What is an RF Microwave PCB?

RF and microwave PCBs operate on signals in the megahertz to gigahertz frequency ranges (very low frequency to extremely high frequency), which are commonly used for communication signals in everything from cell phones to military radars. Our engineers have extensive experience dealing with the vast amount of materials related to RF and microwave technology, which helps ensure your orders are designed for manufacturability while being produced on time and on budget.

What is an RF Microwave PCB?

RF Microwave PCB Design & Fabrication Considerations

Material selection is critical and based upon performance requirements. RF microwave PCBs are designed to operate at particular frequencies, and certain materials are needed to support those frequencies.

In almost every case, the PCB designer will consult with the material manufacturer. Once the materials are selected, the PCB engineer builds the schematic, which refers to the design at the electrical level of the board’s purpose and function.

RF Microwave PCB Design & Fabrication Considerations

RF Microwave Materials & Applications

There are anywhere from 40-60 materials commonly used in the design and fabrication of RF microwave PCBs, including various bonding materials used in the stackup. We work with the following material manufactures:

Arlon
Arlon
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Dupont
Dupont
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Evonik
Evonik
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Hanwha
Hanwha
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Isola
Isola
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Megtron
Megtron
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Nelco
Nelco
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Ohmega
Ohmega
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Panasonic
Panasonic
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Rogers
Rogers
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Sheldahl
Sheldahl
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Taconic
Taconic
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Tatsuta
Tatsuta
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ThinFlex
ThinFlex
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Ticer
Ticer Technologies
Ticer
Ventec
Ventec
Ventec

Applications & Industries

RF microwave PCBs are used within the following applications and industries:

  • Consumer electronics
  • Military/aerospace
  • High power applications
  • Medical (X-ray)
  • Automotive
  • Industrial
Applications & Industries

Properties of RF Microwave Materials

RF microwave PCBs are typically built using advanced composites with very specific characteristics for dielectric constant (Er), loss tangent, and co-efficient of thermal expansion (CTE).

High frequency circuit materials with a low stable Er and loss tangent allow for high speed signals to travel through the PCB with less impedance than standard FR-4 PCB materials. These materials can be mixed in the same stack-up for optimal performance and economics.

The advantages of using materials with a low X, Y, and Z CTE results in a PCB structure that will:

  • Remain extremely stable in high temperature environments while operating at very low to very high frequencies
  • Allow for the effective placement of very fine pitch components, including in some cases bare die-attach
  • Facilitate the alignment of multiple layers and the features they represent in a complex PCB layout

PCB applications used in high humidity environments require careful selection of the substrate, specifically moisture-resistant or hermetically-sealed materials.

Properties of RF Microwave Materials

RF Microwave PCB Capabilities

Cirexx has been providing trusted PCB manufacturing and fabrication services since 1980. We pride ourselves on having the deep engineering experience and advanced technology and equipment to handle any project all the way from layout through assembly in our state-of-the-art facility in Silicon Valley. This includes fabrication and manufacturing of radio frequency (RF) and microwave PCBs.

Our capabilities also include:
Back drilling
Controlled depth drilling/milling
Tighter route tolerances are available

RF Microwave PCB Capabilities

Features

CTEr = +10/+50 ppm per °C
ER = 2.2/10.6
ER is constant to 100.0 GHz
ED and RA Cµ
Layer-to-layer thickness control = +/- 10% nominal
Fabrication costs are typical to slightly increased

Why Consider Cirexx?

  • Custom RF and microwave PCB fabrication in as little as 24 hours – all you have to do is ask
  • Experience and knowledge to answer all of your design and manufacturing questions
  • All in-house fabrication of standard PCB processing – no outsourcing
  • Total control of build time and product quality
  • Knowing how to design for manufacturability and the potential cost drivers of a project
  • Certified to work with a variety of industries, including medical, aerospace, and the military

Certifications & Registrations for RF and Microwave PCBs

We have earned a wide variety of certifications and registrations that allow us to develop and manufacture circuit boards for any industry.
AS9100
The Aerospace PCB quality standard
ISO 9001
Provides general quality assurance guidelines
Military
MIL-PRF-31032 1-4 55110, and 50884
J-STD-001 ES
Standard quality for aerospace, military, and medical work
ITAR
Fully vetted ITAR staff that is trained when it comes to ITAR rules and regulations

Quick Turn Capabilities for RF and Microwave PCBs

If you have a job that needs to be done in a hurry, look no further than Cirexx. We have impressive quick turn PCB capabilities — including top engineers and state-of-the-art equipment — to meet your tough project deadlines and budgets. We also use InCAMÒ Pro software to streamline the process, and depending on the complexity of your project, we can provide a quick turn PCB fabrication in as little as 24 hours.

Our quick turn capabilities include:

– 1-5 day turnarounds

– Fully certified defense capabilities

– No outsourcing

– Rapid quoting, order entry, engineering, tooling, fabrication, testing, and shipping

Cirexx is proud to offer our quick turn RF PCB and microwave PCB services to all customers, including full certification for defense products. Also, by keeping exotic materials in stock, we’re ready to go when a custom PCB order comes in — unlike most of our competitors who need to wait for outside orders.

Quick Turn Capabilities for RF and Microwave PCBs

Need a Quick Turn Quote for an RF or Microwave PCB?

Our deep knowledge of the materials used in RF and microwave stack-ups ensure a smooth and efficient quoting and manufacturability review process. We review and evaluate the design of all custom circuit board quotes thoroughly with electronic data and software, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours. After you upload your information, including any fabrication drawings or schematics, our system and engineering staff will analyze the data and provide us with a comprehensive document so we can take a closer look at your project.

Need a Quick Turn Quote for an RF or Microwave PCB?

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