Designing Laminate PCBs at Microwave Frequencies

Laminate PCB technology is now routinely used for the realisation of low cost subsystems operating at frequencies up to around 40 GHz. The wide availability of both microwave components in SMT compatible packages and high performance, low cost laminate PCB materials have made this possible. However, careful design and attention to detail is vital in order to avoid serious performance issues at microwave frequencies. This technology overview presents guidelines and useful tips for optimising the performance of SMT based laminate PCBs operating at microwave frequencies.