Analog Circuit

An electrical circuit that provides a continuous quantitative output as a response from its input.

Automated Test Equipment (ATE)

Equipment that automatically tests and analyzes functional parameters to evaluate performance of the tested electronic devices.

Ball Grid Array (BGA)

A surface mount package in which solder balls on the underside of the device are soldered to the printed circuit board pads.

Bare Board (Bare PCB)

A printed Circuit Board that has no components assembled to it.

Bare Board Test

A method automatically testing all connected points on a PCB to ensure connectivity and quality.

Bill Of Materials

An Itemised list of components used in the manufacture of a Printed Circuit Board Assembly ( PCBA).


The individual circuit or component of a silicon wafer, the leadless form of an electronic component.

Design For Manufacturing (DFM)

Checks that ensure that the design fits the fabrication process requirements.
DFM includes a check for minimal trace width, minimal trace-to-trace distance, minimal hole clearance, etc.


An insulating medium between conductors.


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.


Design Rule Check. A process to ensure that a proposed PCB design is both manufacturable and electrically sound.

Edge Connector

A connector on the edge of a printed circuit board quite often plated with gold to connect the PCB with another PCB or electronic device.

Edge Clearance

The smallest distance a component or track is from the edge of a PCB.

Electroless Deposition

The coating of normally Gold or Silver on to the track of a PCB by the reduction of metal ions in a chemical solution without using electrodes.


The opposite to the above electrodes are used to deposit the plating from a electrolytic solution onto a PCB track using a DC current.

Electronic Component

A part of the printed circuit board, such as resistor, capacitor, transistor, etc.

Fine Pitch

Fine pitch is more commonly referred to surface-mount components with a lead pitch of 25 mils or less.


Geometry of pads for soldering certain electronic component.


The most common base material a PCB is made from. Made from woven glass fibre 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.

Ground Plane

A conductive plane as a common ground reference in a multilayer board for current returns of the circuit elements and shielding.


Integrated Circuit.

In-Circuit Test

Electrical test of individual component or part of the circuit board instead of testing the whole circuit.

Leakage Current

A small amount of current that flows across a dielectric area between two adjacent conductors.


Printed letters or symbols on the board, such as part numbers and product number or logos to show the position and orientation of assembled components.

Minimum Conductor Width

The smallest width of any conductors, such as traces, on a board.

Multilayer PCB

A PCB made up by laminating thin PCBs each with a different part of a circuit on each and interconnecting them with via holes. 4-16 layers are common.

Minimum Conductor Space

The smallest distance between any two adjacent conductors, such as traces, on a board.

NC Drill

Numeric Control machine used to drill the holes in a PCB.


A set of pads that are to be connected electrically on the board.


List of parts and their connection points which are connected in each net of a circuit.


Non-plated through-hole.


Metallized area of the board for connection and attachment of electronic components.


Printed Circuit Board.

Pin (pinout)

Part of an electronic component which is soldered to the board.


The center-to-center spacing between conductors, such as pads and pins, on a board.

Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC)

A component package with J-leads.

PTH (plated-through hole)

A plated hole used as a conducting interconnection between different layers or sides of a board either used as connection for through-hole component or as a via.

Routing (tracing)

The process of placing electronic connections (traces) between pads on the board.

Signal Layer

Layer of a board, in which traces can be placed. For a two-sided board two signal layers are available – the Top and the Bottom layers.

Silk screen

A layer designed for placing legend elements on the top or bottom side of the board. Two corresponding layers are available – the Top Silk and the Bottom Silk.

Small Outline Integrated Circuit (SOIC)

An integrated circuit with two parallel rows of pins in surface mount package.


Surface Mount Device.


Surface Mount Technology.

Test Point

A specific point in a circuit board used for specific testing for functional adjustment or quality test in the circuit-based device.

Thermal Pad

Pad of a special form used when it is connected to copper pours. Thermal pads improve solderability of the joint, reducing the chance of a so called “cold solder joint.”


A drilled hole in the board, usually for mounting purposes.

Trace (or Route)

A layout or wiring of an electrical connection.


Underwriter’s Laboratories. A popular safety standard for electrical devices supported by many underwriters.


A plated-through hole used for interconnection of conductors on different sides or layers of a circuit board.

Wave Soldering

A manufacturing operation in which solder joints are soldered simultaneously using a wave of molten solder.