Antennas for next-generation wireless systems (e.g., LTE-Advanced and 5G) are becoming more complex. With demand for mobile data projected to grow at a ~53 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2020, active antennas and small cells will be deployed to increase data throughput. These trends and the associated growth are expanding the use of printed circuit board (PCB) materials in antenna designs.
With the use of additional frequency bands and consumer demand for better performance and lower latency, PCBs have advantages compared to competing technologies such as bent metal and cable. Antenna OEMs find that PCB-based designs shorten the design iteration cycle and enable the development of complex, multi-layer board (MLB) designs. However, PCB-based designs have challenges:
- Integration of the power amplifier (PA) and antenna into one structure for active antennas
- High fabrication and assembly costs of PTFE MLBs
- Limited thermoset materials that are low loss, low PIM and meet UL 94 V-0.
Addressing these challenges, Rogers launched the RO4730G3™ UL 94 V-0 antenna grade laminates, which combine a flame retardant, low loss thermoset dielectric with low profile copper foil and incorporate a proprietary filler system. The material has a Dk of 3.0 and a Df of 0.0023, measured at 2.5 GHz. RO4730G3 laminates offer a practical, cost-effective circuit material for active antenna arrays and PCB antennas, whether for current wireless systems or those on the horizon. With the right combination of materials, these laminates provide the optimum blend of price, performance and durability.