When you deal with LED lighting PCB design, you might have come across aluminum PCB, which have a different core material than a normal and standard PCB utilized in commercial products.Are there different kind of cores for a PCB depending on the robustness and end purpose of the device it was designed for then?In this article we will analyze more in detail the Rogers PCB, and its applications and difference among conventional PCB design.
What is Rogers PCB?
In simple terms, a Rogers PCB is related to a PCB that is manufactured by Rogers Corporation, but it is also extended for companies that produce or create PCBs with the raw materials elaborated by Rogers. These raw materials are ensured to have high-frequency capable materials, consider Roger PCB materials as state-of-art, and dedicated for advanced PCB components, since they do not have glass fiber in the middle (ceramic-based), more on this below.
Why use Rogers PCB?
A Rogers PCB is distinguishable for their trend in market innovation. The dielectric constant is unbreakable with copper, which provides high-frequency PCB and high-speed circuit suitability (high impedance stability), among other features such as low water absorption, which make them robust to humid environments and their good balance with thermal dissipation. Hence, the applications of Rogers PCBs are for robust RF and high-speed, as well as military and spacecraft, as well as for the automotive industry.
What is Rogers PCB substrate?
The Rogers PCB substrate is different from conventional PCBs which utilize plastic or metal-based substrates.
Curamik® is made from ceramic elements that bring the toughness, electrical and heat dissipation properties from ceramic crystals which make these fabricated Rogers PCBs suitable for harsh environment such as electric vehicles or renewable energy markets.
It is important to state that there are many families for these substates, but the main base for them consist of aluminum oxide, aluminum nitride, zirconium as well as silicon nitride to provide these unique thermoelectrical properties that robust designs require: thermal conductivity, coefficient of linear thermal expansion, fracture toughness and bending strength.
What is Rogers PCB materials?
The Rogers PCB materials have a wide range of combinations of laminated materials; these laminates are constituted by Teflon-like (PTFE-like) laminates, and this has to do with the balance between cost and the impedance matching properties that a design might require, as an example for these combinations, Rogers 3003, Rogers 4000, Rogers 5870 and Rogers 6002 stand out in the Rogers PCB market. These PTFE-like laminates are elaborated in order to imitate the dielectric and performance of that as Teflon.
This description of the substates utilized for Rogers PCB would not be complete without citing the that these PTFE laminates are reinforced with bonding materials such as TECA Film, Ceramic PTFE bond ply and hydrocarbon as bonding components.
What are the applications of Rogers PCB?
As stated above, a Rogers PCB is suitable for high RF frequency and microwave applications, PCBs that can withstand rough and harsh conditions.You may find Rogers PCBs in telecommunications equipment (4G, 5G lately), RFID, Radar and Autonomous driver applications, avionics, and spacecraft related boards.
On the other hands, there are also high-speed communication capabilities due to the impedance stability provided by the substrate and laminate combination, making the Rogers PCB suitable for automotive ethernet, military communications, high-definition video PCB as well as reinforced PCB antennas.
What is the difference between FR4 and Rogers?
When it comes to a comparison between these two kinds of PCBs, it is important to remark that both have different application markets and the most suitable to choose from will be derived from the designer’s end application and needs. While a Rogers PCB can provide more stability and robustness, price could become a key factor to balance the design decision, especially when FR4 is utilized for low budget fabrications.
With that being said, below you can find the key differences between a Rogers PCB and an FR4 PCB:
- Signal loss: Due to the difference in dielectric coefficients, it is evident that a Rogers PCB will have more signal integrity quality properties due to its Teflon-like core, which can reduce up to a twenty percent the dielectric coefficient.
- Thermal Management and Impedance stability: Such ceramic-like properties make a Rogers PCB resistant to the heat dissipation from high-speed lines, which in fact, correlates to more stability on the impedance side.
Why is Rogers PCB better than FR4 PCB?
The answer depends on a product end application. Again, if cost-effective and non-critical electronic devices, FR4 is the de-facto solution. But in the case of the telecommunications market, a Rogers PCB will provide you with a diverse set of dielectric constant options than FR4. The main differences to consider and in which Rogers PCB will excel are related to temperature dissipation, signal integrity and dielectric: higher PCB performance.
What technology does Rogers PCB use?
A Rogers PCB is an advanced electronic solution due to its performance numbers. This is in fact, due to the material technology utilized in its fabrication. Mostly, the Rogers PCB is an integration of latest material science integration, which utilizes ceramic-like material properties for thermal dissipation and high frequency material in combination with the lack of glass fiber in the middle as stated above.
Finally, let us remember the design conditions and requirements to be implemented at the end design. Most prototyping will not include a Rogers PCB implementation unless critical, but when performance is a must, it is important to consider the numbers and combination of Rogers PCB materials to utilize to be frugal and accurate. It is recommended to talk to your PCB manufacturing partner in order to find the specific substrate that suits your high-end RF or high-speed PCB application.