Terminology Electronics Manufacturing Industry

Here is the list of the most essential terms used within the electronics producing industry. The list is grouped into Components, Electronics Production and IPC.

Term Group Definition
Anode Components The positive lead of a polarised component
Axial leaded components Components A component with one lead exciting from each end of the body, like arms
Ball Grid Array Components or BGA, a component from the array family with bottom terminations shaped as balls
BGA Components see Ball Grid Array
Cathode Components The negative lead of a polarised component
Chip Components see Integrated Circuit
Chip component Components A component package with metal terminations on either end. The body is usually made of ceramic. Mostly resistors or capacitors
Circuit breaker Components see Fuse
Coaxial cable Components A cable consisting of an inner conductor, surrounded by an insulating layer, a shield and covered by an insulator. Coaxial means that the inner conductor and shield are at the same geometric axis
Connector Components A device to join electrical circuits
Contact Components A piece of electrically conductive material in a switch, relay, circuit breaker or connector used for establishing an electrical connection
Diodes Components An electronic component that only allows electricity through one way.
Fine pitch Components a SMD component with a lead pitch less than 0.625 mm
Fuse Components A device used to protect an electric or electronic circuit. When the current exceeds the capacity of the fuse it melts and opens up the circuit
Gull Wing Lead Components A component termination in the shape of a “L” where the toe of the lead faces outward, away from the component body
IC Components see Integrated Circuit
Integrated Circuit Components a collection of electronic components on a small flat piece of semiconductor material, usually silicon
J-Lead Component Components A SMD component with leads formed like the letter “J”, these components are also called PLCC’s
Lead pitch Components The distance of the center of one lead of a component to the center of the next lead
LED Components Light Emitting Diode – A type of diode which emits light when current is flowing through it.
MELF Components Abbreviation for Metal Electrode Face, a round SMD component with metal terminations on both ends
Microchip Components see Integrated Circuit
PLCC’s Components Abbreviation for Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier, see also J-Lead Component
Polarity (component) Components a component with a positive and a negative connection
Potentiometer Components A variable resistor whose value can be changed by sliding a contact or turning a shaft
Push button switches Components A switch that is closed (allowing current to flow through) when pressed down and open (not allowing current to flow through) when it is not pressed.
QFN Components Abbreviation for Quad Fine pitch No-Lead, leadless quad packages soldered directly on the PCB, generally with a central thermal pad and peripheral terminations
QFP Components Abbreviation for Quad Flat Pack, a SMD component with Gull-Wing leads exciting all 4 sides of the component body
Radial leaded components Components A component with one or more leads extending from the bottom of the body, like legs
Resistors Components An electronic component that reduces current flow and reduces voltage level within a circuit. Resistors come in various strengths denoted by “Ohms” the larger the Ohm value the higher the resistance.
SMD Components see Surface Mounted Devices
Solid wire Components A wire with only one conductor
Stranded wire Components A wire where the conductor consists of several strands wrapped together
Surface Mounted Devices Components Components that are mounted directly onto lands that serve as mounting points
Switch Components A device to open or close a circuit
Terminal Components A metallic device used for making an electrical connection
Transistors Components A semiconductor used to amplify, oscillate or provide a switching action of electronic signals
Variable resistor Components see Potentiometer
AC Electronics Production See Alternating Current
Alternating Current Electronics Production A current that changes polarity periodically
Analog Electronics Production Device or process in which data is represented by physical quantities that change
Annular ring Electronics Production The circumferential copper ring completely surrounding a hole
Assembly Process Electronics Production The entire process and all steps involved in attaching components to a substrate
Base materials Electronics Production The insulating material upon which a conductive pattern may be formed
Blind via Electronics Production A via that connects an external copper layer to one or more internal copper layers
Buried via Electronics Production A via that is “buried” in the PCB, connecting only internal layers
Circuit Electronics Production Individual electronic components connected together allowing electricity to flow through them.
