Tag Archives: PCB Design

Flexible Circuit PCB Assembly

Flexible Circuit PCB Assembly

It can be tricky to figure out what you need to know about flexible circuits assembly, especially since it’s not something many people are familiar with or have experience with. Flexible electronic assembly is one of the most innovative and useful circuit boards in the electronics world since it allows you to make low-profile electronic devices with multiple electronic components.
The Circuit board has different types, including a standard or rigid PCB, a flex PCB, and a flex-rigid PCB. Besides, these circuit boards are further divided into single-layer PCBs, double-layer PCBs, and multilayer PCBs.
A flexible circuit board has a flexible base, but the components are just like a rigid circuit board. However, you can turn a flex PCB into any shape while using it which means it is easy to bend.The following article will help you learn everything you need to know about flexible smt assembly so that you can get started working on your designs right away.
Before we move to the assembly of a flex PCB, we want to discuss its applications.

FPCB Applications

The FPCB is a vital part of electronic products that we use daily, such as desktop printers, hard disks, and several other devices. You would see the use of a flex circuit board in the below industries.

  • Medical industry
  • Consumer electronics
  • Communications industry
  • Military
  • Automotive industry
  • Aerospace industry
  • Transportation

Engineers use it in the transportation industry because flex PCBs are vibration-resistant and constant movement for several hours can’t damage them.

Choosing The Right Material And Processes

When it comes to choosing the right materials and processes for your flexible circuit board assembly, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, consider the environment in which the board will be used. Will it be exposed to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures?
Second, think about the amount of flexibility you need. The more flexible the circuit, the more expensive it will be. Finally, consider the size and weight of the finished product.

What Are The Uses Of The Flex PCBs?

Every kind of circuit board has specific uses because it is an important part of different products, especially electronics. Designers preferflexible circuit boards for computers, mobile phones, and servers to make them more effective, less heavy, and more flexible. Though different devices have different shapes, functions, and sizes, they all include flexible circuit boards.
Let’s look at the main uses of flexible Printed Circuit Board
1-FPCB is Flexible

  • The flex circuit board is an elastic board that helps in placing it near folds or edges.
  • It is suitable for 3-axis connections due to its elasticity.
  • FPCB involves minimum wiring, whereas some applications don’t require any wiring at all. So, there are no wiring issues that make a device more reliable.

2-Flex PCB Reduces Weight and Space
Unlike rigid circuit boards, a flex PCB needs less space. According to engineers, it can save 60 percent of space, hence, its weight also decreases.
3-Flex PCB Reduces Connectors
If you use a flex PCB in a 3D design, it will eliminate or reduce connectors. Whereas the bending cycles go up to 200 000.
4-FPCB Eliminates Vibration
A flex PCB is very light which helps it absorb movements or vibrations. So, the vibrations can’t damage an FPCB. Moreover, the solder joints also stay safe.
5-Compatible With Tough Environments
You can use a flex circuit board in tougher environments due to its material. Its main materials are water-resistant, shock-resistant, heat-resistant, as well as corrosion, and oil-proof.
6-Thin layers
Flex PCB has thin layers on the inside which reduce its weight. The copper layers in an FPCB are heavy which if combined with thin layers becomes useful for high-power applications.

Types of Flex Circuit Board

A flex PC Board has different types, including single-sided, double-sided, multilayer flex, and rigid-flex circuit boards. Let’s look at their pros one by one.
Single-sided F PCB: It is economical, flexible, and has many bending cycles.
Double-sided F PCB: Its design is more flexible than others. Moreover, it saves space and provides dual-sided soldering.
Multilayer F PCB: It is lightweight and compact and its flexibility is more in a 3D design. It is compatible with blind and buried vias.
Rigid-flex circuit board: It helps have a long-lasting 3D application having stable parts, pins, heat streaks, etc. It reduces noise and enhances signal integrity.Besides, it is more reliable and offers better impedance.
It helps have minimum mechanical space and reduces the weight of the device. It is compatible with the HDI micro-via. It is economical and offers a flexible pcb design.
Some More Advantages
A flex PCB can give you many benefits, but mainly it enhances flexibility and saves space. Its assembly involves a few items that reduce its cost and manufacturing time.

  • A flex circuit board offers a high-heat dissipation.
  • It enhances the inner airflow.
  • It reduces the size and weight of the package.
  • It involves minimum assembly errors.
  • It reduces the inductance of wires.
  • A flex circuit board enhances the product’s looks.
  • The assembly time and cost of the FPCB are less in some cases.
Flexible Circuit PCB Assembly
Flexible Circuit PCB Assembly

Flexible Printed Circuit Board Assembly

The assembly of a flex PCB is the same as a rigid board except for a few changes due to certain technical needs. The assembly of a single-layer flex PCB consists of the following steps

  • BOM
  • Electrical testing
  • Punching process
  • FPCB baking process
  • Optical inspection
  • FQC process
  • Silkscreen printing process
  • Reflow soldering
  • Packaging process
  • Mounting process
  • Deep inspection

Flex To Rigid Surface
Since flex PCB is soft and gets deformed, it is hard to assemble it directly on SMT. So, engineers fix it on a hard surface such as a tray for the assembly process. The tray or a hard carrier should be well-intact to make assembly smooth.
Low-Density Assembly
Flex PCBs aremore costly than the rigid circuit board, so most of them are used for connecting different modules having different functions. So, the FPCB assembly involves fewer components in the case of low-density assembly. The quantity of the components ranges from 2 to 50 in this case.
Increased Panels
Manufacturers use many planes during FPCB assembly to enhance the process. A flexible circuit board is used in smart products, such as digital cameras and mobile phones, so a single board is too small. As it involves a few components, manufacturers use panels which are then removed through punching.
Use of Auxiliary Fixtures
Flexible PCB assembly involves auxiliary fixtures as it deforms easily. These fixtures include:

  • Baking fixture
  • Carrying tray for FPCB
  • Electrical and function test fixtures
  • Cutting Fixtures

High Demand for Quality
The devices with FPCB are used in an environment where the accuracy of control has to be high. So, the board components should be well-positioned to get compatible with a particular environment.One must focus on certain factors, such as anti-static precautions, cleanliness, and reliable soldering. It also involves several technical issues.
Increased Assembly Cost
A flex circuit board has a costly assembly compared to a rigid circuit board. It involves many fixtures which also increases its cost.Theassembly process takes more time than a rigid PCB. Moreover, the assembly involves lots of accessories and working labor because less equipment is used. Besides, the increased demand for high quality and flawless manufacturing environment also is the reason for the high cost.
However, as the flex circuit board’s application is increasing, so new technology and assembly methods emerge. Eventually, the assembly cost decreases due to less time and tools involved.
Choosing A Supplier
When it comes to choosing a supplier for your flexible circuits PCB assembly, there are a few things you need to take into account. First, you need to make sure that the supplier is reputable and has a good track record.
Second, you need to make sure that they have the necessary experience and expertise.
Third, you should ensure that they are able to meet your specific needs and requirements.
Fourth, you should see if they are able to provide you with a competitive price. Finally, you need to ensure that they can produce high-quality products at an efficient rate.
For example, some of the key considerations when selecting a supplier are quality control measures in place and their ability to adapt to changes in demand. To put this another way, if a company’s success relies on being able to keep up with production rates, it will be easier for them to fulfill orders if they’re accustomed to adjusting according to supply and demand than if they’re not. The same thing goes for quality control, as companies without established procedures may not be as adept at preventing defective products from reaching customers.

Final Words

Flexible circuits are used in a variety of products, from hearing aids to sports-related items like fitness trackers and smartwatches. They allow you to connect electronics into your home, and even onto your body, giving you easy access to valuable data and features. However, with all this flexibility comes the need for greater care in assembly than typical PCBs require. The designer must know about flexible circuits and PCB assembly to ensure the end product works correctly and lasts as long as possible.
Would like to know more about Flexible Circuit assembly or pcb assembly services? Email us at sales@pnconline.com

Ultimate Guide to PC Board Thickness

Ultimate Guide to PC Board Thickness

Printed circuit boards are vital parts of electronic technology and you have to focus on various factors to design or buy them. PCB thickness is the most important factor in this case. However, the weight, profile, and components of PCB also matter a lot.
PCB thickness can influence its function, affecting resistance and conductivity. The application of a circuit board determines its thickness and there are different levels of thickness in this regard.

A-Thickness Of A Standard PCB

A standard printed circuit board has different types, like one-sided having one layer of copper or double-sided boar with two layers of copper. Whereas multiple layers are also in practice. The double-sided PCB has a substrate layer between two layers.
Generally, a standard circuit board is 1.57mm or 0.0065 inches as it used to be the thickness of the plywood in old circuit boards. Later, multilayered PCBs emerged and the designer had to make their thickness according to the connectors. So, the designers need a standard thickness of 1.57mm.
The board thickness also ranges from 0.008 inches to 0.240 inches, and you can select any thickness between these figures to match the PCB application. You can give your requirements to the manufacturer or can hire an engineer to evaluate PCB thickness for a specific application.

