6 Layer PCB – Design, Manufacturing and Application

6 layer PCB – design, manufacturing and application

A 6-layer printed circuit board (PCB) is comprised of six layers of conductive materials, such as copper. A dielectric insulating material is utilized to separate these layers. This 6 layer PCB provides more advanced transmission of electrical signals compared to 2-layer or 4-layer PCB. Electronic products can, therefore, enjoy improved performance and miniaturization is a lot easier. 

Although the composition of a 6-layer PCB’s configuration may vary, it usually includes layers designated for power, ground, and signal transmission. However, the specific arrangement of the configuration will depend on the needs of the particular electronic design.

Table of Contents

What is a 6 layer PCB?

6 Layer PCB

A 6-layer Printed Circuit Board, as the name suggests, is a type of circuit board that has six layers of conductive materials. The fact that it has additional layers as compared to the standard two or four means that it delivers more routing options. Also, it permits advanced electrical circuits.

Why use 6 layer PCB?

Compared to traditional 2-layer or 4-layer options, a 6-layer PCB offers several advantages. Some of these advantages include the following:

Better thermal management
The extra layers in a 6-layer PCB can establish designated thermal planes. These layers help to dissipate heat from the electronics. It also helps to boost the device’s reliability.

A 6-layer PCB enables more intricate routing and improved electrical performance. Therefore, they can help to miniaturize electronic devices.

Improved electrical performance
The extra layers in a 6-layer PCB establish designated ground and power planes. This can boost electrical performance by cutting down noise.

Increased routing options
A 6 layer PCB provides more routing options, making it possible to design more intricate electronic circuits. In essence, a 6 layer PCB offers greater flexibility and capacity for designing advanced circuitry. They are thus perfect for many uses.

How thick is a 6 layer PCB?

The thickness of a 6-layer Printed Circuit Board varies based on various factors, such as the components that will be installed on it. The intended end-use of the PCB will also determine how thick it can be. The size of a six-layer PCB might also be affected by the circuit’s connectivity needs.

6 Layer PCB Thickness

The typical thickness of a 6 layer PCB lies between 1.6mm and 2.4mm. The thickness of a Printed Circuit Board is determined by combining the total number of layers and the thickness of each individual layer. The type of dielectric used between the layers may also affect the thickness.

A critical element to take into account throughout the creative procedure is the PCB’s size. It has a direct effect on the mechanical integrity of the board. It also affects the ease of assembly and the amount of space available for routing and components. Whenever designing electronic components, carefully consider the thickness of the PCB for the intended application.

4 layer PCB vs. 6 layer PCB

A 4 layer PCB has four conductive layers. A 6 layer PCB has six conductive layers. Consequently, the added layers provide more space for signal transmission routing. This is useful for complex designs that have high component density.

4 Layer PCB vs. 6 Layer PCB

However, when taking into account the overall cost, a 6 layer PCB is more expensive than a 4-layer PCB. Additionally, it requires a longer production time due to the two extra layers. The decision between a 4-layer and a 6 layer PCB will depend on the requirements of the hardware implementation.

Applications of 6 layer PCB

Electronic devices that require high efficiency and complex interconnections often utilize 6 layer PCBs. The following are examples of 6 layer PCB applications:

  • Aerospace and defense systems such as military communication equipment and avionics systems.
  • Automotive electronics such as advanced driver assistance systems, power electronics, and infotainment systems.
  • Medical equipment such as patient monitors and imaging devices.
  • Industrial control systems such as robots, programmable controllers, and automation equipment.
  • Consumer electronics such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • High-speed digital circuits such as networking equipment, high-end computing systems, and data storage systems.

6 layer PCB stackup

6 Layer PCB Stackup

The following arrangement can be employed to construct the 6 layer PCB stackup:

Signal layer one
It is the top most layer used for routing signals requiring high-speed and low-noise performance.  

Ground layer
Provides a low-impedance return path for the signals from layer one. It can also act as a heat dissipation layer.

Power layer
Power is distributed from this level to the PCB’s circuitry. It is connected to a large ground plane for the reduction of impedance.

Signal layer two
Routes signals not in need for speed or noise reduction.

Ground layer
This is similar to the ground layer on the opposite side of the PCB and it provides a low-impedance return path for the signals on layer two.

Bottom layer
Normally used as a ground plane as it provides shielding against electromagnetic interference.

6 layer PCB manufacturing

6 Layer PCB Manufacturing

The regular procedure involved in creating a 6 layer printed circuit board usually consists of the following steps:

The process of creating a comprehensive design for the PCB encompasses the configuration of routing, the arrangement of layers, and the placement of components.

The PCB layers are bonded to each other via pressure and heat in the lamination procedure.

The PCB must be hole-drilled in order to allow data link and parts to flow.

The holes are plated using a conductive material such as copper to create electrical connections between the layers.

This entails eliminating the unneeded copper from the PCB’s interface. It leaves the desired conductive pads and traces.

Solder mask and silkscreen
The surface of the PCB has a protective solder mask to boost durability and prevent accidental shorts. A silkscreen layer is equally applied to give component and text labeling.

Components are soldered onto the surface of the PCB so that a circuit is complete and ready.

The final step is to perform tests to ensure that everything works as intended. Everything should meet the specific performance requirements.

6 layer PCB cost

6 Layer PCB Price

The cost of a 6 layer printed circuit board is influenced by the following elements:

  • Manufacturing process
  • Component count
  • Design complexity
  • Layer count
  • Quantity

A 6-layer PCB, as the name suggests, is a type of circuit board that has six layers of conductive materials.

The typical thickness of a 6 layer PCB lies between 1.6mm and 2.4mm. The thickness of a Printed Circuit Board is determined by combining the total number of layers and the thickness of each individual layer. The type of dielectric used between the layers may also affect the thickness.

  • Better thermal management
  • Miniaturization
  • Improved electrical performance
  • Increased routing options

Final thoughts

Finally, 6-layer PCBs are an excellent choice for electrical systems that demand excellent result, intricate circuitry, and enhanced heat monitoring. The additional layers in a six-layer PCB provide ample space for ground planes, power distribution, and signal routing, thereby enhancing the performance of the circuit. Balancing functionality, affordability, and production limitations is crucial in the design phase of a 6 layer PCB and requires careful examination of the layer arrangement, connectivity, and standard form.

The production of a 6 layer PCB involves greater complexity compared to single or double-sided PCBs and calls for specialized equipment and skilled personnel. However, the increased cost of a 6 layer PCB is offset by the improved performance and functionality it provides for complex circuit designs. Great advances, particularly high-speed integrated electronics, home appliances, manufacturing systems, diagnostic supplies, auto components, and aerospace and defense mechanisms, are perfectly adapted for a 6 layer PCB.

Talk to us at IBE to help with the manufacture of a 6 layer PCB. We are glad and ready to offer our in-depth experience in this field and help you come up with quality results for your processes.

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