Critical in many new projects is a transparent interface to the board - one you do not even notice is there. This connector to board interface is referred to as the board “launch”, where the RF energy transitions from the connector to the board. Shown in (Figure 1) is a typical design with 2.92 mm interface 40 GHz connectors on the edge of the board. For designers moving to higher frequencies, into the 20 GHz range and higher, just treating an SMA connector as a lumped 50 ohm element and mechanically joining it to the PCB or using a standard footprint will no longer suffice. For these designs it is now common that 3D electromagnetic software tools, such as supplied by COMSOL®, are used.
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