07. Characterizing cheap PCB circuit boards for RF applications

Many consumer electronic appliances contain circuitry to communicate at RF and microwave frequencies. Reliable and repeatable operation at these frequencies is always possible when RF grade PCB material is used to host the circuitry.  

The problem is that these materials are expensive, and therefore it is very tempting to use lower grade PVB’s such as the FR-4 substrates. The downside of these materials is that they are woven, and this results in inhomogeneities and direction-dependent behavior of the substrate. Up to now, this behavior was included as an uncertainty for the geometric design of the PCB, resulting in a wide spread of the circuit performance.

The goal of this work is to construct a verified simulation model that is compatible with mainstream simulators but nevertheless describes the behavior of the circuitry as accurately as possible. This model should ideally scale with the device geometry and allow designers to include the material properties early in the design of the circuits.

Theory: 20%, simulation and design 20%, signal processing 40%, experimental validation 20%



Yves Rolain
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