Tips for PCB Radio Frequency Design

Dated:2018-03-13      Popularity:1366

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In recent years, one of the common features of electronic products is the adoption of wireless technology, which is extremely dependent on radio frequency (abbreviated as RF) circuits. For many years, the RF part of the PCB has been designed by independent designers with RF design expertise.

As RF part continues to increase, PCB designers and engineers realize that to improve productivity and PCB product quality, it is best for them to solve RF design challenges in their own design tools. In this article, EPCB will introduce six useful tips to help you simplify any RF PCB design tasks.

1.Maintain an accurate and precise RF shape

To minimize errors, simplify RF design tasks and increase productivity, PCB design tools provide import control for complex copper foil shapes. For example, you can create a usable copper foil shape by controlling the layers in the DXF file and re-imaging it to the CAD electrical system layer.

2.Keep corner shape

When designing foil shapes for RF and microwaves, one important aspect is the ability to create Gerber files with sharp corners. Excellent PCB design tools can simplify this process. For example, drawing a shape with 50mm lines tends to get a smaller radius than drawing with a 50mm circular aperture. When creating a Gerber file, the design tool can obtain a sharp corner by correctly automatically converting the line width.

3.Chamfered corners

The chamfer is often used in RF and microwave circuits to reduce the segmented discontinuity impedance between the supply line and the capacitor, thereby improving the frequency performance of the MMIC. The distance between the 90 degree corner and the chamfer is crucial. Therefore, designers need to use an automatic method to specify the required chamfer ratio based on the design.

4.Use Automation is good to coplanar and channel waveguides arrangement

Coplanar waveguides and channel waveguides are also common in RF and microwave designs. When established manually, this task can be very time-consuming and error-prone. Designers need to control the specific distance between the trace and via, as well as the distance between a via and another via to ensure that the circuit performance can meet the design requirements.

5.Use Automation Stitching Vias

Another important aspect of RF design is to ensure proper use of vias to shield specific areas. Although this task can be manually performed by the designer, this process is extremely time consuming. If the PCB design tool automates this process, it will reduce the design cycle time and ensure that all your design rules are met. With such design tooling, designers can specify via patterns to generate specific rules, leaving the rest of the work to the PCB design tool.

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