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Amplifiers / Antennas / Manufacturing/Services / Materials/Packages / Optical / Passive Components / Semiconductors / Integrated Circuits / Software & CAD / Subsystems and Systems / Test and Measurement / Transmission-Line Components

European Microwave Week 2010, Paris: Style and Substance

October 6, 2010
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Paris is renowned as being the centre of the world’s fashion industry, but it was the RF and microwaves, wireless technologies, semiconductor and radar communities that took centre stage at the CNIT conference and exhibition centre for the 13th European Microwave Week, that ran from 26 September to 1 October. Just as the top designers use the city’s catwalks to show off their latest creations, the Week provided a stage for the industry to demonstrate, first hand, the depth and scope of its academic and commercial endeavours. Since last staging EuMW in 2005 the CNIT has undergone a facelift that would make the ‘nip and tuck’ fraternity of Paris proud and the venue was generally well received by over 4,600 attendees– comprising delegates, exhibitors and visitors – who came through the doors.

Importantly though, as well as style, EuMW 2010 also offered substance with the conference and exhibition organisers making every effort to maintain the event’s established strengths, introduce new initiatives and plan for the future. The theme for EuMW 2010 was Connecting the World, which not only related to the connection that visitors from across the globe have with Europe’s premier RF and microwave event, but also to the literal connections that the microwave industry facilitates in the telecommunications, satellite, aerospace, military and industrial sectors, not forgetting the development and nurturing of business and personal connections.

When organising the four conferences — the 40th European Microwave Conference (EuMC), the 5th European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC), the

3rd European Wireless Technology Conference (EuWiT) and the 7th European Radar Conference (EuRAD) — particular emphasis was placed on the coordination of areas of common interest between the different conferences, workshops and short courses. The result of the call for papers was an exceptional number of submitted papers (close to 1,300) from more than 60 countries.

A significant addition to the programme this year was the inaugural Defence/Security Executive Forum, which provided a platform for key representatives from European defence agencies – the DGA, NATO and the European Defence Agency, market analysis from Strategy Analytics and an industry perspective from Cassidian, Selex Sistemi Integrati, Thales and Rockwell Collins. Current initiatives, market trends and strategies impacting the European defence/security sector were discussed, which stimulated interesting debate during the concluding Round Table Q&A session.

Illustrating the emphasis on the Connecting the World initiative were two special sessions. The EU-North America Experts Microwave Session gathered together a group of experts that have been recognised as ‘Distinguished Microwave Lecturers’ (sponsored by MTT-S) and ‘European Microwave Lecturers’ (jointly sponsored by MTT-S and EuMA) who addressed the latest developments in active and passive microwave components. The Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference Session was the result of a speaker exchange between the European Microwave Conference and the Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference (APMC) and featured speakers from Singapore, Japan and Australia.

EuMW endeavours to connect with its future – young engineers and designers. An event that did just that was the third EuMW Student Challenge, sponsored by Thales Nederland, which gathered together students with different skills from all over the world to promote active participation and teamwork. For the fourth year running the popular Agilent Tutorial Seminars for Young Engineers set out to stimulate and encourage the next generation by focussing on the application of test and measurement and help young engineers along their chosen career paths. Complementary, and new this year, was a special session on Young and Engineering: Education, Industrial/Academic Opportunities, Careers, which looked at the educational, industrial and academic opportunities offered to young engineers and scientists.

Whether young or more mature it is important to socialise and the EuMW Welcome Reception, sponsored by Agilent Technologies, Horizon House Publications and EuMA, epitomised the organiser’s ongoing efforts to encourage the interaction between industry and academia, resulting in a social event that was both convivial and conducive to networking.

Many engineers and designers focused specifically on the three-day European Microwave Week Exhibition to discover the new products being launched or being shown in Europe for the first time. Many took the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and talk face to face with product managers about their specific requirements and gain an insight into future trends.

There is no doubt that the economic downturn has impacted greatly on the RF and microwave industry and forced many companies to re-evaluate how they develop and market new products. The consensus from the show floor was that manufacturers were endeavouring to listen to the needs of their customers and designing and developing products to suit those requirements. It seems that gone are the days when technology for technology’s sake was developed and customers were presented with ‘take it or leave it’ options.

Today’s ‘designed for purpose’ products took centre stage at the exhibition for the middle three days of the Week, where 252 exhibiting companies took up more than 7,000 m2 (gross). There were companies large and small, established and developing from Europe, North America and Asia. The common link is that all of them are actively developing and producing products and services for the microwaves and RF industry. Below is a selection of the new and innovative products on show.

Test & Measurement

Agilent Technologies Inc. is no stranger to targeting EuMW to make significant announcements and 2010 was no exception. The company’s stand featured 26 demo set-ups many of which showcased products launched at the show. There are too many to do justice to here but highlights included the new N5247A 67 GHz PNA-X, which is said to be the highest performing 67 GHz PNA-X Series VNA. It delivers +10 dBm output power, 110 dB system dynamic range and a 0.1 dB receiver compression point of +11 dBm specified at 67 GHz. This level of performance enables the VNA to be used in the widest range of microwave applications, including active device characterization and tests; device modelling; high-speed digital; and material research.

The introduction of the N6070A series signalling conformance test solution for 3GPP LTE extends the capability of the new Agilent PXT Mobile Communications Test Set to a complete signalling conformance test solution (also known as protocol conformance test or PCT). The Agilent PXT represents a significant breakthrough in LTE testing, providing both base station emulation and TTCN-3 script-based protocol test capabilities for all planned LTE deployments.

Agilent also announced new options for the X-Series signal analyzers, designed to deliver wider bandwidth, faster measurement speed and more measurement capabilities. The options specifically address the needs of today’s wireless R&D and manufacturing engineers performing wideband signal demodulation analysis by providing quicker insight into signal analysis and faster, more cost-effective component characterization.

The company also expanded its test and measurement portfolio into the modular domain with the introduction of 48 new PXI and AXIe products. Highlights included the M9392A PXI microwave vector signal analyser that is enhanced by the 89600 VSA software. This combination enables detailed analysis of communications, radar and avionics signals up to 26.5 GHz and provides instantaneous bandwidth of 250 MHz for use in next-generation wireless systems and other applications. The new M9018A PXIe chassis provides high performance and flexibility with 16 hybrid slots and is designed for data-intensive applications in communications, imaging and radar that require wide bandwidth.

The first two AXIe 1.0 chassis, which are two-slot and five-slot models, deliver the advantages of AXIe – robust power, cooling and timing systems – in a platform for multivendor systems. AXIe’s large board size is ideal for high-performance instrumentation yet requires a minimum of rack space. The Agilent U4301A PCIe Gen 3 analyser, which is the first measurement module capable of working in an AXIe chassis, enables accurate multi-gigabit signal capture and protocol testing.

The highlight of the Anritsu Co. stand was the MS202x/3xB VNA Master™ series, which is said to be the highest-performing handheld RF VNA in the industry. With frequency coverage from 500 kHz to 4/6 GHz, and featuring multi-instrument functionality in a rugged, lightweight design that can withstand harsh environments, the MS202x/3xB allows field engineers to find faults, optimize mission-critical systems, and maintain more sites while reducing operating and capital equipment expenditures.

It is designed with a 2-port vector network analyzer architecture that provides S11 and S21 measurements that are generally 10 times more accurate than scalar measurement approaches as found in other economy handheld tools. For example, VNA Master can measure filter passband insertion loss (i.e., S21) with better than 0.1 dB precision; a scalar approach is in the order of 1.0 dB precision.

VNA Master provides field engineers with a powerful S-parameter measurement tool for on-site installation and maintenance activities, especially two-port transmission measurements such as filter tuning, component test and phase matching cables. It is also an all-in-one tool that can replace laboratory grade instruments, such as scalar analyzers, vector voltmeters, power meters and spectrum analyzers, in the field.

Holzworth’s Cross Correlation Phase Noise Analyzers are complete solutions that are available with either fixed or tunable DUT test frequencies. These dedicated phase noise analyzers offer low cost of ownership and provide accurate test results while being extremely intuitive to operate. The company provides an application GUI for control of the analyzer and also allows full access to system DLL files for turn key integration into test systems that are already running under MATLAB™, LabVIEW™, Linux, C, C++, or other control interfaces. Industry leading performance, coupled with compact form factors make Holzworth products attractive to embedded OEM and test system applications in particular.

INGUN announced an innovating breakthrough in modern RF probing technology with the introduction of the HFS-835 series RF Probe with integrated attenuator. It is said to be the first spring-loaded RF probe with an integrated attenuation module. The 50 Ω RF probe has a broadband frequency range of DC to 3 GHz. Front plungers and inner conductor tip-styles can be tailor-made to accommodate contacting of several different PCB land-pattern shapes as well as selected RF connector types.

