Shielding RF Components at the Package Level

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  • Author: Scott Morris and Eric Schonthal

Because original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) want to bring new products to market quickly, common platforms are used whenever possible to reduce costs and development time. While standardized individual components can be used in multiple product designs to defray costs, predicting electrical interference between various designs can be difficult or impossible. Even though electromagnetic shielding is necessary in radio frequency/microwave applications, and is often a requirement from the customer, it is often retrofitted to the design of electronic components. This approach can cost designers in terms of form and performance. A shield implemented at the customer level can change the performance of the design through electromagnetic coupling between its components and/or the shield. This effect causes delays as the customer and OEM go back and forth tweaking the design and the shield to achieve the desired results. If the shield is treated as an integral part of the design, however