Hard Disk PCB

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How To Ensure Temperature Control In A Hard Disk PCB?

Temperature-controlled hard disk PCB grows the computer’s performance to the optimum level. This PCB develop worthwhile dielectric materials that include the dielectric properties effectively.
It correctly manages the via placement on the PCB surface. These vias act to slake the additional from different PCB layers. It sustain laser drilling and mechanical drilling. That’s rhe reason why you could incorporate different types of vias here.
The use of thermal vias is a great technique to control the temperature in PCB. This PCB permits you to apply suffcient numbers of thermal vias. That’s why there is has low chance of producing excessive heat.

To Ensure Temperature Control In A Hard Disk PCB
Common Problems Of Hard Disk PCB

What Are The Common Problems Of Hard Disk PCB?

The most common hard disk PCB problems as belows:
1.The hard disk becomes unable to spin up.
2.Damage of power connectors, TVS (Transient Voltage Suppression) diode, data connectors, etc.
4.Entrance of moisture.
5.Short connections of MOSFET, ceramic connectors.
6.Failure of the driver chip.

How Does A Hard Disk PCB Work?

The working principle of hard disk PCB is easy. It transmits binary signals for storing data. Hard disk operates in two modes. These are writing and read modes.

A magnetic field delivers an electric signal to the read head. This PCB converts the signal into a computer-readable digital signal.

How Does A Hard Disk PCB Work

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Venture provides hard disk PCB boards for data recovery. We manufacture high-quality, durable, and functional hard disk PCB for long-lasting use.

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Your Leading Hard Disk PCB Supplier in China

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Hard Disk PCB: The Ultimate FAQ Guide


A successful computer manufacturing or repair business is only possible with high-performance and reliable hard disk PCBs.

Therefore, you must get all relevant information that will help you choose the best hard disk PCB.

Today’s guide will answer all questions you have been asking about hard disk printed circuit boards.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is A Hard Disk PCB?

The hard disk PCB permits electricity to flow between numerous components that enable the hard drive to function.

You may recognize the PCB as the green or blue board on the bottom of a hard drive if you open up one.

On the hard disk PCB, there are several chips, including one that holds software.

You also have drive-specific features including spindle speed, voice coil voltage, head-to-head ratio, and other data essential to the drive’s functionality.

The hard disk circuit board guides the drive’s operation interpreting computer signals and allowing data transmission to the CPU.

Nonetheless, you find the hard disk PCB isn’t the principal location for user data, since it lacks mechanical components.

Hard Disk PCB

A Hard Disk PCB

Where Do You Employ A Hard Disk PCB?

You primarily employ a hard disk PCB in a hard disk drive (HDD) which is a hardware device of nonvolatile memory.

A hard disk drive PCB controls various aspects of the hard drive such as positioning, reading, and writing of data.

You find hard disk PCBs employed in computers as the primary storage device.

Additionally, you find these circuit boards in the hard drive systems of mobile devices and consumer electronics.

Furthermore, hard disk PCBs find use in hard drives used for enterprise storage arrays in data centers. Here, they store operating systems, software programs, amongst other files.

You can also have a standalone hard disk drive where you employ the hard disk PCB known as an external HDD.

You use an external hard drive to increase storage capacity or as a backup location on the go.

 PCB Board For HDD Case

PCB Board For HDD Case

What Are The Main Parts Of A Hard Disk PCB?

A hard disk PCB consists of the following main parts:

  1. Substrate: The hard disk PCB substrate is one of the most critical part consisting of fiberglass material. The choice of fiberglass gives your hard disk PCB its core strength and helps it withstand fracture.
  2. Copper Layer: You can employ a copper film or coating depending on the design of your hard disk PCB. The copper layer serves to carry electrical messages to and from the PCB allowing your device to function as designed.
  • Solder Mask: The solder mask is a polymer layer that helps shield the copper from short-circuiting when exposed to the environment.
  1. Silkscreen: The silkscreen features aspects such as part numbers, logos, symbols, switch settings, component reference, and test points. You typically find the silkscreen on the component side of the hard disk PCB.

How Do You Manufacture A Hard Disk PCB?

The manufacturing process of a hard disk PCB consists of several different sequential processes including:


The design process encompasses deriving a blueprint of how you want your hard disk PCB to look like.

