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What is a E-Tester & how E-tester test PCB?
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023

We often receive this question from customer” what is a E-Tester?” and” how to do E-Test for FR4 PCB?” Hereby I would like to share with you how to use E-Tester to test PCB.

Best Technology in FR4 PCB circuit manufacturing filed since year 2006, we have more than 17 years experiences in PCB fabrication process. We can provide from the design to turn key service for our customer.

Let us come to today’s topic, now what is a E-Tester?

What is a E-tester?

E-Tester is tooling for test PCB during volume production. E-Tester was used to detect the electrical performance of PCB. It is the essential process to test the PCB by this tester before shipment.

As you may know that during PCB process flow, it might be caused some defects by external factors and this is unavoidable.

So, in order to reduce the loss before PCB goes to the next stage when it is assembled with components, Therefore, the E-Test plays important role in PCB quality control to segregate PCBs with defects from shipment to customers and that’s why most of customers require their PCB manufactures to do 100% E test before shipment.

(E_testers)

The E tester mainly checks the open/short circuit for FR4 PCB.

How to do E-test?

Firstly, set up the E-tester on the testing machine and up test datasheet on the computer. Put the board to the E-tester to test the open/short circuit for board and dielectric strength.

Shorts Test: Check to make sure that NO current flows between separate nets by measuring the amount resistance between them.

Opens Test: Check to make sure there is current flow from one “node” to the next for every net on the board.

(Tester_testing)

During the testing, test whether there is short circuit between different network routes of PCB; test whether the PCB network is open to each PAD, and whether the hole is open; Finally, Insulation strength test and the Impedance test.

If the trace open is found on the bare board, the failure location could be repaired or the bare board has to be scrapped. On the other hand, the cost will be increased when PCB goes to the next stage when it is assembled with components, mainly are the sorting cost, component cost and the assembly cost. The compensation ratio is 10 times or even more than the PCB cost and this damages PCB manufacturer’s profit. The worse case is when PCBA is installed onto the end product, the loss caused by defected PCB could be very painful, say up to thousand times of PCB cost. Therefore, the E-Test plays important role in PCB industry to segregate PCBs with defects from shipment to customers and that’s why most of customers require their PCB suppliers to do 100% E test before shipment.

If you want to know more about testing for FR4 PCB board, welcome to visited www.bestpcbs.com or email us, we are very happy to answer your question.

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What is PCB Embedded Component Process?
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

The resistance and capacitance buried in multi layers PCB process is a process of burying resistors and capacitors inside the PCB board. Usually, the resistors and capacitors on the PCB are directly soldered on the board through mounting technology, while the buried resistor and capacitor process is to embed the resistors and capacitors into the internal layer of the PCB board.

This kind of printed circuit board consists of a first dielectric layer, a buried resistor, a circuit layer and a second dielectric layer in order from bottom to top. Among them, the part of the buried resistor without a circuit layer on the buried resistor is covered with a polymer isolation layer, and the surface of the polymer isolation layer is roughened, the surface roughness Rz is bigger than 0.01 μm, and the thickness of the polymer isolation layer at the corners is at least 0.1 μm.

The printed circuit board of the utility model covers a layer of polymer isolation layer on the surface of the buried resistor, thereby protecting the buried resistor from being attacked and corroded by chemical chemicals during subsequent wet processes such as browning and super-coarseness, and improving the efficiency of manufacturing buried resistors. Resistor plate process capabilities further promote the application of buried resistive plates to inner layer buried resistors.

The advantages of the buried resistor and buried capacitor process include:

1. Space saving:

Since the resistors and capacitors are embedded directly into the internal layers of the board, space on the PCB board can be saved, making the entire circuit board more compact.

2. Reduce circuit noise:

Embedding resistors and capacitors into the internal layers of the board can reduce the electromagnetic interference and noise of the circuit and improve the stability and anti-interference capabilities of the circuit.

3. Improve signal integrity:

The buried resistance and buried capacitance process can reduce the transmission delay and reflection loss of circuit signals and improve the integrity and reliability of signal transmission.

4. Reduce the thickness of the PCB:

However, the buried resistor and buried capacitor process is relatively complicated in terms of manufacturing and repair, because the resistors and capacitors cannot be directly observed and replaced. In addition, the buried resistance and buried capacitance process is usually used in high-end electronic products, and the cost is relatively high.

When it comes to high-density circuit design, PCB buried resistance and buried capacitance technology has become a very useful technology. In traditional PCB layout, resistors and capacitors are usually soldered on the PCB surface in the form of patches. However, this layout method causes the PCB board to take up more space and may cause noise and interference on the surface.

The buried resistance and buried capacitance process solves the above problems by embedding resistors and capacitors directly into the internal layer of the PCB board.

The following are the detailed steps of the PCB buried resistor and buried capacitor process:

1. Make the inner layer:

When making a PCB board, in addition to the conventional layers (such as outer layer and inner layer), it is also necessary to make a separate inner layer specifically for buried resistance and buried capacitance. These internal layers will contain areas for buried resistors and capacitors. The inner layers are usually made using the same techniques as regular PCB manufacturing, such as electroplating, etching, etc.

2. Resistor/capacitor footprint:

Resistors and capacitors are packaged in a special package in the buried resistor and capacitor process so that they can be embedded into the internal layer of the PCB. These packages are usually thinned to accommodate the thickness of the PCB board and have good thermal conductivity.

3. Buried resistor/capacitor:

In the process of making the inner layer, the buried resistor and capacitor process is completed by embedding resistors and capacitors into the inner layer of the PCB board. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as using special pressing techniques to embed resistors and capacitors between inner layers of material, or using laser technology to etch holes in the inner layer material and then fill them with resistors and capacitors.

4. Connection layer:

After completing the inner layer of the buried resistor and buried capacitor, connect it to other regular layers (such as the outer layer). This can be achieved through conventional PCB manufacturing techniques such as lamination, drilling, etc.

In general, the buried resistance and buried capacitance process is a highly integrated technology that embeds resistors and capacitors in the internal layer of the PCB board. It can save space, reduce noise, improve signal integrity, and make PCB boards thinner and lighter. However, due to the complexity, the buried resistor and buried capacitor process is usually used in high-end electronic products with higher performance requirements.

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Do You Know How Does the ENEPIG Working for Wire Bonding Circuit Boards?
Friday, November 10th, 2023

The electronics industry has continuously pursued smaller and faster electronic products with increased functionality. To meet these demands, the electronic packaging industry has focused on developing more advanced packaging methods, aiming to increase the density of components on a circuit board while integrating multiple functions into a densely package.

The increasing density of packaging and interconnection has driven the progression of assembly methods from through-hole technology (THT) to surface-mount technology (SMT). Additionally, the use of wire bonding to connect chips to substrates has become more prevalent. The adoption of smaller interconnect pitches and chip-scale packaging (CSP) has further increased component density, while multi-chip modules (MCM) and system-in-package (SiP) have enabled the integration of more functions on a single package.

This post describes the key factors affecting the reliability of interconnections, with a particular focus on the specific properties of surface-treated wire bonding, emphasizing the selection of wire bonding surface treatments.

Selection of Surface Treatment for Wire Bonding

While electroless nickel gold provides excellent performance for wire bonding, it has three main drawbacks that hinder its application in cutting-edge technologies:

1. The relatively high demand for gold layer thickness leads to lengthy process costs.

2. Thick gold layers are prone to the formation of weak tin-gold intermetallic compounds (IMC), reducing the reliability of solder joints. To enhance solder joint reliability, alternative surface treatments may be used, but this increases additional process costs.

3. The electroplating process requires the use of electroplating lines, limiting the design freedom and wiring density of the packaging substrate.

The limitations posed by electroplated nickel-gold provide an opportunity for the adoption of chemical plating. The techniques of chemical plating include Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG), Electroless Nickel Electroless Gold (ENEG), and Electroless Nickel Palladium Immersion Gold (ENEPIG).

Among these three options, ENIG is generally unproblematic due to its lack of high reliability in gold wire bonding properties (although it has been used in some low-end consumer products). On the other hand, ENEG shares the high production cost and presents complex challenges in terms of the manufacturing process, similar to electroplated nickel-gold.

ENEPIG was initially introduced in the late 1990s, its market acceptance was delayed until around the year 2000 due to fluctuations in palladium metal prices (which were inflated to unreasonable levels around 2000). However, ENEPIG can meet the requirements of many new packaging applications, providing reliable performance and conform to lead-free/ROHS requirements, with a recent strong surge in market demand.

In addition to the advantages in packaging reliability, the cost of ENEPIG is another benefit. With the recent rise in gold prices surpassing US$800/oz, it becomes challenging to control costs for electronic products requiring thick gold plating. The price of palladium (US$300/oz), relative to gold, is less than half, making palladium a cost-effective alternative with surface-related advantages.

Comparison of Surface Treatments

Up to now, for printed circuit boards accommodating fine-pitch QFP/BGA components, there are primarily four lead-free surface treatments:

Immersion Tin (IT)

Immersion Silver (IAg)

Organic Solderability Preservatives (OSP)

Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG)

The table below compares these four surface treatments with ENEPIG. Among these surface treatments, none can simultaneously meet all the requirements of lead-free assembly processes, especially when considering multiple reflow experiences, pre-assembly shelf life, and gold wire bonding experiences. In contrast, ENEPIG offers good shelf life, solder joint reliability, gold wire bonding capability, and can serve as a touch button surface, providing surface-related advantages. Moreover, in the final gold replacement deposition reaction, the chemical palladium layer in ENEPIG works to protect the nickel layer, avoiding excessive corrosion during gold replacement.

(Table 1 – Comparison_of_Different_Surface_Treatment_Performances)

What Are Advantages of ENEPIG?

ENEPIG has several crucial advantages, demonstrating reliable solderability and gold wire bonding concurrently. The key benefits are outlined as follows:

  • Prevention of “Black Nickel Problem” – The absence of gold replacement attacking nickel on the surface prevents interfacial corrosion.
  • The chemical palladium layer acts as a barrier, preventing copper from diffusing to the surface, ensuring satisfactory solderability.
  • Palladium layer enable to completely dissolves in the solder, preventing the exposure of a high-phosphorus layer at the alloy interface. After the dissolution of the chemical palladium layer, the chemical nickel layer is revealed, forming a satisfactory nickel-tin alloy.
  • Capability to Withstand Multiple Lead-Free Reflow Cycles
  • Excellent Gold Wire Bonding Properties

These advantages make ENEPIG a preferred choice in various applications, ensuring reliable performance in both soldering and wire bonding processes while offering cost efficiency. As a one-stop PCB supplier in Asia, Best Technology possesses advanced technology and high-tech manufacturing equipment that can meet the “multi-variety, small volume, high quality, strong capability, short delivery” requirements. Welcome to contact us if you are going to find a reliable circuit board manufacturer.

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How Can I Reduce and Optimize the Cost of My PCB in A Best Way? – Series 2
Saturday, October 28th, 2023

At our latest blog, may the readers have understood the factors that will affect the PCB price, or maybe one of your have put it into practice that get a price lower than your budget. However, people are always not satisfied by the existing situation. If this is bother you as well, keep reading since this time we are going to sharing some useful tips that enable to optimize your PCB price until to the best.

  • Reduce board complexity

It can be said that try to simplest your design/layout and make it easy to fabricate is the simplest way to reduce your PCB cost. The more complex and irregular the forms, the higher the cost. Just remember: for every circuit board, no need to maintain a fancy diagram to demonstrate its excellence, perform functionality correctly is enough.

  • Design it in right size and thickness

Design your board in right size doesn’t means make it smaller as possible. You must know, if your design is complex and layouts are density, that means maker need to spend more time to assemble them. Highly compact sizes are always expensive, don’t skimp when it counts. Otherwise, more money will be spent to afford what you saved.

And in theory, the more layers and thickness the board, the more cost that manufacturer spend. Numerous layers in the PCB will have an influence for holes and diameters. It is recommended that if thinner thickness is enough, then just do it. 

  • Shapes, holes and rings should be regularly

Normally, keep the PCB as square or rectangular shapes is cheaper than irregular shapes like pentagon.  And large holes and rings enable to smooth the production run and easy to create. For smaller holes and rings means the driller must be smaller and delicate control.

  • Consider volume and choose manufacturer

In our last blog, we emphasize manufacturers will set a minimum order quantity (MOQ), it is common in this industry. So, consider your volume and check multiple quantities before ordering can help to recognize which one is the most cost-effective.

During the evaluation period, talk to your suppliers as soon as possible, knowing more about the material specifications, technical and PCB tolerances. A wrong choice will lead to much time waste and some unnecessary cost. This is we call “trial and error cost”. Try to make all things are clear and correct before production.

  • Pick the best vias

There are totally three types of vias in PCB: though-hole, blind, buried. The through hole can be passed through the whole board, while blind vias is created from top or bottom side to the middle of the board without through to bottom or top side. Buried vias, just as its names, it is buried inside the boards and we can’t see it by naked eyes.

Obviously, through hole is cost performance than other two vias, try to use more instead of blind or buried vias enable to decrease your cost. In additionally, blind and buried vias are always necessary in HDI PCB and RF board, otherwise, you don’t usually use them.

  • Make sure all SMT components on the one side

Trying to make all the surface mounted (SMT) components on the one side of circuit board if possible. In this way, assembler can finish the SMT process in one-time, so that can save much manufacturing time and cost. But if the components are distributed on both sides, it is needed to assemble two times, that is top side first – bottom side second (or sometimes bottom first).

  • Select easily replaceable component parts

It is assumed that one of part on your circuit becomes obsolete, then you must search for replaceable part or update your design if you would like to continuedly use this board. As an extensive experienced PCB manufacturer, we strongly recommend that select components that has standard dimension, so that it is easy to match alternative one.

In addition, visit some manufacturer’s website carefully to see if any components are marked as “obsolete” or “not recommended for new designs” before finishing your design. This enables to avoid secondary update.

  • Follow manufacturer’s PCB fabricate standards

Understand and follow manufacturer’s fabricate standards can keep your unit PCB price in a relative lower cost. When designing a new project, please make sure to following below tips.

  1. Use standard stack-up with standard materials.
  2. Design 2-4 layers PCB if possible.
  3. Keep your minimum line width and spacing within the standard spacing.
  4. Avoid adding extra special requirements as much as possible.
  • Use SMT components as possible

Choose surface mounted (SMT) components instead of through hole (THT) component whenever possible. SMT and THT are almost treated as separated manufacturing processes. Hence, if all the THT components can be replaced by mounted parts, the THT process will be eliminated completely. It is not only decreasing the manufacturing cost, but also reducing delivery time. Of course, it is not always possible, but it’s worth trying.  

Whatever decisions you make, the best solution is to consult and discuss with your suppliers. They be always to give you the best one that can save your money and meet your requirements as well. Meanwhile, if you don’t believe the suppliers, you are welcome to reach us. We promise that we can give you a most favorable price and high-quality product.

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What Factors Affect the PCB Board Price? How to Keep the Best Price? – Series 1
Saturday, October 28th, 2023

For each development engineer or purchaser, how to keep the cost within the budget is a most irksome and irritating assignment while the PCB has the good quality and enable to perform desired function. They need to understand the computation rule and calculate the developing cost. So, it is worth to knowing the factors that affect the printed circuit board price, and it is a must learn course for every engineers. Herein, Best Technology is going to dissect the factors affect the cost of PCB, let’s move on!

What affects the cost of a PCB?

Drives the cost of PCBs are numerous, we can see from the PCB itself, for example, circuit board substrate materials, the external factors such as the manufacturing difficulties, the whole order quantities and some other special requirements that from designers.

Here, we listing some basic parameter factors which drives the whole cost of a PCB.

  • PCB substrate material

The substrate of PCB board refers to the material used in the non-conductor part of the circuit board, mainly FR4, glass fiber, epoxy resin, polyimide, copper, aluminum and so on. In the PCB manufacturing, glass fiber is widely used in the manufacture of double-sided circuit board and multi-layer board, while epoxy resin and polyimide are used in the manufacture of high-density multi-layer board. Among them, copper substrate is most expensive material. No matter what kind of materials, all of them shall be calculated according to the real-time international price.

  • PCB size (panel and single pcs)

PCB size will determine the price of PCBs, this is for sure. Generally speaking, with a same number of PCB layers, the smaller the PCB size, the cheaper the cost. Because during calculating cost, vendors will consider the utilization rate of raw materials. Make sure the highest utilization, the cost for both purchaser and vender will be best. The raw material of PCBs is commonly 1200mm*1200mm, or 1220mm for special specifications, when the utilization achieves 90% or above, this is the best.

So, how to improve the utilization of raw materials? Normally, manufacturers will optimize the working files (WF) from single size to panel size, and then material will be cut according to the panel files. But if the panel size is not suitable, then there will be a lot of waste edges of raw material in the cutting process, and generally this will be added into your PCB price. So that the unit PCB price will be more expensive. In another word, if you PCB size is well-suited, then it is good for PCB manufacturer and yourself. And at this time, the utilization will be the highest and your PCB cost is the cheapest as well.

  • Line width/spacing

To a certain extent, as long as you are following the PCB design rules, the PCB price will not too high. However, if your design is complex and the line width is extreme thin, then the price will increase since it is difficult to control during manufacturing.

  • PCB layers

According to the IPC standard, PCBs can be classified to single-layer PCB, double sided PCB and multilayer PCB. For layer count over than 2 layers, we called it as Multilayer PCBs, such as 4 layers PCB, 6 layers PCB. For FR4 PCB, we can make up to 32layers.

Due to the manufacturing process and some unpredictable assembling cycles, the more the layers, the more expensive it is. (The price of single side PCB is the similar to double sided PCBs.)

  • Solder mask ink color

In the past, it is no doubt that you will spend more if you want every color expect green. But now things are changeable. Most colors are available at no or very little extra cost, which usually only occurs for unique requests such as matte tones.

  • PCB copper foil thickness

The weight of copper foil depends on the successful utilization of the material. Thicker copper is more expensive and comes with additional manufacturing difficulties and expenses. You may also have to fill the holes with copper foil to connect layers. In addition, heavier copper means you need to spend more cost in shipping. Let’s take a simple example, for aluminum core PCB and copper core PCB, in the same volume and quantities, copper core PCB stands out for expensive shipping cost since it has thicker copper and heavier weight.

  • PCB surface treatment

Surface treatment is a method that using for protecting the surface from corrosion and improve the solderability. Usually, in consideration of environmental friendliness, vendors can use a couple of gold or silver to achieve further safety for use in some applications.

The commonly used surface treatment methods include OSP, IMMERSION SILVER, ENIG, ENEPIG and HASL (LF). Among them, the price is ENEPIG>ENIG>IMMERSION SILVER>OSP>HASL. You can calculate the PCB board price according to the surface treatment method and gold thickness.

  • Quantity and lead time

When developing a new project, almost of companies would like to make prototypes first and ask for a sample quotation. However, some PCB manufacturers will set the minimum order quantity, the smaller the quantity, the higher cost the PCB board. Please make sure to check the price for different amount before placing an official order.

Meanwhile, the delivery time request also will affect the whole price in a certain. And certainly, the price of quick turn order and expedited service will higher than normal order.

  • Other special requirements (impedance, IPC standard)

To ensure the stable transmission of circuit board signals and improve the quality of signal transmission, designers and engineers will ask for impedance control for the traces. This can be seen as special requirements, so it will add a few extra prices. And the required IPC Criteria is a factor as well. Normally, if customer does not have other request, we will default use IPC class II. III level will more expensive.

Above all are the mainly factors that affect the price composition for a printed circuit board. When evaluating your PCB cost, making them in your consideration is best.

PCB and PCBA supplier that can save cost for you – Best Technology

When you are seeking for a reliable PCB and PCBA supplier, I would like to recommend Best Technology to you. Best Tech offers one-stop service including raw material purchasing, PCB making, components searching, assembly, box building and package out of warehouse. What we can provide is not limited to PCB, but also metal core PCB, ceramic PCB, flexible PCB, rigid flex PCB, special PCB like HDI PCB, heavy copper PCB, extra thin PCB and so on. During the 17 years, the Best Technology company has served include medical industry, consumer electronics, new energy, automotive electronics, aerospace, military and others.

Could it be said that you are searching for a PCB supplier that can provide favorable price that lower than market? If this is true, please go ahead and reach us today, let’s talk about more PCB information right now and start our business trip together. We promise, when you decide to take the first step, and we’ll take the remaining 99 steps.

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The Differences Between Copper PCB and Heavy Copper PCB?
Saturday, October 21st, 2023

With the fast development of digital era, printed circuit board (PCB) has won a huge market in the electronic industry. Nowadays, electronics can be found everywhere, I can say for each electronic products, you will find a PCB or several pcbs are inside. But not every PCB are the same, each printed circuit board plays its unique roles. When it comes to copper pcb, may someone will think about heavy copper pcb, or even think they are the same. But actually, they are totally different, totally from constructure and functions.

What is Copper PCB?

Copper PCB, also known as Copper Core PCB, Copper-based PCB or Copper Clad PCB, which is a type of metal core PCB (MCPCB) that uses copper core as the base substrate. Among all of the PCB types, copper clad pcb is well-known for its extreme high thermal conductivity, which enables to achieve to 401W/m.K, that’s why some people think it is the king of the metal core PCB.

(Copper_core_PCB)

Copper-based PCB consists of three layers: copper foil layer, dielectric layer and base copper layer. Copper foil layer is the electric layer, which is mainly used for components electric connection. Dielectric layer is made by insulation material, so it also called insulation layer. Though it is function as insulation, it has good heat transfer capacity. The base copper layer is the support stone for the whole PCB. Copper core PCB is commonly used in LED lighting and other applications where need good heat dissipation.

What is Heavy Copper PCB?

Heavy copper PCB doesn’t have a clear definition in IPC standard, it is a kind of special PCB just like HDI PCB and extra thin PCB. Generally, for copper thickness equal or exceed 3ounces will be default as heavy copper pcb. For those copper thickness ranges from 20~200ounces is classified as extreme heavy copper PCB.

(Heavy_copper_PCB)

The base substrate of heavy copper PCB can be FR4 material or aluminum, instead of copper base. This is a significant difference between copper pcb and heavy copper pcb. Heavy copper normally used for a various product but not limited to: high power distribution, bas bur, planar transformers, power convertors, and so on. Due to it enables to carry high current and provide high power, people also called it power supply PCB and high-power PCB.

Differences Between Copper PCB and Heavy Copper PCB?

Except the structural composition, there are still some other differences between the copper core circuit board and heavy copper board. Let’s dive into together.

Copper Thickness

Copper core PCBs typically have thinner copper traces, whereas Heavy Copper PCBs have significantly thicker copper layers. If the trace width is certain, increasing the copper thickness is equivalent to increasing the section area of the circuit, so that it can carry more current.

Current-Carrying Capacity

Copper-based circuit boards are suitable for low to medium current applications. In contrast, Heavy Copper PCBs have thicker copper layers, which enables to handle higher currents without overheating. That’s why it is recommended heavy copper circuit board for high power electronics and high-power applications such as electric car.

Heat Dissipation

Actually, both of them are good in heat dissipation capabilities. But due to the copper clad circuit board is made by copper base, while heavy copper printed circuit board uses epoxy resin or aluminum as the base material, copper core PCB is superior to heavy copper PCB in heat dissipation. So, if your application requires better heat transfer but no need to carry higher power, copper core board is the go-to-choice.

Cost Effective

Among the various metal core PCBs, copper core PCB is the most expensive since the copper core itself is expensive, around 6-7 times than the aluminum core PCB.

Heavy copper PCB also is expensive since it has complex manufacturing processes and thick copper layers. But its price mainly depends on how thick copper thickness it needs. So comprehensive consideration, heavy copper pcb is the most cost-effective.

Applications

Copper PCBs are well-suited for smaller consumer electronics, where cost is a significant factor, and heat generation is minimal.

Heavy Copper PCBs are used in power electronics, automotive applications, and industrial equipment, where high current handling and heat management are essential.

Choosing the Right PCB for Your Project

When choosing between Copper Core PCBs and Power Supply PCBs, consider the following factors:

  • Your project’s power requirements
  • Thermal management needs
  • Budget constraints
  • Durability and expected lifespan

By evaluating these aspects, you can make an informed decision on which type of PCB is the best fit for your project.

In summary, the choice between Copper PCBs and Heavy Copper PCBs depends on the specific requirements of your electronic project. Copper PCBs are suitable for low to medium current applications with minimal heat generation. On the other hand, Heavy Copper PCBs offer higher current-carrying capacity and superior heat dissipation, making them ideal for high-power applications. Assess your project’s needs carefully to determine which type of PCB will serve you best.

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Do you know the relationship between copper thickness and circuit width & spacing?
Saturday, September 2nd, 2023

We know the precision control and performance of a product are paramount, only know that PCB can be built with a nice function, so, to understand the intricate relationship between copper thickness and circuit width and spacing is pivotal. These two parameters are like the gears of a well-oiled machine, interlocking in ways that significantly influence the printed circuit board‘s functionality, signal integrity, and manufacturability. If the designer does not consider the relationship between these two, the design may need to be modified in subsequent production.

In order to avoiding this information, let’s embark on a deeper exploration of this dynamic relationship to uncover its nuances and implications now,

Frist of all, we need to know some basic information about PCB, like copper thickness, circuit width and spacing.

  1. The Essence of Copper Thickness

Copper, known for its exceptional electrical conductivity, is the lifeblood of any PCB. The copper thickness refers to the amount of copper deposited onto the board’s surface during fabrication. It’s the foundation upon which the traces, the intricate pathways that carry electrical signals, are built. The standard copper thickness is often measured in ounces per square foot (oz/ft²) or micrometers (µm). Common options include 1oz (35µm), 2oz (70µm), and even higher, it depends on customer’s requirement.

  • Circuit Width and Spacing

Circuit width and spacing, though often overlooked, are integral components that determine a PCB’s performance, integrity, and overall functionality. Circuit width refers to the dimension of the conductive traces, while spacing pertains to the distance between these traces. These seemingly simple dimensions have a profound impact on the PCB’s behavior.

Secondly, Unveiling the Intricate Relationship

The relationship between copper thickness, circuit width, and spacing is a sophisticated interplay of electrical properties, heat dissipation, and signal integrity. Let’s delve deeper into this complex web of interactions:

Current-Carrying Capacity and Copper Thickness: Copper thickness directly influences a trace’s ability to carry current without succumbing to overheating. Thicker copper translates to higher current-carrying capacity and reduced resistive losses. However, the trade-off is that wider traces are necessary to accommodate the increased copper thickness.

Resistance and Circuit Width: Wider traces exhibit lower resistance, which in turn reduces voltage drop and enhances the efficiency of signal transmission. Designers must strike a balance between trace width, copper thickness, and available board space.

Spacing and Unwanted Interactions: As circuit spacing decreases, the probability of unwanted interactions, such as crosstalk and electromagnetic interference, rises. Thicker copper can exacerbate these issues due to its larger cross-sectional area. Maintaining appropriate spacing between traces is pivotal to prevent signal degradation and maintain integrity.

Heat Dissipation and Trace Width: Thicker copper also aids in better heat dissipation, a crucial consideration for power-intensive applications. However, this can necessitate wider traces to manage the thermal load effectively.

Signal Integrity and Crosstalk: Smaller spacing reduces the risk of crosstalk, but it’s a double-edged sword. Thicker copper traces may introduce higher capacitance, altering impedance and potentially impacting signal integrity. This delicate balance requires careful consideration during design.

For now, we have known the relationship between them, how to develop a best design between the circuit width & spacing and copper thickness, which depends on what’s you really want, the huge current or heat management? Following details should be considered if you want to develop the best circuit width & spacing.

Current Requirements: Start by understanding the current requirements of your traces based on the components and operational conditions. Selecting the appropriate copper thickness and trace width ensures the PCB can handle the anticipated loads.

Thermal Management: Thicker copper facilitates heat dissipation, which is advantageous for power-dissipating components. However, remember that it might necessitate wider traces to ensure effective heat transfer.

Manufacturability: While thicker copper can enhance current-carrying capacity and heat dissipation, it might pose manufacturing challenges. Consult with PCB manufacturers to align your design choices with their capabilities.

Signal Integrity Analysis: Utilize simulation tools to analyze signal integrity, especially when dealing with smaller spacing and thicker copper. These tools provide insights into impedance matching, potential crosstalk, and overall performance.

Flexibility VS Rigidity: While thicker copper enhances many aspects, it can impact the PCB’s flexibility, crucial for certain applications. Evaluate the mechanical demands of your project and strike the right balance.

Regarding metal core PCB in Best Technology, the copper thickness and its accordingly circuit width & spacing like below, furthermore, it would be better if you can let me know your copper thickness before checking your drawing, we will give you the best solution before formal production.

Copper thicknessMinimum circuit widthMinimum circuit spacing
0.5-2oz0.25mm0.23mm
3oz0.35mm0.3mm
4oz0.4mm0.38mm
(trace_design_guide_of_MCPCB)

Conclusion: Striking the Optimal Balance

The intricate relationship between copper thickness, circuit width, and spacing in PCB design embodies a delicate equilibrium that significantly influences a design’s performance and functionality. This nuanced interplay directly impacts parameters such as current-carrying capacity, resistance, heat dissipation, and signal integrity.

Achieving the optimal balance between these factors requires a deep understanding of electrical properties, thermal considerations, and signal behavior. Designers must carefully evaluate the specific requirements of their projects and leverage simulation tools to fine-tune their choices. Collaboration with PCB manufacturers ensures alignment with manufacturing capabilities.

The dynamic nature of this relationship underscores the constant evolution of PCB technology. As devices become smaller, faster, and more interconnected, the demand for intricate layouts intensifies. Designers must continuously adapt to new challenges, pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable while adhering to the fundamental principles that govern PCB design.

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What You Know About Counterbores in PCB Design and Manufacturing
Friday, August 18th, 2023

In the world of design and manufacturing, precision is paramount. Every detail, down to the placement of a single component, can impact the performance and appearance of a product. This is where the concept of counterbores comes into play, a technique employed in various industries to create recessed areas for components or fasteners.

But firstly, what is counterbore?  Today we will show you the definition and applications of the countersink in a PCB design. 

Definition and Applications:

A counterbore is a cylindrical, flat-bottomed hole that is strategically cut into a material to accommodate specific components or fasteners. It is commonly used in various industries, including woodworking, metalworking, and mechanical engineering. The purpose of a counterbore is to create a recessed area where a component, such as a bolt head, nut, or other hardware, can sit flush with or below the surface of the material. This technique ensures a smooth appearance, prevents interference with other components, and provides mechanical stability.

Counterbores in PCB Design and Manufacturing

In the realm of printed circuit boards (PCBs), counterbores play a crucial role in achieving efficient and functional designs. PCBs are essential components in electronic devices, and their design requires careful consideration of component placement, connectivity, and mechanical stability. Counterbores in PCBs serve several important functions:

  1. Component Alignment and Clearance:  Certain components on a PCB, such as connectors, switches, or specialized modules, require precise alignment and clearance for optimal functionality. A counterbore can be introduced to create a recessed area that accommodates these components, ensuring proper alignment with neighboring components and minimizing the risk of interference.
  • Flush Mounting: To maintain a sleek and compact design, some components need to be mounted flush with the surface of the PCB. A counterbore creates a flat-bottomed recess that allows the component to sit at the same level as the PCB surface, contributing to an aesthetically pleasing and functional layout.
(Counterbore_hole_in_heavy_copper_PCB)
  • Mechanical Support: Components that are susceptible to mechanical stress or impact may benefit from additional support. By incorporating a counterbore, the PCB design can provide a more secure location for these components, reducing the risk of damage.
  • Heat Dissipation Enhancement: In applications where certain components generate significant heat, such as power amplifiers or processors, heat sinks are often employed to dissipate the heat. A counterbore can facilitate proper alignment and contact between the heat sink and the component, optimizing heat transfer and overall thermal performance.
(Detail_counterbore_hole)

The production of counterbores in PCBs involves specialized manufacturing techniques. BEST Technology as a professional PCB manufacturer, we will use precision drilling and routing equipment to create accurately sized and positioned counterbores.

If you want to know more about the counterbores, welcome to follow our post or contact us.

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Do You Know How Many Types of Holes in PCB
Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

In the vast realm of engineering and manufacturing, there exists a hidden world of holes, each with its own distinct purpose and position. These holes play a crucial role in facilitating various functions within mechanical and electronic systems. In this blog, we will embark on a journey to explore different types of holes in printed circuit board. So, fasten your seatbelts and let’s delve into the fascinating world of these essential engineering features.

Common Types of Holes in PCB

Upon examining a circuit board, one will discover an array of holes serving specific purposes. These include Via holes, PTH, NPTH, Blind holes, Buried holes, Counterbore holes, Countersunk holes, Location holes, and Fiducial holes. Each hole type fulfills a distinct role and function within the PCB, making it crucial to familiarize oneself with their characteristics to facilitate optimal PCB design.

1. Via holes

Via holes are small openings that connect different layers of a printed circuit board (PCB). They facilitate the seamless flow of signals and power between the layers, enabling efficient circuit design and transmission. Vias can be classified into two types: Plated Through-Holes (PTH) and Non-Plated Through-Holes (NPTH), each serving different functions.

2. PTH (Plated Through-Hole)

Plated Through-Holes (PTH) are vias with conductive material coating the inner walls. PTHs establish electrical connections between different layers of a PCB, allowing the passage of signals and power. They play a crucial role in interconnecting components, facilitating the flow of electrical current, and ensuring the functionality of the circuit.

3. NPTH (Non-Plated Through-Hole)

Non-Plated Through-Holes (NPTH) lack the conductive coating on their inner walls, making them suitable for mechanical purposes only. These holes are used for mechanical support, alignment, or as positioning guides, without establishing any electrical connections. NPTHs provide stability and precision, ensuring proper alignment of components within the circuit board. The mainly different between PTH and NPTH is the copper foil will be plated in the hole wall while NPTH no need to do plate.

4. Blind Holes

Blind holes are partially drilled holes that penetrate only one side of a circuit board. They are primarily employed to connect the outer layer of the board with the inner layer, enabling component mounting on one side while remaining hidden from the other. Blind holes offer versatility and help maximize space in complex circuit board designs.

5. Buried Holes

Buried holes are entirely enclosed within a circuit board, connecting inner layers without extending to the outer layers. These holes are hidden from both sides of the board and serve to establish connections and routes between inner layers. Buried holes allow for denser circuit board designs, reducing the complexity of routing traces and enhancing the overall functionality of the board. They provide a seamless and compact solution without any surface exposure.

6. Counterbore Holes

Counterbore holes are cylindrical recesses created to accommodate the heads of bolts, nuts, or screws. They provide a flat-bottomed cavity that allows the fasteners to sit flush or slightly below the surface of the material. The primary function of counterbore holes is to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of a design by providing a smooth and even appearance. These holes are commonly found in woodworking, metalworking, and engineering applications where a concealed or larger bearing surface is desired.

7. Countersunk Holes

Countersunk holes are conical recesses designed to house the angled heads of screws or fasteners. They are employed to ensure that the screw heads lie flush or slightly below the material surface. Countersunk holes serve both aesthetic and practical purposes, providing a sleek and flawless finish while reducing the risk of snags or protrusions. Their versatility makes them suitable for various applications, from furniture manufacturing to aerospace engineering.

8. Location Holes

Location Holes, also known as Reference Holes or Tooling Holes, serve as key reference points for aligning and positioning components, parts, or fixtures during manufacturing or assembly processes. These holes are strategically placed in a design to ensure precise and consistent alignment, enabling efficient assembly and reducing errors.

9. Fiducial Holes

Fiducial Holes, also referred to as Fiducial Marks or Alignment Marks, are small precision holes or markings placed on a surface or PCB (Printed Circuit Board). These holes serve as visual reference points for vision systems, automated processes, or machine vision cameras.

As we conclude our journey through the fascinating world of holes in engineering, we have gained a deeper understanding of the functions and positions of counterbore holes, countersunk holes, via holes, PTH, NPTH, blind holes, and buried holes. These holes are essential elements in various industries, contributing to the aesthetics, functionality, and efficiency of designs.

After introducing each of them, you should have gained a deeper understanding of their functions, hope this is helpful for you the design holes on your PCB project!!

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5 Tips Tell You How to Solder BGA Better in PCBA
Monday, May 29th, 2023

BGA (Ball Grid Array) soldering is a widely used method in the electronics manufacturing industry for mounting integrated circuits onto printed circuit boards (PCBs). This method provides a more compact and reliable connection compared to traditional through-hole or surface mount technology (SMT). However, the complexity of BGA soldering poses various obstacles during the manufacturing process. Herein, we will explore the challenges faced in BGA soldering and discuss effective strategies to address them.

What is BGA Soldering?

BGA soldering is a technique that involves the attachment of integrated circuit packages to a PCB using an array of solder balls. These solder balls are typically made of lead-based or lead-free alloys, depending on environmental regulations and specific requirements. The BGA package consists of a substrate, which acts as a carrier for the integrated circuit, and the solder balls that form the electrical and mechanical connections between the package and the PCB.

(BGA_balls)

The Importance of BGA Soldering in Electronics Manufacturing

BGA soldering plays a critical role in the manufacturing of various electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles. The increased demand for smaller and more powerful electronics has driven the adoption of BGA packages. Their compact size and high pin density make them suitable for advanced applications where space is limited.

Challenges Faced in BGA Soldering

  • Component Alignment and Placement

One of the primary challenges in BGA soldering is ensuring accurate component alignment and placement on the PCB. The small size of the solder balls and the dense layout of the BGA package make it difficult to achieve precise positioning. Misalignment during the assembly process can result in solder bridges, open connections, or mechanical stress on the package.

To address this challenge, manufacturers employ advanced technologies such as Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) and X-ray Inspection. AOI systems use cameras and image processing algorithms to verify the correct alignment and placement of BGA components. X-ray inspection, on the other hand, allows manufacturers to see beneath the surface of the PCB and detect any misalignment or defects that may not be visible to the naked eye.

(Alignment)
  • Solder Paste Application

Another significant challenge in BGA soldering is achieving precise and consistent solder paste application. Solder paste, a mixture of solder alloy and flux, is applied to the PCB pads before placing the BGA package. Inadequate or excessive solder paste can lead to solder defects such as insufficient solder joints, solder voids, or solder bridging.

To overcome this challenge, careful attention must be given to stencil design and aperture selection. Stencils with appropriate thickness and properly sized apertures ensure accurate solder paste deposition. Additionally, manufacturers can employ Solder Paste Inspection (SPI) systems to verify the quality and consistency of the solder paste applied. The solder paste that Best Technology uses is SAC305 solder paste, which has good printability and excellent stability.

(SAC305_Solder_paste)
  • Temperature Profiling

Temperature profiling, or we can say the thermal management, it is crucial in BGA soldering to ensure proper reflow of the solder paste. The reflow process involves subjecting the PCB to a carefully controlled temperature profile, allowing the solder paste to melt, form a reliable joint, and solidify. Inadequate temperature profiling can lead to insufficient solder wetting, incomplete reflow, or thermal damage to components.

Manufacturers must optimize the reflow oven setup and calibration to achieve the correct temperature profile. Thermal profiling techniques, such as the use of thermocouples and data loggers, help monitor and control the temperature during the reflow process.

  • Reflow Process

The reflow process itself presents challenges in BGA soldering. The soak zone, ramp rates, and peak temperature must be carefully controlled to prevent thermal stress on the components and ensure proper solder reflow. Inadequate temperature control or improper ramp rates can result in solder defects such as tombstoning, component warpage, or voids in the solder joints.

Manufacturers need to consider the specific requirements of the BGA package and follow recommended reflow profiles provided by component suppliers. Proper cooling after reflow is also essential to prevent thermal shock and ensure the stability of the solder joints.

(BGA_reflow)
  • Inspection and Quality Control

Inspection and quality control are critical aspects of BGA soldering to ensure the reliability and performance of the solder joints. Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) systems and X-ray inspection are commonly used to detect defects such as misalignment, insufficient solder wetting, solder bridging, or voids in the solder joints.

(AOI)

In addition to visual inspection techniques, some manufacturers may perform cross-section analysis, where a sample solder joint is cut and examined under a microscope. This analysis provides valuable information about the quality of the solder joint, such as solder wetting, void formation, or the presence of intermetallic compounds.

In a word, BGA soldering presents unique challenges in electronics manufacturing, primarily related to various factors. By addressing these challenges effectively, manufacturers can ensure the reliability and performance of BGA solder joints, contributing to the production of high-quality electronic devices. Best Technology has rich experience in PCBA assembly and we mounted thousands PCBs for our customers, whatever it is simple design or complex design, all the products are assemble perfect and work well in customer side. Please feel free to contact us for any questions about PCBA.

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