Printed Circuit Boards feature the Surface Mount Technology these days. Therefore, they usually have a lot of components on a single board; sometimes, up to a hundred components at once! It’s worth knowing that PCBs or printed circuit boards are the core components of our essential electronic devices and equipment. Without PCBs, your phone won’t work.
While learning about PCBs, most readers find one topic very interesting. That topic relates to the different components that make up a PCB. In surface mount boards, dozens of electrical components are connected via conductive pathways. Let’s learn about some of those components below.
7 Most Important Components of a Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
PCBs contain a wide range of electrical components that perform different functions based on the host device. They’re vital for the functionality of a device like a laptop, washing machine, or calculator. The number and type of components can vary significantly based on the device and PCB type. However, the most common types of electrical components infused in a printed circuit board include:
If even one component stops working, the whole PCB shuts down. Thus, the device it belongs to will shut down as well. Here, we will discuss the crucial PCB components, what they do, and why they’re important.
They’re among the most crucial components in nearly all types of printed circuit boards. They produce and transmit electric currents to cause a voltage that helps dissipate electric power as heat energy. Although resistors have the same purpose, they still come in a wide variety in terms of shape, size, and power. They’re basically based on the resistance value and are easy to identify using color codes.
Think of a transistor as an amplifier that switches and regulates electronic signals in a printed circuit board. These electrical components also come in a wide variety, but the most typical transistor in use is the “bipolar transistor”. It has three pins that form (i) the base, (ii) the emitter, and (iii) the collector.
Inductors are quite similar to capacitors in printed circuit boards. They store a specific energy quantity in the form of magnetic fields right when an electric current passes through them. Their main purpose is to block electric signals in the board to prevent interference that could occur due to a connection with another electronic device or equipment.
These electrical components are quite famous in the electronics world. These hold an electric charge in the board and release it through the PCB whenever different parts of the board require power. It collects opposite charges on separate conductive layers using an insulating material.
Transformers are essential components that form high-quality PCBs. With a transformer, electrical energy flows from one circuit board to another along with correct voltage fluctuations to suit the transfer.
Sensors detect environmental and other external factors (in numerical values) and release an electric current (as a signal) in the circuit board. The electrical signal they generate corresponds with the circuit board and associated components to cause an effect or change. Sensors detect physical elements and external factors such as air quality, sound, and light motion and convert them into electrical signals.
Diodes prevent electrical current from flowing in the wrong direction inside the conductive pathways of a printed circuit board. It blocks the electric current from going in the wrong direction to prevent excessive damage to the circuit board. The most popular diode is the LED or “Light-Emitting Diode”.
What happens when a single component malfunctions in a printed circuit board? The whole PCB can malfunction and shut down the device it’s in! If it’s your smartphone or laptop, you’ve got little or no time left to use it if the PCB’s damaged (i.e., motherboard). That’s why manufacturers only source high-quality PCB electrical components to ensure the circuit boards function as intended.