If you’re aware of your printed circuit board requirements but need some extra guidance on the type of PCB you should choose, we have you covered. This guide highlights the difference between single sided PCBs and double sided, covering the benefits of both, and advising you on which is the best choice for you and your business.
What’s the difference between single sided and double sided PCBs?
The main difference between single and double sided PCBs is that a single board is made up of just one layer of conductive material, known as a substrate, whereas a double board uses a copper core, providing extra material.
This means that a double-sided PCB is generally heavier than a single sided PCB, and it can also be more complex to produce. So, what are the benefits of the two, and when should you use them?
What is a single sided PCB?
The base core material of a single layer PCB is often fiberglass (FR4) and the core tends to have a layer of copper on it. The copper used in a single sided PCB makes the board conductive, allowing electricity to flow through.
A solder mask is then added as a layer of conducting material - this insulates the conductive copper sheet below. Finally, the remaining layers are covered with a silkscreen print that indicates the location for each part improving the single-sided printed circuit board functionality.
Benefits of single sided PCBs
- Low cost to produce and manufacture
- Reduced change of malfunctioning
- Ideal for simple, low-density designs
- Easy to produce with simple designs and little material
What is a double sided PCB?
A double sided PCB, although similar to single sided in a number of ways, has two sided traces with both a top and a bottom layer. This then allows the boards to mount conductive copper, and components on both sides of the board, allow the layers to overlap one another.
During the production process, holes called vias are drilled – these can then be plated or filled with a conductive, or non-conductive, material. The electrical current is then able to travel from one side of the double-sided board to the other through the vias.
Benefits of double sided PCBs
- Varied design flexibility with extra material
- Increased circuit density
- Small board size
- Low production costs due to reduced number of layers
Other types of PCBs
As well as single sided and double sided PCBs, here at Pure PCB, we also supply a variety of other types of PCBs, including: