Printed circuit board
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A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects
Printed circuit boards are used in all but the simplest electronic products. They are also used in some electrical products, such as passive switch boxes.
Alternatives to PCBs include
PCBs can be single-sided (one copper layer), double-sided (two copper layers on both sides of one substrate layer), or multi-layer (outer and inner layers of copper, alternating with layers of substrate). Multi-layer PCBs allow for much higher component density, because circuit traces on the inner layers would otherwise take up surface space between components. The rise in popularity of multilayer PCBs with more than two, and especially with more than four, copper planes was concurrent with the adoption of
The world market for bare PCBs exceeded $60.2 billion in 2014. In 2018, the Global Single Sided Printed Circuit Board Market Analysis Report estimated that the PCB market would reach $79 billion by 2024.
Before the development of printed circuit boards electrical and electronic circuits were
Development of the methods used in modern printed circuit boards started early in the 20th century. In 1903, a German inventor, Albert Hanson, described flat foil conductors laminated to an insulating board, in multiple layers.
The Austrian engineer
Even as circuit boards became available, the point-to-point chassis construction method remained in common use in industry (such as TV and hi-fi sets) into at least the late 1960s. Printed circuit boards were introduced to reduce the size, weight, and cost of parts of the circuitry. In 1960, a small consumer radio receiver might be built with all its circuitry on one circuit board, but a TV set would probably contain one or more circuit boards.
Predating the printed circuit invention, and similar in spirit, was
During World War II, the development of the anti-aircraft
Originally, every electronic component had wire leads, and a PCB had holes drilled for each wire of each component. The component leads were then inserted through the holes and
From the 1980s onward, small surface mount parts have been used increasingly instead of through-hole components; this has led to smaller boards for a given functionality and lower production costs, but with some additional difficulty in servicing faulty boards.
In the 1990's the use of multilayer surface boards became more frequent. As a result, size was further minimized and both flexible and rigid PCBs were incorporated in different devices. In 1995 PCB manufacturers began using microvia technology to produce High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCBs.
HDI technology allows for a denser design on the PCB and significantly smaller components. As a result, components can be closer and the paths between them shorter. HDIs use blind/buried vias, or a combination that includes microvias. With multi-layer HDI PCBs the interconnection of stacked vias is even stronger, thus enhancing reliability in all conditions. The most common applications for HDI technology are computer and mobile phone components as well as medical equipment and military communication equipment. A 4 layer HDI microvia PCB Cost is equivalent in quality to an 8 layer through-hole PCB. However, the cost is much lower.
Recent advances in 3D printing have meant that there are several new techniques in PCB creation. 3D printed electronics (PEs) can be utilized to print items layer by layer and subsequently the item can be printed with a liquid ink that contains electronic functionalities.
Manufacturers may not support component-level repair of printed circuit boards because of the relatively low cost to replace compared with the time and cost of troubleshooting to a component level. In board-level repair, the technician identifies the board (PCA) on which the fault resides and replaces it. This shift is economically efficient from a manufacturer's point of view but is also materially wasteful, as a circuit board with hundreds of good components may be discarded and replaced due to the failure of one minor and inexpensive part such as a resistor or capacitor. This practice is a significant contributor to the problem of