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5 Significant Differences Between HDI and Standard PCB

Introduction

In the dynamic landscape of PCB manufacturing, the choice between HDI PCBs and standard PCBs is a critical decision. that demands a thorough understanding. GESP PCB, backed by 16 years of one-stop production expertise, recognizes the imperative for clients to delve into the intricacies of this comparison. Exploring the realms of design, production processes, end-product attributes, applications, and pricing. we unravel the multifaceted considerations that guide the selection between these two PCB types.

HDI PCB Vs standard PCB
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1. Distinctions Between HDI Design and Standard PCB Design

HDI PCBs and standard PCBs exhibit significant design differences across various aspects:

Design AspectHDI PCBStandard PCB
Layer StructureMore complex;blind vias and buried vias ;Typically simpler, fewer inner layers; 
Line Width/SpacingAllows for smaller line widths and spacingsFeatures relatively larger line widths and spacings
Blind and Buried Viasblind vias and buried vias to facilitate interconnectionsPrimarily utilizes through-hole vias
Layout DensityHigher layout densityLower layout density
Special Material Usagehigh-frequency layers and thin copper foilsconventional materials

Layer Structure:

  • HDI PCBs: Typically feature a more intricate layer structure. incorporating both inner and outer layers. High-density interconnection achieved through the use of fine inner layer traces, blind vias, and buried vias.
  • Standard PCBs: Generally possess a simple layer structure with fewer inner layer components. Multilayer stacking is primarily accomplished through conventional holes.

Line Width/Spacing:

  • HDI PCBs: Capable of achieving smaller line widths and spacings. facilitating the accommodation of more components and connections in a limited space. thereby enhancing circuit board density.
  • Standard PCBs: Typically characterized by larger line widths and spacings. suitable for applications with less stringent density requirements.

Blind and Buried Vias:

  • HDI PCBs: Use blind vias and buried vias, enabling interconnection between different layers. without the need for through-hole vias traversing the entire board.
  • Standard PCBs generally rely on through-hole vias to establish connections between different layers. necessitating consideration of their location and quantity during the design phase.

Layout Density:

  • HDI PCBs have a higher layout density and are capable of accommodating a greater number of components. Well-suited for applications with stringent space requirements, such as mobile devices.

Standard PCBs: Exhibit lower layout density, making them more suitable for general applications with less demanding space constraints.

Special Material Usage:

  • HDI PCBs: May incorporate special materials, such as high-frequency layers. and thin copper foils, to achieve enhanced performance and density.
  • Standard PCBs: Typically utilize conventional materials suited for standard performance requirements.

As a result, HDI PCBs feature a more complex design with elevated technological requirements. making them suitable for advanced applications with strict performance and space requirements. Standard PCBs are better suited for applications with more general performance demands.

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2. Production Process Differences Between HDI and Standard PCB

The production of HDI PCBs is more complex. involving advanced manufacturing technologies and equipment. In contrast, the production process for standard PCBs is comparatively simpler. with lower process and equipment requirements.

Inner Layer Preparation:

  • HDI PCBs: The inner layers typically involve extremely fine traces. requiring advanced photolithography techniques and high-precision equipment during preparation.
  • Standard PCBs: Inner layer preparation usually employs conventional photolithography techniques with lower requirements.

Drilling of Blind/Buried Vias:

  • HDI PCBs: Blind and buried vias, crucial features of HDI PCBs. prepared using laser drilling or mechanical drilling.
  • Standard PCBs: Conventional mechanical drilling is typically used. without the specific consideration of blind and buried vias.

Multilayer Stacking:

  • HDI PCBs: Multilayer stacking in HDI PCBs often involves a build-up approach. requiring multiple layer stacking, lamination, and heat treatment.
  • Standard PCBs: Multilayer boards are relatively simpler to produce. involving layer stacking followed by lamination.

Material Selection and Surface Treatment:

  • HDI PCBs: Special materials, including high-frequency layers and thin copper foils. Used with higher surface treatment requirements.
  • Standard PCBs: Use conventional materials, with relatively lower surface treatment requirements.

Solder Paste Printing and Assembly:

  • HDI PCBs: Due to higher component density, solder paste printing and assembly stages. That demands greater precision and more advanced equipment.
  • Standard PCBs: More traditional processes and equipment utilized during these stages.
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3. Evaluating Capabilities: HDI PCB vs. Standard PCB Performance

Visual Differences:

HDI PCBs typically feature a complex multilayer structure. including inner and outer layers. Visually, they may exhibit finer traces, blind vias, buried vias, and higher circuit density.

The surface of HDI PCBs may reveal intricate traces and complex interconnection structures. often requiring a high magnification microscope for clear observation.

The appearance of standard PCBs is comparatively simple, with fewer layers. typically connected through regular through-holes. Surface traces are relatively thicker and easily observable with the naked eye.

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Density and Size:

HDI technology allows for the realization of more components. and intricate circuit layouts within limited space. enhancing circuit density, especially suitable for small electronic devices.

Due to simpler layouts, standard PCBs may struggle to accommodate an equivalent number of components within the same size footprint. particularly in space-constrained applications.

Weight:

Thinner and Lighter: Utilizing techniques like blind vias and buried vias. HDI PCBs achieve complexity with fewer layers, resulting in a thinner and lighter circuit board.

Potentially Thicker: Achieving similar circuit complexity often requires more layers. potentially leading to a relatively thicker PCB.

Electrical Performance:

With advanced manufacturing techniques and special materials. HDI PCBs exhibit outstanding electrical performance. including lower signal transmission loss and improved signal integrity.

While offering good overall performance, standard PCBs may not match the high-frequency. and high-speed transmission capabilities of HDI PCBs.

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4. Distinguishing HDI PCBs and Standard PCBs Based on Applications

Mobile Devices:

  • HDI PCB: Excels in mobile devices, due to space constraints and the demand for high-density layouts. enabling more complex circuit designs and additional functionalities.
  • Standard PCB: In the same size footprint, standard PCBs may struggle. to meet the high-density circuit and miniaturization requirements of mobile devices.

Communication Equipment:

  • HDI PCB: Tailored for the computer and server domain, HDI PCBs support high-performance processors. and large-scale integrated circuits through higher circuit density and improved signal integrity.
  • Standard PCB: In some computer applications where performance requirements are not stringent. standard PCBs may be a more cost-effective choice.

Computers and Servers:

  • HDI PCB: Tailored for the computer and server domain, HDI PCBs support high-performance processors. and large-scale integrated circuits through higher circuit density and improved signal integrity.
  • Standard PCB: In some computer applications where performance requirements are not stringent. standard PCBs may be a more cost-effective choice.

Medical Electronics:

  • HDI PCB: The high density and performance advantages of HDI PCBs support advanced medical imaging. and diagnostic technologies in medical electronic devices.
  • Standard PCB: For some simpler medical electronic devices. standard PCBs may be sufficient to meet the requirements.

Consumer Electronics:

HDI PCB: For high-end consumer electronic products (such as high-definition TVs, audio systems). HDI PCBs with high density and advanced design offer more features and better performance.

Standard PCB: In everyday consumer electronics products like household appliances. standard PCBs are economically viable choice, meeting general performance requirements.

Automotive Electronics:

HDI PCB: With their high density, high temperature resistance, and stability. HDI PCBs meet the demands of advanced in-vehicle control. and infotainment systems in automotive electronic systems.

Standard PCB: In some less complex automotive electronic applications. Standard PCBs could be sufficient to meet the requirements.

5. Price Distinction:

HDI PCBs, with intricate designs and advanced materials. incur higher costs due to complex manufacturing processes. Ideal for cutting-edge applications demanding superior performance and compactness.

Standard PCBs being simpler and use conventional materials. offer cost-effectiveness, suitable for projects with standard requirements. The competitive market and streamlined production contribute to their affordability. Choose based on the project’s specific needs and budget considerations.

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Reliable High-Mixed PCB Fabrication Manufacturer

One-stop PCB Services : Quick Turn PCB, Fast PCB Prototype,Low Volume Customized PCB

Conclusion

Finally, understand the five significant differences between HDI and standard PCB. That is critical for making informed decisions in electronics design. Whether it is density, performance, or cost-efficiency that is prioritized, this knowledge enables engineers to choose the best solution for their specific project needs. Stay tuned for more updates on the ever-changing world of GESP PCB technology.

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