PCB Cost Factors 2
As we mentioned before, most PCB suppliers in China have increased their PCB prices this year especially after July, because copper clad laminate (CCL) material is short. Actually, PCB cost is determined by various factors. EPCB explained how layer count, laminate material and panelization affect the cost of an individual circuit board in the previous blog. And today, we will explain another four factors.
Lead Time: It is obvious that the faster you receive your PCB the more you need to pay. But we can’t forget that there are always limitations to the various PCB manufacturing processes. Especially those complicated PCB designs, it is almost impossible to manufacture in a quick 3~5 days turn because of the numerous processes required.
Copper Weight: Usually, PCB laminate material consists of 0.5 or 1 ounce copper cladding. But if you need, laminates can be required with heavier copper weight to handle larger electrical currents. The more copper means more etching, and that is a critical and harder-to-control process. A more complex process means more expensive. Also, though the cost of copper itself is cheap, you still need to pay the expense.
Blind or Buried Vias: Buried vias are plated holes used to just connect inner layer circuitry, while blind vias are plated holes that connect outer layer circuitry to inner layers but only from one side. Both buried and blind vias require extremely tight layer to layer registration. It definitely will add your PCB cost because both via types require repetitive drilling, de-smear, copper plating and lamination processing.
Drilling Holes: No matter plated through holes, buried or blind vias, etc., the more holes you design on a PCB means the more you need to pay. This is because drilling machines need to work for a long time, and individual drill bits must be monitored and changed accordingly. And workers need to make sure smaller drilling holes are tighter controlled, and drilled-hole walls are clean and smooth enough for plating chemistry to pass through.
To be continued.