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Cost Considerations

When designing HDI PCBs, you need to take the cost of multiple parts based on your needs into consideration. Different aspects and parts you want to include will change the cost of the board. This will also depend on the prices of your PCB manufacturer and assembler.

The type of via, through hole or microvia, and the amount of these vias in your board can change costs. A smaller via will cost more than a larger via. This is because the drill needs to be increasingly precise as the via size decreases.

Mil Cost Index
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Cost will change depending on the height of the stackup. The designer should be aware of what via structure the board entails, including specifications for the hole fill, and what those features require in terms of processes and cost.

Determine the material and the amount of layers and how many core layers the HDI board will need. The most common and most cost effective core material is fiberglass.


If you're having trouble figuring out which one is the best for you, our Materials Selector tool can help you out.

The amount of layers can influence how many sequential laminations you need for your board, and the more laminations, the higher the cost.

The amount of different types of via structures will be the amount laminations needed for the board. Each type of via needs a lamination.

Utilizing staggered or stacked vias will also change the price. Stacked vias require laser drilled filled copper vias, whereas staggered microvias don't require filling with copper, which will save time and money.

Though more laminations usually means a higher cost, using microvias and more laminations can be more cost effective and have a higher yield than producing a board that has too many layers.

When designing a board, use the minimum trace space only when needed, such as around the fine pitch areas. When the board isn't as dense, trace space does not need to be as conservative, and trace spaces can be increased. This will increase yield during manufacturing. The size of the pads should also be determined to minimize cost.

Decide on what HDI stackup you will use before beginning the layout. This will make it easier to avoid including extraneous parts that have not been planned out.

You can take a look at our page, Types of HDI Stackup Structures, to see what types of stackups will work for you.

Depending on what you need your board to do, you may want a specific surface finish for your board. Some materials perform better under certain conditions - high heat, extreme cold, environmental factors - in the finished electronic product will be in. Some common surface finishes include ENIG, ENEPIG, hard gold, soft gold, immersion silver, white tin, HAL, and lead-free HAL.

Turntime is a time constraint that can increase or decrease the cost of your board dramatically.

Boards that need to be finished in two days will cost more than a board that has a deadline of a couple weeks.