Good to Know Information about Single-Double-Sided Rigid PCBs

PCBs have been used in electronic and electromechanical devices since decades. However, the older and simpler devices had single-sided PCBs, which are not compatible for the new-age, slim, smart, and miniature devices. Single-sided PCBs are the most basic and old forms of PCBs, used in simple devices. They have only one layer of conductive material. Double-sided PCBs are a slightly advanced version of the former. As the term suggests, there are layers of conductive material on both the sides of the board. It is used in communication devices and other technologically advanced instruments. Now, there are multilayered PCBs too. This post, however, discusses the details of single- and double-sided PCBs, their designs, applications, and advantages.

An Introduction to Single-Sided PCB Design

As mentioned, this type of PCB has a fairly simple design and is used in relatively simple devices. Unlike a double-sided PCB, cross circuitry is not possible here. The substrate here is usually made of FR4, fiberglass or aluminum, which is laminated with a copper layer. The thickness of these PCBs may range between 0.4mm and 3.5mm, including the copper coating and soldering. The stack up of a PCB comprises how the copper and insulation material layers are arranged prior to the PCB design. A PCB layer stack helps avoid noise and impedance. So, in single-sided PCBs, the stack up is only of one material, and hence a stack up may not be required for most applications.

Here is a basic design of a single-sided PCB.

Solder Mask
Copper Layer
Substrate or Dielectric Layer

Know How a Double-Sided PCB Design Differs from Single-Sided PCB

As mentioned, they have layers of conductive material on both the layers. This type of PCB enables alternating between both the layers using via routes. This is the basic design of a double-sided PCB.

Solder Mask
Copper Layer
Dielectric Layer
Copper Layer
Solder Mask


So, there is a top layer and a bottom layer. Usually, the substrate material is made of fiber glass with a copper lamination on it. This increases the conductivity and keeps it even throughout the board. This type of PCB enables drilling of holes that allows circuits on either ends to be connected to the ones at the opposite end. The stack up is really required from four layers onward, and hence may not be a prerequisite for all double-sided PCB designs. To reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) in these type of PCBs, the wiring loop is reduced, and that suffices. The standard thickness of this two-layer PCB ranges between 1.2mm and 1.7mm. The overall PCB thickness includes the actual PCB, copper layer, and soldering mask.

Applications of Single-Sided and Double-Sided PCBs

There are many applications of both these types of PCBs. Here are a few of the applications of single-sided PCBs:

Here are a few applications of double-sided PCBs:

Benefits of Single-Sided and Double-Sided PCBs

Despite advancements in PCB technology, single-sided PCBs still exist, and offer a lot of benefits. Here are a few benefits of single-sided PCBs:

Double-sided PCBs certainly have an edge over single-sided PCBs when it comes to usability in slightly complex devices. Here are a few benefits of double-sided PCBs:

Are you looking for end-to-end PCB solutions for your applications for your devices? Ensure you approach reliable PCB manufacturers for the same. In spite of the rising demand for multilayered PCBs, Twisted Traces still caters to these basic PCB forms aside from the more complicated ones. Twisted Traces is a well-known manufacturer and assembler of various types of PCBs which are RoHS compliant. They have a market presence of over 30 years.


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