PCB Design Glossary
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VIA stands for Vertical Interconnect Access.
Electrical connections between components are referred to as interconnects. Traces and copper pours connect make in-plane (horizontal) connections, and formed cylinders called VIAs make the out-of-plane (vertical) connections.
This image was made by digitally removing all non-copper features from a printed circuit board. From left to right, a buried via, a blind via, a through-hole via, stacked microvia, and staggered microvia.