PCB Terminology (Part 2)
It is always good to know a bit of PCB terminology. Here is a reference table with the most common words.
Surface Finish: A layer on top of pads aims to prevent the copper layer from oxidation.
Gerber File: A file in the Gerber Format that is used as a universal way of telling manufacturers how to create your board.
Through-hole Components: Components that have leads which go through the board and are soldered on the other side.
Surface Mount Devices (SMD): Components that are soldered on pads on the surface of your PCB instead of through holes.
Panelizing: Manufacturers often create one huge PCB with many identical board designs on it. The huge PCB is then cut into individual boards. This is called panelizing.
Single-sided PCB: A PCB with traces and pads only on one side of the board.
Double-sided PCB: A PCB with traces and pads on both sides of the board.
Multi-layer PCB: A PCB with traces and pads on both sides of the board in addition to traces on layers within the board itself.
PCBA: Some companies offer Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA). This basically means that they solder the components to your board for you.
FR-4 Substrate : The most commonly used material for creating PCBs.
RoHS: Restriction of Hazardous Substances. A European law intended to protect the environment.