Static vs. Dynamic PCB Applications
PCB manufacturers create various products with one goal: to make sure their boards are helpful, reliable, and work as designed. However, when working with PCB manufacturers, there are different characteristics that set apart the different types of PCB applications: static or dynamic.
Static and dynamic PCB applications serve different purposes. Their design considerations differ depending on which industry your business is working in and where it falls in terms of complexity. So understanding their strengths and weaknesses is crucial to making the right manufacturing decision. This guide compares dynamic versus static PCB applications and explains how each works, so you can decide which one will best suit your undertaking.
Static PCBs: Quick Overview
Static PCBs are commonly used in applications that do not require the use of moving parts or high-speed signal transmission. These include industrial control panels, instruments, military equipment, and other systems where mechanical shock or vibration may be present. They also include medical devices such as blood pressure monitors and heart rate monitors, which must withstand human contact without damage to their circuits. Static PCBs are also used in cases where EMI is a concern and where it is essential to maintain a low-impedance ground plane for shielding purposes. They are used in these applications because they offer greater flexibility in circuit design than dynamic designs, which can be difficult to manufacture using standard manufacturing processes due to their more complex circuitry and additional circuitry layers.
Dynamic PCBs: Quick Overview
As the name suggests, dynamic PCBs are commonly used in applications that require fast data transmission rates and high signal integrity due to their ability to transmit electronic signals while maintaining good electrical performance over long distances (e.g., 10's or 100's of meters) due to the elimination of ground loops that occur with static designs which have separate power planes for each signal line. This allows them to be used in applications where static boards are not feasible, such as high-speed data transmission lines.
Static PCB Applications vs. Dynamic PCB Applications
Dynamic PCBs are used in applications with a lot of movement, such as mobile phones, computers, televisions, and so on. These boards require frequent changes due to the ever-evolving technology industry. Moreover, dynamic PCBs can also be used for low-frequency applications, such as power supplies and battery packs, because they can be designed to have higher impedance than static PCBs and provide better filtering capabilities. The constant change makes these boards more expensive than static ones because they need to be tested frequently during manufacturing to ensure they will continue working correctly over time.
Static PCBs are not subject to frequent changes like their dynamic counterparts. They can be used in various applications such as microprocessor cards for computer networking equipment or other specialized devices. These boards are often used for high-frequency applications because they can be designed with lower impedance values than dynamic ones for better filtering capabilities. Static boards are also less expensive than dynamic ones because they do not require frequent testing during manufacturing stages except when there is a change in design or components used on them.
Materials for Static and Dynamic PCB Applications
Static PCB applications are made from FR4, epoxy glass, and phenolic materials. These are usually used for low-power circuits like those found in consumer products like cell phones and tablets.
Dynamic PCB applications are made from copper, aluminum, or any other metal alloy that conducts heat well. These boards are typically used for high-power applications like server farms or power amplifiers for high-end audio equipment.
Low-Frequency and High-Frequency Circuits
Static PCBs are used in low-frequency circuits where the frequencies are usually below 10 MHz, and there is no need for matching or tuning. These circuits have high Q factors and can be tuned using a parasitic inductor or capacitor. The parasitic components can be incorporated into the circuit design during fabrication at a low cost. A typical example of a static PCB application is a clock circuit that uses crystal oscillators for generating clock signals.
Dynamic PCBs are used in high-frequency circuits where the frequencies are usually above 10 MHz, and there is a need for matching and tuning. Dynamic circuit boards require an external matching network for optimum performance. A typical example of a dynamic PCB application would be an RF amplifier circuit which needs to be tuned for optimum performance based on its frequency range, gain-bandwidth product, and output impedance characteristics.
Common Advantages and Disadvantages of Static and Dynamic PCBs
- The main advantage of a static PCB application is that it is immune to short circuits and electrical noise. This means that you do not have to worry about things like electrostatic discharge (ESD) or electromagnetic interference (EMI). Static PCB applications do not require special handling during manufacturing or assembly, and they can be used in environments where electromagnetic interference is likely.
- The disadvantages of static PCBs are that they cannot be used for multilayer boards, they have a much lower tolerance for errors than dynamic boards, and they may require special manufacturing techniques such as photo etching or chemical milling to work properly.
- Static PCBs are less bulky than dynamic boards because they do not need moving parts or motors. This makes them easier to transport and more cost-effective to produce in large quantities.
- Dynamic boards allow you to create more flexible circuits than static boards. A dynamic board will allow you to move components around on the board, change their size and even change the layout if necessary. With a static board, there is no way to change these factors once the designer has set them up.
- Dynamic PCBs can be customized for different applications by adding additional layers of copper foil laminate or by replacing polyimide film with another insulating material like polyester or fiberglass cloth. This makes them more durable than static PCBs.
While the choice between static and dynamic boards may seem significant, the contrasting options will depend upon your project needs. Noticeably, both have pros and cons listed above. Be sure to understand your design requirements before choosing a PCB application type.
If you are ready to take the plunge and try out PCB manufacturing for yourself, be sure to check out Hemeixin for material and design guidelines for different types of PCBs.