Category Archives: Circuit Boards

What is a PCB Via and How is it Made?

Vias are actually holes drilled into PCB layers and electroplated with a thin layer of copper to provide the necessary electrical connectivity. Three most common types of plated through via are in use—plated through holes, blind holes, and buried holes—with plated through holes running through all the layers of the PCB. These are the simplest type of holes to make and the cheapest. However, they take up a huge amount of PCB space, reducing the space available for routing. Blind vias connect Read more [...]

How useful are PCB Vias?

Designers use a plated through via as a conduit for transferring signals and power from one layer to another in a multi-layer printed circuit board (PCB). For the PCB fabricator, the plated through via are a cost-effective process for producing PCBs. Therefore, vias are one of the key drivers of the PCB manufacturing industry. Use of Vias Apart from simply connecting two or more copper layers, vias are useful for creating very dense boards for special IC packages, especially the fine-pitch components Read more [...]

Why Use a Multi-Layer PCB?

Although a multi-layer PCB is more expensive than a single or double-layer board of the same size, the former offers several benefits. For a given circuit complexity, the multi-layer PCB has a much smaller size as compared to that a designer can achieve with a single or even a double-layer board—helping to offset the higher cost—with the main advantage being the higher assembly density the multiple layers offer. There are other benefits of a multi-layer PCB as well, such as increased flexibility Read more [...]

What are Multi-Layer PCBs?

Most electronic equipment have one or more Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) with components mounted on them. The wiring to and from these PCBs determines the basic functionality of the equipment. It is usual to expect a complex PCB within equipment meant to deliver highly involved performance. While a single layer PCB is adequate for simple equipment such as a voltage stabilizer, an audio amplifier may require a PCB with two layers. Equipment with more complicated specifications such as a modem or a Read more [...]

What is the Automatic Test Equipment PCB?

Targeted towards verification of the functionality of a specific semiconductor chip, all major test activities use an automatic test equipment printed circuit board (ATE PCB) or simply a test board. Testing semiconductor chips with advanced functionality is necessary for manufacturers to ensure their reliability and functionality to OEM customers, and establish they operate according to their specifications. In simple terms, the ATE PCB serves as an interface between the specific semiconductor chip Read more [...]

Where Would You Apply Crowbar Protection?

Crowbar is an appliance typically used by construction workers. It is a heavy steel rod with one of its ends pointed and the other shaped like a spatula – both very useful for digging or breaking up construction rubble. Normally, one would not associate such a crude instrument for use by engineers dealing in electronics, were it not for one unusual property of the crowbar. Throw it across a power line, whether accidentally or with a purpose, and the power line trips – a fail-safe arrangement Read more [...]

What is Vapor Phase Reflow Soldering?

Vapor Phase Reflow Soldering is an advanced soldering technology. This is fast replacing other forms of soldering processes manufacturers presently use for assembling printed circuit boards in high volumes for all sorts of electronic products. Soldering electronic components to printed circuit boards is a complex physical and chemical process requiring high temperatures. With the introduction of lead-free soldering, the process is more stringent, required still higher temperatures and shorter times. Read more [...]

What are Wearable PCBs Made of?

The Internet of Things market is growing at a tremendous speed. Among them, wearables represent a sizeable portion. However, there are no standards governing the small size PCBs or Printed Circuit Boards for these wearables. The unique challenges emerging in these areas require newer board level development and manufacturing experiences. Of these, three areas demand specific attention – surface material of the boards, RF or microwave design and RF transmission lines. Surface material of the Read more [...]

How to solder like a pro

Manual soldering is a skill that gets better with practice. For those who are starting out for the first time, manual soldering can be risky, unless they take proper care and follow safety instructions. Manual soldering involves application of heat locally by a soldering iron, whose tip may reach temperatures as high as 400°C. Soldering materials are sometimes toxic, especially if using lead based solders. Some very useful information about soldering can be found here. One of the best tips to Read more [...]

Solder Sucker for Desoldering – New product alert!

We're always adding new electronic components, parts and supplies to our inventory. This week, one of our new products is a solder sucker, which is a 'must have' for anyone that works with electronics and solder. Crafted in Germany by Amax, this solder sucker is a pump style solder remover. Use it on heated solder to remove the solder from your boards and components. It comes in the original manufacturer's packaging with instructions for the use and care of your solder sucker. Here are some Read more [...]