How is PCB Different from PCBA?

The terms PCBA and PCB are quite common in the field of electronics. Many people think that it is quite the similar thing, but it has a slight difference that you must understand. These terms can be called interchangeably, but PCBA exists because of the PCB. An expert in the electronics department must know these terms are different.

It is hard to work because you may face difficulties understanding and operating any circuit. It is necessary to have correct information about every term. When you understand the comparison, you can easily operate them in distinct things like PCBASIC. In the following write-up, we will discuss how PCB is different from PCBA. Get detailed information about these devices and know how you can easily use them.

Information on Printed Circuit Board


It is a foundation board which is made up of high heat-resistant as well as non-insulating fiberglass. You can call these devices substrates. Any conductive material like copper is used to create the pathway or the circuit.

On this board, you can assemble the circuit and prepare it for use. If there are no electric components, it means that you have a PCB. It can have either single, double, or multiple layers. You can choose any one of them as per your circuit requirement. Let us understand its different layer types.

1. Single

It is one of the standard electric boards because it is quite simple to create. There is only one layer of the best conductive material, like copper. The solder mask helps in preventing oxidation. With the help of a silkscreen, you can mark the devices on the board. In bulk, you can manufacture single-layer PCBs at a low cost. It supports different applications like calculators, printers, etc.

2. Double

Like its name, two layers of conductive material are done on the top as well as the bottom side of the board. The benefits of using this board are the better flexibility and compact size. If we talk about its applications, it is perfect for the use in amplifiers, mobile phones, UPS, HVACs, etc.

3. Multiple

There are over two conductive metal layers on the board. The insulations are done by piling the boards and helping in preventing the circuit from excess heat damage. It is used in various complicated applications, such as GPS, servers, satellites, medical equipment, etc.

Information on Printed Circuit Board Assembly


When the PCB is ready to use, you need to assemble different electronic devices to create it a PCBA. The equipment can be resistors, cables, capacitors, diodes, batteries, etc. The soldering and assembling components technology must be wave, reflow or the mixed soldering.

When you assemble the electronic parts, then you can call it PCBA. Without using the PCB board, one cannot build a PCBA. It is known as PCB assembly. There are mainly two techniques to assemble different PCBs.

1. SMT

This technology is the automated process of soldering and assembling the electronic equipment on the PCB board. It is easy for experts to create a complicated circuit by using this technology. It is quite easy to install small devices on the board. You can easily prepare the PCB and start soldering the components. In the end, you should send it for inspection.

2. Through Hole

Compared to SMT, it is an old method used to create a sturdy connection between the board and electric components. When you assemble the components, you need to drill the holes on the PCB to electronic devices. The procedure of drilling and assembling is pretty time-consuming, and it requires skills to avoid any damage.

From Where You Can Buy PCB and PCBA?


If you have enough experience and knowledge, you can build a PCB board by yourself and assemble electronic devices to make a PCBA. But if you want to buy the customized PCB board, you can contact the vendor. The manufacturing company will install all the electric equipment and prepare PCBA for you. But you can also get the readymade PCBA. But before any customized item, make sure that you keep the following things in your mind:

  • You should approach a manufacturer company instead of a broker.
  • If you are buying for the first time, you must place a minimum order.
  • The pricing must be nominal and fair.
  • The manufacturing company must provide a PCB board of every layer.
  • If you want to buy the PCBA, the installation should be hybrid, SMT, or through-hole.
  • Make sure that you do the quality test before investing your money in it.
  • It should be easy to return or refund if you are not satisfied with the item.
  • You must get better customer service to get any help anytime.

How is PCB Different from PCBA?


The circuit-based board is called PCB, and if you assemble electronic parts on it, it becomes PCBA. It is a basic and slight comparison in these two terms. It is easy to understand the difference. If you want to invest your money in a customized product, you must know the difference in between them.

These two terms look quite the same, but they are quite different. The detailed information is enough to understand these devices. If anyone asks you about these two electronic terms, you can answer them quickly. There will be no confusion when you know everything about it.

The Bottom Line

There is a slight difference in the two electronic terms, i.e., PCB and PCBA, which many experts do not know. In this write-up, we have covered the detailed information about them. You can consider the circuit board as a PCB, and after installing electronic devices over it, the board will become PCBA. There are different layers and soldering techniques that everyone must know. If you want to experiment with things, get enough knowledge about this topic.

Understand the basic comparison, and it will help you do all the electronic experiments. You can also become an expert when you know how they are different. You can either buy the customized PCB as well as PCBA boards or create them yourself. It requires a bit of expertise and experience.

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