Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the starting building block of most modern electronic gadgets. Whether easy single-layered boards utilized in your garage door opener, to the six-layer board in your smartwatch, to a sixty-layer, extremely high density.
And high-speed circuit boards used in supercomputers and cloud servers, printed circuit boards are the foundation onto which all of the additional electronic components are assembled onto.
Semiconductors, connectors, resistors, diodes, capacitors, and radio gadgets are mounted to, and “talk” to one another through the PCB.
PCBs have mechanical and electrical attributes that create them perfect for these uses. Most PCBs made in the World are fixed, approximately 90% of the PCBs manufactured today are rigid panels. Some PCBs are stretchy, permitting the circuits to be bent and folded into form.
Occasionally they are used where the flexible circuit will survive hundreds of thousands of flex cycles, without any gap in the circuits. These adaptable PCBs comprise approximately 10% of the market.
A little subset of these types of circuits are called rigid-flex circuits, where one piece of the board is rigid – ideal for mounting and joining components, and one or more parts are flexible, supplying the benefits of flexible circuits listed above.
A rapidly occurring PCB technology, different from the ones above, is called printed electronics – typically very simple, very low cost, circuits that reduce electronic packaging expense to the level that electronic solutions can be designed to decode problems never thought of before.
They are usually utilized in electronics for wearable applications, or disposable electronic devices – opening many opportunities for creative electrical designers.
And if you are in search of a Printed circuit board company to buy a printed circuit board.
Why Are Printed Circuit Boards Used?
Compared to traditional wired circuits, PCBs offer a number of advantages. Their small and lightweight design is appropriate for use in many modern devices, while their reliability and ease of maintenance suit them for integration in complex systems. Additionally, their low cost of production makes them a highly cost-effective option.
These qualities are some of the reasons PCBs find application across industries, including within the following markets:
Medical electronics have significantly benefited from the introduction of PCBs. The electronics in computers, imaging systems, MRI machines and radiation equipment all continue to advance in technology from the electronic capability in PCB’s.
The thinner and smaller size of flexible and rigid-flex PCBs allows for the manufacture of more compact and lightweight medical devices, such as hearing aids, pacemakers, implantable devices, and truly tiny cameras for minimally invasive procedures. Rigid-flex PCBs are a particularly ideal solution when looking to decrease the size of complex medical devices, as they eliminate the need for the flex cables and connectors that take up valuable space in more intricate systems.
Rigid, flexible and rigid flex PCBs are commonly employed in the aerospace industry for instrument panels, dashboards, flight controls, flight management and safety systems. The growing number of advances in aerospace technology have increased the need for smaller, more complex PCBs for use in aircraft, satellites, drones, and other aerospace electronics. Flexible and rigid flex circuits offer exceptional durability and mission survivability due to the elimination of connectors. This makes them suitable for use in high-vibration applications, while their small and lightweight design reduces the overall equipment weight and, consequently, fuel consumption requirements. For applications where dependability is paramount, they serve as a highly reliable solution.
In the military sector, PCB’s are used in equipment frequently exposed to heavy impact, shock and vibration applications, such as military vehicles, ruggedized computers, modern weapons, and electronics systems (e.g., robotics, guidance, and targeting systems). As military technology advances to meet changing customer demand, more equipment integrates advanced computerized technology, requiring both the electrical and mechanical performance that is inherent in flex and rigid flex packaging. These types of electronic packaging can withstand thousands of pounds of g-force without failure.