Miniaturization in the electronics industry is an ongoing trend. Devices are getting smaller and more sophisticated. The best example are mobile phones, just a few years ago mobile phones were much larger and less functional. This development poses new challenges for developers and those who will eventually produce the first prototypes. Here, the components and their placement on the circuit board play only a minor role in the beginning. It is crucial how the PCB prototype can be produced for first samples, taking into consideration that the PCB should be as small as possible. Of course, these PCBs can also be ordered from an external service provider, but there is the possibility of producing them in-house in a time-saving manner, without the transfer of know-how to the outside. Multilayer technology is a great option, because it allows the laying of conductor paths in “depth”.
Technically speaking, a double-sided PCB is already a multilayer, but generally these PCBs only start with three layers. The use of multilayer PCBs has advantages. For example, the routing possibilities are extended, conductor track lengths are shortened, the number of vias is reduced, the conductor tracks between SMD pads are on one layer, through-hole plating is minimized, better grounding and power supply lines are made possible and noise and crosstalk are reduced. Furthermore, and this is crucial, more components can be placed on a reduced PCB area. As the components are closer together, the conductor tracks are shorter, allowing for higher frequencies. Due to the larger surface area, the return paths for the signals are also shorter. Due to the larger power supply areas, supply voltage is available everywhere on the board, even at multiple voltages.
These circuit boards can be manufactured in-house. The multilayers are produced in three simple steps: structuring, pressing, through-hole plating. The outer layers of the multilayer consist of single-sided structured PCBs, while the inner layers consist of double-sided coated material. Insulating layers, so-called prepregs, are inserted between the conductive layers. Up to four layers can be through-plated without using chemicals. If up to eight layers are to be electrically connected, galvanic through-hole plating is recommended.
Do you have questions regarding this matter?
Your contact person: Lars Führmann
Company: LPKF Laser & Electronics