PCBA Vs PCB: What Is The Difference Between Two Terms?

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In the field of engineering especially related to electrical engineering, most people know the concept of “Printed circuit board”. But for newbies, this is a rather complicated concept. To provide the clearest and most comprehensive overview of this term, we will learn with you “What is a printed circuit board?". And another aspect that many people are interested in is the difference between Pcb and Pcba? Don't miss the article below!

What is PCBA?

We can say that pcba refers to Printed Circuit Board Assembly. PCBA is quite different from PCB. PCBA refers to a variety of electronic parts or materials pasted in a blank circuit board with quality test and inspection to create a complete circuit connection performance.

 It is a board having transformers, resistors, ICs and capacitors and other components on it. It establishes a mechanical way between components and PCB.

PCBA manufactures on the basis of market PCB file. For PCB assembly two methods are used

  • Surface-Mount Technology
  • Thru-Hole Technology


What is PCB?

PCB is an abbreviation of Printed Circuit Board. All modern electronic devices are based on PCB. It features a pattern which support and act like a carrier of electrical connection between components. This board is made of different Substrate materials like resin and fiberglass etc.

The both sides and printed circuits of PCB board copper are used for conducting material. PCBs circuits are filled with tin-lead to avoid oxidation. The outer edges of PCBs are coated with materials like tin-lead, nickel and gold, to increase conductivity.

Types of PCBs

  • Single-layer PCBs
  • Double-layer PCBs
  • Multi-layer PCBs


  • Computers
  • Cell phones
  • TVs
  • Radios
  • Printers
  • Calculators
  • Appliances
  • Lighting systems
  • Medical imaging systems
  • Pacemakers
  • Engine management systems
  • Industrial controls
  • Telecom towers
  • Data storage equipment
  • Satellite systems

Difference between PCBA and PCB

People consider PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) and PCB (Printed Circuit Board) are same circuitry boards but PCBA and PCB are two distinct things with different roles. PCBA refers to a finished board with electronic components while PCB refers to a blank or empty printed board with a pattern support electronic connections between Components. We can say that PCBA is a complete circuit board while PCB is a bare circuit board.

What is printed circuit board?

Printed circuit board is also known as Pcb. Referring to this, anyone who has ever been interested in engineering knows this concept. It is a multilayer electronic circuit board and is not capable of conducting electricity.

 In the past, when Pcb was born, all components were connected by wires. Therefore, the complexity is pushed higher along with the decrease in the quality of accuracy.

What is the concept of Printed circuit board?

PCB is used for power supply and connection between components. It can be customized to any specifications according to user requirements. 

It is established in important electronic devices such as TVs, mobile phones, digital cameras, computers, etc. At the same time, it is also established in many devices of the following fields: Medical equipment economy, industrial machinery, lighting equipment, automobile manufacturing, etc.

Structure of the PCB board

A printed circuit is made up of many alternating conductive and insulating materials. Thanks to that, it will form a small circuit board. The layers to create a Pcb board include: Substrate, copper, solder mask, silk screen.

Classification of printed circuit boards Pcb

Pcb printed circuit board is a circuit board used in many different electronic circuits. There are some typical types of circuits as follows:

Hard PCB

This type usually has different layers such as 1 layer, 2 layers or multiple layers. Because it is made of a solid material, it cannot be bent or twisted. Most of these circuits have a very long lifespan. So it is often used in many parts of computers. Usually, a multi-layer designed Pcb printed circuit board can be more compact by containing 9-10 layers. It is commonly known by another name as single-sided rigid pcb.

Flexible PCB

Flexible PCB (Pcb flex) is also known as flexible printed circuit board. It is a printed circuit board made from a flexible material such as polymide, peek (polyether ether ketone) or a transparent conductive polyester film. Designed with quite complex structure and also contains different classes.

 For example: single-sided flex circuit, double-sided flex circuit and multi-sided flex circuit. This type of circuit is often used in organic light-emitting diodes, LCD fabrication, flex solar cells, etc.

Multilayer pcb

This kind of laminated pcb is also known as multilayer pcb. It has at least 3 conductive layers. The circuit structure is created by a layer of board glue sandwiched between the thermal layers to ensure heat generation. It will not affect any part connected to it.

This type of circuit has a complex structure with a compact circuit and narrow space. Used in a number of GPS technologies, satellite systems, medical equipment or file servers, ..


Distinguish between Pcb and Pcba

Before going into clarifying the difference between Pcb and Pcba, let's learn a little bit about the concept of what is Pcba? It stands for Printed circuit board assembly.

 This is an industry that has grown tremendously, typically the birth of Pcb. The electronic assembly on Pcb is called Pcba. It is a whole set-up and assembly process based on the following technologies: Point to point technology, Auto-Assembly technology, AT technology, SMT technology.

Pcba is a term that refers to a PCB board connected to other components

Major difference between Pcb and Pcba?

About the concept:

+) Pcb:   Refers to the circuit board, it is made of glass epoxy resin materials. Divided into 4,6 and 8 classes according to the signal number.

+) PCBA:   Refers to the plug-in circuit board assembly and SMT process. It can be understood as complete circuit boards. That is, in the process on the circuit board is completed before the computer Pcba. It is simpler to understand when bare Pcb boards are transmitted via SMT. The whole process of DIP plug-ins is called Pcba

- In terms of installation:

+) Pcb: use electrical connections and support mechanical components using spacers. The power lines and some other features are engraved on the copper plate.

+) Pcba: Is the board obtained after gluing all solder printed on the Pcb. Next will assemble into different components like resistors, ICs, capacitors and any other components. For example, transformers also depend on the purpose of installation.


It can be said, Pcb is a term that refers to a blank printed circuit board. And Pcba refers to a Pcb attached to other components.

So, with the above sharing, we hope you will understand "What is a printed circuit board?" and the difference between pcb and pcba. Through the article, hope it will help you in learning this familiar component.


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