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  • Material: Rogers RO4350B, RO4003C, RT/duroid 5880, RO3003, Arlon 85N, 33N, Isola ASTRA® MT77, I-TERA® MT40 (RF/MW), TERRAGREEN® (RF/MW), AGC Taconic TLX, RF-35
  • Controlled Impedance as low as 5%
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General Information of High Frequency PCBs

Have you ever heard of high-frequency PCBs? They are printed circuit boards produced by high-frequency laminates. They are typically used in radar, satellite communication, high-speed data acquisition and signal processing systems, high-speed digital networks, and more.

High-frequency PCBs require specialized design and fabrication processes beyond standard PCB production techniques. They call for high precision in alignment, copper plating, and high-temperature soldering of high frequency components. Designers must consider the high frequency electrical performance requirements imposed by high-frequency applications to produce high-quality boards that meet the desired performance standards.

Choose Viasion as Your High Frequency PCBs Supplier

Viasion is trusted high frequency PCB manufacturer more than 16 years of experience, please contact us any time for a free High Frequency PCB Quote.

Viaison has an efficient and dedicated group of technicians, engineers and sales staff with extensive practical experience in manufacture high-frequency PCBs.

Viasion continues to strengthen internal scientific management, the use of advanced production processes and establish a comprehensive quality assurance system, which provides a reliable guarantee for high frequency printed circuit board.

We have many years of experience in the production of high frequency PCBs so we can buy all kinds of high-frequency materials at low cost. Besides, our engineering and production team will help us to get the best yield rate. So we can quote competitive prices.

With excellent quality, reasonable price and a perfect service process, we provide you with the most professional, efficient and ideal service.


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    Material Requirements of High Frequency PCB

    • Dk value should be small enough and stable. A high Dk value is not conducive to the high-speed transmission of signals.
    • Df value should be minimal. Otherwise, the signal loss will increase.
    • The coefficient of thermal expansion of the material should be the same as copper foil as far as possible to avoid the situation that copper foil splits when it is hot or cold.
    • The water absorption of the high frequency PCBs material used in a humid environment must be deficient in avoiding adverse effects on Dk and Df.
    • Materials with good heat, chemical, impact, and peel resistance are preferred.

    Classification of High-Frequency Material

    Key Production Points for High Frequency PCBs


    In the cutting process, must keep the protection film in case of any scratches and indentations.

    • Prepare the High Frequency printed circuit board by marking drilling locations with a permanent marker.
    • Secure the high frequency PCBs to a holding fixture or work surface using screws, tape, or other support.
    • Select and install the appropriate drill bit for high frequency drilling based on your design requirements and material type
    • Connect an electric drill to a high-power power supply to ensure stable voltage during operation.
    • Set up the spindle speed according to your desired result and start drilling at a slow pace initially before gradually increasing it as needed throughout the operation.
    • Monitor progress closely while controlling heat levels continually to avoid damage caused by overheating components such as solder masking layers or copper foil insulation layers due to excessive frictional heat generated during high RPM spinning of drill bits.
    Hole treatment

    Plating the high frequency PCBs with a conductive material such as copper to create the necessary connections.

    PTH ( Plated-through hole )
    • When the drilling is completed, comes the next step. Electroless copper plating is used to fill each via with a metal layer. This process creates a conductive pathway connecting components on either side of the board.
    • After electroless copper plating, tin-lead solder alloys are applied over the high frequency PCB's entire surface. It provides additional protection against oxidation.
    Solder mask
    • Pre-treatment: before printing the solder mask, you can not use mechanical grinding PCB. It would help if the PCB were coarsened by micro-etching liquid medicine, like acid-washing PCB.
    • After pre-treatment, you need to bake the board ( 90℃, 30 min ), print the green oil and solidify.
    • After printing the green oil and solidification, there is a need to bake the board in three stages, first stage: 80℃ 30 min, second stage: 100℃ 30 min, and third stage: 150℃ 30 min ( If found the base material has oil throwing phenomenon, this can rework: clean the green oil, reactivation treatment. )
    Routing PCB
    • When doing the routing process, you need to cover two pieces of white paper in the circuit layers and use the 1.0 mm bare FR-4 ( had etching copper ) base plate or phenolic base plate put in the top and bottom to clamp. Avoid dust pollution.
    • Since the material is polytetrafluoroethylene, using a regular milling cutter to outline will have a lot of burrs, so we need to use a special milling cutter.
    Trace width tolerance

    Usually, the High Frequency printed circuit board will have a stringent requirement for impedance control, so there is a strict relative trace width requirement, and tolerance is about 2%.

    Some commonly used PTFE materials for high frequency circuit board
    • Rogers: RO4003、RO3003、RO4350、RO5880 etc.
    • TUC: Tuc862、872SLK、883、933 etc.
    • Panasonic:Megtron4、Megtron6 etc.
    • Isola: FR408HR、IS620、IS680 etc.
    • Nelco: N4000-13、N4000-13EPSI etc.
    • Shengyi, Wangling, Taixing Microwave Material etc.

    How to Choose Materials for High Frequency PCB?

    The following are tips on how to choose materials for High Frequency printed circuit. Please note the material will greatly affect the high frequency PCB manufacturing price.


    2.4 GHz Spread Spectrum Digital Microwave PCB materials are high-frequency printed circuit board materials that enable high-speed digital signal transmission for wireless communication applications up to 2.4GHz. They provide excellent electrical performance, high-temperature stability and low loss characteristics over a wide frequency range from 1GHz to 6GHz.

    These materials also offer good dimensional stability, high thermal conductivity and dielectric strength, making them an ideal choice for high-speed microwave designs in the mobile phone industry and other RF/microwave applications such as satellite communications and radar systems.

    For power amplifiers, use PTFE material, make as double layers PCB; For RF transceivers, use PTFE material, make as four layers PCB. Both use large area ground wire laying, and functional modules use shield cover isolation measures.

    The top layer uses 0.3 mm S1139 material, a large area of ground wire laying, via isolation.

    Use FR-4 material, and make four layers. Large area ground wire laying, functional module isolation strips use a string of vias to isolate.

    Use RO4350 material, make as double layers PCB, large area ground wire laying, spacing constraint ≥ 50-ohm line width, shielded with metal boxes, power input filtering.

    Use 0.8 mm thickness S1139 material to make a double-sided PCB.

    The Advantages of High Frequency PCBs

    Increased signal integrity

    High frequency PCBs are high-performance printed circuit boards with high signal integrity, essential for reliable communication and high-quality products. High signal integrity helps reduce the amount of interference and crosstalk between different components and any noise from external sources such as the environment.

    Improved power efficiency

    High Frequency printed circuits are also designed to reduce power consumption and improve overall power efficiency. It is done by reducing the heat generated from high-frequency operations, which helps to save energy and money on electricity bills. Additionally, high frequency PCBs can be designed to minimize the amount of power wasted in high-frequency operations, resulting in reduced wasted energy.

    Faster signal speed

    This edge makes high frequency printed circuit board ideal for high-speed computing, high bandwidth internet connection, and high-definition streaming applications.

    Enhanced durability
    High frequency PCBs are also designed to be more durable than traditional printed circuit boards. In addition, High Frequency printed circuits have enhanced layers that help to protect the board from high-frequency interference and high voltage surges. It helps to extend the lifespan of high-frequency PCBs, allowing them to be used for longer without needing to be replaced.

    High-Speed PCB VS High-Frequency PCB

    High-speed PCB Introduction

    High-speed PCB refers to the high-speed signal transmission PCB, and the information below will help you understand what high-speed signal transmission is:

    1. Any signal over 50 GHz is a high-speed signal.
    2. Whether the signal is high speed is not directly relative to the frequency, but when the rising/falling edge of the signal is less than 50 ps, it’s considered a high-speed signal.
    3. When the transmission path length of the signal is more excellent than 1/6, a signal is considered a high-speed signal.
    4. When the signal transmission follows the transmission path, and severe skin effects and ionization loss occur, the signal is considered a high-speed signal.

    The connection between high-speed PCB and high frequency PCB

    When frequency rises, the corresponding establishment and retention time will change accordingly to ensure enough adequate signal width, and the time of rising/falling will become smaller. For example, 100 MHz signal, the time of rising/falling is one nS. Then the effective signal width will be 10 – 1 – 1 = 8 nS if the frequency increases to 200 MHz. If not, reduce the time of rising/falling. Then, the effective signal width only remains 5 – 1 – 1 = 3 nS.

    Does high speed equal high frequency?

    Not really, but the rising frequency will bring a high-speed problem. It is a sufficient condition rather than a necessary condition. We can not judge if it’s a high-speed signal only by frequency, but we should analyze the high frequency weight it contains, actually the edge velocity.

    The difference between the characteristics of high-speed PCB and high frequency PCB

    Characteristics of high-speed PCB Characteristics of high-frequency PCB
    High-speed PCB products focus more on the material’s dielectric loss ( Df ). The high-speed materials commonly used in the market are also divided grade according to the big or small dielectric loss. Therefore, the difference substrate material will split into five corresponding levels of transmission signal loss: conventional loss, Medium loss, Low loss, shallow loss, and Ultra-low loss according to the substrate material’s dielectric loss ( Df ).
    Based on the information mentioned above, Some may conclude that “High-frequency materials differ in paying attention to the changes in dielectric constant (Dk) from high-speed materials. Is that right? “Right! High-frequency PCB products are prone to be impacted by the dielectric constant ( Dk ) change of material.
    So the critical points of high-frequency materials are the stability of the dielectric constant ( Dk ), the material substrate thickness, the temperature drift coefficient of the material and the stroboscopic properties of materials.
    Therefore, there need to be clear classification standards for high-frequency materials in the industry. Still, many PCB manufacturers had roughly classified high-frequency PCB according to the material’s dielectric constant ( Dk ). Therefore, those materials with the same dielectric constant ( Dk ) is considered similar and can substitute each other.
    There is also a customary way of division in the high-frequency material field: divide the material into PTFE material and Non-PTFE material. It is closely related to the application field of high-frequency products. The current RF field can be divided into two parts. One is the commonly used frequency under 6 GHz. They are 3.5 GHz, 2.7 GHz, and 1.8 GHz. The main products are power, amplifier, Antenna calibrator etc.
    The other part is the frequency over 20 GHz commonly used in a millimetre wave field. They are 24 GHz, 66 GHz, and 77 GHz. Mainly products are Radar products. And why division of material into PTFE material and Non-PTFE material is because with the increase of frequency, the influence of stroboscopic effect and dielectric loss on the signal transmission of Non-PTFE material will increase sharply, but PTFE material has better performance characteristics.

    High Frequency PCB Design Principles

    High-frequency PCB design requires understanding the fundamentals of high-speed electrical signals, radio frequency (RF) energy, transmission line effects, parasitic elements, and more. When designing high frequency PCBs, it’s essential to consider the following high-frequency PCB design principles:

    Impedance Control

    The impedance of high-frequency PCBs must be carefully controlled to ensure signal integrity. This includes controlling the trace width and length, as well as other parameters such as dielectric thickness and material properties.

    Ground Planes

    A high-frequency ground plane is essential for high frequency printed circuit board to provide increased shielding and reduce interference. Careful consideration must be given to ground planes, as they can induce high radiation levels if not correctly applied.

    Power Distribution

    It's essential to ensure that high-performance electronic devices have a well-designed power distribution network (PDN). It includes controlling the impedance of the power bus, integrating bypass capacitors to reduce high-frequency noise, and ensuring high-speed signals have a consistent supply.

    Signal Routing

    Careful consideration must be given to high-speed signal routing when designing high-frequency PCBs. Wider traces should be used for high-frequency signals, and high-speed signals should be placed away from high-current traces.

