printed circuit
  • An electronic circuit whose conducting paths are formed by strips, foils, pads, segments, or the like, as opposed to wires, and which is mounted on a suitable substrate such as an insulating board. The board is usually coated with a conductive material, such as copper, and a technique such as photolithography is utilized to deposit a protective layer on portions of the conductors, so as to form a specified pattern. The unprotected metal is then etched away, followed by the addition of the desired circuit components, such as chips, transistors, diodes, resistors, and capacitors. Printed circuits lend themselves to mass-production, and when a fault arises an entire board may be replaced without the need to trace the source of the problem.

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