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54 PCB007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Rowntree: One big challenge is to build ade- quate capacity to support the rapid and mas- sive 5G rollout, not only in 2019 but also in 2020 and beyond. Our ACS team predicted the large capacity needs for 5G a couple of years ago and took action to get the capacity ready. This included buying production assets from Isola, building more presses and treaters in our global supply network, and increasing the pro- ductivity of our existing presses and treaters. Our current and planned capacity expansions are more than sufficient to meet the surging demands from 5G. Another big challenge is having the right RF laminates and bondply materials to meet new and more demanding design needs for 5G. We are very happy we completed a lot of voice of the customer (VOC) work a few years ago and developed new products based upon predicted material requirements. We have built a broad product portfolio to meet customer design needs for multiple 5G applications at both sub- 6 GHz and mmWave frequencies. Johnson: What do you think is going to change in the next few years? Rowntree: One big change is the industry will need even higher-performance RF materials. For example, materials will be needed with tighter Dk tolerance under higher operating temperatures and higher humidity and thinner low-loss RF materials with multiple thickness- es. The second big change is RF customers will need more design support from RF CCL sup- pliers, such as substrate-integrated-waveguide design and electrical property characterization at mmWave frequencies. Johnson: What's driving that change? Rowntree: One thing driving the change is the application requirements from more advanced wireless technology. For example, the higher number of transceiver channels, wider band- width, and higher frequencies of 5G will drive up operation temperature as well as the range of temperature variation. Another thing driv- ing the change is many more applications at mmWave frequencies, such as 5G, automotive radars, and satellite communications, etc. Johnson: How should the industry get ready for that change? Rowntree: From an RF CCL supplier perspec- tive, the suppliers should continue to develop and launch higher performance RF products to provide better and broader solutions and en- hance design and testing support for more com- plex designs at higher frequencies. At Rogers, we have a strong and exciting innovation pipe- line with several launches planned for 2020 that will fulfill these increased requirements. Johnson: What about your part of the industry keeps you up at night? Rowntree: The raw material supply chain used to keep me up at night, but thanks to the great collaboration between RF CCL manufacturers and raw material suppliers, the whole supply chain of RF CCL doesn't seem to be having as many bottlenecks anymore. One recent example is the tight allocations of low Dk glass, which is impacting the high-speed digital CCL market. The RF CCL supply chain will need to continue their close collaboration to ensure there are ad- equate capacity and inventory levels to support the growth of high-speed and 5G applications into the future. Johnson: Jonathan, thanks so much for talking with me. Rowntree: You're very welcome. PCB007 One big challenge is to build adequate capacity to support the rapid and massive 5G rollout, not only in 2019 but also in 2020 and beyond.

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