New Manufacturing Process Solves mm-Wave Circuit Design Challenges

Industrial components startup, Integra Devices, has developed an innovative manufacturing method (AMALGA™) that allows fabrication of hollow, metal waveguide and coaxial structures inside and on top of electronic substrates. In addition, filters, diplexers, switches, attenuators, and other components can be integrated within these structures.

Now, millimeter-wave modules and assemblies can be miniaturized through the use of these low loss, high density interconnects and components; leading to high packaging density, excellent isolation, and low weight solutions. Batch fabricated on panels, AMALGA allows for scalable, cost-effective production, from hundreds to millions of units. MMIC's and active components can be directly integrated since these traces lay embedded or on top of printed circuit boards.

According to Integra Devices, millimeter-wave frequencies (28 GHz and above) are becoming increasingly popular for applications such as 5G wireless communications networks, to support moving massive amounts of data quickly. Unfortunately, current transmission line technologies provide challenges for mm-wave engineers looking to design practical systems.

Microstrip and co-planar waveguide circuits can be troublesome and require careful design since such circuits behave like antennas at high frequencies, radiating signal from the desired path and resulting in cross-talk and losses. Waveguide routing, although optimally contain millimeter wave signal, unfortunately, lead to large, bulky systems. The company is thus excited to offer the microwave/mm-wave world with a new solution to alleviate this dilemma.