The Evolution of the Printed Circuit Board


The printed circuit board may be small, but it packs powerful performance. They are also created using a very in-depth, complex process. The way in which these crucial parts work has evolved drastically over the years.

Here, we’ll look at what printed circuit boards are and how they have evolved over time.

What is a Printed Circuit Board?

A printed circuit board (PCB) is essential to a board that is used to connect electric components. They are used in a vast range of electronics and is considered a very complex component.

PCBs are very small, yet they require a complex manufacturing process. While improvements have been made within their design and manufacturing process, they would still prove extremely difficult to build from scratch for the average person.

How Have they Evolved?

The very first PCBs were introduced in the early 1900s. They were first patented in 1943 by Paul Eisler, an Austrian refugee. They started out as one layered board but have since gone on to include over 20 layers in modern designs.

You can compare the evolution of this component to mobile phones. When they were first introduced, they came with a bulky design. However, over the years advancements in manufacturing and technology allowed the boards to be created with a much thinner and smaller design.

They started being produced at a higher, more efficient rate. Just a decade ago, HDI and micro vias were only found on the most expensive PCBs. However, today these features are commonplace in modern PCBs. Advancements have also been made in terms of the connectors used within them. High-quality connectors from RS Components are now available to enhance the efficiency and speed of PCBs. As technology evolves, so too does the way in which PCBs are designed and manufactured.

The Future of the PCB

We’ve already seen major improvements within a PCB design. So, what can we expect from the future?

There are a number of developments being worked on such as board cameras, 3D printed electronics and PCB Autoplacers. Manufacturers are also looking to make them much faster, focusing on high-speed capabilities. It’s likely they’ll also become more flexible too, particularly in LED lighting and wearable technology.

As you can see, PCBs have come a long way since they were first introduced. The above is just some of the developments which have occurred, alongside what we can expect from the PCBs of the future.

Ali Dino
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