This post authored by John Coonrod originally appeared on the RogBlog hosted by Microwave Journal

Microstrip or stripline? That choice has been faced by high frequency designers for decades. Both transmission-line technologies are widely used in both active and passive microwave circuits, with excellent results. Is one approach better than the other? Before tackling such a question, it might help to know how each transmission-line technology works and what kind of demands each place on a printed circuit board (PCB) material.

Microstrip is a transmission-line format in which the conductor is fabricated on a dielectric substrate which itself has a bottom ground-plane layer. Conductors are usually formed by etching away unwanted metal from a conductor layer, such as copper.

Stripline is often compared to a flattened coaxial cable in that, like the cable, it consists of an inner conductor completely surrounded by dielectric material which is itself surrounded by a ground braid or foil. Of course, stripline circuits are planar, so that they appear as a sandwich of conductors in the middle, surrounded by dielectric layers, which in turn have parallel ground planes on the top and bottom.

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2 Responses to Microstrip Versus Stripline: How To Make The Choice

  1. […] frequencies, numerous transmission-line technologies are fabricated on PCB materials, stripline and microstrip are two popular transmission-line methods at higher frequencies. The transmission-line structures […]

  2. […] from a design. Many designers may be familiar with the stark differences between high-frequency microstrip and stripline circuitry. But GCPW circuitry, while also having its differences from traditional microstrip, also offers […]

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