Gold Finger PCB
- From Single layer to 30 layers gold finger PCB products
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If you look at your laptop memory card, you will see it is PCB that has gold-plated long and narrow connectors on the edges, they look like our fingers, so this kind of PCB we call it gold finger PCB.
Gold Finger PCB are plated by flash gold(one of the hardest gold available) instead of soft gold, and the hard gold thickness has to be from 3u“ to 50u“, because the “ fingers(connectors) ” are designed to handle at least 1000 cycles of “plug in and out(wear and tear)”without repair.
Nowadays, the biggest applications for gold fingers PCB are still computer memory card and graphics card, and these two products are mostly produced in Taiwanese PCB manufacturers with huge order volume.
Venture has more than 10 years gold finger PCB (printed circuit board) manufacturing experience, by using the latest materials and technology, we have helped thousands of electronic engineers’ gold finger PCB products into the market, from prototype to pilot run until mass production.
From single layer board to 32 layer board, from flex PCB to rigid flex PCB, Venture can offer the complete gold finger PCB solution. Our two production plants are fully equipped with state-of-the-art machines that can support you from prototype to volume production. Pls, check our details gold finger PCB capabilities.
Gold Finger PCB Capability:
|Gold Finger PCB Feature||Parameter (in)||Parameter (mm)|
|Layers||1 – 30>||1 – 30>|
|Max Board Size||24” x 40”||609.6 x 1016mm|
|Board Thickness Range||14 – 276mil||0.35 – 7mm|
|Max Copper Thickness||5oz||175um|
|Min Line Width / Space||2mil / 2mil||0.05 / 0.05mm|
|Min Hole Size||3mil||0.075mm|
|PTH Dia. Tolerance||±2mil||±0.05mm|
|NPTH Dia. Tolerance||±1mil||±0.025mm|
|Hole Position Deviation||±3mil||±0.075mm|
|Thermal Shock||5 x 10Sec @288||5 x 10Sec @288|
|Warp & Twist||<= 0.7%||<= 0.7%|
|HDI Capability||Any Layer||Any Layer|
Through our 2 hours rapid response services from our 24/7 sales and tech support team, and excellent after-sales service, we will be your best gold finger Pcb manufacturer & supplier in China. At Venture we can answer any gold finger Pcb questions that you may have, pls feel free to contact us anytime.
Your Premier Gold Finger PCB Supplier
Gold Finger PCB: The Ultimate Guide
Do you know gold finger PCB is a perfect alternative for electronics that are frequently plugged in and out?
Yes, that’s a fact!
Gold protects the “fingers” from wear and tear.
And in today’s guide, you’re going to learn how to choose the best gold finger printed circuit board.
I will start by telling you what it is, then go ahead to explain critical aspect you must consider.
Let’s dive right in.
- What is a Gold Finger PCB?
- Common Application of Gold Finger PCB in Electronics
- Functions of Gold Fingers in Printed Board Fingers
- Gold Finger PCB Specification
- Gold Finger PCB Design Rules – Know Features Unique to Gold Finger PCB
- Gold Finger PCB Prototyping and Manufacturing Process
- How to Repair Gold Finger in PCB
- Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG) vs. Electroplated Hard
- Gold: What is the Best Option for Gold Finger PCB?
What is a Gold Finger PCB?
Let me start by giving you a practical example – look at the laptop hard disk below:
laptop hard disk
Can you see that?
Well, that’s an example of a gold finger PCB in practical application.
As you can see, they are the same as “fingers.” This is due to their long and narrow look.
Basically, this is what I am talking about:
Now, a gold finger is a gold-plated connector of a printed circuit board. You’ll find them at the edge of a printed circuit board – as you can see above.
Implying, a gold fingers PCB is a printed circuit board with a gold plated terminal.
Obviously, you should use a specific type of gold to achieve a desirable result.
You will learn more about that later in this guide – keep reading.
I know you’re probably wondering why you need gold finger PCB.
Let me give you a heads-up.
In the electrical and electronics field, signal transmission is key.
Therefore, you need a device that can transfer signals from one without any loss. The same applies to power transmission.
Remember, scratches, due to wear and tear can lead to significant data or power loss.
It is for this reason that you will find gold finger PCBs in computerized systems – hard disks, flash drives, etc.
In a nutshell, a gold finger PCB will ensure seamless transfer or transmission of data and power.
Gold finger PCB
So, where exactly should you use the gold finger PCB?
Let’s find out…
Common Application of Gold Finger PCB in Electronics
First, gold fingers are a perfect choice in applications, especially for edge contacts.
They can withstand wear and tear. In fact, a good gold finger PCB can serve you for more than 1,000 cycles.
