Multilayer Printed Circuit Boards | Advantages & Disadvantages
Last Updated on September 27, 2021
What is a Multilayer PCB?
A multilayer printed circuit board has at least 3 layers of conductive material with each layer separated by heat-protective insulation. The interconnections between different layers are achieved with the aid of vias such as plated through holes, blind and buried vias. By utilizing the approach of multilayer designing highly intricate and complex printed circuit boards of different sizes can be designed.
What are the benefits of using Multilayer PCBs?
The multilayer PCBs are mostly used in smartphones and computers. As compared to a single-sided or double-sided PCB a multilayer PCB has got several advantages or benefits associated with it:
- Since multiple layers are included and incorporated in a single board; the functionality of a PCB can be increased to the desired level.
- The multilayer PCBs have got greater assembly density as compared to single-sided or double-sided PCBs.
- With the addition of more layers on top of each other the size of the PCB can be decreased; thereby reducing the amount of space needed for the installation of the same.
- High capacity and high speed are the default attributes of a multilayered PCB. It is like a tremendous amount of power stored in a small box.
- When we use multiple different PCBs; connectors are utilized to join them together. However, there is no such requirement in case of multi-layer PCBs. Hence, putting up a multi-layer PCB to work is a simple process and doesn’t take much time as compared to the single-sided and double-sided PCBs. Moreover, with the elimination of connectors, the extra weight of the final product is reduced.
- Electromagnetic interference shielding can be done more effectively in a multilayered PCB.
- Both rigid boards, as well as the flexible board, can be employed to create multi layered PCBs.
Multilayered PCBs | Are there any disadvantages?
However, with advantages; disadvantages or limitations are bound to come. Following are some of the disadvantages of multilayered PCBs:
- First and the major disadvantage is the cost. It is understandable that the cost required in the production of multilayered PCBs will be high as compared to producing single-sided or double-sided PCB due to specialized processes involved in manufacturing and fabricating.
- As the multilayer PCBs are smaller in size the issues of crosstalk or impedance can become a major frustration for a PCB designer to resolve. Moreover, when designing a multilayered PCB the interconnection between different layers need to be carefully set up; otherwise, if done improperly, the effectiveness and working of the entire PCB could be hampered.
- The testing phase of the multilayer PCB, undoubtedly, takes more time due to the complexity of the structure. Also, the manufacturing process of the same takes more time.
- In most cases, when damaged, repairing a multi layered PCB can become too hectic and tedious of a task. Hence, in most cases instead of repairing; replacement is deemed as the best option.
If the multilayer PCB is designed and manufactured carefully, certainly, the disadvantages can be easily taken care of. No doubt, these multilayered boards are in huge demand. They are being used in healthcare equipment, military devices, home automation and much more.