You employ computer software in the design process capturing various board aspects such as the trace width and board thickness.

After designing your board, you need to print it to highlight the board details on paper.

You employ a color system where you use black ink for the conductive areas and clear ink for non-conductive ones.

Substrate And Inner Layer Formation

The substrate is a non-conductive layer formed from epoxy resin and glass fiber that holds the board together.

You subject the substrate materials to an oven curing process before applying copper on the substrate surface.

Where you have multiple layers, you apply the copper film on both sides of the substrate where you furnish your trace.

The copper-substrate formation describes a laminate on which you extract your board design.

Copper Removal

Copper removal is essential for the formation of the desired conductive trace on your hard disk PCB.

You employ a resist over the desired copper pattern and use ultraviolet light to harden it.

You thereafter employ a chemical solution to remove the unhardened part leaving the desired copper pattern.

It is prudent to undertake an inspection process after to ensure the outcome conforms to the design.


The lamination process involves fusing together the different layers of copper and substrate using a gluey material called prepreg.

You place the prepreg in an alignment trough before adding the substrate and copper over it.

In order to form one structure, you subject the layers to the forces of a mechanical press under heat.

The heat melts the prepreg which adheres to the layers while the pressure fuses the layers together.

Drilling And Plating

The drilling process serves to establish holes on your hard disk PCB for connecting components and providing interlayer connections.

These holes require plating though you find other holes serve as locators and thus do not require plating.

The plating process involves making the drilled holes conductive by applying conductive material such as copper to their walls.

You can also use plated holes for thermal transfer to the heat sink at the board’s base.

Outer Layer Formation

The outer layer of the hard disk PCB is important since it is exposed and offers you first sight knowledge of the board.

You employ photoresist to secure your trace pattern and UV radiation for hardening before applying copper through a plating process.

Excess copper removal is through etching where you employ a chemical solution that eats it away.

You employ a thin layer over the copper to protect it from corrosion influenced by the elements.

Solder Mask Application And Silk-screening

Before applying a solder mask over your hard disk PCB, you need to clean the surface.

The solder mask is commonly green and serves to prevent bridge formation and shorts that could hamper board functionality.

Applying a silkscreen to your hard disk PCB highlights critical board information such as designators and component polarities.


You test your hard disk board for functionality aspects after completion of fabrication.

During testing you check for shorts, opens, solder quality and others.

Board testing involves use of different equipment such as the flying probes or optical and x-ray machines.

What Are The Major Components Of A Hard Disk PCB?

You will find the following components on a hard disk PCB:

Memory Chip

You find a DDR SDRAM memory chip on a hard disk PCB, with its memory capacity influencing the drive’s cache capacity.

A hard disk PCB’s memory can be buffer/cache memory or firmware memory.

Micro Controller Unit (MCU)

The MCU is the largest chip on a hard disk PCB and is responsible for all of the disk’s functionalities. In modern hard disk PCBs, an MCU consists of a Central Processor Unit (CPU).

All calculations are by the CPU, which also controls a Read/Write channel that converts analog signals to digital signals and vice-versa.

In addition, the MCU includes input and output connectors for controlling anything on the PCB and sending data via SATA.

Transient Voltage Suppression Diode

The TVS diode is a protective component that protects the hard disk PCB from power spikes from external power sources.

A TVS diode burns up when it detects a surge of electricity. This results in a short circuit between the power connector and the ground.


A portion of the hard disk’s firmware is on a flash chip. Turning on a drive leads to the MCU reading the contents of the flash memory and beginning the code.

The drive would not even turn on if this code was not there.

The MCU holds the content of the flash chip when there is no flash chip on the hard disk PCB.

Shock Sensor

When the shock sensor detects an excessive amount of shock on a drive, it sends a signal to the VCM controller.

The VCM controller parks the heads and spins down the drive on occasion.

In theory, it should protect the drive from further damage, in practice, it doesn’t and succumbs to a direct hit.

Some drives have shock sensors that can detect even the tiniest movements.

These sensors’ inputs would let the VCM controller fine-tune head movements. In such drives, you require at least a pair of shock sensors.

Voice Coil Motor Controller

The VCM controller consumes the majority of the electrical power on the hard disk PCB.

It controls the spindle motor’s rotation as well as the head movement.

Temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius are not a problem for the VCM controller core.

Major Components Of A Hard Disk PCB

Major Components of A Hard Disk PCB

How Do You Attach Components On A Hard Disk PCB?

You can employ two approaches in attaching components to your hard disk PCB: surface mounting or through-hole mounting.

In surface mounting, you attach the components directly to your hard disk PCB via special landings called solder pads.

Alternatively, you employ through-hole mounting which requires the use of plated holes in which you fasten your component’ leads.

Through-hole mounting offers you firmer board connections albeit consuming more board space.

What Connector Orientations Can You Use With A Hard Disk PCB?

You find connectors on a hard disk PCB help transport electrical signals.

These signals can be from one board to another, or from another source within the unit, to or from the PCB.

You define a basic multi-pin connection system, often in a rectangular configuration, as a PCB Connector.

You can employ a matching pair of PCB Connectors for either board-to-board or cable-to-board connections.

You can achieve a variety of PCB connection orientations using board-to-board connector configurations.

You note that all of these are on 90 degree increments.

They include:

  • Parallel orientation also called mezzanine which has both the connectors in a vertical orientation.
  • Motherboard to Daughterboard at a 90-degree right angle in which you find one vertical connector and the other is horizontal.
  • Edge-to-Edge orientation which is coplanar at 180 degrees, with both connectors horizontally oriented.

Can You Replace Your Hard Disk PCB?

It is critical to understand when a hard disk PCB is defective and replacing it with a donor PCB is viable.

A thorough analysis utilizing high-end data recovery software is necessary in this case.

Aside from a few rare cases, you can only successfully swap the hard disk PCB with very old hard drives. The ROM information on the PCB is the cause for this.

You find adaptive data embedded in a chip on the hard disk PCB is specific to the hard disk.

This data comprises details about the hard disk’s heads, firmware version, and faulty sectors in the drive’s service region, among others.

Each hard disk PCB originates from a distinct drive, with varying number of heads, head maps and software version.

Consequently, you can’t just swap it out and still have access to your stored data.

In this instance, you need to move the unique ROM data from the original hard disk PCB to the replacement board.

You require special data recovery tools in this process which involves manually relocating the ROM chip to the replacement board.

Hard Disk PCB Being Replaced

A Hard Disk PCB Being Replaced

What Are Some Of The Issues That Affect A Hard Disk PCB?

Some of the common issues that affect a hard disk PCB include:

Extreme Heat

If you do not take precautions to enable sufficient ventilation, the inside of a computer can become overly heated. You find that this heat can cause electronic issues with your hard disk PCB.

Inappropriate Handling

If you handle your electrical components incorrectly, they can suffer from electrostatic discharge and irreversible damage. Always make sure you’re grounded before handling a hard disk PCB.

Malfunctioning Electrical Supply

By transmitting fluctuating energy levels to components via the motherboard, a malfunctioning computer power supply can cause harm.

You should invest in high-quality power supply.

Power Surges

By connecting your computer to a UPS, you can protect your hard disk PCB from damage caused by power surges.

Flaws In The Manufacturing Process

Hard disk PCBs with manufacturing problems undetected throughout testing are not rare. As a result, when you connect your hard disk PCB, some components may fail, causing the PCB to perform poorly.

How Can You Tell Your Hard Disk PCB Is Faulty?

You find a hard disk PCB on the drive’s rear from where it regulates the flow of electricity through the hard disk.

When a hard disk is in use, electricity flows through the board and into the hard disk via the PCB.

The spindle motor within will spin up as a result, allowing the read/write drive heads to move. The PCB then sends the read and write commands to the drive.

However, a hard disk PCB can fail for a variety of reasons such as corruption, aging and accumulation of heat.

You can identify the following symptoms to aid you in determining whether your hard disk PCB is faulty.

Quick Temperature Rise

When a hard disk is in use, it generates a continual amount of heat.

However, in most circumstances, the heating procedure will take a long period. If a hard drive heats up significantly faster than usual, the hard disk PCB may be defective.

Drive Loads Slowly

When your hard disk drive loads slowly with appearance of error warnings, it indicates a problem with your hard disk PCB.

Burning Smell

If your hard drive starts to smoke and emits a weird burning odor, the hard disk PCB is most likely burnt or damaged.