Cold solder joint Electronics Production A solder joint which is caracterised by a grainy appearance resulting from insufficient thermal energy introduced into the solder connection. Cold solder joints are a reliability risk.
Conductor Electronics Production A conductive path in a conductive pattern
Contact angle Electronics Production The angle of contact between the metallic base metal and the molten solder. In general a small contact angle is preferred.
Crimp connection Electronics Production A solderless electrical connection used to terminate stranded wire by deformation of a wire/contact thus creating a gas-tight connection
Crimping Electronics Production The process of forming a crimp connection
DC Electronics Production See Direct Current
Delamination Electronics Production A planar separation between layers within a PCB
Design Process Electronics Production The entire process and all steps involved in the design of an electronic product
Dewetting Electronics Production A wetting mechanism where a part of the solder pulls back at solidification and only a thin layer of solder maintains on the surface
Digital Electronics Production Electronic technology that generates, stores and processes data in terms of two states; positive and non-positive
Direct Current Electronics Production A current that maintains constant polarity
Electrostatic Discharge Electronics Production The rapid transfer of a static charge from one object to another
ESD Electronics Production see Electrostatic Discharge
Eutectic alloy Electronics Production A binary alloy with a composition such that all elements melt and solidify at the same temperature
Flush cutters (snips, dykes) Electronics Production Hand tool used to cut extra wire often used after completing a solder joint when the extended leg is no longer needed.
Flux Electronics Production A chemical agent used for cleaning, wetting improvement and protection of a solder connection.
FR4 Electronics Production Commonly used base material for PCB’s, composite material of woven fiberglass and an epoxy resin binder, FR says it is flame retardant
IMC Electronics Production see Intermetallic Compound
Intermetallic Compound Electronics Production Formation of a intermetallic layer as a reaction from a metallurgical process, i.e. the soldering process.
Laminate Electronics Production A product made by bonding mulitple layers of material
Land Electronics Production A metallic structure on the PCB surface to which components are attached
Lead-free Electronics Production A material e.g. solder that contains no lead (Pb)
Manufacturing Process Electronics Production The entire process and all steps involved in producing a PCB from its individual materials
Measling Electronics Production A localised separation of fibre bundles at fibre bundle intersections within a PCB, usually visible as white squares within the PCB structure
non-eutectic alloy Electronics Production A binary alloy in which the elements melt at different temperatures
Nonwetting Electronics Production The inability to wet a surface with solder, see also Wetting
Ohm’s Law Electronics Production V = IR – A famous electrical equation that denots the relationship between Voltage (V), Current (I), and Resistance (R) in a circuit.
Pad Electronics Production see Land
PCBA Electronics Production see Printed Circuit Board Assembly
Plated-through Hole Electronics Production A metalised structure formed in a PCB by a plating process where a base metal is deposited inside drilled holes, thus connecting external and internal layers of copper foil.
Plating Electronics Production Chemical or electrochemical deposition of metal on a surface
Prepreg Electronics Production Short for PREimPREGnated fibers, meaning a fabric reinforcement (e.g. glassfiber) pre-impregnated with a resin, usually epoxy
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Electronics Production A board that has traces and pads connected together to create a circuit. Electronic components are soldered onto a PCB to add capabilities.
Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) Electronics Production A PCB populated with electronic components
PTH Electronics Production see Plated-through Hole
Reflow profile Electronics Production see Time-Temperature Profile
Reflow soldering Electronics Production Soldering method in which the assembly to be soldered passes through a convection oven system
Repair Electronics Production Action on a nonconforming product to make it conform to form, fit and functional attributes -but will not meet all drawing requirements. It may involve materials and processes that are not specified by the controlling drawing. Unlike rework, repair can affect or change parts of the nonconforming product (IPC-T-50K)
Resin Electronics Production A natural or synthetic organic compound consisting of a noncrystalline or viscous liquid substance
Rework Electronics Production The act of reprocessing non-complying product, through the use of original or alternate equivalent processing, in a manner that assures compliance of the product with applicable drawings or specifications (IPC-T-50K).