Applications include virtually any kind of production-line test with RF test applications, e.g. the general telecommunication market, WiFi boards, Bluetooth applications and automotive market. It is especially suitable for test fixtures with space restrictions or to prevent shear forces to the probe due to externally connected attenuators.

Featured on the Noise XT stand was the Dual Channel Phase Noise Test System (DCNTS), which is a two-channel phase and amplitude noise analyzer, designed with a dual demodulator architecture that allows the test system to use cross-correlation to cancel its internal noise. The resulting tests are similar to comparing the output of two separate systems, while displaying only the similarities and rejecting the differences. The residual noise measurement front-end includes all the necessary hardware to automatically measure noise on 2-port devices, either in RF or microwave frequencies. Pulse compatible, the DCNTS is ideal for the most demanding aerospace and defence applications.

Rohde & Schwarz demonstrated its prominence in the development of microwave test and measurement with new solutions up to 500 GHz. The R&S FSVR is claimed to be the world's first real-time spectrum analyzer up to 30 GHz and the first solution to combine a fully functional signal and spectrum analyzer with a real-time spectrum analyzer. In real-time mode, the spectrum analyzer detects everything, from highly sporadic single events to ultrashort signals. Measurement without blind times benefits developers of RF components for commercial transmission systems such as LTE, WiMAX™, WLAN, Bluetooth® or RFID, and for general-purpose RF applications such as radar or frequency-hopping transmission.

The new R&S SMZ frequency multiplier family provides convenient microwave measurement capabilities in the 50 to 110 GHz range comprising the R&S SMZ75 (50 to 75 GHz), R&S SMZ90 (60 to 90 GHz) and R&S SMZ110 (75 to 110 GHz) models. The multipliers can be optionally equipped with either a built-in mechanical or electronic level controller and can be controlled by the R&S SMF100A microwave generator via USB, so that the generator and the multiplier function as a single unit. Via this interface, the R&S SMF100A receives all required data, such as configuration, multiplication factor, or the precalibrated frequency response needed for automatic correction.

The new R&S ZVA-Z500 converter expands the frequency range of the company’s network analyzers to 500 GHz. The converter is simply connected to a Rohde & Schwarz high-end network analyzer from the R&S ZVA family. No extra hardware is required. The combined unit can be operated and calibrated exactly like the base unit. The converter allows millimetre-wave measurements with a dynamic range typically > 65 dB. Components such as amplifiers, mixers, filters, couplers or components on wafers can be analyzed with the converter.

Also on show were the company’s oscilloscopes. The R&S RTO family offers speed and signal fidelity. They are capable of analyzing one million waveforms per second and trigger jitter is minimized by the first digital trigger system to be implemented in an oscilloscope. They are initially available in two-channel and four-channel models with bandwidths of 1 GHz and 2 GHz and a maximum sampling rate of 10 Gsample per second.

The R&S RTM universal oscilloscopes deliver a wide range of functions and compact design, alongside 500 MHz bandwidth, 5 Gsample per second and a memory depth of up to 8 Msample. Features such as very low inherent noise and full bandwidth even at maximum sensitivity ensure high signal fidelity and reliable results. The oscilloscopes offer maximum operating convenience thanks to colour-coded controls, flat menu structures and a brilliant 8.4-inch XGA TFT colour display.

Tektronix Inc. announced the AWG7000C and AWG5000C Series of Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWG) that feature performance and usability enhancements. The new C series is said to provide a 45 percent reduction in waveform creation times compared to previous AWG instruments, which is essential for performance-intensive applications where a large number of waveforms are required to effectively characterize high-speed serial and wideband RF/microwave designs. Based on customer input, the new AWGs implement a number of popular features from previous AWGs, including equation editor, dynamic jump and sub-sequencing.

The new models also feature brighter LED displays and deliver faster performance, as well as enhanced security through use of the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. The need for high-performance arbitrary waveform generation spans a number of critical market segments, including design and characterization tasks in avionics and radar, short-range wireless, such as ultra-wideband (UWB), WirelessHD and WiGig, and high-speed serial receiver testing.

