Think & Tinker, Ltd.
P.O. Box 1606, Palmer Lake, CO 80133
Tel: (719) 488-9640, Fax: (866) 453-8473
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Ball end mill (Ball-nose) - A milling cutter whose point grind forms an arc usually a semi-circle). These bits are commonly used for cutting round bottom grooves for "O" ring seals. They are also the tool of choice in 3D surface machining where the "topo" steps that result for using a flat bottom cutter are unacceptable.

Burr - A cutting tool with a "grinding" geometry. Burrs are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes including cones, cylinders, tear drops, and spheres.

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Carbide Bit - A cutting tool fabricated by grinding a cutting geometry into a tungsten carbide blank. There are numerous grades and blends of tungsten carbide designed to meet the demands of a wide variety of machining operations.

Chip load - The distance a bit moves forward as a single flute cuts into a material. The amount that each flute cuts during a single revolution of a cutting tool. The formula for chip load is CL = (feed rate / no. flutes) / RPM. The TOTAL chip load is defined as the distance a bit moves forward during a single revolution (TCL = feedrate / RPM) and is given in inches (or millimeters) per revolution.

Climb milling - moving a rotary cutting tool in such a manner that the cutting edge appears to roll, or climb along the surface being cut. Since all bits deflect a little during a cut and all materials resist being cut, climb milling will always produces parts that are too big and pockets that are too small.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) - Controlling the motion of an object using electrical or hydraulic actuators directed by a computer. In CNCmachining, a computer directs a set of drive motor to move acutting tool (or the object being cut) in a precise patternoften consisting of joined lines, arcs and circles.

Conventional milling - moving a rotary cutting tool insuch a manner that the cutting edge moves in a direction againstthe direction the cutter is moving. Since all bits deflect alittle during a cut and all materials resist being cut,conventional milling tends to produce parts that are too big andpockets that are too small. By carefully balancing the materialresistance against the bit deflection, cuts of extreme precisioncan be accomplished, even in soft materials.

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Damascening - the art of decoratingiron, steel , or bronze, with inlaid threads of gold or silver,producing a watered effect in forging, sword blades, gun barrels, and various metal objects.
Depth Setting Rings - Plastic collars that are pressed onto the shank of adrill bit or milling cutter that precisely sets the distancefrom the tip of the tool to the face of the collet.

Diameter - The maximum straight line distance across a circlemeasured as the perpendicular separation of any two paralleltangent lines.

Dowel drill - A drill bit ground to produce a hole that preciselymatches the diameter of a wood, metal, or plastic dowel pin.

Dowel pin - A preciselyformed cylinder of metal, wood, or plastic used to accuratelyposition, and fix two or more objects relative to eachother.

Drill point - A preciselyformed cylinder of metal, wood, or plastic used to accuratelyposition, and fix two or more objects relative to eachother.

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Effective Flute Length (EFL) - Theaxial length of the cutting edge(s) of a rotary cutter. Inmost instances, teh EFL is the same as the maximum depth of cut(DOC).

Entarsia - a mosiac of wood fitted and glued into a wooden support;also: the art of process of making such work. See entarsia tool kit for recommended tools.

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Feed rate - The speed of a tool relative to the material that it is cutting.

Figure - A term is often confused with grain. By definition, the figure of a wood refers to the pattern caused by color differences in the wood. The figure is also the pattern created by different types of grain.

Fishtail cutter - A rotary cutting tool whose tip has been ground so thatthe outermost edges extend beyond the center of the tool.Seen in profile, the cutting tip looks like the chevron shape ofa fish's tail (hence the name). Tools with this tip geometry arecommonly used when back side breakout and splintering must beavoided when plunging all the way through an unsupportedmaterial.

Fret - A raised bar (usually metal) positioned at the nodalpoint of the string on a musical instrument. Used toselect the resonance length of each string to produce specificnotes.

Full plunge cut - Cutting with a milling cutter using the entire EFL in asingle pass.

Flute - The axial cutting edge of a rotary tool. Both straightand helical flutes are commonly encountered in modern cutters.

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Grain - The direction in which the fibers of the wood arerunning. Types of grain are: straight, wavy, irregular, spiral,curly, interlocking and birds-eye. The fibers of interlockinggrain have a weaved structure, thus making the wood strong andless apt to split and suitable for bending. Irregular grain iscaused by an interruption in the growth of the tree by branchesor crotches. For ship building irregular grain is used fornatural curved members such as knees.

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Hardwood - Generally, any tough, heavy wood with a tight, compactgrain structure.

Hogging - Cutting with a large chip load to quickly remove a lot ofmaterial during a machining operation. Used to produce a part orcavity whose dimensions are equal to the desired finished sizeplus a given amount of excess material that will be removed in amore accurate finish pass. Roughing out.

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Inlay - process of ornamenting a surface by in-setting materials ofdifferent shade, color, texture or substance, usually in such a manner as topreserve a continuous, smooth plane. Inlay makes use of a widerange of materials including wood, stone, ivory, glass,mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshell.

Intarisa - see entarsia.

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Kerf - slot or trough formed in a material by a cutting tool. Alternately, the width of cut of a cutting tool.

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Lexan® - a type of tough, break-resistant plastic. Most effectively cut using a 2 flute cutter.

Luthier - A musicalinstrument maker.

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Microtool - Generally considered as any rotary tool with a diameter less than 0.0313" (0.8mm). May also refer to any rotary tool with a diameter less than 0.125" (3.15mm).

MOP - An acronym for Mother-of-Pearl, oyster shell.

Mosaic - art of arranging colored pieces of marble, glass, tile,wood or other material in pre-selected shades, colorsand/or textures to produce a picture or surface design.

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Niello - a black metalic alloy of sulfur, copper, silver, andusually lead, used as a inlay on engraved metal.

Non-ferrous metals - Anymetal or alloy that does not contain iron. Examplesinclude gold, silver, copper, aluminum, and brass. Think & Tinker will gladly dispose of anyexcess gold, silver or platinum that you may have lying around.

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Peck - Repetitiveplunging of a bit into a material while gradually increasing thedegree of penetration. Used to prevent breakage and minimize tipwander (deflection). Pecking is routinely used when drillingsmall diameter holes in composite materials (like fiberglass)that tend to make the tip deflect.

Plunge - Drive in along an axis, drill, dive in Post finishing - Any operation that is needed to add the finishing touchesto a part, or complete assembly.

PreciseBIT - PriceCut's two flute microtools have a long track record of superb performance across a variety of applications.

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Ring set - distance fromthe back (collet side) of the depth setting to the tip of thetool. Usually 0.570" (14.5mm) or 0.800" (20.3mm)

Router - A cylindrical rotary cutting tool with "teeth"ground in a spiral along the entire EFL. Tools of this sort arecommonly used on composites consisting of a very hard material(glass, granite) embedded in a much softer matrix (PVC, acrylic,epoxy, phenolic).

RPM - Revolutions Per Minute. The rate of spin measuredin inverse minutes.

