Single-Sided PCB Circuit Board

The Most Important Things You Need To Know About Single-layer PCB

A detailed introduction to single-sided circuit boards

What is a Single Layer PCB?

When it comes to PCBs, they are named single-layer, double-layer, and multilayer PCBs. The number of layers in a PCB is the number of conductive or copper layers it has. PCBs also have other layers, such as the base layer, dielectric layer, solder mask, and silkscreen; however, the number of layers only represents the number of copper/conductive/circuit layers. Thus, a PCB with one conductive layer to create a circuit is known as a Single Layer PCB.

A Single Layer PCB is the simplest PCB as there is only one conductive layer. It is widely used in dozens of applications where we need a compact circuit. Among all types of PCBs, single-layer PCBs are preferred and the most purchased. Designers go for double-layer or multilayer PCBs when the circuit is quite complex and cannot be implemented on a single-layer circuit. Otherwise, a single-layer PCB is the first choice for any device, product, or project.

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Types of Single Layer PCB

Single-layer Rigid PCB Board

It is the type of a single layer PCB that is made up a rigid material such as fiberglass. These PCBs are inflexible and prevent the circuit from bending and breaking. Currently, these are used in different types of devices, such as in calculators and power supplies, etc.

single-layer Flexible PCB Manufacturing

It is the type of a single layer PCB, which is mode out a flexible material instead of a rigid material, and for this purpose, plastic materials are used. It has so many advantages over a single layer rigid pub, but its fabrication cost is so much high.

Single-layer Rigid-flex PCB Board Manufacturing

It is the type of a single layer PCBs which is used for high-frequency circuits, usually in gigahertz. These PCBs are made out a Teflon or polyphenylene oxide (PPO) material. During choosing high-frequency single layer PCB, many aspects are kept in mind, such as dielectric loss, thermal expansion, and water absorption, etc.

Single-sided High-frequency PCB production

It the type of single-layer PCBs which is made out of the combination of plastic and fiberglass. Both materials are combined into a single layer. It has so many advantages over single layer rigid and flexible PCB, such as it reduces the weight and size of the overall PCB.

Single-sided Aluminum PCB Manufacturing

It the type of single layer PCB which is made out with aluminum material substrate. The design of this PCB is almost the same as copper backed PCB, but the only difference is that in these PCBs, aluminum substrate is used instead of copper. Aluminum backed is used with thermally insulating material for transferring the heat from insulating material to back.

Advantages and disadvantages of single-sided PCB

Advantages of Single-Sided PCB

  • Simple Design

The design of a single-sided PCB is quite simple. There is only one conductive layer, so it is easy for the designers to create a design. There are fewer errors in the designing process, and the PCB is more likely to offer the desired results even in the first prototype.

  • Easily Available

Single-sided PCB is quite easy to manufacture as it has a basic design. You can easily find a single-layer PCB manufacturer in your city or country. All PCB manufacturers offer this service, so you can easily order anyone.

  • Low Cost

The cost of a single-layer PCB is lower than a multilayer PCB. It does not require high-end pieces of machinery as in other types of PCB. If you order in bulk, the price of the PCB is further reduced. A single-layer PCB is the best choice if you want to save costs.

  • More Reliable

The design of a single-layer PCB is simple, so it is more reliable. There are fewer chances of errors and faults. It offers excellent performance and high reliability. The long-lasting operation of the board and components is also ensured.

  • Easy Testing and Repairing

The testing of a single-layer PCB is easier than a multilayer PCB. The PCB can be easily checked by AOI, or X-ray inspection can be used in the case of BGA components. If there is any fault, it can be traced easily. Moreover, repairing a single-layer PCB is easier and simpler.

Disadvantages of Single-sided PCB

  • Large Size (Extra Dimensions)

In the case of multilayer PCBs, the circuit is distributed in all layers. Therefore, the circuit does not take much space on the board. Moreover, the circuit looks clean. On the other hand, the circuit of the single-layer PCB is present in one layer only. Thus, the circuit takes more space on the board; the board will be larger.

  • Cannot Deal with Complex Designs

If the requirement of your project is a complex circuit, you cannot implement it on single-layer PCBs. There are some limitations, so not everything can be achieved by a single-layer PCB.

  • Slow Speed

Single-layer PCBs offer slow speed and transmission as compared to multilayer PCBs. If you need high-speed, you need to go for a double-layer or multilayer PCB.

Base Material for Single Layer PCBs

There are various base materials available for PCBs, and the buyer can easily pick any of them according to the requirement of the project. All bases have distinct characteristics, features, pros, and cons, so you need to decide which one is the best for your application.

