HDI PCB Manufacturers
Realize Complex Layouts

Considering all its capabilities, the amount of technology in a smartphone is truly astounding. Communication, computing, networking, navigating, photography, and various sensors are just a few examples; amazingly, they all fit in the palm of your hand. Electronic miniaturization for devices like cell phones isn’t possible without the benefits of high-density interconnect (HDI) printed circuit boards. Designers need an HDI PCB manufacturer to spec and build high-density printed circuit boards successfully.

Features for HDI Designs

Microvia Microvias require a more intricate lamination/drilling cycle. However, designers can shrink via hole diameters significantly and free up routing with stacked/staggered layer transitions.
Flex / rigid-flex Flex and rigid-flex boards allow for greater space utilization within compact enclosures, replacing more intricate wire harnesses.
BGAs The highest component pinout possible. It requires microvias and minimal trace widths for breakout.
High % SMD While SMD is already a higher propensity for PCBAs, HDI box builds are likely to have an even greater restriction on component height.

Exploring High-Density Interconnect PCBs

A high-density circuit board provides many benefits to product designers, including reducing the size of the circuitry. Smaller circuitry generally improves performance by increasing functionality while reducing per-area power consumption. Here are some other benefits that product designers will realize by using HDI technology:


Key HDI PCB Design Benefits:

  • Lower overall PCBA costs
  • Increased circuitry density
  • Better PCBA reliability
  • Increased signal integrity and performance
  • Decreased susceptibility to electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • Better thermal management
  • Overall, improved efficiency in the design
One of the chief advantages of HDI technology in printed circuit board design is adding more functionality to the board through compression of the circuitry. There are several methods to accomplish this design compression:

  • Newer components with smaller dimensions
  • Smaller pin pitches, which reduce the space necessary for routing
  • Tighter component packing
  • Multiple via types in the design, including via-in-pad and microvia structures
  • Use of smaller trace widths and spaces
  • Thinner substrates support additional routing layers

Another advantage of designing with HDI technology is the smaller size, which lends itself to improved signal integrity and reduces EMI. This process involves more care for the designer to layout the board carefully according to good signal integrity rules, but the benefits can be substantial. For instance, a standard through-hole via in a circuit board will have some inductance, but microvias in HDI designs can reduce this value. Additionally, the trace routing in an HDI circuit board is shorter due to its smaller size and the closer placement of components to each other, which reduces the impedance profile.

HDI PCB Manufacturer - DFM Requirements And Benefits


High-density interconnect circuit boards require a carefully conceived board layer stackup configuration before the layout begins. This process will ensure the design’s impedance-controlled routing calculations are correct while maximizing thermal and signal integrity performance.


Component placement

With the use of via-in-pad and microvias to conduct the routing into the inner layers, components can populate both the outer layers of the board. The spacing constraints from one component to another are less on an HDI board than on a standard PCB, allowing for more intricate designs within identical board dimensions.



HDI designs use smaller trace widths and spacings, allowing for greater routing densities on the board. Additional routing channels on inner layers also open up with vias that do not go entirely through the board. This configuration allows parts with high pin-counts and low pin-pitches for routing on an HDI board. These blind and buried microvias can support or replace traditional through-hole drilling while offering significantly smaller drill diameters.


Design rules

Circuit board layout designers must use the full capabilities of their PCB CAD systems to help them design HDI boards. Typically, CAD systems can allow or disallow specific via types on certain nets or change spacing rules and trace width values. Design rules are essential in HDI design to avoid EMI and other potential signal integrity problems.

Connect With Your Contract Manufacturer for HDI Designs

HDI PCB manufacturing can vary from the production methods used for standard PCBs. The fine lines require great care during imaging to prevent errors from being created, and direct laser imaging is the preferred method. Thinner board materials for substrates and microvias require different fabrication processes for laser drilling and sequential build-up.

At VSE, we understand all the processes involved with high-density interconnect design and manufacturing. We are committed to helping our customers make the best choices regarding the processes, materials, and design rules necessary for their designs. We aim to ensure you get the expected quality in your next HDI circuit board project.

If you are looking for a CM that prides itself on its care and attention to detail to ensure that each PCB assembly is built to the highest standards, look no further than VSE. Contact us today to learn more about partnering with us for your next project.

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