But, even be for we discuss the specific applications of gold finger printed circuit boards, here are a few things you should know.
Generally, gold finger printed circuit boards are designed for the following:
- Special adaptors that require fast data transfer
- Audio adaptors
- Connections for fast data transfer
- Connecting to different electronic boards
In short, this implies, you can use gold finger PCB for special adaptors, external connections or interconnection points.
Black gold finger PCB
Now, below are some of the main applications of gold finger printed circuit boards.
In the telecommunication industry, gold finger PCB is used in providing connections for network data transfer.
This helps in making mobile phones work and also making calls from one phone to the other.
b)Computer application industry
You will see gold finger printed circuit board in many applications such as laptop memory card, graphics card, etc.
Computer systems have evolved with time with data transfer and integrity is a key aspect.
Owing to the reliability of the gold finger printed circuit board, they are viable options in this industry.
In fact, even the fastest computing systems depend on gold finger printed circuit boards.
c)Industrial control systems
Apart from its applications on personal PCs, gold finger PCBs are used in computerized industrial machines.
The large stores of mechanized equipment that you see at processing plants or automotive factories include different internal cards.
These internal cards link to the main power source through gold fingers.
Factory robot arms, for instance, are filled with power through gold finger cards. These gold finger cards prompt different movements. Over here, gold fingers connect different devices to the boards.
Other applications include in the automobile industry. Here, USB contacts or control systems feature gold finger PCB.
Also, other high-end consumer electronics such as microwave, fridge, dishwasher, etc. feature control systems. These systems have PCBs, which feature a gold finger.
The good news, with gold finger PCBs, you can make changes without interfering with the connectors.
Now, what’s the main functions of gold finger PCBs in these systems?
Of course, so far, we have covered some of them.
But, let’s discuss this in details.
Functions of Gold Fingers in Printed Board Fingers
The functions of the gold finger PCB are not one-sided.
Basically, they are multi-purpose.
In fact, nearly all computer systems use gold finger printed circuit boards.
In most cases, these fingers are fabricated using flash gold. The thickness of gold is requested to be from 3u” to 50u”.
It is due to this that you’ll find them in most plug-in and plug-out applications.
Now, let’s look at exactly what they do in these applications.
Gold finger printed circuit board
i. Audio adaptors connection
For enhanced and quality data and signal transmission, you need a gold finger printed circuit board.
It does matter whether you’re fabricating PCB for:
- Personal computers
- Secondary slots on motherboards
- Studio systems
With gold finger printed circuit boards, you’re always guaranteed of high-fidelity sound and graphics.
You can insert or remove the audio adaptors without damaging the connectors.
ii.Connects electronic devices to the board
You can connect various devices by inserting gold finger PCB.
For instance, you can connect PCI, AGP, ISA, etc.
Basically, these PCBs provide better connections, allowing for better data or signal transfer.
They provide some of the best connections in the market.
Furthermore, gold finger PCBs provide the best data transfer infrastructure. You can link any device as long as they are compatible.
Whether you’re using stationary or remote computer systems, gold finger printed circuit boards are certainly the best.
In addition to these, you can connect outer peripherals, such as PC stations, gaming accessories, graphics cards, etc.
Simply plug in or out, depending on the task at hand.
With all these in mind, let me take you a step further to explore yet another important aspect of gold finger PCBs.
How do you order for a gold finger printed circuit board?
Certainly, you must know the exact specifications. That’s exactly, what you’re going to learn in the next section.
Gold Finger PCB Specification
Whenever you are buying gold finger printed circuit boards, it is important to pay attention to the specifications.
Gold finger printed circuit board
Now, let’s focus on some of the main specifications of the gold finger printed circuit board:
- PCB Base Material – depending on the application, you can choose from a range of base material.
- It will depend on whether you intend to use the PCB for high or low power.
- However, when it comes to “fingers,” the manufacturer will use gold. It is the reason for its name – gold finger PCB.
- Here, the manufacturers opt for a 3u“to 50u“hard gold thickness. With this thickness, the gold finger PCB can withstand nearly 1000 cycles of plug in and plug out.
- Thus, they will serve you for a long time without wear and tear.
Gold finger PCB
- The number of PCB Layers – depending on the design specification, you can have single or multiple layer gold finger PCB.
- Out and Inner Copper Thickness – Well, like the layers, the copper thickness will also depend on the nature and type of application.
- Hole Size – depending on the design, plated holes, pads, and SMD needs to be placed within gold fingers of 1.0 millimeters.
- PCB Board Thickness – to make the plating process successful, the level of thickness should be between 150 and 200 microinches or more than 1.0. Of course, this will also depend on the type of application.
