If you want to get the maximum out of your printed circuit boards, it is essential to use the latest production and assembly technologies.
High-Density Interconnect of HDI PCBs can take your board performance to the next level!
Moreover, they will do that while securing maximum cost-effectiveness. Take a look at the article below to learn more about HDI boards, and discover why they can be the right choice for your next project!
1、What Is HDI PCB?
You might have heard about HDI printed circuit boards, considering that they have been around for more than two decades. Although the first HDI PCB was designed approximately 20 years ago, it took a while until they became a popular choice among the clients. The primary reason for that was the lack of information, so let’s reveal the mystery of what this board is.
The abbreviation HDI stands for high-density interconnect. In other words, this new trend includes making high density interconnect printed circuit board. These boards have different features, such as the capability for high-frequency transmission, optimising redundant radiation, impedance control, and so on. The basic idea is to pack as many components as possible in a limited space of a printed circuit board.
Image 1: A close look at an electronic circuit board inside a PC
1.1. Uses and Applications
If you are wondering where you would use HDI boards, you should know that they are everywhere around you. Since they can maximize performance while reducing size and weight, you can often see them in game consoles, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even MP3 players. You can find many interesting videos that explain the process of making smartphones and implementing boards inside.
You can also see these boards in home appliances and other consumer electronics, but also industrial equipment and automotive industry. In theory, wherever there is a need to maximize performance while keeping weight and size under control, these boards are welcome.
2、What Are the Differences Between an Ordinary and HDI PCB?
The critical thing to ensure is that you can make a difference between an ordinary PCB and the one with HDI features.
There are three areas where you can notice the differences:
• Circuit density –during the design of HDI boards, the manufacturers often opt to hide the wiring that connects to the next layer. They do this by utilizing the micropore technology. Thanks to that, they can boost circuit density, which can come in handy for applications in small products.
• Construction technology – once again, HDI boards rely on micropore technology, which is an advanced approach, especially when compared to the classic drilling techniques that standard PCBs use during the construction process.
• Electrical signal and performance – those micropore connections ensure a high level of protection against interference. That is one of the factors that can contribute that an HDI board performs better than the standard one.
Image 2: Printed circuit board – how it looks from the front
3、What Are the Advantages of HDI PCBs?
Image 3: Assembling printed circuit boards
When it comes to the advantages that HDI PCB development bring, we can divide it into two sections. The first one is related to functionality, and the other to development speed.
As for the functionality, you can expect the following:
• Stabilised power and performance
• Tracerouting will be denser
• Signal integrity will increase to a higher level.
• Interference inductance and capacitance will decrease.
Now, when it comes to the development part, the manufacturers will probably be apple to accelerate the process and ensure the quick delivery time. That is because the process specifics allow the placing of SMD components to be relatively easy, and the need for component relocation is not that frequent.
4、Why You Should Use HDI PCB Technology
Image 4: A dark-coloured printed circuit board
It is only natural that you want your project to deliver the best possible results. More often than not, HDI boards are the right way to go to secure those results. Let’s take a look at why customers often resort to using these PCBs in their products.
4.1. Lightweight and Compact Sized
We are not necessarily talking about the smallest boards you have ever seen. When it comes to PCBs, it is about ensuring that you can place the maximum number of components on the board. That will secure maximum functionality while keeping the size compact.
At the same time, the weight will decrease, which can be important for many uses and applications. For example, the developers are putting in maximum effort to ensure their smartphones are as light as possible, and HDI boards can help with that goal.
4.2. Maximize Cost-Effectiveness
It is not about saving as much money as possible, but rather about making each invested cent count. HDI PCBs will keep maximum performance while ensuring that you don't spend more on materials than necessary.
In many cases, these boards allow for packing all the functions in a single board instead of using multiple classic PCBs.
4.3. Improved Performance
The distance between two components affects the performance of a printed circuit board. When it comes to HDI boards, you can have that distance shortened. Furthermore, you can include more transistors to contribute to electrical performance while optimizing power consumption.
4.4. Quick Delivery Times
It is easier for the manufacturer to design these boards, too. The math is simple – it takes less time to create a board that doesn’t use a lot of materials. As a result, you will benefit from releasing your product to the market sooner than expected.
5、How to Choose HDI PCB Material
Are you wondering how to choose the right material for your high-density to interconnect PCB? It is not an easy task, but here is a short guide that may tell you more about the process.
5.1. HDI Stackup Overview
The entire point of designing an HDI PCB is to take circuit density to the next level. That task won’t be easy as you can expect to deal with fine spaces and lines, as well as small capture pads and vias.
You can choose between different types of HDI Stackups, but they will usually have a laminated and mechanically drilled core, as well as a plated mechanical drill. The steps for manufacturing may also include the creation of inner layers, sequential lamination, as well as forming laser drilled vias and final through-holes.
5.2. The Importance of Dielectric Materials
If you want your PCB to perform adequately, choosing an adequate resin or dielectric material is essential. The properties you want to consider include decomposition temperature, delamination time, glass transition temperature, and thermal expansion coefficient.
You should aim for materials that can perform as well as possible in these areas, but keep in mind that might increase the cost.
For example, mobile phones and PDAs may go with relatively high performance in the mentioned areas. But if you want to design a product for military application, avionics, or high-speed telecommunication, you need the best components out there.
5.3. What Are Material Types Suitable for Your Application?
Do you plan to use HDI PCB in your project? In that case, you need to choose the right material, and the following list may help:
• Average loss and speed – the word "average" is key, and the reason why most clients decide for the FR-4 materials, which belong to this category. They might not be suitable for all applications, but they can be a great option for a few GHz analogues/digital uses.
• Low loss, high speed – the curve between the dielectric constant and frequency response is somewhat flatter here. The loss is considered to be 50% less than in average loss materials. You can also take things to the next step, and choose a material that secures admirable signal integrity as that will decrease electrical noise even further.
• Very low loss, high speed – if you are looking for materials to use in microwave/RF applications, you should go for those that have a very low loss while maintaining impressive signal integrity. You can use this on applications up to 20GHz or so.
Image 5: Printed circuit board - shielding material
6、Why OurPCB Is the Right Manufacturer for Your PCB Needs
Image 6: A futuristic photo of manufacturing a printed circuit board
As a company founded in 2005, OurPCB has vast experience in designing various printed circuit boards. When it comes to PCB manufacturing, you can order any board that has between one and 32 layers. The finished copper varies up to six ounces, and the minimum line track width and space are set at 4mm.
OurPCB also offers other benefits, which include:
• Freeing you from paying set-up and test costs – there is no set-up charge for repeat orders or those that go over 30 square meters. Additionally, you won’t have to pay for test costs either.
• Receiving a formal quotation quickly – it won’t take more than eight working hours from sending your request to receive a precise quote.
• Excellent ratio of quality and cost – it is the perfect way of maximizing your investment and securing that your boards will perform up to expectations.
The company has years of experience, modern equipment, and a skillful team of engineers. Together, they make a great combination that can cater to any client's needs.
HDI PCBs are here to stay as they seem to be getting more popular every day. That doesn’t come as strange since they can skyrocket the performance of your product while maintaining compact size and weight.
You know now more about the applications, benefits, and materials used in HDI board construction. Remember that it is vital to choose a reliable manufacturer regardless of your PCB needs.