by John Walt Childers, IPC-CID, Founder of Golden Gate Graphics
Golden Gate Graphics is an official Altium Service Bureau
Terms that contain digits are alphabetized as if the numeric characters were spelled in English.
Terms with two or more words are alphabetized "dictionary style." They are alphabetized as though the spaces between the terms have been removed.
If there are other characters in the term, such as a slash (/), these are treated the same as spaces and ignored for the purpose of alphabetizinig.
PC board PCB
PCB design service bureau
PCB layout PCMCIA photoplotter pin
pin out PI plasma
plated-through hole PLCC populate Pos position positive PQFP prepreg primitive
printed circuit board
probe card PWA PWB
pad (PAD) Pronunciation Key
panel material (most commonly an glass/epoxy-copper laminate known as core) sized for fabrication of printed circuit boards. Panels come in many, many sizes, the most common being 12" by 18" and 18" by 24". Subtract 1/2" to 1" margins (check with your board house) from the panel size to arrive at the space available for printed circuitry.
PCB designer One who creates the artwork for printed circuit boards. For you recruiters out there who are asked to find one, and for anyone else interested, here is a plain English description for a Printed Circuit Board Designer. Hint: It is not the same as an electrical engineer.
PCB design service bureau (A business engaged in) PCB design as a service for others, especially electrical engineers. The word bureau is French for desk, or office, and this service is indeed performed from an office while sitting at a desk. Also called PCB design shop.
PCMCIA An acronym which means: "People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms." Wait a minute. That's WRONG! Click here to find out its true meaning: Personal Computer Memory Card International Association
photoplotter Device used to generate artwork photographically by plotting objects (as opposed to copying an entire image at once as with a camera) onto film for use in manufacturing printed wiring.
pin-out Pin-number assignment, the relation between the logical inputs and outputs of an electronic device and their physical counterparts in the PCB package. pin-outs will involve pin numbers as a link between schematic and PCB design (both being computer generated files). In more complicated packages, they may also involve pin names. Even for devices with only two pins and no polarity, such as resistors, the netlist extracted from a schematic will have a pin 1 and pin 2 for each resistor, even though the schematic might not show a pin number label as such. (The visibility in the schematic of the pin numbers can be turned on or off at will, but the significance of the pin number assignment is still there in the schematic and subsequently, through the netlist extracted from it, the PCB database.) For CAD CAE electronics to work at all, the pin-outs for the PCB database must agree with the schematic.
PI Polyimide. (Also Pi)
plasma A highly-ionized gas containing an approximately equal number of positive ions and negative electrons. Thus, as a whole it is electrically neutral, though conductive and affected by magnetic fields.
plated-through hole A hole in a PWB with metal plating added after it is drilled. Its purpose it to serve either as a contact point for a through-hole component or as a via.
In PCB vernacular and documentation, the spelling of the word through is sometimes shortened to thru. PTH is the acronym for plated thru hole.
Getting plating in a hole through PCB dielectric (fiber-glass and epoxy or other non-conductive material) was a technological breakthrough for the PCB manufacturing industry. Obviously, you can't start with electroplating because a non-conductor can't be used as a cathode in electrolytic plating.
A special process had to be used to get metal to adhere to non-conductive material. This problem was solved long ago, but the orginial solution carried with it environmental hazards.
There are several methods covered by this article on green technology for PTH by Retallick and Ding.
Contrast with NPTH (Non-Plated Through Hole).
Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier An SMT chip package that is rectangular or square- shaped with leads on all four sides. The leads are spaced at 0.050 inches, so this package is not considered fine-pitch.
populate Install (place, attach and solder) components onto (a printed wiring board ). (Slang) Also known as " stuff." This can refer to a single component, as in the acronym used in schematics "DNP", which means "Do Not Populate".
position A type of index for an aperture in an aperture list which is a number from 1 to the number of apertures in the aperture list. Position 1 is linked to D code D10, 2 is D11 and so on. Positions appear only in aperture lists, and never in a Gerber file. Cadstar aperture lists use the column heading Position to mean D code. Abbreviated "Pos" in GC-Prevue.
positive () noun A developed image of photoplotted film, where the areas selectively exposed by the photo plotter appear black, and unexposed areas are clear. Board houses work from positives, and a photo plotter produces positives, thus one set of positives is all the film that is needed to produce a printed wiring board. modifier (of a printed wiring image) Representing copper as black areas and absence of copper as clear areas. Typical of images of routed layers of a PWB.
prepreg Fiberglass cloth pre-impregnated with uncured resin. The particular type of resin is usually either epoxy or polyurethane. Prepreg is dialectric only, so use of it requires an accompanying layer of copper foil.Printed board layer stackups of 4 or more layers typically employ prepreg along with core and copper foil (q.v.).
primitive ()[CAD software programs and documentation]
printed circuit board
This is the best, most usable dictionary for electronics, because its
definitions help you grasp the terms and therefore the subject. Lesser
dictionaries define electronics terms with even more difficult technical
jargon, leading one into endless "word chains." Not this one.
You can buy the Modern Dictionary of Electronics new or used via the Internet.
You need a big, comprehensive dictionary. Get this one. Despite being a big dictionary, The Random House has great definitions, quick to grasp.
Although out of print, as of 2020 you could still buy a great used copy online for $30 including shipping or possibly for much less. Two versions are available of the 2nd Edition, Unabridged: