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Isola introduces low loss, low skew, high-speed materials for PCB fabrication

July 29, 2013
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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 (PCBs), announced its new low loss, low skew, high-speed material, GigaSync™. This product has been engineered to eliminate skew issues in high-speed designs that use differential pairs to create a balanced transmission system able to carry differential (equal and opposite) signals across a printed circuit board. The company will immediately begin alpha site testing of GigaSync and expects field validation using industry-standard Test Vehicles (TVs) to be completed by November 2013.

Much has been written about jitter and skew on gigabit per second and faster differential signals that are traceable to the glass weave in PCB laminates. Skew caused by the fiber weave effect can be as high as 130 picoseconds when trace lengths exceed 20 inches. Speeding Edge, a consulting firm supporting several manufacturers of ultra-high performance products, has successfully validated that GigaSync reduces weave-induced skew on high-speed designs from 25 Gb/s on up to 100 Gb/s, using its proprietary Signal Integrity (SI) TV.

Lee Ritchey, President of Speeding Edge, stated, “This material demonstrated the lowest skew that we have ever tested without relying on off-angle routing or off-angle fabrication. GigaSync makes designing very high-speed differential pairs as easy as its low-speed counterparts.”

GigaSync is a member of the same UL family as Isola’s IS415FR408, FR408HR and I-Speed® laminate and prepreg materials. Like other products in this family, GigaSync offers excellent thermal performance. PCBs can be manufactured using the same parameters as those used for FR408HR and I-Speed. GigaSync will be supplied with Reverse-Treated Foil (RTF) and VLP-2, very low profile copper with 2 µm surface roughness (Rz) copper foil.

Tarun Amla, Executive Vice-president and Chief Technology Officer at Isola, stated, “Electronics manufacturers have long expressed concerns about skew issues on their high-speed designs. Isola’s investments in R&D have successfully resolved this issue with our proprietary resin system. GigaSync will eliminate the need to route signals at 5.0 to 7.5 degree angles to the glass weave. This will allow circuit board designers to reduce their PCB footprint and lower their board costs.”

Fred Hickman, Senior Director of High-Speed Digital Products at Isola, added, "Isola will start building additional industry standard thermal & SI TVs immediately to further validate the product’s electrical and thermal performances.”

GigaSync samples are available now from Isola's Chandler, Arizona manufacturing facility. To inquire about this product, order samples and participate in alpha testing, please contact gigasync@isola-group.com. The GigaSync data sheet is available now at http://bit.ly/1bPbcp1.

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