Tag Archives: Printed Circuit Board

Metal Core and Metal Black Printed Circuit Board

Printed Circuit Boards are a crucial component of any electronic device, but the materials used to manufacture them can significantly affect the performance and durability of the device. Metal core and metal black PCBs are two types of PCBs that offer numerous benefits over standard FR-4 PCBs. Here, we will explore the advantages of using metal core and metal black PCBs in electronic projects. We will discuss how they can improve their performance and reliability,   as well as their suitability for a variety of applications.

When it comes to a circuit board design, the metal core and metal black printed circuit boards offer a number of advantages over traditional PCBs. These benefits include improved heat dissipation, increased strength, electrical isolation, and reduced electromagnetic interference (EMI).

The use of the metal core and metal black printed circuit boards is a great way to improve the performance of your electronic devices. This type of PC Board provides excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, making them ideal for applications that require more power, speed, and accuracy. Metal core and metal black PCBs are also more resistant to environmental factors, such as temperature changes and corrosion, making them a better option than traditional PCBs.

What Are The Benefits Of Metal Core PCB?

Metal core PCBs are gaining popularity in the electronics industry due to their many advantages over traditional FR-4 and other standard PCBs. Metal core PCBs feature a dielectric layer, which is made from metal instead of a traditional fiberglass-epoxy material used in other PCBs. Such a metal core serves as a heat spreader and helps have better heat dissipation and improved thermal performance. This makes them ideal for applications that require high-level dissipation, and large temperature ranges.

The metal core also allows for a much thinner board than can be achieved with standard PCBs, reducing the overall weight of the assembly and making it easier to integrate into the design. As the metal core increases the rigidity of the board, it reduces the possibility of warping or cracking due to vibration and mechanical shock.

The copper layer used on the MCPCBs is often thicker than on standard boards, providing increased electrical performance as well. The additional copper layer also adds greater protection against EMI (electromagnetic interference), making them ideal for high-frequency and wireless applications.

Another benefit of metal-core PCBs is that they are more reliable than standard PCBs. As the metal core has better thermal conductivity than traditional fiberglass epoxy, it reduces the risk of solder joint failure due to overheating. This means that components are less likely to fail due to excessive heat, resulting in greater reliability.

Overall, the metal core PCBs offer many advantages over traditional PCBs, making them ideal for applications that require high power dissipation, thin boards, or robust performance in harsh environments. While they may cost more upfront than other types of PCBs, the benefits that come with using the MCPCBs often outweigh the costs in terms of improved performance and reliability.

For anyone looking to upgrade an existing project, or build one from scratch, there is never been a better time to consider switching to the metal core. If you’re looking to improve your product’s efficiency and reduce downtime, switching to a metal core PCB, maybe the right move for your next project.

Metal core PCBs are a special type of printed circuit board that uses metal instead of the traditional epoxy resin-based substrate. Metal core PCBs provide many advantages over their traditional counterparts, such as increased heat dissipation and better performance in higher-power applications. However, metal black PCBs offer a slightly different approach.

Metal black PCBs are constructed using metal cores that are plated with a black finish. This black finish helps reduce the emission of electromagnetic interference or EMI that can interfere with sensitive electronic components and impair their performance. Besides, the black finish helps absorb heat, which is beneficial in high-power applications.

The black finish also helps to prevent corrosion in the PCB itself, which can cause premature failure of the PCB over time. Moreover, the black finish increases the electrical resistance of the PCB, which can help protect against the short circuits caused by sudden changes in the voltage.

Finally, the metal black PCB offers an aesthetically pleasing look and a more rugged construction than a traditional printed circuit board. This makes the board ideal for a variety of applications that require superior durability, such as outdoor or industrial environments.

Overall, both metal core and metal black PCBs offer distinct advantages when compared to traditional printed circuit boards. While metal core PCBs provide greater heat dissipation and performance in higher-power applications, metal black PCBs offer superior protection against EMI and corrosion, as well as a more robust design for difficult environments. Ultimately, the choice of which type of PCB to use will depend on the specific requirements of the application.

For instance, if the application requires a higher level of heat dissipation and power output, then metal core PCBs may be preferable. On the other hand, if low levels of EMI emissions and protection against corrosion are desired, then metal black PCBs may be more appropriate. The final decision will ultimately depend on the specific needs of your project.
Which Type Of PCB Is Right For My Project?

When it comes to selecting the right type of PCB for your project, there are a number of factors to consider. One important factor is the type of material used for the PCB. Metal core and metal black PCBs are two popular options for many projects. Each one offers its own unique benefits, so let’s take a closer look at what each has to offer.

Metal core PCBs are constructed with an insulated metal substrate layer sandwiched between two layers of copper. This metal substrate layer helps conduct heat away from the board more efficiently than other PCB types, making it ideal for applications that generate high levels of heat. MCPCBs are also more resistant to temperature fluctuations, which makes them well-suited for automotive and avionics systems that need to perform reliably in changing environments.

