Why do PCB via Shift?


What is a PCB Via?

A via is a mini hole through two or more adjoining surface layers that are drilled. The printed circuit board helps transmit the power and signals to travel in between these layers. The circuits between these PCB layers of the PCB multicamadas are independent of each other, so vias are essential to creating interlayer connections. In other words, vias are small conductive paths that make electrical connections between different components of printed circuit board surface layers. A via is made up of a pad, a barrel, and an anti-pad.

Blind and Buried Vias
Figure 1: Typical PCB Vias

Porque é que as Vias Cegas e Enterradas de PCB se deslocam?

Pcb blind and buried vias shift can cause electrical connectivity issues between components mounted on printed circuit board layers. which affects the efficiency, reliability, and overall performance of the circuit board. PCB blind and buried vias shift can occur during the printed circuit board manufacturing process. This shift of PCB vias refers to displacement, misplacement, disposition, or misalignment of the holes drilled for these blind and buried vias. There are various issues, and manufacturing mistakes are caused by several reasons. Printed circuit board Blind and buried vias shifting can occasionally occur in the PCB manufacturing process due to the following issues:
Chapa Tolerância and drilling:
Drilling and plating processes have deep-rooted tolerances. It means that the PCB vias are not precisely drilled or plated exactly in the required location on the surface board. This issue can lead to the incorrect alignment of componentes electrónicos.
Contraction and thermal expansion:
Various components mounted on printed circuit board surface layers contract and expand at different levels during cooling and heating processes while drilling, laminating, and plating the printed circuit board. This vias to can issue blind and buried vias shift or cause a slight movement of the PCB vias connected to the copper traces.
Voids and Delamination:
During the PCB lamination process, sometimes air bubbles are trapped inside the blind and buried vias, which can cause void expansion in the printed circuit board. These PCB voids can affect the board’s functionality and cause blind and buried vias to shift. Delamination is caused by voids or any other fabrication mistakes, which can result in PCB vias shifting.

Stress Relief:
Drilling and plating stress created during PCB manufacturing can cause a slight wrap on the printed circuit board. Which can ultimately cause blind and buried vias to shift from their proposed locations.
Frequent Number of Layers:
Printed circuit boards with more layers contribute to complex design and manufacturing processes. Which can cause blind and buried vias to shift in printed circuit board manufacturing and assembly.
Smaller Via Size:
The size of the pcb via should be larger as smaller pcb via are more often to shift because they are more vulnerable to pcb drilling and plating forces.


Figure 2: PCB Vias and Void

Troubleshooting Blind and Buried Vias Shift:

To mitigate PCB blind and buried vias shifting, engineers and manufacturers will be careful to use precise drilling material and do thorough inspection processes. Advanced manufacturing techniques and standard quality control measures can reduce the risk of blind and buried vias shifting in the PCB manufacturing process. Further, while manufacturing printed circuit boards and designing PCB vias, some common guidelines and rules should be considered. Which are as follows:
Use high-quality PCB design materials with the same coefficients of thermal expansion.
Use appropriate PCB tolerances for plating and drilling purposes.
Design blinds and buried vias with conductive epoxy or glue to avoid voids.
Apply standard stress relief methods during PCB manufacturing.
For additional support of the circuit board, use stitching to connect printed circuit board layers.
By using the above troubleshooting techniques and instructions provided by the PCB manufacturer, you can ensure the PCB’s proper functionality and prevent blind and buried shifting.

PCB Vias Function

Printed circuit board Vias is providing electrical paths that connect the different layers of the PCB. Following are some main functions of PCB via:
Allowing electrical connections:

PCB vias are essential in making electrical connections between different components and parts on the surface of printed circuit boards and connecting the PCB layers as well.
Minimizing Noise:
When several components are mounted on the PCB layer, there may be electrical noise produced on the surface layer of the PCB. via grounding the circuit board, which helps to reduce the noise created during these connections and the Processo de fabrico de PCB.
PCB space efficiency:
Vias ensures that the available space on different layers of the PCB is used effectively.
PCB Miniaturization:
Vias helps the PCB manufacturer produce compact PCBs, which is crucial in PCB designs where size matters for designers.
Gestão térmica:
PCB VIAS play a vital role in heat dissipation by electrical components during PCB manufacturing, especially in designing power electronic devices.
Avoids signal integrity issues:
Vias avoids signal interference and signal integrity issues by maintaining consistent impedance levels across the PCB.

Now that we understand printed circuit board vias and their functions, let’s have a look at different kinds of PCB vias.