Copper Thickness Of A Standard PCB

You also have to consider the copper thickness as it helps get the desired PC Board thickness and influences its function. Like, one square foot area of the circuit board needs an ounce of copper which becomes 1.37 mils. But, it can vary, depending on your needs according to the current that passes through the board.
Most circuits come up with 1oz copper i.e. equal to one ounce. However, it can be 2oz if the circuit board needs high currents. Designers often increase the track’s thickness which results in higher current points. Moreover, they don’t add anti-welding masks because they want to reinforce the track during assembly, like with tin.
Sometimes laminate manufacturers use an intermediate thickness of copper just to lower the price, like 0.75 oz. But, such a practice is technically not so good. Experts don’t recommend this because the PCB thickness also reduces during mechanical or chemical cleaning. The popular copper thickness is 0.5oz, like in the case of two-sided laminates.

Trace Thickness In PCB

You have to specify the trace thickness while making the Gerber files to avoid overheating. Trace thickness is the trace width that can tolerate the temperature difference ranging from the standard to maximum operating temperatures. In other words, the trace width should be enough to bear increased temperatures. Besides, PCB width calculators are available to find the trace width.


Ultimate Guide to PC Board Thickness
Thickness guide of PC Board

B-FR4 Thickness Of A Standard PCB

FR4 is the flame retardant material which is a fiberglass sheet with epoxy lamination. FR4 shows the quality of the laminate in PCB. Generally, it’s the base material for Printed Circuit board Fabrication.
The rigidity occurs due to epoxy that resists fire, and engineers prefer it for its low cost. The dielectric strength of FR4 is high, moreover, it is lightweight and also resists heat and water. So, they are compatible with different environments.
The FR4 thickness lies between 3 and 10 inches, and it can cause an increase in PCB thickness. You have to evaluate the FR4 thickness by considering the board components and space.
Design Parameters of an FR4 Board Thickness
Generally, the designers prefer thick boards because thin FR4 boards get damaged faster, especially when they are large, besides, the grooves are missing. Whereas thicker boards provide more flexibility and also include grooves.
Should Be Flexible
Thin circuit boards are more flexible than heavy or thick boards, especially in the medical field’s control unit. But, thinner circuit boards cause lots of issues during soldering that results in bending. Eventually, several other components also get curved, damaging a board’s connections.
Compatible Impedance
PCB thickness is crucial while constructing multilayer boards became you have to match the impedance. Besides, you also have to consider each layer’s capacitance. The board won’t function if its impedance is not compatible.
Edge Connectors
The edge connectors also directly influence the PCB thickness, especially when there is FR4. An incompatible mating part of the connectors can result in PCB damage. So, you must be clear about materials before PCB manufacturing.
PCB Weight
More thickness means more weight and increased shipping costs. So, you have to keep in mind the weight of the circuit board that determines the weight of the final product. Experts find thinner layers better than the others, however, one should go for a standard PCB thickness.
C- Core Thickness of Standard PCB
The core is a PCB layer having FR4 between copper layers or foils. The core of a standard PCB involves certain items of which copper should be precise. It’s a fiber mesh layer having resin, moreover, it has incurred FR4 as well.
The core thickness of the standard PCB becomes hard to select during a multilayer PCB design. However, sometimes PCB remains effective even if the core thickness is not compatible. But, the end product should perform high for which PCB should have accurate thickness. The designer must consider this factor and share the right details with the manufacturer.
The weight of the core thickness goes from 1 to 3 ounces depending on the requirements. The weight also includes copper layers that can be on both sides. However, if both sides’ weight differs, it would cause additional expenses and poor results. The core thickness with the desired copper weight is also possible through pre-preg sheets.
D-Two-Layered PCB Thickness
Printed circuit boards with multiple layers are getting popular these days. They include glass fabric based on epoxy having copper coils. A multi-layered PCB can bear high loads, however, its thickness remains only 63mm.
Complex PCBs need wiring, resulting in more layers, so PCB thickness becomes up to 93mm. The thickness of a standard PCB also gets influenced by foil lamination, if the lamination consists of 4 layers, 0.031 would be the PCB thickness. The thickness would become 0.062 if the foil lamination includes 6 layers.
Likewise, the thickness becomes 0.062 to 0.125 for 8 to 10-layer PCB. Your requirements can also demand half, one, or two-ounce copper foil.
PCB Thickness Allowance
Also known as PCB thickness allowance, it is the tolerance for PCB manufacturing substances. It can be more or less than the average amount of material. Designers consider certain parameters for it, such as the IPC guidelines. Such design parameters help manufacturers have the flexibility to develop a circuit board that performs well.


