Printed circuit board

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A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks or signal traces etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. It is also referred to as printed wiring board (PWB) or etched wiring board. A PCB populated with electronic components is a printed circuit assembly (PCA), also known as a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA).

PCBs are inexpensive, and can be highly reliable. They require much more layout effort and higher initial cost than either wire wrap or point-to-point construction, but are much cheaper and faster for high-volume production. Much of the electronics industry's PCB design, assembly, and quality control needs are set by standards that are published by the IPC organization.

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