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I'm a software engineer who has been working a lot with firmware the past 5+ years. At my current place of employment Electrical Engineers prefer to refer to a circuit board as a "Circuit Card Assembly" (abbreviated "CCA") instead of "boards", "circuit boards" or "PCB's".

I wasn't aware of this term before and have not come across it anywhere else. Curious if others think this is a standard industry term?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m voting to close this question because it cannot be answered definitively and may be subject to geographical, cultural, or temporal changes. \$\endgroup\$
    – JYelton
    Aug 1, 2022 at 21:39

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Here's the way my company uses some of these terms:

  1. PWB (Printed Wiring Board) - the bare board with the traces etched on as received from the PWB vendor.
  2. CCA (Circuit Card Assembly) - The PWB with components such as ICs, resistors, caps, etc mounted on it. It may or may not have a connector installed at this point. Note that without a connector, a CCA may not be testable.
  3. ECA (Electronic Component Assembly) - The CCA when mounted to a heat sink with covers, wedgelocks (for conduction cooling), and cover attached. An ECA is testable, either manually or on an ATE (Automatic Test Equipment) test set.

The term "board", or "PCB" by itself is non-specific. The word "assembly" in the ECA term has a specific meaning in so far was what kind of testing is done and what kind of environmental stress screening (ESS) may be required of that assembly.

But, as JYelton said, these terms are not universal across all industries and product lines.

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IPC uses CCA in several of their publications, so that's a "yes" depending on how much weight you give their authority. See: https://www.ipc.org/technical-resources?keyword=circuit+card+assembly&event=All&tag=

For their precise definition, you'll have to purchase IPC-T-50.

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