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Spindle - Any motor driven shaft fitted with a drive motor on oneend and a tool holder on the other. Spindles are availablewith belt drives, direct drive, gear drives and air turbines

Spindle speed - Therotational speed of a spindle. Usually measured in RPM.

Surface erosion - The removal of material from a surface that is subject tomechanical wear, chemical attack, or any other process thatresults in such removal. In rotary cutters, surface erosion isthe leading cause of edge dulling and the reduction of flutediameter.

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Texture - Awood's texture is directly related to the suitability forcarving and the fineness of detail which can be achieved.Texture ranges from coarse to medium to fine and to ultra fine.In ship building, coarse and medium textured woods are suitablefor heavy timbering such as hull framing and deck beams. Finetextured wood is used for planking, moldings, rails ect. Fineand ultra fine texture is for carving small fittings anddelicate parts. Texture is also uniform or uneven. An uneventextured wood has different size cell cavities giving the woodhard and soft spots. When machining or carving a piece and itsuddenly breaks, it may be because you hit a large cell cavityor a soft spot. Uniform texture resultsin uniform, predictable cutting forces and is preferred wheneversmall, critical tolerances are required.

Total Indicated Run-out (TIR) - The deviation in the location of the surface of a rotating cylinderfrom a given reference axis. The deviation is usually aresult of a variation in the diameter of the cylinder or a skewbetween the cylinder's axis and the axis of rotation. Think & Tinker solid carbide tools are centerless ground to a TIR of±0.0002" (0.005mm).

Tolerance - The acceptabledeviation from a given specification.

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UltraBIT - Think & Tinker's new family of tools developed in response to the growing need for greater precision by cuemakers, steel rule diemakers, luthiers and clockmakers. Comprising both 2 flute and 3 flute designs, UltraBITs are laser and/or optically inspected to insure compliance with the tighter tolerances (+/-0.0005 in.) demanded by these applications. Each new design is tested for performance in particular applications before release, leading to our designation of UltraBITs as the first truly "application specific micro-tools" available to the woodworking industry.

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Weight (wood) - The average weight per cubic foot. The larger the number the denser and, generally, the harder the wood is. The denser the wood the more brittle it becomes, making it harder to bend and carve. Advantages to hard woods are that finer detail can be achieved and the wood can be polished to an ultra smooth finish. Balsa has a weight of 8, Oak is about 45 and Ebony weights in at 80

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active component
1. A component which adds energy to the signal it passes. 2. A device that requires an external source of power to operate upon its input signal(s). 3. Any device that switches or amplifies by the application of low-level signals. Examples of active devices which fit one or more of the above definitions: transistors, rectifiers, diodes, amplifiers, oscillators, mechanical relays and almost all IC's (Contrast with passive component)

Aluminum Nitride, a compound of aluminum with nitrogen

AlN Substrate
A substrate of aluminum nitride.

A ceramic used for insulators in electron tubes or substrates in thin-film circuits. It can withstand continuously high temperatures and has a low dielectric loss over a wide frequency range. Aluminum oxide (Al2O3)

analog circuit
A circuit in which the output varies as a continuous function of the input, as contrasted with digital circuit .

1. The positive element such as the plate of a vacuum tube; the element to which the principal stream of electrons flows. 2. In a cathode-ray tube, the electrodes connected to a source of positive potential. These anodes are used to concentrate and accelerate the electron beam for focusing.

American National Standards Institute. Founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and three government agencies, the Institute remains a private, nonprofit membership organization supported by a diverse constituency of private and public sector organizations.

Artwork for printed circuit design is photoplotted film (or merely the Gerber files used to drive the photoplotter), NC Drill file and documentation which are all used by a board house to manufacture a bare printed circuit board.

1. The process of positioning and soldering components to a PCB. 2. Act or process of fitting together parts to make a whole. 3. A number of parts of subassemblies or any combination therefore joined together.

A packaging and interconnecting structure with components mounted on both the primary and secondary sides.

assembly drawing
A drawing depicting the locations of components, with their reference designators , on a printed circuit. Also called "component locator drawing."

assembly house
A manufacturing facility for attaching and soldering components to a printed circuit.

A multilayer printed circuit board on which separately manufactured components and parts have been added.

A multilayer printed wiring board on which separately manufactured components and parts have been added.

The generic term for an assembly that has electronic components mounted on either one or both sides of a packaging and interconnecting structure.

An assembly of several printed circuit assemblies or printed wiring assemblies, or both.

A printed circuit board on which separately manufactured components and parts have been added.

A printed wiring board on which separately manufactured components and parts have been added.

A packaging and interconnecting structure with components mounted only on the primary side.

American Society of Testing and Materials.

Automatic Test Equipment. (See also DUT.) .

American Wire Gauge. A PCB Designer needs to know diameters of wire gauges to properly size E-pads . The American Wire Gauge, formerly known as the Brown and Sharpe (B + S) Gauge, originated in the wire drawing industry. The gauge is calculated so that the next largest diameter always has a cross-sectional area that is 26% greater. From this basic relationship, the following rules can be deduced: ( click here for an explanation of the ASTM data by Global Wire Group.)

automatic router, a computer program that routes a PC board design (or a silicon chip design) automatically.

ball grid array
(Abbrev. BGA). A flip-chip type of package in which the internal die terminals form a grid-style array, and are in contact with solder balls ( solder bumps ), which carry the electrical connection to the outside of the package. The PCB footprint will have round landing pads to which the solder balls will be soldered when the package and PCB are heated in a reflow oven. Advantages of the ball grid array package are (1) that its size is compact and (2) its leads do not get damaged in handling (unlike the formed "gull-wing" leads of a QFP' ) and thus has a long shelf life. Disadvantages of the BGA are (1) they can tax the limits of the PCB manfacturer, usually requiring 4 mil tracks and 4 mil spaces (less for micro BGA ) and (2) they, or their solder joints, are subject to stress-related failure. For example, the intense vibration of rocket-powered space vehicles can pop them right off the PCB.

The electrode of a transistor which controls the movements of electrons or holes by means of an electric field on it. It is the element which corresponds to the control grid of an electron tube.

beam lead
A metal beam (flat metallic lead which extends from the edge of a chip much as wooden beams extend from a roof overhang) deposited directly onto the surface of the die as part of the wafer processing cycle in the fabrication of an integrated circuit. Upon separation of the individual die (normally by chemical etching instead of the conventional scribe-and-break technique), the cantilevered beam is left protruding from the edge of the chip and can be bonded directly to interconnecting pads on the circuit substrate without the need for individual wire interconnections. This method is an example of flip-chip bonding, contrasted with solder bump. [Graf]

The insulating material upon which the conductor pattern may be formed. The base material may be rigid of flexible. It may be a dielectric sheet or insulated metal sheet.

Theoretically exact location of a component feature, indicated by a symbol or a number in a box.
(The tolerance on a base dimension location)

Ball Grid Array .

printed circuit board. Also, a CAD database which represents the layout of a printed circuit.

board house
Board vendor. A manufacturer of printed circuit boards.

