What do the PCB markings mean?
The technical term for the markings is "reference designators" (aka "refdes") and there are a few standards can define them. Take a look at this wikipedia page for a quick overview. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_symbol
For schematic components, most EDA tools start off with one or few alphabets and then a sequential number. For example, R1 for the first resistor, C1 for the first capacitor, IC1 for the first IC and so on. You can download a free EDA tool such as Eagle to play around. Also, see the wikipedia page for a few more examples.
For PCB footprints, different vendors do make naming convention suggestions. See Altium's suggestions here, for example.
Edit: I do NOT know anyone personally that refers to this as a strict standard or a standard at all. It's mostly what you are used to and familiar with.
The standard which I think is most commonly used for symbols/reference designators is ANSI/IEEE Std 315 (1975). It has been revised a couple of times since but the basics have remained pretty much the same.
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I have a copy here on my machine, here is an example of the first few letters:
A *† (see also U and 22.2.4) electronic divider electronic function generator (other than rotating) electronic multiplier facsimile set field-polarization amplitude modulator field-polarization rotator general circuit element gyroscope integrator positional servomechanism sensor (transducer to electric power) separable assembly ‡ separable subassembly telephone set telephone station teleprinter teletypewriter AR amplifier (other than rotating) repeater AT bolometer capacitive termination fixed attenuator inductive termination isolator (nonreciprocal device) pad resistive termination B blowermotor synchro BT barrier photocell battery battery cell blocking layer cell photovoltaic transducer solar cell C capacitor bushing capacitor
A flag states that the answer has been downvoted because it's incomplete. I understand that you've not completed it because you're quoting this copyrighted work under the Amount and Substantiality Fair Use exception. I'd upvoted you before the downvote or flag, your net rep is +18 for this answer. This, in my opinion, is the correct answer to the question. You might mention IEC 60617, but they're basically the same AFAIK.
In addition to that, you will also find other markings on the PCB. These are done by the fab house and are used to show UL certification numbers, UL standards that the PCB conforms to, sometimes showing RoHS compliance, and sometimes even a logo of the fab house. These can be done in silkscreening process, or anti-soldermask processes.
You can look up UL cert numbers here: http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/template/LISEXT/1FRAME/index.htm Fill in the UL file number with the ~7 digit number on the PCB to find who actually fabricated it.
@kinokijuf, this is an equally valid answer to the possible source of markings on a PCB and I could see a marking like this show up next to a component. Why the downvote for a valid yet less directly correct to your question answer?
Yes, there is, but its not really a standard, everybody simply does it more or less the same way.
- IC? stands for an IC
- R? stands for a resistor
- C? stands for a capacitor
these are the "names" of the component. the boardmaker then has a kind of list where is written what name stands for what component, e.g. R1 - Resistor, 100Ohms
here is a more complete list: http://www.electro-tech-online.com/circuit-simulation-pcb-design/112835-component-designators-pcb-design.html
I use 'IC' on my own boards. My PCB software uses 'U' by default, I keep meaning to change it.
I think that historically, 'IC' was/is found on British PCBs whilst 'U' is found on US boards. Likewise for transistors, 'Tr' used to be common in Britain but the American 'Q' designator has largely replaced it.
U is "undefined", which what got used for ICs when they first became available. They are common now, so it makes sense to give them their own designator. I use IC in all my schematics.