Through the years, the PCB industry developed various technologies of manufacturing circuit boards. Along with the inventions of these technologies are the introductions of different types of printed circuit board. As the fabrication technology becomes more and more sophisticated, the PCBs created are getting smaller, smarter and faster than their predecessors.
We group these PCBs into three main categories. Each category contains one to three sub-types that we use today in manufacturing and assembling your circuit boards.
According to the mounting technology used
We use two assembly methods. These are the surface mounting and the thru-the-hole methods. A thru-the-hole method output is a single-sided circuit board. This method is the oldest assembly where it requires pre-drilling of holes to the circuit boards. Before, PCB manufacturers limit the use of through the hole mounting to prototypes creation and heavy duty equipment. The reason is the better and stronger bond of the components into the board. This makes the board withstand the most tremendous environment stress.
However, the invention of laser machines made drilling even the smallest holes possible. We can drill holes onto the PCBs for up to 3 mils. This possibility reintroduces through the hole technology to the assembly of wearables and similar products. As a result, we can manufacture PCBs with the longest service life and best performance.
The second method of assembly is the surface mounting technology. The output of this method is a single-sided or double-sided board. This method makes use of the both sides of the copper tracks and requires surface pads to temporarily attach the components on the printed circuit board. After component placement, the re-flow process melts the solder paste and establishes the electrical connections.
According to Thickness of the Board
High density interconnect is the newest addition to the PCB industry. It combines the two assembly methods, where drilling of holes or vias and micro vias interconnect the layers of the board. On the other hand, we use the surface mount technology to place components.
With the HDI technology, we can produce highly compact PCBs, where one PCB contains hundreds of integrated circuits, capacitors and other electrical components. This achieved component’s density makes the PCB multi functional, which is the number one requirement in telecommunication products. We can produce PCBs with single or multiple layers.
Single-layered PCBs are the most common. These consist of one rigid and one copper layer. The rigid layer is usually fiberglass or phenolic resin. For a more complex functionality than a single layered PCB can offer, we make double-layered PCBs, where they contain one rigid layer in between two copper tracks. The last type of PCB in this category is the multi-layered boards. These boards contain alternating rigid layer and copper tracks. A PCB can contain up to 12 layers but still look thin and light.
According to the Flexibility
With the HDI technology, we can create compact and lightweight electronic printed circuit board. We combine rigid and flexible boards and still come up with high-tech products.
Know What You Need
Given the different types of PCB available, and the various ways in which they’re classified, one thing should be clear – anyone who’s planning to have these technological necessities made should be completely sure of what they require.
While the typical ordering process does involve several steps, reducing the chances of getting the wrong one made, there’s still a chance of making a mistake – especially if the design itself is flawed or not entirely suitable for its intended purpose. So, it would really pay off to have your designs evaluated by others who are equally knowledgeable. Of course, it would be better to have them checked by veteran enthusiasts or those with expert knowledge.
Once you’re completely sure about your schematic, you’re ready to move on to the next step – getting with touch with a reputable manufacturer. We, at pcbnet.com, know how important it is to deliver PCBs that completely match the designs provided to us by our clients. After all, one minor mistake could lead to wasted resources – and that includes both time and money, aside from the materials that would simply go to waste (assuming that repairs aren’t an option).
If you’d like to know more about us and our legacy in the printed circuit board industry, simply head on to our website at pcbnet.com.