Your Premier RF PCB Manufacturer in China

PCBMay is a Professional RF PCB supplier in China, RF PCB is radio frequency PCB or microwave PCB.

  • Over 12 years of PCB fabrication experience
  • All of our RF PCBs are RoHS compliant
  • Our items are available with a quick turnaround time
  • Every day, throughout the day, sales and engineering tech support is available
  • If you like, we can give a comprehensive CAM report for your order
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PCBMay Is Your Leading RF PCB Supplier in China

  • Over 12 years RF PCB manufacturing experience
  • Full range of RF PCB raw material in stock
  • Competitive price and delivery in time
  • No minimum order quantity for your new order
  • 24h quick-turn service for your prototype RF PCB
  • 100% E-test and final inspection

You will appreciate the RF PCB knowledge we provide here. RF PCBs are those that work at frequencies higher than 100 MHz. This High Frequency PCB is extremely adaptable as a product.

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RF PCB

Rogers RF PCB

Rogers RF PCB is purchased by customers for usage in the most advanced products, such as medical equipment and wearable IoT brands. You can choose the sort of surface finish based on your budget.

Ceramic RF PCB

Ceramic RF PCB can be used to make devices that are suitable for high frequency applications. These can be found in aeronautical or military applications. The thickness of the Ceramic PCB can be modified.

PTFE RF PCB

Your product will have the most minimal electrical loss thanks to the PTFE RF PCB. PTFE PCBs are perfect for Millimeter Wave and 5G applications. We can include sophisticated laminate materials.

Metal Core RF PCB

Metal Core RF PCBs are suitable for a wide range of RF applications. This is the highest-frequency laminate in terms of PCB stack-ups. Customers can also request high-heat-conductivity PCBs.

Taconic RF PCB

Taconic is a company that can produce RF PCB without lead. These eco-friendly Taconic RF PCB are worthy. You can save a lot of time and money while meeting the advanced demands of satellite, wireless, and other technologies.

Arlon RF PCB

We offer a large selection of Arlon RF PCB because it is a high-quality product. Tech advances necessitated its use. Arlon is a company that specializes in PCB material that is ideal for RF builds.

RF PCB By Layers (5)

  • Double-Sided RF PCB

    If product you’re selling is a type of mid-range electronics, PCBMay’s Double-Sided RF PCB is an excellent choice. Office equipment that require RF, but are mid-range benefit from this type of double-sided PCB.

  • 4 Layer RF PCB

    Rigid PCB and related components are commonly used in 4 Layer RF PCBs. However, a current tendency is to use Flexible PCBs alongside rigid components. This is particularly true when devices are made smaller.

  • 16 Layer RF PCB

    Plated-Through-Holes or SMD innovation can be used to create outstanding interconnects on these 16 Layer RF PCB. We also employ blind vias, buried via-in-pad, and buried vias. It will depend on the specs.

  • 20 Layer RF PCB

    The Multilayer 20 Layer RF PCB from PCBMay is efficient. Because it supports HDI design, it is a best-seller. Fiber Optic PCBs that have 16 layers are also employed in the digital environment.

  • 30 Layer RF PCB

    When your product requires extreme precision and zero tolerance for faults, we recommend a 30 Layer RF PCB. This PCB enables a more streamlined design, reducing the weight and size of your product.

RF PCB By Copper Thickness (5)

  • 1oz Copper RF PCB

    This tried-and-true 1oz Copper RF PCB adheres to PCB assembly rules by using standard soldering procedures. The 1 oz. copper is affordable, generally speaking, and can be used for most simple gadgets.

  • 2oz Copper RF PCB

    Consider that the surface treatment on the PCB makes it less prone to corrosion when utilizing 2oz Copper RF PCB. Hard Gold as a surface finish or as gold finger adds advantage and value to the PCB.

  • 3oz Copper RF PCB

    This is a thick copper PCB. Because of its durability, consumers prefer 3oz Copper RF PCB to PCB. As a result of the thickness, it is not only cost-effective, but also an excellent value for the money.

  • 4oz Copper RF PCB

    We guarantee that multiple types of 4oz Copper RF PCB are Halogen Free and Lead Free PCB, and we can customize them for customers with a high count PCB stack-up requirement.

  • 6oz Copper RF PCB

    The 6oz Copper RF PCB is available in a number of metal core materials. For example, we could utilize Silicon Nitride Ceramic. We want to keep copper conductors from oxidizing while improving solderability.

RF PCB By Type (5)

  • HDI RF PCB

    HDI RF PCB is essential in HDI display applications such high resolution monitors and audio equipment, especially those for aerospace. Surface finishes for our HDI PCBs include ENIG and ENEPIG.

