What factors affect the price and cost of the custom printed circuit boards (PCB)? This is a question that cannot be answered precisely. Printed circuit boards can be seen everywhere; they are the core of electronic products and are widely used in information technology, aerospace, telecommunications, medical equipment, automobiles, consumer electronics, etc.
Evaluating PCB cost and price has its complexities. Typically, PCB production costs range from 50 cents to $300. Many factors affect the price of a circuit board, which may depend on the number of layers, process, quantity, complexity, etc. of the circuit board. Printed circuit boards with more layers, higher quantities, and more complex manufacturing processes are more expensive.
There are many more factors to consider when talking about PCB cost. Please continue with all the detailed information; here’s what you need to know before requesting a PCB fabrication and assembly quote.
Factors That Determine PCB Cost
- Number of layers: the more layers, the higher the cost of PCB manufacturing;
- Quantity: No doubt, the more quantity you need, the higher the price; usually, the unit cost of a prototype PCB price will also be higher than the unit cost of ordering a mass PCB;
- Size: The larger the size of the printed circuit board, the higher its unit cost;
- Material: PCB material is also one of the factors that determine the price of PCB. FR4 is the most common PCB material; if you choose unique materials, such as High Tg material, it will be more expensive than FR4, and Tg180 will be more expensive than Tg140 material;
- Testing Requirements: To ensure the quality of the PCB board, you must test and inspect the printed circuit board. Different test requirements can also lead to differences in PCB cost.
- Shipping: Shipping printed circuit boards also add to the PCB’s cost. The heavier the PCB, the higher the shipping cost.
- PCB type: The flexible PCB manufacturing process is more complicated than a rigid PCB, and the production time will be longer. In addition, the pass rate of flexible PCB will be lower than that of rigid PCB, so the price of the flexible circuit board will be higher. (The pass rate of flexible PCB is usually 65%, and the pass rate of rigid PCB can reach 95%)
- Turnaround time: The shorter the lead time you require, the higher the PCB price
- Copper Thickness: Copper foil is attached to the circuit board in different thicknesses. Most printed circuit boards have a copper thickness of one ounce of copper per square foot. Some boards require a thicker copper layer; others have less stringent requirements, but generally, the higher the copper thickness required, the higher the price.
- Surface finish process: There are various types of surface finish to choose from, such as OSP, HASL, immersion tin, immersion silver, immersion gold, gold plating, etc. OSP is the cheapest, while immersion gold and gold plating are more expensive.
- Design: The complexity of the design will also lead to different costs, such as line width and line spacing, impedance control, buried blind vias, etc.
PCB price comparison
Rigid PCB Price vs. Flexible PCB Price vs. Rigid-Flex PCB Price
Rigid PCB, flexible PCB, and rigid-flex PCB are three types of printed circuit boards.
Rigid-flexible PCB is a combination of rigid PCB and flexible PCB. The technology required to manufacture them is more complicated, and their price is higher.
The price comparison between the three can be simply understood as: rigid-flexible PCB price ＞ flexible PCB price ＞ rigid PCB price.
Single Layer PCB Price vs. Double Sided PCB Price vs. Multilayer PCB Price
Single layer PCB is the simplest printed circuit board to design, and the process capability of all current PCB manufacturers can meet the needs of single-sided PCB manufacturing.
Compared with single-layer PCB, the wiring density of double-sided PCB is more complicated. However, the difficulty factor of manufacturing is still within the process range of most PCB factories, and the manufacturing price will also be within the acceptable range.
Multilayer PCB is an advanced printed circuit board with three or more copper layers, such as the most common 4-layer PCB and 6-layer PCB. As the number of PCB layers increases, so does the unit cost of manufacture.
The price comparison between the three can be simply understood as: Multilayer PCB price ＞ Double-sided PCB price ＞ single layer PCB price.
PCB Prototype Price vs. Mass PCB Production Price
PCB prototyping is an effective way to test the rationality and functionality of PCB designs. Usually, the unit cost of a prototype PCB is higher than that of a mass PCB.
HDI PCB Cost
The factors that affect the cost of HDI PCB mainly depend on the type and amount of vias, through-holes or micro vias, and stack up height and number of layers.
Rogers PCB Price
PCBs using the Rogers laminates are called Rogers PCBs. Rogers is necessary for high-frequency PCB materials; to be more specific, be something like Rogers RO4350B or RO4003C. Rogers PCBs are available for applications in different fields and industries, and they provide essential and unique properties with the best performance at high frequencies.
Due to the particularity of rogers material, it is doomed that Rogers’s material is expensive compared to the FR4 material.
According to our experience, the price range of HDI PCB is between $2 and $10.
LED PCB Price
The primary raw material of LED PCB is aluminum, which is a ubiquitous metal raw material, and its mining and production are very convenient. Therefore, the cost of doing so is significantly lower than other metals. This, in turn, means that products made from these metals are also cheaper.
Factors that affect the cost of PCB assembly
Factors that affect and determine the cost of PCB assembly include:
PCB Quick Quote - PCB Online Quote
A quick online quote may help because you no longer have to wait. Some PCB manufacturers offer an automated online quoting tool where you only need to provide limited information to get a price, but this often results in an inaccurate quote.
Appropriate PCB suppliers, such as JHYPCB, will fully provide ready-to-use quotation services based on your Gerber documents and requirements.
In conclusion, evaluating PCB price and cost is not a simple matter. PCB price is not the primary factor we need to consider. In addition to the right price, quality and efficiency are always the first.
JHYPCB is a leading PCB manufacturing and assembly supplier in China, providing low-cost PCB manufacturing, low-cost PCB assembly, and component sourcing services. Are you still worrying about the budget for your next project? Please contact us; we will provide the best PCB manufacturing and assembly solutions.