The portion of an electronic component exclusive of its pins or leads.

BOM [pronounced "bomb"]
Bill of Materials. A list of components to be included on an assembly such as a printed circuit board. For a PCB the BOM must include reference designators for the components used and descriptions which uniquely identify each component. A BOM is used for ordering parts and, along with an assembly drawing, directing which parts go where when the board is stuffed.

Package with leads extending from four sides, in a gull wing lead form, that has plastic corners that stick out from the package.

Broken Tool Detector (Infrared Optics)

Controlled Collapse Chip Connect. A type of flip-chip technology which is used in Intel's Pentium III.

Computer Aided Design. A system where engineers create a design and see the proposed product in front of them on a graphics screen or in the form of a computer printout or plot. In electronics, the result would be a printed circuit layout.

Simply a concatenation of the two terms CAD and CAM.

Computer Assisted Engineering. In electronics work, CAE refers to schematic software packages.

Conductive Anodic Filamentation (or Conductive Anodic Filament growth) - An electrical short which occurs in PCBs when a conductive filament forms in the laminate dielectric material between two adjacent conductors under an electrical bias. CAF is a potentially dangerous source of electrical failure in the PCB. As PCB designs have increased in density, with hole-to-hole spacings reduced to 25 mils or less, CAF has become an everyday concern. [adapted from Erik J. Bergum, "CAF Resistance of NON- DICY FR-4," PC FAB, 9/2002]

Computer Aided Manufacturing. (See CAM files )

CAM files
CAM means Computer Aided Manufacturing. These are the data files used directly in the manufacture of printed wiring. . The types of CAM files are 1) Gerber file, which controls a photoplotter, 2) NC Drill file, which controls an NC Drill machine and 3) fab and assembly drawings in soft form (pen-plotter files). CAM files represent the valuable final product of PCB design. They are handed off to the board house which further refines and manipulates CAM data in their processes, for example in step- and-repeat panelization. Some PCB design software companies refer to all plotter or printer files as CAM files , although some of the plots may be check plots which are not used in manufacture.

1. To draw (schematics) with CAE software in such a way that data, especially connectivity, can be extracted electronically. The extracted data would minimally be a netlist and preferably also a BOM . The more useful data that is included (captured) in the schematic, the more useful will be the BOM and netlist extracted from it. 2. Extract information automatically through the use of software, as opposed to hand-entering of data into a computer file.

another name for a printed circuit board.

card-edge connector
A connector which is fabricated as an integral portion of a printed circuit board along part of its edge. Often employed to enable a daughter or add-on card to be plugged directly into another much larger printed board, the motherboard or backplane.

metalized features that are recessed on the edges of a chip carrier which are used to interconnect conducting surfaces or planes within or on the hip carrier.

1. In an electron tube the electrode through which a primary source of electrons enters the interelectrode space. 2. General name for any negative electrode. 3. When a semiconductor diode is biased in the forward direction, that terminal of the diode which is negative with respect to the other terminal. 4. In electrolytic plating, the workpiece being plated. [Graf]

Inorganic, nonmetallic material, such as alumina or beryllia.

Ceramic package having metalized contacts at it's periphery instead of wire leads.

Ceramic package with leads extending from four sides in a gull wing form.

Dual In-line Package consisting of a leadframe encased with a ceramic shell.

check plots
Pen plots that are suitable for checking only. Pads are represented as circles and thick traces as rectangular outlines instead of filled-in artwork. This technique is used to enhance transparency of multiple layers.

1. An integrated circuit manufactured on a semiconductor substrate and then cut or etched away from the silicon wafer . (Also called a die .) A chip is not ready for use until packaged and provided with external connections. 2. Commonly used to mean a packaged semiconductor device.

A low-profile package whose chip cavity or mounting area occupies a major fraction of the package area and whose terminals consist of metal pad surfaces (on the leadless versions) or leads formed around the sides and under the package or out from the package (on leaded versions).
NOTES: 1. The body of the chip carrier, usually square or of low aspect ratio, is similar to that of a flatpack. 2. When leads extend out from the package, the preferred term is "flatpack".

Abbreviated COB. In this technology integrated circuits are glued and wire-bonded directly to printed circuit boards instead of first being packaged. The electronics for many mass-produced toys are embedded by this system, which can be identified by the black glob of plastic sitting on the board. Underneath that glob (technical term: glob top ), is a chip with fine wires bonded to both it and the landing pads on the board.

chip scale package
A chip package in which the total package size is no more than 20% greater than the size of the die within. Eg: Micro BGA.

Certified Interconnect Designer

Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Used by an assembly house, this software inputs assembly data from a PCB CAM/CAD package, such as Gerber and BOM, as input and, using a pre-defined factory modeling system, outputs routing of components to machine programming points and assembly and inspection documentation. In higher end systems, CIM can integrate multiple factories with customers and suppliers.
[SMT magazine, ]

A copper object on a printed circuit board. Specifying certain text items for a board to be "in clad" means that the text should be made of copper, not silkscreen .

A package, for high-current devices, in the form of a cylinder with a plane, circular high-current terminal on each end, intended to be clamped against or between two bus bars acting as heat sinks.

The linear thermal expansion per unit change in temperature.

1. An electrode in a transistor that collects electrons or holes. 2. In certain electron tubes, an electrode to which electrons or ions flow after they have completed their function.

Any of the basic parts used in building electronic equipment, such as a resistor, capacitor, DIP or connector, etc.

component library
A representation of components as decals, stored in a computer data file which can be accessed by a PCB CAD program.

A location o a P&I structure that consists of a land pattern and conductor fan-out to additional lands for testing or vias that are associated with mounting of a single component

The configuration or design of the conductive material on the base material. (includes conductors, lands, and through connections when these connections are in integral part of the manufacturing process).

A single conductive path in a conductive pattern.

One leg of a net . Also called a "pin pair."

The intelligence inherent in PCB CAD software which maintains the correct connections between pins of components as defined by the schematic.

A plug or receptacle which can be easily joined to or separated from its mate. Multiple-contact connectors join two or more conductors with others in one mechanical assembly.

A supporting plane that is internal to a packaging and interconnecting structure.

Distance from the seating plane to the lead farthest from the seating plane.

The area required to place land patterns and their respective components in adjacent proximity without interference or shorting.

Chip Scale Package

A generally cylindrical package. It usually has terminals that exit from one end parallel to the central axis of the package and mounts perpendicular to the seating plane

A collection of interrelated data items stored together without unnecessary redundancy, to serve one or more applications.

A graphic software representation of a component, so named because hand tape-up of printed circuit boards employed the use of pull-off and paste decals to represent components. Also called a part, footprint or package . On a manufactured board the body of a footprint is an epoxy-ink outline.

Any type of electrical component on a PC board. It will have functions and properties unique to its type. In a schematic (and the extracted BOM ) , it will be labeled with a value or device number. There are two main classes of devices, passive and active. .

