The challenge of 5G communication to PCB technology

The challenge of 5G communication to PCB technology

5G communication is a huge and complex integrated technology, and its challenges to the PCB process are mainly focused on: large size, multilayer, high frequency, high speed, low loss, high density, rigid-flex combination, high and low frequency mixed pressure, etc. So many process technologies put forward new or higher requirements for PCB materials, design, processing, and quality control. PCB companies need to understand the changing needs and propose comprehensive solutions.

Material requirements: A very clear direction for 5G PCB is high-frequency and high-speed materials. In terms of high-frequency materials, it can be clearly seen that the leading PCB material manufacturers in the traditional high-speed field in China have begun to deploy high-frequency plates and introduced a series of new materials. This will break the current dominance of foreign brands in the high-frequency sheet industry. After healthy competition, the performance, convenience, and availability of materials will be greatly enhanced. Therefore, the localization of high-frequency materials is an inevitable trend.

Requirements for PCB design: The selection of plates must meet the requirements of high-frequency and high-speed, impedance matching, stacking planning, wiring spacing/holes, etc. must meet the signal integrity requirements, which can be from loss, embedment, high-frequency phase /Amplitude, mixed pressure, heat dissipation, PIM these six aspects.

Requirements for process technology: The enhancement of 5G-related application product functions will increase the demand for high-density PCBs, and HDI will also become an important technical field. Multi-level HDI products and even products with any level of interconnection will be popularized, and new technologies such as buried resistance and buried capacitance will have more and more applications as well. PCB copper thickness uniformity, line width accuracy, interlayer alignment, interlayer dielectric thickness, control accuracy of back drilling depth, and plasma de-drilling ability are all worthy of in-depth study.

Requirements for equipment and instruments: high-precision equipment and pre-treatment lines with less roughening of the copper surface are currently ideal processing equipment; the test equipment includes passive intermodulation tester, flying probe impedance tester, loss test equipment, etc. . Precise graphics transfer and vacuum etching equipment, detection equipment that can monitor and feedback data changes in line width and coupling spacing in real time; electroplating equipment with good uniformity, high-precision lamination equipment, etc. can also meet the production requirements of 5G PCB.

Requirements for quality monitoring: Due to the increase of 5G signal rate, the board-making deviation has a greater impact on the signal performance, which requires stricter control of the board-making production deviation, while the existing mainstream board-making process and equipment are not updated. , Will become the bottleneck of future technological development. It is important for PCB manufacturers to break the situation. In terms of quality monitoring, the statistical process control of key product parameters should be strengthened, and data should be managed in a more real-time manner, so that product consistency can be ensured to meet antenna performance requirements in terms of phase, standing wave, and amplitude.