Software

Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced the next generation of its 89600 Vector Signal Analysis software. The new 89600B software provides R&D engineers performing signal and modulation analysis with a window into what’s happening inside their complex wireless devices by offering views of virtually every facet of a signal. The software measures more than 70 signal standards and modulation types covering a range of applications such as mobile communications, wireless connectivity, military communications, satellite communications, etc.

The software’s advanced troubleshooting tools quantify spectral performance with high resolution FFT-based measurements; analyze time-domain signal quality; and characterize complex modulation down to the raw bits, including OFDMA and MIMO.

Engineers who are confronted with electromagnetic problems will benefit from Computer Simulation Technology’s (CST) latest software release, CST STUDIO SUITE version 2011, and its multitude of powerful new features and functionality. The material property descriptions have been enhanced across the entire palette of available solvers. High performance computing options are now also available for the frequency domain and the integral equation solver.

Automatic optimization and sensitivity analysis are key requirements in a highly efficient design flow. Both of the general purpose electromagnetic solvers – time and frequency domain – of CST MICROWAVE STUDIO can provide sensitivity information for an arbitrary number of parameters in just one simulation run. The newly implemented trust region framework in CST STUDIO SUITE 2011 can employ the sensitivity information to cut down optimization time dramatically.

The multiphysics flow inside the 2011 version has been further enhanced. Based on one single simulation model the simulation task concept makes optimization, considering electromagnetic, thermal and mechanical aspects feasible. The temperature calculated from the electromagnetic losses can be used to change the material parameters for a consecutive electromagnetic field simulation. Also, CST MPHYSICS STUDIO now features a thermal solver on tetrahedral grids.

NMDG announced that nonlinear characterisation under pulsed DC and pulsed RF conditions is available in the NMDG ICE software platform, implemented to work with different types of receivers and pulsers. Specifically, the NMDG ZVxPlus nonlinear extension kit for Rohde & Schwarz ZVA and ZVT network analysers has been combined with the Auriga AU4750 pulsed DC system. This extends the pulsed S-parameter capability of both instruments into the nonlinear characterisation domain.

The ICEBreaker application provides comprehensive visualisation of measurement data sets for free. For example, the user can analyse the behaviour of its component under multi-harmonic source and load mismatch conditions using source and load-pull contour plots. Powerful cursors are available to monitor one or more derived quantities for a specific mismatch condition. Moreover, the application allows users to compare derived quantities from different measurement data sets on the same graph.

Noise XT celebrated its first public exhibition in Europe since the buy-out by employees of Aeroflex-Europtest by offering customers a free software upgrade for PN9000, PN9500 and DCNTS systems, valued at $3,000. The software offers the latest features and product improvements for all of the company’s products built since 1993.

Microwave Innovation Group (MIG) showcased Version 8 of its WASP-NET EM CAD and optimisation tool. Marking a major milestone in advanced EM CAD technology it incorporates new features to support microwave design engineers with practically unlimited EM CAD flexibility, combined with high EM CAD and optimisation performance. Not only does Version 8 stand out due to the optimum hybrid MM/FE/MoM/FD CAD speed of its four solvers but it also combines the advantage of high EM CAD flexibility.

A new finite-element/boundary integral (FE-BI) solver for arbitrary 3D waveguide, antenna and microstrip structures and a fast integral equation (IE) solver for large antenna problems also offers high CAD efficiency for very complex structures. The new 3D editor and the 3D data file import options enable users to conveniently include arbitrary general structures, while the implemented export feature provides an immediate link to the machine shop. Components can include losses as well as dielectric and ferrite materials with tensor permittivity/permeability. The new solvers offer ultimate computational efficiency to enable direct, fast EM based optimisation of even the most challenging waveguide, coaxial, microstrip and antenna design problems.

Cables, Connectors and Waveguide

A range of precision-drawn, high-quality waveguide tubing was showcased by A.T. Wall Co. Thin wall aluminium waveguide and seamless flexible waveguide are applicable to airborne systems and space in all satellite applications. Systems designed with aluminium tubes with ½ of or less of the standard wall thickness and performance of heavier walled products enable engineers to make cost savings in a launch. Flexible waveguide also saves the customer money by reducing space needs with its ability to be bent to fit into small spaces.

The company’s stamping division featured a base for a universal sensor originally produced as a machined part. A.T. Wall engineers work with a customer’s engineering staff to develop a stamping process, which results in significant cost reduction and increased manufacturing efficiency. Depending upon the quantity produced, the customer can achieve up to 65 percent cost savings using a stamped part rather than a machined part.

