How High - Frequency PCB Fabrication materials Are Driving Advanced Applications

By Kalyan Rapolu

Kalyan Rapolu, a Principal Engineer at the DuPont Silicon Valley Technology Center, delves into the pivotal role of high-frequency PCB materials in powering cutting-edge electronics. As electronic devices shrink in size, accelerate in speed, and become thinner, the need for specialized high-frequency PCB materials becomes crucial. These materials are indispensable in microwave and mmWave systems, facilitating low-loss signal transmission between components, antennas, and modem packages in mobile devices. To ensure optimal system performance, the selection of appropriate material systems at the outset of design is paramount, given that standard PCB materials may not suffice for high-frequency systems. Key material factors affecting RF frequency PCBs include dielectric properties, copper foil pairing, plane capacitance, and surface plating choices. This article provides comprehensive insights into these material systems, aiding PCB designers and engineers in understanding performance and design prerequisites and underscores the critical role of high-frequency PCB materials in propelling advanced electronics.

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Basics of Polymers for Thermal Management of Electronic Devices

By Claire Wemp

Overheating is the number one cause of electronic component failure and requires aggressive thermal management strategies. That’s why thermal interface materials (TIMs) have become ubiquitous in today’s electronic assemblies, working to dissipate heat from heat-sensitive components, improve device reliability and prevent premature failure.

There are two main categories of thermal interface materials, TIM1, and TIM2. When used together they create a comprehensive thermal management solution at both the chip and semiconductor package level.

TIM1 materials remove heat at the chip level, creating a thermal conduction pathway from the heat generating chip to its metallic lid. As the first line of defense against overheating, TIM1 materials are vital for long term reliability.TIM1 materials are formulated to meet rigorous requirements. They must withstand temperatures up to 150°C (in reliability cycling), effectively wet adjoining surfaces and mitigate heat induced mechanical stresses caused by CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) mismatches. CTE is a material property that describes the extent to which a material expands and contracts due to changes in temperature

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