PCBs power many industries and devices in our society. As our technology develops, so does our need for different types of PCBs. As you choose between a single layer and multilayer PCB, the options might seem overwhelming. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each option before you invest in a new PCB. Here are some of the benefits of purchasing a multilayer PCB over a single layer design.
What Is a Multilayer PCB?
First, it’s important to understand what a multilayer PCB is and how it is manufactured.
A single layer PCB has one layer of conductive material. You’ll find a conductive wiring pattern mounted on one side of the board and components on the other. Single layer PCBs are commonly used in simple devices since none of the wires can cross for the circuit to work correctly. A double-sided PCB is similar, functioning with more layers than a single layer board but with fewer than a multilayer PCB. They have only one dielectric layer and feature a layer of conductive metal on both sides.
Multilayer boards, on the other hand, are more complex than a single layer or double-sided PCB. A multilayer PCB has three or more layers of conductive material. Other layers, often copper foil, stack on top of this core.
To learn more about the difference between single layer and multilayer PCBs, read our blog post: Single-Sided vs Double-Sided vs Multilayer PCBs.
Millennium Circuits is a leading supplier of multilayer PCBs. We understand how they’re created, starting with the core. Each layer added after that is not fully cured. This is so that the manufacturer can adjust them in relation to the core. After that, foil goes on and can get alternated with additional layers through a lamination process. It’s essential to use pressure and high-temperature techniques to combine the layers and safely melt them together.
Single Layer vs. Multilayer PCBs
There are many benefits of multilayer PCBs. Overall, these boards are smaller and lighter, which make them perfect for smartphones or computers, or any other product that needs versatility packed in a smaller frame. Here are a few specific benefits:
- You get a greater degree of functionality with multilayer PCBs thanks to the various layers.
- The high assembly density means you get a longer life out of your board.
- The construction is simpler when you don’t need connectors for multiple separate PCBs.
- Rigid testing processes during the manufacturing stage mean you’ll get a high-quality, efficient product.
- The electrical properties in multilayer PCBs give you greater speed than a single layer board.
- Depending on how many layers you choose to add, multilayer PCBs are often great for rigid and flexible construction.
In contrast, while single-layer PCBs are highly useful in some applications, they also have some downsides that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are some of the cons of single-layer boards:
- Because wires cannot cross, single layer boards are mainly ideal for simple electronic devices and don’t offer as much versatility in their use.
- While they cost less to manufacture, single layer PCBs don’t last as long as multilayer ones, meaning they’re less cost-effective overall.
- Single layer PCBs are incapable of reaching the fast speeds of their multilayer counterparts.
- Boards with a single layer are confined in their circuit design, as they have only one side conductor, and each line needs its own path.
While single layer PCBs are an acceptable choice for low-density designs, the properties of multilayer PCBs make them the best option for many industries looking for a more durable and versatile option.
Uses of Multilayer PCBs
Many industries and products can use and benefit from multilayer PCBs, especially since it’s durable, functional and lightweight. Here are a few products that often use these boards:
- Heart monitors
- Fire alarms
- GPS and satellite systems
- Industrial controls
As you can see from the list, these boards get used for a variety of different purposes. At Millennium Circuits, we supply multilayer PCBs to a wide range of industries, from medical instrumentation to testing services. All different industries can utilize multilayer PCBs to accomplish a greater degree of speed, reliability and more.
Pick More Layers
If you’re debating between a single layer or a multilayer PCB, it’s important to keep in mind what you’ll use it for. If you can get by with a single layer, then choose that. However, if you need something slimmer with a longer life and increased durability, purchase a multilayer PCB.
Contact Millennium Circuits today for more information about our PCBs and which one is the best for you.