Metal black PCBs are a specialized type of MCPCB that offer additional protection against an electrostatic discharge. Such boards contain an integrated layer of insulating polymer that is laminated over the metal core and then coated with a black solder mask. This makes metal core PCBs well-suited for electronic equipment where electromagnetic interference or electrostatic discharge (ESD) could damage the components.

When it comes to choosing the right type of PCB for your project, both MCPCBs and MBPCBs have their advantages and disadvantages. If you need a PCB that can handle high temperatures, then an MCPCB is the right choice. If you need a PCB that provides additional protection against EMI/ESD, then an MBPCB is the better option. Ultimately, it’s important to carefully evaluate your project’s requirements before deciding on which type of PCB is best for your needs.
Why DO Manufacturers Us Metal Core And Metal Black PCBs?
When it comes to the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards, there are several advantages to choosing a metal core or metal black PCB. From improved thermal dissipation and electrical conductivity to better environmental protection and durability, these types of boards offer an array of benefits that cannot be achieved with conventional FR4 boards. Not only can metal core and metal black PCBs help reduce costs in the long run, but they can also enable more efficient product designs.

Overall, it’s clear that the benefits of using a metal core or metal black PCB greatly outweigh the costs.

What Is A Metal Core PCB?

Metal core PCB is a special type of printed circuit board that uses metal instead of the traditional epoxy resin-based substrate. Metal core PCBs provide many advantages over their traditional counterparts, such as increased heat dissipation and better performance in higher-power applications. However, metal black PCBs offer a slightly different approach.

What Includes In A Metal Core PCB?

The structure of a metal core PCB has multiple layers, including the circuit, copper, metallic, and dielectric layer, as well as the solder mask.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, metal core and metal black PCBs offer a range of advantages for designers and manufacturers. They provide superior heat dissipation, improved mechanical strength, longer product lifecycles, and improved EMI shielding properties. These advantages can help reduce costs and increase the longevity of the products, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased profits.

Whether you are looking for increased performance, durability, or functionality, the metal core and metal black PCBs offer an ideal solution. The exceptional benefits these materials provide make them an ideal choice for engineers designing high-end applications.

With their ability to improve product performance while reducing production costs, the metal core and metal black PCBs should be seriously considered when designing a printed circuit board. With so many different varieties available, the sky’s the limit.

Would like to know more about the metal core and metal black PCB or printed circuit board assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com

Printed Circuit Board

High-Layer Count (HLC) PCBoard

A multilayer PCB has multiple copper layers which are interconnected through copper plating vias, such as laser vias, NC vias, buried,blind vias, and plated through vias.
Such a circuit board has copper foil, adhesive, pre-peg, and core materials; all layered together under high pressure and temperature to make a multi-layer PCB. The pressure squeezes out the air, whereas the heat melts the adhesive to bind all layers.
A high-layer count PCB is a board with many layers,from 3 to 16, and more layers. In general, you will see an even number of layers in this reference like 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, etc. A multi-layer circuit board helps engineers create complex products.
A PCB with a high-layer count allowsdesigners to implement high-speed and RF design techniques to have ground returns and a high-power distribution.
The BGA(ball grid arrays) of dense devices demand a multi-layer Printed Circuit Board to teach every possible signal.

Positive Aspects of A Multi-Layer PCB Layout

    • A PCB with multiple layers of different materials helps manufacturers create a PCB stack-up that is according to the design specs developed by an engineer.
    • A PCB with a single or double layer can’thave a high-speed layout because it can’tcontrol the impedance. It means a multi-layer circuit board is ideal for impedance management.
    • You can design a compact PCB with many layers.
    • Engineers s can have a better EMI signature by carefully designing a multi-layer PCB, which is not possible with a two-layer circuit board. Whereas the EMC or electromagnetic compatibility also contributes to a product’s development cost, as it becomes less.

Drawbacks of Multi-Layer PCB

  • You should add more layers to a circuit board only if it’s important because more layers mean more cost. The fabrication challenges, costs, and the added layers increase the overall cost of a PCB, eventually, the end product becomes expensive. So, follow a pricing strategy and be sure that the extra layers are due to the ROI plan of a product.
  • You have to put more time into testing a multi-layer PCB, leading to multiple revisions. So, the production time and the cost may increase.
  • While debugging or prototype testing a multi-layer board, you will have to reach every signal on the circuit board.In the case of BGA, QFN, and LGA of a high layer count PCB, it is hard to access or change the signals during the early prototypes.

