Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

Via size vs. process reliability

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I'm making a board that I'm gonna have made by iTead. I normally use 0.5 mm hole vias as my standard size but I'm getting a little tight on space and would like to use 0.3 mm hole vias instead. While the specs on their website say that they can do down to 0.3 mm holes, I'm wondering if it's likely that I'm going to have problems with this? I've boards made by them before that use 0.3 mm holes but none where a connection relied on a single via being correctly plate through, I've only used them for stitching and thermal purposes.

What I can say about the boards I do have with small vias is that they seem without error but it's hard to test connectivity of a single via when it's part of a net with many others. If it's unlikely to be a problem, I'm thinking I might as well go down in via size all over the board.

Maybe send them an email and ask how reliable their 0.3mm vias are.
If 0.3mm often gives trouble it's in their interest to tell you.

I have been thinking about this same issue for one of my small pcbs.
Although it's a different pcb manufacture (pcbcart)
They say they can do down to 0.2mm but i'm not sure how reliable that actually is

If the board requires that one 0.3mm via to be correctly connected, then it will show up when itead do their E-Testing. Granted, you only get 50% of your boards tested, but it means they will remake your boards if they don't turn out correctly. I would assume if they advertise 0.3mm vias as the minimum then they should be able to get atleast a 50% success rate :)

Yeah I went ahead and made 0.3 mm the standard size on the board. It will be interesting to see if it works as intended ;)

I've used 0.4 hole 0.9 pad (huge due to the registration errors people have noted before) with iTead in a couple of designs, no problem. That 0.1mm headroom made me feel good (not sure if it helps or not! Not sure what size they actually drilled either!)


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