3 Types of Printed Circuit Boards

The printed circuit board (PCB) is an electric circuit with electronic components and a common feature in a wide range of devices, such as radar systems, radios and beepers. It is constructed in several different ways to match its intended use. Here are three main types of printed circuit boards:

Single side

The single side board is the least complex option and includes a one-sided layer of substrate. This board is built with the electrical components and parts attached to one side and on the other are the copper traces. The use of copper is favored because it is a great electrical conductor. The copper layer is often protected by a special solder mask. Also, a silkscreen coating is a further feature to help mark the different components on the board. It is a useful board for the most basic electronics and will be used by the at-home hobbyists in their first electronics projects. The single side board is relatively low-cost to manufacture compared to the other types. But, this board with its simple design means it has plenty of limitations and is far from being the most used in the industry.

Double sided

The double-sided board is the standard choice for a wide range of applications. This board has metal conductive layers, components and parts mounted to both sides. Also, the board has holes to make it easy for circuits on each side to connect. The different parts are connected using tiny wires that pass through the holes on the board. The wires are soldered in place to give a strong and reliable hold. A further option to connect the two sides is through-hole technology. This method has the ability to create devices that run at faster speeds and less weight. They use small leads that are permanently soldered to the board instead of using the separate wires.

Multi layered

The multi layered board is built with two or more layers with each separated by insulation. The standard size is in the region of 4 to 10 layers, although there are boards with up to 42 layers. This is the preferred type of board for the most complex electronic configurations. The different boards are connected using wires passing through the individual holes. They are very helpful for minimizing issues with space and weight. The preferred use is likely to include handheld devices, space probe equipment, medical machinery, servers and computers.