Circuit designers walking the 2017 IMS exhibit floor found a growing number of laminates tailored for higher-frequency circuits, as the industry in general looks to a growing demand for millimeter-wave circuits in automotive, commercial wireless communications, and military applications. For example, at IMS exhibition booth No. 1548, Rogers Corp. showed its RO4830 circuit laminates as cost-effective alternatives to PTFE for 77-GHz automotive radar circuits. These thermoset materials feature low dielectric constant of 3.2 at 77 GHz with extremely low insertion loss for microstrip transmission lines at that frequency. These circuit materials are compatible with lead-free-solder processes and can be fabricated with the same methods used for FR-4 (epoxy-glass) materials. Rogers will also show its RO4730G3 antenna-grade materials for designers of PCB antennas in need of low passive-intermodulation (PIM) levels.
Many of the PCB material suppliers at the 2017 IMS had laminates formulated for millimeter-wave circuits. Taconic Advanced Dielectric Division (ADD), at booth No. 1309, showed EZ-10. Based on PTFE and nanotechnology, the thermally stable composite circuit material is a good match for circuits above 30 GHz and for high-speed digital circuits. It features a dielectric constant of 2.80 and low dissipation factor (loss) of 0.0012 at 10 GHz.
At booth No. 1008, Isola presented Astra MT77 thermally stable laminates for millimeter-wave circuits. The material’s key parameters are specified at 77 GHz, with dielectric constant of 3.0 and low dissipation factor of 0.0017 at 77 GHz. The dielectric constant remains stable through a wide temperature range, from −55 to +125ºC. The company also showed its economical TerraGreen material, with dielectric constant of 3.44 and dissipation factor of 0.0039, and compatible with FR-4 and lead-free-solder processing. Additional circuit materials suppliers at the 2017 IMS exhibition include Advanced Circuitry International, at booth No. 1749; Shengyi Technology Co., at booth No. 710; and Tecdia, at booth No. 708.