Surface-mount Technology is a design standard for electronic circuits where the components are mounted directly onto the the surface of a PCB as against fixing components leads into plated through-holes and soldering below.
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Surface-mount technology (SMT) is a method in which the components are mounted or placed directly onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic device so made is called a surface-mount device (SMD). In industry, it has largely replaced the through-hole technology construction method of fitting components with wire leads into holes in the circuit board. Both technologies can be used on the same board, with the through-hole technology used for components not suitable for surface mounting such as large transformers and heat-sinked power semiconductors.
By employing SMT, the production process speeds up, but the risk of defects also increases due to component miniaturization and to the denser packing of boards. In those conditions, detection of failures has become critical for any SMT manufacturing process.
An SMT component is usually smaller than its through-hole counterpart because it has either smaller leads or no leads at all. It may have short pins or leads of various styles, flat contacts, a matrix of solder balls (BGAs), or terminations on the body of the component.