Signals are exchanged between multiple gadgets in today’s computerised and mobile-activated society. Communication between two or more circuit boards is required for each command to be carried out. Without gold fingers and gold electroplating service, which function as connecting contacts between motherboards and components such as graphics or sound cards, none of this would be possible.
The technology utilised to convey these signals and orders represents a significant advancement over prior electronics, which often consisted of separate units that were difficult to connect. The processes of one circuit board are promptly read by the primary processing board using the gold electroplating service through gold fingers.
Processes related to this cutting-edge technology can be found in both the public and private sectors. Signals are transferred between various equipment and machines in the manufacturing industry to carry out several processes, many of which could not be carried out by human hands. Numerous commands are completed by computer-prompted machinery at auto-assembly facilities and food-packaging plants, most of which use circuit boards of various sizes.
Gold fingers and gold electroplating service are responsible for many of today’s industrial operations. So, what are they and why are they so crucial to computer technology’s inner workings?
WHAT ARE GOLD FINGERS?
The gold-plated columns that run along the connecting edges of printed circuit boards are known as gold fingers (PCBs). Gold fingers are used to connect a supplementary PCB to the computer’s motherboard. PCB gold fingers are also found in various other digital-signalling devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches. Because of the alloy’s more excellent conductivity, a gold electroplating service is employed for the connecting points and a PCB.
In the PCB gold finger plating method, two types of gold can be used:
ENIG (Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold) is less expensive and easier to solder than electroplated gold. However, ENIG’s soft, thin nature (usually 2-5u) makes it unsuited for the abrasive impacts of circuit board insertion and removal.
Hard gold electroplating service: This gold is solid (hard) and thick (usually 30u”), making it more suited to the abrasive impacts of continual PCB use.
Different circuit boards can communicate with one another thanks to the gold electroplating service. For a specific command to be carried out, signals must pass through numerous contacts from the power source to the device or equipment.
The signal will transit between one or more circuit boards after you push a command before being read. When you push a remote command on a mobile device, for example, the signal is delivered from the PCB-enabled device in your hand to a nearby or distant machine, which receives the signal with its circuit board.
The plating of gold fingers entails a series of precise stages. This ensures that every circuit board that leaves the factory is adequately equipped to conduct signals without error. The plating process’s standards also aid in providing a flawless fit between each circuit board’s gold fingers and the corresponding slots on a given motherboard.
Each PCB must pass a series of inspections and defect testing to verify that all of these fingers and slots fit together perfectly. The results will not be suitable for commercial release if the gold plating on a circuit board lacks smoothness or adheres insufficiently to the surface.
The plating process must be carried out in steps, with the surrounding details of the board being completed first, for the PCB gold fingers to come together. Nickel is placed over the copper when it comes time to plate the fingers. The final step is to apply the surface finish. After everything has set, the board is examined with a magnifying lens, and adhesion tests are performed.
HOW ARE GOLD FINGERS USED?
Connecting contacts between two adjacent PCBs are made with gold fingers. Aside from its electrical conductivity, gold electroplating service serves to preserve the connecting edges from wear over time. Gold fingers allow a PCB to be joined, detached, and reconnected up to 1,000 times in a matching slot due to the strength of hard gold at its prescribed thickness.
Gold fingers serve a variety of purposes. You’ll find many peripherals that connect to the computer using PCB gold fingers in every given computer setup. The following are some of the most common uses for gold fingers:
Interconnection points: The connection between a secondary PCB and the primary motherboard is made using one of the numerous female slots, such as a PCI, ISA, or AGP slot. The gold fingers transport signals between a peripheral device or an internal card and the computer itself through these slots.
Special adapters: Gold fingers allow you to improve the performance of your computer in a variety of ways. A computer can give better graphics and high-fidelity sound using auxiliary PCBs that slot perpendicular to the motherboard. Because these cards are rarely un- and re-attached, the gold fingers usually outlast the card.
External connections: PCB gold fingers connect the motherboard to the peripherals that have been installed to a computer station. Speakers, subwoofers, scanners, printers, and monitors are connected to the computer tower via specialised slots. These slots, in turn, are connected to the motherboard through PCBs.
The relevant device’s card must be connected to a power supply to function. All of this is made possible by the fingers and their matching slots on the motherboard. The power to run and give modern-day functionality to remote and stationary computing devices is provided by gold fingers on module PCBs.
The PCB system’s flexibility, which allows different slots to connect other cards, will enable you to upgrade the same computer every five or ten years. When a sound or graphics card is updated, you can remove the old one from your motherboard and replace it with the newer, better version. The PCB gold fingers have remained the common connection contact during each upgrade.
PBC gold fingers are utilised as connecting contacts in computerised industrial machines, in addition to personal computers. Internal cards that link to a significant source of power by gold fingers can be found in enormous arsenals of mechanised equipment like those found at a pressing plant or automotive manufacturing. Gold finger cards, for example, power factory robot arms, can perform a variety of moves.
Because gold is a precious metal, it is not an inexpensive option for industrial use, hence the industrial gold plating process is costly. This is why Smart Microns provides a zero-waste gold electroplating service with the lowest gold-to-surface-area ratio possible.