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66 The PCB Magazine • January 2016 For the purpose of this column high-perfor- mance laminates are characterized as base ma- terials that in one or more aspects exceed the performance of FR-4, CEM, or paper/phenolic laminates. The focus, however, is on low loss (Df), low Dk dielectric resin-based CCLs and pre- pregs. Included are laminates that distinguish themselves through higher Tg, better chemical stability, better dimensional stability, or some other performance factor. Polyimide-based flex laminates are covered briefly. Requirements for dielectrics specifically developed for HDI boards or flip chip packages, such as dielectric films for microvia build-up layers, laser-drillable pre - pregs, and various forms of RCC for rigid cores, are briefly mentioned to contrast these require- ments to high-performance CCLs for second level packaging. Market Overview—Applications The applications for high-performance lami- nates are quite diverse and evolving rapidly. Low Dk and/or Df are common performance requirements in addition to many others that are shared with various applications. The high- performance laminate applications include: • Cellular base station infrastructure (e.g., base station power amplifiers) • LNBs (low-noise block down-converters) • Cavity PCBs • HF antennas • High-speed digital backplanes • High-speed routers • High-speed servers • High-speed test PCBs • RF and HF microwave boards and modules • High-speed chip packages • Optoelectronic devices • Satellite TV infrastructure • Automotive collision avoidance systems The automotive collision avoidance appli - cations appear to be the highest frequency ap- plication at 40 GHz and above (current state-of- the-art radar chip systems, 77 GHz), and have a very high growth rate. It also demands dielec- trics with very low loss. by Karl Dietz Karl DietZ consulting llc karl's tech talk High-Performance Laminates coluMn

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