Monday, October 26, 2009

The 3 Different Types of Printed Circuit Boards

If you've ever used a computer, pager, cell phone, or any other device requiring electronic components, then underneath all of those layers of metal you will eventually find a printed circuit board. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) have been used for more than 40 years, but today's models are so technologically-improved that they bear only the most basic resemblance to their forebears. Here's a little information about the 3 different types of printed circuit boards.
1. Single-sided board: Adequate for simple games and other non-complex electronics, a single-sided board is compromised of just one substrate with a fairly straight-forward set of components. An extremely thin layer of conducting material is applied to the board and electronic components are soldered to a set of interconnecting circuits. A series of contact fingers along the edges of the board serve to either connect this PCB to another or to a power source.
2. Double-sided board: As its name implies, an increase in application complexity may make it necessary for additional electronic components to be soldered to the other side of the substrate. Now that there are circuits on each side of the board, the components are connected via a series of strategically placed through-holes which allow for an unimpeded electrical connection between the two. The holes must therefore be coated with a conductive material to allow the PCB to work correctly.
3. Multi-layered board: With these printed circuit boards, the substrate is actually compromised of multiple layers of printed circuits. Separated by layers of specialized insulation, these printed circuit sheets are also connected via plated holes and allow for more complex applications.
PCBs have revolutionized our world in so many ways that their influence is mind-boggling. Improvements in manufacture procedure as well as technology are continually evolving; so much so, perhaps, that in another 40 years they just may bear no more than a passing resemblance to today's models.

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