Advanced Circuits, Inc. (ACI)

As experts in the manufacture and assembly of printed circuit boards, we work to make our blog a helpful resource on PCB topics and the industries that we work with, including automotive, consumer electronics, aerospace and many more. Here you'll find insights into PCB design, tech trends, assembly issues, and trending topics in the general news media as they relate to printed circuit board technology.

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A Guide to Understanding the Printed Circuit Board

The printed circuit board (PCB) is one of the most important elements in the world of electronics today. Whether it is a state-of-the-art computer or a small, simple electronic object, PCBs help to bring them to life. The board will route the electrical signals to where they need to go, ensuring that the requirements of the device are met to perform the function in question. The PCBs use a complex network of copper pathways, allowing the electrical currents to follow those paths around the board. Today, there are single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layer boards available, and they will typically feature four different parts. Take a closer look at this guide to better understand printed circuit boards.

Basic Parts of a PCB Board

The substrate is the foundation of the board, which can be thought of as similar to the framework of a house. It is often made of fiberglass because it will provide the board with some additional strength, so there is not a high risk of breaking. There will also be a copper layer, which will help to route the signals across the board to where they need to go.

The solder mask is another layer, which is made from polymer. This will help to give the copper some added protection to help reduce the chance of it short-circuiting. The last part of the PCB board is the silkscreen, which is typically on the component part of the board. This shows various information on the circuit board such as logos, component references, test points, and part numbers.

The copper traces are thin lines that connect the components of the circuit board. These traces are used as a way to replace the large wires that were used in the past. This allows the boards to be much smaller than they would be if they still contained all of those wires. The PCB will also have small holes that are drilled into it at the site where components will need to be placed. Since the holes will be right at the location where the components need to be added, it removes the need for long leads and wires to connect them. This also helps to save a lot of space.

What Functions Does a PCB Board Have?

The function of the circuit board will vary based on the type of application it has been designed for. The board might be used to help facilitate data transfer, communications, or any number of other tasks that are related to computing. It is possible to integrate the board into small devices since they are compact themselves. It is insulated and can be easily connected to a power source. There are many different components that can be added to a circuit board.

A battery will provide power for the circuit while a capacitor can hold or release electrical charges. Diodes will control electricity on the PCB by causing it to flow in one direction. An inductor will store energy from an electrical current as magnetic energy, while a resistor will regulate the electrical current’s flow. It does this by providing resistance. A switch will be able to block or allow current to flow depending on whether it is open or closed. A transistor is a type of switch that is controlled by electrical signals. LEDs can even be added to a circuit board as a means of visual feedback.

The Design of the PCB

The first part of creating a PCB is the initial design. Those who are designing a printed circuit board will need to have an idea, which they can then turn into the circuit board. They can do this by creating a blueprint of the device using the software. While there are many options for software available, you might want to check out our free option called PCB Artist. It comes with a wide range of features and tools that will help to make it faster and easier to create a high-quality PCB. The software is easy to use for those who have some knowledge of how to create a circuit. In addition, it is possible to test the board’s design to see whether it will work or not in actual practice. The software can provide fixes and feedback, so you can perfect the board’s design before you send it on to the next step.

When you choose to work with Advanced Circuits, you will also be able to get a preview of the design to check to see if there might be any issues with it. You will also be able to get a free quote that can give you an understanding of just how much the circuit boards will cost. It is often a good idea to get a prototype first to make sure that it will meet your standards. While you could just go into production if you are certain that it is working properly, having the prototype will give you a better feel for whether you might need to make any changes.

One of the benefits of working with Advanced Circuits for the PCB is that customers can receive help along the way thanks to the robust support features that are offered. Whether there is a question about the software, the board design, or the manufacturing process, there are people who can answer your questions and allay your fears.

What Else to Expect from Advanced Circuits

There are a number of benefits to working with us. One of the biggest benefits is that you do not need to worry about any minimum order requirements. If you only need to have a prototype right now, or if you only need a small number of PCB boards, it will not be a problem. Those who need to have a large number of printed circuit boards will also find that we can meet large orders. We have excellent tech support available 24-hours a day and you can receive instant quotes. If there are issues with the board, they can be caught during the review. Now that you understand more about the boards and what you should look for when having them manufactured, it’s time to get in touch.

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