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The Development & Applications of 5G Millimeter Wave Cable

Release date: 10 - Sep - 2020

The Development & Applications of 5G Millimeter Wave Cable

In the past few years in the telecommunications market, it is obvious that the application of millimeter wave cable assemblies has become more and more extensive. The cable assemblies early applications were mainly used in the military industry and laboratory test equipments. Now with the gradual promotion of 5G applications, the demand for millimeter wave cable assemblies is increasing.

In the past, the radio frequency (RF) signal transmission of complete equipment in domestic and abroad was usually no more than 18GHz. With the advancement of equipment informatization and modernization, the low-frequency spectrum gradually became saturated, and the application demand for higher frequency in the future will be more and more. High-frequency transmission has the advantages of large capacity, high speed, wideband frequency, high directionality, confidentiality and strong anti-interference, it conforms to the development trend of miniaturization, modularization and integration of electronic systems.

Today let’s talk about millimeter wave cable assemblies.

1. What is millimeter wave cable?
Millimeter wave usually refers to the electromagnetic wave band of 1~10mm, and the corresponding frequency is 30GHz~300GHz. It is located in the overlapping wavelength range of microwave and far-infrared wave, so it has the characteristics of these two kinds of waves.
That is to say, the applicable frequency band of coaxial cable is ≥30GHz, which can be called millimeter wave cable.

2. What are the characteristics of millimeter wave cables?
a. High frequency band
Currently maximum use frequency band is 110GHz, and the outer diameter of the cable is about 1.5mm
b. Best overall electrical performance
Because the structure of the millimeter wave cable and the chosen of materials determine the cable electrical performance.
c. Stable temperature phase and mechanical phase
One type of cable which called phase stable cable is widely used now, it can be divided into millimeter wave cable series.

Millimeter-wave cable assemblies have good temperature phase and mechanical phase, so this type of cable can be used in a wide range of environments. For temperature changes or vibration, torsion, and multiple retractions environments, this type of cable is most recommended.

Temperature phase stability: When the cable is assembled into a component (cable assemblies), the ambient temperature changes, or heat generate due to signal transmission loss and temperature changes, the amount of changes in the electrical length of the cable assemblies.
Mechanical phase stability: the amount of changes in electrical length when cable assemblies under the specified mechanical bending or twisting state.

d.High temperature resistance
Applicable temperature range: -55℃~+165℃

If customer has an application that exceeds this temperature range, such as the application minimum is -90 degrees Celsius, we can also develop and design according to the customer's specific requirements.

3. Typical applications of millimeter wave cables
ZB220 cable for phased array radar, electronic countermeasures, and missile-borne applications (one of the phase-stabilized series);
ZB220 cable is a stable phase cable with an outer diameter of 2.2mm;
It is widely used in the military industry. On the one hand, it has stable performance and transmission. On the other hand, it has small size and light weight. It is suitable for small space applications and maximum frequency band up to 67GHz.

In recent years, many military products have been miniaturized. Take the phased array radar as an example, the demand of cable used in new radar is indeed much less than in the early years. The connection and transmission of many modules have been changed from traditional line connections into board-to-board approach. However, the application of phase stable cables is still indispensable for some occasions that require power resistance or polish. Therefore, the control of the cables and cable assemblies technologies has become more stringent.

ZB360 cable can be used (one of the test grade series) for 5G communications, laboratories (such as electromagnetic compatibility laboratories), experimental equipment (network analyzers), etc.ZB360 cable is a test-grade cable, and its high quality mechanical phase stability (stable performance during bending) has won the application opportunities in these occasions. The maximum frequency range is up to 40GHz.

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