Thermoset laminates are an alternative to FR4 for wireless designers

April 27, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Rogers Corporation has introduced Kappa™ 438 glass reinforced laminates that were developed for wireless circuit designers looking for a better performing and more reliable alternative to FR-4 laminates.

Demand for wireless data is growing exponentially, driving a need for substantially higher levels of mobile network capacity and performance. FR-4 was historically a material choice for many less demanding RF applications, but changes in the wireless infrastructure related to growing performance requirements, especially in small cells and carrier-grade Wi-Fi/Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), has resulted in instances where the properties of FR-4 are lacking, and RF performance and consistency is compromised.

Wireless circuit designers can now enjoy a true breakthrough with Kappa 438 laminates because they feature the performance of mid-tier circuit materials that exceed performance limitations of FR-4, and provide the optimum blend of price, performance and durability. Kappa 438 Laminates have low loss, excellent dielectric constant (Dk) tolerance, and tight thickness control and are engineered for outstanding, repeatable wireless performance.

Kappa 438 laminates have a low Z axis CTE and High Tg for improved design flexibility, PTH reliability, and automated assembly compatibility, and can be fabricated using standard epoxy/glass (FR-4) processes. These laminates are compatible with conventional bondplies and lead free solder processes, and have the UL 94 V-0 flame retardant rating. A design Dk of 4.38 tailored to FR-4 industry standard norms facilitates ease of converting existing FR-4 designs where better electrical performance is needed.