  • BGA RF PCB

    Consider your IC requirements as well as space constraints when choosing a BGA RF PCB. This indicates that the pin density and signal layers are well-planned in the PCB design for your project.

  • High Power RF PCB

    High Power RF PCB benefits the end-device by enabling many interconnects with multiple layers. We can surely create this Multilayer PCB because we are experienced in PCB production with advanced capabilities.

  • Laser Cut RF PCB

    Due to its smooth quality, Laser Cut RF PCB has the most appeal. There is less residue than when manual drilling is employed, therefore clean is guaranteed. This is also key to speedy fabrication.

  • Microwave RF PCB

    Our Microwave RF PCB is utilized in a wide range of microwave frequency applications, such as mobile telecommunications and modern automotive electronics systems, even smart appliances.

RF PCB Advantages

Fast Delivery Time
Fast Delivery Time
PCBMay can offer 24H or 48H quick-turn delivery time for your prototypes, we use the forwarders such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, etc, which can meet your requirement.
Professional Team Work
Professional Team Work
PCBMay has one professional team from engineering, production, sales, and service support, who can support you in 7*24h, so just send your Gerber file & BOM list to us.
Cost Down
Cost Down
PCBMay can help you to put the cost down if you choose our service because PCBMay has one advanced auto production line, and there's not much labor cost.
Quality Control
Quality Control
PCBMay follows the IPC Class 2 or Class 3 quality control. There're IQC, IPQC, QPC, FQC, OQC, and provide high-quality products for customers.

RF PCB Properties

Your request for a vital RF multilayer PCB is simply fulfilled. We have a team of engineers committed to answering your questions. The following are the specifications:

Base Material: Rogers, PTFE, Polyimide, Ceramic, Arlon, Taconic, ITEQ

Copper Thickness: 0.5oz to 12oz

Board Thickness: 0.2 – 6.0mm

Minimum Line Width: 0.075mm/3mil

Minimum Line Spacing: 0.075mm/3mil

Board Thickness: 0.15 to 10mm

Tolerance of Outline Routing: ± 0.10mm

RF PCB Properties
PCBMay RF PCB Production

PCBMay RF PCB Production

Your RF PCB will not be delivered to your door if it does not meet our high standards.

We are careful with quality testing after RF PCB fabrication as a responsible PCB maker.

To assure product quality, we use tests like the Micro-Sectioning Analysis and In-Circuit Testing.

PCBMay keeps up with PCB trends around the world in order to improve the development of RF circuit boards.

As a result, we are always aware of the critical changes that must be made on a frequent basis.

The RF PCB Layer on your board will outperform the competitors.

As you can see, we not only provide you with the best RF PCB, but we also tailor it to your preferences.

Dedicated RF PCB Manufacturer for You

PCBs are also divided into categories based on their intended purpose. High Tg RF PCBs, HDI RF PCBs, Rigid and Rigid-flex PCBs are all possibilities.

In terms of PCB design, a Gerber file is all that is required to get the PCB assembly process started. We can help with PCB design using Kicad, Fusion, or Altium software if needed.

Aside from our superior RF PCB products, we can do PCB services for you. Some customers request wave soldering, PCB Reverse Engineering and backdrilling. We have the competence to do all that.

As you can see, we not only provide you with the best RF PCB, but we also tailor it to your preferences.

Dedicated RF PCB Manufacturer for You

Why Choose PCBMay for Your RF PCB

Why Choose PCBMay for Your RF PCB
Why Choose PCBMay for Your RF PCB 2

RF printed circuit board(PCB) means radio frequency PCB or microwave PCB. We often use it in our daily life such as smartphones, radios, robotics, and security systems.

If you have one project that needs to be produced in a hurry, PCBMay can help you to make it. We can produce the prototype of RF PCB within 24H and ship it by UPS, FedEx, or DHL.

We have full service for quick-turn jobs and state-of-the-art equipment. It can meet your complicated project deadlines and budgets.

The lamination of RF PCB has the specific characteristics for dielectric constant (Er), loss tangent, and co-efficient of thermal expansion (CTE).

As a leading RF PCB manufacturer in China, PCBMay can offer different types of radiofrequency printed circuit boards to meet your demands. Including single-sided, double-sided, and multilayer PCBs.

There are many different applications for RF PCBs, such as consumer products, medical devices, automotive, aerospace and defense, telecommunication, and industrial control.

Are you looking for a premier PCB supplier? PCBMay is your best choice. PCBMay has over 500 workers in our workshop and the monthly capacity is 40,000 square meters.

PCBMay is an excellent place for your RF PCB manufacturing. We have more than 3000+ customers all around the world and they are happy with our quality and& service.