What Is The Importance Of Knowing PCB Thickness?
You have to focus on the circuit board thickness because both electronic devices and boards have a tendency to shrink. So the board has to be thin and lightweight to help manufacturers place it into the device. The weight of the final product also matters as thicker circuit boards can increase the weight of the device, resulting in increased shipping costs.
How Many Layers Are There In A Standard PCB fabrication?
There are various types of standard printed circuit boards, including one-sided having one layer of copper or double-sided board with two layers of copper. There is also PCB with more than two layers called a multi-layered PCB.
What Is FR4 In A Standard PCB?
FR4 is the flame retardant material which is a fiberglass sheet with epoxy lamination. FR4 shows the quality of the laminate in PCB. Generally, it’s the base material of a rigid circuit board.
What Is Core Thickness In A Standard PCB?
PCB layer with FR4 between copper layers or foils is known as the core. The core of a standard PCB consists of various elements, including copper that has to be accurate. PCB core is a fiber mesh layer having resin, moreover, it has incurred FR4 as well.
What To Consider While Designing A Standard PCB?
Designers have to focus on various factors to design or buy a printed circuit board. PCB thickness is the most important factor, but the weight, profile, and components of PCB also matter a lot.
What is Trace Thickness In PCB?
Trace thickness is the trace width that can tolerate the temperature difference ranging from the standard to maximum operating temperatures. You have to specify the trace thickness while making the Gerber files to avoid overheating.

Wrap Up

Now, you know how important it is to consider PCB thickness in different ways. PCB thickness can influence its function, affecting resistance and conductivity. The application of a circuit board determines its thickness and there are different levels of thickness in this regard. You can have a good circuit board by choosing the board thickness wisely, depending on its application.
Would like to know more about printed circuit board assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com

PCB Design for Beginners

PCB Design for Beginners

Whether you’re just starting in the world of electronics or you’ve been doing it for years, there’s always something new to learn. Design, while it can seem complex at first, really boils down to some simple rules and techniques that will help you to save time and money while making your projects run more smoothly.
There are plenty of steps and processes involved in the PC design process, and as such, there are many things that you need to know in order to create an effective Design. This guide will help you understand how to go about the process of designing your PCBs and take you from beginner to expert.

What Is A Printed Circuit Board (PCB)?

A PCB, is a self-contained module of interconnected electronic components found in devices ranging from common beepers, pagers, and radios to sophisticated radar and computer systems. The circuits are formed by a thin layer of conducting material deposited, or printed, on the surface of an insulating board known as the substrate.
Layers of insulation called traces carry electrical currents between various points on the board. Capacitors, resistors, inductors, semiconductors such as transistors and diodes, and connectors may also be attached to this surface through holes that have been punched into it with a special machine called a drill press. All parts on the board must have features small enough so that they can fit inside this drilled hole with no problems at all.
One major aspect of a design is to make sure there is plenty of room around each component to minimize noise caused by electromagnetic interference. In addition, great care should be taken not to put two closely spaced components on top of one another because this could lead to one component interfering with the other’s signal voltage.

What Are The Parts Of A PCB?

A PCB is made up of a few different parts, such as the board, the surface finish, the solder mask, and the silkscreen. The board is the green part that everything is attached to.
The surface finish is the layer that helps protect the copper from corrosion. The solder mask is the green coating that helps prevent short circuits.

The silkscreen is the white print on the board that has the logo and part numbers. There are many more parts that go into a PC Board but these are the basics.

The materials used in building a PCB will vary depending on how they will be used. There are four main types of boards, including paper-backed FR4, epoxy-coated FR4, Kapton, and ceramic substrates.

Paper-backed boards are usually cheaper because they don’t require special equipment to make them whereas other boards may need expensive machinery or specialized chemicals during production.

Epoxy-coated boards can be damaged by water and UV light while Kapton doesn’t corrode as FR4 boards do. Ceramic boards can also get damaged easily.

Paper-backed FR4 is often used in low-volume production environments with surface mount technology (SMT) devices such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, integrated circuits, and inductors.

How Do I Begin?

Maybe you’ve designed a few simple circuits by hand and are ready to take the next step. Or maybe you’ve never designed a circuit before but have some experience with computer-aided design (CAD) software. Either way, this guide will teach you the basics of PCB design.
The first thing you’ll need is an electronic CAD program. The most popular programs are Eagle, KiCad, and Altium Designer. They each offer trial versions that let you get started without investing any money upfront. You can download them from their websites or find them on your operating system’s app store.

Choosing the Right Software

When it comes to PCB design software, there are a few different programs you can choose from. But which one is the best for you? It depends on your needs and what you’re looking for in a program. If you’re just starting, we recommend trying out a few different programs to see which one you’re most comfortable with.

Once you have a better idea of what you need, then you can start narrowing down your options. A good example of this would be if you needed to design circuits with specific electrical requirements or desired material properties. You should also see if you work with a team of people on projects and want them all using the same system. The biggest thing when choosing a PCB design software is making sure that it meets your needs as well as your budget.

If you want to learn how to design your PCBs, you’ll need to know how to use a CAD program. These design programs are used by designers to create electronic schematics and layout boards. The schematic consists of all the components needed in order to power the circuit while the layout shows where each component should be placed on the board. Two popular CAD platforms include EagleCAD and KiCad. Both are open source but have different strengths.

