Experts Discussion: What Does 5G Mean to Materials and EDA Tools?


Reading time ( words)

Whether we’re ready for it or not, 5G technology is coming. While many companies are waiting to see how we’re all affected by this, PCB materials providers and EDA tool vendors have no such luxury. For this issue, we decided to speak with John Hendricks, market segment manager for wireless infrastructure at Rogers Corporation, and Ben Jordan, director of product and persona marketing for Altium, about the challenges related to 5G and what this means for PCB designers and fabricators.

Andy Shaughnessy: John, could you tell us a little bit about what you do at Rogers and your thoughts on 5G?

John Hendricks: Rogers Corporation manufactures high-frequency printed circuit board materials. I'm a market segment manager, and that means I have responsibility for the wireless infrastructure business, globally. It's my job to identify what we need to be doing to meet both current and future needs.

And 5G has some interesting challenges. If you look at it from the PCB material point of view, in the past there was not that much change as you went from 2G to 3G to 4G. Lots of other technologies developed very dramatically of course, but in the circuit board business, not a whole lot changed in terms of what was required from materials. And the simple reason for that was that, from a hardware point of view, there were just small differences in frequencies—700 megahertz, 900 megahertz, 1.8 up to 2.5, something like that. And a power amp still basically looked like a power amp, and an antenna still looked like an antenna.

5G is interesting because, as most people know, it’s split into two areas; a much bigger area, at least in the beginning, is the sub-six gigahertz market. And then you have the millimeter wave, which is 28 gigahertz. The millimeter wave presents some very dramatic changes to the material requirements because of the much higher frequency, so materials must be much lower loss. They have to be much thinner, much smoother copper.

Down at sub-six gigahertz, there's not so much of a dramatic change in the electrical requirements of the materials, but one of the things that is happening is, perhaps not necessarily in the very first iterations, but certainly in newer designs that we see coming out on the horizon, there's a lot more integration between the antennas and the power components and the transceivers, and going forward even more integration with the high-speed digital parts.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the May 2018 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

3DEM Modeling: Influence of Metal Plating on PCB Channel Loss and Impedance

03/21/2019 | Chang Fei Yee, Keysight Technologies
This article briefly introduces different types of metal plating commonly used in PCB fabrication. Subsequently, the influence of metal plating on PCB channel loss (i.e., insertion loss or S21) and impedance (i.e., time domain reflectometry or TDR) is studied with 3DEM modeling,

Bert Simonovich on Modeling Copper Roughness

03/24/2019 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
I met with one of our contributors, Bert Simonovich of Lamsim Enterprises, at DesignCon 2019. Bert’s paper on interconnect modeling was nominated as a Best Paper finalist, so I asked him to discuss his paper and some of the challenges that engineers and their customers are facing right now.

AltiumLive Munich: Day 1 Keynotes

01/28/2019 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The weather forecast was wrong! Despite my apprehension and winter clothes, there was very little snow at the Hilton Munich Airport. It could have been any season of the year inside the splendid convention facility, which was also the venue for the second European AltiumLive design summit. AltiumLive brought together a family of over 220 electronics engineers and designers eager to learn from top industry experts and applications specialists who were equally eager to share their knowledge and experience freely.



Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.