Isola Introduces Ultra-Low Loss Materials for Applications Over 100 Gbps

Isola Group S.à r.l., a market leader in copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials used to fabricate advanced multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs), announced that it has begun alpha testing of Tachyon, its new ultra-low loss product that is engineered to reduce insertion loss on high-peed digital designs. It is specifically being targeted for high-layer count backplanes for the growing 100 gigabit per second (Gbps) market that has channel data rates in excess of 25 Gbps.

The demand for more feature-rich applications and faster access to computing, high-definition television, video conferencing, video on demand and digital photography has propelled the need for 100 Gbps Ethernet into enterprise, data center and carrier networks around the world. Tachyon laminates and prepregs exhibit exceptional electrical properties that are very stable over a broad frequency and temperature range, making them suitable for next-generation designs that are engineered to use backplanes and daughter cards with faster data rates. Tachyon materials use spread glass and reduced-profile copper to mitigate skew and improve rise times, reduce jitter, increase eye width and height. Tachyon has a nominal dielectric constant (Dk) of 3.02 that is stable between -55°C and +125°C up to 40 GHz. In addition, Tachyon also offers a very low dissipation factor (Df) of 0.0021.

Tachyon laminate materials are available in optimized laminate and prepreg forms in typical thicknesses and standard panel sizes to provide a complete material solution for high-speed digital designs. It has been used successfully to build a 24″ x 36″, 36-layer backplane and a 16″ x 18″ 28-layer board, both 0.300″ (7.6 mm) thick. Each board was assembled and tested to validate that it met the signal integrity performance for the 25 Gb/s and greater channel requirement as a fully loaded board. Using industry standard test vehicles, Isola expects final electrical and thermal field validation and adoption in active designs in the second quarter of 2014.

This new product is in the same UL family as Isola’s I-Tera® MT very-low loss material and uses the same PCB manufacturing parameters. Its 70-minute curing cycle at 200 degrees Celsius provides improved press productivity and lower overall cost. Alternatives such as PTFE-based laminates have not proved to be viable either from a cost or from an ease of processing standpoint. Tachyon materials come standard with VLP-2 (very low profile copper with 2 µm surface roughness) copper foil.

Tarun Amla, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Isola stated, “This product is an example of Isola’s capability to rapidly address the needs of the OEMs. This product was developed in response to a specific end-user request. Within weeks, we produced Tachyon ‒ a product that was not only lower in cost, but also very easy to process. As the demand for higher speeds increase, our next-generation laminates and prepregs will enable even faster data rates.”

Fred Hickman, Senior Director of High-Speed Digital Products at Isola, added, “Tachyon is a product for large backplanes and very-high speed daughter cards. Isola would like to work with OEMs and PCB fabricators that have a real need for very-high channel data rates. Samples are available for qualified parties interested in testing this new technology.”

If you are interested in participating in alpha testing of Tachyon, please email For more details about the product, please visit

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About Isola

Isola Group S.à r.l., headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, is a global material sciences company focused on designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepregs used to fabricate advanced multilayer printed circuit boards. The company’s high-performance materials are used in sophisticated electronic applications in the communications infrastructure, computing/networking, military, medical, aerospace and automotive industries. For more information, visit our website at http://www.isola−