Probing Materials for Millimeter-Wave PCBs

Analog frequencies and digital data rates are increasing steadily in electronic circuits and systems, requiring careful choices of circuit materials for printed circuit boards (PCBs). Cellular communications technologies grew by means of RF and microwave signal frequencies, but Fifth Generation (5G) cellular wireless networks are making use of available bandwidth well into the millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency range. And other commercial applications, such as Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) with collision-avoidance radars to 77 GHz, are extending the requirements of circuit materials to support mmWave analog circuits and high-speed-digital (HSD) circuits, while also attempting to fit them into smaller assemblies. Selecting circuit materials for mmWave and HSD circuits requires an understanding how essential circuit material parameters relate to performance at higher frequencies but also often weighing the tradeoffs that can provide the best possible blend of performance, price, and reliability. Often, it is a combination of materials, especially for mixed-signal, multilayer circuits, which provides an optimum foundation for mmWave/HSD circuits.

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26 January 2022

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