EagleCAD is known for its intuitive interface while KiCad has better compatibility with older hardware. One important thing to note is that every time you make changes to the schematic or layout, they need to be re-synced with one another. If they aren’t then small mistakes can easily turn into large ones later on. To avoid this problem, check the sync settings at the top of the screen before making any modifications.

PCB Design for Beginners
PCB Design for Beginners

Learning About Board Etching And Printing

Before you can start creating your PCBs, it’s important to understand the basics of board etching and printing. Board etching is the process of creating electrical circuits on a substrate, usually using a photochemical process. This is typically done by first creating a master template, which is then used to create a negative film. The negative film is then used to create a resist-coated board, which is exposed to UV light and developed. The exposed areas are then etched away, leaving behind the desired circuit pattern.
In contrast, PCB printing is often performed in what’s called surface mount technology, SMT. In this type of manufacturing, components are placed onto a flat surface, like sometimes copper coated with solder paste applied between them to connect them.
A final coating may be applied before the SMT assembly undergoes reflow soldering. Once finished, the boards can be separated from one another and packaged. There are many different types of PCBs including single-sided boards, double-sided boards, flex boards, and rigid-flex boards that may also be utilized.
Choosing the right kind of board depends largely on how they will be used as well as cost factors such as materials and labor requirements. For example, flex boards are less expensive than rigid-flex boards because they use flexible plastics rather than stiffer fiberglass or FR4 substrates.
However, the tradeoff is that these boards cannot be mounted to something. Single-sided boards are also cheaper but may not offer the same level of protection against EMI interference as other types of PCBs might be able to provide.
Double-sided boards, on the other hand, offer more protection against interference but require more work when designing them due to routing limitations. They also take up more space than single-sided boards, meaning fewer components can fit on each board.
When deciding on the appropriate PCB type for your project, it’s important to weigh all of these considerations carefully so that you make an informed decision about what is best for your needs.

Tips for Successful Board Prototyping

1. Use quality materials- This is important because you want your prototype to look and feel like the final product. Plus, it will help ensure that your board functions correctly.

2. Make sure your design is clear and concise- A well-designed board will be easier to troubleshoot and will save you time and money in the long run.

3. Pay attention to details – This includes things like trace widths, spacing, and clearance. The smallest of details can have a big impact on the success of your PCB.

4. Create a schematic – If you’re not experienced with schematics, there are plenty of resources online to help guide you through it. Remember that your schematic should match up with what’s on the PCB and vice versa! For example, if you plan to use LEDs on your board then make sure they’re included in the schematic.

You’ll also need to decide which type of LED, transparent or non-transparent you want so you can include that information as well. Keep these four tips in mind when designing your next PCB and get ready for a successful prototyping experience.

5. Build a prototype from scratch – We know that building your first PCB from scratch can be intimidating, but there are quite a few options out there for those interested in learning how to build their boards. So far, this guide would be enough for those who are new to PCBs.
Would like to know more about Design or printed circuit board assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com

Aluminum Backed Printed Circuit Board Fabrication

Aluminum Backed PCB Fabrication in PCB Assembly

PCB is a power supply source to run different electronic devices. In PCB Assembly, Printed circuit boards have different base materials, depending on their application. In general, circuit boards have a fiberglass base, but aluminum-backed PCB is also common it has a metal base but the laminate is covered with copper. Such PCB performs better due to high-end thermal conductivity and electrical insulation.
The aluminum-backed circuit board involves alloy plates which are a blend of three metals, including aluminum, silicon, and magnesium. These PCBs are different from fiberglass. Let’s discuss different layers in an aluminum PCB.
First Layer or Base: It has an aluminum alloy that helps have an effective through-hole PCB.
Thermal Insulation: It consists of ceramic polymer and it is vital for a PCB. The polymer has a high thermal resistance, good viscoelastic properties, and a high resistance to mechanical stresses.
Copper Foil: It is the circuit layer with copper foil, and it may weigh up to one to 10 ounces.
Dielectric Layer: the purpose of the dielectric is to absorb heat when there is current in the circuits. Then it goes to aluminum, dispersing the heat. PCB having a better thermal resistance enhances its life.

Manufacturing of Aluminum PCB

The construction of aluminum Printed Circuit Board involves different layers as described here. The base and circuit layers have a thin dielectric layer between them. After that comes the etching of copper foil, or circuit layer to help you have a certain pattern. All these layers eliminate a circuit’s heat.