The new MBX connector series from HUBER + SUHNER offers features necessary in the field of digital radio base stations as well as in the industrial, medical, defence, automotive, test and measurement and aerospace sectors. The company has further developed its well-established and proven MMBX RF connector series and extended the product portfolio with the MBX family.

In particular, the MBX series has been specifically designed to satisfy ever increasing demands with regards to axial and radial movement. Important performance characteristics include: even greater axial movement (±1.2 mm is possible), power up to 260 W, minimum board-to-board distance of 13 mm and robust and reliable design.

The basic MBX range offers: straight board connections – male and female board connectors for through-hole and SMT technology; barrels for three board-to-board distances – 13 mm, 18 mm and 28 mm; and cable connectors (for testing) – straight and right angle. Also, a number of MBX to SMA adapters are available for measurement purposes. A coupling/de-coupling tool facilitates handling and assembling of the within-series adapter (32_MBX) completes the range. As a blind mateable board-to-board connection, the MBX series enables the design of direct RF connections between the boards.

Rosenberger introduced the Power-SMP (P-SMP) RF coaxial connector series that combines the advantages of SMP connectors - minimum board-to-board space - and of SMA connectors - high performance and high power rating. Minimum board-to-board distances from 12.6 mm can be realized by using bullets of different lengths. In these applications, P-SMP connectors are designed for high power loads up to 200 W at frequencies of 2.2 GHz (maximum frequency 15 GHz). Applications include board-to-board connections in base stations, or board-to-cable connections in power amplifier filter units.

Other series characteristics are very high density in board-to-board connections and high flexibility due to misalignment (axial + 1 mm, radial 4°). The new connector series is available in smooth bore, limited detent and full detent configurations.

Devices & Components

Creowave has extended its filter collection with high-class low PIM filters. These low PIM filters are a natural extension to the range of filters in the light of the increased number of bands that have highlighted the importance of the IM level of base stations. When the IM performance of base stations is measured it is very important to make sure that the IM results of test systems are not measured, which is why the company has developed low PIM filtering solutions that allow the measurement of the actual performance of the base stations.

The latest addition to e2v’s range of Travelling Wave Tubes is the N20180 mini helix, which now allows system designers to use a single RF amplifier over the multi-octave bandwidth, offering the advantages of reduced system cost and higher reliability. The TWT offers performance over its entire operating frequency range of 2 to 18 GHz, giving system designers and integrators higher output levels and greater efficiency whilst maintaining a small, lightweight package, designed for the harshest of environmental conditions.

The N20180 follows on from the introduction of the N20181 mini TWT earlier this year, which was also showcased. This device delivers over 100 W of CW power over the entire 4.5 to 18 GHz operating band, offering high power and efficiency in a rugged compact configuration.

Three new product lines were introduced by Hittite Microwave Corp. — the Multiplexer (Mux) and Demultiplexer (Demux) product line, DC Power Management and Broadband Time Delays. The HMC854LC5 4:1 Multiplexer (Mux) and the HMC855LC5 1:4 Demultiplexer (Demux) support 28 Gbps data serialization and deserialization, respectively, and are suitable for broadband test and measurement, SONET OC-192, and FPGA interfacing applications.

The HMC920LP5E introduces the company’s new DC Power Management product line. It is an active bias controller that generates a regulated drain voltage and actively adjusts the gate voltage of an external amplifier to achieve constant bias current. It can be used to bias any enhancement and depletion type amplifier operating in Class-A regime with drain voltages (VDRAIN) from 3 to 15 V and drain currents (IDRAIN) up to 500 mA.

The HMC910LC4B and HMC856LC5 are the first products released in the new Broadband Time Delay product line. The HMC910LC4B is a DC to 24 GHz analogue time delay that supports data transmission to 32 Gbps or clock signal delay up to 24 GHz. The HMC856LC5 5-bit digital time delay provides nearly 100 ps of delay range with 3 ps resolution and supports 28 Gbps data.

Pride of place for IMST was a newly developed versatile FMCW radar system that operates in the 24 GHz band and can easily be adapted to customer applications offering efficiency and flexibility in product development. A fully configurable Digital Direct Synthesis (DDS) Controller in combination with a fast locking Phase- Locked Loop (PLL) enables users to define an arbitrary waveform that suits the specific target environment.

With an output power of 20 dBm (EIRP) targets up to a distance of 70 m can be detected. The radar system is built out of front-end, baseband and DC-modules that can be replaced depending on the desired functionality.