Types Of A Multilayer PCB

A multi-layer PCB has different types,and all have different layer counts, such as:
Flex PCB: the layer count of this PCB is often 3, 4, and 5 or up to 8
RigidmultilayerPCB: In this case, the layer count consists of 4, 6,8,10, and up to 30.
Rigid-flex:It has from 2 to 20 layers.
Metal core multilayer PCB: It has a maximum of 4 layers.

PCB fabricationof a Multilayer

It is not easy to manufacture a multi-layer PCB because you have to focus on essential details at all stages. You must ensure that all layers are set according to the drilled holes even if there is deformation due tohigh pressure or temperature.
The PCB fabricator must see if the materials are right or not, andthe direction of each layer should be right.It is just like a book where you put different chapters together to make a book. Likewise, every PCB panel is a chapter and 10 chapters are pressed to make a final PCB.Heavy steel plates are used for pressing the PCB panels. The books are then placed in the hydraulic press’s chamber. These presses aredifferent, depending on the material, like if it is polyamide or FR4.

Designing A Stack-Up For A Multi-Layer PCB

The traditional circuit boards have different footprints which are not suitable for multilayer designs. You have to see any additional parameters in this reference and add layers to a footprint, depending on the design software you use. However, many online design platforms offer effective design libraries, so you can take benefit from them.

You should use the latest and precise sources to create the PCB footprints for multi-layer circuits. The planning of a layer set varies in a multilayer board or a double-layer board. We will discuss below some significant points to consider whenplanning the PCB layer stack-up.

Function: You will have to see how the circuitry performs because the final board gets affected by the environment. Like, the properties of its materials can change. You have other latest materials other than just FR4 but they can affect the impedance, changing the design parameters. But, a good manufacturer can help you in this case, due to his experience.
Routing Density:You should also consider the routing density while configuring the layer stack-up. It would causestress if you have to revise the design to add layers after starting the layout, as you have to reconfigure the CAD database and edit the layout. Besides, a circuit board with lots of layers would cost you much more than a board with a few layers.
Overall Cost: The PCB layer count, materials, and configuration directly impact the overall construction cost of a PCB. Your manufacturer knows different options in this respect, so you should discuss them before building a circuit board.
Circuitry Requirements in PCB Design: You can better optimize the layer configuration by considering the requirements of the circuitry. For example, you will have to create a strip line layer configuration in terms of delicate signals to perform well. But, it needs extra ground planes. At the same time, you should separate the digital circuitry and analog having independent ground planes. Moreover, the onboard power supplies should also be isolated.
So, all these steps can affect the layer configuration that should be considered before starting the layout.

The Placement and Routing Of a Multi-Layer PCB

The routing and placement of the board come after you have collected the entire data and finalized the layer stack-up in the database. You have to work in 3D design at certain steps while making the layout for a multi-layer PCB.
In the case of a two-layer PCB, you will have to consider the top and bottom layers. But, differentevents happen internally while working with the multilayer PCB, affecting the top and the bottom of afinal board. Like, you will have to place the noisy component in a specific area to prevent the sensitive routing of an internal layer under it.
The placement of the components involves the same tools as a double-sided PCB, but it will need a different landscape to work with. Like, there is no need to leave more space for creating the routes between components,as they need routing on internal layers. You will have to make short routesdirectly on the surface or top layers to help thesensitive circuitry. However, you have lots of flexibility to work with which is good because a multi-layer PCB involves lots of components.
It is easy to work with power planes and internal routing if you consider certain factors as below:

  • You should preplan routing for a multilayer PCB because of lots of components,as they need more routing channels. You might consider specific widths and space for routing, depending on the board technology. Moreover, you must consider the impedance-control traces and differential pairs.
  • You should carefully plan the routing of the ground planes, as they have more vias that can affect the return paths of the signals.
  • Sometimes routing causes coupling and crosstalk that you can reduce by crossing it in a perpendicular direction on the nearby internal layers. Sometimes routing needs a strip-line structure, so you should root on layers near ground planes.
  • You will have to lay down the strip planes to prevent the delicate signals from crossing the splits and damaging the return path. Such an issue can cause noises on the multilayer circuit board.

Making Drawings and Files

After component placement and routing are over and tested, you can follow the same design process as that of a double-sided PCB. The board is now ready to fabricate,but you have to make the documents for manufacturing. The stack-up and the PCB construction details should be made.In the case of Gerber files, a multiple-layer PCB involves more manufacturing output files than a normal board.

The DFM for A Multi-Layer PCB

The design for manufacturability involves the following factors:

  • Considering via clearance in terms of internal layers.
  • Selecting a manufacturer according to his capabilities.
  • The copper of internal layers should be 10mil away from the board’s outer edge, however, 20mil would be better.
  • In the case of thermal relief pads, the tie has to be at least 8mil or more is better.
  • Larger geometries involve more cost, as they cause high yields.