Types of Aluminum PCB

The aluminum circuit board has three main types, such as through-hole, flexible, and hybrid. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Through-Hole Aluminum Circuit Board: the pre-drilling is involved in a through-hole circuit board. The hole is then filled with the dielectric.
Flexible Aluminum Circuit Board: such a circuit board has a flexible dielectric to provide high flexibility, electrical insulation, and thermal conductivity. Aluminum and dielectric make a product flexible having different shapes. Moreover, it involves low-cost fixtures and connectors.
Hybrid Aluminum Circuit Board: a hybrid aluminum circuit board is common in RF applications. Its thermal performance is very high if you use it in a product with a standard FR4.

Aluminum Backed Printed Circuit Board Fabrication
Aluminum Backed Printed Circuit Board Fabrication

Benefits of Aluminum Circuit Boards

You can take benefit from an aluminum PCB in manage ways, such as

  • It is not costly because aluminum is easily available in many areas, and its mining is not hard like other metals. Whereas PCB manufacturing with aluminum also involves less cost, so you can replace heat sinks with aluminum.
  • It is environmental-friendly because it does not emit toxic chemicals. Besides, it is easy to recycle. From construction to its application, an aluminum circuit board is safe for the environment.
  • It does not let the heat damage PCB by keeping the heat away from delicate components.
  • You will find aluminum PCBs stronger than fiberglass and ceramic-based circuit boards. It prevents accidental damage that happens during manufacturing and daily applications.
  • It is also lightweight which reduces the weight of the end product. Such a quality makes it more reliable because it is easy to manage.
  • PC Board having aluminum involves a black or white solder mask.

Applications of Aluminum-Backed PCBs

  • The aluminum-backed PCB is suitable for devices that need more heat tolerance and dissipation. They are highly effective in preventing the PCB components from heat and help manage temperatures while designing a PCB. In this sense, the aluminum-backed PCB is 10 times more effective than a fiberglass PCB.
  • When the thermal dissipation is high, it helps design high-density and high-power circuit boards.
  • Circuit boards with aluminum bases are useful for LED applications, such as automotive lights, traffic lights, and ordinary lighting.
  • Aluminum-backed circuit boards enhance the density of the LEDs and also help the installed LEDs to function at more power, maintaining temperatures.
  • Printed circuit boards with an aluminum base help in having fewer safety margins with power LEDs as compared to the traditional PCB design. When the operating temperature is low, the LEDs can have a longer lifespan.
  • Aluminum-based PCB is also useful for power supplies, motor controllers, automotive applications, and circuitry with high currents.
  • Such boards have a simple design due to high heat dissipation. It prevents heat sinking and forced air, eventually reducing the expenses of the design.
  • Make sure to store your aluminum PCB in a dark and dry place. Avoid placing them in a damp room as it can change their color to yellow or black due to moisture absorption.
  • You will often see aluminum circuit boards in power converting devices and LED. It enhances the LED’s lifespan, making it stable. Aluminum substrates are used in street lights or other residential or commercial lights.
  • Aluminum circuit boards help power converters to manage electronic devices and charge currents. It is also useful for several other industries.
  • Aluminum PCB ensures less damage to the circuit board by keeping heat away from vital components. Moreover, it comes up with high thermal conductivity.
  • It can tolerate high temperatures and manage high-density PCBs. Moreover, it is less vulnerable to damage due to more durability. It is not toxic to the environment.
  • A non-metal PCB lacks thermal conductivity and you have to design it with a conductive material. You need heat sinks, forced air, and copped vias to prevent the circuit from heat.

Which Conductive Material Will Be The Best For My Application?
Several factors determine the kind of circuit board you require. Generally, aluminum PCB is ideal where high-heat dissipation is required. The properties of aluminum are compatible with high-power and thick designs, which is not the case with standard circuit boards.
However, designers having a low budget can use non-metal substrates, such as flex circuits having polymer. It can tolerate vibrations better than aluminum-flex substrates.
Standard or Traditional Printed Circuit Boards
The dielectric and copper make standard circuit boards having different layers. Most standard PCBs have FR4 substrate, moreover, fiberglass is less costly. The board has many layers of copper and other elements, such as silkscreen and solder masks help in conductivity and component placement.
The layers are either on both sides or one side of the circuit board. Whereas there are also stack-ups with several layers. Standard circuit boards can power both high-end and low-end electronic devices. Single-sided boards are used in less complex products, such as calculators. But, multilayer PCBs are essential for complex devices like supercomputers or space equipment.
Pros and Cons of Standard Circuit Boards

    • Generally, the standard PCBs are more adaptable than others. You can use any substrate depending on your budget and durability. You can go for a fiberglass circuit board if your budget is low or if you need a low-intensity board.
    • It is not compatible with high stress, so special applications need flex or radio frequency substrates.
    • On the other hand, FR4 PCBs need additional features to tolerate high heat or temperature.

