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PCBs or Printed Circuit Boards are major components of all electronic items. Normally, most people know very little about circuit board assemblies. A circuit board can easily be the heart of any electrical component. Below, you will learn about some interesting facts and history about the printed circuit boards.

PCB was Made Up of Brass

By using PCB, you can reduce the size of electrical components and wires that are needed for electronics to function. Since it is a replacement for all electronics and wires, you would normally think that a printed circuit board is made of copper. Even though this is true, it is worth noting that PCB was first made up of brass, and not copper. Today, they more commonly consist of fiber glass, composite 2 proxies, and other material.

PCBs Widespread Application and Forms

PCBs or printed circuit boards are also used in the printing industry. It is generally the backbone of modern day electronics. Circuit boards come in many different forms, and most PCBs are assembled using only a single layer. More sophisticated electronics and hardware such as motherboards, computer graphics or other cards can have multiple layers that sometimes can also go up to 12.

Even though PCBs are often linked with computers, they consist inside many other electronic devices, including radios, TVs, cell phones, and digital cameras. Along with their applications in consumer good electronics and computers, they are also applicable in a variety of other fields. The many different types of PCBs allow for them to be used in many other applications.

PCBs have different types

There are many different types of PCBs which you can find. These include:

  • Single sided PCB or Single Layer PCB
  • Double Sided PCB
  • Multilayer PCB
  • Rigid PCB
  • Flex PCB
  • Rigid-Flex PCB

 Single Sided PCB

Single sided or single layer PCBs are the cheapest circuit boards that you can find. These types only have one layer of the base substrate fiber glass. Furthermore, they also have one conductive copper layer. Electronic components for this PCB have holes that are not plated through. The compartments for the electronic components are on one side, while the conductive circuit is on the other side. Since there is only one conductive layer that forms this circuit, it is called a single sided PCB or one layer PCB.

Double Sided PCB or Double Layer PCB

Printed circuit boards of these types have one single layer of the base substrate, but conductive copper layer on both sides of the substrate. On this type of printed circuit board, you have to apply solder mask on both sides of the board. On top of that, holes for electronic components need to be plated through so that there is conductivity on both the circuits.  Holes on the double layer PCBs allow circuits on one side to be attached to circuits on the other side.

Multilayer PCBs

In this type, all the layers are interconnected with the help of copper plated holes. These layers can be multiple, and even range up to 40 layers. All the electronic components of an item are assembled on both, the top and bottom layers. On the other hand, the inner stacked layers are meant for rooting. Both, through hole electronic components and surface mount components can attach to either side of the PCB with the help of solder mask.

Final Thoughts

The earliest PCB assemblies were connected to each other manually, using wires. This manual construction led to errors and difficulties when it came to scaling up production. Today, printing techniques that conduct copper circuits on a non conducting board has revolutionized electronic items, making them smaller and more efficient.


Nova is a full-service printed circuit board assembler located in Denver, Colorado.