RoHS Electronics Production Abbreviation of Restriction of Hazardous Substances
RoHS directive Electronics Production An European directive in which the use of some substances are prohibited from use in products sold on the European market
Rosin Electronics Production A resin derived from a conferous tree used as a basis for flux, also known as Colophony
SAC Electronics Production The general abbreviation used for a solder ally consisting of Tin, Silver and Copper.
Silkscreen Electronics Production Labeling and other pictures that are present on a printed circuit board. Usual denote where components should be placed, version of the board, manufacturer, test points and other useful information.
SMT Electronics Production see Surface Mounting Technology
Solder Electronics Production Metal alloy with a low melting point which allows it to be used to create connections between electronic components.
Solder joint Electronics Production A connection made by soldering
Solder pad Electronics Production Area of exposed metal on a printed circuit board where the connection to a component is made.
Solder paste Electronics Production A mixture of solder powder and flux used for certain soldering applications
Solder resist Electronics Production see Soldermask
Solder sucker (Desoldering pump) Electronics Production A hand tool which is used to remove solder from a printed circuit board. The solder must first be melted then the desoldering pump is used to lift it from the printed circuit board.
Solder trace Electronics Production Path of metal inside a printed circuit board which connects different parts of the circuit.
Solder Wick (Desoldering Braid) Electronics Production Braided copper wire absorbs solder, used to remove excess solder.
Soldering Electronics Production A method of joining two metals with another metal with a lower melting point
Soldering Iron Electronics Production Hand tool used to heat solder and create a solder joint usually on a printed circuit board.
Soldermask Electronics Production A heat-resisting coating material applied to areas of a PCB to prevent solder to be deposited upon these areas
Surface Mounting Technology Electronics Production An installation method where the components are mounted directly on the surface of a PCB
Thermal Profile Electronics Production see Time-Temperature Profile
Thermal schock Electronics Production Rapid temperature change (can lead to damaged components or solder connections)
Through via Electronics Production A via that connects the external layers and maybe also internal layers, it passes all the way through the PCB
Through-Hole Technology Electronics Production A technique where components are placed and soldered in holes in the PCB structure
THT Electronics Production see Through-Hole Technology
Time-Temperature Profile Electronics Production A complex set of time/temperature related data to characterise a soldering process
Tin Electronics Production The main element in most solder alloys, also known as Sn.
Tin Whisker Electronics Production Microscopic tin fibers growing from the surface of pure tin surfaces, caused by compressive stress in the metal
Tinning Electronics Production Coating with solder
Tombstoning Electronics Production The situation where a leadless component has only one termination soldered due to tilting of the component
TTP Electronics Production see Time-Temperature Profile
Via Electronics Production Interfacial connection between layers of a PCB to carry signals between layers
Wave soldering Electronics Production Soldering method in which the assembly to be soldered passes through a bath of molten solder
Wetting Electronics Production The ability of a liquid to form an interface with a solid surface
Wetting angle Electronics Production The angle of the wetted solder and the base surface
A-600 IPC see IPC-A-600
A-610 IPC see IPC-A-610
IPC IPC Association Connecting Electronic Industries, global trade organisation
IPC Certification IPC Certification based on a training program established by IPC
IPC Essentials IPC Online training course to enhance knowledge of IPC standards, the standards development process and how standards can be used on the factory floor
IPC Standard IPC Document published by IPC
IPC-6012 IPC Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Bare Boards published by IPC
IPC-7711/7721 IPC Document published by IPC on rework, modification and repair of Electronic Assemblies
IPC-A-600 IPC Document published by IPC on the Acceptability of Printed Boards (PCB)
IPC-A-610 IPC Document published by IPC on the Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies (PCBA)
IPC-A-620 IPC Document published by IPC on the Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies
J-STD-001 IPC Document published by IPC on Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies