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Characteristics of Interconnects on FR408 at Millimeter-Wave Frequencies
Keywords: Interconnects, Millimeter-wave, system-in-package
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association has defined flame resistant 4 (FR4) as the grade designation for glass reinforced epoxy laminate sheets. FR4 is an inexpensive material typically used as a substrate for printed circuit boards in digital and low frequency applications. Standard FR4's frequency-dependent relative dielectric constant and high dielectric loss are the key factors that limit its use to frequencies less than 10 GHz. Isola Global manufactures FR408 that has a lower dielectric constant and dissipation factor. Although the cost of FR408 is greater than that of FR4, it is still an order of magnitude less than typical microwave laminates. As a result, this material can potentially be extended to higher frequencies by using electrically short interconnects in CMOS-based millimeter wave applications. The performance of transmission lines on FR408 for millimeter-wave applications is the focus of this research. The FR408 being used has a dielectric constant of 3.65, loss tangent of 0.013 and substrate and metallization thicknesses of 125 microns and 17 microns, respectively. These lines are being studied to integrate a CMOS IC with an antenna fabricated on FR408 for an integrated system-in-package solution. Ansoft HFSS simulation results for both lines show a return loss of 25 dB or greater and an insertion loss up to 2 dB for 10 mm long lines. Controlled impedances will be defined using clean room photolithography. The paper will present simulated and measured transmission line properties up to 110 GHz for microstrip and coplanar waveguide interconnects.
Supreetha Aroor, GSRA
The University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, TX

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