An illustration of Aerosol Jet Printed interconnects connected to an mm-wave component

Optomec optimizes 5G Signal strength through Antenna interconnect solution

3D industrial printer Producers Optomec has designed a semiconductor solution that boosts the signal of 5G antennas efficiently.
The company’s semiconductor solution, which requires 3D printing to take advantage of millimeter-wave circuits into cell signal emitters, is noted to deliver an improved connection and fewer drop-outs to nearby users.

Since adopting its approach, Optomec’s customers have noted signal boosts of up to 100% and improved device effectiveness; thus, it is helping meet the increased demand for high-speed 5G.
” Reports from clients note highly impressive performance improvements for mm-wave interconnects.”

says Optomec Product Manager Bryan Germann.”Clients across many industries making use of mm-wave frequency bands are reaping the benefits of printing interconnects instead of regular wires or ribbon bands.”

Aerosol Jetted Electronics

Optomec’s portfolio of software, systems and materials is related to its two distinct technologies: ‘LENS’ Directed Energy Deposition (DED) and aerosol jet printing (AJP).

the former is used to find TurbineMaintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operations,

The latter finds its use case in @D or 3D electronics production at a microscopic level of detail.
The company’s Aerosol technology works by jetting nanoparticle inks on circuit boards and parts from a distance of up to 10 millimetres.
The droplets, reaching 1–5 in diameter, are then sintered together in individual layers, in such a way that interconnects to be printed directly onto conformal surfaces, eliminating the need for bulky circuit substrates.

The tech’s precious metal compatibility has also made it rather well-known among aerospace and consumer manufacturers,

With companies such as Samsung using AJP to advance its electronics production process, and Northrop Gruman using it to construct gold semiconductor interconnects, In a project that saw antenna part with improved connections.

Optomec following their success on Northrop Grumman’s research two years ago are optimizing its newly released HD2 AJP 3D printer to reproduce these results on a grander scale,

By pre-qualifying the machine for depositing interconnects on antennas in such a way that makes technology compatible for ‘direct integration into existing packaging lines.”

MMICs and high-speed internet

In the last couple of years, smartphone devices able to connect wirelessly to one another via radio frequency signals have increased dramatically.
This rise in demand has allowed the exploitation of higher frequencies such as “mm-wave,’

Due to meeting the capacity requirements, the high-speed 5G networks emerging throughout the world has garnered more attention.

To construct these high-speed arrays, The way that the millimetre-wave integrated circuits are planted inside them is a key factor determining their end performance.
While MMIC use has increased with a growth of 27% each year,

Optomec says their wider adoption has been greatly inhibited,

due to archaic methods often used to connect them.

Many existing ICs are joined onto circuitry using tiny gold wires, which become less effective as frequencies expand, causing users to experience low wireless range and high power consumption. To combat these issues, Optomec has disclosed its new semiconductor packaging solution, in which its Aerosol Jets connect to ICs, with such effectiveness that it nearly matches the copper etching seen in circuits.

“The benefit of shorter, better impedance is matched by transitions, with lower losses for each die-to-die or die-to-board transition,” explains Germann. “This leads to improvements in overall device effectiveness and performance.”

Increased Internet Speed

Early users of the company’s MMIC interconnect have noted a surge of up to 100% in transmitted signal power for each circuit connection in the millimetre range.

This, in turn, has also expanded adopters’ wireless transmission radius, increased the life of their antennas and enabled transmission of signals within the 30 to 300 GHz range.
The bandwidth is not only sufficient to meet the needs of a regular home or office network But is also enough to meet the needs of a next-gen mm-wave network that works at a frequency of up to 5 GHz, as well as those used in radar, automotive, defence and medical imaging applications, which functions at an even higher range than the previously mentioned frequency.

Enabling the utilization of 5G Across boards

Electronic 3D printing may still be relatively young, but progress in the technology is increasingly allowing scientists to develop 5G antennas with upgraded capabilities.

the University of Technology Sydney and Nano Dimension have collaborated to 3D print a 5G millimeter-wave antenna-in-package design, as part of a pilot project.

Set up to accelerate the R&D of 5G 3D printed electronics, so far the program has seen the creation of novel devices that could deliver enhanced bandwidth,

and become competitors to normal chips.

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