Isola Expands Its Portfolio of PCB Materials Engineered to Mitigate Skew in High-Speed Electronic Designs

Isola Group, a market leader in copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials used to fabricate advanced multilayer Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), today announced the introduction of Chronon™, the company’s latest ultra-low loss, high-speed laminate and prepreg materials engineered to mitigate skew issues in high-speed designs that have differential pairs. The introduction of Chronon, which follows the 2014 launch of GigaSync®, expands the company’s portfolio of PCB materials to mitigate skew in high-speed designs.

Independent testing has confirmed the ability of Chronon materials to reduce weave-induced skew. Skew caused by the glass-weave effect can be as high as 130 picoseconds when trace lengths exceed 20 inches. Using test vehicles from Speeding Edge, an independent consultant to the PCB industry, the maximum skew on a horizontal 14-inch trace using Chronon materials was five picoseconds. The maximum skew on a proprietary test vehicle from a large original equipment manufacturer was 1.79 picoseconds.

Chronon laminates and prepreg are in the same UL family as Isola’s Tachyon®-100G, I-Tera® MT and Astra® MT materials. PCBs manufactured from Chronon materials use the same parameters as Tachyon and Tachyon 100G products. Chronon materials are available with Reverse Treat Foil (RTF) and very low profile copper with 2-micrometer surface roughness (Rz) copper foil, otherwise known as VLP-2 foil.

Tarun Amla, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Isola stated, “Numerous OEMs have expressed concerns about skew issues on high-speed designs. The introduction of GigaSync, and now Chronon, reduces these issues. Although there are pre-emphasis and equalization techniques to recover the eye diagram from a near-closed state, skew poses a unique challenge. The current practice to reduce skew, signal rotation, is only partially successful and comes at a high cost. Chronon specifically eliminates the need to route signals at 5.0- to 7.5-degree angles to the glass weave, which saves board space and reduces overall cost.”

Fred Hickman, Sr. Director of High-Speed Digital Products at Isola stated, “After we introduced GigaSync, designers praised its skew mitigation capabilities but noted its high dielectric constant (Dk) of 4.13. Chronon delivers a lower Dk of 3.64, a lower insertion loss, and mitigates skew better than competitive products in the market. Since the Dk matches the leading competitive high-speed digital product, Chronon materials provide an easy path for OEMs to attain more bandwidth on existing designs without having to generate new Gerber data. Chronon and Tachyon can also be used in hybrid designs since they share the same UL file.”

Samples are now available from Isola’s Chandler, Arizona manufacturing facility. To inquire about this product, order samples and participate in alpha testing, please contact The datasheet is available at

To learn more about Chronon, please visit