PCB Classification and Function

The classification of printed circuit boards (PCBs) lacks a unified standard. Some classify them based on their purpose, the materials used, or structural characteristics. Each classification method has its merits but may not fully capture the essence of PCBs. Classification by purpose is suitable for product design, reflecting the board’s role but may lead to numerous categories without illustrating PCB characteristics. Classification by materials showcases material traits but overlooks structural specifics. Thus, the industry commonly employs structural classification, reflecting physical traits, layering, and complexity. This categorization divides PCBs into rigid, flexible, and rigid-flex boards, further subdivided based on layering and interconnect structure complexity. For details, please check the following:

PCB Classification

 

Printed circuit boards hold a pivotal role in electronic devices, constituting around 7% to 8% of total costs. The global PCB production value soared to $42 billion in 2006, witnessing over 7% annual growth, reaching $58.84 billion in 2017. Multilayer PCBs, flexible PCBs, rigid-flex PCBs, HDI/BUM substrates, and IC packaging boards are becoming crucial amid the demand for multifunctional, compact, and lightweight electronic devices, elevating their value within electronic products.

Functions of PCBs in electronic devices vary due to diverse product characteristics and requirements. PCB functionalities primarily encompass:
Providing mechanical support for assembling and securing electronic components.
Establishing electrical connections or insulation between various electronic components.
Offering required electrical characteristics, impedance, and electromagnetic compatibility for high-speed and high-frequency circuits.
Providing solder mask patterns to ensure soldering quality, as well as identification graphics for efficient assembly, inspection, and repair processes.
PCBs with embedded passive components can provide additional electrical functions, simplifying electronic assembly procedures and enhancing product reliability.
Serving as effective carriers for miniaturized chip packaging in large-scale electronic packaging devices.

 

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