The Most Commonly Used Components on PCBs

Printed circuit boards (PCB) are an electronic product that serve as the backbone of many electronics and systems, providing mechanical support and electrical interconnectivity between components. Printed circuit boards serve virtually all commercially produced electronic devices, ranging in application from remote controls to computer servers. In order for a printed circuit board to function properly, they require various parts and components to be attached to them, each playing their different roles to conduct operations as a whole. In this blog, we will discuss some of the commonly used printed circuit board components, allowing you to better understand how they provide for electronics and systems.

One of the most important components of PCB construction are resistors, which are tiny devices that limit and control electronic currents by dissipating them as heat. Resistors come in various materials, shapes, and ratings, varying in their ability to resist voltages depending on the need of the system. Resistors are very important to the PCB as they allow for correct voltage to be transferred throughout the board, also protecting sensitive components. Potentiometers are a type of variable resistor, and they are commonly found on printed circuit boards to provide various functionalities such as volume control on radios, fine tuning, and more. In general, potentiometers are used when there is a need for control through the use of current adjustment.

Alongside resistors, capacitors have one of the highest presences in printed circuit boards, providing temporary electric charge storage so that power can be given to specific areas in the circuit when needed. To store electric charges, capacitors gather opposing charges on two conductive layers that are separated by a nonconductive material. Depending on the need and application, capacitors may be constructed with various characteristics to achieve different results.

Inductors are passive components like resistors and capacitors, and they store energy within a magnetic field that is produced when they are supplied with electric current. Inductors can be very simple in construction, such as a wire coil, and the size of their magnetic field is dictated by the number of windings present. With inductors, many electronics can block out interferences and unwanted signals, allowing them to operate more efficiently.

Integrated circuits, or ICs, are also common printed circuit board components. Typically coming in the size of semiconductor wafers, integrated circuits are what provide the ability to create common electronics such as calculators, smartphones, and supercomputers. For PCBs, integrated circuits serve as the brains of a larger circuit, and they will come with various contacts protruding from their body to make connection easy.

Transistors are another crucial component of printed circuit boards, and they are often considered the building block of all modern electronics, due to the fact that several billion transistors may be found on a single integrated circuit. While coming in various types and forms, most transistors provide the basic function of amplifying or switching electronic signals to control electrical power. 

To clock circuits with precise and stable timing, components such as crystal oscillators are highly useful for PCBs. Crystal oscillators are capable of generating a periodic electronic signal through a crystal to oscillate, and this allows for specific frequencies that can provide timing better than many other methods. Because of this, crystal oscillators are common time keeping components for microcontrollers and wristwatches.

Alongside the aforementioned components of PCB construction, PCBs contain many other parts such as diodes, switches, relays, and sensors, each playing their individual role to help the printed circuit board function for operation. When you are designing an electronic device or are in need of reliable electronic components for your operations, let the experts at Unlimited Purchase help you source everything you are searching for with ease. Unlimited Purchasing is an online distributor of IT hardware, offering customers access to an inventory of over 2 billion parts and components. Get started on the purchasing process today and receive a personalized quote when you fill out and submit an Instant RFQ.


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