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62 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2023 Design considerations for RF PCBs can vary greatly. Many of the newer RF PCB designs are intended to accommodate millimeter- wave (mmWave) technology and as mmWave chipsets continue to diversify, there are some things that will remain the same for these applications. Understanding the basic needs of circuit design, which are good for mmWave performance when using PCB technology, can be advantageous to the circuit designer. PCB design attributes greatly influence RF performance, particularly in relation to fre- quency. Low- and high-frequency applications require different PCB design disciplines. As a general statement related to this article, the comments about lower frequency are typically at 10 GHz or less. Millimeter-wave frequencies are defined to be approximately 30 GHz to 300 GHz and this article will focus more attention on mmWave applications from about 40 GHz to 90 GHz. Considering Wavelength Wavelength is a critical consideration for mmWave design. For those who are less famil- iar with RF technology, wavelength can be confusing, but there are some general defini- tions that can clarify the topic. It is easier to think about wavelength in physical terms, instead of the more detailed electromagnetic definitions. Wavelength is as the name implies: the physical length of a wave. To give some examples with comparisons for a PCB may be helpful. As an example, using a simple double-sided circuit that is microstrip (signal conductor on Millimeter-wave Properties and PCB Design Challenges Lightning Speed Laminates by John Coonrod, ROGERS CORPORATION

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