Test and Measurement Channel

E-Band Tx/Rx Modules Allow for Multi-gigabit Transmission

Endwave Corporation (NASDAQ: ENWV), a leading provider of high-frequency RF devices and integrated subsystems, has announced the release of a new transmit-receive module pair that operates over the E-band frequency spectrum from 71.0 to 86.0 GHz. Endwave’s transmit-receive (TX/RX) module pair is a uniquely integrated subsystem that is designed for broadband point-to-point radios carrying voice and data traffic at multi-gigabit per second rates. With several prototypes working effectively in the field, Endwave’s advanced E-band TX/RX pair is also now available in high volumes.

The typical performance of Endwave’s TX module includes a conversion gain of 15 dB and an output power of 16 dBm, with an integrated power detector on the TX output. Higher-power transmitter options are also available upon request. Endwave’s E-band RX module provides a noise figure of 9 dB, better than 25 dB of RF-to-IF conversion gain, and an input one dB compression point (P1dB) of -25 dBm. Separate models cover the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz operating bands.

Both TX and RX modules use Endwave’s MLMS™ sub-harmonic mixer topology that provides a single level of conversion direct from E-Band to IF. This mixer design provides functionality and performance that is not available in MMIC format today. This architecture also significantly reduces the cost of the local oscillator (LO) circuit chain relative to the costs of comparable fundamental mixer approaches.

These E-band TX/RX modules are the first ever to employ both of Endwave's newest proprietary technologies, MLMS™ and Epsilon™ Packaging, in a single RF subsystem. These innovations facilitate small size and low cost. With successful implementation on these E-Band products, the viability of these technologies in applications from low RF frequencies to over 100 GHz is proven.

Additional features of the pair include support of modulation formats ranging from on/off keying to 16 QAM modulation, a sub-harmonically pumped TX/RX architecture and an on-board micro-controller for software controlled compensation. Options include closed-loop AGC on TX output (up to 10 dB range) and customized VCO-based synthesizers to drive the up-conversion and down-conversion processes in the TX and RX, respectively.

E-band radio links offer a compelling alternative to terrestrial fiber optic cable in a variety of commercial, military, and government end-use applications. These include: ubiquitous high-speed networks for business and campus environments; virtual private networks (VPNs); systems for carrier loop diversity and disaster recovery from central office to large office buildings; routing by cable operators (MSOs) of commercial Ethernet to extend coverage out to large building complexes; high-data-rate backhaul for cellular, WiMax, and WISP (wireless internet service provider) operators; HDTV signal routing; and other fiber substitution applications.

The advantages of wireless E-band links versus wired fiber-optic solutions include substantially lower deployment costs, deployment speeds that are measured in days (rather than months, or even a year for fiber), and reduced regulatory and environmental approval burdens.

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