Dicyandiamide, the most common cross-linking agent used in FR-4 . [Erik J. Bergum, "CAF Resistance of NON- DICY FR-4," PC FAB, 9/2002]

1. A chip . (Plural: dice)

dielectric constant
The ratio of the capacitance of a capacitor with the given dielectric to the capacitance of a capacitor having air for its dielectric but otherwise identical. [Graf]

digital circuit
A circuit which operates like a switch (it is either "on" or "off"), and can make logical decisions. It is used in computers or similar decision making equipment.

1. A device, as a two-element electron tube or a semiconductor, through which current can pass freely in only one direction. [Random House] 2. A semiconductor device with two terminals and a single junction, exhibiting varying conduction properties depending on the polarity of the applied voltage. [Graf]

Abbreviation for Dual In-line Package. A type of housing for integrated circuits. The standard form is a molded plastic container of varying lengths and 0.3 inch wide (although there are other standard widths), with two rows of through-hole pins spaced 0.1 inch between centers of adjacent pins.

A low-profile package that looks like a disk or button. It usually has terminals that exit radially from the periphery of the package like spokes of a wheel or from the disk center. Terminals may be formed into a variety of shapes.

Dual In-line Package designed with leads for through-hole mounting. Lead pitch is 2.54mm (.100")

Disk Operating System. A program that controls the computer's transfer of data to and from a hard or floppy disk. Personal computers that are IBM-compatible run DOS rather than other early varieties of operating systems.

(Of magnetic data storage media, such as floppy disks.) Prepared for storage of data in such a way that DOS transfer can occur.

Slang for fine line design with two traces between DIP pins.

Motorola surface mount replacement for the TO-220 transistor package.

dry film solder mask
A solder mask film applied to a printed board with photographic methods. This method can manage the higher resolution required for fine line design and surface mount. It is more expensive than liquid photoimageable solder mask.

A component which terminates in two straight and parallel rows of pins or lead wires.

Device Under Test. A DUT board (probe card) is used in automated testing of integrated circuits. It is part of the interface between the chip and a test head, which in turn attaches to computerized test equipment. The specific test equipment used will determine the value of the controlled impedance required for the chip tester boards. Depending on which system it is designed for, one type of DUT board is used in testing individual integrated circuits in a silicon wafer before they are cut free and packaged, and another type is used for testing packaged IC 's.

"Engineering-pad." A plated-through hole or surface mount pad on a PCB placed on the board for the purpose of attaching a wire by soldering. These are usually labeled with silkscreen. E-pads are used to facilitate proto-typing, or simply because wires are used for interconnections instead of headers or terminal blocks .

Emitter Coupled Logic. A type of unsaturated logic performed by emitter-coupled transistors. Higher speeds may be achieved with ECL than are obtainable with standard logic circuits. ECL is costly, power hungry, and difficult to use, but it is four times faster than TTL. [Graf]

electrical object
[Protel] A graphical object (in a PCB or schematic database) to which an electrical connection can be made, such as a component pin or a wire.

(Of a micro-processor(s), or system controlled by such) Dedicated to doing one job or supporting one device and built into the product.

electromagnetic compatibility. (1) The ability of electronic equipment to operate without degradation in an intended electromagnetic environment (2) The ability of equipment to operate in its electromagnetic environment without creating interference with other devices. [From the National Instruments, Developer Zone, Measurement Encyclopedia] At circuit board level, one could substitue the term circuit for equipment in the above definitions. Eg. "If the ground returns are common, they can be connected at a single point near the external ground connection, which is good EMC practice." -- Jon Berrie, Technical Marketing Specialist Hot-Stage, Zuken.

An electrode on a transistor from which a flow of electrons or holes enters the region between the electrodes. [Random House]

Electromagnetic pulse. A reaction of large magnitude resulting from the detonation of nuclear weapons.

end-to-end design
a version of CADCAM CAE in which the software packages used and their inputs and outputs are integrated with each other and allow design to flow smoothly with no manual intervention necessary (other than a few keystrokes or menu selections) to get from one step to the other. Flow can occur in both directions. In the field of PCB design, end-to-end design sometimes refers to only the electronic schematic/pcb layout interface, but this is a narrow view of the potentialities of the concept. For example, end-to-end systems can also implement electronic circuit simulation, parts procurement and beyond. For an introduction to the overall design flow of an electronics project, see the PCB designer definition and follow the link to the plain English description for a printed circuit board designer

Electrostatic discharge, when a static charge moves from one surface to another.

Short for fabrication.

fabrication drawing
A drawing used to aid the construction of a printed board. It shows all of the locations of the holes to be drilled, their sizes and tolerances, dimensions of the board edges, and notes on the materials and methods to be used. Called "fab drawing" for short. It relates the board edge to at least on hole location as a reference point so that the NC Drill file can be properly lined up.

A microcircuit package that has one or more fiber-optic connectors. Its terminals may exit from, or attach to, any surface of the package and may be formed in a variety of lead shapes. NOTE: The fiber-optic connectors are considered to be terminals.

.040" round etch pad with a .080" min. solder mask clearance. Used as a bomb-site target for automated assembly equipment alignment tools.

Are placed in three corners, generally next to the tooling holes, of a printed circuit board. They are used for assembly equipment alignment tools.

Are placed in 2 corners of fine pitch quad flat packages. They are used for assembly equipment alignment.

fine line design
Printed circuit design permitting two (rarely three) traces between adjacent DIP pins. It entails the use of a either dry film solder mask or liquid photoimageable solder mask (LPI), both of which are more accurate than wet solder mask.

fine pitch
Refers to chip packages with lead pitches below 0.050". The largest pitch in this class of parts is 0.8mm, or about 0.031". Lead pitches as small as 0.5mm (0.020") are used.

Surface mounted components with a lead or termination pitch of 0.63 mm or less.

A gold-plated terminal of a card-edge connector. [Derived from its shape.]

A package that has a flange-mounted heat sink that is an integral part of the package and provides mechanical mounting to a packaging interconnect structure or cold plate. It usually has terminals that exit from, or attach to, any surface of the package in a variety of forms.

Package with leads on 2 sides. A low-profile package whose leads project parallel to, and are designed primarily to be attached parallel to, the seating plane. (Normally) Leads may be formed generally away from the package body. If the leads are formed back towards the package body, the correct term is "Chip Carrier". NOTES: 1. The leads typically originate at either two or four sides of a package. 2. The body of the flatpack is similar to that of a chip carrier.

A mounting approach in which the chip ( die ) is inverted and connected directly to the substrate rather than using the more common wire bonding technique. Examples of this kind of flip-chip mounting are beam lead and solder bump .

1. The pattern and space on a board taken up by a component. 2. Decal .

Flame-Retardant paper substrate material for cheap electronic circuits. [Stammtisch Beau Fleuve Acronyms]

Fire-Retardent glass/epoxy laminate, the most common dielectric material used in the construction of PCBs. Its dielectric constant is from 4.4 to 5.2 at below-microwave frequencies. As frequency climbs over 1 GHz, the dielectric constant of FR-4 gradually drops.

