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PCB Stack-Up Design Guide

Sierra Circuits’ PCB Stack-Up Design Guide provides guidelines for building an efficient stack-up with improved signal integrity, power distribution, and heat dissipation. 

8 Chapters
8 Chapters

Download the PCB Stack-Up Design Guide today to maximize your functionalities

A stack-up refers to the sequential arrangement of copper and dielectric layers in a PCB. It communicates the layer order and essential details such as material thickness, copper weights, prepreg types, and the overall board thickness to the contract manufacturer.

The stack-up design significantly impacts PCB factors such as signal integrity, power distribution, and thermal management. It provides the mechanical support necessary to withstand physical stresses and environmental factors. A well-designed signal-to-ground plane arrangement minimizes cross-talk and signal distortions.

4 steps for designing a perfect stack-up:

  1. Material selection: Choose materials based on your requirements. Consider electrical (Dk and Df), thermal (CTE, Tg, Td, and k), chemical, and mechanical properties.
  2. Layer count estimation: Estimate the optimum number of layers based on the operating frequency, board dimensions, design complexity, and routing density. Have a symmetrical stack-up to avoid board deformation
  3. Layer arrangement: Avoid placing adjacent signal layers and provide solid ground planes for short and continuous return paths.
  4. Lamination cycles: Refrain from having more than 4 lamination cycles to avoid manufacturing issues.

Depending on the type of application, select the right build-up for maximum efficiency. Options include HDI, flexible, rigid-flex, and hybrid (mixed material) constructions.

We have put together this comprehensive PCB Stack-Up Design Guide with the help of industry experts who have hands-on experience in building complex circuit boards.

And don’t forget to try our Stackup Designer tool to design cost-optimized build-up structures.

What’s inside:

  • Design guidelines for HDI, flex, and hybrid stack-ups
  • Stack-up representation in fab drawing
  • DFM checks for layer stacks
  • Manufacturing tolerances
  • Inspection methods
  • PCB stack-up examples with illustrations
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Sierra Circuits PCB Certifications & Registrations

Sierra Circuits holds IPC-6012, IPC-6013, IPC-6015, IPC-6018, and IPC-A-600 PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits is ISO 9001:2015 certified for Military and Aerospace PCBs
Sierra Circuits is ISO 13485:2016 certified for Medical Device PCBs
Sierra Circuits is ITAR Registered
Sierra Circuits holds MIL-PRF-55110 & MIL-PRF-31032 PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits is certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Sierra Circuits is REACH Compliant for PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits is RoHS Compliant for PCB certifications
Sierra Circuits holds PCB certifications for Flex, Rigid-Flex, and Rigid PCBs by the Underwriters Laboratory

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Sierra Circuits has been trusted by innovators as a go to resource for best in class circuit boards since 1986.

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About Sierra Circuits

Since 1986, Sierra Circuits has faithfully served more than 20,000 PCB designers and engineers with PCB design, manufacturing and assembly and High-Density Interconnect technology.

Sierra Circuits handles all aspects of PCB production. From PCB layout and design, to assembly and manufacturing—we provide our customers with unprecedented quality, reliability, and a single point of support.

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