What Are Printed Circuit Boards Used for?

What Are Printed Circuit Boards Used for?
••• A printed circuit board (photo from www.expresspcb.com)

In the early days of electronics, when vacuum tubes were king, all of the various components that made up an electronic device were connected together by soldering them either to each other or to terminal strips and tube sockets. Today, printed circuit boards have made connecting components simpler and cheaper.

What Are PCBs?

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are thin boards made from an insulating material, with a metal coated surface, sometimes on both the top and bottom. Etches are made in the metal with acid to create pathways for electricity to travel among various components which are surface mounted on the board with solder.

PCB Advantages

The invention of printed circuit boards is one of the factors that has enabled electronic circuits to be smaller, more compact, and contained on a convenient, rugged board. Holes drilled into circuit boards allow components such as resistors and capacitors to be inserted and soldered through automation.

PCBs Are Everywhere

Today, just about every electronic appliance in your home contains a printed circuit board of some type: computers, printers, televisions, stereos, musical instrument amplifiers and synthesizers, digital clocks, microwave ovens, telephone answering machines and even cell phones.

PCBs In Computers

The "motherboard" in a computer is the main printed circuit board that is the heart of a computer. Other circuit boards inside a computer performs functions such as RAM (random access memory), power supplies, modems and video "cards."

The Works in a Drawer

Motorola's Quasar TVs were among the first to use removable printed circuit boards, designed for quick in-home repair.

Related Articles

On-Going Research Topics in Electronics Engineering
A History of Computers for Kids
The Advantages of MOSFET Over BJT
What Is the Difference Between a Windmill & a Wind...
History of the Audio Amplifier
On-Going Research Topics in Electronics Engineering
Explain Electrical Ladder Diagrams
What Is J-Standard Soldering?
What Is an IC Socket?
Cons of the Telegraph
Types of Electrical Cable
How Pneumatic Timers Work
How to Mount a Circuit Board in an Electronic Project...
How Does a Solenoid Work?
Input & Output Characteristics of Common Emitter NPN...
Batteries Rely on What to Separate Positive & Negative...
What Robots Are Used Today?
Senior Project Ideas for Electronic Engineering
What Is the Purpose of a Transistor?
How to Convert Horsepower to Foot Pounds