Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetHardwareOther - Hardware · 2 months ago

How does a motherboard "just" work? ?

I know that a motherboard allows all the other parts of your computer to receive power. But how exactly do layers of copper make it function?

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    There are basically wires or tracings that connect the parts together on the motherboard. 

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  • 2 months ago

    in Simple terms Mobos are nothing more than a system of wires and computing chips  built into the board. Some wires send power, some send instructions. Think of the CPU as the brain and the board as the body with the veins and nerves connected to the vital organs like the video card, sound chips, and USB chips.

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  • 2 months ago

    The others tell how the computer will use the board. But I tell how the board is made.

    Computer aided designers draw the circuits that might be on the motherboard layers (sometimes 6 layers, sometimes more). Some layers are insulators, some are conductors.  Large areas of copper act as heat sinks.  Holes are "plated through" to conduct signals between layers and sides, and provide connection points for some items that have large power, like sockets for plugs and wires.  Most smaller items are "surface mounted" or glued into position over copper pads.  The parts are made with a tiny bit of solder which will melt from a short blast of hot air or an infrared laser beam.

    The "printing" of the printed circuits on fiberglass boards is done by photography.  The master film is made from the computer designer drawings of lines and pads and holes.  It is a photograph in black items on clear plastic sheets.  A board with copper on it is coated in "photo resist" that reacts to a strong light.  The light exposes the design onto the chemical layer, just like black and white photos in a darkroom of a photographer's studio.  The exposed board is developed the same way, chemicals removing the "photo-resist" where light struck.  The remaining "black" items of circuit wires, pads and holes are protected by the unexposed but fixed photo-resist.  An acid bath removes all the other copper from the board.  That is just one layer. More layers are done the same way, stacking them up.  In the end, labels are silk screened on, and a computerized drill puts the holes through where they are supposed to be with great precision of location. A computer with thousands of pinpoint connectors feels each critical position and verifies the board will work.

    Parts are inserted or glued onto the cleaned board, many times on only one side.  The board rides a carriage that dips just the back side into the hot tin-lead solder and up again to cool quickly.  The board is tested in a "burn-in rack" for several hours.  Anywhere from a single board to identical thousands are made like that.  Some factories turn them out with no human contact--all robotic handling.

    Source(s): Manufacturing engineer for an electronics company. Designed boards, and the computer designed pads for surface mounted parts. Taught CADD classes in college. Using computer boards since 1962, building desktops and repairing them.
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  • 2 months ago

    Lots more to it than just layers of copper. It "just" works because an engineer designed it to.

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  • 2 months ago

    The copper is just connecting wires.

    What makes it work are all the other components on the motherboard:

    The "chipset" integrated circuits which contain dozens of peripherals & allows the hard drive/ssd, USB devices, the keyboard and mouse etc. to work

    The RAM - the computers working memory system.

    The BIOS ROM, that contains the initial startup and configuration programs.

    Plus voltage regulators that reduce 12V from the main PSU to the volt or so the CPU itself runs on.

    A PC needs power, a CPU plus RAM, ROM, mass storage and input/output peripherals to be able to start itself up, load an operating system and function as people expect.

    The motherboard holds or interconnects all the various pieces.

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  • 2 months ago

    They are printed circuits. They used to make circuit using real wires and soldering them on the board but now they are just printed on.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The copper serves as wires between the various components. To make one layer, first the board is covered entirely with copper, the copper is (in one method) coated with a protective stencil material in the shape of the 'wires', and the board is washed in acid to remove the unwanted copper leaving the traces behind. Holes are drilled in strategic locations to allow multiple layers to be connected to each other.

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  • 2 months ago

    There's a lot of other stuff besides just copper. Capacitors, resistors, semiconductors, etc... 

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