What is Line Width

By Bester PCBA

Last Updated: 2024-01-02

Table of Contents

What is Line Width

Line width refers to the width of the traces or conductive paths on a printed circuit board that affects various aspects of PCB design and performance. The line width of a trace on a PCB is important for determining the characteristic impedance of the transmission lines. It influences the impedance along with the dielectric constant and thickness of the insulation layer. Any change in the direction or width of the trace can create an impedance mismatch, leading to issues such as insertion loss, far-end reflections, and voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR).

The line width also plays a role in determining the current carrying capacity of the trace. A narrower line width will have higher resistance, resulting in voltage drop and power loss. On the other hand, a wider line width can handle higher current without significant resistance and power loss.

In addition to impedance and current carrying capacity, line width affects the overall performance and reliability of the PCB. It is essential to consider factors such as signal integrity, power integrity, assembly, metal loading, warpage, acid traps, and environmental considerations when determining the appropriate line width.

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