If your product requires a flexible printed circuit board, you have a variety flex circuit board choices. The most popular types of circuit boards are single sided flex circuits, double access flexible circuits (also called reverse bared flexible circuits), double sided flexible circuits, rigid flex circuits, sculptured flexible circuits, and multilayer flexible circuits. What are multilayer flex circuits and could they be the right choice for your product?
A multilayer flexible printed circuit board is exactly what it sounds like. It is a flex circuit board that contains multiple conductor layers. Each layer is separated by a laminated dielectric, usually a polyimide. This type of circuit board allows internal conductors to be interconnected using plated through holes.
The most common multilayer flex circuits feature three to six layers. Theoretically, there is no limit to the amount of layers that can be added, but usually after six layers, additional layers become impractical.
Why Use Multilayer Flex Circuits
Why might you use multilayer flex circuits instead of the other flex circuit options? The most obvious reason is that multiple layers allow for the inclusion of more signals. In other words, it can create a high density interconnected configuration, which makes it more powerful than single sided and double sided flex circuits. This attribute also gives multilayer flex circuits better signal integrity than other flex circuit board configurations.
Drawbacks to Multilayer Flex Circuits
Not every product is ideal for a multilayer flexible printed circuit board. The more layers added to the circuit board, the less flexible the circuit board becomes, which limits how it can perform within an electronic device. A circuit board with six layers is also going to be more bulky and heavier than a double sided or single sided circuit board. That means that it might not be the best option if you are looking to shrink the size of your electronic product.
Not Sure Which Flexible Circuit Is the Best Option for You?
If you aren’t sure whether you should choose a single sided flex circuit, double sided flex circuit, multilayer flex circuit, or a different option, contact us at GC Aero. We offer all of these circuit configurations and can make a recommendation based on the goals and functionality of your product.