PC Performance Issues

If your computer’s performance suffers significantly after a severe electrical storm, it’s possible that the hard disk PCB failed.

You find that surges caused by power and lightning strikes can easily damage the hard disk PCB.

Drive Doesn’t Spin

When you read or write data on a hard drive, it often spins. If a hard disk drive stops spinning up, it could be due to a lack of power suggesting a problem with the PCB.

Unusual Clicking Noises

One of the most efficient ways to diagnose a damaged hard disk is to listen for clicking noises. Grinding noises from a drive can suggest hard disk PCB failure.

During Disappears At Start-up

Your computer typically boots from the hard disk drive. Consequently, failure to start up may indicate a problem with the disk’s circuit board.

Why Do You Conduct Drilling In A Hard Disk PCB?

Drilling is a time-consuming and precise PCB fabrication procedure that needs great accuracy due to its irreversibility.

Drilling lets you add vias and through-holes to your hard drive PCB for interlayer communication.

Vias allow you to transfer thermal and/or electrical signals through the hard disk drive.

On the other hand, through-holes provide points of attachment for leaded components.

What Properties Do You Need For Your Hard Disk PCB’s Conductive Track?

The conductive track in your hard disk PCB serves to transfer electrical signals between components.

You commonly find conductive metals such as copper, silver and gold employed for the conductive track in hard disk PCBs.

You need the following qualities for the conductive track material

  • Outstanding electrical and thermal conductivity ensuring electrical signal transfer without losses and heat transfer across the board reducing thermal stress.
  • High thermal resistance and current carrying capability which enhances the hard disk PCB’s reliability under extreme conditions. This allows you to employ these drives at extreme temperatures and pressures.
  • Low material consumption ensuring the total cost of the hard disk board is low.

What Board Type Is A Hard Disk PCB?

You find many hard disk PCBs are rigid boards which means they cannot be bent or folded.

A rigid hard disk board employs a rigid substrate preventing its alteration in shape once made.

Hard disk PCBs are rigid allowing you to furnish them with higher density and quality.

Furthermore, compared to a flexible board, supplying a rigid hard disk PCB is less expensive and more durable.

What Are Some Of The Materials You Use To Fabricate A Hard Disk PCB?

In the construction of hard disk PCBs, you’ll can employ the following PCB materials:


FR-4 makes a common material for use in the fabrication of a hard disk PCB substrate.

FR4 materials are ideal for hard disk PCBs because of their outstanding thermal, electrical, and mechanical qualities. Additionally, FR-4 has high strength-to-weight ratio making them highly durable.


When you use polyimide laminates, you get greater thermal and electrical performance than when you use FR-4 material.

While polyimide materials are more expensive than FR4, they are more resistant to harsh and high-temperature environments.


Teflon laminates and bonding materials have exceptional electrical properties, making them ideal for high-speed hard disk PCBs.

To improve mechanical properties, you can employ Teflon over glass cloth, as an unbacked film, or with specific fillers and additives.

 Hard Disk Made From FR4 Material

Hard Disk PCB Made from FR 4 Material

Why Do You Need Etching In The Manufacture Of Hard Disk PCB?

Etching is one of the most crucial steps in the production of a hard disk PCB. During etching, you remove superfluous copper from your hard disk PCB, revealing the optimum circuit architecture.

You can use one of three distinct PCB etching techniques outlined below:

Plasma Etching

In this procedure, you employ a plasma stream of a suitable gas mixture focused on the material. By interacting with chemically active radicals, the method employs selective etching of material.

Plasma etching is dry and clean, unlike traditional wet chemical etching, which simplifies the process and improves dimensional tolerances.

Plasma etching enables for accurate and controlled etching while minimizing contamination and solvent absorption.

 Plasma Etching Machine

Plasm Etching Machine

Laser Etching

In the laser etching process, you use a high-powered laser to inscribe the hard disk PCB’s trace lines.

In this etching procedure, you can easily use computer assistance which.

Laser etching reduces the number of processes while excluding the use of ink and other potentially dangerous substances like acids.

A laser Etched PCB

A Laser Etched PCB

Chemical Etching

Chemical etching is a subtractive manufacturing technique that you employ on metals and involves the use of chemical baths.

During the operation, you remove the metal in order to create metal pieces with the desired shape and thickness.