When you have any RF PCB inquiries, please send them to us.

RF PCB Fabrication

RF PCB Inspection

For RF PCB inspection, we have the most up-to-date and trustworthy equipment.

Consider the Functional Validation Test as well as the Fixture and Impedance testing machines we have available.

We keep a close eye on minimizing waste and increasing efficiency with our continuous improvement technique.

Because we are RoHS certified, we also pay great attention to environmental concerns.

Please contact us if you have the RF PCB inspection method that isn’t mentioned on this page.

Our dedicated team treats you with courtesy. Inquire now!

RF PCB Quality Guarantee

PCBs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Looking at the Quality Guarantee of these RF PCB layers is one way to identify the good ones from the bad.

RF Multilayer boards have long been thought to be essential in high-speed electronic equipment.

They’re also involved in circumstances where high-frequency and high-current functions are required.

Our RF PCB Layer ensures that they last because they are classified as IPC class 2 or 3.

Only the best materials are used for our customers.

We can create your board for you from start to finish.

OEM & ODM PCB RF PCB Applications

RF PCB for 5G Applications

5G RF PCBs are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are designed to be utilized in harsh environments. The RF PCB type, whether stiff or rigid-flex, is significant.

RF PCB for High Speed Applications

High Speed RF PCB is the way to go if your project relies on high-speed communications since it eliminates hot spots. Lowering impedance requirements must be distinguished to ensure correct product design.

RF PCB for High Frequency Applications

High Frequency applications come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are enormous, while others are small enough to be carried in one’s hand. The pitch of the RF PCB layer is critical.

RF PCB for Aerospace Applications

Spacecraft and ground satellite uses are among the product applications for RF PCB for Aerospace Applications. High-quality RF PCB layers have been developed specifically for it.

RF PCB for Military Applications

These can include missile defense and power supply applications for HDI Military RF PCBs. Because of the dependability of HDI PCB Layer products. Thick Copper and High TG are frequently chosen.

RF PCB Production Details As Following Up

ItemCapability
Layer Count1-40layers
Base MaterialKBShengyiShengyiSF305FR408FR408HRIS410FR406GETEK370HRIT180ARogers4350BRogers4000PTFE Laminates(Rogers seriesTaconic seriesArlon seriesNelco series)Rogers/Taconic/Arlon/Nelco laminate with FR-4 material(including partial Ro4350B hybrid laminating with FR-4)
Board TypeBackplane、HDI、High multi-layer 、blind&buried PCB、Embedded Capacitance、Embedded resistance board 、Heavy copper power PCB、Backdrill.
Board Thickness0.2-5.0mm
Copper ThicknessMin. 1/2 OZ, Max. 10 OZ
PTH Wall25um(1mil)
Maximum Board Size1100*500mm(43”*19”)
Min laser drilling size4mil
Min. Spacing/Tracing2.7mil/2.7mil
Solder MaskGreen, Black, Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Purple matte/glossy
Surface TreatmentFlash gold(electroplated gold)ENIGHard goldFlash goldHASL Lead-free OSPENEPIGSoft goldImmersion silverImmersion TinENIG+OSP, ENIG+Gold finger, Flash gold(electroplated gold)+Gold finger, Immersion silver+Gold finger, Immersion Tin+Gold finger.
Min. Annular Ring3mil
Aspect ratio10:1(HASL Lead-free HASL LeadENIGImmersion TinImmersion silverENEPIG);8:1(OSP)
Impedance control±5ohm(<50ohm), ±10%(≥50ohm)
Other TechniquesBlind/Buried Via
Gold Fingers
Press Fit
Via in Pad
Electrical Test

Here there’re many laminate material datasheets, they’re useful and helpful for you, please see them:

SUPPLIERPCB LAMINATETYPEMATERIAL DATASHEETTGTDDK(1MHZ)DK(1GHZ)DK(10GHZ)
KBKB-6160FR4DOWNLOAD1353054.35
KB-6160AFR4DOWNLOAD1353054.35
KB-6160CFR4DOWNLOAD1353144.7
KB-6150
KB-6150C
FR4DOWNLOAD1323054.6
KB-6164FR4DOWNLOAD1423304.8
KB-6164FFR4DOWNLOAD1453404.8
KB-6165FFR4DOWNLOAD1503464.8
KB-6167FFR4DOWNLOAD1703494.8
SHENGYIS1141FR4DOWNLOAD1353104.6
S1141KFFR4DOWNLOAD1403504.7
S1000FR4DOWNLOAD1553354.9
S1170FR4DOWNLOAD1703354.6
S1000-2FR4DOWNLOAD1703354.8
S1155FR4DOWNLOAD1353704.7
ITEQIT-158FR4DOWNLOAD1503404.6-4.8
IT-180FR4DOWNLOAD1803504.5-4.7
TUCTU-768FR4DOWNLOAD1803504.3-4.44.3
TU-872Modified EpoxyDOWNLOAD2003403.8-4.03.8
ROGERSRO 3003Cer/PTFEDOWNLOAD5003
RO 3010Cer/PTFEDOWNLOAD50010.2
RO 4003Hydrocarbon/CerDOWNLOAD>2804253.38
RO 4350BHydrocarbon/CerDOWNLOAD>2803903.48
RT/duroid 5880PTFE/GlassDOWNLOAD5002.2
ISOLAPolyclad 370HRFR4DOWNLOAD1703404.8-5.1
FR406-HRFR4DOWNLOAD1903253.913.863.81
FR408-HRFR4DOWNLOAD2003603.723.693.65
P96PolyimideDOWNLOAD2604163.783.73
HitachiMCL-BE- 67GModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD1403404.94.4
MCL-E-679FFR4DOWNLOAD1703504.2-4.44.3-4.5
MCL-LX-67YSpecial LaminateDOWNLOAD185-195325-3453.4-3.6
NelcoN4000-13Modified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403653.73.6
N4000-13EPModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403503.43.2
N4000-13SIModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403503.43.2
N4000-13EP SIModified EpoxyDOWNLOAD210-2403503.43.2
TaconicTLX-6PTFEDOWNLOAD2.65
TLX-7PTFEDOWNLOAD2.6
TLX-8PTFEDOWNLOAD2.55
TLX-9PTFEDOWNLOAD2.45
RF35PTFEDOWNLOAD<3153.53.5
TLC-27PTFEDOWNLOAD2.75
TLC-30PTFEDOWNLOAD3
TLC-32PTFEDOWNLOAD3.2
ArlonArlon 25NCerDOWNLOAD2603.38
Arlon 25FRCerDOWNLOAD2603.58
Arlon 33NPolymideDOWNLOAD>2503534
Arlon 35NPolymideDOWNLOAD>2503634.2
Arlon 85NPolymideDOWNLOAD2503874.2
StablcorST325DOWNLOADThermal conductivity:75w/m.k(with 1oz copper)
ST10DOWNLOADThermal conductivity:325w/m.k(with 1oz copper)
PanasonicR-1566WFR4DOWNLOAD1403304.954.74.65
VentecVT-901PolymideDOWNLOAD2503904.2-4.54.0-4.3
VT-90HPolymideDOWNLOAD2503904.2-4.54.0-4.3
Bergquistht-04503DOWNLOADThermal conductivity:2.2w/m.k(with 1oz copper)

Delivery

PCBMay offers flexible shipping methods for our customers, you may choose from one of the methods below.

1. DHL

DHL offers international express services in over 220 countries.
DHL partners with PCBMay and offers very competitive rates to customers of PCBMay.
It normally takes 3-7 business days for the package to be delivered around the world.

DHL Forwarder

2. UPS

UPS gets the facts and figures about the world’s largest package delivery company and one of the leading global providers of specialized transportation and logistics services.
It normally takes 3-7 business days to deliver a package to most of the addresses in the world.

UPS Forwarder

3. TNT

TNT has 56,000 employees in 61 countries.
It takes 4-9 business days to deliver the packages to the hands
of our customers.

TNT Forwarder

4. FedEx

FedEx offers delivery solutions for customers around the world.
It takes 4-7 business days to deliver the packages to the hands
of our customers.

Fedex Forwarder

5. Air, Sea/Air, and Sea

If your order is of large volume with PCBMay, you can also choose
to ship via air, sea/air combined, and sea when necessary.
Please contact your sales representative for shipping solutions.

Note: if you need others, please contact your sales representative for shipping solutions.

On our website you can use the following payment methods:

Telegraphic Transfer(TT): A telegraphic transfer (TT) is an electronic method of transferring funds utilized primarily for overseas wire transactions. It’s very convenient to transfer.

Bank/Wire transfer: To pay by wire transfer using your bank account, you need to visit your nearest bank branch with the wire transfer information. Your payment will be completed 3-5 business days after you have finished the money transfer.

Paypal: Pay easily, fast and secure with PayPal. many other credit and debit cards via PayPal.

Credit Card: You can pay with credit card: Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro.

    • “Wow, what a wide variety of PCBs! The sales staff was also really friendly and customer service oriented. We’ve never had a better experience with an online PCB store and will most likely return to PCBMay in the future. Overall, we had a pleasant time. My supervisor also believes that their circuit boards are more cost-effective. Yeah, will come back soon.”