Fire-Retardant glass-and-polyester substrate material for electronic circuits. Inexpensive; popular for automobile electronics. [Stammtisch Beau Fleuve Acronyms]

A plane established above the seating plane to be used as a standard for measuring lead length.

gerber or Gerber
see Gerber file.

Gerber file
Data file used to control a photoplotter . Named after Gerber Scientific Co., who made the original vector photoplotter .

glob top
A blob of non-conductive plastic, often black in color, which protects the chip and wire bonds on a packaged IC and also on a chip on board . This specialized plastic has a low coefficient of thermal expansion so that ambient temperature changes will not rip loose the wire bonds it is designed to protect. In high-volume chip on board production, these are deposited by automated machinery and are round. In prototype work, they are deposited by hand and can be custom-shaped; however, in designing for manufacturability, one assumes a prototype product will "take- off" and ultimately have high market demand, and so lays out chip on board to accommodate a round glob top with adequate tolerance for machine-driven "slop-over".

A low-profile package whose terminals are located on one surface in a matrix of at least three rows and three columns; terminals may be missing from some row-column intersections.

Leads that formed with a bend that looks like a birds wing

hard copy
A printed or plotted form of an electronic document (computer data file).

The portion of a connector assembly which is mounted on a printed circuit.

Heat conductive material used to transmit heat from the silicon chip to the external environment. Usually a heat sink is made of metal, typically aluminum.

Heat sink that is exposed to the external environment.

Heat sink that is internal to the package.

Quad flat pack designed with a heat sink.

Small-outline package designed with a heat sink.

Shrink small-outline package designed with a heat sink.

In a semiconductor, the term used to describe the absence of an electron; has the same electrical properties as an electron except that it carries a positive charge. [Graf]

Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language, a text-based data structure of pen-plot files which are used to drive Hewlett-Packard pen plotters. Although Hewlett-Packard no longer makes pen plotters, the large-format dot matrix printers which replaced them can also be driven by HPGL.

Hybrid circuit. Any circuit made by using a combination of the following component manufacturing technologies: monolithic IC , thin film , thick film and discrete component.

An assembly of miniature electronic components simultaneously produced in batch processing, on or within a single substrate to perform an electronic circuit function.

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. IEEE Standards Board, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855-1331 USA. 800-678-4333,

A rectangular package having one row or two or more parallel rows of leads designed primarily for insertion mounting perpendicular to the seating plane.

The Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits, the final American authority on how to design and manufacture printed wiring. In 1999, IPC changed its name from Institute of Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits to IPC. The new name is accompanied with an identity statement, Association Connecting Electronics Industries.

Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council.

Leads formed into a J pattern.

An electrical connection that is a part of the original design, added between two points on a printed wiring board after the intended conductive pattern is formed.


A portion of a conductive pattern usually, but not exclusively, used for the connection, or attachment, or both of components.

A combination of lands intended for the mounting, interconnection and testing of a particular component.

laser photoplotter
(also "laser plotter") A photoplotter which simulates a vector photoplotter by using software to create a raster image of the individual objects in a CAD database, then plotting the image as a series of lines of dots at very fine resolution. A laser photoplotter is capable of more accurate and consistent plots than a vector photoplotter.

Large Capacity Automatic Tool System (Original Version of TMS)

External Solderable metal leg strip coming from the component.

The metallic portion of the package that completes the electrical path from the internal package to the external.

Package with metalized contacts at it's periphery instead of wires.

Low-profile, fine-pitch ball grid array (.80mm pitch). Provide a minimal footprint and can benefit high bit-width applications. LFBGA's offer more power and ground pins than other packages, providing a clear advantage in ground bounce. This package provides the most effective solution for performance issues such as high thermal power dissipation, skew and pin-to-pin inductance. Small impedance variation between pins on the LFBGA package results in lower Skew.

1. Land Grid Array. The following is a good explanation of Land Grid Arrays, complete with illustrations: 2. Leadless Grid Array. An example package drawing, not necessarily representative of this type, can be found on page 9 of

liquid photoimageable solder mask (LPI)
A mask sprayed on using photographic imaging techniques to control deposition. It is the most accurate method of mask application and results in a thinner mask than dry film solder mask. It is often preferred for dense SMT.

A cylindrical or elliptical tubular package having terminal end-caps or axial leads.

stands for Liquid PhotoImageable. Refers to liquid photoimageable solder mask.

Laser Tool Check (Visable Red Optics)

Manhattan algorithm
An algorithm to determine a cross street for an avenue address in Midtown Manhattan New York City, or for the length of a trip from one address in Manhattan to another. If you know the building addresses for where you are and where you want to go in Manhattan, you can call a cab company and find out what it will cost you. An algorithm is used to get the answer, because in Manhattan the street and avenue numbers do not necessarily correspond intuitively to the building numbers. What does this have to do with PCB design? The Manhattan algorithm has many variations and uses in various branches of mathematics, including the mathematics of auto-routers. See also Manhattan length.

Manhattan length
The length of the two sides of a right triangle as a distance between two points, as opposed to the hypotenuse.. (Derived from the Manhattan algorithm for determining the length of a taxicab trip following streets and avenues on the island of Manhattan, NY.) Routing of traces in orthagonal patterns in a PCB design, or in a semiconductor chip, follows the same pattern as streets and avenues in a city. The minimum distance between two component leads, or two nodes on a chip, when routing on 90 degrees is the Manhattan length. Advanced PCB auto-routers permit specification of maximum length of classes of nets as a percentage of Manhattan length. For example, one could specify clocks as 120% and random nets as 160% of Manhattan length. (This percentage, expressed as a ratio, becomes the "Manhattan coefficient", ie. a Manhattan coefficient of 1.2 means the routed length is 120% of the Manhatten length.) Specifying such limits on the auto-router prevents long and circuitous routes.

A document that shows the dimensional limits or grid locations applicable to any or all parts of a printed board (rigid of flexible), including the arrangement of conductive and nonconductive patterns or elements.

Multiple Cassette Holder (5 Cassettes, CNC-7 Only)

Molded Carrier Ring. A type of fine-pitch chip package named for the method of supporting and protecting the leads. The leads are left straight; the ends of the leads are embedded in a strip of plastic, which is the Molded Carrier Ring. Just before assembly (placing on a PCB for soldering), the MCR is cut off and the leads are formed. In this way, the delicate leads are protected against damage in handling until just before assembly.

Metal ELectrical Face - A surface mount discrete part, usually a diode, that is barrel shaped, or cylindrical. The ends of the "barrel" are capped with metal, the "metal electrical face." The "barrel" is laid on its side, the metal ends upon landing pads, and the part is soldered that way. The two most common sizes are MLL34 and MLL41, which are roughly MELF versions of a DO-35 and DO-41 respectively.

micro ball grid array
A fine pitch ball grid array. Fine pitch for BGAs is anything less than 1.27 mm [50 mil ] (some say 1.00 mm [39 mil]). SMTnet terms and definitions SMT in Line terms and definitions.

micro BGA
micro Ball Grid Array.