Final Thoughts

The construction of a multi-layer PCB is different from a board with one or two layers. Such a circuit board has copper foil, adhesive, pre-peg, and core materials like aluminum, FR4, ceramic, etc. A PCB with a high-layer count allows designers to implement high-speed and RF design techniques to have ground returns and a high-power distribution.
Would like to know more about high layer count PCB orprinted circuit board assembly? Email us at sales@pnconlinc.com

What is Printed Circuit Board Copper Clad Laminate?

What is Printed Circuit Board Copper Clad Laminate?

Printed circuit boards come in different materials known as substrate, including copper-clad laminate or CCL. PCB substrates are either organic or inorganic, depending on their properties. The organic substrates come up in different materials known as the reinforced board, such as glass felt, fiberglass, fiber paper, fiber cloth, and so on.
PCB fabricators impregnate there in forcing materials with an adhesive called resin, making it dry, and then cover it with copper foil at high pressure and temperature. Such a substrate is CCL or copper-clad laminate that resides on either one or both sides of the board. So, CCL is either single-sided or double-sided.
Rigid PCB has a rigid CCL with a substrate, such as

  • Resin epoxy FR4
  • PTFE
  • Aluminum or copper
  • Ceramic

These materials help make different types of PCBs, including single, double, and multilayer PCBs.

CCL Standards

Engineers define the CCL standard specification with ASTM D1867 and develop their circuit boards according to these standards. To cover twelve grades of CCL, ASTM needs the laminates to meet certain factors for peel strength, like

  • High temperatures
  • Volume resistivity
  • Water absorption
  • Flammability ratings
  • Dissipation
  • Dielectric breakdown
  • Permittivity
  • Lengthwise and crosswise strength

The PCB Manufacturer should also check the CCL for twist, warp, or blistering. CCL manufacturers often follow the IPC-410IC as a standard. Moreover, they use IPC-IM650 to test the fabricated CCL.

CCL Materials

FF4 CCL: As discussed above FR4 is a popular material for copper-clad laminate. The material is resin epoxy, and it is ideal for rigid circuit boards. You will see it on both sides and only one side of the board. The material is a combination of epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth. Resin makes the board fire resistant that’s why we abbreviate it as FR or flame retardant. However, it has to pass through testing to see if it is according to the UL94V-0 standards.

Copper base: like aluminum CCL, copper core CCL has a copper plate, copper foil, and dielectric layer for bonding. PCB’s thermal dissipation and dielectric bonding determine the overall thermal conductivity.
PCB with copper substrate has three types, depending on its design, such as copper without PTH, COB, or chip-on-board copper circuit board which is without the thermal pad insulation.
Aluminum CCL: Copper-clad laminate also has aluminum as a base material combined with a dielectric layer and copper foil. These materials are bonded through hot pressing and very high temperatures. The dielectric bonding determines the thermal conductivity of the aluminum core laminate. However, both copper foil and dielectric have high conductivity, and manufacturers often use ceramic to fill the dielectric layer.

What Is RF, Radio Frequency CCL?

The RF CCL is also known as the Microwave PC Board CCL as the board has microwave frequencies. Such a circuit board has certain characteristics to consider, such as

  • DK, dielectric constant
  • DF, dissipation factor
  • CTE, coefficient of thermal expansion
  • TCDR thermal coefficient of dielectric constant
  • Thermal conductivity

It involves high-frequency materials of which PTFE is a common practice. It is a synthetic material having great dielectric properties at high frequencies which are also known as microwave frequencies. A few companies develop the high-frequency PCB CCL, including Isola, Rogers, Taconic, and Panasonic.

What is Prepreg in CCL?

Prepreg or pre-impregnated CCL is a kind of fiberglass that is impregnated with a bonding material such as resin. The resin is not hard, however, it is dry and gets sticky when heated. In other words, the fiberglass is made strong through an adhesive just like FR4.
Prepreg materials come up in different thicknesses that determine their quality, such as standard resin, SR, medium resin, MR, or, high resin, HR. The PC Board manufacturer use the resin thickness according to the type of PCB they require.

What is Printed Circuit Board Copper Clad Laminate?
Printed Circuit Board Copper Clad Laminate

CCL PCB Applications

PCB with copper clad laminate is ideal for:

  • Electronics PCBs
  • Radars
  • High-speed communication devices, like 4G,5G, and LTE
  • Automotive products, such as ADAS radar
  • Avionics Radar
  • Automobiles
  • Welded tanks
  • Offshore platform shearing
  • Steam condenses
  • Pressure vessels
  • Heat exchangers
  • Missile components
  • Hydraulic bushings

The above applications related to communications are essential to communicate faster, such as 4G helps you download anything within seconds. Whereas 5G is much faster, in this case, and you can see it by comparing it with the old and low-speed communication devices.

