What is a Multi-layer PCB?

In a multi-layer PCB, two or more circuit boards are bonded together into one unit, with conductive plates or through holes used to interconnect each layer of the circuit. Most such PCBs have between four and eight layers, however, they may have as few as two and as many as 50. Almost all circuit boards produced today are multi-layer. There benefits have been very recognizable since the first multi-layer board was produced in 1961. To learn more about multi-layer PCBs, click here.

There are plenty of benefits that go along with using a multi-layer PCB, space saving being the most apparent. Dual-sided, single-layer PCBs offer separate, limited functions while multi-layer PCBs house a great deal of components in an extremely small area. Being able to put that much power in such a small space was one of the driving factors in the micro computer revolution. Multi-layer PCBs are designed in such a way that the components on the board are easily shielded from each other and exterior electrical sources. There is no need to use wires to connect each component since they all are on the same circuit board. Cooling components are another area where multi-layer PCBs will save some space. A heat sink is what is used to cool down a PCB. Since all of the components on a multi-layer PCB are so close together, only 1 heat sink is necessary, unless you have a really hot component which may require an additional heat sink. Ironically, the heat sinks can often be the most unwieldy part of the entire board. Click here to learn more about multi-layer PCBs.

Price is a major disadvantage of Multi-layer PCBs. Because they were so expensive to manufacture and repair, multi-layer PCBs were primarily used in military applications and major commercial applications. Lately, manufacturing processes have become more streamlined which has reduced their prices. Since prices have declined, small companies and hobbyists now have the ability to build a prototype PCB that could allow for the construction of many units. Multi-layer PCBscan be found in just about any electronic device. Now that processes for manufacturing are more precise, we are more than likely going to see these boards get more and more layers, and be inserted into more and more commercial applications. Learn more about multi-layer PCBs by clicking here.


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