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I-Speed Endorsements

High-Speed Digital Materials for Sequential Lamination Technology Gain Momentum

Isola’s I-Speed is recognized for high CAF reliability and improved signal integrity in complex PCB designs.

CHANDLER, Ariz., April 15, 2014 — Isola Group S.à r.l., a market leader in copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials used to fabricate advanced multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs), announced today that I-Speed has been endorsed by two leading companies as the laminate of choice for PCBs using sequential lamination technology, requiring high conductive anodic filament (“CAF”) reliability and improved, cost effective signal integrity.

Today’s PCBs requiring sequential lamination are increasingly complex to fabricate. This manufacturing process is necessary when the design of the interconnect system has connections that are not required on all layers or that if made available on all layers, would affect the system’s performance or create an unsolvable congestion in the design. Boards requiring sequential lamination must be able to withstand multiple reflow cycles at high assembly temperatures.

Steve Robinson, President and CEO of APCT, stated, “Material choice is a critical factor in the success with sequential lamination designs. At APCT, we rely heavily on I-Speed materials from Isola. Other laminates fail after only a couple of cycles, whereas I-Speed demonstrates excellent performance even after several lamination cycles. At APCT, any product requiring more than two lamination cycles automatically defaults to I-Speed.”

Lee Ritchey, President of Speeding Edge, a training and consulting firm specializing in high-speed PCB and system designs, stated, "We had an independent fabricator build identical signal integrity test vehicles on competitive materials on boards designed by our company. At Isola's request, we had the boards tested for insertion loss at our labs. The results proved I-Speed to be the best in its class for signal integrity."

Fred Hickman, Isola’s Senior Director of High Speed Digital Products, commented, "I-Speed has demonstrated superior sequential lamination performance versus the competition. A large multinational fabricator, for example, succeeded on its first 1+8+8+1 HDI build with I-Speed, after failing multiple times with a competitive product." Hickman added, “CAF is another area where I-Speed delivers best-in-class performance; it has successfully passed 0.65 mm pitch on an industry-standard test vehicle, as well as the high density product users group (HDPUG) test vehicle after 6X reflow at 260˚C. It also passed the 0.8 mm pitch thermal requirements on both designs without any issues after 6X reflow at 260˚C.”

I-Speed comes standard with VLP-2 copper with an approximate 2-micrometer (μm) surface roughness (Rz) without cost premium. I-Speed is in the same UL family as Isola’s IS415FR408 and FR408HR materials. Processing of I-Speed is very similar to processing Isola’s FR408HR materials. I-Speed offers much lower Z-axis expansion, improved thermal robustness in lead-free assembly and at least 15 to 25 percent more bandwidth (lower insertion loss) than competitive products.

I-Speed production is scaling up at Isola’s manufacturing facility in Chandler, Ariz. The company plans to transfer production to one of its two facilities in Taiwan to support the demand for the product in a number of next-generation, high-speed digital designs, for supercomputers, servers, routers, storage equipment and lower-end RF applications.

Tarun Amla, Isola’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, commented, “We are pleased that APCT and Speeding Edge have endorsed I-Speed’s thermal performance, CAF mitigation, sequential lamination and signal integrity. This material is a cost effective, efficient solution for many of today’s advanced PCBs.”

For more information about I-Speed, please visit http://www.isola-group.com/products/i-speed/.