What Is PCB Motherboard - A Detailed Guide on Design, Purpose and Applications

What is PCB motherboard – a detailed guide on design, purpose and applications

Are you familiar with the term – PCB motherboard? Not sure what it is or what’s its purpose? Gladly, you have come to the right place. 

PCB motherboard is an extensively used module in the latest electrical pieces of equipment. From smartphones to workstations, many appliances need a PCB motherboard. Hence, it is wise to understand the term. 

In this blog, we will discuss PCB motherboard and its functionality. Moreover, you will get answers to your questions regarding its purpose, design, and application.

Table of Contents

What is PCB motherboard?

A PCB motherboard is built to ensure communication between various electronic parts. Usually, it is built in various layers with a minimum of four. A large board may have up to 14 layers of fiberglass, copper planes, and copper connecting traces. Additionally, they contain various chips, passives, and connectors. Sometimes, they are also referred to as the main board, logic board, system board, or planar board.

PCB Motherboard

Let’s make it easy for you! Most likely you know that computers are installed with a PCB motherboard that holds electronic parts such as graphic cards. Not only it holds components, but it bridges between them. For instance, it ensures communication between the memory (RAM) and CPU. If it wasn’t for the motherboard, it was difficult to have these modern computing machines.

How does a PCB motherboard work?

The motherboard is the most essential component of electrical appliances that bridges the device’s components. It allows them to communicate with each other and function properly. Generally, there is a heatsink or fan to control the heat generated by other components. Moreover, it allows additional connectivity through a Southbridge chip or other technology. Depending on the design and purpose, it works differently.

What are the PCB motherboard components?

PCB Motherboard Components

A motherboard is called a main board or primary board because it can hold various components. Here are a few components that you may witness on a motherboard:

  • CPU: From computers to smartphones, many electrical appliances have a CPU and it is installed on the motherboard.
  • Memory: A component to temporarily store data and instructions.
  • Storage: A hard disk or solid-state drive is also an essential component for data storage.
  • Northbridge Chipset: It connects storage, memory, CPU, and other components.
  • Southbridge Chipset: It connects to Northbridge and connects peripheral elements to the motherboard.
  • Power Connector: Connects you with external power to supply energy to use the device. Moreover, it also charges the battery if included.
  • Battery: When the main power is not available, the backup battery keeps the system running.
  • Connectors for Peripheral Devices: These connectors are essential to attach external devices such as USBs.
  • Peripheral Connector Slots: For adding communication adapters, graphic cards, and other peripheral cards, the connector slots are vital.

What is the difference between motherboard and PCB?

A PCB (printed circuit board) is a printed board that contains copper traces. It may or may not have components.

However, a motherboard is a PCB that always has PCB components. Sometimes, these components are known as daughter boards. Usually, a motherboard has various PCBs installed on it including Ram, CPU, and more.

To summarize, every motherboard is actually a PCB, but every PCB is not a motherboard.

What are the purpose and applications of a PCB motherboard?

Purpose and applications of a PCB motherboard

A PCB motherboard is the central communication connectivity point in electric devices. Consider it the backbone of most appliances. Usually, an electric circuit is also designed on this board.
When it comes to its applications, there are many examples. Here are a few of them:

LED Projector
LED projectors have newly invented PCB boards that are different than conventional main boards. They stand out in their characteristics and applications. Moreover, they function differently.

PCB motherboards for keyboards are extremely receptive in comparison to other PCB motherboards. They are mostly built with platinum. To ensure optimum performance, they should never come in contact with liquids. Moreover, you must not place weight over them.

Smartphones have similar PCB motherboards to computers. However, they are lightweight, have finer circuitry, and are smaller in size.

Television has a PCB motherboard which contains electrical circuits and components. It ensures smooth operation without any issues.

PCB motherboard design

A PCB motherboard is designed in many layers using fiberglass, copper, and other materials. Commonly, it contains electrical circuits as well. To attach electric components, it has pads that are electrically conductive. Between the fiberglass layers, you will witness copper lines that connect pads and holes. These copper lines ensure electrical connections between attached components. This is a generic design guideline. However, the actual design varies a lot depending on its application.

How to choose a motherboard for your electronics projects?

The exact answer to this question depends on your project. First of all, you need to identify your needs. What type of components you need to add to the motherboard is the most essential question.

How to choose a motherboard for your electronics projects

For instance, when choosing a motherboard for a PC, you need to know about the CPU, sockets, chipsets, and more. Similarly, you can write down your requirements for the electronic project and then choose a PCB motherboard that meets your demands.

How to choose a reliable processing factory for your PCB motherboard?

Choosing a trustable processing factory is extremely vital to ensure you get the best product. Here are a few things to consider before you choose a factory for your motherboards.

  • Get information regarding their rate of production. Can they even manage to supply you with products as per your demands?
  • Learn about their manufacturing stages and quality control. It ensures that you don’t get a defective product.
  • How much do they charge as compared to other vendors? Obviously, the cost is an essential factor when choosing a supplier.
  • Find out how they interact with their customers.

Based on these three factors, you can organize a list of producers. Now, you can select a factory that meets your needs.

We hope you like our brief guide regarding PCB motherboards. If you have any questions, please send us an email or comment below.

A PCB motherboard is built to ensure communication between various electronic parts. Usually, it is built in various layers with a minimum of four.


A PCB (printed circuit board) is a printed board that contains copper traces. It may or may not have components.However, a motherboard is a PCB that always has components.

  • LED Projector
  • Keyboard
  • Smartphone
  • Television
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