What is a PCB?
A printed circuit board, also called PCB, serves, in simple terms, as a carrier for the components and the connections of the components to each other and to the outside, which together form the circuit. In most cases, the carrier material serves as an insulator, while the connection between the components is made by copper tracks.
Here, the PCB combines mechanical attachment and electrical connection as its most important properties. PCBs are used as an irreplaceable base in almost all electronic devices.
Carrier material and connections on the PCB
Glass fibre fabric (FR4/5), polyimide foil (Flex), aluminium, Teflon and ceramics are used as the electrically insulating carrier material of the PCB.
Electrical connections consist mainly of copper tracks for SMD components or wiring for THT components.
Components and assembly
The majority of components are soldered onto this surface as SMD (Surface Mounted Device) components or THT (Through Hole Technology) components are mounted via through-hole assembly.
The term PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) or "electronic assembly" from PCB assembly refers to the printed circuit board equipped with components. By embedding components, the PCB is no longer just a carrier of components but has sometimes become part of the circuit itself.