How To Identify The Best CCL PCB

A few parameters help you find if the copper-clad PCB is the best or not, such as size, neatness or appearance, chemical properties, performance according to the environment, as well as a physical performance.

PCB Design Parameters Including Size: The size of the CCL matters a lot in PCB design as it’s the base material. The quality of the end product also depends on the thickness of the core material. At the same time, you have to consider other parameters, including length, width, wattage, and diagonal deviation. Each design parameter should meet the necessary standards to have an ideal product that performs well.

CCL Appearance: several issues happen during Printed Circuit Board manufacturing that can affect the appearance of the copper foil. Such as dents, pinholes, scratches, resin points, bubbles, wrinkles, etc. These issues also slow down the PCB CCL performance.

Environmental Compatible: Copper-clad laminate PCB should be compatible with the environment. Like, it should resist water and corrosion or its production will get slow, resulting in serious issues.

Chemical Function: The chemical properties of copper-clad laminate are also vital and should be according to the standards in terms of flammability. The Z-CTE or, Z-axis coefficient of thermal expansion, Tag, chemical resistance, and dimensional stability has to be considered.

Physical Function: Copper-clad laminate has to meet certain physical requirements, including the PS or peel strength, bending strength, dimensional balance, heat resistance, as well as punching. It should resist thermal stress.

Electric Property: Copper-clad laminate should electrically perform high, as it’s very important. As described above, copper-clad laminate PCB should strictly meet certain requirements, such as DF, DK, insulation resistance, CTI or comparative tracking index electric strength, arc resistance, and volume resistance.

How Many Types Of Copper Clad Laminate Are There?

You can classify the copper-clad laminate according to different factors, such as size, thickness, mechanical material, structure, insulation material, types of reinforcement, resin type, and CCL performance.
Copper-clad laminate is either rigid or flexible of which rigid CCL is further divided, depending on its combination materials. It is either single or double-sided, besides there are also special rigid CCL PCBs with a high-flame resistance and other properties.
Flexible CCL: It includes,

  • Non-flame retardant polyester
  • Flame retardant polyester
  • Polyimides with and without flame retardant
  • Fiberglass cloth of small thickness

Benefits of Flexible Copper Clad Laminate

  • The FCCL has many benefits, such as
  • It has great flexing power
  • It is ECO friendly
  • It is free from halogen
  • Better heat resistance
  • Great adhesive properties
  • it is a blend of different copper clad thickness

Special copper-clad laminate has ceramic and it’s also called ceramic CCL. It has different materials, such as aluminum oxide, aluminium it ride, silicon carbide, boron nitride, and beryllium oxide.


What is the manufacturing process of CCL?
Copper-clad laminate has complex manufacturing, including rolled copper foil that acts as a conductive material. PCB fabricators impregnate the reinforcing materials with an adhesive called resin, making it dry, and then cover it with copper foil at high pressure and temperature.

What Are The Uses Of CCL PCB?
Copper-clad laminate is fiberglass mixed with resin and glass and it is on either one or both sides of the glass fabric. Engineers use it to develop radios, mobile devices, televisions, computers, digital devices, and other multiple electronics.

What Is Copper Foil In CCL?
Copper foil in CCL is a cathodic electrolytic material that lies on the metal foil in a PCB. The material is easy to bond with the insulating layer to provide a protective covering. It is also easy to corrode to make a circuit protector.

What are CCL Standards?
Copper-clad laminate standard specifications are defined with ASTM D1867 and engineers develop their circuit boards according to these standards. To cover twelve grades of CCL, ASTM needs the laminates to meet certain factors for peel strength.
The fabricators should also check the CCL for twist, warp, or blistering. Copper-clad laminate manufacturers often follow the IPC-410IC as a standard. Moreover, they have to use IPC-IM650 to test the fabricated CCL.

Final Thoughts

PCB different materials known as substrate, including copper clad laminate or CCL. PCB substrates are either organic or inorganic, depending on their properties. The organic substrates come up in different materials known as reinforced boards, such as glass felt, fiberglass, fiber paper, fiber cloth, and so on.
PCB fabricators impregnate the reinforcing materials with an adhesive called resin, making it dry, and then cover it with copper foil at high pressure and temperature. Such a substrate is CCL or copper-clad laminate that resides on either one or both sides of the board.
Would like to know more about Copper Clad Laminate or prototype pcb manufacturer? Email us at sales@pnconline.com

Six Basic PCB Design Principles

Six Basic PCB Design Principles

Printed circuit boards are vital parts of smart devices and several equipments as they provide current or electrical signals to run them. You need different elements to construct a PCB, such as:

  • Schematic design
  • Database login
  • Electronic component configuration
  • Design preparation
  • Wiring
  • Block division
  • Testing

If any issue happens during a process, you have to go back to the previous process to correct it. The layout of PCB components is a complex thin as it determines a board\s appearance and neatness. Moreover, it also affects the function of the end product or device. We will discuss below the six basic PCB design principles in terms of its components and other factors.

