PCB Design Glossary

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A pad is a conductive copper shape on a PCB that is meant to act as a connection point for pins or probes.


Printed Circuit Boards are made from sheets of material that comes in standard sizes of 12" x 18", 18" x 24", or 24" x 36".  To keep manufacturing costs down, multiple printed circuit boards are combined on a panel during fabrication.  

The entire panel is not available for usable space.  A 1" margin is used for tooling and test coupons.

Passive Components

Passive components cannot provide power gain in a circuit.  Examples include resistor, capacitors, inductors.


A pin is a metallic component connector that is soldered to a pad.


Prepreg is short for preimpregnated.  It refers to an adhesive dielectric layer that contains thermally activated epoxy.

The cores and the prepreg are pressed tightly together in a hot-oil hydraulic press for several hours, permenantly binding the materials.


PTH stands for Plated Through-Hole.  This is a hole that is drilled through all layers of a PCB and then plated with copper.