Printed circuit boards are at the heart of most electronic devices. They provide the platform for individual elements to come together and achieve the designed purpose. They are composed of several layers of insulating and conducting materials laminated for extra strength. The surfaces can be etched to reflect copper traces that eliminate the need for wires. The result is a much cleaner, more durable, and more reliable circuitry. Labels can be printed on the surface for ease of troubleshooting. Although PCBs tend to be associated with cellphones and computers, the reality is that they can be found in virtually all type of devices requiring electronic control.
The lights that we have today use more advanced technologies than the simple bulbs of Edison’s time. LEDs can be found in various configurations and they can have a number of features. Some are able to change color temperatures from warm light to cool light to daylight. Others can be dimmed to ensure the right amount of illumination. The settings can be changed using a remote control using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other kinds of signals. The result is a high degree of convenience and versatility. PCBs make all of these possible.
Toys for kids of all ages are now more advanced than ever. Although simple novelty items still get popular once in a while, many are drawn to hi-tech options such as starter drones and handheld gaming consoles. The PCBs hold the drone receiver, the motor controls, the power system, the camera controls, and so on. Handheld gaming consoles have PCBs that are connected to the screen, the buttons, the LED indicator lights, and the battery. Whenever you see a nifty toy that requires a battery, you can be sure that there is a PCB inside somehow.
The medical industry relies heavily on electronics to deliver crucial services to patients. Hospitals need to upgrade their system every few years in order to provide the expected level of accuracy and reliability. PCBs can be found in everything from MRI scanners to X-ray equipment. They are also inside increasingly smaller devices used in portable care including pacemakers and hearing aids. Thanks to advances in PCB manufacturing, more components can be packed into small boards to make more complex medical devices that use lesser power.
Cars are increasingly becoming more advanced with electronics taking over the dashboard and areas under the hood. Even if you don’t purchase an electric-powered vehicle, you will still benefit from cutting edge electronics with navigation systems, safety sensors, parking guides, security systems, and music equipment. PCBs are in there to hold the vital circuits that make cars easier, safer, and more entertaining to drive.
Even familiar household appliances have these boards inside them. They can be found in HVAC programmable thermostats, automatic washing machines, smart televisions, microwave ovens, media players, and many more. The miniaturization of electronic components and advances in PCB design has led to thinner and more efficient appliances. It’s hard to envision modern times without these boards.
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