PCB Cost Factors 1

Dated:2016-12-17      Popularity:1589


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. In this article, EPCB will list some points as follows to help you better understand what is actually driving the costs of printed circuit boards. 

Layer Count: It is known to all, the more layers the higher the cost. That’s because additional layers require more processing like etching, copper plating, etc., and all can add additional cost. With layer counts exceeding 30 layers in some cases, each PCB manufacturer has their own pricing system that is based on their manufacturing yield. More layers definitely will increase more material and processing costs, and the risk of reduced yields due to defects. The defective products will increase PCB cost instead.

Laminate Material: The most common laminate for rigid PCBs is FR-4 material because of its better performance and nice price. However, for those PCBs which are used in RF or other high performance applications such as aerospace, etc., all require different laminate materials that often cost more than standard materials. These materials even can cost eight times than the cost of standard FR-4 laminate. 

PCB Size and Panelization: This is a key factor affecting a PCB cost. Most PCB manufacturers use a standard panel size of 18” x 24”, the cost of other panel size is determined as per this standard one. The physical size of your PCB design will now determine what the piece price is, since each PCB manufacturer has pre-determined panel costs based on layer counts. Obviously smaller PCB designs will yield a higher volume that will result in a lower piece price. 

To be continued.

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