Microwaves & RF, May 3, 2019, Camilo Gómez-Duarte, Benjamin Kahtan, Aaron Vaisman
What are the key ingredients for developing customized surface-mount packages that will ultimately achieve good electrical performance from dc to 50 GHz?

After many years of research and development, electrical engineers, physicists, mathematicians, and scientists have come to realize the benefits of operating communications systems at higher frequencies. Some of the most notable advances stemming from this research include smaller circuit implementations for the same functionality, improved antenna gain for a given antenna size, and dramatic increases in data-carrying capacity. However, numerous challenges remain in implementing high-frequency circuits under real-world constraints. Among the non-trivial problems, packaging is one that stands out.

It’s critical that packages for RF components allow for the integration of multiple circuital technologies while achieving the best possible balance of performance and cost for a given application. Nevertheless, traditional packaging techniques have proven incapable of translating the same performance typically seen below X-band into the millimeter-wave (mmWave) range due to embedded parasitics and other inherent technological constraints. These limitations have led the design community to leverage the latest packaging technologies, novel design methodologies, and advanced CAD tools to develop cost-effective, scalable packaging solutions for high-frequency markets and applications.

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