What Factors Do You Consider When Designing A Hard DIsk PCB?

When developing a hard disk PCB, consider the following factors:


Your hard disk PCB must take into account all factors, including electrical component layout, layer stack-up, and crosstalk issues, among others.

The performance of a DFM check to guarantee that the hard disk PCB is manufacturable is also an important design factor.


Vias exist in a range of forms and sizes, and you use them to connect electrical components on different board layers.

A hard disk PCB with the fewest vias makes for an excellent design since it displays efficiency.

Signal Integrity

Signal integrity must be a priority when creating a durable hard disk PCB design.

You examine the signal’s rise and fall, characteristic impedances, and track lengths to determine signal integrity.

You can perform signal integrity simulations before and after layout so as to verify the quality of your PCB design.

Power Integrity

Due to their high-performance levels, hard disk PCBs may be used in devices that require high currents at low voltage.

The circuit’s AC and DC performance has an impact on the system’s power distribution network and needs close monitoring.

Breakout Strategy

To verify the breakout process and routing of a hard disk PCB with a many pins, you need a breakout strategy.

For signal verification and power integrity, you discover that establishing the breakout pattern is important. The breakout technique is also useful when making the decision whether or not to use micro-via brackets.

What Surface Finishes are suitable for a hard disk PCB?

When fabricating a hard disk PCB, you can employ the following PCB surface finishes:


In the PCB business, HASL is the most prevalent surface finish. In this process, you submerge the hard disk PCB in molten tin/lead alloy in a trough.

You then blow steady streams of hot air known as air knives across the board surface to remove excess solder.

Immersion Tin

In this process, you use a chemical displacement procedure in which you apply a tin coating directly to the copper.

With the finish, the copper and tin make a tight bond, protecting the copper from corrosion caused by oxidation.

Organic Solderability Preservative (OSP)

Using a conveyorized process, the OSP finish guards the copper surface from oxidation by spreading a thin protective layer of material.

You use an organic chemical that is water-based to generate a selective copper binding and an organometallic coat for the copper.

 HASL PCB Finish


What Silkscreen Features Can You Identify On A Hard Disk PCB?

The silkscreen forms the outermost layer of a PCB and helps in component placement on the board.

The silkscreen of a hard disk PCB board provides useful information for assembly or end-users.

Some of the common silkscreen features you find on a hard disk PCB are:

  • Test points.
  • Warning symbols of various forms.
  • Manufacturer information.
  • Indicators for part and component polarity.
  • The hard disk PCB model and/or serial numbers.
  • Reference designators.

What Tests Can You Subject A Hard Disk PCB To?

Testing a hard disk PCB is important to evaluate its functionality and capacity to perform. There are several tests you can subject the hard disk PCB to including the following:

In-Circuit Testing

This test requires positioning fixed probes such that it fits the hard disk PCB design.

The ICT equipment forces the board against a probing bed to ensure that the solder connection is secure.

You can connect the ICT testing probes connect to the circuit via access points on the board that have been pre-designed.

Automated Optical Inspection (AOI)

AOI uses 2D or 3D camera combinations to capture photos of the PCB.

You then employ a computer to compare the graphics of your board to a detailed schematic.

You can detect faults early with AOI allowing production to be shut down in time.

How Does Hard Disk PCB Store Data?

The hard disk sores data in binary code employing 1s and 0s. You find the magnetic layer of the hard disk holds the information which is written and read by floating heads.

Each platter, has bits of data organized in tracks, which are concentric, circular routes.

Each track contains sectors, which are smaller sections.

A portion of the hard disk store a map of sectors that have already been occupied and those still available. When you want to store fresh data, the computer scrutinizes the map to identify any empty sectors.

When writing data, the PCB releases an electrical current that passes through the heads.

Consequently, the head inscribes a 0 or a 1 on the surface of the electric field.

You note the opposite is true for the reading process.

The magnetic field sends an electrical current to the read head which transforms into a digital signal the computer can read.

A hard Disk

A Hard Disk

Which Quality Standards Should Hard Disk PCB Conform To?

You find the following standards applicable to hard disk PCBs:


With this standard, you find provided the hard disk PCB’s system of quality assessment.

IEC 61188-5-8:2007

This standard provides information on land pattern geometries used for the surface attachment of electronic components on the hard disk PCB.

