What Are Circuit Boards

circuit boards

Circuit boards are designed to connect electronic components on a non-conductive substrate. These boards are iconic, carefully designed, and have been in production since the early 20th century.

10 Interesting Circuit Board Facts


They are green because of the solder mask that is visible through the glass substrate. The original green color is speculated to have stemmed from the American military, and it became standard. Others suggest that the green color could have come from the solder mask resins that were originally utilized—all green. Regardless of where the color originated, it’s still used today, partially a matter of convention, but mostly due to how easy it makes finding faults in the traces.


The invention is usually accredited to Paul Eisler, an Austrian who started the development of circuit boards in the 1890s. The first true board was created in 1936, when Eisler was building a radio set. Mass production coincides with the rise of computerized technology some time in the 1950s.

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The way they’re created is changing. They’re frequently designed using surface mount technology, or SMT. SMT attaches leads to pads on the substrate surface, while the traditional through-hole technique required inserting the leads in to pre-made holes. SMT has fewer errors, is easier to build, and allows for the creations of smaller circuit boards.


Circuit boards have become an integral part of modern society, powering everything from computers and phones to cars and hoverboards. 5.

The white text on a circuit board is called the silkscreen. Used to analyze components and information, this text is necessary to identify the functions of a circuit board. The white text can be silk-screen printed, but it is more commonly created with an ink-jet printer.

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Circuit boards are designed so that standard boards are functional and often work for any project. But for specific needs or sensitive projects, circuit boards can be custom built. They can be designed entirely to suit an order, making them completely unique.


Circuit boards use something called tracers, made of thin copper, rather than bulky wires. This allows them to much smaller, and works with the flat design of all boards.

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They are not part of a stagnant industry. The movement and growth of this technology is constantly reinventing and innovating circuit boards. As the technology develops, the way circuit boards are created and used changes and evolves.


They’re shrinking! Driven by society’s desires for smaller and smaller electronics, smaller circuit boards are being created.


Engineers and designers create mock ups of circuit boards on a computer aided design program, where they can test conductivity, tracers, size, and other components, before the board itself is designed. This “double-designed” method ensures that no erroneous mistakes will be made, shaving time and money off the build and, ultimately, the price.

Circuit boards are a necessary and interesting aspect of a technology-driven world. Used in almost everything people touch, these small and powerful processors are the green and copper brains behind a cup of coffee, the drive to work, and a trusty cellphone.