PCBs are printed circuit boards and are designed to mechanically support and electrically connects electronic components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate.
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PCB’s can be single sided (one copper layer), double sided (two copper layers) or multi-layer. Conductor on different layers are connected with plated-through holes called vias. Advanced PCB’s may contain components – capacitors, resistors or active devices – embedded in the substrate.
Printed Circuit Boards
Printed circuit boards are used in all but the simplest electronic products. Alternatives to PCBs include wire wrap and point-to-point construction. PCBs are more costly to design but allow automated manufacturing and assembly. Products are then faster and cheaper to manufacture, and potentially more reliable.
Much of the electronics industry’s PCB design, assembly, and quality control follows standards published by the IPC organization.
Sometimes abbreviated PCB, a thin plate on which chips and other electronic components are placed. Computers consist of one or more boards, often called cards or adapters. Circuit boards fall into the following categories:
- Motherboard : The principal board that has connectors for attaching devices to the bus. Typically, the mother board contains the CPU, memory, and basic controllers for the system. On PCs, the motherboard is often called the system board or mainboard.
- Expansion board : Any board that plugs into one of the computer’s expansion slots. Expansion boards include controller boards, LAN cards, and video adapters.
- Controller board: A special type of expansion board that contains a controller for a peripheral device. When you attach new devices, such as a disk drive or graphics monitor, to a computer, you often need to add a controller board.
- Network Interface Card (NIC) : An expansion board that enables a PC to be connected to a local-area network (LAN).
- Video adapter: An expansion board that contains a controller for a graphics monitor.
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