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BTS039 Has Copper Reached its Limits?

BTS039 Has Copper Reached its Limits?

By Eric Bogatin, originally published in PCD&M Magazine, Jan 2004
It used to be said that you could never send 2.5 Gbps signals down a circuit board backplane because of the conductor and dielectric losses. Then 2.5 Gbps systems went into production. It used to be said, okay, maybe 2.5 Gbps, but not 5 Gbps. Then 5 Gbps systems were introduced. Okay, maybe 5 Gbps, but surely not 10 Gbps. At 10 Gbps, surely we need to use optical backplanes. Well, even 15 Gbps systems have been demonstrated with FR4 over 50" lengths. What it takes in the design to reach > 10 Gbps performance in FR4 is illustrated in this feature article, as well as a glimpse of future technologies that may enable even 40 Gbps over copper.

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