The PCB is older than you think: The concept of a PCB is 80 years old! The first PCB was designed by an Austrian inventor, Paul Eisler, in 1936. He used the board in his radio. These boards only became popular in the 1950s, when mass production of electronics such as radios and televisions changed the world.
They’re a part of our lives, everywhere, every day: We’ve always known about PCBs in computers. But they’re in almost every device we use today. For most people, PCBs are available most of the day – on mobile phones, cars, and so on.
There is a basic design: almost all PCBs can be specified within a parameter range of 14 standard services. The use of standard specifications reduces manufacturing costs.
They are fully customizable: the boards can meet anyone’s specific requirements (though this is an expensive option).
There are many different components: batteries, LEDs, diodes, inductors, resistors, transistors, transformers, relays, capacitors, potentiometers, fuses and switches.
They’re green! The original PCB is green due to the soldered mask resin. While technology has changed, color has not. It has been suggested that green is a good color because it allows electrical engineers to easily see faults in the trace.
They don’t use wires: they take up too much space. In their place, the PCB uses copper “traces”. This allows the PCB to be much smaller.
Change is constant: Circuit boards have changed significantly since Paul Eisler first designed them. Over the years, the technology has gradually shrunk in size, to match the increase in speed. Surface mount technology (SMT) has reduced the size of through-hole installations by an order of magnitude.
Graphene technology could change quite a bit: Graphene is a two-dimensional array of atomic-scale carbon atoms. The use of graphene has the potential to greatly reduce the size and improve the performance of future PCBs.
They can be layered: the original PCB has all the circuits on one side. Since SMT does not affect both sides of the board, it is possible to use both sides to carry components. In addition to double-sided PCB, it can be stacked together on the same side to increase capacity.
The other layer is screen printing: these are white etched plates without etched screen printing (readable text), located on top of the solder resistance layer. Silkscreen printed with letters and numbers for easier assembly. Historically, texts were printed using the screen printing process. Today, printing is more likely to be done by inkjet printers.
They were made twice: the first time a PCB was made, it was developed in a computer-aided design (CAD) program. The software tests the layout to ensure that the connections are all working and performing as expected. Once the engineer has determined that the PCB is working properly, the physical board is made.
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