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20 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2018 Feature by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team Whether we're ready for it or not, 5G tech- nology is coming. While many companies are waiting to see how we're all affected by this, PCB materials providers and EDA tool vendors have no such luxury. For this issue, we spoke with John Hendricks, market segment manag- er for wireless infrastructure at Rogers Corpo- ration, and Ben Jordan, director of product and persona marketing for Altium, about the chal- lenges related to 5G and what this means for PCB designers and fabricators. Andy Shaughnessy: John, could you tell us a lit- tle bit about what you do at Rogers and your thoughts on 5G? John Hendricks: Rogers Corporation manufac- tures high-frequency printed circuit board ma- terials. I'm a market segment manager, and that means I have responsibility for the wire- less infrastructure business, globally. It's my job to identify what we need to be doing to meet both current and future needs. Experts Discussion: What Does 5G Mean to Materials and EDA Tools? And 5G has some interesting challenges. If you look at it from the PCB material point of view, in the past there was not that much change as you went from 2G to 3G to 4G. Lots of other technologies developed very dramati- cally of course, but in the circuit board busi- ness, not a whole lot changed in terms of what was required from materials. And the sim- ple reason for that was that, from a hardware point of view, there were just small differenc- es in frequencies—700 megahertz, 900 mega- hertz, 1.8 up to 2.5, something like that. And a power amp still basically looked like a pow- er amp, and an antenna still looked like an an- tenna. 5G is interesting because, as most people know, it's split into two areas; a much big- ger area, at least in the beginning, is the sub- six gigahertz market. And then you have the millimeter wave, which is 28 gigahertz. The millimeter wave presents some very dramat- ic changes to the material requirements be- cause of the much higher frequency, so materi- als must be much lower loss. They have to be much thinner, much smoother copper.

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