PCB, short for printed circuit board, is an important and vital part which supports and connects electronic components with the help of conductive tracks, pads and other features etched copper sheets. There are many kinds of PCB. For example, single sided PCB(one copper layer) , double sided PCB(two copper layers) or multi-layer PCB. Conductors are connected to each other with plated-through holes which are called vias. For advanced PCBs, some components, like capacitors, resistors or active devices, may be embedded in the substrate.
Printed Circuit Board is widely used in practice. There are also some devices you can use to replace PCBs, for example, wire wrap and point-to-point construction. What’s more, PCB needs additional design efforts in order to lay out the circuit. However, it can also save you a lot of time and energy for its manufacturing and assembly can work automatically. On the other hand, manufacturing circuits with PCBs can be much cheaper and faster than manufacturing circuits in any other way as you are able to mount and wire components with only one single part. Last but not least, errors in operations with PCBs can be decreased as much as possible, which is another advantage of PCBs.
As a matter of fact, printed wiring board or etched wiring board is a more appropriate name for such device when the board has only copper connections and no embedded components. However, the term printed wiring board has been discarded by people even though it is more accurate. A PCB equipped with many electronic components is called a printed circuit assembly (PCA), printed circuit board assembly or PCB assembly (PCBA). The term preferred by IPC for assembled boards is circuit card assembly (CCA). Generally speaking, PCB is an informal name for both bare and assembled boards.