It is essential for electronic devices to have printed circuit boards, otherwise known as PCBs, because only through these boards can these devices function properly. Although the structure of these boards may seem to be complicated, the way it works is somewhat simple. The structure is complicated because interconnections between different electric components are involved, while the way it works is simple because all that the signals and the power have to do is to follow the copper tracks printed therein.
However, as simple as it may look, the way these boards function and the processes involved to realize this function remain as complicated as the structure itself, because when someone who has no knowledge of printed circuit boards deals with the latter without exercising due care, the once called life-giver of electrical devices can be called the executioner of mankind.
Printed circuit boards function just like the circulatory system of the human body, but considering that these boards are newer than the system used in the past, they appear to be simpler. A single board is usually made of a non-conductive material, designed to protect people from electric current. It holds an electronic circuit together, and this circuit is made up of different electric components such as transistors, diodes, resistors, and integrated circuits.
The board is drilled and these components are mounted on the board through the holes created.
Printed copper tracks, also known as copper traces, serve as the arteries and veins of the electronic device, and this feature replaces wire wrapping, or the use of wires in establishing connections between and among electric components. The number of traces connected to an electric component depends on the number of connections the latter needs. To summarize, the electric components perform the function of the electronic device, and the copper traces provide the electric current needed for these components to work.
When an electric current starts to flow into the device, it travels from the source to the device, and then to the components. These components will not work without electricity, and this is where printed circuit boards play a very crucial part in the life of an electronic device. These boards are where the components are attached, and through the help of printed copper traces, the electric current is transported to these components, making them perform their work. From this, it becomes clear that these copper-traced boards are indeed the life-giver of electronic devices.
These boards also involve the principles on circuits.
Where a switch is involved, electric current may or may not flow depending on whether or not that switch is on or off. However, most electronic devices operate using a simple circuit, because there is no complexity of connections involved here, unlike in the case of appliances and bigger electronic devices which involve more complicated connections. Also, the number of components may differ from one device to another since these boards may have layers as few as one in some devices and as many as ten in others.
Printed circuit boards have copper traces which give life through the patterns created on them, similar to the veins and arteries that transport blood through the circulatory system. The comfort which is given by these electronic devices is brought by these patterns embedded in boards. It does not matter whether or not a common person can understand the principles involved in how these boards work; what matters is that the fact that PCBs are indispensable in every electronic device.
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