The application and the kind of device determine if you need a standard circuit board or an aluminum board. You can get the design through online sources or can hire an engineering company for this purpose. You can also read our other posts to understand a common PCB.


What is an Aluminum PCB?
The main structure of an aluminum PCB is just like other PCBs having silkscreen, solder mask, and copper. It has an aluminum substrate, but it can also be a mix of aluminum and fiberglass.

Why Should I Have Aluminum PCB?
Aluminum-backed circuit boards are long-term and durable because they can manage high temperatures and reduce failures. They are also mechanically balanced and the thermal expansion level is also lower compared to other materials.
Where Can I Use Aluminum PCB?
You can use it for multiple lights, such as surgical lighting, interior lighting, landscape lighting, tail light tools, operation theater lighting, etc. Moreover, it is compatible with power converters, auto dashboards, powerful scanners signal beacons, and power transmissions.
What Is A Hybrid Aluminum PCB?
A hybrid aluminum circuit board is common in RF applications. Its thermal performance is very high if you use it in a product with a standard FR4.
What Is The Dielectric Layer In PCB?
The purpose of the dielectric is to absorb heat when there is current in the circuits. After that, it goes to aluminum to disperse the heat. PCB having a better thermal resistance enhances its life.
What is Flexible Aluminum PCB?
The flexible aluminum circuit board has a flexible dielectric to provide high flexibility, electrical insulation, and thermal conductivity. Aluminum and dielectric make a product flexible having different shapes. Moreover, it involves low-cost fixtures and connectors.


Aluminum boards are more niche-oriented than other circuit boards. However, their cost is higher than standard PCBs. You can take benefit from aluminum PCB if your application involves high temperatures, or it won’t be a good investment. The aluminum circuit board has three main types, such as through-hole, flexible, and hybrid. Your requirements determine the kind of PCB you should have.
Would like to know more about Aluminum Backed PCB or printed circuit board assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com

How To Design A Signal Amplification PC Board

How To Design A Signal Amplification PC Board

Various kinds of circuit boards are essential for electronic devicesand the amplifier PCB is one of them. You need amplifiers to reproduce sounds, so the amplifier circuit board is vital for sound-generating devices, such as loudspeakers.

Understanding An Amplifier PCB

A PCB with an amplifier produces enhanced signals that input terminals require. Such a circuit board consists of electronic components to transfer signals. The components also increase the power of the amplifier by transferring signals through specific transistors. A substrate is an essential part of an amplifier circuit board like it’s a surface with components and it is composed of resin and fiberglass.

Though the amplifier is an independent component, it has several parts in it. An amplifier circuit board has many resistors and capacitors to perform various functions. Moreover, it has input and output terminals for both original and amplified signals.

Such a PCB can be small or large, depending on the device and its application. Generally, the headphones amplifiers are small, whereas the professional sound system has a large amplifier that singers and musicians often use. The size of a large amplifier Printed Circuit Board goes beyond 100 square inches.

The small amplifiers often depend on an external source for power supply whereas the battery-driven amplifiers are different.  Such PCBs are either power amplifiers or audio amplifiers.

How To Differentiate The Normal And Amplifier PCB

A normal PCB uses through-hole technology that helps drill holes and install PCB components. Surface mount technology is also another way of constructing a normal PCB.

On the other hand, the construction of an amplifier circuit board involves a schematic design. Certain design software helps place the components, whereasthe nature of the board determines its physical properties.

You need to consider the thermal and geometry factors while placing the components in an amplifier PCB. Likewise, in such a PCB, the power input and output work with respect to transistors’ resistance.

The amplifier circuit board has a better dielectric constant than a normal circuit board. But, the design of both kinds of PCBs needs a schematic diagram. You can also design a normal PCB manually like through Photomask.

How To Design A Signal Amplification PC Board
How To Design A Signal Amplification PC Board

What Are Heat Sinks In Amplifier PCB design?

There are heat sinks in the amplifier circuit boards which dissipate the heat caused during a PCB function. Engineers use aluminum to make heat sinks because it is highly conducive compared to other materials. Besides, aluminum resists corrosion and abrasion better than other metals.

The function of the heat sinks depends on two elements, including copper coins and thermovia.You need specific components to mount the heat sinks on the amplifier circuit board.Moreover, you also need solder pins and lock tabs during mounting. Heat sinks help a circuit board to manage its thermal propertywhich is the key element of the board.

Applications of Amplifier PCB

There are many applications of amplifier PCBs but their main function is to transform analog signals into digital ones.So, the amplification of the signals is the main thing in this case. Let’s see its applications one by one.

