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The Rog Blog is contributed by John Coonrod and various other experts from Rogers Corporation, providing technical advice and information about RF/microwave materials.

Make Practical Use of GCPW at mmWaves

Successful application of GCPW technology involves understanding how the performance levels from fabricated PCBs can differ from the near-ideal performance levels predicted for GCPW circuit designs by commercial computer-aided engineering (CAE) software tools. A few factors can lead to differences between what the software predicts and what is achieved by a GCPW circuit, especially for mmWave circuit designs at high volumes.


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Extending Stripline PCBs to Millimeter-Wave Frequencies

Designing and fabricating a printed circuit board (PCB) at millimeter-wave frequencies starts with the circuit material, although the choice of transmission-line technology can play quite a part in how much performance can be delivered at those high frequencies. Learn about extending stripline PCBs to mmWave frequencies


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Dk Measurements are Affected by Various Test Methods

Mobile wireless communications systems are moving to their fifth generation (5G) and with them, the world is moving to millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies. For many circuit designers, this means taking a hard look at their choice of printed circuit board (PCB) material to understand how well it will perform in 5G circuits and systems at mmWave frequencies. It means counting on that circuit material for a value of permittivity or dielectric constant (Dk) that will be the foundation of many new designs, counting on a circuit material supplier’s Dk measurements. But how reliable are those Dk measurements?


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Why TCDk Circuit Performance Testing is Critical, in Order to Understand Environmental Influences

TCDk is a property which all circuit materials possess and it is how much the Dk of the material will change, with a change in temperature. The default test method for determining TCDk is typically done as a raw-material test and this video gives an outline of how to perform TCDk testing in circuit form. The circuit form testing for TCDk is considered a real-world test as opposed to the raw-material test method, which is typically intended for material characterization. Watch this video from John Coonrod covering this topic.


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Process Variations Can Mean Circuit Performance Variations

Modern computer-aided-engineering (CAE) software design tools based on electromagnetic (EM) simulation are quite good at predicting circuit performance using different models. But even the best simulation software can fall short of predicting the effects of some normal circuit fabrication process variations, specifically, deviations in copper plating thickness and how it can affect how conductors are shaped and the resulting performance of edge-coupled circuits. Read some of the variations that can effect your designs.


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Searching for a Standard Millimeter-Wave Dk Test Method

Characterizing a circuit material for such higher-frequency circuits, typically to about 80 GHz, requires measuring the material’s dielectric constant (Dk) or relative permittivity at mmWave frequencies, within a frequency range where industry-standard Dk measurements have not yet been established.


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