How to design a 4-layer PCB

How to design a 4-layer PCB

Table of Contents

What is a 4-layer PCB?

An extremely simple form of a 4-layer PCB is one with four conductive layers containing a top layer, a bottom layer, VCC, and GND. A new PCB finish is formed by pressing all these layers together, which is much better than other finishes.

4-layer PCB

Compared to other types of PCBs, 4-layer boards offer many advantages. Today, industrialists choose it because of its superior performance. Double-layer circuits fail to perform complex mechanical designs. The 4-layer PCB, on the other hand, is designed to perform well under complex mechanical demands.

How thick is a 4-layer PCB?

A 4-layer PCB is thicker and more durable due to its four layers. Each layer plays an essential role for the circuit board to perform well.

0.0014 inches wide is the first copper layer. 0.0091 inches wide is its second layer. In inner layer 1, another layer following the second layer is 0.0014 inches thick.

An additional sublayer of 0.037 inches is present after this layer. Afterward, there is another inner layer known as inner layer 2. The thickness of this layer is 0.0014 inches and it is made of copper.

There is a thin sublayer between the inner layer 2 and the outer layer 3. The fourth and final layer of the 4-layer PCB is the ground layer. Its thickness is 0.0014 inches. Similarly to the top layer, this layer is referred to as the signal layer. The top and bottom layers interconnect as signal layers to allow the smooth flow of signals during the process.

2-layer PCB VS 4-layer PCB

Compared to double layer PCB, four-layer PCBs provide many advantages. As PCBs progress, the number of layers increases. PCBs, begin with a single copper layer. A thicker finish increases in usefulness and durability as more layers are added. Choosing the right type of PCB for your project is important. But with all the different options out there, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

2-Layer PCB VS 4-Layer PCB

Two layers of copper are stacked on top of one another and held in place by a substrate. Bare PCB should be finished in two layers for less complex designs.

But the modern circuitry designs are much more complex and need a multi-layer finish.
This design requires four layers of copper and additional substrate layers, so a four-layer PCB is ideal. With increasing thickness, circuit boards become more efficient.

  • 2-layer PCBs are the most basic type of PCB. They’re made up of two layers of conductive material – usually copper – that are separated by an insulating layer. 2-layer PCBs are best suited for simple designs with low component densities. They’re also more affordable than other types of PCBs. They offer short lead time but have increased weight.
  • 4-layer PCBs, on the other hand, are made up of four layers of conductive material. This allows for more complex designs and higher component densities. They are relatively expensive but best for hard jobs. 4-layer PCBs used for higher power purposed and are very durable to use for long time span.

Advantages of a 4-layer PCB

As the name shows, a 4-layer PCB is a more valuable form. But increasing the number does not mean that it is heavier. As the number of layers increases, the size decreases, which means much more light and easy to handle.

The increasing number of layers is due to the requirement of modern industry with improved quality. They come up with better signal integrity and less noise.

Modern electronic devices have more features, so It is also a good option for new complex devices with improved quality.

It has strong resistance to heat shocks and vibrations. So we can use it in high temperatures and challenging conditions.

We often need new machines that require PCBs with more layers to double their power capability. Thus, high-speed operations will no longer result in geometric distortions.
It also makes the stack-up process balanced while distributing the copper balance uniformly.

How to design a 4-layer PCB board?

The 4-layer PCB is made of 4 layers. One top layer, two middle or signal layers, and one bottom layer. Both adjacent layers have thin layers of insulation between the spaces. The two central layers account for the band vias on the PCB board. The band is made up of one signal and one ground layer. Software is used to design the circuit board. But before designing it, you should consider a few things;

  • Choose the best software for designing.
  • Check the material for heat resistance before choosing it for your board.
  • Your PCB layout should be aligned.
  • Cross-sections should be used to prevent any deformity in the circuit board.

How to design the stackup when designing a 4-layer PCB board?

4-layer PCB stackup

There are two ways to stack up the board while designing. Here are the following two ways:

  • Signals
  • GND
  • VCC
  • Signals

In the second method, signal planes transfer the power instead of connecting all ground pins.

  • GND
  • Signals
  • Signals
  • GND

The second method is used often as signal layers are near the ground planes which makes the signal travel back quickly on the same makes a strong bond between signal layers and the ground planes. These ground planes also protect the inner layers and give a safe path to the high-speed signal current to return between the two planes.

How do I order 4 layer PCB?

How do I order 4 layer PCB

This is a tricky to order the best 4-layer PCB board. There are too many PCB manufacturers that you need to be cautious about choosing the one you need. The right way is to contact as many manufacturers as possible for better knowledge. Here are a few things you should know before placing an order.

  • Find the best price
  • Know the quality of the PCB you are searching for.
  • Delivery service should be good.
  • What is the minimum limit for placing the order?

If you find compelling answers to the above questions, you should place the order.

What is the 4-layer PCB price?

When we compare prices, we find 4-layer PCBs more expensive than others. It can cost you somewhere around $100. owever, the price is for its high-quality performance and numerous other advantages such as fast operation and ease of use. Its lightweight and compact design meet all of the modern industry’s requirements, including high power requirements and mechanical appliance complexity.

An extremely simple form of a 4-layer PCB is one with four conductive layers containing a top layer, a bottom layer, VCC, and GND.

  • Better signal integrity and less noise
  • Strong resistance to heat shocks and vibrations
  • High-speed operations will no longer result in geometric distortions
  • Choose the best software for designing.
  • Check the material for heat resistance before choosing it for your board.
  • Your PCB layout should be aligned.
  • Cross-sections should be used to prevent any deformity in the circuit board.


We tried to elaborate on all the details about how to design and make a 4-layer PCB. Multilayer circuit boards are required for complex mechanical equipment. Where one or two layers of circuits failed, multilayer circuit boards solve the problem. But choosing the right PCB is crucial for the best results.

We know its hard to find the durable and long-lasting PCB to win customers trust. But with IBE, your difficulty is solved now. We are one-stop shop to manufacture your OEM/ODM PCB products. From protype manufacturing to assembly, we can handle all while you can focus on marketing. So ready to avail low-cost yet highly-efficient PCB production to outrank your competitors?

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