PCB Technology Requirements for Millimeter-Wave Interconnect and Antenna


Reading time ( words)

Since its inception in 1985, Optiprint has specialized in fabricating PCB products for radio frequency (RF) and microwave (MW) applications. In recent years, there has been commercial exploitation of so-called millimeter-wave (mmW) frequencies. Generally speaking, this commenced with automotive radar; however, increasingly the telecommunications sector is offering radio products operating in V-band (57–66 GHz) and E-band (71–76 GHz and 81–86 GHz) portion of the radio spectrum[1]. The attraction is the comparatively high volume of data that can be transmitted wirelessly to cope with a demand for bandwidth, driven by growth in mobile data traffic for portable devices and machine-to-machine communications. The expectation is that mmW radio architectures will be deployed in future “5th generation” cellular mobile” (5G) networks and to ease “spectrum congestion” in current 4G and earlier configurations.

In 2013, Optiprint joined a European collaborative project called “MiWaveS”[2], a three-year project to develop key technologies for mmW wireless access and backhaul in future 5G heterogeneous cellular mobile networks. Optiprint’s role in MiWaveS was to support the collaborative partners in the design and manufacture of PCBs for local access and backhaul radio transceivers and antennas. This article describes the PCB technology requirements of fabricating PCB articles designed for the distribution and propagation of mmW signals with emphasis on the work done to support MiWaveS project.

Technology Overview

The PCB, often referred to as an organic substrate, represents an economically attractive and mature technology for mmW hardware interconnect and antenna given the ubiquity of  PCB and PCB assembly manufacturing capability. Interestingly, the MiWaveS project also involved LTCC ceramic substrate technology; however, a review of that is outside the scope of this article. From a PCB manufacturing perspective, the needs for distributing and propagating signals in millimeter wavelengths have a direct influence on the choice and thickness of substrate, PCB feature (and feature-to-feature) positional accuracy and feature dimensional accuracy. The requirements for matching manufacturing and metrology capacities are discussed in this article.

To read the full version of this article which appeared in the April 2017 issue of The PCB Magazine, click here.

Share




Suggested Items

Catching Up With John Johnson, New Director of Business Development at ASC

09/28/2022 | Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
It’s always good to catch up with old friends, especially when you can start working together. I recently spoke with my friend John Johnson, who has joined American Standard Circuits as the director of business development. At ASC, John will be using the Averatek A-SAP process that he was previously involved with. He shares some of his background and provides insight on the best ways to use this semi-additive PCB fabrication process that opens the capability window for forming trace and space.

EIPC Summer Conference 2022: Day 1 Review

06/28/2022 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
At last, a live EIPC conference and this time in the Swedish city of Örebro, “where history and contemporary culture converge,” a pleasant and convenient location for an event that included a privileged visit to the Ericsson facility in Kumla. Around 100 delegates made the journey and the Örebro Scandic Grand Hotel was an excellent conference venue for the June 14-15 conference.

PCB Plating Still Comes Down to Physics

06/21/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
We asked columnist Michael Carano to discuss the latest innovations in plating equipment and chemicals, as well as some of the drivers in this segment, and the biggest challenges and opportunities he sees in plating today. As Michael points out, despite all of the technological advances in this industry, process engineers still need a solid understanding of Faraday’s Law and Ohm’s Law to successfully plate PCBs.



Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.