The commonly used and demanded materials for Single Layer PCBs are,

  • FR-4
  • CEM
  • Teflon
  • Polyimide
  • Metal

Learn more PCB Materials

Single-sided PCB Circuit Board

Single-sided PCB Stack up

The stack up in a single-layer PCB is quite simple. There are only two primary layers, but if we count the total number of layers, including the solder mask, surface finish, and silkscreen, then there will be more layers in total. However, the important layers are only two layers: The conductive Layer and Base Layer.

Conductive Layer

The conductive layer conducts the signals and transmits the electrons. There is only one conductive layer in single-layer PCBs, and it is usually made of Copper. Other materials, such as Gold and Silver, can also be used as a conductive layer, but Copper is the most cost-effective and feasible.

Base Layer

The base layer of PCBs can vary. The commonly used base layer is FR-4; however, metals are also used as a base material. The base layers provide a platform or base to all other layers. This is the foundation layer on which copper layer, silkscreen, and other layers are applied. PCBs can further be classified on the basis of the base layer.

Construction of Single Sided PCB
Construction of single sided PCB

What is the single-sided PCB thickness?

Typically, the industry standard for PCB thickness is about 0.063 inches, which translates to about 1.57mm in metric units.

Today, PCB thicknesses range from 0.2032mm to 6.096mm.

The thickness of the printed circuit board affects the performance, function, and installation of the PCB. We need to choose and determine the most suitable PCB thickness for you according to the actual application and the size of the installation area.

PCB thickness varies. Usually, rigid PCB is thicker than flexible PCB; multilayer PCB is thicker than single-sided and double-sided PCB. Some devices require thicker PCBs, while others may require thinner PCBs.

Factors that determine PCB thickness include PCB weight, number of layers, size, copper thickness, trace thickness, board manufacturing process, flexibility, working environment, signal type, via type, etc.

As people demand smaller and smaller electronic products, PCBs are also shrinking. This also requires the circuit board to be light and thin to fit inside the device.

Click here To learn more about PCB thickness

Single-Sided PCB Applications

Single Layer PCBs are very common, and we are usually surrounded by dozens of devices that use single-sided PCBs. Some of the common devices that we see are,

  • Vending machines
  • Camera systems
  • Surveillance
  • Calculators
  • Printers
  • Solid-state drives
  • Coffee makers
  • LED lighting
  • Packaging equipment
  • Sensor products
  • Power supplies
  • Relays
  • Radio and stereo equipment
  • Timing circuits
single-sided PCB COPPER PCB

Single-sided aluminum substrate and single-sided copper PCB are our most common single-sided circuit board applications.

There are dozens of applications where a single-layer PCB is used. As long as the desired results can be achieved by the single conductive layer, it is recommended and cost-effective to select a single-layer PCB instead of a multilayer PCB.

Almost all simple devices that we use contain a single-layer board. For complex applications and circuits, it is necessary to have more layers in the PCB.

Cost of Single Layer PCB

The Single Sided PCB Price depends on various factors. Some of the factors are primary, while some are secondary.

The first thing is the type of base material. You can choose metal, FR-4, PTFE, or any other material. Along with the type of the material, the thickness of the base also matters. Then, it is important to measure the size of the board and circuit. These two are the most important factors in PCB production. After that, you can consider the surface finish, copper thickness, via filling, tracing, holes, and some other factors.

Buyers also require PCB assembly services. In this case, you need to add the cost of the components and testing.

The cost of the PCB also depends on the order. High volume orders will give you less cost per piece. So, you can also reduce the cost if you have a bulk order.

Read More What factors determine the price of PCB?

What are the factors that affect the price of single-sided PCB?

Primary or Fixed Production CostsSecondary or Dependent CostsOverhead Costs
Board SizeToolingFacility
Number of PCBs produced in a production runLayout – trace design, hole size, and hole countLabor – salaries and benefits
Number of layers beyond double-sidedLaminationEquipment
Lead timeChange needed from mechanical drill type to laser drill typeRaw materials
Hose size and countQuality assuranceChemical processes
Material type and thicknessVia fillWaste water treatment
LayoutFabricationRegulatory permits
 FinishProduction delays due to design or fabrication changes
  Production failure due to bad design or flawed methods

How Single Sided PCB is Manufactured?

The manufacturing of a PCB is a long process. The PCB that looks like a simple board goes through more than a dozen machines to create a final product. For the ease of customers, PCB manufacturers define the process in simple words.

Single-sided PCB Manufacturing Process Flow Chart

Cutting – Cleaning – Drilling – Cleaning – PTH – Panel – Plating – Cleaning – Photolithography – Image Transfer – Inspection – Copper/Tin – Plating – Coating – Removing/Etching/Tin – Removing – Inspection – Cleaning – Solder – Mask – Exposure/Develop/Inspection – Prepreg – Screen – HASL – Conformal – Coating – Post – Soldering – Cleaning – Test – Final Inspection – Packing

Single-sided vs Double-sided PCB: How to Choose?

