A printed circuit board (PCB) is used in nearly all electronic products. If you are wondering what the vital function of a PCB board is, you’re in the right place. Keep reading, and your question will surely be answered thanks to a few of our readers.
Ryan Alford

Ryan Alford

Founder and CEO of Engineering Design Group.

The Vital Functions Are Application Dependent

A PCB or Printed Circuit Board is the mechanical backbone of an electronic circuit. It provides the necessary rigidity (and, more recently, flexibility), which allows solder-mounted electronic components and connectors to stay in place while the final circuit is in operation and mounted to a chassis. More importantly, the PCB contains layers of wired interconnect, allowing these components to connect.

The vital functions of an assembled PCB complete with electronic components are application dependent. In many cases, a processing chip will be the source of functionality. This may be a CPU (central processing unit), FPGA (field programmable gate array), GPU (graphics processing unit), or a less powerful microcontroller or microprocessor. However, some PCB applications may be made entirely of discrete components and have more basic yet important functionality, such as signal or power filtering.

Regardless of the application of the final assembled PCB, functionality would be impossible without the layers of interconnect of the printed circuit board itself. Thin layers of copper and substrate (a fiberglass material) build up the layers of a PCB and result in the PCB’s “stack-up.”

On the outer layers of the stack-up, a solder mask covers the outermost signal layers. [It] prevents exposure of any unconnected copper on these layers where a component connects to the PCB with the solder. The solder mask is typically green (open up most electronic devices, and you will likely see green). But PCBs can be manufactured with many colors of solder mask, including red, blue, purple, and even black or white.

Finally, a layer of white silkscreen is printed on each solder mask layer to provide final assembly information, such as component locations, the designer or manufacturer’s logo, and revision information.

A PCB stack-up is not complete without signals being able to traverse from layer to layer. Layer traversals are accomplished with a wiring structure called a “via .”Vias are barrel-like structures of copper that allow internal wires on a layer to connect from one layer to the next.

It helps to understand how vias are manufactured. Usually, they are drilled mechanically or with a laser. The holes are then cleaned to eliminate debris. And finally, the holes are plated with copper to form a hollow cylinder shape.

While most PCBs are rigid for mounting into a chassis, many smaller electronic devices require flexible PCBs to navigate the tight spaces of smaller enclosures such as wearables or mobile devices.

Simple PCBs may be as small as one or two layers of copper, while highly complex PCBs may require as many as 20 layers or more of copper signaling. PCBs that are dense and have many layers cost more money to manufacture, so you are less likely to encounter them in consumer devices.

While assembled PCBs with their installed electronic components result in some very useful products that solve important problems in our world, it is undoubtedly the PCB itself that is the most important component in a physical, electronic circuit.

It Allows for the Connection and Distribution of Components

A PCB board is a vital component in most electronic devices. It is a Printed Circuit Board that allows for the connection of electronic components and helps to distribute power and signals. Many electronic devices would not be able to function without a PCB board.

PCB boards are made up of a flat, rigid piece of insulating material with a layer of copper foil on one or both sides. The copper foil is etched with a pattern of conductive pathways, and the board is then covered with a thin layer of plastic to protect the copper. Electronic components are soldered onto the copper pathways, and the PCB board is then assembled into a device.

PCB boards are an important part of most electronic devices because they allow for the connection of electronic components, help distribute power and signals, and are relatively inexpensive to produce. PCB boards have been in use for many years, and they are a reliable and proven technology.

Donald Lewis

Donald Lewis

Senior Developer at Indivisible Game.
Tina Grant

Tina Grant

Quality Assessor at Aerospheres.

It Enables Wiring and Connection

A PCB is an essential part of electronic products because it enables the wiring of electronic components and their electrical connection or insulation. It provides the appropriate electrical qualities, such as characteristic impedance, and serves as the heat sink. It may be used as an antenna to decrease mismatch caused by ground loops.

The most crucial aspect of every electrical device development is the PCB circuit board design and manufacturing method.

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