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What are the effects of different board thicknesses in high frequency PCB?

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The design and performance of high-frequency PCBs are affected by many factors, including board thickness. According to the information collected, the impact of different plate thicknesses on high-frequency PCB is mainly reflected in the following aspects:

Signal Transmission Quality: 

The thickness of the PCB board directly affects the signal transmission quality and speed. Thicker PCB may increase signal transmission delay and loss, affecting signal integrity and transmission rate.

Characteristic Impedance Control: 

Board thickness will affect the characteristic impedance of PCB lines, which is a very critical parameter in high-frequency signal transmission. Mismatch in characteristic impedance may cause signal reflections and standing waves, causing signal distortion and noise.

Dielectric Loss: 

Dielectric loss is related to the thickness of the PCB board. Dielectric loss will increase as the signal frequency increases, resulting in increased signal loss on the PCB.

Skin Effect: 

As the signal frequency increases, the skin effect becomes more significant, and the signal tends to be transmitted on the surface of the conductor, resulting in a narrowing of the signal transmission path, thereby affecting the signal transmission efficiency.

Thermal Management: 

PCBs with different board thicknesses also perform differently in terms of thermal management. Thicker boards may have better thermal stability, which helps improve the reliability of high-frequency PCBs.

Processing Difficulty and Cost: 

Board thickness will also affect the processing difficulty and cost of PCB. Thicker boards may require more delicate machining processes, which may increase production costs.

Mechanical Stability: 

Board thickness also has an impact on the mechanical stability of the PCB. Thicker boards are generally stronger and better able to resist mechanical stress.

Dielectric Properties: 

The thickness of the board will affect the dielectric properties of the dielectric layer, including dielectric constant and dielectric loss factor. These parameters have an important impact on the transmission characteristics of high-frequency signals.

Design Flexibility: 

Thinner PCBs may provide greater flexibility in design, especially in high-frequency applications that require multiple layers of routing and compact layouts.


Weight and Space Constraints: 

In some applications, such as portable devices or spacecraft, PCB weight and volume may be restricted, which may require the use of thinner boards to reduce weight and save space.

Insertion Loss: 

The thickness of the board has a direct impact on the insertion loss of the signal. Thicker boards may increase the loss of the signal during transmission.

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC): 

Board thickness can affect the electromagnetic compatibility performance of PCB, because different board thicknesses may change the signal propagation path and the pattern of electromagnetic interference.

Inter-layer Signal Transmission: 

In multi-layer PCB, the board thickness will affect the transmission characteristics of inter-layer signals, including signal delay and crosstalk.

Thermal Expansion Coefficient: 

PCBs with different board thicknesses may have different thermal expansion coefficients under temperature changes, which may affect the precise alignment and long-term reliability of high-frequency components.

Material Selection: 

Board thickness also affects the material choices available, as some high-frequency materials may only be suitable for certain thicknesses of board.

Reliability and Durability: 

PCBs with thicker boards may exhibit better durability under physical shock and vibration, which is important for certain industrial and military applications.

Radio Frequency (RF) Performance: 

In applications involving radio frequency signals, the thickness of the PCB will affect the transmission phase and amplitude of the signal, thereby affecting the overall RF performance.

Assembly Process: 

Board thickness also has an impact on the PCB assembly process. For example, during wave soldering or reflow soldering, boards of different thicknesses may require different process parameters.

Weight and Balance: 

In some applications, such as drones or mobile devices, the weight and balance of the PCB are critical to the overall performance, and the choice of board thickness needs to take these factors into consideration.

Environmental Factors: 

The usage environment of PCB, such as humidity, temperature changes, etc., will also affect the selection of board thickness to ensure that performance can be maintained in harsh environments.

When designing high frequency PCB, these factors need to be comprehensively considered and the most appropriate board thickness selected based on specific application requirements and performance goals.

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