The amplifier PCB increases the amplitude signals, maintaining the frequency and several other elements.
This kind of PCB is able to transfer analog signals to square waves through the input saturation of a much high level.
The output resistance and voltage are also high in an amplifier PCB which helps it to produce enough output for the loudspeakers’ function.
It helps figure out the metal fatigue, ultrasonic cleaning, and ultrasound scanning.
The amplifier circuit board having a constant increase in the DC and AC is ideal for oscilloscope.
However, it has a low input resistance, and it works as a barrier between the circuitry and the receiver.Besides, it eliminates the signals it does not need.

Main Elements of An Amplifier Circuit Board

The board has certain characteristics as described below:

High Input Impedance: The high-input impedance is essential because it causes the voltage drop only on an amplifier, which is not possible in the low-input impedance. So, the amplifier PCBs need materials with a low-input impedance. You can eliminate the loading through a high-input impedance. The amplifier absorbs more current if its input impedance is low.

Enough Bandwidth: The bandwidth should be well-balanced in an amplifier circuit board to get compatible with the frequency being amplified. There will be no signal frequency if the bandwidth is narrow. Likewise, the wider bandwidth causes a lot of noise, so the bandwidth has to be undercontrol.

Increased Open Loop Signals: The amplifier increases signals’ power that you can evaluate between the input and output channels when the circuit board gets no feedback. The board might get feedback when the open-loop gains are high.

Stability of An Amplifier

You have to consider the amplifier’s stability while designing it. Signal distortions often happen when the amplifier is not stable. Many instabilities happen in the function of an amplifier PCB which can be controlled by considering certain factors while making its layout. By considering these factors, you can eliminate the board- spin failure, power strength, and signal integrity issues during its function.

The amplifier gets unstable if there are changes in the input signals. Some common issues with the amplifier stability are as below.

Ringing issues

In this case, the output can create a damped oscillation, reaching a stable output. It might involve undershooting and overshooting the output.

Oscillation Issues

It happens because of the load input and the impedance of the amplifier output. Such an issue affects the transfer ability of the amplifier by creating a pole.

Various Parasitic Feedbacks

It involves parasitic coupling which causes negative or positive feedback to the input terminal. This is a very unstable behavior of an amplifier that you can identify through an on-amp circuit.

Why Is Amplifier Stability Important?

When it comes to the RF systems, the amplifier stability becomes evident, like in telecom systems that involve the RF frequencies. Such systems useRF power amplifiers having high-signal power and frequencies, so you have to be careful while placing them in the signal chain.

When the layout has errors due to unnecessary parasitics, the output signals would become unstable. So, you must test the RF power to check the unstable behavior of the amplifier circuit board. Such management ensures that the RF system will function correctly.

Types of Amplifier PCBs

The amplifier PCBs have different categories, depending on their nature. In general, the number of power and audio amplifier circuit board designs is above 108. Engineers also classify them as A, B,C, and going up to G.

Group AAmplifier

You will see the gain and high linearity in this amplifier PCB layout. Besides, it has a 360-degree conduction angle. It remains functional during the entire signal’s input. Moreover, it includes an always-ON transistor.

Group B Amplifier

It involves two active devices and users can bias the amplifiers step-wise during the positive and negative cycles of the signals.

Group AB Amplifier

You can have the AB amplifier to eliminate the cross-over distortion of the signals.

Group C Amplifier

It is also known as a tuned amplifier that works through two modes, such as turned and unturned mode. Such a layout’s conduction angle is lower than 180 degrees and it is 60 to 70 percent effective.

Group D Amplifier

Such a layout involves the Pulse Width that changes its input signals.However, there is no role of conduction angle in this case. Besides, it does not need a linear gain.

Group E Amplifier

It is the most effective power amplifier that involves switching topology and radio frequencies as well.

Group F Amplifier

Such an amplifier comes up with high impedance like in harmonics. It includes the square and sine waves.

Group G Amplifier

It enhances a circuit board’s function using less power. Such amplifiers depend on the systems known as rail switching.


What Is An Amplifier Circuit Board?

The construction of an amplifier circuit board involves a schematic design. You need to consider the thermal and geometry factors while placing the components in an amplifier PCB. Besides, the power input and output work with respect to transistors’ resistance.

What Is A Normal PCB?

A normal PCB uses through-hole technology that helps drill holes and install PCB components. Whereas surface mount technology is also another way of constructing a normal PCB.

What Are Heat Sinks In An Amplifier PCB?

Heat sinks in an amplifier PCB dissipate the heat caused during a PCB function. The function of the heat sinks depends on two elements, including copper coins and thermovia. You need specific components to mount the heat sinks on the amplifier circuit board.


The amplifier PCB has many uses as discussed above. You have to consider several factors while designing it. You can get the desired layout by controlling certain issues while creating the layout of an amplifier circuit board. You should also plan the type of amplifier PCB your device requires.

Would like to know more about designing a signal amplifier or PC Board assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com