PCBs are the core of any electronic, electrical, or electromechanical device, part, or machine, and hence are used across industries. They are made of specific number of layers depending on the requirement complexity of the application. Earlier, printed circuit boards were mostly single or double layer. Nowadays, due to the complex circuitry and the boards have several components mounted on them. Such boards have multiple layers which go 20, 25, or beyond. Most commonly, the layers nowadays range between four and twelve, with very few devices having single layer PCBs. This post offers a comparative account of single and multilayer PCBs at length.

Comparative Account: Single layer PCBs vs. Multilayer PCBs


Here are some pointers which clarify the difference between single layer PCBs and multilayer PCBs in terms of their definition, advantages, applications, and more.

  • Single layer PCBs are very basic level boards wherein components are mounted only on one side. This board has one copper layer which is conductive and some boards also have a substrate layer.
  • A multilayer board has components mounted on both sides and has more than three layers depending on the requirement. The layers are stacked upon each other. In this type of board, there is a core layer, which is sandwiched between a prepreg layer and a copper coated layer. Normally, the number of layers is even as it helps prevent warping of the board during soldering.
  • Single layer PCBs are cost effective and simple in design. Hence, they can be manufactured quickly without any technical complications.
  • Multilayered PCBs are complex in design and are customized to suit client specifications. Nowadays, there is a huge demand for miniature yet multilayered PCBs wherein multiple components are mounted and the circuitry is complex. Also, you need to use the right materials to make these boards and ensure eco-friendly and non-toxic materials which consume relatively less power.
  • Multilayer boards are definitely more durable than single layer ones. They can withstand extreme industrial environments, high temperatures, and so on,
  • Being complex, multilayered boards are difficult to repair and need thorough expertise. Also, it is important for them to be tested thoroughly as that there are no flaws or bugs in terms of design, structure, wiring, and functionalities. Single layer PCBs are relatively easy to repair.
  • Multilayer boards are used in mission critical applications such as defense, medical, aerospace, surveillance systems, and more. Single layer PCBs have simple applications such as calculators, coffee vending machines, solid state drives, printers, LED lighting systems, and so on.
  • Each of these board types has its own pros and cons and hence it is crucial to make the right decision on the number of layers, materials, and so on, depending on your application requirements.

If you an OEM manufacturing mechanical products which need to be digitized, you would need to partner with a reliable and experienced PCB assembly services provider. Ensure you share your requirements at length with them to manufacture the right type of PCBA which suits your requirements. Suntronic Inc. is an experienced PCB manufacturer and PCB assembly services provider with advanced PCBA capabilities and offers end to end services. Aside from this, our company offers of various types of complex cable and wire harness assemblies such as ribbon, coaxial, fiber optic assemblies as well as custom cable harnesses.