An assembly of unpackaged microcircuits and/or packaged microcircuits, which may also include discrete devices, so constructed on a packaging interconnect structure that for the purpose of specification, testing, commerce, and maintenance, the package is considered to be an indivisible component.

A package specially designed to provide device operation at microwave frequencies

One thousandth of an inch (0.0254 mm).

A component mounting technology that uses both through-hole and surface mounting technologies on the same
packaging and interconnecting structure

Multi-Layer Ceramic

1. Existing as one large, undifferentiated whole. 2. (of an integrated circuit or its elements) built upon or formed within a single slice of silicon substrate.

Thin layer of mold compound that extends from the sides of the package onto the leads and/or between the leads generated during encapsulation.

monolithic integrated circuit
1. Abbreviated MIC. An integrated circuit formed upon or within a semiconductor substrate with at least one of the circuit elements formed within the substrate. 2. A complete electronic circuit fabricated as an inseparable assembly of circuit elements in a single small structure. It cannot be divided without permanently destroying its intended electronic function. [Graf]

Multiple Pressure Foot (Insert), (Insert Changer, CNC-7 Only)

Quad flat pack style package with a metal shell as opposed to plastic. MQUAD is a trademark of Olin Corporation, registered in the USA

Manufacturing resource planning

Multi-layer Thin Film.

A substrate compound of alumina and silica (3Al2O3•2SiO2).

A module or package capable of supporting several chips on a package.

A portable test instrument which can be used to measure voltage, current, and resistance.

NC drill
Numeric Control drill machine. A machine used to drill the holes in a printed board at exact locations, which are specified in a data file.

NC drill file
A text file which tells an NC drill where to drill its holes.

1. n . A reverse-image contact copy of a positive, useful for checking revisions of a PCB. If the negative of the current version is superimposed over a positive of an earlier version, all areas will be solid black except where changes have been made. 2. adj . (Of a PCB image) Representing copper (or other material) as clear areas and absence of material as black areas. Typical of power and ground planes and solder mask.

A collection of terminals all of which are, or must be, connected electrically. Also known as a signal.

List of names of symbols or parts and their connection points which are logically connected in each net of a circuit. A netlist can be "captured" (extracted electronically on a computer) from a properly prepared CAE schematic. .

A pin or lead which will have at least one wire connected to it.

Abbreviation for nominal

Average value for a given measurement

Open circuit. An unwanted break in the continuity of an electrical circuit which prevents current from flowing.

1) Decal or printed wiring board component. 2) A type of PCB component which contains a chip and acts to make a convenient mechanism for protecting the chip while on the shelf and after attachment to a PCB. With its leads soldered to a printed circuit board, a package serves as the electrical conduction interface between the chip and the board. An example is a DIP .

The generic term for a completely processed combination of substrates, metal planes or constraining cores, and interconnection wiring used for the purpose of mounting components.

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.

1. To lay up more than one (usually identical)printed circuits on a pans. Individual printed circuits on a panel need a margin between them of 0.3". Some board houses permit less separation. 2. Lay up multiple printed circuits (called modules) into a sub-panel so that the sub-panel can be assembled as a unit. The modules can then be separated after assembly into discrete printed circuits.

1. Component. 2. A decal in a PWB database or drawing. 3. A symbol in a schematic.

passive component
A device which does not add energy to the signal it passes. Examples: resistor, capacitor, inductor. (Contrast with active component .

PC board
Printed Circuit board .

Printed Circuit Board .

PCB database
All of the data fundamental to a PCB design , stored as one or more files on a computer.

PCB design
1. The creation of artwork for the manufacture of bare PCBs. 2. The artwork so created. 3. A computer database used to generate such artwork as data files ( CAM files ). Also called PCB layout.

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.

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

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.

Polyimide.( Also Pi)

A terminal on a component, whether SMT or through-hole. [Derived from its physical shape on through-hole components, which predated SMT.] Also called lead.

Dual-in-line package consisting of a leadframe encased with a ceramic shell

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.

Pin to pin or lead terminal to lead terminal spacing

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.

A polymeric material used for encapsulation. Also known as mold compound.

Through-hole package with a tab for thermal heat dissipation.

Plastic package designed for surface mounting with J-lead configuration.

Plastic package with leads extending from four sides in a gull lead form.

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.

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.

n. 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. adj. (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.

Plastic Quad Flat Pack. See QFP .

A round or elliptical package whose mechanical mounting area is presses into the packaging interconnect structure or cold plate for purposes of thermal and electrical connection.

That side of the packaging and interconnecting structure that contains the most or more complex component.

(Found in CAD software programs and documentation) 1. Some CAD software documentation extends this term to mean any object in a CAD database--graphics, text or otherwise; so this could be a group of graphic objects if manipulated as a unit, eg. a PCB decal . It may also mean an indivisible graphic object, i.e. a graphical object which may have component parts, but which can not have those parts separated out as individual entities. Examples of this in PCB CAD: wire segment, route, pad or padstack. 2.Any geometric shape such as a circle, polygon or square. 3. A function, operator, or type which is built into a programming language (or operating system), either for speed of execution or because it would be impossible to write it in the language. Primitives typically include the arithmetic and logical operations (plus, minus, and, or, etc.) and are implemented by a small number of machine language instructions.

The general term of completely process printed circuit or printed wiring configurations. It includes rigid of flexible, signal, double and multilayer boards

printed circuit board
a flat plate or base of insulating material containing a pattern of conducting material. It becomes an electrical circuit when components are attached and soldered to it. The conducting material is commonly copper which has been coated with solder or plated with tin or tin-lead alloy. The usual insulating material is epoxy laminate. But there are many other kinds of materials used in more exotic technologies. Single-sided boards, the most common style in mass-produced consumer electronic products, have all conductors on one side of the board. With two-sided boards, the conductors, or copper traces, can travel from one side of the board to the other through plated-thru holes called vias , or feed-throughs. In multilayer boards, the vias can connect to internal layers as well as either side.

The conductive pattern intended to be formed on a common base, to provide point-to-point connection of discrete components, but no to contain printed components.

A package whose mechanical mounting device is a threaded stud, threaded hole, or post for mounting to the packaging and interconnect structure or cold plate.

Printed Wiring Assembly; same as PCB .

Printed Wiring Board; same as PCB .

Quad Flat Pack, a fine-pitch SMT package that is rectangular or square with gull-wing shaped leads on all four sides. The lead pitch of a QFP is typically either 0.8mm or 0.65mm, although there are variations on this theme with smaller lead pitches: TQFP also 0.8mm; PQFP tooled at either 0.65mm (0.026") or 0.025" and SQFP at 0.5mm (0.020"). Any of these packages can have a wide variety of lead counts from 44 leads on up to 240 or more. Although these terms are descriptive, there are no industry- wide standards for sizes. Any printed circuit designer will need a spec sheet for the particular manufacturer's part, as a brief descrition like "PQFP-160" is inadequate to define the mechanical size and lead pitch of the part.

