In the last three years, activities related to the rollout of 5G networks have increased. Stakeholders in the 5G industry are actively trying to build 5G infrastructures to ensure uninterrupted connectivity. However, stakeholders face challenges related to transmission losses in 5G electronic components, such as 5G antennas, filters, circulators, cables, and wirings. This has resulted in the need for high-performance materials with low-loss properties. Materials with low dielectric constant, dissipation factor, and moisture absorption are being investigated as they can potentially address the challenges related to transmission losses. In addition, materials with thermal stability needed to resist the circuit boards production conditions and thermal conductivity to distribute the heat generated during operations at high frequencies are also in demand.

Among 5G components, 5G antennas are considered as one of critical components driven by rise of consumer electronics and the changes in 5G infrastructure toward decentralization, which requires massive construction of base stations that contain large number of antennas.

Materials such as liquid crystal polymers, polyimides, fluoropolymers, or low temperature co-fired ceramics are currently used for 5G antennas. However, their limitations, such as high dielectric constant and high prices, are driving R&D efforts to develop new high-performing and cost-effective materials. Emerging material alternatives such as glass or polymeric resins, including polyphenylene ether and polyphenylene sulfide resins are being investigated for use in 5G networks due to their promising dielectric and thermal performance.

This research titled “Materials for 5G Infrastructure – Technology and IP Analysis” focuses on various emerging materials and assesses the advantages and limitations of each and its applicability in 5G infrastructure and components, specifically 5G antenna and substrate materials. The research also provides an analysis of materials and performance characteristics, properties, and technology-readiness levels.

The analysis contains a comprehensive overview of key stakeholders active in developing 5G antennas substrate materials and recent research and commercial developments.

Briefly, this research provides:
  • 5G infrastructure overview
  • Types of 5G components
  • Types of materials used in 5G antennas
  • R&D initiatives
  • Patenting trends and insights
  • Companies to action
  • Growth opportunities for 5G material developers