Is plain old FR-4 PCB material suitable for use in RF designs? Many say no, fewer say yes – who’s right? What PCB material do I need to use for RF? article tries to answer this question. It says that FR-4 can be suitable for many RF designs. This is not to say that FR-4 does not have limitations, but when you understand the limitations you can make better cost/performance tradeoffs for all your designs.
In the high-volume cases you will be hard pressed to find anyone using really exotic materials in the under 6-GHz world. In the low-volume cases, performance may be paramount and the circuit designs might be more complex. Many of those low-volume products do use a tighter specified type of “Glass Epoxy” or exotic RF materials. Mainly for their repeatability and for the trace losses.
For more information on selecting PCB material for RF circuits take a look at the following links:
- How to choose material for RF PCB?
- RF PCB Material Selection
- A SURVEY AND TUTORIAL OF DIELECTRIC MATERIALS USED IN THE MANUFACTURE OF PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS
- RF Design Guidelines: PCB Layout and Circuit Optimization
- Advanced PCB Materials Product Selection Guide
- General Layout Guidelines for RF and Mixed-Signal PCBs
- Advances in High-Frequency PCB Materials