Package with leads extending from 2 sides in a gull lead form. Lead pitch is .635mm (.025 inches).

A bunch of straight lines (unrouted connections) between pins which represents graphically the connectivity of a PCB CAD database. [Derived from the pattern of the lines: as they crisscross the board, the lines form a seemingly haphazard and confusing mess similar to a rat 's nest.)

reference designator (abbrv. "ref des")
The name of a component on a printed circuit by convention beginning with one or two letters followed by a numeric value. The letter designates the class of component; eg. "Q" is commonly used as a prefix for transistors. Reference designators appear as usually white or yellow epoxy ink (the "silkscreen") on a circuit board. They are placed close to their respective components but not underneath them, so that they are visible on the assembled board. By contrast, on an assembly drawing a reference designator is often placed within the boundaries of a footprint --a very useful technique for eliminating ambiguity on a crowded board where reference designators in the silkscreeen may be near more than one component.

In printed board manufacture, many terms are borrowed from the subject of printing. Register has the following specialized printing definition from Macmillan Dictionary for Students : (noun) proper alignment of various plates, stones, or screens to assure clear and accurate reproduction, as of color. Examples: in register, off register. In printed circuit design, the designer gets his photoplot files in register before he views them with his Gerber file viewer. The board manufacturer produces film from the Gerber files and uses them in register with respect to the panels of material from which he will build the boards. He is going to want the pads on both sides and on internal layers to be in register before he drills holes in the panel. [ Usage note: The term registration is often used in the printed circuit industry for this sense of the noun register . Register, already being a noun, doesn't need the suffix -tion added to it to make it a noun. You wouldn't say, "Count the money in the cash registration." This misuse of registration has become so common that it has entered the literature of PCB design and manufacturing.]

See register .

Radio Frequency.

rise time
the time required for an output voltage of a digital cirucit to change from low voltage level (0) to high voltage leve (1), after the change has started. (For more defintions of the term, see Modern Dictionary of Electronics, by Rudolf F. Graf.) Very short rise times, not high clock speeds, are the primary cause of cross-talk in PCBs. Rise times are charactericstic of the technology being used in a circuit. Gallium Arsenide components can have rise times around 100-picoseconds (millionths of millionths of seconds), 30 to 50 times faster than some CMOS components.

1. n. A layout or wiring of a connection. 2. v. The action of creating such a wiring.

Self-Aligned Controlled Collapse Chip Connect. A variation of C4 flip-chip technology. . PFEIFFER L, WEST KW, WONG YH ,Journal of the Electrochemical Society (JES) Volume 134, Number 11, November 1987.

1. The operating condition of a transistor when an increase in base current produces no further increase in collector current. 2. A circuit condition whereby an increase in the driving or input signal no longer produces a change in the output. 3. The condition when a transistor is driven so hard that it becomes biased in the forward direction. In a switching application, the charge stored in the base region prevents the transistor from turning off quickly under saturation conditions. 4. Generally, that state in which a semiconductor device is conducting most heavily for a given applied voltage. In many devices it is also a state in which the normal amplification mechanisms have become "swamped" and inoperative. [Graf]

A diagram which shows, by means of graphic symbols, the electrical connections and functions of a specific circuit arrangement.

A plane generated, when the package is at rest, between the bottom of leads and the contact surface.

That side of the packaging and interconnecting structure that is opposite of the primary side.

Short circuit. 1. An abnormal connection of relatively low resistance between two points of a circuit. The result is excess (often damaging) current between these points. Such a connection is considered to have occurred in a printed wiring CAD database or artwork anytime conductors from different nets either touch or come closer than the minimum spacing allowed for the design rules being use.

Package designed with leads for through-hole mounting. Lead pitch is 1.78mm (.070 inches).

1. A net. 2. A net other than a power or ground net.

silicon wafer
a thin, iridescent, silvery disk of silicon which contains a set of integrated circuits, prior to their being cut free and packaged. A silicon wafer will diffract reflected light into rainbow patterns and, being a similar size, looks so much like a music CD that it could be mistaken for one (except that it has no label or hole in the middle). On closer inspection, one can see the individual (usually rectangular- or square-shaped) integrated circuits which form a uniform patchwork quite unlike the surface of a music CD. When cut or etched from the wafer these circuits are then called chips or dice.

(Also called "silkscreen legend") 1. The decals and reference designators in epoxy ink on a printed wiring board, so called because of the method of application the ink is "squeegeed" through a silk screen, the same technique used in the printing of T-shirts. The silk mesh size commonly used is 6 mils. Thus, the absolute minimum line width of any silkscreen legend artwork is 6 mils, which leaves a very faint line. 7 mils works better for a practical minimum line width. 2. A Gerber file controlling the photoplotting of this legend.

single track
PCB design with only one route between adjacent DIP pins.

A low-profile rectangular surface-mount component package. Its chip (die) is bonded to an inner land contact area, primarily a lead frame.

Surface Mount Device (SMT component).

Surface Mount Technology.

Pertaining to or consisting of software.

soft copy
An electronic form of a document; a data file in computer memory or stored on storage media. When one is looking at a soft copy he is viewing the document as displayed on a computer monitor.

Programs, data files, procedures, rules, and any associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system or of a computer application.

solder bumps
The round solder balls bonded to a transistor contact area and used to make connection to a conductor by face-down bonding techniques.

solder mask
A technique wherein everything on a circuit board is coated with a plastic except 1) the contacts to be soldered, 2) the gold-plated terminals of any card-edge connectors and 3)fiducial marks.

space transformer
Abbreviated ST. A major component of certain high-density probe cards . It provides pitch reduction, high routing density and localized mid-frequency decoupling. A major developer of ATE systems which use space transformers is Wentworth Labs. .

A miniature component package whose devices require a special shape. Its terminals may project from one or more surfaces.

A deposition process wherein a surface, or target, is immersed in an inert-gas plasma and is bombarded by ionized molecules that eject surface atoms. The process is based on the disintegration of the target material under ion bombardment. Atoms broken away from the target material by gas ions deposit on the part (substrate), forming a thin film. [Graf]

Shrink Quad Flat Pack. See QFP .

Space Transformer .

stable datum
a datum along which all other data align. From any confusion, order and sanity can emerge providing one merely selects a datum, assigns it importance or seniority and then begins to align other data against it. The stable datum for any PCB layout could be stated this way: The schematic is the "Bible." In other word, the schematic says the circuit is this way, and the PCB design must follow that pattern perfectly.

An electrical charge that has accumulated or built up on the surface of a material.

