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62 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2022 Feature Article by Alun Morgan VENTEC INTERNATIONAL GROUP e electronics industry as we know it today can trace its birth to the creation of the first integrated circuit in 1958, although concep- tion occurred 10 years earlier with the inven- tion of the transistor. at first IC contained a single transistor and four passive components. To say things have come a long way since then is a huge understatement. Only one thing may have matched the mete- oric pace of progress in our industry—mar- ket expectation. Exponential advancement has become the norm, and this is now achieved through an aggregation of improvements, rather than a large leap in one aspect such as chip lithography (Moore's Law), or processor frequency scaling (Dennard). It's a small step from acknowledging this real- ity to adopting a holistic view that acknowl- edges the contribution each aspect of the system can make toward the overall per- formance and that seeks to optimize the interactions between them. Accordingly, in cutting-edge applications, we no longer have the luxur y of treating the PCB as merely a medium for mounting and connecting components. At high signal speeds in partic- ular, the properties of the substrate, copper foil, and trace geometries govern whether the system can deliver the required perfor- mance. Many within the industry already under- stand that the PCB has become a high-tech component in itself, particularly those depart- ments working on applications in automotive radar, 5G, and satellite communications at multi-gigahertz frequencies. Developments in Low-Loss Substrates for High-Frequency Applications

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