M/A-COM Tech Asia introduced the XZ1002-BD 8.5 to 11 GHz GaAs MMIC core chip, which consists of integrated transmit/receive switches, an LNA, a 6-bit phase shifter, a 5-bit attenuator and a driver amplifier. This core chip features parallel data input and compensated on-chip gate bias and delivers 21 dB receive gain, 23.5 dB transmit P1dB and 28 dBm receive OIP3. The transmit amplifier also has a typical small-signal gain of 19 dB with excellent input and output match.

Similarly, the new XZ1001-BD 2.5 to 4 GHz GaAs MMIC core chip consists of integrated transmit/receive switches, an LNA, a 6-bit phase shifter, a 6-bit attenuator and a driver amplifier. This core chip features compensated on-chip gate bias and delivers 33 dB transmit/receive gain, 20 dBm transmit/receive P1dB and 2.5 dB receive noise figure. Both the XZ1002-BD and XZ1001-BD are suitable for both military and weather phased array radar applications and satellite communications systems.

M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc. introduced a 38 GHz SMT-packaged GaAs MMIC chipset solution for the point-to-point radio market that includes an integrated up converter and receiver, driver and power amplifiers, a VCO and a multiplier. The XB1014-QT driver amplifier and XP1080-QU power amplifier with integrated detector on-chip deliver exceptional linearity performance. Integrated on a single SMT chip, the XR1008-QB receiver includes an LNA that provides optimum noise performance, an image reject mixer with high linearity performance, an LO driver amplifier and a frequency doubler for the LO input.

The XU1019-QH up converter includes a mixer, RF buffer, LO buffer and LO doubler. The MAOC-009264 VCO achieves low phase noise performance and exhibits low performance variation over temperature. The XX1000-QT multiplier combines an active doubler with an output buffer amplifier to deliver constant power over a range of input powers.

Mitsubishi Electric introduced three models of GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) with 10 W, 20 W and 40 W output powers, for L to C band (0.5 to 6.0 GHz) amplifiers. The three devices are designed for use in base stations for mobile phones, very small aperture terminals and other transmission equipment.

Featuring high output power, high efficiency and high voltage operation the HEMTs have a power added efficiency of about 50 percent (at 2.6 GHz) and a high voltage operation of 47 W. All three devices are integrated into a 4.4 mm by 14.0 mm small package which helps to reduce the required mounting surface in amplifiers. HEMT devices that use GaN have higher power density, which helps to save energy and contributes to making transmitters more compact and light weight. Furthermore, they offer an increased operating lifetime.

NEL Frequency Controls Inc. introduced its latest ultra low phase noise OCXO at 100 MHz. The O-CEXX Series at 100 MHz offers a close-in phase noise of -105 dBc/Hz at 10 Hz and -178 dBc/Hz phase noise on the floor. The O-CEXX Series is a Dual Use/ITAR Free product offering that comes in a small, compact, 'Europack' package with dimensions of 36 by 27 mm. It is said to consume significantly less power than alternative solutions and be suitable for any application that requires instrument grade OCXO performance without the high cost, excessive power consumption, and large package size.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced the availability of the BLF888A; a UHF RF power transistor, which is a 600 W LDMOS device for broadcast transmitters and industrial applications. For a DVB-T signal over the full UHF band from 470 to 860 MHz, the transistor can deliver 120 W average power with efficiencies greater than 31 percent. Featuring excellent linearity, high gain of 21 dB and outstanding ruggedness corresponding to VSWR greater than 40:1, the BLF888A is ideal for advanced digital transmitter applications, such as DVB-T.

The exceptional performance of the BLF888A is enabled by NXP’s 50 V high voltage LDMOS process technology in combination with advanced thermal concepts, resulting in unprecedented power density and thermal resistance as low as 0.15 K/W. As a consequence, the power transistor allows broadcast equipment manufacturers to optimize existing or new transmitter installations for performance and total cost of ownership. For complete power amplifier line-ups, the BLF888A combines optimally with the BLF881 driver transistor.

OMMIC announced the release of its production CGY2190UH, 75 – 110 GHz Low Noise Amplifier, which is a four stage ultra-LNA with typically 23 dB of gain and a noise figure of 2.8 dB at 90 GHz. The MMIC is an exceptionally low power consumption device, running from a 1 V supply with 30 mA of current. The MMIC has been designed for use in active and passive millimetre-wave imaging systems operating in the W-band. It is also very well suited to short haul high capacity links in E-band.

