Redefining thinness of PCBs

Redefining thinness of PCBs

Flexible and rigid ultra-thin base materials for highly reliable and thinner PCBs.

Tiny medical devices and implants improve patients’ comfort; the aerospace and automotive industries lower fuel costs and reduce emissions using smaller and lighter devices; smart phones are now build into a watch...

Almost all markets are experiencing an increasing demand for smaller and thinner electronics. Traditionally, manufacturers of printed circuit boards (PCBs), that are at the heart of these electronic devices, made PCBs more compact and lighter primarily by decreasing the size of the copper features and board materials. Now, new approaches are needed and both rigid and flexible ultra-thin base materials for PCBs can fill this need. By enabling higher-density designs with enhanced miniaturization in the Z direction, more space is available for other components or the overall thickness of the device is reduced. These extremely thin base materials take miniaturization beyond what was previously possible without compromising reliability or performance. For example a 6-layer system, either flex or rigid, with ultra-thin base material is approximately 50% thinner compared to a 6-layer system using standard material. For systems with more layers this ratio is even more favorable.

Considerations for ultra-thin materials

Because ultra-thin materials require specific design approaches and fabrication technology it is critical to partner with an experienced PCB manufacturer.

Advanced techniques such as laser direct imaging can be used with ultra-thin materials and highly precise registration processes are necessary because the features are typically smaller when a thinner material is used.

Since thinner materials can lead to warpage and increased flexibility, proper handling during assembly is essential. Because of these challenges, it is critical to have early discussions with the PCB manufacturer to define the requirements.

Assuring quality and reliability

DYCONEX has created a center of competence for product reliability to unify all processes necessary for precise monitoring of product reliability. The laboratory has developed extensive and systematic methodologies making it possible to gather solid evidence about product reliability by employing accelerated test procedures such as the IST test.

Ultra-thin PCB base materials in combination with higher-density designs are suitable for all markets where miniaturization, high reliability and increased functionality are vital. Working with a PCB manufacturer that offers advanced engineering services can help ensure the design is compact while remaining cost-effective and reliable.

For more information on our ultra-thin materials and how we can support you, please contact us. 


Illustration: 6-layer stack-up with standard material compared to 6-layer stack-up with ultra-thin base material. 


With more than 50 years of experience, DYCONEX AG is an international leader in the supply of highly complex flexible, rigid-flex and rigid HDI/microvia circuit boards and chip-substrate solutions. These products are used in every application where miniaturization, increased functionality, quality and the highest level of reliability play a role.
With its headquarters in Bassersdorf, DYCONEX today has 180 employees and the company is a member of the Micro Systems Technologies Group.

About the Micro Systems Technologies group
The Micro Systems Technologies group consists of four high-tech companies that offer innovative components and services for medical devices, in particular implants. Other high-tech industries that demand exceptional performance, quality and the highest levels of reliability also rely on the expertise of MST companies.
The globally active companies that make up the MST group – DYCONEX AG (Switzerland), LITRONIK Batterietechnologie GmbH (Germany), Micro Systems Engineering GmbH (Germany) and Micro Systems Engineering, Inc. (USA) – offer their customers integrated solutions ranging from initial design through to series production.


Grindelstrasse 40
CH-8303 Bassersdorf

Phone +41 (43) 266 1100
Fax     +41 (43) 266 1101