Single-sided and double-sided PCBs are distinguished according to the number of conductive layers, and they are all made of FR4 and copper foil.

Double-sided PCBs enable more complex circuit designs than single-sided PCBs, but sometimes single-sided PCBs may be more suitable for your actual needs.

In terms of price, producing single-sided PCBs is more economical than double-sided PCBs.

Read this article to learn more about the difference between single-sided and double-sided PCBs.

Single-sided PCB vs. Multilayer PCB: What is the difference between?

1. The components of the single-sided circuit board are on one side of the board, and the circuit is on the other side of the board. Single-sided circuit boards are simple to manufacture and low cost and are only suitable for simple electronic products.

2. There are three or more layers in the multi-layer PCB, and the conductive pattern layer is separated by insulating material between two layers and then formed by pressing. Multilayer PCBs are widely used in more complex electronic products, providing high-capacity, high-speed, and multi-functional support for electronic products.

3. The single-sided PCB has only one side with the circuit, and the holes on the board are all non-metalized holes, and no electroplating is required in the single-sided PCB manufacturing process. The holes on double-sided and multi-layer PCBs are divided into metalized holes and non-metalized holes, and an electroplating process is required in the production process of the board.

4. The most essential difference between single-sided PCB and multi-layer PCB is the number of circuit layers.

Buy Single Layer PCBs from JHYPCB

JHYPCB is one of the leading PCB and PCBA service providers in China. We have a large facility where we can handle small to large volume orders. We can provide any single-layer PCB, including metal core PCB, high-frequency PCB, flexible PCB, HDI PCB, impedance control PCB, and heavy copper PCB. There is no limitation on order; you can order one PCB as well. We offer quick prototype and assembly services under a strictly controlled management system. We are ISO, UL, or RoHS certified so that you can order with confidence.

For more information and details, feel free to contact our 24/7 customer support team.

Get Free Quote or contact JHYPCB to learn how we can help you with your application.

Single-sided PCB FAQs

Most frequent questions and answers

Double-sided PCB is one of the most produced and used printed circuit boards today. The difference between a double-sided PCB and a single-sided PCB is that a double-sided PCB has traces on both the top and bottom sides. Double-sided PCBs can also mount electronic components on both sides. Using double-sided PCB can realize a more complex electronic circuit design, which is more conducive to manufacturing more complex technical applications and electronic products.

Components can be installed on the breadboard at will, plug, and play, and experimental tests can be performed. After the test is completed, the components can be removed; and the breadboard can be reused。 But the single-sided PCB needs to solder or mounted the components before they can be used and is Not reusable.

PCB, that is, printed circuit board, can be divided into single-sided PCB, double-sided PCB, and multi-layer PCB according to the number of layers; according to hardness, it can be divided into rigid PCB, flexible PCB, and rigid-flex PCB; according to the conductivity of holes, it can be divided into Through-hole PCB, blind-hole PCB, buried-hole PCB, plated-through-hole PCB, and non-plated-through-hole PCB.

The number of PCB layers is mainly determined by functional requirements, which are embodied in:

  1. Application scenarios
  2. Signal transmission speed
  3. Project budget
  4. Lead time
  5. Component pin density

  1. Top Layer: Routing layer, single-sided PCB does not have this layer
  2. Bottom Layer: the bottom copper foil routing layer
  3. Top/Bottom Solder Mask Layer: Top/Bottom Solder Layer generally uses a green solder mask to prevent tin on copper foil and maintain insulation.
  4. Top/Bottom Solder Paste Mask Layer: This layer is generally used for solder paste during the SMT reflow process of SMD components
  5. Top/Bottom silkscreen Layer: printing various logos such as component tag numbers, characters, trademarks, etc.
  6. Midlayers (Signal Layer): mostly used for multi-layer PCB, that is, the actual copper layer
  7. Mechanical Layer: Define the appearance of the PCB board. Mechanical layers have no electrical properties
  8. Drill Layer: Divided into Drill Grid and Drill Drawing. Drill Layer is used to provide drilling information during circuit board manufacturing
  9. Keep out layer: used to define the boundary of the routing layer. After defining the forbidden wiring layer, the routing with electrical characteristics cannot exceed the boundary of the forbidden wiring layer in the subsequent wiring process.
  10. Interna Plane: These layers are usually connected to ground and power and become power and ground planes, only present in multi-layer PCBs. The inner layer also acts as an electrical connection and the actual copper layer.
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