Surface-Mount Technology

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What Does Surface-Mount Technology Mean?

Surface-mount technology (SMT) is a term for a relatively modern style of printed circuit board design. In SMT, instead of putting wire leads into holes drilled in the circuit board, components and elements are mounted directly onto the surface of the board.

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Techopedia Explains Surface-Mount Technology

Surface-mount technology replaces the “through-hole technology,” wherein components are mounted by linking up “leads” inserted into circuit board holes to pads on the opposite side of the board. Through-hole technology was used throughout the 1950s and into the 1980s until SMT started gaining popularity. Some advantages of SMT include the ability to create smaller components, higher component density and greater efficiency in assembly, since fewer holes need to be drilled in the circuit board. SMT also provides better presentation of the structure of circuit boards, which allows easy examination of the placement of components because they are surface mounted rather than connected to the soldered holes.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.