PCB Industry may have a Bright Future with Polymer Waveguides

The era of conventional copper technology for the telecommunication industry may be at an end. The recent trend that is doing the rounds is using short fiber links and polymer waveguides interconnects for improved telecom applications. Experts believe that using these two interconnects will completely change the bandwidth speed, as well as reduce costs and overall energy utilization.

So what does this have to do with rigid printed circuit boards? Rigid PCBs are extensively used in a variety of telecom applications. Using short fiber links or polymer waveguides will greatly improve the importance of utilizing printed circuit boards in telecom applications. Tests conducted with polymer waveguides have shown that they are compatible with both rigid and flexible PCBs.

PCB in polymer waveguides

How Fiber Links and Waveguides can help PCBs

There will be many advantages of using fiber links and waveguides with PCBs:

  • Both interconnects can be easily integrated with the PCB.
  • Using polymer waveguides can drastically reduce the costs for PCB design and assembly as the waveguides will be integrated directly into the PCB.
  • Short fiber links will be the next best option as it is placed on top of the PCB for integration.
  • Polymer waveguides can allow for the creation of complex PCB layouts with wire crossing in a single waveguide layer.

How PCB Manufacturers Can Take This Forward

While this new piece of news is quite promising, to ensure the success of this trend, PCB manufacturers will have to certain calculative steps:

  • There will have to be a strong partnership between manufacturers, material suppliers, computer designers, and PCB developers.
  • PCB manufacturers will have to make use of the latest in flexible polymer waveguides.
  • The polymer waveguides will have to be tested for high temperature capabilities as PCBs are often exposed to high temperatures when being used in industrial high-tech computers.

To successfully integrate polymer waveguides with PCB technology will take some time. But the positive reviews of polymer waveguides are definitely setting the stage for a brighter future for the PCB industry.

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