Printed circuit boards – a key component in the modern world

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PCBs help electronics and mechanics talk to each other

Growing automation has made electronic components a crucial component in every machine and device. Whether it is a medical device, a car, a phone or even clothes dryer! Everything today is a hybrid of mechanics and electronics and printed circuit boards are the building blocks.

Printed circuit boards are nonconductive panels with bonded metallic patterns that interconnect electronic components both mechanically and electronically. Semiconductor devices, such as transistors, rectifiers, diodes, capacitors, and resistors, which affect the electrical current flow are key components of a printed circuit board. Two or more of these devices on a base material, such as silicon, become an integrated circuit, which forms electronic systems that are the basic elements for electronic equipment.

Types of PCBs

PCBs can be single sided, double sided, or multi-layered.  Single sided means the copper circuitry will be on one side of the board only, while double-sided means both the top (component side) and the bottom (solder side) will have circuitry.  Multi-layered boards are comprised of a stack of PCBs that are pressed together using heat and high pressure. These layers include a component and a solder side as well as any number of inner-layers (always in multiples of two).

PCB is a thin board to which electronic components are fixed by solder. Component leads and integrated circuit pins may pass through holes (“vias”) in the board or they may be surface mounted, in which case no holes are required (though they may still be used to connect different layers).

The simplest kind of PCB has components and wires on one side and interconnections (the printed circuit) on the other. PCBs may have components mounted on both sides and may have many internal layers, allowing more connections to fit in the same board area. Boards with internal conductor layers usually have “plated-through holes” to improve the electrical connection to the internal layers.

The connections are metal strips (usually copper). The pattern of connections is often produced using photo-resist and acid etching.  Boards, especially those for high frequency circuits such as modern microprocessors, usually have one or more “ground planes” and “power planes” which are large areas of copper for greater current carrying ability.

A computer or other electronic system might be built from several PCBs, e.g. processor, memory, graphics controller, disk controller, etc. These boards might all plug into a motherboard or backplane or be connected by a ribbon cable.

Printed Circuit boards – driving innovation in modern lives

There are many things in our lives that we take for granted. Smart phone, smart TV, Fitbit, computers are some of them. Each one of them has tiny printed circuit boards enabling the transmission of electron packets that actually run the device.  

Automotive sector is one of the leading sectors that deploys PCB to integrate various electronic functions in their vehicles especially cars. Cars nowadays are sold both on horsepower and electronic features. The competition is tough in this market, and thus the need to offer latest technology. All this is driving innovations and printed circuit boards are playing a key role.

As healthcare evolves and more diagnostic, monitoring and treatment techniques are invented, the need have a sophisticated devices is also increased. HDI PCBs and Rigid-flex PCBs are in great demand this industry due to the need to have higher connection capacity and ability to fit into small devices.

CCI Canadian Circuits has been supporting engineers and OEMs with custom PCBs for more than two decades now. We have seen the PCB industry evolve and become one of the key component in the modernizing the equipment whether it is in automobile, medical devices, consumer electronics or even aerospace. The PCB technology too is evolving to match advancements in other industries. At CCI Canadian Circuits we learning, adopting and adapting to these changes while empowering our customers across the globe and accelerating innovation everyday!

Contact us today to learn more about our technology.

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