Circuits can be constructed of discrete components connected by individual pieces of wire, but today it is much more common to create interconnections by photolithographic techniques on a laminated substrate (a printed circuit board or PCB) and solder the components to these interconnections to create a finished circuit. In an integrated circuit or IC, the components and interconnections are formed on the same substrate, typically a semiconductor such as silicon or (less commonly) gallium arsenide.
An electronic circuit can usually be categorized as an analog circuit, a digital circuit, or a mixed-signal circuit (a combination of analog circuits and digital circuits).
Breadboards, perfboards, and stripboards are common for testing new designs. They allow the designer to make quick changes to the circuit during development.