When designing the circuit, we need to understand the terminologies of PCB in order to optimize the our design.

1. Design Rule Check (DRC)

DRC is a function that checks the PCB after it is designed. When we design a complex circuit, the serious errors such as open circuit, short circuit, overlapping components, etc. can't be checked by naked eyes. Therefore,  PCB design tools often support this function.

Figure 1: DRC finds out the short-circuit

2. Annular ring

Annular ring is a circle around the hole in PCB. The hole may be the vias or through-hole pads.

Figure 2: Annular rings

3. Drill

The drills on the PCB often come with the pad or the via. Sometimes, it is used to make the locating holes for the screw or connectors.

Figure 3: Drills

4. Pad

It is a portion of exposed metal on the surface of a PCB to which a component is soldered. The pads are used for circuits including through-hole components.

 Figure 4: Pad on PCB including through-hole components

In the special circuits (high frequency circuit, high speed circuit, etc.), manufacturers can plate the gold on pads.

Figure 5: Pads of SMD components

5. Finger

Finger are exposed metal pads along the edge of a PCB. They are used to create a connection between two circuit boards. Common examples are along the edges of  RAM and mainboard of computers.

Figure 6: Finger on board

6. Trace

Trace is a continuous path of copper on a PCB. It’s used to connect components together. Specially, traces can be plays as the antennas.

Figure 7: Traces connect pins and play as the antennas

7. Via

Via is a hole in a board used to pass a signal from one layer to another.

Figure 8: The vias with teardrops look like spermatozoa 😀

8. Slot

Any perforated part is in a PCB, which is not round, is considered slot. Slots have some purposes, such as isolation, meeting mechanical requirements, splitting sub-circuit after assembling, etc.

Figure 9: PCB including slots

9. Panel

A panel is a large circuit consisting of many small circuits that can be easily extracted by V-score or mouse bits. The manufacturer often arranges the small circuits on a panel for convenience and saving the process of making PCB and assembling components.

Figure 10: Assembling component on a panel including the sub-circuit

10. V-score

To separate the printed circuit from the panel, you can use the V-score. The V-score is actually a partial cut through a PCB.

Figure 11: V-score on circuit board

11. Mouse bites

If you do not want to use the V-score to separate the circuits, then you can use mouse bites. By combining the slots with bunch of drills, it helps easily to separate the small circuits after assembling.

Figure 12: An illustration of mouse bites

After assembling the components, it is easy to remove the remains.

Figure 13: Remove the unwanted board

Looking at the product after removing this remains of board, we can understand name of this technique.

Figure 14: The result of the PCB after separating from the panel

Thank you for your time. Look forward to your response.

Author Since: Jul 02, 2018

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