The difference between single-layer PCB and double-layer PCB assembly

Single-layer PCB (single-layer printed circuit board) and double-layer PCB (double-layer printed circuit board) are two common substrate types used in electronic assembly.

The difference between single-layer PCB and double-layer PCB assembly

They differ significantly in structure, design, manufacturing process and application. The differences between these two PCBs will be introduced in detail below.

Single layer PCB


A single-layer PCB is the simplest type of circuit board, with just one layer of conductive material (usually copper) over an insulating base material (such as FR4 fiberglass). This layer of conductive material can be etched into the desired circuit pattern. Single-layer PCBs typically have only one conductive layer, so circuitry can only extend in one plane.


The design of single-layer PCB is relatively simple and suitable for the assembly of simple circuits and a small number of components. With only one conductive layer, routing can be limited, especially in complex circuits that require cross-wiring.

Manufacturing process

The manufacturing process of single-layer PCB is relatively simple and usually includes the following steps:

  • Substrate preparation: Select appropriate insulating substrate.
  • Conductive layer laying: Laying a layer of conductive material (such as copper) on the base material.
  • Exposure and etching: Use photolithography to transfer the circuit pattern to the conductive layer, and then remove the unwanted parts by etching.
  • Drilling and surface treatment: Drill holes as needed to mount components, and surface treat the conductive layer to enhance conductivity.


Single-layer PCBs are usually used for simple electronic devices such as switches, sensors, small lamps, etc. They are also commonly used in the prototyping and testing stages because they are cheap to manufacture and allow for rapid design iteration.

Double layer PCB


A double-layer PCB contains two layers of conductive material (usually copper) on either side of an insulating base material. The two layers of conductive material are connected through conductive via holes to form a circuit. The structure of the double-layer PCB allows circuit expansion in both horizontal and vertical directions, thereby increasing design flexibility.


Double-layer PCBs are more complex to design than single-layer PCBs because they support more routing and component connections. Designers can utilize two conductive layers to optimize routing, reduce cross-talk and improve circuit performance. In addition, double-layer PCBs also support more complex circuit designs, such as multi-layer stacked components and denser wiring.

Manufacturing process

The manufacturing process of double-layer PCB is more complicated than single-layer PCB and includes the following steps:

  • Substrate preparation: Select appropriate insulating substrate.
  • Conductive layer laying: Lay a layer of conductive material (such as copper) on both sides of the base material.
  • Exposure and etching: Use photolithography technology to create circuit patterns on the conductive layers on both sides.
  • Conductive via hole production: Conductive via holes are made where two conductive layers need to be connected.
  • Component welding and surface treatment: Install components and perform necessary welding and surface treatment.


Double-layer PCBs are widely used in various electronic devices, especially those that require more complex circuits and more components. They are commonly found in consumer electronics, communications equipment, computer hardware, and more. Double-layer PCBs provide greater design flexibility and performance, enabling the realization of more complex electronic devices.

Comparison of single-layer PCB and double-layer PCB

1. Performance

Double-layer PCBs generally offer higher performance because they support more complex circuit designs and denser routing. Double-layer PCB can provide better electrical performance and higher signal transmission speed, and is suitable for applications of high-speed data transmission and complex logic operations.

2. Cost

The manufacturing cost of single-layer PCBs is usually lower than that of double-layer PCBs because their structure and manufacturing process are relatively simple. However, as the demand for performance and design complexity in electronic devices continues to increase, double-layer PCBs have become a necessary choice in many applications.

3. Design Flexibility

Double-layer PCBs offer greater design flexibility as they allow circuit expansion in both horizontal and vertical directions. This allows designers to use space more efficiently, optimize routing, reduce cross-interference, and enable more complex circuit designs.

4. Scope of application

Single-layer PCBs are suitable for simple electronic devices and prototyping, while double-layer PCBs are widely used in electronic devices that require more complex circuits and more components. Double-layer PCB has a wider range of applications, including consumer electronics, communication equipment, computer hardware and other fields.

To sum up, there are significant differences between single-layer PCB and double-layer PCB in terms of structure, design, manufacturing process and application. Single-layer PCB is suitable for simple circuits and the assembly of a small number of components. It has low manufacturing cost but limited design flexibility. Double-layer PCBs provide higher design flexibility and performance and are suitable for more complex electronic devices. When selecting a PCB type, decisions need to be made based on specific application needs and performance requirements.

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