What is a Hybrid PCB - Materials, Design, and Applications

What is a hybrid PCB – materials, design and applications

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are an integral part of almost all electronic devices. A hybrid PCB or hybrid integrated circuit is a type of printed circuit board that combines different technologies in a single board. It is widely used in various applications, including aerospace, automotive, medical, and telecommunications. In this article, we will delve into the materials, design, and applications of hybrid PCB.

Table of Contents

What is hybrid PCB?

What is Hybrid PCB
What is Hybrid PCB

A hybrid PCB is a printed circuit board that combines various technologies in a single board. It is called hybrid because it integrates different components on a single board, which can be made of different materials and can use various technologies such as SMT technology, through-hole technology (THT), and microelectronics.

What are the features of hybrid PCB?

Some of the notable features of Hybrid PCB are:

  1. Combination of rigid and flexible substrates: Hybrid PCBs typically use a combination of rigid and flexible substrates, allowing the PCB to be shaped to fit the requirements of the device. This allows for greater flexibility in design and assembly, making it possible to create more compact and intricate electronic devices.
  2. Multiple layers of copper traces: Hybrid PCBs often have multiple layers of copper traces, which allows for a greater number of components to be integrated into the circuit board. This can improve the functionality and efficiency of the device while also reducing the overall size of the PCB.
  3. High reliability: Hybrid PCBs are designed for high-reliability applications that require durability, stability, and consistency.
  4. Customizability: Hybrid PCBs can be customized to meet specific application requirements, such as size, shape, and material.

What materials does hybrid PCB use?

Common materials used in hybrid PCB
Common materials used in hybrid PCB

Some of the common materials used in hybrid PCB are:

FR4 is the most commonly used substrate material in hybrid PCB. It is a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy laminate material that is cost-effective and offers good electrical properties. It is also known for its excellent dimensional stability and mechanical strength, making it a popular choice for a wide range of applications.

Polyimide is a high-performance polymer that is used in hybrid PCB where high-temperature performance is required. It can withstand temperatures of up to 260°C and is also resistant to chemicals, making it an ideal material for harsh environments.

PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is a high-performance ceramic-filled plastic that offers excellent electrical properties, low dielectric constant, and high thermal stability. It is widely used in hybrid PCB that requires improved impedance control and low signal loss.. It is also resistant to chemicals, making it ideal for applications in harsh environments.

What is the advantage of hybrid circuits?

Some of the advantages of hybrid circuits are:

Compact size
Hybrid circuits can be designed to be much smaller than traditional PCBs. This is because they use a combination of SMT (surface-mount technology) components and wire bonding, which allows for a higher density of components to be placed on the same board.

High performance
Hybrid circuits are designed to offer high performance in terms of electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties. They are often used in applications where high precision and reliability are required, such as in aerospace and medical devices.

Hybrid circuits can be customized to meet specific application requirements. They can be designed to include a combination of different components, materials, and manufacturing processes, allowing for a high degree of flexibility in the design process.

While hybrid circuits can be more expensive than traditional PCBs, they can also be more cost-effective in the long run. This is because they offer a higher level of performance and reliability, reducing the need for maintenance or replacements.

What is the disadvantage of hybrid integrated circuits?

While hybrid integrated circuits (ICs) offer many advantages, they do have some disadvantages that need to be considered. Hybrid ICs require specialized manufacturing processes, such as wire bonding and die attachment, which can add to the cost.

Another disadvantage of hybrid ICs is their larger size and weight compared to traditional PCBs. The additional components and interconnects used in hybrid ICs can make them bulkier and heavier, which can be a concern in certain applications where size and weight are critical factors.

Hybrid ICs also have a limited lifespan due to their reliance on wire bonding technology, which can be susceptible to failure over time. This can lead to reliability issues in some applications, especially in harsh environments where temperature, humidity, and other factors can impact the performance of the hybrid IC.

Finally, hybrid ICs may require additional testing and qualification to ensure they meet the required specifications and standards. This can add to the overall cost and time required to develop and manufacture the hybrid IC, which may not be feasible in some applications with tight budgets and schedules.

Applications of hybrid PCB

Applications of hybrid PCB
Applications of hybrid PCB

Some of the common applications of hybrid PCB include:

Aerospace and defense
They are used in radar systems, communication systems, navigation systems, and other electronic systems.

Medical devices
Hybrid PCBs are used in medical devices such as pacemakers, hearing aids, and diagnostic equipment. They offer high precision, low noise, and high-reliability performance, which are essential for medical applications.

Hybrid PCBs are used in automotive applications, including engine control modules, advanced driver assistance systems, and infotainment systems. They offer high reliability, durability, and resistance to temperature and vibration.

Industrial automation
Hybrid PCBs are used in industrial automation systems, including robotics, motor control, and power electronics. They offer high-power handling capabilities, high-temperature performance, and high-reliability performance.

LED lighting
Hybrid PCBs are used in LED lighting applications, where they provide thermal management, electrical connectivity, and control for LED arrays. They offer high-power handling capabilities and can withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for LED lighting applications.

What is hybrid PCB stackup?

A hybrid PCB stackup refers to the arrangement of layers and materials used in the construction of a hybrid PCB. The stackup typically consists of alternating layers of rigid and flexible materials, with copper traces and vias connecting the layers together. The stackup can be customized to meet the specific requirements of the application, with different layer thicknesses, materials, and configurations used to achieve the desired performance characteristics.

A typical hybrid PCB stackup might consist of a rigid base layer, followed by several layers of flexible material with embedded copper traces and vias.

Hybrid PCB design

Hybrid PCB design involves a combination of traditional PCB design techniques and specialized hybrid technology. Proper component placement is critical for hybrid PCB. Components such as surface-mount devices (SMDs), wire-bonded components, and integrated circuits (ICs) should be carefully placed to ensure signal integrity, proper thermal management, and easy assembly.

Hybrid PCB design
Hybrid PCB design

The number of layers and their arrangement may vary depending on the application requirements. The trace width and spacing of a hybrid PCB should be carefully designed to ensure signal integrity, prevent crosstalk, and handle high-power loads.

A hybrid PCB is a printed circuit board that combines various technologies in a single board. It is called hybrid because it integrates different components on a single board, which can be made of different materials and can use various technologies such as surface-mount technology (SMT), through-hole technology (THT), and microelectronics.

  • Combination of rigid and flexible substrates
  • Multiple layers of copper traces
  • High reliability
  • Customizability
  • FR-4
  • Polyimide
  • PTFE


Hybrid PCB offers a versatile solution for a wide range of applications that require high performance, reliability, and flexibility. They combine different materials and technologies to achieve specific performance characteristics required for the application. The materials used in hybrid PCB include FR-4, polyimide, PTFE, and metal, and the stackup is carefully designed to provide the necessary electrical and mechanical properties.

If you are looking for a hybrid PCB manufacturer, IBE will be your reliable partner.

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