Printed circuit boards have become the hearts of modern electronics. However, there are different types of PCBs classified into various types based on design specifications, manufacturing processes, and application requirements.

In addition, there are more complex designs that are based on customers’ requirements and needs. This means there are common circuit boards and more powerful ones. Below are five types of PCBs you need to know.

Five Types of Printed Circuit Boards

1. Multi-Layer PCB

Multilayer printed circuit boards are boards with more than two copper layers. Hence, a board featuring three or more conductive layers is a multilayer PCB. The top and bottom layers look like a double-sided PCB but there are several layers on both sides of the core.

Since multilayers can accommodate many electronic components, they are widely used in modern electronic devices, such as 6 and 10 layer PCB. Applications such as smart devices that need four to eight layers are fitted with multilayer PCBs.

Although manufacturing a multilayer PCB is a bit more complex than manufacturing a single-sided or double PCB, the process is easier for an experienced company. When designing a multilayer PCB, manufacturers prefer an even number over an odd one. This is because laminating an odd number of layers can be costly and make the circuit complex.

Advantages of multilayer PCBs:

  • More robust than single-sided or double-sided PCBs
  • Compact in size
  • Made for high-speed circuits
  • More durable and flexible
  • Lightweight
  • Single connection point

Disadvantages of Multilayer PCBs:

  • High cost of production
  • Complex design process
  • Need to be designed by a skilled and experienced designer

Applications for Multilayer PCBs:

  • Automotive and aerospace systems
  • Modern electronic appliances
  • Telecommunication industry
  • Medical devices
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Military and defense

2. Flex PCBs

A Flex PCB is a circuit board made of components arranged on a flexible substrate. It is a board created from materials that can bend giving them enhanced resistance to movement and vibrations.

And as technology grows, the demand for flex PCBs is very high. The PCBs are available in single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layer configurations. In addition, there are rigid-flex PCBs.

Compared to rigid PCBs, flex circuit boards are small, light, and offer better performance. Due to their numerous advantages, they are applied to various sectors.

Advantages of Flex PCBs:

  • Due to its flexibility, it can be used in many sectors
  • High-security density
  • Small and lightweight
  • Great even in harsh environment

Disadvantages of Flex PCBs:

  • Higher material costs
  • Difficult to repair
  • Complex assembly process

Applications of Flex PCBs:

  • Automotive
  • Commercial electronics
  • Aerospace
  • Medical devices


HDI or High-density interconnect PCBs are boards with higher circuit density than the common PCB boards. The boards have several interconnections but occupy minimal space. The elements are placed closer, and the board space is reduced, but the functionality is not compromised.

Advantages of HDI PCBs:

  • Have a compact design
  • The boards are perfect where space, weight, performance, and reliability are the main concerns.
  • Offer better signal integrity
  • Cost effective
  • High reliability

Disadvantages of HDI PCBs:

  • Costly
  • Complicated design

Applications of HDI PCBs:

  • Consumer electronic devices
  • Automotive and aerospace
  • Communications
  • Industrial uses
  • Medical devices

4. Metal PCBs

Metal PCBs are circuit boards made of a dielectric layer to offer high thermal conductivity. The most used materials for metal layer fabrication are copper and aluminum. Although copper provides superior performance to aluminum, it is a bit expensive.

Metal Printed Circuit Boards can be single-sided, double-sided, or multilayer. However, the multilayer PCB is not common due to its high cost of manufacturing. Since metal can easily transfer heat, the applications of metal PCBs are many.

Advantages of Metal PCBs:

  • Thermal dissipation
  • Better strength and stability
  • Dimensional stability
  • Longer lifetime
  • Lower weight

Applications of Metal PCBs:

  • Power supply devices
  • LED lights
  • Cars
  • Home appliances
  • OA devices
  • Audio devices
  • Other electronic devices such as solar cells and heat sinks

5. Ceramic PCBs

A ceramic PCB is a circuit board with a ceramic base material, where alumina and aluminum nitride being the two primary types. Ceramic PCBs are versatile and can replace normal PCBs since the designs are less complex and have an increased performance.

There are High-temperature ceramic PCBs that are operated in high-value temperature conditions, Less-temperature PCBs operated in low-value temperature conditions, and there are Thick film circuit boards.

Advantages of Ceramic PCBs:

  • Tough chemical erosion resistance
  • Great high-frequency performance
  • Safe operation in high temperatures
  • Lower overall cost

Applications of Ceramic PCBs:

  • Automotive
  • Medical devices
  • Consumer electronics
  • Heavy machinery
  • Aerospace

Tips about choice PCB Manufacturer

Printed circuit boards have changed the electronic industry. This is because they are used in almost every modern electronic you know. But for you to have high-quality PCBs, you need to choose a reliable PCB manufacturer.

Here are vital tips you need to check when looking for a printed circuit board manufacturer.

PCB quality

When it comes to circuit boards, quality is everything. This means the board should be manufactured as required. For instance, should have the right dimensions, all holes drilled accurately, and passed all the tests.

Ability to meet deadlines

The other important tip to check is whether the PCB manufacturer can meet the deadlines. The key is whether they can fulfill all the manufacturing processes. This needs plenty of equipment, such as Laser drilling, CNC milling machine.

PCB manufacturer cost

Cost is an important factor you cannot ignore. Even though the lowest manufacturer does not guarantee quality, the highest bidder does not guarantee it as well. Therefore, you need to balance the cost and quality.

Material Sourcing

Another important tip to check is where the PCB manufacturer sources the materials. This is because some manufacturers may source materials from the cheapest places compromising the quality of the board.


The demand for PCBs is high in various industrial sectors. But whether you want multilayer PCBs, flex PCBs, metal PCBs, HDI, and ceramic PCBs, it is important to choose a reputable PCB manufacturer.

Finding the right PCB manufacturer is not easy. Hence, you need to follow the above tips to ensure the circuit boards made are of high quality and are delivered on time. When you spend enough time selecting the right company, you will be assured of high-quality boards.