The increasing popularity of mobile communications, wireless data transfers, and instant access technologies is giving rise to the need for faster data rates and more data channels to support an ever-increasing number of users and their devices. To meet these demands, circuits must be made smaller and perform faster than ever before. One way manufacturers accomplish this is by leveraging materials that have good dielectric properties (complex permittivity) in the components and devices used to build these circuits (e.g., FR 4 and RF Duroid among others). Another way is to design these components and devices at higher frequency ranges where more bandwidth is available to transfer data more efficiently. However, while manufacturers are quoting good permittivity of the existing materials at low frequencies, these same solutions may not be adequate for designing high-frequency RF and microwave applications.
This application note will examine the issues component and device manufacturers and their engineers will face when designing their solutions in higher frequencies.