Virtual Course: Selection Criteria of Surface Finish for Next Generation PCB Technologies


Online Events


Wed, April 20, 2022




When:Wednesday, April 20, 2022
10:00AM (US Central)


Presenter:Kunal Shah, LiloTree

Contact:SMTA HQ

Online registration is available until: 4/20/2022

SMTA International Professional Development Course

Selection Criteria of Surface Finish for Next Generation PCB Technologies:
HDI, High Frequency, RF-Microwave, 5G

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 | 10:00am-1:30pm US Central 

Instructor: Kunal Shah, LiloTree

The advent and ongoing evolution of internet-enabled mobile devices has continued to drive innovations in the manufacturing and design of technology capable of high-frequency/high-density electronic signal transfer. The combined requirements for both fast, always-on data transmission, and small geometric form-factors can be difficult to satisfy without compromised performance and signal loss.

Selection of materials used in PCB manufacturing is critical for optimum performance of the electronic assembly. Among the primary factors affecting the integrity of high frequency signals is the surface finish applied on PCB copper pads – a need commonly met by technology manufacturers through the electroless nickel immersion gold process, ENIG. However, a well-documented limitation of ENIG is its insertion loss due to the inferior conductivity of nickel over copper, leading to higher conductor losses. Additionally, nickel’s ferromagnetic properties adversely affect circuit performance. The result is an overall reduced performance in high-frequency data transfer rate for ENIG-applied electronics, compared to bare copper.

The selection criteria of surface finish for 5G, high frequency, HDI, RF-Microwave applications, etc. (next generation PCB technologies) involves minimal insertion loss, long shelf life, cost-effective and high reliability. There are few options (EPIG, EPAG, DIG, etc.) available in the market and their pros and cons will be discussed. Moreover, an innovative nickel-less approach involving a proprietary nano-engineered barrier designed to coat copper contacts, finished with an outermost gold layer has shown superior benefits over contemporaries.


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