The MMIC is manufactured using OMMIC’s proprietary 0.07 μm MHEMT D007IH technology. The MHEMT process gives InP like performance on a GaAs substrate – combining the performance of InP with the production maturity of GaAs substrates.

Precision Devices showed its range of frequency control products, including sinewave OCXOs and high-end temperature compensated crystal oscillators (TCXO) targeted at microwave applications. The company introduced the OCXO-400 series of miniature oscillators for applications where size is important. Measuring only 20.3 by 20.3 mm the OCXO-400 series operates at frequencies from 8.192 to 20 MHz and provides high precision of 0.002 ppm over a temperature range of -40° to +70°C.

Precision Devices also announced the OCXO-510, an ultra low noise and ultra stable OCXO series that has a phase noise floor of -168 dBc at 10 kHz. Measuring 50.8 by 50.8 mm the OCXO offers excellent stability and operates at a precision of only 0.0002 ppm (or 0.2 ppb – parts per billion) over a temperature range of 0 to +70°C or 0.0005 ppm at -20° to +70°C. These characteristics make it well suited to demanding high-end applications, including telecoms base stations, PLL references for telecoms systems, microwave communications, radar and GPS.

Materials & Packaging

ARLON claims that its new MultiClad™ HF® is the next generation of halogen-free, low-loss thermoset and prepreg system for high-speed and high-frequency multilayer printed circuit boards. It is a thermally robust, high durability system with a high Tg (205° by DSC), low Z-direction expansion (1.2 percent from 50°C to 260°C) and high decomposition temperature >350°C that meets industry lead-free standards.

With competitive insertion loss and Loss Tangent (Df<0.005 at 10 GHz), MultiClad HF is designed for high-speed backplanes and server boards, power amplifiers, satellite receivers, LNB converters, as well as semiconductor burn-in-boards and other high speed, high reliability applications.

Brush Ceramic Products Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Brush Engineered Materials) has added to its growing family of technical materials with DUROX-AL –Alumina Ceramics available in 99.9 and 99.8 percent purity. High purity Alumina has excellent electrical insulation and great chemical resistance, along with a low dielectric constant and CTE match. Material will be available in a variety of shapes and sizes to include crucibles, tubes and other complex shapes before the end of 2010.

RJR Polymers announced that it has made significant advances in the development of a new generation of Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) QFN, air cavity packages that will support finer lead pitches, thinner lead frames and shorter wire bond lengths in a near hermetic, ROHS-compliant solution. Able to withstand three non-lead reflows while remaining leak tight, these new MSL III packages will support lead frames as thin as 0.008 inch (0.20 mm) and greater.

The company’s line of LCP QFN air cavity packages support high frequency performance up to 38 GHz, and demonstrate a return loss (S11) of more than -15 dB and insertion loss (S21) of less than -0.5 dB in the Ku-band. At the same time the technology’s use of a solid metal die pad delivers significantly better thermal management capabilities than traditional ceramic solutions. Moreover, the technology’s low moisture absorption rate of just 0.02 percent enables the development of near-hermetic packages.

SCHOTT Electronic Packaging claims to be the only European supplier that offers glass-to-metal sealing technology (GTMS) as well as low and high temperature co-fired ceramics from a single source. This makes it possible for SCHOTT to develop the most suitable and cost-efficient hermetic housings for specialized microwave and radiofrequency applications. Together with its partner VIA electronic, SCHOTT supports its customers in designing the optimal packages for their applications.

With the SCHOTT LAS80, the technology group has expanded its family of lithium aluminosilicate glasses, which will be launched globally by the end of the year. It is chemically strengthened using potassium nitrate, among other substances, to instil extremely high surface strength. Manufactured using the microfloat process, SCHOTT LAS80 offers a number of advantages for applications: high chemical resistance, excellent scratch resistance and fracture toughness and outstanding surface quality with respect to its roughness and flatness.

Also showcased were the environmentally-friendly low alkali thin glass D 263 T eco, which is a chemically resistant borosilicate glass that is available in up to 30 micron thick panes and the crown glass B 270 that is suitable for surface-wave touch panels.

Related Article See EuMW 2010: An American Perspective,
by David Vye, Editor


Recent Articles by Richard Mumford, Microwave Journal International Editor

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