Multi-layer circuit board material for wireless base stations

6th July 2017
Source: Panasonic
Posted By : Enaie Azambuja
Multi-layer circuit board material for wireless base stations

Panasonic has announced that it has commercialised its 'High Thermal Conductivity, Low Transmission Loss Halogen-free Multi-layer Circuit Board Material (Part No. R-5575)' intended for wireless base stations, and will launch mass production in August 2017. The industry's first halogen-free multi-layer board material for RF power amplifiers is designed to contribute to compact-sizing and stable operation of wireless base stations.

In the fifth-generation mobile communication system ('5G'), currently being developed for implementation in 2020, data communication by a variety of equipment such as smartphones is predicted to require a much greater capacity and higher transmission rates.

For 5G communication, demand for 'small cells', small base stations that can cover hot spots with high user demand, is expected to expand substantially. RF power amplifier boards used in compact-sized small cells will require a multi-layer structure to achieve further space saving in place of the current mainstream double-sided boards.

The industry also requires multi-layer boards that can carry out high-speed communication in high frequency domains while providing low transmission losses as well as low heat generation.

Panasonic's proprietary resin design technology has enabled the industry's first commercial production of multi-layer circuit board material for RF power amplifiers by providing halogen-free, low transmission loss and high thermal conductivity features that, up to this point, have represented a major technical barrier.

Features Overview

Panasonic's new 'High Thermal Conductivity, Low Transmission Loss Halogen-free Multi-layer Circuit Board Material' has the following features:

• The industry's first halogen-free multi-layer circuit board material for RF power amplifiers achieves low transmission losses in the high-frequency range, enabling compact-sizing of wireless base stations.
• Transmission loss at 20 GHz: -20 dB/m
• Its high thermal conductivity effectively dissipates heat from heated components used on the power amplifier to provide reliable operation.
• Thermal conductivity: 0.6 W/(m·K) (1.5 times that of the Panasonic's conventional product)
• The material protects against deterioration of transmission characteristics in high-temperature environments, thereby contributing to the long-term durability of the base stations.
• Dielectric constant change rate: 1.0%, Dissipation factor change rate: 3.5% (1000 hours at 125°C)
• Dielectric constant change rate of current products: 3.0%, Dissipation factor change rate of current products: 80% (1000 hours at 125°C)

Suitable applications include circuit board for power amplifiers (for wireless base stations, small cell use), etc.

Product Features in Detail

1. The industry's first halogen-free multi-layer board material for RF power amplifiers, achieving low transmission loss for contributing to compact-sizing of wireless base stations

Previous circuit board materials for RF power amplifiers were produced primarily with a double-sided structure and they were not designed with a multi-layer structure in mind. With communication systems becoming ever more compact, the adoption of small cells and smaller board areas is necessary, so multi-layer designs are increasingly being adopted. From an environmental viewpoint, halogen-free materials are ideal; however, alternative non-halogen flame retardant component structures tend to show considerable transmission loss in the high frequency range. Panasonic by applying its proprietary resin design technology, has commercialised the industry's first halogen-free multi-layer board material for RF power amplifiers that is flame retardant and has low transmission loss in the high frequency range, which were difficult in the past. By achieving a multi-layer structure of 10 layers or so, usable for high-speed communication in the milliwave band of 20 - 80 GHz, it is expected to contribute to compact-sizing of wireless base stations and the achievement of 5G mobile communication systems.

2. High thermal conductivity effectively dissipates heat from heat-generating components on the power amplifier board, thereby contributing to reliable operation.

Small cells consist of high heat generating components mounted on a relatively small electronic circuit board. Use of conventional board materials would cause the heat-generating components to become extremely hot, increasing the risk of operational instability and failure. Because R-5575 employs a highly thermally conductive resin design that disperses and dissipates the heat generated by components, temperatures can be kept low, therefore achieving stable operation of communication base stations.

3. The material contributes to the long-term operation of base stations by suppressing the deterioration of transmission characteristics that tends to occur under high-temperature conditions.

Board materials for RF power amplifiers used to be subject to the problem of deteriorating transmission characteristics when used for many hours in a high-temperature environment because they are made from resin. Panasonic's proprietary resin technology that is used in R-5575 successfully minimises any deterioration in dielectric constant and dissipation factor even during extended use at high temperatures. This feature is expected to preserve stable transmission characteristics and contribute to the long-term stable operation of communication base stations.

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