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Terminology in PCB

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Printed Circuit Board is an indispensable basic component in the electronics industry, which carries electronic components and provides circuit connections. In the PCB design, manufacturing and testing process involves a lot of terminology, the following are some common printed circuit board terminology:

Base Material: 

The base material is the insulating part of the PCB and is usually made of a glass fibre and resin composite, such as FR-4.


In the PCB manufacturing process, drilling is used to form through-holes (Via) step in order to electrically connect different layers.


Multi-layer PCBs are formed by bonding multiple layers of substrate and copper foil together through a hot pressing process.


A layer of metal, such as copper, gold, tin, etc., is plated on the surface of the PCB to enhance conductivity and solderability.


PCB coated with a layer of protective material to prevent soldering solder paste to cover the area does not need to be soldered.

Silk Screen: 

Printing of logos, component outlines, and alignment information on the PCB, usually using white or black ink.


Solder Mask Layer: 

Layer coated with solder-proof material to protect certain areas of the PCB from being soldered.

Signal Layer: 

The layer on the PCB used to lay out wires for the transmission of electrical signals.

Inner Layer: 

The conductive layer in the middle of a multilayer PCB, used to connect signals to the outer layers.

Outer Layer: 

The outermost layer of a multilayer PCB, usually containing part of the signal traces and all component pads.


A conductive hole used to connect the inner layers of a PCB.


PCB for soldering components on the copper circular area.


PCB used to connect the components of the thin conductive path.

Test Point: 

PCB used to test the circuit function of a specific location.

Gold Finger: 

Usually refers to the PCB edge of a row of contact points, used to connect with the socket.

Flying Probe Test: 

A method of circuit testing using probes in direct contact with PCB test points.


Blind Vias: 

Through-holes that extend only to one surface of the PCB and do not penetrate the entire board.

Buried Hole: 

A through-hole located entirely between the internal layers of a PCB.

Impedance Control: 

Ensuring that the signal path on a PCB has predetermined resistance and capacitance characteristics to ensure signal integrity.

Electroless Nickel and Gold: 

A surface treatment process in which a layer of nickel and gold is chemically deposited on the surface of a PCB to improve solderability and corrosion resistance.

These terms are commonly used in the PCB industry professional vocabulary, understanding and mastering these terms for engineers engaged in PCB design, manufacturing and testing is very important.

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