1-Components Layout and Clearance

You have to place the components evenly on the board, leaving some space on the edges. The components around the edge should be 3mm away from PCB edges. In general, designers leave 5 to 10 mm space around the edges.

The components should be only on a board’s one side. There should be a separate pad for each lead pin.

Don’t cross up and down the components’ layout and keep a certain distance between the nearby components on the board. However, this distance should not be too small as it can hinder PCB maintenance.

Components should be installed at a low height and its lead should not be more than 5mm away from the PCB, as it can affect its quality to bear vibration.

Printed Circuit Board components that reside on a pad’s both ends must be a bit larger than their axial dimensions. The pads should be located where the coordinate grid intersects. The central distance of the pad has to be more than the board thickness to have a neat layout.

According to IEC or International Electrotechnical Commission, the standard spacing of the coordinate grid should be 2.54mm, whereas the axillary spacing should be 1.27mm.

However, these standards practically impact a few processes, including automatic drilling, computer automated design, components welding, and automatic assembly. But, such a grid spacing is not restricted in the case of manual drilling.

2-Defined Solder Mask

Solder mask expansion should be well-defined as it can cause issues if you over-define or under-define it. Tombstoning may happen if you don’t define the solder mask properly. Like, one side cools down faster than another side, affecting the board. So, by following the right parameters, you won’t have to revise your design.

The solder mask opening should be larger than the pad. In general, it expands 4 mils or 0.1mm. However, both can also have the same size, depending on the Printed Circuit board Fabrication.

3- Via Type& Routing Width

You must use the right via for routing as it won’t work if its diameter or ratio is not precise. The current won’t pass correctly due to fused vias. So, via styles should be considered while routing the entire PCB.

The routs should have enough width to carry the current that your device requires. You must have an impedance-controlled routing that needs various impedance profiles. You have to apply these profiles to routing widths to ensure a functional layout. Don’t have routing at an acute angle even if the signals have a low speed as acute angle hinders manufacturing. Like, an acute angle can increase the corrosion, leading to an open circuit.

Whereas it is vital to avoid the acute angle in the case of high-frequency circuits because it fully changes the track width at the corners and results in poor signals and discontinued impedance.

Six Basic PCB Design Principles
Six Basic PCB Design Principles

4-Components Installation

Different PC Board components are installed either vertically or horizontally. The horizontal components are parallel to the surface of the circuit board. Whereas in vertical installation, components are perpendicular to the PCB surface.

Vertical components allow you to have more quantity on a board’s surface. It is ideal for hearing aids, semiconductor radios, portable instruments, or devices that need a dense placement of components. For vertical installation, components have to be lightweight. Don’t install heavy components in a vertical direction as it can affect a PCB’s mechanical strength. Moreover, it causes vibration, and components can collapse, making a circuit less reliable.

On the other hand, the horizontal installation provides mechanical stability, and the circuit board also looks neat. It also helps lay down the printed wires because it enhances the elements’ span.

You can use any installation method, depending on your needs but make sure to arrange components evenly and the circuit should be anti-vibration.

5-Considering The PCB Layout Type

PCB layout has either a regular arrangement of components or is irregular. In an irregular format, the axis of the components are not aligned with each other, so it seems messy. However, it helps lay down the printed wires easily as there is no restriction of direction. Such a layout is ideal for high-frequency circuits and involves a vertical installation.

Whereas in a regular format, the component axis is aligned and either parallel or perpendicular to the sides of a PCB. It provides a neat board and makes certain processes easier, like PCB assembly, debugging, welding, maintenance, and production.

Moreover, a regular format is ideal for low-frequency circuits where the board has a few component types and its surface is loose. However, the number of components is high and such an arrangement also suits electronic instruments. But, due to the direction restrictions, such a PCB has a complex layout of wires, increasing the overall length of the wires.

6-Factors That Affect the PCB Layout

You also have to consider the factors that affect a PCB layout, like the direction of the signals, device position electromagnetic interference, thermal interference, mechanical strength, etc.

