10 Interesting Facts about PCBs

Once those using hand-made electronic devices had to be replaced by PCB, all because the circuit board will be integrated with more functions.

Table of Contents

There is no doubt that the printed circuit board (PCB) is a landmark tool in human technology. Why? This is because it is hidden in every electronic device today. Like other great inventions in history, PCB is also with the wheel of history and gradually matured, there have been 130 years of development history, it is the most beautiful scenery in the wheel of the industrial revolution.

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PCB has become a means of optimizing the generation of electronic devices, once those using hand-made electronic devices had to be replaced by PCB, all because the circuit board will be integrated with more functions

Compared the circuit board in a 1968 calculator with a modern computer motherboard
Here are ten interesting facts about PCBs.

1. Color

Even some people who do not know what PCBs are for, know in general what PCBs look like. They at least seem to give a traditional style, that is, its green color. This green color is actually the color of the solder resist layer of glass paint translucent. Solder resist layer, despite the name the solder resist, its main function is to protect the covered circuit from moisture, and dust.

As for the solder resist layer why the choice of green, the main reason is considered green is the army protection standards, military equipment in the PCB first used a solder resist layer to protect the reliability of the circuit in the field, so green is the natural protection color in the army. Others believe that the color of the epoxy resin used in the initial solder resist paint itself shows green, so it has been used to this day.

Nowadays, solder resist is available in a variety of colors, including black, red, yellow, and so on. After all, green is not the industry standard.

Colorful PCBs

2. Who invented the PCB first?

If you ask who invented printing, the honor goes to Bi Sheng[1] in the Chinese Northern Song Dynasty. But the earliest printed circuit boards need to be traced back to the Austrian engineer Charles Ducas in 1920, who proposed the concept of using ink to conduct electricity (printing brass wires on a backplane). He produced a prototype PCB by generating wires directly on the surface of the insulator with the help of plating technology.

Initially, the metal wires on the circuit board were brass, an alloy of copper and zinc. This disruptive invention eliminated the complex process of connecting electronic circuits and ensured the reliability of circuit performance. This process did not begin to enter practical use until the end of World War II.

Patents for printed circuit boards and Charles Ducas
Patents for printed circuit boards and Charles Ducas

3. Marks

There are also a large number of white marks on green circuit boards. For many years, people could not understand why these white printing marks are called “screen layers”. They are mainly used to identify the information of the components on the board, and other content related to the board.

This information was first printed on the circuit board by screen printing, so-called screen layers, and now use special inkjet printers to complete. This information helps circuit engineers to check for faults in the circuit board.


4. Components

The function of a circuit board is accomplished by effectively connecting components according to a schematic. Each component has its own unique function. Even two devices in close proximity to each other on a circuit board can be very different from each other. The types of devices basically include resistors, diodes, transistors, capacitors, relays, batteries, transformers, and many others (such as fuses, inductors, potentiometers, etc.).

5. Everywhere

It is no exaggeration to say that PCBs are everywhere. From computers to digital clocks, from microwave ovens to televisions and stereo systems. As long as the electronic items and devices, more than 99% of the possibilities contain PCB. so we may take for granted that without PCB may not be able to operate any electronic equipment.


In the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in many projects on the use of some stone-cold technology, including in the 1960s, NASA used PCBs on the Apollo 11 rocket, which is because PCB-based electronics are lightweight and consume less power. That was the greatest moment for mankind, the first time the astronauts were sent to the moon. This has the credit of the PCB.


7. Surface Mount Technology (SMT)

Surface mount soldering technology has brought PCBs into modernity. In contrast to the previous jack mounting method, this surface mount soldering technology uses a special glue to attach the device to the PCB and then electrically connects the device to the board through special reflow soldering.

8. Rapid prototyping PCB

During local experiments on circuits, tests can be performed with the help of breadboards [2], cavity boards, and other general-purpose circuit boards. With the increase in surface packaged components, new rapid PCB prototyping techniques have also emerged, such as thermal transfer PCBs and 3D printed multilayer circuit boards.

3D printed circuit boards

9. Flexible PCB

PCBs are not all flat and rigid, there are many soft PCBs works in many tight electronic devices, they often constitute a lot of moving joints in the application circuit, or form a multi-layer three-dimensional circuit.

Transparent and soft PCB

10. The world’s largest PCB

The world’s largest PCB comes from this flexible multilayer circuit board used in an unmanned solar aircraft from Johnson Electronics in the UK. It is about 28 meters long. It is made of flexible polyimide as the base of the circuit board has better heat dissipation and higher conductive density. Such a long circuit board is made through a special production process for etching in sections.

The longest flexible circuit board

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DiskMFR Field Sales Manager - Leo

It’s Leo Zhi. He was born on August 1987. Major in Electronic Engineering & Business English, He is an Enthusiastic professional, a responsible person, and computer hardware & software literate. Proficient in NAND flash products for more than 10 years, critical thinking skills, outstanding leadership, excellent Teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Understanding customer technical queries and issues, providing initial analysis and solutions. If you have any queries, Please feel free to let me know, Thanks

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3 Responses

  1. Might be some translation issues in this text. ”jack mounting method” would normally be through-hole mounting.
    “cavity boards” – A cavity board is a type of isolation. Maybe “protoboard” or “matrix board” was intended?

    1. Hi Per,

      Thanks for your kindness.

      Maybe due to the cultural differences, There are some misunderstandings in translation.

      Insert parts through holes in the circuit board to achieve mechanical positioning and electrical interconnection tasks and functions. This socket assembly method is the use of wave welding, and tin filling in the hole to complete the permanent fixation. However, it is also possible to insert gold pins directly into the hole wall without wave welding for PressFit interconnection, which is convenient for future replacement. This non-welding insertion method is used in the “mainframe” backPanel and another thick plate.

      And also given the limitations of our language, will be appreciated if you can give us more explanation, thanks in advance.

      Wish you have a nice day


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