Chances are, you probably heard of the big talk surrounding 5G technology by now. Communication service providers tout how 5G will change everything in our lifestyles in their commercials and public announcements. But is 5G technology just a gimmick, or will it really change the future? Well, it turns out that it will… thanks to sophisticated improvements in copper etching.
How Chemical Etching Impacts Smartphones
Smartphone SIM card microchips demand a great deal of precision when manufactured, and it begins with how the copper alloy is etched. The lines and grooves cut within the chip must be as perfect as possible in order to deliver the desired signal range. Unlike laser or press-cut etching techniques, chemical etching can achieve these exact lines without running the risk of burrs or microscopic dents in the metal. And now, a new form of copper etching technology has emerged – mSAP, or a modified semi-additive process. This particular process is the reverse image version of the subtractive process of copper etching. In short, the mSAP process adds copper to the resist rather than removing the resist to allow the etching to take copper away. The result is a much cleaner straight line into the metal, rather than a line resembling more like a variable angled slope. Thus, mSAP allows much greater precision to the plate’s shape and a better phone signal, paving the way to 5G technology.
What a 5G World May Look Like
But 5G impacts much more than smartphones… it allows the Internet of Things era to become a reality. We’ve already seen smart home technology make an appearance. Now add to that picture smart cars with the ability to sense incoming pedestrians, traffic hazards, and more. Cities could incorporate smart city technologies for citizens to interact with on a daily basis, and the list goes on. How we work, shop, and even recreate could look even more interconnected than it does today thanks to the power of true 5G technology. 5G demands much more gigabyte space and battery power to run more sophisticated software and mSAP copper technology holds strong promise for delivering those demands.
The Future of 5G
Is the 5G future here today? Well, not quite. 5G networks are popping up across the United States, but from a national standpoint, we still have a ways to go. As more smartphones with 5G capabilities are becoming available, cities and geographical areas are slowly getting their network infrastructure ready to handle the technological load. Some places have low-band and others have high-band capabilities, but it appears that a mid-band 5G network is the way to go across the board. When that will happen we don’t know for sure, but one thing is for certain. The improvements of etching copper are a game-changer in manufacturing and will undoubtedly launch us into an exciting future.