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Having a fundamental understanding of important PCB (printed circuit board) terminologies can make collaborating with a Printed Circuit Board manufacturing organization much easier and quicker.

Although this list of PCB assembly terms is not all-inclusive or comprehensive by any means, it is still a great resource for your reference. Read on! 

Annular Ring

Generally, there are two Printed Circuit Board drill hole types you can bore during fabrication. One is the NPTH (non-plated through holes) that you use for installation and mounting purposes. The other one is PTH (plated through holes) for VIAs that are current-carrying. 

The annular ring is basically a copper region around the drill hole. It ensures there is a solid connection for VIAs and offers spacing for the application of solder mask.

Manufacturer Part Number

MPN (manufacturer part number) is an identifier for every component on your PCB board and is unique for every component type. The manufacturer part number is different from the reference identifier. The latter identifies every particular component in the BOM of the board and its precise location on the said board. Not to mention, there can be many components with varying reference identifiers having the same Manufacturer Part Number. MPN’s traceability is one of the chief ways of ensuring the integrity of the supply chain. For the development of PCBA, component selection is probably the most crucial task, as a fully successful operation is contingent on the reliability and quality of components. 

Board Thickness

The board thickness is one of the most important terms when it comes to PCB assembly. It is basically the board’s total height (not including the present components). It is common knowledge that the circuit board size (in the horizontal plane) has been reducing to accommodate smaller electronic products and devices demand. The capability to route more signals that enable more functionality and complexity is the chief determining factor for the total number of layers in the multilayer PCB stackups and hence the usage of the greater thickness of the board. 

Copper Weight

Copper weight indicates copper foil thickness on every layer of a Printed Circuit Board. It is generally expressed in copper ounces/ square foot.

Controlled Impedance

Nowadays, more applications are employing IoT (Internet of Things) devices that generally need higher speed transmission of signals. Hence, controlling impedance on the transmission lines of your PCB board has become a very critical consideration for the integrity of the signals. You can accomplish PCB impedance control by matching material impedances and trace to minimize interference and optimize signal fidelity. 

Assembly Drawing

This particular drawing is a reference that depicts the Printed Circuit Board’s assembly. These assembly drawings will often include component placement with the construction methods, technologies and parameters required to make it happen.