Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerLink
We have briefly discussed the definition about PCB technology PowerLink, so in this article, let’s learn more about its strengths and weaknesses.
Advantages of Using PowerLink
The PowerLink approach has various advantages.
For the signal portions of the circuit, PowerLink offers fine lines and space capability of 5 mil (typical) and as fine as 2 mil for advanced designs.
It keeps the high current path on one layer, eliminating the high temperature rise in vias. Since all current are on one layer, there is no current sharing imbalance and a hot spot that can occur due to imbalance.
With all current on the outer layer, the traces are cooled more efficiently and the temperature excursions exceeding design limits can be easily monitored. This is particularly valuable in PCB prototyping.
PowerLink also allows for greater power density because the high current path is not necessarily wide enough to save space on the board.
It can save time and reduce total components number during assembly compared to adding wire jumpers or bus bar sections. Leaving all power and signal circuits all on one single circuit board can eliminate many "in" and "out" connections, thus providing an elegant solution with higher reliability and power density.
Disadvantages of Using PowerLink
The only drawback of using extreme copper in your design is the significant increase in cost over traditional printed circuit board technology. In many industries, such as aerospace and defense, the technology has been widely accepted because the cost is secondary to the performance of the product. However, using PowerLink can can cost more than simply adding wire jumpers, depending on how many wire jumpers are required and the complexity and length of the run.
It is important to know the potential cost differences before using the technology in your project, because the engineering time and costs associated for finished products are required much more than typical printed circuit boards.