    Power supply and ground wire design

    The power supply and ground wire design are significant for high frequency PCB design. According to the different current sizes flowing through the circuit board, we need to increase the width of the power supply wire to reduce loop resistance. At the same time, the direction of the power supply wire and ground wire and data transmission shall be consistent. That will help to enhance the noise resistance capability of PCB.

    Avoid using a large area of copper foil

    In the PCB design, we must try to avoid using a large area of copper foil in the circuit as much as possible. Otherwise, the copper foil will expand and fall off when the heat is generated during the use process for a long time. We can use grid wire if we avoid using large-area copper foil.

    Component distribution

    Normally, high-frequency PCB design should consider the distributed parameter between components in PCB and try to arrange the components in parallelization. It is pleasing to the eye, easy to assemble, and convenient for batch assembly. Those components close to the edge of the PCB must make sure to leave a 3-5 cm distance from the components to the edge.

    Components' position

    While considering the components' position, we also need to think through the performances, like the Coefficient of thermal expansion, thermal conductivity, heat resistance and bending strength etc., of PCB, in case of adverse effects on components or PCB in the production.

    Arrangement principles of components
    • Under normal conditions, all components should arrange in the same face of the PCB, only when the top layer components are too tight, then can put some limited height and low calorific value components on the bottom layer, like resistor, SMT capacitor, SMT ICs etc.
    • On the premise of ensuring electrical performance, components should be put under the grid and arranged parallel or perpendicular to each other. In ordinary circumstances, components do not allow overlap; the Components array needs to compact, and input and output components must stay as far away as possible.
    • Between some components or conducting wire may have a very high potential difference. In this case, it is necessary to increase their distance to prevent accidental short circuits due to discharges and faults.
    • The components with high voltage should try to arrange in places hand hard to reach during debugging.
    • The components located on the edge of the PCB should leave a least two times the distance than the board thickness to the board edges.
    • Components in the High Frequency PCB surface should be evenly distributed, corresponding with density and consistency.
    • Normally, arrange the position of each functional circuit unit one by one according to the signal flow, centred on the core components of each available circuit and the layout around it.
    • The components' layout should be convenient for signal circulation, making the signal keep the direction as consistent as possible. In most cases, the flow direction of the signal arranges from left to right or from top to bottom. The component directly connects with an input terminal, and the output terminal should be close to the input and output connector.
    • The components with a strong radiated electromagnetic field, which are sensitive to electromagnetic induction, should increase the distance for each other or add a shield. The components shall be placed in a direction that intersects adjacent printed wires.
    • Try to avoid mixing high and low voltage components and try to avoid mixing strong and weak signal components.
    • Those components will generate electromagnetic fields, like a transformer, speaker, inductor etc. When doing the layout, we need to pay attention to reducing the cutting of the magnetic force line to the printed wire. Magnetic field directions of adjacent components shall be perpendicular to each other, reducing the coupling. Please follow the above high frequency PCB design guidelines.
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    High frequencies are achieved in PCBs through careful design and construction of the board, including the layers, trace widths and stack up, and material selection.

    The testing methods required for high-frequency PCBs are as follows.
    1. Electrical Test for Open and Short
    2. Automated Optical Inspection
    3. TDR impedance testing
    4. Functional Testing
    5. Solderability testing
    6. Thermal Testing
    7. Tape Test for Solder Maks
    8. Peel Test for Conductors

    1. The choice of the material requires careful consideration.
    2. The layout of high frequency PCB must be carefully optimized to prevent signal degradation.
    3. High frequency components are susceptible to environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, so manufacturers must take special care when fabricating them.
    4. Very experienced engineering and production team is needed to produce high-frequency PCB since it always needs very tight tolerance in PCB thickness, trace width and space, copper plating thickness, etc.

    To get a high frequency PCB manufacturing price, we need Gerber files and the quality you need. Please make sure the material type are included in the package. When you have a high frequency PCB manufacturing or RF PCB manufacturing demands, please free to contact our sales team anytime.