GIGA-LOW µCable Flex CablesRFConnext has developed a new class of transmission line products based on its patent pending PMTL™ technology that is a highly scalable interconnect structure. These products can be designed for use in any band from DC to light. RFConnext has developed these products on low cost, flexible PCB materials that have been tested to 50 GHz, and simulations suggest they could work up to 220 GHz and beyond. This wideband technology therefore can be used as a new interconnect medium for high speed digital systems, RF/microwave, and any applications that require a very high signal integrity connection at almost any frequency band for the best signal transmission, and/or for quick connect/disconnect testing connectivity.

The beauty of the technology lies in its ability to be used on current low cost materials such as FR4 or similar to get high speed digital and microwave performance. It uses the current photolithographic processes for PCB fabrication or can be implemented on chip ICs in CMOS processes. It provides high signal integrity transmission with almost no radiation loss, low insertion loss and low cross talk. This will allow moving beyond Moore’s Law, enabling increasing density and achieving high speed with a digital pulse of fractional pico sec rise times, on low cost material currently in use.

RFConnext’s initial products use this technology to provide a family of products, GIGA-LOW™ (see Figure 1), targeting the testing connectivity, measurement automation and ATE tower top simplification, as well as instrumentation that is used in the process of development, manufacturing, and integration of high speed digital ICs and RF/microwave devices (see Table 1). It will solve many of the test and interconnect problems that currently plague the industry.

Figure 1 Photo of GIGA-LOW series cable.

Table 1 Applications for GIGA-LOW Series Cables

GIGA-LOW µCable Flex is a DC to 50 GHz flexible cable that exhibits an excellent phase stability of less than ±2 degrees and amplitude stability of ±0.1 dB for reliable, modular, high frequency and high speed interconnections. It uses the PMTL transmission line technology to achieve unprecedented performance and can handle 2 W of power with a return loss of less than -30 dB and insertion loss less than 0.5 dB (see Figures 2 and 3 for performance graphs and Table 2 for complete specifications). This micro flexible cable can be used for mechanical decoupling of test equipment/DUT, and high speed board to board interconnections at single and multi connection levels, and replacing short-range optical links. It provides the industries’ first flexible jumper with excellent electrical and mechanical properties with controlled phase, amplitude and impedance for operating from DC to 220 GHz (see Table 3 for a full list of features).

Figure 2 Simulated EYE diagram using measured S-parameters data of a 6" flexible PMTL to 25 GHz (blue) and to 50 GHz (red).

Figure 3 S11 and S21 performance of GIGA-LOW series.

Table 2 Complete Specifications for GIGA-LOW Series

Table 3 Features of GIGA-LOW Series

Custom designs with active IC and capacitive and inductive elements are possible with sub bands and various standard connectors. The cable technology is highly scalable, so it can be implemented for longer lengths. Since it uses low cost materials and standard manufacturing processes, it provides low cost, wide-band, flexible interconnections for ICs and boards with stable phase, amplitude and delay. It provides excellent single or differential port isolation required in today’s high speed PCB boards.

The cables accommodate mixed signals, control lines and DC and power lines uniformly. Standard lengths are six inches, but other lengths are possible. Since it is array enabled and stackable, it can provide array jumpers and connectors for board edge and top board connectivity. Furthermore, it can be designed for bands from DC to 12, 26.5, 40, 50 and 65 GHz and beyond, with appropriately matched connectors.

RFConnext Inc.,
San Jose, CA
(408) 981-3700,,

RS No. 302