      Clive Jeffery, Materials Director from Australia
    • “Excellent product quality, delivery, and customer service. Several online retailers offer the same choices at bigger prices and with longer delivery periods. So I’m going with PCBMay. Even for small orders, the service is really accommodating. I appreciate it. The online chat experience is well worth it as well. Try making an order yourself; you’ll be pleasantly pleased by the speed with which this brand delivers!”

      Peter Perez, Procurement Director from Chile
    • “Right after trying a few other Chinese PCB companies, I decided to give this one a shot. A unique PCB size was required. Amy was extremely helpful in answering all of my concerns, and she even helped me narrow down which item I needed and located it in stock! Kudos. Will surely return, and my organization will place a large order shortly.”

      Mark Busuttil, Purchasing Agent from Malta

    RF PCB: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

    RF PCB or Radio Frequency Printed Circuit Board capable of operating signals with small wavelength high frequency.

    The laminate materials you can use on radio frequency PCB have unique characteristics and more advanced components compared to standard FR-materials.

    Therefore, manufacturing radio frequency PCB  is complicated compared to standard PCB and demands special skills from a manufacturer. We properly design RF PCB with appropriate high-frequency laminates.

    This article will share some of our knowledge on RF PCB with our clients or any member of the public who wants to learn about it.

    What is RF PCB?

    RF PCBs are the kind of Printed Circuit Boards that can operate over 1000 MHz frequency.

    PCBs that can work from 2 GHz and over are classified as Microwave PCBs.

    RF PCB

    RF PCB

    These days the RF PCB is high in demand and is widely used in various applications such as smartphones, remote controls, wireless security equipment, sensors, etc.

    Applications used in communication and networking highly depend on RF PCBs.

    How Many Types of RF PCBs Are There?

    The types of RF PCBs are as follows:

    ● Two-Sided PCB

    They have two conductive layers. This is the most simple form of RF PCB. Like other standard PCB, you will not find any single-sided PCBs.

    Two sided RF PCB

    Two-sided RF PCB

    ● Multilayer PCB

    You will find more than two conductive layers in a multilayer RF PCB. The number of layers can be up to 20. This type of PCB provides more freedom to the designers.

    Multilayer PCB

    Multilayer PCB

    What Are the Advantages of RF PCB?

    Radio Frequency PCBs can transmit communication signals efficiently because of their advanced components. RF PCB assemblies for communications and networking use high-frequency materials and are capable of providing various benefits to GHz and MHz applications. Here are some benefits that you will get from an RF PCB:

    • The stable Er and low tangent provide high-frequency signals to go through the printed circuit board quickly and with less impedance.

    RF PCB Layout

    RF PCB Layout

    • You can combine the materials in the Multilayer circuit board stack-up. This reduces assembly costs and ensures the highest performance.
    • The structure of RF PCB is highly stable in a high-temperature situation. This PCB can operate at 40 GHz if used in analog applications.
    • You can pace the delicate pitch components onto the board without too much trouble and optimum efficiency.
    • Because of the CTE materials used in this PCB, engineers can design complex layouts with multiple layers.
    • You can stack these materials in this PCB more uniformly than other PCBs, increasing performance and reducing production costs.
    What Limitations Does the RF PCB Have?

    The manufacturing process of RF PCB is more complex than an RF or Microwave PCB. Many problems can occur while receiving and transmitting radio signals. Therefore, strict rules need to be applied in the manufacturing process of RF PCBs.

    RF PCB signals are noise sensitive compared to standard PCBs. Consequently, they require tighter impedance tolerance.

    They are not really limitations of RF PCBs, but you have to consider those things when the manufacturing process.

    Which Technologies Use RF PCBs?

    As modern devices and applications largely depend on radio frequencies, the use of RF PCBs and Microwave PCBs are plentiful. We have listed some technologies that use RF PCBs at their core.

    Wireless Technologies

    TV remote, AC remote, and many other wireless applications depend on radio frequency to communicate between devices. Walkie-talkies are another excellent example of applications of RF PCBs.

    Wireless Communication

    Wireless Communication

    In the Police and the defense department, radiofrequency is the primary source of sending and receiving communication signals using radiofrequency. Therefore, RF PCBs are widely used to develop various communicative devices in those departments.

    Smart Phones

    Most probably, you are reading this article using your smartphones. This is the age of smartphones, and they have overtaken many other technologies over the last decade.

    Smart Phones

    Smart Phones

    Smartphones are dependent on multiple wireless applications. You can share information between two mobile phones or even connect to a PC or Laptop using hotspots. RF PCBs are required for such applications that depend on radio frequency in your mobile phone.

