Printed Circuit Boards may be classified (PCB classification) according to their various attributes. They were traditionally divided into three classes according to their use and applications, and were commonly referred to as consumer, professional and high reliability boards.
Consumer PCBs were generally used in consumer products such as radio, television, and cheap test and measuring equipment. They used less expensive base material and allowed greater tolerances for manufacture to keep the cost low. Much importance was not given to good and consistent electrical properties.
Professional boards were made of better quality material to achieve tighter electrical and environmental specifications using controlled fabrication techniques. Higher reliability boards, normally used in strategic applications, were meant to provide the best of electrical properties through the use of high quality base material and tightly controlled manufacturing processes.
A more simple and understandable classification is now used, which is based on the number of planes or layers of wiring, which constitute the total wiring assembly or structures, and to the presence or absence of plated-through holes.
The important distinguishing constructions of PCBs are detailed below.