For those of you that might be unfamiliar, PCB stands short for Printed Circuit Board, and it is one of the most important and significant things in the world of electronics and gadgets. Whether those electronic devices are used for home or domestic use, or we’re talking about industrial-grade equipment, circuit boards are still a crucial part.
Today we’re talking about Printed Circuit Boards in general and everything else that you need to know about them, so if you are eager to learn more, feel free to continue reading until the end of this article. Let’s take a look.
What’s the purpose of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)?
Before we talk about what they can be used for, let’s take a look at how they’re made. According to Pcbonline, Printed Circuit Boards are made by PCB design services and they’re the ones making the electronic circuits as well. There are two ways that the PCB designs can be created. Manually or automatically. When it comes to manual creation, help from CAD drafting is used, and the automatic method is done by using an automated router that helps in the creation of the designs automatically. Believe it or not, the manual method is used a lot more frequently than the automatic one, simply because designers want to implement their own techniques and ideas in their builds, which is impossible with the automatic method.
So, Printed Circuit Boards are the core component in almost every electronic gadget that you’ve ever touched with your own hands. This includes cellphones, laptops and all other sorts of devices. Since technology is advancing quite fast nowadays, the requirement for PCB design services is rising rapidly. It’s a fact that a lot more cellphones and computers have to be produced as each year goes by due to the rise in population on our planet, and the much bigger demand for electronics, so it’s pretty much safe to say that these services are going to be in business for a lot longer than you might think.
PCB’s are essential to all electronics and technology industries for the following reasons:
- They are able to provide mechanical support to electronic components
- They connect many different components to other essential materials
- They are providing input/output connections which are necessary for all devices
- They serve as a conductor of heat transfer
- They provide electromagnetic shielding to guard all of the electronic components
- Many other reasons that we’re not going to list due to them being way too complicated
It is advisable that you order a complete package which includes the design capture technology, the interactive router, a constraint manager, all the required interfaces for manufacturing CAD and all of the component tools. This will allow you to do all the required tests and customizations for as long as you want before confirming your product as “finished”.
What are the Printed Circuit Boards made of?
These boards are thin plates which are made out of many different materials, depending on what they are going to be used for, but most of the times the material of choice is fiberglass, laminated materials or composite epoxy which is used as a physical base in order to support all of the chips and electronic components on it. Please note that as technology keeps advancing, the material that these boards are made of will also change depending on a lot of factors, so some things that you read now might be completely different in a few years, or they were pretty different about a decade ago.
What’s going on with the PCB industry?
Just like we mentioned earlier, when technology started advancing at a very rapid pace, the demand for these Printed Circuit Boards increased by a lot. Compared to that this industry was a couple of years ago, it has grown a lot more in a very short period. Back in 2012, the PCB market was valued somewhat around $600M, which is nothing spectacular for something of this kind. By the end of 2023, it is expected that this number will increase to $91,4 billion, which is pretty much a mind-blowing number.
Does the PCB industry have any competitors?
The answer to this question is yes and no at the same time. When it comes to making PCB’s, everything was going smoothly until the latest and most powerful smartphones started coming out on the market. Why? Well, we all know that printed circuit boards of the regular size are much larger than the ones used in the latest smartphones, which means that if this industry wants to continue to be in the game, they need to start delivering extra performance and a lot more features in a much smaller board. This is always a challenge and hard to do because by reducing the size of the board you automatically start lacking space for some of your already existing designs. We’re not saying that the PCB industry can’t really adapt and take on this challenge, but it’s something that’s definitely considered as competition.
Things are guaranteed to change in the future, and how this industry is going to play its role is something that we’ll have to wait and see. If you are interested in learning more about PCB’s and how they’re made, there’s a lot of material online that you can do a research on, including statistics about the current state of the PCB industry.
Without Printed Circuit Boards we wouldn’t have even the slightest part of the technology we have today, and it is pretty much safe to say that these things are one of the most significant inventions in the world of electronics. The industry came a very long way back from where it started and where it is right now, and it is expected to grow at a much more rapid pace in the next couple of years. Both designs and materials will change, along with features and performances, so only time will tell what we’ll be getting from this market in about two or three years from now.