  • Generally, the direction of the signal flow is from left to right of which left is the input and right is the output. It is also from top to bottom of which the top is the input and the bottom is the output. Connectors which are in direct connection to the input and output should be close to the input and output connectors. Integrated circuits or transistors should be the core components. Whereas other components should be located according to their electrodes’ location. You should also consider the size, a number of pins, shape, and polarity of components.
  • You should adopt certain ways to prevent electromagnetic interference that occurs due to different external factors, like spatial electromagnetic ways, poor wiring, poor installation of components, etc. You can avoid these issues during the layout design. But, interference will happen if the PCB design is not right
  • You should shield the components that interfere with each other. High-frequency components should have small wiring. Similarly, the components of weak and strong currents should be separated. Wires with high potential should be at a great distance to avoid 50Hz interference. Likewise, the metal components should not be adjacent or they should be well-insulated to avoid a short circuit.
  • While designing a PCB, you must know which components are temperature sensitive and which are heat components. The heating components like resistors should be located near the shell or near vent holes to dissipate heat. Don’t place many heating components near each other. Also, use fans or radiators to prevent the rise in temperature beyond its limit.
  • Whereas the temperature-sensitive components should be away from the heat source. In general, integrated circuits, transistors, electrolytic capacitors, and thermal components are temperature sensitive. These components get affected due to the rise in temperature, especially in a circuit’s long-term operation.
  • The board should also be mechanically strong and its center of gravity should be stable. Don’t install heavy or heating components directly on the board, instead, they should be under the chassis to have a stable board. If the board size is above 200mm it will cause mechanical stress, so it should be strengthened with a mechanical frame.

Finally, many PCB design software uses the power layer to have a fast design process. You can connect more wires to ensure the current has a minimum impedance or voltage drop down, thus giving enough ground return paths.


1.How To Layout A Printed Circuit Board?
You have to follow certain steps to create a PCB layout. Such as making the schematic drawings, developing a blank PCB layout, creating a PCB stack-up, schematic capture, defining design principles, defining DFM, linking to PCB, placement of components, inserting drill holes, and the route traces.

2.Is It Hard To Design A PCB?
It is not hard to design your PCB if the electrical schematic is right. Besides, following the design parameters also makes the design process easy.

3.Why Is My PCB Green?
The color of the solder mask determines the PCB color. So, if the solder mask is green, you say that PCB is green. The solder mask shields a copper circuit to avoid shorts circuit or soldering issues.

4.What Is The Purpose Of Following PCB Design Rules?
PCB design rules or principles help you to develop a system to automate the testing of design requirements. You get an interface between the physical and logical sides to create a circuit board. So, you can automate the DFM tests by following the rules to ensure that you can build a PCB.
Would like to know more about Design Principles or PC Board assembly? Write us at sales@pnconline.com

printed circuit board

Differences Between IC and a PC Board

Before discussing the IC, you must know what PCB is. The PC Board or PCB has electronic components to help a device function. All digital and electronic devices have PCBs, like consumer products, smartphones, computers, laptops, tabs, etc. The purpose of the PCB is to eliminate assembly issues and have less wiring, enhancing automation and production.
The PCB has different types in terms of the number of layers. Like, it is either a single layer, double layer, four or six layers, or a multilayer circuit board. Now, we will discuss the difference between PCB and integrated circuits.

What Is IC Or Integrated Circuit Board?

The integration of chips makes an integrated circuit, like chips used in a CPU and motherboard are ICs or integrated circuits. Initially, IC was called an integrated block. You will see the IC soldered on a printed circuit board. In other words, a printed circuit board carries the integrated circuit.
The purpose of the integrated circuit or IC is to integrate an ordinary circuit into a chip. So, if the IC gets damaged, the chip won’t work. But, if the PCB gets damaged, you can replace the components.

Printed Circuit Board and Its Components

PCB has different types, however, today’s circuit board has specific components, such as:
Layout and Circuit: PCB circuit is a tool for conducting between different components. A copper surface becomes the base and power layer. Besides, it involves routing through drawing.
Dielectric Layer In The Board: it is also known as the substrate that contains insulation that lies between the layers and a circuit.
Through-Hole Via: vias are made for conducting and a through-hole via helps multiple layers conduct. The plug-in of a device is a large through-hole. There is also a non-through-hole that helps in surface mounting and fixes screws while PCB assembly.
Solder Mask: The copper surface is not always tinned. Epoxy resin is used to print the non-tinned area to separate the tinned copper to prevent a short circuit. Solder mask has different colors, including black, green, red blue, etc.
Silkscreen or Marking: Silkscreen is used to make legends or mark names and locations of different components. It helps maintain a PCB after assembly.
Finishing: the copper surface has to be tinned or it would get oxidized. The surface finish involves different processes, such as ENIG, HASL, immersion tin or silver, and OSP. You can use any method according to your needs as each finishing method has some pros and cons.

Features of Advanced PCB

High-Density PCB’s
PCB is becoming advanced due to new technology. You will see the HDI circuit boards in all small gadgets. Both installation and ICs are also improving with time.
More reliable
Now, PCB is more reliable than before because we have better testing tools. Moreover, its manufacturing and the end product are of high quality.
Up To Parameters
Each PCB material has certain mechanical, electrical, physical, and chemical properties. You will get a high-performing PCB if its design is according to the standards and design parameters.
Better PCB Production
PCB production has also increased with time due to better tools, design software, and advanced technology. Various standards ensure a high-quality device, such as automation, standardization, management, etc. You will see better equipment to test your PCB to have a high-quality end product.
PC Board Assembly
Assembly has also improved and helps you to have more production than the previous years. Similarly, you can develop complete equipment by assembling different components.
PCB Maintenance
PCB maintenance is also essential, especially, if the assembly gets issues. You can easily replace the damaged parts, restoring the system. Making lightweight, and mini or smart PCB is also easier than before. You can have a device with high-speed signals by maintaining your circuit board.

