Electronic circuits are also classified as analog or digital. Analog circuits work with signals that span a full range of values of voltages and currents, while digital circuits work with signals that are at prescribed levels to represent numerical digits. Analog signals generally are used for continuous-time processes, while digital ones most frequently occur where transistions are synchronized via a clock. However, there are situations where it is desirable to transfer between these two classes of signals, that is, where analog signals are needed to excite a digital circuit or where a digital signal is needed to excite an analog circuit. For example, it may be desired to feed a biomedically recorded signal, such as an electrocardiogram into a digital computer, or it may be desired to feed a digital computer output into an analog circuit, such as a temperature controller. For such cases, there are special electronic circuits, called analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters.
A flat board whose front contains slots for integrated circuit chips and connections for a variety of electronic components, and whose back is printed with electrically conductive pathways between the components. Also known as circuit board.
A plan, sketch, drawing, chart or graph, not necessarily representational, that explains, demonstrates or clarifies the arrangement and relationship of the parts to a whole.
The dimensions of printed circuit boards, the position of the hole centers, and the hole diameters are standardized. The boards are 10–360 mm long, 10–240 mm wide, and 0.05–3.0 mm thick (depending on the rigidity required). The spacing of the coordinate grid for marking the holes is 2.5 mm or, less frequently, 1.25 mm, and the hole diameters range from 0.2 to 3 mm. A distinction is made among one-sided, two-sided, and multilayer boards (up to 15 layers). Multilayer boards are made by using extended leads, by metallizing the walls of through holes, by molding two-sided boards in pairs, or by layer-by-layer buildup. The material most often used for printed circuit boards are metal-clad and plain Micarta and fiberglass laminates, reinforced fluorine plastic, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyamide, polycarbonate, and radioceramics.