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Castellation PCBs

Castellated holes pcbs are becoming more important especially with the rapid development of high-tech industry. Plated half-holes are mainly used board-on-board connections and can be applied in many applications.

What is a PCB Castellation

Castellation pcb is also known as castellated hole pcb or plated half holes pcb, which rows of holes are routed on the edges of the pcb and only a half of each plated hole remains in the PCB. PCBs with castellated holes are used to solder one PCB directly to another PCB or insert special design edge connectors.

plated half hole

Advantages of using castellated holes

  • Using castellated holes can help designer validate the quality of the solder joint.

  • Castellated holes are also helpful, especially for breakout boards and small modules such as Wi-Fi modules.

  • These plated half holes can easily change the pin layout of the component according to different requirement of each user.

  • PCBs with castellated holes can easily mount one pcb to another PCB boards during production

  • Castellated holes also help to create wireless PCB to PCB links.

PCB Manufacturing Process for Castellation Holes

PCB manufacturing process for plated half holes consists of the following steps.

1. Drilling

2. Plated hole is ensured

3. Panel plating is performed

4. Then, Image transfer is done

5. Pattern plating is carried out

6. Striping

7. Then Etching is ensured

8. Solder masking is done

9. Surface coating happens

10. Plated half holes are implemented

However, there are two criteria while stacking one PCB on top of another PCB, using plated half holes.

The PCB boards ought to have electrical contact. Having only a physical connection is not enough. So make sure that the two boards are connected electrically.

The boards need to have zero spacing between them. If the boards have even a tiny space between them, the two boards’ soldering will not complete correctly.

Plated Half-holes PCB Design And Manufacturing

There are multiple designs that constitute a feature that would fall under the castellation format.

Holes Cut in Half

A half hole is a plated half hole with a half on the edge of the board. There are several steps to follow to design them.

half hole pcb

Holes with Smaller cut-in Half Holes

Holes with Smaller cut-in Half Holes require modern small drills. The drills need to be slightly smaller than what those meant for half castellated holes. These holes sit on the periphery of the larger dilled castellated holes.

hSmaller cut-in Half Holes PCB

The following table contains the minimum parameters:

Min Drill Dia.Min Pad Dia.Min Pad/Pad Spacing

Applications of plated half holes

  • Telecommunication

  • Computer application

  • Industrial control

  • Power

  • Automobile

  • High-end consumer electronics


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