    Sensors

    These days you will find sensors in various applications. From automated doors, gates to the digital indoor system, sensors are necessary to function those technologies properly.

    Sensors

    Sensors

    Those sensors you see in your everyday life are developed from RF PCBs.

    Robotics and Security

    Military-grade security and robotics both technology depend on RF PCB.

    Robotics

    Robotics

    Those technologies are based on radio communications, and without RF and Microwave circuit boards, you can not achieve such equipment or applications.

    What Materials Are Used in RF PCB Manufacturing?

    When you are manufacturing RF PCBs, you have to be cautious and need to make several considerations. We have told you earlier that the RF PCB manufacturing process is more complicated than standard PCB. You also have to follow those standards when selecting materials for RF PCB manufacturing.

    The materials you will use must include dissipation factor, dielectric constant, and coefficient of thermal expansion.

    Considering the thermal conductivity and temperature coefficient of the dielectric constant would also be helpful.

    High-frequency materials such as PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene are ideal for RF PCBs for getting desirable dielectric properties.

    The most reliable RF materials are the combination of PTEF, hydrocarbons, and ceramics. Sometimes different types of glasses are also applied on RF printed circuit boards. In the best quality RF PCBs, you would find a combination of PTFE and micro-glass fiber.

    Though this has high CTE it comes with outstanding electrical properties. You can also achieve similar results from the combination of woven glass and PTFE.

    However, you can minimize cost at the same time retaining the quality by utilizing ceramic-filled PTFE. Ceramic filled with hydrocarbons makes the manufacturing process more straightforward. However, the reliability of the signal will be less in this case.

    Apart from that, the PTFE ceramics come with less moisture absorption rate. After incorporating the woven glass, the moisture level increases.

    After adding hydrocarbons to the PTFE ceramic, the moisture absorption level will increase. That is the reason why this is an excellent choice to balance between humid surrounding resistance and the cost.

    Can You Use FR4 in RF PCB?

    Using FR4 in your RF PCB manufacturing has several controversies. However, FR4 is the least expensive material to manufacture RF PCBs. Some engineers think this is an unstable one.

    FR4 for RF PCB

    FR4 for RF PCB

    There is a running debate whether FR4 can be used to manufacture RF PCBs that will be used in low-frequency and less demanding applications.

    FR4 is the worst loss tangent (tan δ) material and unsuitable for both broadband and high-power applications. If your budget is highly compact and the planning device has low frequency and low power, you can consider FR4. Otherwise, it would be a poor material selection.

    Ceramic-filled PTFE and FEP are the most common materials that you would find in RF PCB because of their low lamination temperature.

    One last thing, you should also consider the re-melt temperature if the board you are developing has the chance to work in tremendous thermal conditions.

    What Is the Manufacturing Process of RF PCB?

    The RF PCB is also manufactured from copper like other printed circuit boards in the market. At first, copper is coated to PTFE and then sliced away, which exposes the design of your RF PCB.

    The below steps are essential in the manufacturing process of RF PCB.

    1st Step: Designing The Board

    This is the first step of manufacturing RF PCBs. You have to create the blueprint of the circuit board you are going to manufacture. You have to use capable computer software to design the board.

    You can use a trace width calculator for achieving precise details of both external and internal layers.

    2nd Step: Printing Out The Design

    After designing, you have to print out the design of your RF PCB. You can print the design using a plotter printer. The printed film comes with every detail of all the layers you are going to use on your board.

    You need to use various colors for the inner and outer layers of the board. The standard rule is to represent the non-conductive with clear ink. Make sure you use black ink to indicate conductive circuits and copper traces.

    You will use similar colors for the external layers, but the meaning will be the opposite.

    3rd Step: Substrate Creation

    This is the step where your RF printed circuit board starts to take shape. As it is an RF PCB, you will use PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene as the insulating material to lock up the components on the structure.

    To start the formation, you have to pass the materials alongside an oven and semi-cure the content. You can pre-bond copper from any side of the layer.

    Now you can etch away to unveil the design of your printed circuit board.

    4th Step: Inner Layers Printing

    As you have obtained the design from the previous steps, you can now print it onto the laminate.

    You have created a photo-sensitive film using photo-reactive chemicals earlier. This is the time to use that film. When you expose that to UV light, that will harden automatically. The process is called resist. You can align the actual print and the blueprint easily with that.

    In the alignment process, drilling vias is an essential step. Now you can proceed with that.

    5th Step – Ultraviolet Light

    You have to pass both the laminate and the resist between ultraviolet lights when the alignment is done. This process hardens the photoresist.

    Moreover, the light helps to determine copper pathways. Black ink protects those areas you will remove later from hardening. Use an alkaline solution to wash the board. This process also eliminates excess photoresist.

