The continued push for students to enter into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields should not be a surprise. In a time when circuit board prototyping and PCB design and layouts are in high demand, STEM students are preparing for a future in technology that we may not even be able to imagine today.
Many fields, in fact, are dependent upon continued developments in circuit board prototyping and quick turn PCP prototypes. From future design advancements for cell phones to the simple PCB manufacturing that is needed for television and car starter remotes, the future will be dependent upon not only the number of students going into the STEM fields, but also the continued development of prototype circuit boards.
Consider some of these statistics about the printed circuit board industry and how it impacts the development of current and future technologies:
- Sometimes called an IC or microchip, an integrated circuit is one kind of circuit assembly. Another common method is a hybrid circuit, that combines two or more kinds of circuits.
- Silk screen printing, liquid photo imaging, and ink jet printing are the three methods used to print circuit board legends, a process which involves the component designators, switch settings, test points, and other indications helpful in assembling, testing and servicing circuit boards.
- Used for 16 Mil pitch and below and for Micro BGA’s, framed stencils have smooth aperture walls.
- A major advantage of surface mount PCBs is that they are up to one-tenth the size of the more basic and standard through-hole circuits.
- Performance problems from environmental stresses or problems caused by the manufacturer during the production process are the two factors that are most often linked to PCB failure.
- By the year 2011, the global printed circuit board market is projected to reach an $72.6 billion.
Whether you have been in the technology industry your whole life or you are looking at pursuing a career in the STEM field, chances are at least some of the work you are or will be doing will rely on PCB designs and prototypes. From starting the cars that we drive to relying on the direction of safety signals, PCB technology is an important part of every consumer’s day as well.