Of the many such technological advancement that has taken place over the years, one of the most important is by far, the printed circuit boards or PCBs.
Invented several decades ago, they can be described as the backbone of almost all tech gizmos around. From tiny chips to massive circuits, you can find PCBs in almost all of them.
This large-scale use of the PCBs in almost every gadget and hardware will obviously leave one question in one’s mind, as to the reason for its large-scale adoption.
There are several reasons for the above question, the details of which have been explained in the points below.
If there is one thing that has been a major source of complaint in the industry about circuits, it has to do with their lack of structural strength.
Traditionally, circuits were designed using wires, which made them very weak and fragile. Something as fragile as a minor impact was enough to ruin them, and in turn, make the entire device useless. It didn’t matter how much the same was fixed, because it was a given that the circuits would break down again eventually.
The creation of these printed circuits made the possibility of damage to the circuits almost impossible in most cases. What was once a fragile piece of assembly quickly became something that was next to indestructible, at least according to the industry standards of the day.
2. Versatile & Adaptive
Another great advantage of the technology was that the technology was highly versatile.
There was no real restriction on what the same could be used for, as it could be used for a wide range of applications, ranging from small toys to spacecraft. In other words, the ability to use this technology was only limited by one’s imagination more than anything else.
Today, printed circuit boards are used for a wide variety of requirements, which range from simple household gadgets to space applications.
To make a long story short, it can be said that wherever there is a need for electrical circuits, it is possible for one to deploy the usage of this technology in a manner that is both effective as well as satisfactory in terms of outcome.
This is a point that has to be taken in context with time, for it didn’t really apply to the technology for quite some time.
During the early days of printed circuit board development and use, the cost of producing the same was rather expensive. This limited their use on a large scale, even though it proved to be compatible and effective for a wide range of applications.
It was only after continued research and technological advancement that the cost of producing printed circuit boards came down. Today, the manufacturing costs are next to nothing, especially when done on a large scale.
This has made this piece of technological hardware a cost-effective way to manufacture other appliances and devices, without compromising on their quality or effectiveness. It is in fact partly for this reason that the cost of electronics has fallen significantly in recent times, thereby making them more affordable to almost everyone.
4. Simplification of Large Designs
The title here refers here to the fact that the circuits could be increased in complexity and function, as per the necessary requirement.
This is not something that was possible to achieve in the case of early wire-based circuitry. Given that wires were bulky, it wasn’t always possible to make sleek and efficient electronic devices like they exist today. In its place were bulky pieces of hardware with bundles of wires that often confused even the manufacturer at first glance.
The emergence and use of printed circuit boards changed all of that, as it allowed for the wires to be replaced by a simple chip, which in turn could be manufactured with multiple layers; and that’s what it all comes down to.
The manufacture of multi-layer printed circuit boards was a real game-changer for the industry, as the industry could now compress large circuits into a small area, thereby saving on space requirements.
This in turn allowed for technologies to become smaller and as a result, more sleek and efficient. There was no more a need for one to carry around bulky pieces of hardware for any reason. One can actually notice this firsthand if one observes the way technology evolved over the decades; the size of the technologies became increasingly small as the years went by, partly because a good portion of the wires being used were replaced by printed circuit boards.
5. Energy Efficient
When it comes to the usage of wires, one major problem is that of energy needs.
All electrical and electronic circuits come with the need for energy. In the case of wires, this need may exceed acceptable levels, which would certainly be a major waste of resources, especially when used on a large scale.
The exact reasons for this varied, but they ranged from the thickness and length of the wire to the efficiency of the overall layout of the wire circuits. The usage of printed circuit boards helped to eliminate this problem, by creating circuits in a manner that was highly efficient and effective.
It should be added that this point may not always hold true. In the case of ineffective or flawed designs, there is every chance that the chip may not function as expected. But these are just exceptions to the rule rather than the opposite.
In addition to the above points, there are many other reasons as to why printed circuit boards are used.
The ones mentioned are just some of the main ones that are used, with many more also in existence depending on the exact need and requirement.