Outline Integrated Circuit. An integrated circuit with two parallel rows of pins in surface mount package.
Solder Bridging Solder connecting, in most cases, misconnecting, two or more adjacent pads that come into contact to form a conductive path.
Solder Bumps Round solder balls bonded to the pads of components used in face-down bonding techniques.
Solder Mask or Solder resist Coating to prevent solder to deposit on.
Solder paste Solder Paste is a material used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards to connect surface mount components to the copper traces of the board
Solder Wick A band of wire removes molten solder away from a solder joining or a solder bridge or just for desoldering.
SPC Statistical Process Control
SWOT SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
TC Temperature Coefficient. The ratio of a quantity change of an electrical parameter, such as resistance or capacitance, of an electronic component to the original value when temperature changes, expressed in %/oC or ppm/oC
Test Point A specific point in a circuit board used for specific testing for functional adjustment or quality test in the circuit-based device.
Testing A method for determining whether sub-assemblies, assemblies and/or a finished product conform to a set of parameter and functional specifications. Test types include  in-circuit, functional, system-level, reliability, environmental.
THT Through Hole Technology
TOT Transfer of Technology
TQM Total Quality Management
Traceability Traceability is the ability to verify the history, location, or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification
Turnkey A type of outsourcing method that turns over to the subcontractor all aspects of manufacturing including material acquisition, assembly and testing. Its opposite is consignment, where the outsourcing company provides all materials required for the products and the subcontractor provides only assembly equipment and labor.
UL Underwriters Laboratories. A popular safety standard for electrical devices supported by many underwriters.
Via A plated-through hole used for interconnection of conductors on different sides or layers of a PCB.
Visual Inspection Visual inspection is a common method of quality control, data acquisition, and data analysis
Wave Soldering A manufacturing operation in which solder joints are soldered simultaneously using a wave of molten solder.
WEEE Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
X-Ray see AXI

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