Isola introduces very low-loss materials

Isola Group S.a.r.l. today announced Astra, the company’s breakthrough very low-loss dielectric constant (Dk) product for millimeter wave frequencies and beyond. Astra revolutionizes RF and microwave designs, as it delivers a thermoset solution, which is very easy to process and has stable electrical properties over a wide range of temperatures and frequencies.

The lead-free Astra laminate materials exhibit exceptional electrical properties that are constant over a broad frequency and temperature range. Astra features a Dk that is stable between 55 degrees Celsius and +125 degrees Celsius. In addition, Astra offers a lower dissipation factor (Df) of 0.0017, making it an extremely cost-effective alternative to PTFE and other commercial microwave laminate materials.

"Astra enables up to a 50 percent lower cost of ownership because of its processing advantages and lower price point. The product requires a press cycle that is roughly one-half that of competitive products and processing temperatures below 200 degrees Celsius, making it compatible with a wide range of hybrid products," stated Tarun Amla, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Isola Group.

Astra does not require the use of plasma cleaning, an offline and expensive PCB hole-wall preparation process. Astra also enables lower drilling costs, as its unfilled system provides easier drilling and extends drill life. It is available in all glass styles and thickness configurations, which eliminates the barriers to board thickness. Astra also demonstrates a high-peel strength, which enables use of special copper types to deliver very-low passive intermodulation numbers.

Astra is suitable for many of today’s commercial RF/microwave printed circuit designs that operate at 24 GHz. and 77 GHz frequencies. Key applications include long antennas and such radar applications for automobiles as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, blind spot detection, lane departure warning and stop-and-go systems.

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