It has come a time where you simply are surrounded everywhere by at least a dozen PCBs. Are you in your living room? Well, all of your remote controls do have some kind of a printed circuit board including the devices they control such as the stereo system, TV, DVD Player (pretty rare to have one these days), AC unit and a bunch of other stuff you might have in the living room. Hell, even your desk lamp might be “smart” enough to have such a thing. Thanks to the development of the technology, we certainly have come to a time where most of our electronic devices can have a mind (PCB) of their own.
While this might be great for most consumers, it is even better for electronic engineers all over the world. There simply is too much work in this industry and a lot of money too, so if you are ever thinking about going down the path of the electrical engineer, we would highly recommend it.
However, you are not here to get advice on your college studies or your hobbies, you are here to know about what’s so good about PCB prototypes and why you should use them.
Why are PCBs in such high demand?
It is believed that in the next couple of years or in the next decade we will see a huge influx of need for printed circuit boards because it has been proven that this is surely the right way to the future. We have all seen how cheap they are to produce, how effective they can be and how much functionality they can provide no matter the type of device. The type of printed circuit board you can find in your smartphone is the same type that can be found in a space satellite or airplane although made with much durable and higher quality materials, it is still made in the same manner.
According to https://www.pcbonline.com/, you can find the use of printed circuit boards in almost every single industry including military, medicine, space exploration, computer laboratories and so on.
The need for high powered PCB’s
Before the 2000’s you could also find that printed circuit boards were used in almost every electronic device, but they were mainly used for much simpler tasks and were fed with a lot less power than those today. However, the advancement of electronic technology and past studies have shown that there will be a huge increase in demand for PCBs that are much more power-hungry than usual.
Our understanding of why there would be such a high demand for such boards is because we are seeing a lot more renewable energy devices being created these last couple of years. We have seen how Tesla has risen from zero to being the number one electric automotive company in the world. This rise has prompted every other manufacturer to start focusing on electric vehicles. This means that most of these automotive companies will be looking for printed circuit boards that will be able to handle a lot more power from their huge batteries.
Another reason why we are going to see such a huge need for printed circuit boards is again because of renewable energy, but mostly because of the sun’s energy. Every day we are looking for new ways to supply our cities and countries with energy that is cheap, renewable and one that does not leave any kind of a carbon footprint. The answer to such a problem is to simply start developing much more effective solar panels. Fortunately for PCB manufacturers, for these solar panels to work and be effective as they are, they need boards that can handle a lot of power.
HDI or High-density Interconnect
HDI boards are considered to be one of the biggest technological discoveries in this industry. With this technology, we have managed to considerably reduce the layers that are stacked on a printed circuit board, which means the production process can be cheaper, but the signal transmission speed is even faster.
However, there are some still errors and problems we have to deal with before we see this technology come into play in bigger industries.
Have you noticed this year how many people are hyped for the Samsung Galaxy Fold which is a smartphone that has a curved and foldable screen? This surely is an amazing technology when you consider that you have a completely working touchscreen that can fold.
However, a lot of smartphone manufacturers including Samsung are expecting to see flexible printed circuit boards in the next decade which means that we may see a completely flexible phone in a few years. Just imagine, your phone does not fit into your front pocket, so you just fold it in two in any way you want and it suddenly fits.
While we still have not achieved complete flexibility on PCBs, we have reached a time where most of the future PCBs will actually be printed with a flexing ability. Not only will these much more flexible, but they can be made in a much smaller size, they are more capable and will be much more reliable. You won’t have to suffer from a PCB broken in half again while soldering it.
Why should you use high-quality materials?
Now that we covered all of the trends that we have seen in 2019 and those that we will see in most of 2020, we have few bits of advice we should share with you about creating your own PCB Prototype.
While there have been many occasions where companies use lower quality materials when building PCB prototypes, the need for such printed circuit boards has dropped considerably. Most people now expect the highest level of materials used in their PCB prototypes, so there really is no need for saving money on such materials.
Not only is the cost gap not worth to consider, but your PCB prototype will also perform a lot worse. With lower-quality materials, you will notice higher temperatures, much lower speeds and a bunch of other problems can arise too.