A technique where materials and systems are employed to eliminate/discharge static electricity buildup by providing continuos discharge paths.

v. Cause to be quick and efficient. Streamlined design = accuracy plus speed. Streamlined Design, or SLD, is a set of policies that guide my design of printed circuit boards. The policies have been derived with the aim of simplifying and systematically eliminating errors from PCB design.

Attach and solder components to (a printed wiring board).

A group of printed circuits (called modules) arrayed in a panel and handled by both the board house and the assembly house as though it were a single printed wiring board. The sub-panel is usually prepared at the board house by routing most of the material separating individual modules, leaving small tabs. The tabs are strong enough so that the sub-panel can be assembled as a unit, and weak enough so that final separation of assembled modules is easily done.

The supporting material on or in which the parts of an integrated circuit are attached or made. The substrate may be passive ( thin film , hybrid ) or active ( monolithic compatible). [For more information see Modern Dictionary of Electronics, by Rudolf F. Graf.]

surface mount
Surface mount technology. The technology of creating printed wiring wherein components are soldered to the board without using holes. The result is higher component density, allowing smaller PWB 's. Abbreviated SMT.

A hole in a printed board that has its inside surface plated or otherwise reinforced.

A planar structure that is a part of a packaging and interconnecting structure to provide mechanical support, thermo-mechanical constraint, thermal conduction and/or electrical characteristics.

A simplified design representing a part in a schematic circuit diagram.

Tape Automated Bonding.

tented via
a via with dry film solder mask completely covering both its pad and its plated-thru hole. This completely insulates the via from foreign objects, thus protecting against accidental shorts, but it also renders the via unusable as a test point. Sometimes vias are tented on the top side of the board and left uncovered on the bottom side to permit probing from that side only with a test fixture.

Time Domain Reflectometer, a device which a board house can use for measuring characteristic impedance of a conductor on a printed board, thus insuring an accurate build for controlled impedance.

A point of connection for two or more conductors in an electrical circuit; one of the conductors is usually an electrical contact, lead or electrode of a component.

terminal block
a type of header to which wires are attached directly instead of by means of a connector plug. Each wire is inserted in a hole in the terminal block, and then anchored by means of a screw.

test coupon
An area of patterns on the same fabrication panel as the PWB, but separate from the electrical circuits and outside the actual board outline. It is cut away from the printed wiring board prior to assembly and soldering of components. It can be used for destructive testing.

The absolute difference in thermal expansion of two components.

thin film
A film of conductive or insulating material, usually deposited by sputtering or evaporation, that may be made in a pattern to form electronic components and conductors on a substrate or used as insulation between successive layers of components. [Graf]

(Of a component, also spelled "thru-hole"). Having pins designed to be inserted into holes and soldered to pads on a printed board. Contrast with surface mount .

Same as through-hole.

Tool Metrology Gauge (Depth & Runout - CNC-7)

Tool Management System (1 or 2 Cassettes/Spindle)

Thin Quad Flat Pack. Essentially the same as a QFP except low-profile, that is, thinner.

Segment of a route .

Trace .

A company that makes DUT or ATE systems.

Tool Status Indicator (Microwave)

Transistor-Transistor Logic. Also called multiple-emitter transistor logic. A widely used form of semiconductor logic. Its basic logic element is a multiple-emitter transistor. TTL is characterized by fairly high speed and medium power dissipation. [Graf]

Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc., a corporation supported by some underwriters for the purpose of establishing safety standards on types of equipment or components.

An uncased microminiature chip (die). Usually the chip has bonding pads, bumps, ect. That are bonded to pads or lands on a lead-frame, tape, or substrate.

unsaturated logic
A form of logic containing transistors operated outside the region of saturation, which makes for very fast switching. An example is emitter-coupled logic ( ECL ). (For other definitions and examples see [Graf].)

Valuable Final Artwork
A term used in "Streamlined_PCB_Design :" Artwork for electronic circuits which have been laid out and documented in forms perfectly suited to the photo-imaging and numeric-controlled tooling processes of printed circuit manufacture. It is termed "final" because it has been thoroughly checked for errors and any corrected as needed and is now ready for manufacture without further work by the PCB designer . It is valuable because it can be exchanged with a customer for money. Abbr. VFA. [Based on "Valuable Final Product ," or "VFP," a term coined by L. Ron Hubbard]

vcc or VCC
A name for a power net meaning "voltage collector," usually +5V for TTL circuits.

vdd or VDD
A name for a power net meaning "voltage drain," usually implying a more positive voltage.

vector photoplotter
(also "vector plotter", or "Gerber photoplotter" after Gerber Scientific Co., which built the first vector photoplotters for commercial use) It plots a CAD database on photographic film in a darkroom by drawing each line with a continuous lamp shined through an annular-ring aperture, and creating each pad by flashing the lamp through a specially sized and shaped aperture. The "apertures" are thin trapezoidal pieces of plastic which are mostly opaque, but with a transparent portion that controls the size and shape of the light pattern. The apertures are mounted on an "aperture wheel" which can hold up to 24 apertures. Gerber photoplotters, if set up by an experienced craftsman, are well-suited for printed circuit artwork generation. Compare with laser photoplotter , which is faster and has largely replaced the vector photoplotter. There are still vector photoplotters in use. Some manufacturers take advantage of the large bed size of the largest Gerber photoplotters, roughly the size of a full-sized billiards table. This enables the production of very large photoplots. An example is Buckbee-Mears, which makes large antenna boards, and the USGS (United States Geological Survery) which has used them in map-making.

vee or VEE
A name for a power net meaning "voltage emitter," usually -5V for ECL circuits.

A surface-mount package intended to be mounted perpendicular to the seating plane. Terminals are located in one or more parallel rows.

Feed-through. A plated-through hole in a PWB used to route a trace vertically in the board, that is, from one layer to another.

Very Large Scale Integration.

VMEbus is a computer architecture. The term 'VME' stands for VERSAmodule Eurocard. The term 'bus' is a generic term describing a computer data path, hence the name VMEbus

Very thin Quad Flat Pack.

vss or VSS
A name for a power net meaning "voltage source," usually implying a more negative voltage.

See silicon wafer .

Work In Progress. [Usage at Golden Gate Graphics: wip is used as the extension of the name of a folder or sub-directory which groups data in temporary storage locations for current "work in progress." Any folders beneath the .WIP folder in the directory structure would be named for the software, company and job in that order. Eg: pclayout.wip/Cadstar/AcmeInc/A2Dboard ]

wire bonding
The method used to attach very fine wire to semiconductor components (dice) to interconnect these components with each other or with package leads. The wires might be 1 to 2 mils in diameter and made of aluminum containing 1% silicon.

wet solder mask
Applied by means of distributing wet epoxy ink through a silk screen, a wet solder mask has a resolution suitable for single-track design, but is not accruate enough for fine-line design.

Besides its usual definition of a strand of conductor, wire on a printed board also means a route or track .

wire wrap area
A portion of a board riddled with plated-through holes on a 100-mil grid. Its purpose is for accepting circuits which may be found necessary after a PWB has been manufactured, stuffed, tested and debugged.



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