What is IC PCB Board?

With the opportunities offered by Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), there is a possibility that you would classify everything found on the board as a PCB. However, there is a difference between the platform housing these components and the components.

One common interchanging that happens is the taking of an Integrated Circuit (IC) to be the same as the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). In reality, they are quite different, both in terms of the structural compositions and the features.

This article explains most of the things you wish to know about IC PCB board.

What is IC PCB Board?

Let us start by highlighting that this is a combination of two terms – IC and PCB. The former, Integrated Circuit (IC), is a collection of electronic components, which are combined in one package (IC) and soldered on the PCB. The Printed Circuit Board (PCB), on the other hand, is the powerhouse of the entire components found on the IC – including those components not mounted on the IC.

How Does an IC Work?

Now that we are clear on the major difference between the two, let’s now dissect how the IC works.

As mentioned, the Integrated Circuit (IC) is where some of the electronic components needed for electronic projects are mounted. Some of the components attached into the IC include but are not limited to:

  • Transistors
  • Capacitors and;
  • Resistors

Basically, the Integrated Circuit (IC) provides the platform for combining most of the electronic components and the connection of the same to serve a common purpose.

The Benefits of Installing ICs on PCBs

One of the major reasons for using IC PCB board is to enable the smooth flow of the components’ performance. Ideally, the IC combines and intertwines the functions of the electronic components, in the sense that you don’t necessarily need to make individual connections after the original connections.

In addition to the above, these are some of the additional reasons why you want to use the IC on a Printed Circuit Board:


The structural integration and combined performance of the electronic components is one major step towards the miniaturization of the performance of the PCB.

In this regard, the IC helps to loops these components and at the same time, creating a sort of microstructure that allows for the individual performances of each of those components’ circuitry functions.

Simplified Electronics Design

With the packing of the electronic components into one package, as well as the intertwining, it paves the way for a simplified approach to electronics design.

Extensive Applications/Usages

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) manufactured with ICs placed on them, tend to have a wide range of applications or uses.

Examples of some of the use cases are:

  • Remote control
  • Military and defense devices
  • Industrial applications
  • Telecommunication applications
  • Civil electronic equipment, such as computers, tape recorders and television sets.

ICs are Affordable

Since most of the needed electronic components are looped into one platform, it goes a long way to significantly reduce the costs of having these components placed separately.

Besides, other contributing factors to the cost-effectiveness are the operational amplifier circuit’s small zero drift, as well as the high gain.

Other attributes of an IC PCB board include the significant reduction on power usage, lower failure rate (when compared to the discrete circuit, and the improved reliability.

Common Formats for ICs

If you are working with an IC PCB board, there is a chance that it is a specific type of Integrated Circuit (IC).

Thus, understanding the different formats or forms of ICs will go a long to helping you understanding the workings. These are the common formats of Integrated Circuits (ICs):

Logic Gates

These gates are usually the “building blocks for ICs,” in the sense that they comprise some of the components needed for the circuit to function effectively.

It is typical of the logic gates to generate logical outputs and these outputs are often based on several input signals.

These are additional pieces of information about the logic gates’ working/functionality:

  • Most logic gates are optimized to work best with specific packages. Examples of the supported packages are SSOP, DIP, and System-on-a-Chip (SOIC).
  • Logic gates can also be used for specific purposes, such as creating basic logic circuitry, counters, shift registers, create timers and latches.

Voltage Regulators

You can find Integrated Circuits (ICs) made into voltage regulators, with the purpose of providing a constant Direct Current (DC) output, irrespective of the possible changes in the input of the Direct Current (DC).


Integrated Circuits (ICs) can also be made into microcontrollers, which are the ICs that combine a wide range of components, ranging from interfaces, microprocessors and memories.


Integrated Circuits (ICs) also aid in the performance of sensors. In this case, they aid the ability of the sensors to detect and function optimally.

It is pertinent to mention that the sensors modeled into ICs are commonly used for a wide range of motion detection capabilities in modern devices. These sensors range from gyroscopes, accelerometers and temperature sensors.

Timer ICs

Timer ICs are the Integrated Circuits (ICs) that provide accurate timing, typically by using anything between 50% and 100% duty cycles.

What Differentiates the IC from the PCB?

The big question is always “what makes the Integrated Circuit (IC) different from the Printed Circuit Board (PCB)?”

While the size is one differentiator (in the sense that the IC is smaller than the PCB), there are also a lot of other differentiators.

Here are some of the common differences between the IC and the PCB:

Placement Factor

How the IC and the PCB are placed has a role to play in differentiating them. The Integrated Circuit (IC), first of all, comprises of a variety of devices or components into one chip. At the end of the day, the miniaturization concept takes precedence to ensure that the IC’s footprint is reduced. As such, the IC is placed atop the PCB or mounted on a motherboard, while the PCB is the powerhouse that holds the IC and the components on it.

Damage and Replacement

When the IC or the PCB gets damaged, what happens? Due to the fact that the Integrated Circuit (IC) houses many components, its damage would lead to a replacement, since those components cannot be dismantled, repaired and fixed back on the chip.

On the other hand, the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) can have the damaged components repaired and fixed back to the board’s surface.

Final Words: ICs and PCBs are Different

To finalize the argument, there are lots of differences between the IC and the PCB and these differences include the reduced size of the IC, the lowered costs and the fact that the PCB’s primary function is to connect both the discrete components and the IC to form a broader circuitry.

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