    6th Step: Clearing Unwanted Copper

    There is still some unwanted copper, and you have to remove those from the board. You will need a chemical solution to perform this procedure. As a result of this process, all the unwanted copper will be gone from your board, remaining the hardened photoresist intact.

    7th Step: Inspection

    Before alignment, you have to inspect the layer you cleaned in the previous step. You must rely on the vias or holes you drilled initially for both outer and inner layers alignment.

    You can drill the pins into the holes with the help of an optical punch machine. Thus you can align the layers perfectly.

    You have to use another machine to perform further inspection to identify any defects in the board. You have to correct every possible mistake in this step, or you won’t be able to perfect that later and ruin the entire manufacturing process.

    RF Hardware and design tips

    8th Step: Laminating

    Now it’s time to join all the layers. You will need to adjust different layers with metal clamps.

    You have to place the epoxy layer into the alignment basin followed by a substrate layer. The following layer is built with copper foil, and then you have got another layer of epoxy resin.

    And the press plate is the final layer built with copper.

    9th Step: Layers Pressing

    You have to put the layers together by using a mechanical press and punching the pins into the layers. The pins should align the board appropriately. After finishing this process, it’s time to use the laminate press.

    10th Step: Drilling

    You have to use a computer-supported drilling machine to complete the drilling process of your RF PCB. The copper traces from this step will be removed.

    11th Step: Plating

    When the drilling is done, it’s time to plate the board. You have to use chemical solutions to connect every layer.

    Then you have to use various chemicals to coat the panel with a light layer of copper.

    12th: Imaging The Outer Layer

    Apply a photoresist layer as you have applied in the 3rd step. Then you have to use UV light to harden the photoresist. The UV light will also remove unwanted photoresist from this step.

    13th Step: Plating

    This is a repetition of the 11th step, and you have to plate the panel using a thin copper layer. This step protects the external layer from etching.

    14th Step: Etching

    You can use the chemical solution when you perform etching earlier to remove additional copper. The tin guard layer protects the copper, and you can establish the connection to your PCB board at this step.

    15th Step: Solder Masking

    Before applying solder masking, make sure you have cleaned all the panels perfectly. Generally, a green solder mask is used. Use ultraviolet light to remove unwanted solder masks.

    16th Step: Silkscreening

    You will print every crucial information about the board in this step. From here, the PCB board will be delivered for the last cutting and curing process.

    17th Step: Surface Finishing

    You should palate the RF Printed circuit board with a solderable finish.

    18th Step: Testing

    This is a vital test before using your RF PCB for application. An electrician is an ideal person to test your RF PCB. That person will check the final product following the blueprint of your design.

    Learn the design guideline of RF PCB

    How Do You Mount Components on RF PCB?

    You can use two methods to mount components on RF PCBs. These are:

    • Surface mounting technology (SMT)
    • Through Hole Mounting. (THM)

    In recent times through-hole technology is widely used. Connecting all the components to tracks in the inner layer of RF printed circuit boards is easy with this process.

    PCB components

    PCB components

    In this process, the components are easier to replace. However, you will need ample space to mount components using this technology, and placing the components manually is impossible.

    With surface mounting technology, you don’t have to drill holes on the board for electrical connections. The connection between the component’s lead and the tracks is direct. Pick, and Place machines are used to achieve this connection.

    Using the SMT method makes RF PCBs denser, and you can place components on any side of the board.

    What Are the Comparisons Between RF and other PCBs?
    • The first distinctive difference between RF PCBs and standard PCBs is that RF printed circuit boards can operate more than 1000MHz, and standard PCBs can not operate under such conditions.
    • The voltage and current requirements of the RF circuit boards are significantly different from standard PCBs.
    • There is no single-sided RF PCB. This type of PCB has a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 20 layers.
    • radio frequency PCBs are impedance and noise sensitive. Moreover, they are more at risk when exposed to electromagnetism if we compare them to standard PCBs.
    • The manufacturing process of RFPCB is far more complicated than standard PCB.
    What Is The Recommended Thickness for RF PCB?

    These PCBs have recommended thickness. You have to limit the thickness within that range.

    The most effective range of thickness for RF PCB is between .1 mm to 3.0 mm.

    How Many Layers Can Be Used In RF PCBs?

    Unlike standard PCBs, you can not make an RF printed circuit board with one layer. The lowest layer you can use to build an RF PCB is two. And the highest number of layers that you can use in your RF PCB design is 20.

    What Is the Importance of Vias in RF PCBs?

    Incorporating vias in the RF PCB makes the transmission more effective between the layers.