Figure 2: PCB Vias Circuit Diagram


Depending on the use and functionality of printed circuit boards, PCBs can be divided into three major types, which are as follows:
Vias cegas:
Blind Vias establishes an electrical connection between an inner layer and the adjacent surface layer of the PCB. These vias begin on the surface layer on one side of the circuit board and don’t extend to another side of the board. Therefore, such vias are called blind PCB vias. A blind via starts from the outer layer (anyone side, either the top or bottom layer) and connects that outer layer with at least one inner layer but does not pass through the whole circuit board. These vias are exposed on only one side of the PCB. Blind vias can help in making space free in pcb design process.



Figure 3: Blind, Buried and Through-Hole PCB Vias

Vias enterradas:
Buried vias create an electrical connection between two interior layers of the printed circuit board. These vias are completely encapsulated into the circuit board, and no ends extend to any other outer surface layer of the PCB. A buried passage connects at least two interior layers (inner layers), and it will not be visible on the outer layers. It is used in Conceção de PCB, especially to connect inner-layer signals so that no signal interference occurs. Hence, it is preferable to use high-density interconnect printed circuit boards.

Through-Hole Vias
PCB manufacturers apply different techniques for drilling, such as ultrasonic beams and lasers. The through-hole Vias method of drilling is the most used method of PCB vias in the PCB manufacturing process. Through-hole vias connect the two outer or exterior layers of the printed circuit board. As it is clear from its name, Through Hole Vias means it can travel through a circuit board, connecting paths on the outermost layers. And also connects inner layers if required.

Figure 4: Multilayer Through Hole Vias

Blind and Buried Vias Advantages and Applications:

Many electronic devices and PCBs have limited space issues. So we will prefer blind and buried vias during PCB manufacturing and fabrication. For example, Buried Via will create free space on the surface layer of the PCB without affecting any conductive paths or electronic components on the top or bottom layer. The blind via will similarly help in creating additional space on the PCB layer.

They are usually used for fine-pitch ball-grid array (BGA) packaging and components. Also used in (HDI) high-density interconnect printed circuit boards (PCBs).

Blind and buried vias are popularly used in HDI PCBs because they can provide better power delivery and an additional density layer, which is very important while designing electronics devices.
They are commonly and widely used in cellphones, medical equipment and devices, laptops, tablets, and other small electronic devices.

What is the major difference between blind & buried Vias ?

• A blind Via connects an outer layer of the PCB to at least one of the interior layers.
• A buried Via connects the inner layer of the circuit board without extending to the outer layer.

PCB Vias Classification

Printed circuit board vias are an important part of PCB design and manufacturing. They allow PCBs for electrical connections of components on circuit board layers. They contribute to PCB miniaturization, reduce electrical noise, and avoid signal interference. For a better understanding of the different PCB Vias types that are used in PCB design, we can classify them depending on their shape and usage. Each classification of PCB Vias has its own significance, unique characteristics, and properties, making printed circuit boards more suitable and efficient for electronics device manufacturing. Let’s take a look at PCB via classification:

Classification Based on Shape:
Based on shape, PCB Vias are classified as:
• Round Via: These vias are easy to design and manufacture and offer a more reliable electrical connection between different layers of PCB.
• Square Via: Square PCB Vias have a larger surface area and can hold higher current loads than round PCB Vias. They are preferable to use in high-density PCBs, where we have space considerations.
• Tear-shaped: Such Vias have a rounded shape that transitions into a narrower neck. They offer a smooth transition for high-speed signals and minimize signal loss.
• Oblong PCB Vias: They are used in specific PCB designs where the Via dimensions require customization. Oblong PCB Vias can offer a remarkable and exceptional space-saving property as compared to round and square PCB Vias.

Classification Based on Usage:
Based on the use of PCB vias, they can be classified into many categories.
• Power Via: Such Vias are used for carrying high current between various layers and connecting power planes.
• Signal Via: It is used for signal routing between different PCB layers.
• Stacked Via: It is used for creating additional routing options and improving the signal integrity of the PCB.
• Ground Via: These Vias are used for grounding electrical components on circuit boards.


The importance of printed circuit boards in advanced and modern electronic devices and designs cannot be ignored. PCB vias are crucial in creating electrical connections, saving space, enhancing the efficiency of PCBs, reducing noise, avoiding signal interference, thermal management, and ensuring the improved signal integrity of printed circuit boards. PCB Design Engineers can face challenges such as during PCB manufacturing process can arise the misalignment and shifting of blind and buried PCB vias. To ensure efficiency, precision, and reliability of printed circuit boards, strong understanding and collaboration between PCB designers and manufacturers are important.

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