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The difference between PCB (Printed Circuit Board) and PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) lies in their stages and functionalities within the manufacturing process of electronic devices:

  1. PCB (Printed Circuit Board):
    • A PCB refers to the physical board made of non-conductive material (like fiberglass) with conductive pathways (copper traces) etched onto its surface.
    • It serves as a foundation or platform for mounting and connecting electronic components.
    • A bare PCB doesn’t have any electronic components attached to it; it’s essentially the circuit board without the functional elements soldered onto it.
  2. PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly):
    • PCBA refers to the stage where electronic components (resistors, capacitors, ICs, etc.) are assembled onto the PCB.
    • During PCBA, components are soldered onto the PCB, creating the functional electronic circuit.
    • It involves the complete or partial assembly of the electronic components onto the printed circuit board, transforming the bare board into a functional unit ready for use within an electronic device.

In summary, a PCB is the physical board with conductive pathways but without any components attached, while PCBA refers to the PCB after electronic components have been assembled and soldered onto it, forming a complete functional circuit.

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