by John Walt Childers, IPC-CID, Founder of Golden Gate Graphics
Formerly known as
This glossary has key terminology in use in PCB design and manufacturing, with a smattering of electronics. The definitions were chosen so that their context would likely apply to reading material encountered by a PCB designer. Therefore, many of these terms will have other meanings not given here. See recommended dictionaries below.
This collection of terms came about as I, a PCB designer, ran across words and acronyms in my field for which meanings were hard to find. As I tracked them down, I made them part of this glossary. If you are a PCB designer, then this glossary could be a good place to start when you find a need to look up the meanings of words related to printed circuits or electronics.
Terms that begin with a symbol or a digit are placed in the SYMBOLS page. Terms that contain digits within them 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 (/), dash (-) or plus sign (+), these are treated the same as spaces and ignored for the purpose of alphabetizing.
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 2022 you could still buy a great used copy online for $40 including shipping or possibly for much less. Two versions are available of the 2nd Edition, Unabridged: