When it comes to PCBs or Printed Circuit Boards, it can be said that they are an important part of the technological era.
Used in every last gadget and application imaginable, they have been a real game changer in the world today.
Originally designed as a sturdy and stable alternative for wiring, it quickly became an industry standard, adopted widely the world over.
Today, the use of this development hasn’t ceased, but rather only increased, as the degree of applications and uses continue to expand.
And indeed, given the rate at which the technology has been used and applied in the world of technology, it can be said that this is something which can expect to be continued well into the foreseeable future, albeit with greater innovations, developments and everything in between.
Of the many varieties of PCBs that exist, one of the more recent ones is that of HDI PCBs or High Density Interconnector PCBs.
Created as a way to integrate greater amounts of circuitry on a smaller area, it is increasingly being adopted across the industry, given the many advantages and benefits that it offers.
Furthermore, the use of the technology, given the advantages, has allowed it to be adopted elsewhere in the industry as well, in addition to the ‘core’ areas which they were originally designed for.
There is much that can be said about HDI PCBs, regarding the reasons for their growth in popularity.
Features of HDI PCBs
Some of the key ones have been listed out in the points mentioned below.
One of the biggest advantages of HDI PCBs is that of versatility.
The term versatility here refers to the fact that the technology can be used for a variety of applications, rather than something individual and specific. In other words, the same principles and designs used in standard HDI PCBs can be applied across industries, ranging from the simple to the complex.
As a result, HDI PCBs have been used in applications where space, reliability, performance and weight are of primary concern, due to their ability to maximize output in comparison to their size and design.
2. Compact Design
A good part of the versatility factor is due to the way they are designed, which allows for them to be compact in design and structure.
Traditional board designs tend to be rather complex, with large circuits, spread out across a greater surface area. This means that in the final design of applications, they tend to require larger sizes for everything to work the way it was intended.
The above is however, not much of a problem in the case of HDI PCBs. Given that the boards are designed with efficiency in mind, with a higher density of circuitry than other PCBs, it is possible to integrate a greater amount of efficiency and workload into a smaller surface area.
This allows for HDI PCBs to be smaller than regular PCBs, allowing for compact designs to be created, and save up on space.
In addition to this, the same technology, when used in applications where compact designs are not much of an issue, the benefits still remain, with greater efficiency in the overall layout and structure of the system.
3. Signal Integrity
Another important advantage to the use of HDI PCBs is that of signal integrity, which exist in comparison to other boards.
Signal in a PCB may be thought of as the information or charge that passes through the circuits of the board. Signal integrity in turn, can be defined as the ability of the signal to reliably carry the information from end of the circuit to the other, without incurring losses of any kind.
The use of developments such as ‘via-in-pad’ and ‘blind via technology’ allows for a greater degree of signal integrity, in comparison to other PCBs, as it allows for the signals and circuits to be placed closer together, without the issue of interference or loss of signal strength. This is something which isn’t exactly possible in other designs, given the technological constraints which exist.
One of the more important factors to be mentioned is that of the cost effectiveness and savings involved, when it comes to HDI PCBs.
The cost advantage to the PCBs is largely the result of integrated designs used in their manufacture, which allow for large circuits to be reduced to a smaller surface area.
For example, a circuit which would require an 8 layer stack, through the designs of HDI boards, can be reduced to a 4 layer stack, allowing for a significant reduction of production time and resources being utilized.
It should however be noted that although there are cost advantages to a certain extent, they are sometimes negated by costs incurred in other manufacturing processes, such as the design of multi-layered assemblies, which often takes more work and resources in order to be completed.
5. Lower Power Requirements
Compared to other PCBs, HDI PCBs tend to have a lower power requirement, which makes them an excellent candidate where power usage is a major issue.
On a long-term and sometimes even in the short-run, this translates to large increases in energy savings due to lower usage of power for the same amount of work.
This makes the technology especially useful in applications which have a battery or battery-pack, as the need for replacing the batteries or recharging them is greatly reduced.
Both the factors, i.e. whether connected to a direct power source or relying on batters, will lead to cost savings, given that the total amount of energy being consumed is greatly reduced for all applications.
6. Greater Reliability
Last but not the least, is the issue of reliability in using HDI PCBs, in comparison with other PCBs.
HDI PCBs are designed using stacked vias, which provide for greater structural integrity and strength, in comparison to other PCBs.
This means that they can be used in harsher conditions and environments, in comparison to others, given the design’s inherent shielding and support.
As a whole, HDI PCBs, although being fairly new in the world of technology, are some of the fastest growing technological components around.
And although the degree of growth has a long way to go, it is clear that this is something here to stay, for the near future.