Such components are with area array terminations in the form of solder balls, solder columns or protective coated lands.

The information presented seeks to provide the appropriate size, shape and tolerances of surface mount land patterns.

This ensures sufficient area for the opposite solder joint, and also allow for inspection, testing and reworking of those joints.


The mentioned standard provides a harmonized system of quality assessment for electronic components you employ on a hard disk PCB.

It also includes the process assessment schedule for facilities undertaking hard disk PCB assembly.


The BS-EN-123200 standard also describes a harmonized system of quality assessment for electronic components on a hard disk PCB.

However, this standard specifically addresses such PCBs that are single or double sided with plated through holes.


This standard provides test methods for electrical materials you employ in hard disk PCBs and their interconnection structures and assemblies.

You also find it covers general test methods for the solder alloys and fluxed and non-fluxed solid wire when assembling the PCB.


You find the materials you can employ for your hard disk PCB’s interconnection structures provided in this standard.

How Can You Go About Hard Disk PCB Board Repair?

You may require to repair your hard disk PCB when the PCB burns up or when the disk drive doesn’t spin.

It is usually the motor controller unit that gets burnt, or otherwise the TVS diode or the main controller chip.

Repair of a hard disk PCB begins by finding a replacement board that is identical to the damaged one.

You need to find a board that matches your original board’s number signifying a similar model family.

You then go ahead to remove the faulty board and attach the replacement board.

Where the board are similar, you find the basic information corroborates posing no difficulties.

However, you might find the process unsuccessful where the adaptive data of the original board is unique.

In this case, you have to transfer the damaged hard disk OCB’s BIOS to the new board.

A successful board repair should result in a recognized drive upon power up. When this happens, you need to back up your data since the board can fail later.

What Causes Hard Disk PCB Failure?

Understanding the causes of hard disk PCB failure is crucial to learn how to avoid them. Typically, the following are the most common causes of hard disk PCB failures:

Component Design Flaws

Such flaws include incorrect component placement, power failure, and overheating owing to a lack of space on the hard disk PCB.

You find component design failure can result in soldering issues, fluid leakage, breakage of component barriers and burning of components.

Use Of Components With Poor Quality

Using components with poor quality can succumb to close trace spacing and improper soldering to cold joints.

Consequently, you have a poor board connection with insufficient board thickness resulting in rampant breaking and bending.

Environmental Factors

Your hard disk PCB can succumb to environmental factors such as moisture, heat and dust.

Additionally, unintentional impact caused by drops and falls can damage your hard disk PCB as wells as power overloads/surges.


Although you cannot prevent age-related failures, you can stave off the effect of aging.

You can replace components on your hard disk PCB with newer ones reducing the need to replace the hard disk PCB.

Can Faulty Hard Disk PCB Cause Data Loss?

Yes, it can.

Replacing the hard disk PCB could result in a mechanical failure, rendering any data that could be salvaged unrecoverable.

Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases, switching boards is ineffective since the drive information is unique for each individual drive.

Therefore, the drive will not start if the microcode on the new hard disk PCB does not match that original.

This makes data recovery more difficult than simply replacing a defective hard disk PCB with a working one.

You therefore need specialist equipment and an elaborate understanding of the hard disk PCB components for data recovery.

You observe that physical hard disk PCB component failures are frequently caused by PCB difficulties.

Consequently, data recovery often entails rebuilding failed read/write heads in order to properly recover damaged HDDs.

To avoid dangerous media contamination, you should perform these procedures in a certified cleanroom.

Depending on level of failure, you may need to tackle file corruption and other logical issues after physical repairs.

However, the likelihood of recovering data from a failed PCB varies on the brand, model, size, age, and other factors.

Data Recovery And Repair In Hard Disk PCB is Possible After Carefully transferring Data

Data Recovery And Repair In Hard Disk PCB Is Possible After Carefully Transferring Data

Do You Have OEM Hard Disk PCB?

An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that creates products that are used to make other products.

Typically, OEMs are used by many electronic manufacturers to satisfy the production of certain components in their appliances.

OEM for hard disk PCBs focuses on supplying desired designs for various aspects of the board.

You can engage OEM to produce the hard disk board’s main components such as the TVS diode, MCU and shock sensor.

Contact us today for all your hard disk PCBs.

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