Isola Completes Validation of I-Speed®

Isola Completes Validation of Best-in-Class, High-Speed Digital System with Enhanced Signal Integrity

I-Speed® (low-loss, high-speed) laminates and prepreg will be sold in VLP-2 copper at no additional fee.

Isola Group S.a.r.l., a market leader in copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials used to fabricate advanced multi-layer printed circuit boards, announced that it has successfully completed key OEM field testing that validated the electrical, thermal and reliability performance characteristics of I-Speed®, its low-loss, high-speed, high-performance laminate and prepreg product. Isola also announced that its entire product offering of I-Speed will now be available with very low-profile copper with 2 µm surface roughness (Rz) copper foil, otherwise known as VLP-2 copper. The company will not charge a premium for this enhanced copper, giving customers the benefit of improved signal integrity without affecting their total system cost.

I-Speed has been successfully validated by its US, Canadian, Asian and European customers on a number of industry-standard design test vehicles. For instance, I-Speed has been tested using the top three industry-standard signal integrity test vehicles (SI TVs), which confirmed I-Speed as one of the best performers in its class. I-Speed has an insertion loss of 0.46 dB/in at 4 GHz on the IPC TM-650 test vehicle, and it has an effective dissipation factor (Df) of 0.0105 as determined by  the Stripline S-Parameter Sweep (S3) test method at 10 GHz, and it has an effective Df of 0.0115 at 10 GHz on the short pulse propagation (SPP) test method.

Tarun Amla, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Isola stated, “I-Speed surpasses the electrical criteria set forth by major OEMs and delivers improvements in dielectric loss, thermal reliability and CAF. I-Speed offers tremendous value in terms of signal integrity with the use of 2 µm Rz copper. We are pleased to provide these added benefits to our customers at no additional cost.”

I-Speed has also been tested for thermal robustness on high layer count backplanes (up to 42 layers) and on 28-layer line cards. It has passed 15X reflows at 265°C “as received” and 10X reflows after humidity and temperature conditioning at 35°C, 85% RH and 336 hours (14 days) on designs that also have multiple internal 2 oz. planes with 1.0 and 0.8 mm pitch densities. I-Speed has also met 600-hour CAF requirements after 10X reflows at 65°C, 85% RH with a 10V bias on these high layer-count line cards. Furthermore, I-Speed is fully compatible with high density interconnect (HDI) designs that require sequential-lamination builds.

I-Speed is in the same UL family as the company’s IS415FR408 and FR408HR products. Processing of I-Speed is similar to FR408HR but provides lower Z-axis expansion, improved thermal robustness in lead-free assembly and  at least 15% more bandwidth (lower insertion loss) than FR408HR. I-Speed‘s prepreg and laminate offerings are similar to FR408HR but include more spread-glass options (i.e. 1035, 1067, 1078 & 1086).

Fred Hickman, Director of High-Speed Digital Products at Isola, added, “Production of the product is scaling-up in Chandler, Arizona. I-Speed has generated a lot of interest with a number of OEMs working on next-generation designs. Since the SI TVs have demonstrated that I-Speed has superior results over competitive products in a number of areas, we have decided to launch I-Speed at a lower price point to accelerate the growth of the product. We will soon transfer production of I-Speed to our facilities in Asia and Europe in order to meet the expected market demand.”

For more information about I-Speed, please visit

28 January 2013

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