Features of Integrated Circuit

The integrated circuits were developed by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce. The integrated circuit is very common in certain industries, such as military, civil electronics, television, communication, radio recorder, computer, etc. It provides the following benefits.

  • Lightweight structure
  • Less lead
  • Small volume
  • Solder joint
  • More reliability
  • Longer lifespan
  • High performance
  • Mass production
  • Low cost

IC is a microelectronic component or device in a PCB. IC technology involves the manufacturing of chips, design technology, processing technology, testing, packaging, design innovation, and mass production.
The integrated circuit is a key part of advanced electronic sand it is the heart of many circuits. You will see at least one chip or IC in every electronic device. IC is a combination of various electronic components, including capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc. These components together make a small chip and are linked to having a common goal. There are different types of ICs, such as

  • Single-circuit logic gates
  • Voltage regulators
  • Open amps
  • Motor controllers
  • 555 timers
  • Microprocessors
  • Microcontrollers
  • FPGAs
  • Many others

There is a complex process of making layers of copper, semiconductor wafers, and several other materials. These materials interconnect to make resistors, transistors, and other parts of a circuit.
Not only IC is too small, but it has very thin copper layers and semiconductor wafers. The layers have very delicate connections. Similarly, The IC die is a very small circuit that is too tiny to connect or solder, so you have to package the die that converts the delicate die into a black chip that you often see.
You can enhance the working life of equipment by using the IC to assemble different electronic tools. It helps you to increase the assembly density many times compared to transistors.
These days, you would see silicon ICs involving semiconductors. So, IC is a device that integrates capacitors, resistors, semiconductors, and other elements that make a circuit perform certain tasks. The device connects wires between these components on the silicon wafer through oxidation, diffusion, aluminum evaporation, epitaxy, and photolithography, and then it is welded in a casing or shell.

Differences Between IC and a PCBoard
Differences Between IC and a PCBoard

What Is IC Package?

IC package helps convert a die into a device to have a connection. Die’s outer connection has a small gold wire to a pad on the package that helps to connect it. The pad or pin is silver and it is an extruded terminal on the IC that continues to connect to a circuit’s outer parts. There are different types of IC packages having different dimensions, installation methods, and a number of pins.
Understanding Pin Numbering and Polarity Marking
You should know that every IC is polarized and each pin is different in its function and location. So, the package must show each pin’s nature and function. Mostly the ICs have DOT or Notch to differentiate the first pin. Like, sometimes only one pin is the first or sometimes both are.
Package Mounting
The mounting of a package on a PCB also varies, it can be SMT or surface mount, SMD, or a through-hole mounting. The through-hole package is often large and easy to manage, and it is created to get stuck through a board’s one side and soldering the other side.
The surface mount package has different sizes, small or minuscule. These packages are created to be soldered to the PCB surface and sit on one side. The SMD package has pins either perpendicular to the chip or extruded out the side, or set in a matrix on a chip’s lower part. Such ICs are hard to assemble with hands and need special tools for this purpose.
Dual In-Line Package or DIP
DIP is an ordinary through-hole IC package having two parallel lines of pins that extend perpendicularly from a black, and rectangular plastic casing.
SMT, SMD, or Surface Mount Package
There are many types of SMT packages and in the case of ICs, you must have a custom PCB having compatible copper patterns to be soldered. You need special automated tools to solder the SMD package.
SOP or Small Outline Package
The SOIC package is the SMT cousin of the DIP as this is what you see when you bend all the pins outward on a DIP, reducing the size. The SOP package is very easy to solder with hands. The spacing between the pins should be 1.27mm or 0.05”.
The shrink small-outline package or SSOP is a small type of SOIC package. Likewise, there are TSOP or thin-small outline packages and TSSOP or thin-shrink small-outline packages.
It is easy to understand the difference between IC and PCB if you know all their features as described above.

Final Thoughts

The integrated circuit is a key part of advanced electronics and it is the heart of many circuits. You will see at least one chip or IC in every electronic device. IC is a combination of various electronic components, including capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc.
The purpose of the integrated circuit or IC is to integrate an ordinary circuit into a chip. So, if the IC gets damaged, the chip won’t work. But, if the PCB gets damaged, you can replace the components. However, PCB and IC work together to help an electronic device function.
Would like to know more about the ICs, PCBs or pcb assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com