PCB/FPC/PCBA HDI Copper Aluminium Multilayer
Via in Pad Process:
Inspiration from surface mount technologies from the late 1980's has pushed the limits with BGA's, COB and CSP into smaller square surface inches. The via in pad process allows for vias to be placed within the surface of the flat lands. The via is plated and filled with either conductive or non-conductive epoxy then capped and plated over, making it virtually invisible.
Sounds simple but there is an average of eight additional steps to complete this unique process. Specialty equipment and trained technicians follow the process closely to achieve the perfect hidden via.
Via Fill Types:
There are many different types of via fill material: non conductive epoxy, conductive epoxy, copper filled, silver filled and electrochemical plating. These all result in a via buried within a flat land that will completely solders as normal lands. Vias and microvias are drilled, blind or buried, filled then plated and hidden beneath SMT lands. Processing vias of this type requires special equipment and is time consuming. The multiple drill cycles and controlled depth drilling adds to process time.
Cost Effective HDI:
While some consumer products shrink down in size, quality remains the most important factor for the consumer second to price. Using HDI technology during design, it is possible to reduce an 8 layer through-hole PCB to a 4 layer HDI microvia technology packed PCB. The wiring capabilities of a well-designed HDI 4 layer PCB can achieve the same or better functions as that of a standard 8 layer PCB.
Although the microvia process increases the cost of the HDI PCB, the proper design and reduction in layer count reduces cost in material square inches and layer count more significantly.
Building Non-Conventional HDI Boards:
Successful manufacturing of HDI PCBs requires special equipment and processes such as laser drills, plugging, laser direct imaging and sequential lamination cycles. HDI boards have thinner lines, tighter spacing and tighter annular ring, and use thinner specialty materials. In order to successfully produce this type of board, it requires additional time and a significant investment in manufacturing processes and equipment.