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Home Industry News Let's Get to Know the High Frequency Substrate of 5G Era

Let's Get to Know the High Frequency Substrate of 5G Era

  • May 19, 2022

Let's Get to Know the High Frequency Substrate of 5G Era.

With the development of electronic technology. The production of electronic products requires more and more materials, such as high-frequency materials. ROGERS PCB, for example, is a type of high-frequency board produced by ROGERS Company. Unlike conventional PCB board epoxies, it has no glass fiber in the middle and is a ceramic based high-frequency material. When the circuit operates at frequencies above 500MHz, the range of materials available to the design engineer is greatly reduced.

Rogers RO4350B materials allow RF engineers to easily design circuits, such as network matching, impedance control of transmission lines, etc. Due to its low dielectric loss, R04350B has an advantage over ordinary circuit materials in high frequency applications. Its dielectric constant fluctuation with temperature is almost the lowest among similar materials. In a wide frequency range, its dielectric constant is quite stable 3.48, and the design recommended value 3.66. LoPra copper foil reduces insertion loss. This makes the material suitable for broadband applications.

RO4350B Circuit Board

Rogers PCB materials ceramic HF substrate series classification:

Rogers RO3000 series: PTFE circuit materials based on ceramic filling, Rogers models are: RO3003, RO3006, RO3010, RO3035 high frequency laminate.

Rogers RT6000 series: Based on ceramic filled PTFE circuit material, designed for electronic and microwave circuits requiring high dielectric constant, Rogers models are: RT6006 dielectric constant 6.15, Duroid 6010 dielectric constant 10.2.

Rogers TMM series: based on ceramic, hydrocarbon, thermosetting polymer composite materials, Rogers models: TMM3, TMM4, TMM6, TMM10, TMM10i, TMM13i. , etc.

6-Layer RF PCB On RO3003 and FR-28

At present, the global 5G layout is accelerating. The traditional 3G/4G base station distributed architecture can be mainly divided into BBU, RRU and antenna feed system, among which RRU and antenna feed system are connected through feeders. Due to the increased risk of transmission loss under high frequency, the architecture of integrated RRU and antenna feed system can reduce signal loss on feeders and improve transmission efficiency. Highly integrated, a large number of scattered parts are replaced by PCB boards, which ultimately increases the unit usage of PCB.

High frequency PCB material

In the 5G era, high frequency bands must be used (3GPP has specified that 5GNR supports a frequency range of 450MHz to 52.6ghz) for the following reasons:

1) After the iteration of the first 4 generations of communication technology, the resources of low frequency band have been occupied, and the resources that can be used for 5G development are few;

2) The higher the frequency is, the more information can be loaded, the more resources are richer, and thus the transmission rate can be higher (for example, in 100MHz, only 5 channels of 20MHz can be divided, while 1GHz can be divided into 50 channels of 20MHz).

Resonance phenomenon caused by the load and the effect of transmission line, the higher the frequency of electromagnetic wave, the attenuation becomes more severe, and to realize high efficiency under high frequency transmission, to control the wastage of the signal on the transceiver and transmission device, the corresponding carrying devices will be from past ordinary plate sheet to switch to high frequency (e.g., Rogers 4350 b), specific terms, The terminal antenna originally used FPC (flexible circuit board) with PI as the main material, but due to the high dielectric constant (Dk, the ability of the transmitting medium to block electrons) and dielectric loss (Df, the ability of the transmitting medium to consume electric energy to heat energy) of PI, the transmission efficiency is low. Therefore, the trend of replacing PI with liquid crystal polymer (LCP) with lower Dk and Df is increasingly prominent. Currently, apple has introduced LCP into its mobile phones, and LCP material is expected to become the mainstream material in the future. For apple, a single LCP module in iPhoneX is about 4-5 dollars per antenna, while the traditional PI antenna is 0.4 dollars per antenna. There is significant room for improvement in unit value.

The base station antenna also needs to use high frequency materials (such as Rogers 4350B). At present, the mainstream solution is to use POLYtetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or hydrocarbon PCB board (with very good dielectric properties), whose price is about 3000-6000 yuan/square meter, while the price of ordinary PCB is about 1900 yuan/square meter. 3G/4G base station RRU requires HF AC board, among which PCB board of RF power amplifier plate needs HF material (such as Rogers 4350B), but FR4 and HF base material will be mixed together to save cost. In 5G AAU, the high frequency AC board's demand for high frequency PCB board (such as Rogers 4350B) will increase, and the use of high frequency material in PCB board will increase, thus increasing the value of single board.

The three scenarios of 5G era (eMBB, mMTC and uRLLC) mean that we are about to enter the era of data explosion and data volume will explode. According to the report of the Information and Communication Institute, with the commercialization of 5G in 2020, the number of 5G connections in China will reach 428 million by 2025, with a five-year compound growth rate of 155.61%. Data demand blowout forced communication equipment to increase data processing capacity, the corresponding PCB board is expected to develop to multi-layer, the price is also increased accordingly.

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