PCBs are the core element of modern electronic devices. At the outset, mostly single and double-layered PCBs were used but now developers have put their maximum focused on manufacturing multilayer PCBs to satisfy the needs and demands of customers. The basic difference between a single or double-layer PCB and a multilayer PCB, as the names indicate, is the number of conductive layers present in each PCB. Since modern and sophisticated electronic devices warrant more resilient and multi-functional PCBs, so the businesses are quickly transforming towards multilayer PCBs as more layers empower them to withstand tough industrial conditions like high temperature, pressure, and severe vibrations. Other than that, multilayer PCBs are better quality than traditional PCBs.
Multilayer PCBs are being widely used in domestic, industrial, and commercial applications as they offer a myriad of advantages over simple, and single-layered PCBs. Since the turn of the century, the ever-increasing demand for smaller, and faster electronic components has increased manifold and it warranted the development of PCBs that can achieve the requirements of the customers. It would not be wrong to say that PCB developers have done a commendable job in designing smaller, lighter, more durable, and reliable PCBs that can easily fit into modern electronic appliances of every size and kind ranging from military equipment and medical devices to aerospace and telecommunication, and many more. Simply put, the introduction of multilayer PCBs to the field of electronics have made our lives easier and better. We will discuss some conspicuous advantages of multilayer PCBs in this article.
What is a Multi-Layer PCB?
A Printed Circuit Board having more than 3 layers of conductive material, normally of copper owing to its high conductivity, arranged over each other at the center. This increases the conductive surface area that provides a better wire connection, and high density offers more mechanical support to the device. During its working, excessive heat is generated that can melt the layers, so an insulating layer is placed between the conductive layers. The total number of layers in a multilayer PCB varies depending on the needs and requirements of the customers. Normally, they come in 3-12 layers, but PCBs as thick as 50 layers have also been designed to carry out specific purposes. The more the number of layers, the more will be the price.
Benefits of Multilayer PCBs
Because of their functional versatility, and the multitude of benefits they offer, they have become an important component of almost all the modern electronic devices. Some of the benefits of using multi-layer PCBs are;
- Single Connection Point
In a traditional single or double-layered PCB, each layer requires a separate connection and more the number of layers, more is the number of connections. Not only is such structure expensive, but it also increases the number of potential wire failures. On the other hand, all the layers on a multilayer PCB have a single connection source, rather than having multiple connections and that is why multilayer PCBs are preferred for modern, and high-functioning electronic devices having a smaller size and less weight.
- Provide Better Functional Capacity
Multilayer PCBs give the configuration of a single layer PCBs as all the layers are stacked into a single, high-density assembly. It significantly improves the electrical and mechanical properties of the circuit, higher conductivity, and less potential wire failure points increase their functional capacity and to perform complex industrial, and commercial processes at remarkably high speeds.
Less Connection / Less Weight
Multilayer PCBs have an added benefit of reduced since layers are stacked over each other. While in single or double-layered PCBs, a connector is required for each layer that adds to the weight of the final product. All modern appliances need lightweight components to enhance mobility and functionality. For instance, developers have been able to evolve electronic appliances like mobiles, laptops, computers, etc. into smaller and better versions because of the availability of lightweight multilayer PCBs.
- Used for Rigid, Flexible, or Both PCBs
Multilayer PCBs can be designed into rigid, flexible, and rigid-flex PCBs. Modern-day rigid and flexible PCBs consist of multiple layers to improve electrical conductivity. Depending on the need, developers add the number of layers for each PCB.
- Enhanced Durability
Better planning in their design, and reduced size and weight render them highly effective in dealing with complex commercial processes. They can withstand high temperature, pressure, and tough industrial applications, unlike single or double layered PCB. It makes the former an ideal choice to be used for sophisticated applications like aerospace, fast computers, and sophisticated military equipment. That is why more and more industries are transforming towards multilayer PCBs from single and double-layered PCBs.
- Increased Functionality Versatility
Multilayer PCBs have the ability to perform a number of operations at the same time. It is rendered possible due to the presence of multiple layers that increase surface area for connecting various electrical components and allows multilayer PCBs to execute diverse functions.
- Smaller in Size
As mentioned earlier, conductive layers are closely packed to increase the density of the final product. Because of single-source connection, they are relatively small in size and can be fixed easily into smaller, and smart electronic appliances. The ever-increasing demand for smaller appliances has provided a stimulus to the production of multilayer PCBs that not only increase mobility but also improve the quality and workability of the device.
Because of these and many other pronounced benefits, multilayer PCBs have become ubiquitous in electronic devices ranging from consumer electronics, computer electronics, and simple domestic appliances to multi-functioning gadgets and smart devices.
To conclude, it would not be wrong to argue that multilayer PCBs offer a wide range of benefits over a regular single or double-layered PCB. They require considerable effort and time in their designing process and cost a bit more but their long-life, high durability, and reliability, and functional versatility make them cost-effective PCBs in the long term. No wonder, their demand has witnessed exponential growth in the last decade or so.