- Spacing – normally, the spacing is at least 0.5mm depending on the type of board. Also, it will depend on the need for the PCB.
- Finishing – as the name suggests, for these PCBs, we use gold. Remember, gold has high strength and better conductivity.
- With its strength, you can conveniently, insert and eject the gold finger PCB without possible damage.
- Implying, your circuit board cannot be stripped of its functions.
- Flash gold thickness – usually, it is about 3Us to 50Us.
- Quality Certificate for PCB – you must order all your gold finger PCB from a reputable and reliable manufacturer conforming.
- The manufacturer must conform to the ISO, ASTM, FCC, CE and RoHS manufacturing standards and regulations.
- Size of board thickness – Plating thickness of gold finger should be within the range of 2 to 50 microinches.
- The thickness standard by size includes 0.031 inches, 0.062 inches, 0.093, and 0.125 inches.
- Low thickness is mostly used for prototypes.
- However, a higher thickness is used along the connecting edges that are mostly inserted, unplugged, and reinserted.
- The distance of gold finger parts – the distance of gold finger parts should be at least 30mm. Plated through holes must never be situated very close to gold fingers.
- Beveling of gold fingers – it will always differ from one manufacturer to the other. However, 30° beveling is always the best.
- Gold fingers need to always face opposite directions from the PCBs middle. This is specifically more if you want the edges to be beveled.
- The distance between outline and gold finger – Gold finger and outline distance must be at least 0.5mm or 1.0mm.
- Gold fingers must never be in contact with screen printing or solder mask. Both of them must be kept at specific distances.
Note: You must discuss all these specifications with your gold finger PCB manufacturer. This way, you will get the best gold finger PCB design.
Gold Finger PCB Design Rules – Know Features Unique to Gold Finger PCB
To successfully design gold finger PCBs, there are certain aspects you need to consider.
And, this brings us to an important subject – the gold finger PCB design rules.
With these rules, you’ll effectively design, high quality and reliable gold finger printed circuit board.
Let’s have a look at some of these rules:
Gold finger PCB assembly
- Gold finger features can be easily placed on both or one side to a depth of 25mm from the outer edge.
- The highest length of plated pads is mostly 40 mm as standard shallow plating bath is used.
- Inner layers need to be free from copper at the edges of PCBs. If not, beveling can expose the copper.
- Hard gold can be plated on both sides of PCBs. However, if connectors are on opposite sides, there needs to be 150 mm minimum between them.
- To ensure the best panelization, always have gold fingers placed facing outside from the center of the panel.
- Have all gold fingers connected with 0.008” conductor traces. This should be at the edge. It makes manufacturing easier.
- No screen printing or solder mask can be added close to gold fingers.
- Plated pads need to be on PCB edge as this process is electroplating. There needs to be an electrical connection between plated pads and production panel frames.
- Chemical compositions – For high rigidity along the edges of PCB contacts, gold plating must be between 5 and 10 percent cobalt.
- Visual tests – Gold fingers should pass visual tests that are conducted with magnifying lenses. All edges must be clean and smooth surface as well as be free of all excess plating or nickel appearance.
- Tape tests – To have the adhesiveness of gold plating tested along contacts, tests are recommended.
After the tape is removed, have the strip inspected for plating traces.
If any gold plating is seen on tape, it means the plating doesn’t have the right amount of adhesiveness along its contacts.
Once you master all these rules, it is now time to manufacture the gold finger PCB.
Gold Finger PCB Prototyping and Manufacturing Process
Well, there are a number of things you need to do when it comes to manufacturing gold finger PCB prototyping and manufacturing.
Let’s have a look:
Step 1: PCB Design and Layout
You should use appropriate PCB software to design the PCB.
PCB Design software
From here, you will design the gold finger printed circuit board to the unique requirements of your customer.
Remember, this is an important step process. Here is a useful link where you can learn more on PCB design and layout.
Step 2: Gold Finger PCB Prototyping
Once you have the design in place, it is now time to make the gold finger PCB prototype.
Basically, you will transfer your design into a physical component – real PCB.
Well PCB prototyping is an important step before mass production.
Just in case you want to learn more about this process, here is a useful link for you: PCB Prototype Ultimate Guide.
After manufacturing the PCB, it is now time for plating.
Of course, the manufacturing process varies. But here is a video to have a quick overview of what happens:
Now, let’s begin the process of plating PCB:
It begins with the solder mask process.
Hard gold is plated onto PCBs after solder mask method.
Surface finish is applied to other parts on the board.
Between 3 – 6 microns of nickel onto edge connector fingers and also 1-2
microns of hard gold added.
Plated gold value of gold is always different based on your need.
