A Glossary of Components for Printed Circuit Boards

Basic electronics theories and knowledge of PCB components are things you will need to comprehend before you can produce a PCB. PCBs can have numerous components which all perform different operations. Determining when and where to use them can be a difficult task. To learn more about PCB production, click here.

Here are a few board components and their uses:


Many PCB components use less power than a power source produces. A resistor should be employed to cut down the voltage before it reaches the component.


A capacitor is a component that is used to store an electrical charge in a circuit. They are used in nearly every PCB production process to condition electrical current and work as temporary batteries.


An inductor is a coil of wire wrapped up tightly. The purpose of this component is to prevent outside interference in radios, remotes, and transmitters.


Let's not forget the all important transistor. Transistors may amplify, oscillate, or switch the flow of current between two points in a circuit. The precursors to transistors were much larger. Using transistors has enabled our electronics to become smaller year after year.


Diodes are multipurpose. They produce various signals like analog signals, microwaves, or lights.

Display Elements

The majority of PCBs are going to have a display to help perform board operations. LCD, LED, and plasma are a few of the displays boards could have.

Fuses and Circuit Breakers

Printed Circuit Boards use circuit breakers and fuses in the case there are unnatural currents or voltages. If there happens to be an excessive current or voltage, a fuse will burn out or a breaker will switch off so there is no damage to the other circuits and components.


Switches are used in printed circuit boards to turn the circuit on, turn the circuit off or redirect the current for a specific operation. Their job is to regulate and direct the currents in a circuit. They may be activated manually, magnetically, electrically, or thermally.

Heat Sink

This PCB component is used to dissipate excess heat generated by a circuit board. Do you hear a fan running in your computer right now? That is a heat sink. Its job is to control the heat produced by the CPUs processor.

These are not the only components that can be used in PCB construction, but they are the most common. Contact a PCB manufacturer if you want to know more about circuit board components. Click here to learn more about PCB production.


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