Circuit Boards

Written by Adam Blau
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Open up any electronic device, and you will see at its core a central circuit board that is responsible for virtually all the functionality of the unit. From the power supply, through the internal processing and out to any external user interface, all parts of the device are controlled from the central circuit board. The complex routing and small metal pathways imprinted on the circuit board allow the current to flow through and activate each component on the board.

Since current must flow to each and every component on the circuit board, the boards usually contain meticulously detailed and complex connections. The circuit pathways can get so intricate that they often resemble large, detailed cities from above. Instead of highways, buildings and train stations, the circuit board contains soldered pathways, resistors and capacitors.

Circuit Boards and Quality Control

A great deal of care and planning go into the fabrication of most circuit boards. One small mistake or errant bit of solder can cause a break in the current flow, rendering a circuit board useless. As you might imagine, with so many different pathways, it can be particularly difficult trying to determine where a solder gap or dead component lies; it makes finding the burnt-out Christmas light look like child's play.

Because of this, the best circuit board manufacturers will perform a tremendous amount of quality control tests on their boards. By ensuring that the heart of their machine is in proper working order, electronics manufacturers can be more certain that the machine as a whole will function as intended. Without a quality circuit board, your appliance, computer or musical instrument will be nothing more than a useless box.

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