It can be 100%. Mostly, plated gold is not 100% pure. It has some traces of cobalt to enhance the wear-resistance of its surfaces.
Edge connectors are beveled to make sure easy insertions are made. Beveling is
mostly specified based on the order of clients.
Vertical edges of connectors on first drill runs are routed to ensure that gold
fingers align specifically with edge connector profiles.
The edges of connectors are aligned specifically to printed images.
After plating, adhesion of plated nickel and gold is checked with industry-
The thickness of plated layers is measured with an X-ray machine which is
In some instances, one or more gold fingers are much shorter than others.
This is done to ensure longer pads link first when PCB is inserted into connectors.
Implying, pads that are shorter cannot be linked vertically to plating bars.
Now, what next?
You can go ahead and start mass gold finger PCB manufacturing process. Of course, you’ll follow the same process as the one during the gold finger printed circuit board prototyping.
How to Repair Gold Finger in PCB
Repairing gold finger in PCB is always an important topic for discussion.
Remember after over 1000 cycles; your gold finger PCB may get damaged. As a result, you will have to repair it.
damaged gold finger PCB
But even before you start the process of repairing gold finger PCB, it is important to know some of the main causes.
Of course, this will help you to prevent possible damage to the gold finger PCB.
Although gold finger PCBs can withstand wear and tear, at times, it can get damaged.
Let’s have a quick look:
Possible Causes of Gold Finger PCB Damage
Some of the most common possible damage is due to:
·Contamination mainly with solder
Solder masks should not be close to gold finger in PCB.
The heat that comes from these devices can contaminate a gold finger, and this leads to damage in the long run.
In short, the solder may reduce the lifespan of gold finger printed circuit board.
Scratched gold finger surface will affect the working of the printed circuit board.
Normally, scratches can be due to wear and tear.
Therefore, as you use the gold finger PCB, even small scratches will continue to deepen. In the long run, this will damage the gold finger printed board circuit permanently.
In short, gold finger PCB will require repair if it is damaged or work out.
Now, let look at how to repair the gold finger PCB.
How to Repair Gold Finger PCB Process
When there is damage to the gold finger PCB, it needs to be repaired.
However, there are instances where you will have to replace the gold finger PCB completely.
Even before we go to the detailed process, let’s first have a quick overview of the process:
Below is a simple process on how to repair gold finger PCB:
·Cleaning and inspecting the gold fingers of the PCB
First, you need to inspect the damaged gold finger PCB.
Identify areas with problems, then use appropriate detergent to clean the gold fingers.
·Tap off the damages
You should remove the damaged fingers or plated gold.
Next, you can install a new gold plated pad or plate the existing pad again.
- Install a new gold plating pad. It is the best procedure if you have been using gold finger PCB for a long period of time.
I know most people avoid this process because it is costly. However, depending on the extent of damage, it is worth it
- Alternatively, you can decide to plat the current pad again. It is cheaper option thou for extensive damage, and this may not be the best option.
To achieve this, you can buy gold finger PCB repair kits. They are quite a number.
Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG) vs. Electroplated Hard
So, what is the difference between electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) and electroplated hard gold?
Series of gold finger PCB
- Electroless nickel immersion gold is highly effective in cost and easy to solder than electroplated gold.
However, it is soft and thin. This makes it unsuitable for all abrasive effects that come with a circuit board removal and insertions.
- Electroplated hard gold is hard gold and very thick. This makes it more ideal and perfect for the abrasive effects that come with the PCB constant use or usage.
With the information above, you get to decide on the option that seems best for you.
Gold: What is the Best Option for Gold Finger PCB?
Hard gold is the best alternative for gold finger PCB.
Gold finger PCB is plated in hard gold onto printed circuit boards after the solder mask method.
This is also done before surface finishes are applied to other parts of the printed circuit board. Hard gold plating is highly well-matched with other surface finishes.
Most people have the notion that gold used for gold finger makes it too expensive. This is not true.
As a matter of fact, the cost of manufacturing the gold finger PCB will differ from one manufacturer to another.
Of course, this is due to the varying specifications among other aspects.
Gold finger PCBs
Take for example, you may require 1 to 2 microns of hard gold to plate PCB.
At times, gold is mostly enhanced with cobalt for enhanced surface resistance. This means, gold used is not entirely gold.
So, do not be scared at all about cost.
As you can see, gold finger PCBs play an integral in most electronics.
If you look at your USD drives, graphics cards or other accessories, you’ll see that they are gold finger PCB.
The best part?
Through this guide, you have learnt every essential aspect of the gold finger PCB. So with this knowledge, you can confidently choose your best gold finger PCB.
For any questions or inquiries on gold figure PCB, feel free to contact us