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What are PCBs or Printed Circuit Boards?

The term “printed circuit board” (PCB) refers to both the actual board itself, its contents, and properties. A PCB is a multi-layer board that has…

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a common piece of technology. They're found in computers, smartphones, cars, and so many other devices we use each day. But what exactly is a PCB? Why do they exist? How do they make our lives easier?

What does PCB stand for?

Printed Circuit Board

What is a PCB?

A PCB board is a Printed Circuit Board. It's just one of the many names given to the metal traces that are printed onto the circuit board.

The term “printed circuit board” (PCB) refers to both the actual board itself, its contents, and properties. A pcb is a multi-layer board that has metal traces on it, which provide both power and connectivity between different components such as capacitors and resistors etcetera.

How many types of PCBs are there?

There are many types of PCBs, each with their own pros and cons.

  • Single-sided PCBs: This is the most common type of PCB, as it requires fewer steps in manufacturing than double sided boards. It also allows you to use simpler components on one side and more complex ones on the other side without having to worry about things like component placement or trace routing. The only downside here is that this type of board has limited usage since there isn't much room for components between two sides (and if there are multiple layers).

  • Double-sided PCBs: Since both sides have tracks running across them, these kinds of boards can be used for more complicated projects with larger amounts of circuitry or multiple chipsets in one unit (like WiFi routers). However, these kinds of boards take longer to make because they require up to six layers instead of four like single-sided models do.

  • Multi Layer PCBs : These types usually have extra traces running vertically along both edges making them more durable but costing more money.

    Other types of PCBs include:

  • Rigid PCBs: These are most commonly used in computers. They can be made from a variety of materials including copper foil laminate or fiberglass epoxy resin with copper foil traces on its surface.
  • Flexi PCBs: This type is used mainly on electronic devices with small dimensions that need flexibility in their design (like wearables). Flexi is short for flexible PCB.
  • Metal core PCBs: These boards use aluminum as the base instead of traditional FR4.
  • Ceramic PCBs: Ceramic is often used as the base material in these types of boards because it has better thermal conductivity and resistance to high temperatures than fiberglass epoxy resin (FR4). This makes them ideal for use in high-power electronics applications where heat dissipation is an issue.

PCB Design and Manufacture

PCB design and manufacture are intricately connected. The first step is to create the PCB design, which involves creating a schematic diagram of the electrical components you’re using. The next stage involves sending it to a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer who can take this information and turn it into a physical part.


PCBA stands for Printed Circuit Board Assembly which is the process of building a PCB (Printed Circuit Board). 

The schematic should be easy-to-read and laid out logically, with each component listed according to its function within the circuit. It should also contain detailed information on how each component is connected (e.g., power supply pin 1 goes to ground).

In addition to this basic information, some designers also include any special considerations that need to be made for manufacturing purposes (such as whether parts need soldering or not).

Manufacturing a PCB involves several steps. First, the individual layers of copper are etched and laminated together to form a multi-layered board. The whole process can be summarized in three steps:

  • Solder masking and silk screening
  • Panelization and component placement
  • Assembly

PCB Meaning

Printed Circuit Boards are one of the most important components in any electronic circuit. They are usually made of a thin layer of copper or other conductive material that is applied to an insulating material such as fiberglass but it’s important to know what PCB is right for you. The PCB houses electrical components like capacitors, resistors, diodes and transistors which are connected together by traces on the PCBs surface. These traces form circuits or paths through which current flows from one part of a circuit to another.

Written by
Terry Jeffords

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