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Glossary of terms

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Term Definition
odd-form   The form or configuration of a non-standard component (such as transformers, coils, and large connectors) that may be difficult to handle by automatic placement equipment.
ODM (Original Design Manufacturing)   Whereby the manufacturer owns the design of the products and the products are marketed under the customer's own brand name.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)   Manufacturer of a product that is intended to perform a function when operated by an end user, as opposed to a manufacturer that builds components that go into such equipment.
off-grid   Circuit board features that are not located on a grid intersection.
omegameter   An instrument that measures ionic residues on PCBs by immersing an assembly into a water/alcohol mixture having a known high resistivity, and measuring and recording, over a specified period, the drop in resistivity resulting from ionic residues going into solution.
OMPAC   Motorola acronym for their OverMolded Plastic Array Carrier, a specific type of ball grid array component.
opacity   The level of transmissibility of light through a material. It refers to the ability to read markings covered by conformal coating or solder mask material on a PCA.
open (open circuit)   An unwanted break in the continuity of an electrical circuit which prevents current from flowing.
open entry socket   One where the entry for the mating plug contact is open such that the socket contact is vulnerable to damage if not mated correctly.
operating voltage   The nominal voltage that a circuit component needs in order to function properly.
operational environment   See environment.
optical alignment mark   See fiducial.
orientation marking   Information printed on a circuit board that provides component location information for the assembly of polarized or multi-leaded parts.
outer-Layer   The top and bottom sides of any type of circuit board.
outgassing   Refers to gaseous emissions from solids or liquids, usually caused by exposure to high operating temperatures and/or altitude (low external pressure). Outgassing may come from absorbed gas, from the vaporisation of volatile contaminants, or from the breakdown of constituent materials. In a printed circuit board, outgassing may result in delamination; in a solder joint, outgassing during reflow may create voids.
outsourcing   The process of subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company. Outsourcing to EMS providers has traditionally appealed to makers of computers, telecommunications hardware and other electronic items. However, outsourcing also is becoming a cost-effective option for manufacturers of fiber optic components and medical devices. Many companies outsource older, more stable product lines so they can focus operations on newer, more technically complex products with higher profit margins. Also see "contract manufacturing" and "electronics manufacturing services."
overlay  See inspection overlay.
overstressed   Material or component exposed to operating conditions beyond specified limits.
oxidation   A chemical process involving the combination of a material (usually a metal) with oxygen to produce a substance with substantially different physical and electrical characteristics from the base material.
oxide   Materials formed by the reaction of elements with oxygen. A process in PCB manufacturing whereby the copper surface (usually innerlayer etched circuitry) is intentionally oxide coated to protect against natural oxidization as well as to aid in the bonding/lamination process. In the case of soldering materials, oxides are formed by reactions between the surface metals and oxygen in the air. This process is accelerated by high temperature. Oxides vary enormously in physical properties: some are flaky and poorly adherent, such as the oxides and hydroxides found in rust, and some highly adherent, such as the aluminium oxide layer created during the ‘anodising’ process. For soldering, the oxides of tin, lead and copper interfere with the proper wetting of solder and need to be removed or dispersed before soldering, an operation which is usually carried out by flux. See oxidation.