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Posted on 27/10/2023

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are the backbone of modern electronics, providing the necessary connectivity for components and circuitry. Over the years, technological advancements have pushed the boundaries of PCB manufacturing, leading to the emergence of laser drilling for creating micro vias. In this blog post, we will explore the world of laser drilling micro vias on PCBs, its advantages, and its impact on the electronics industry.

Micro vias are tiny holes drilled into PCBs to establish connections between different layers. Traditionally, mechanical drilling was used for creating these vias, but with the demand for higher density and smaller form factor devices, laser drilling has emerged as a game- changer. Laser drilling involves using a high-powered laser beam to remove material and create precise and miniaturized vias. Micro vias are generally 0.1mm and 0.15mm plated through hole vias and are applied to blind and buried vias in general, can be applied to a through hole vias but the aspect ratio is critical with a maximum PCB thickness of 0.6mm for anu through hole micro vias.

Micro vias 0.1mm & 0.15mm and generally used as Blind and Buried via design applications, these can be used as a through hole via but the aspect ratio is critical, generally with a maximum of 0.6mm or thinner substrate finished thickness PCBs.

Advantages of Laser Drilling Micro Vias:

  1. Unparalleled Precision: Laser drilling offers unparalleled precision, allowing for the creation of micro vias with diameters as small as 0.1mm. This precision enables designers to achieve higher density interconnects and accommodate more components on a smaller PCB footprint. The accuracy of laser drilling also ensures consistent and reliable connections, reducing the risk of signal loss or electrical shorts.

  2. Increased Density: The ability to create smaller and more precise micro vias with laser drilling enables higher density PCB designs. As electronic devices become more compact and miniaturized, laser-drilled micro vias provide the necessary interconnection without compromising on functionality. This advantage is particularly significant in applications such as smartphones, wearables, and IoT devices, where space is at a premium.

  3. Enhanced Signal Integrity: Micro vias created through laser drilling offer improved signal integrity. The smaller via size reduces parasitic capacitance and inductance, leading to better impedance control and signal transmission. This is especially crucial for high-speed digital signals and RF applications, where maintaining signal integrity is vital for optimal performance.

  4. Greater Design Flexibility: Laser drilling provides greater design flexibility compared to mechanical drilling. The precise control over via size, shape, and location allows for customized PCB layouts, enabling designers to optimize signal paths and reduce signal skew. The flexibility of laser drilling also facilitates the implementation of

complex multi-layer PCB designs, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in electronic circuitry.

  1. Cost Efficiency: While laser drilling initially involves higher equipment and setup costs compared to mechanical drilling, it offers cost efficiency in the long run. The precision and accuracy of laser drilling reduce the need for rework and scrap, minimizing production waste and costs. Additionally, laser drilling eliminates the need for time-consuming and costly manual alignment, improving overall manufacturing efficiency.

  2. Process Automation: Laser drilling micro vias can be automated, further enhancing production efficiency. Automated laser drilling systems can precisely replicate the drilling process, ensuring consistency and reducing human errors. This automation capability allows for faster turnaround times and higher production volumes, meeting the demands of today's fast-paced electronics industry.

Conclusion: Laser drilling micro vias has revolutionized the world of PCB manufacturing, enabling higher density, improved signal integrity, and greater design flexibility. With its unparalleled precision, increased density, and cost efficiency, laser drilling is poised to play a pivotal role in the development of advanced electronic devices. As technology continues to evolve, laser drilling will undoubtedly remain a vital tool in pushing the boundaries of PCB technology and meeting the demands of the ever-changing electronics industry.

For further information on Laser drilling Micro Vias for your next leading edge PCB design,

please do not hesitate to contact the PCB Global team at sales@pcbglobal.com

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