Science fiction movies and novels will never be complete without the fancy gadgets or biochemical created by technology higher than what is existent today. Usually, either of the protagonist and antagonist in the story holds the ultimate weapon unknown to other people. The same story can be seen in World War II when the United States of America national army used the early printed circuit board technology on a large scale to make proximity fuses in production of highly integrated explosives and communication equipment which gave them a great leverage to win against their enemies.
Printed circuit board technology was not yet widely known by then and other nations in opposition are just starting to incorporate the new invention in their war weapons. It truly sounds like a Sci-fi movie especially when one will be able to put himself in the position of people living on that particular period. After the war, the USA let the invention be used for commercial purposes so as to abate the effects of the past wars. This has led to further PCB innovations and development to make various designs fit for different kinds of devices, appliances and machines.
In addition, there are quite a number of ironic and political issues about a PCB technology dating back to the Pre and Post World War that most people are not aware of:
- A so-called German proximity fuse is the same PBS component that completes up the explosives thrown on Germany during the World War II. Quite ironic.
- An American inventor was the first one to conduct an experiment, a German inventor was the first one to describe it, but an English man was the first one to get it patented. This is a politically inspired angle.
- An Austrian engineer was the first one to develop an operational printed circuit as a part of radio set but a Hungarian born employee was the one who had been able to create the first Electronic Circuit Equipment that could produce three radios per minute.
- While the opposing armies after war are seething with plot of revenge, Americans use the invention to tackle in the war of business. They had been the first to attack with the same weapon for another time around.
These are just few among the irony that can be found in looking back at the past. Apparently, the battle is not yet over as the mechanics has only shifted from base bombing to marketing wars and the weapons have changed from guns into product innovations.
Today, printed circuit board invention has even more developed into something a more efficient component than those which are used during the World War I and II. From being used for destruction, PBCs are now utilized to build a better living. The use of printed circuit board has become common and usual among people and only a handful of them who do not belong in technology industry could appreciate it. Looking toward the future in a thorough observation of the latest developments at present, PCBs of much smaller sizes but fully packed micro-components could be expected to possibly emerge as gadgets become smaller and lighter and different home or industrial devices and machines be enabled to perform multiple tasks. Devices that could perform more efficient than what we have today could possibly emerge in different industries.
There are many speculations among technology enthusiast and young scientists of today. But one thing is for sure: the men and women behind the discovery and early development of PCB technology have also imagined and foreseen the present time and even the days farther beyond this generation. They are the early visionaries of printed circuit board technology.