At today’s speeds it takes more than a clever circuit design to retrieve
clear signals. You also need intimate details of the passive materials
carrying the signals.
To date FR4 has been the work horse for printed circuit boards. But for
years I’ve heard about a range of more exotic and costly materials that
can deliver better characteristics for a price. The word I hear is
Panasonic's Megatron-6 is looking pretty good.
My question for DesignCon is whether there is anything beyond FR4 likely to go into mainstream use anytime soon. My go-to guy for that sort of question is consultant Lee Ritchey who will present a paper comparing seven laminate materials. Intel engineers will give a similar paper comparing FR4 to some alternatives. And a team of Dupont, IBM and Molex will talk about their work in flex circuits.
Links to sessions mentioned above:
Lee Ritchey tests seven different laminate materials
Intel engineers report on tests comparing FR4 and other materials
IBM, Molex and Dupont on flex circuit work