    Types of Vias

    Types of Vias

    Using at least two vias for each transition point is the most effective mechanism of using vias.

    What Are The Design Considerations Of RF PCBs?

    For effectively designing our RF PCB, you ought to follow some design considerations. Here are the references you should follow:

    Dielectric Constant

    The Dielectric dynamic constant of a material indicates how much electrical energy you can store in an electrical field.

    You must find out the frequency ranges of the material you will use. The testing method and available values for frequency ranges also should be considered. You should also consider the conditions of the application you are designing for.

    Coefficient Of Thermal Expansion or CTE

    From this, we can determine how much an object will change its shape in the changing temperature. It is crucial for both assembly and drilling of the RF PCB. You will use different materials with different CTE rates while designing your RF PCB.

    The upper layer should grow faster than the lower layer. If by any chance, the opposite happens, that will destroy the balance of the board.

    Loss Tangent

    For lower frequency design, you don’t have to consider this factor, but when you are designing for high-frequency, you have to take it seriously.

    You have to determine the loss tangent from the material’s molecular structure you will use in the manufacturing process. Materials can be burned off with heat at high frequency. You can overcome this problem by making the components dense.

    Spacing

    In RF applications, spacing can be a complicated process for skin effect and crosstalk. In crosstalk, boards can be responsible for coupling. And additional heat can be generated for skin effect.

    There are many reasons that can create such problems, such as trace length and width. You can minimize the distance to resolve this issue.

    Moisture Absorption

    This is based on the device’s surrounding environment. If the board you are designing will stay in an air-conditioned room, there is no need to worry. But if the device can face a variety of environmental fluctuations, that should be a top priority in your design.

    Performance Vs. Cost

    You can find materials with a high-performance quality, but the price is also too high. You have to balance between the cost and performance of your RF PCB design.

    What Is the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) in RF PCB?

    This number describes how an object will change in different thermal conditions. You can also measure the thermal robustness from CTE, which significantly impacts the assembly and drilling stage.

    In multilayer boards, there must be different materials with multiple CTEs, and some layers must grow quicker than other layers. Any misplacement here will endanger the board’s stability.

    Why Should You Not Use FR4 in RF PCB Manufacturing?

    The use of FR4 in the RF PCBs is controversial and considered less effective. FR4 is not capable of handling the temperature that high frequency can produce. Moreover, the loss tangent of FR4 is the worst among materials used in RF PCB.

    However, some manufacturers suggest that you can use FR4 for those devices that won’t be exposed to high frequency, but still, many engineers disagree with that.

    What Are Bonding Materials Used in RF PCB?

    You can not complete a board without using bonding materials. There are many bonding materials that you can use for your RF PCB.

    LCP and Ceramic-filled PTFE these two bonding materials are used in some RF PCBs. FEP is another bonding material you would see in many RF PCBs.

    Before choosing your bonding material, you have to consider several factors, such as low lamination temperature, re-melt temperature, etc.

    Manufacturers prefer both LCP and FEP for their low laminate temperature and lamination. The worry of thermal stressing and soldering are gone with these two materials.

    Looking for something more robust? There is a ceramic-filled PTFE for you.

    What Software Is Used in RF PCB Design?

    You would find a lot of software for designing your radio frequency PCBs. We can recommend Altium, but there are many, and you can choose any from them.  RF PCB software should provide all the necessary tools and options to design RF PCBs perfectly. Intelligent software will help to reduce the time you have to spend designing the PCB.

    What Are the Standard Qualities of RF PCB?

    Before picking up an RF PCB, you should consider the following:

    • First, you have to consider the material’s impedance stability.
    • You have to consider the signal loss tolerance.
    • The operating temperature of the board is also a crucial consideration. You should consider both the stability and temperature expansion under different temperatures.
    • The heat sinking ability is also a vital consideration point.
    Is RF PCB Recommended for High Voltage Devices?

    Yes, you can use them for high voltage devices.

    RF PCB’s substrates are not built with FR4 like the other standard PCBs. PCB can not sustain high temperatures.

    The substrates of RF PCB are built with many considerations, including dissipation factor, dielectric constant, electrical strength, coefficient of thermal expansion, and thermal coefficient.

    Conclusion

    RF PCBs are in high demand these days. The ever-changing modern technologies are responsible for this increasing demand. And the demand will not decrease in the near future as the technology is evolving more and more.

    Therefore, this is high time to invest in RF PCBs. But not every manufacturer is capable of producing high-quality and efficient RF PCBs because of their complexity. We are a leading radio frequency PCB manufacturer in China and deliver quality RF PCBs all over the world.

    Want to learn more about RF printed circuit boards? Just tell us what you want to know. Our PCB experts will answer your every question on demand.

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