Single Layer PCB Vs Multi Layer PCB

Single Layer PCB Vs Multi Layer PCB – Advantages, Disadvantages, Design and Manufacturing Process.

Developing an electronic circuit project generally requires PCB manufacturing. There are
various PCB types available on the market today. In this article, we will take a look at the
single-layer PCB and multi-layer PCB. Each one has distinct advantages that can help you
decide between the two. Plus, many practical applications will benefit your project.

If you’re interested in reading more about these two PCB types, then continue reading!

What is Single Layer PCB?

Also called single-sided printed circuit board, a single-layer PCB is a very basic circuit board.
Electronic Components are soldered on just one side. The other side contains a conductive path.
These boards only have one conductive layer, which is usually made of copper. They may
also come with a substrate layer.

Advantages of Single Layer PCB

1. Inexpensive

Overall, a single-layer PCB is less costly due to its simplistic design. That’s because it can
be developed in a time-efficient manner without relying on a large number of PCB material. Plus,
it doesn’t require much knowledge.

2. Quickly Manufactured

With such a simple design and low-resource reliance, single-layered PCBs can be
manufactured in no time! Of course, that’s a huge advantage, especially if you need a PCB
as soon as possible.

3. Easy to Produce

The popular single-layer PCB can be designed without technical difficulties. That’s because
it offers a simple design process so manufacturers and professionals can produce them
without problems.

4. You can order in Bulk

Because of their easy development process, you can order plenty of these PCB types at the
same time. You can even expect to see a drop in costs per board if you order in bulk.

Disadvantages of Single Layer PCB

1. Limited Speed and Capacity

These circuit boards offer minimal options for connectivity. That means that the overall power
and speed will diminish. Additionally, the operational capacity decreases as a result of its
design. The circuit may not function for high-power applications.

2. It does not offer much Space

Complex devices will not benefit from a single-layer circuit board. That’s because it offers
very little space for extra SMD Components and connections. Wires coming in contact with each
other will cause the board to operate improperly. The best practice involves assuring that the
circuit board provides sufficient space for everything.

3. Larger and Heavier

You will need to make the board larger to provide additional capabilities for various
operational purposes. However, doing this will also increase the product’s weight.

Application of Single Layer PCB

Because of their low manufacturing cost, single-sided boards are popular in many household
appliances and consumer electronics. These are popular for devices that can store little data. Some
examples include:

  • Coffee makers
  • LED lights
  • Calculators
  • Printers
  • Radios
  • Power Supplies
  • Varying Sensor Types
  • Solid State Drives (SSD)

What is Multilayer Layer PCB?

A multilayer PCB consists of double-sided boards that stack atop each other. Usually, these
feature three double-sided boards, but you can stack as much as you want for your project.
It’s important to note that an odd number of layers could produce a twisting or warping effect
after the soldering process. So you should use an even number of layers instead.

Advantages of Multilayer Layer PCB

1. Complex Projects

Complex devices relying on additional components and circuits usually need a multi-layer
PCB. You can expand the board via additional layer integrations. This makes it suitable for
additional circuits that feature extra connections, which otherwise won’t fit on a standard

2. More Durable

Additional layers increase the board’s thickness, making it durable. This will then ensure
longevity and allow it to survive unexpected events, including drops.

3. Connection

Several components would usually need more than one connection point. In this case, a
multi-layer PCB only needs an individual connection point. Overall, this advantage
contributes to the device’s simple design and lightweight features.

4. More Power

Adding more density to a multi-layered PCB makes it practical for power-intensive devices.
Generally, this means it can operate more quickly and efficiently. The increased capacity
makes it suitable for powerful devices.

Disadvantages of Multilayer Layer PCB

1. More Expensive

You can expect to pay more with a multi-layered circuit board since it requires additional
materials, expertise, and time to develop. For this reason, you should ensure that using a
multi-layer component is more advantageous than the price.

2. Lengthy Lead Time

Multi-layer boards will take longer to develop. This is due to essential parts that require
locking so that each layer will form an individual board. Each of these processes contributes
to the overall completion time.

3. Repairs can be Complex

If a multi-layered PCB experiences problems, then it can be difficult to repair. Some internal
layers may not be viewed from the outside, making it harder to pinpoint what’s causing
component or physical board damages. Plus, you will need to consider the number of
integrated components on the board because it makes the repairs more difficult to complete.

Application of Multi Layer PCB

Multi-layer PCBs provide many benefits for applications that require cross-talk. Here, we
listed a few of the applications for these circuit board types.

  • Satellites
  • Heart monitors
  • GPS
  • Computers
  • Smartphones
  • Cat scan
  • X-ray
  • Space probes
  • Weather analysis

Difference: Single Layer PCB Vs Multi Layer PCB

1. Manufacturing Process

A single layer PCB undergoes a lengthy manufacturing process. Typically, it involves using
many CNC machining processes to create the board. The entire process involves
cutting-drilling-graphics placement-etching-solder mask and printing.

Afterward, it goes through surface treatment before being tested, inspected, and packaged for shipping.

Meanwhile, multilayer PCBs are created through a special process. It involves overlaying
prepreg and foundational material layers together through high pressure and temperature.
This ensures that air won’t become entrapped between each layer. Also, it means that resin
will cover the conductors and the adhesive securing each layer together melts and cures

Video: Multilayer PCB Design and Manufacturing Process

2. Material

Single-layer and multi-layer PCBs are manufactured using metal, FR-4, CEM, Teflon, and
polyimide materials. Even then, copper is the most common choice.

3. Cost

Overall, the single-layer PCB is less costly than a multi-layer PCB. That’s mainly because of
the materials used, time to produce, and expertise. Other factors may affect the price,
including size, lamination, lead time, etc.

4. Application

Generally, single-layer PCBs are used for simple devices, while multi-layer PCBs are more
applicable for advanced technology, such as smartphones.

What should you consider before buying?

Before purchasing a single-layer or multi-layer PCB, you should consider its intended
purpose. If you’re developing a complex project, you should choose the multi-layer PCB
option. Simpler projects will only require a single-layer PCB. Also, consider other factors,
including the size and shape, to suit your needs.


As you have learned, a single-layer PCB is the most popular choice due to its simplicity and
in-general purposes. On the other hand, a multi-layer PCB can be used for complex projects
that require sufficient space and connections. Of course, each one has its advantages and
disadvantages, but they can just as easily suit your needs.

We hope this in-depth comparison guide will help you make the appropriate choice for your project!

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Santosh Das

Santosh, founder of this Electronics Tutorial Website, is an Electronics Geek, Blogger and Young Entrepreneur. He possesses vast experience in the field of electronics, electronic components, PCB, Soldering, SMT, Telecommunication, ESD Safety, and PCB Assembly Tools, Equipment and Consumables. Keep visiting for daily dose of Tips and Tutorials.

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