March is often our most popular issue from an editorial perspective due to its test and measurement theme. Measurement equipment manufacturers are often at the forefront of the latest technology, employing high performance components to deliver instruments that meet demanding requirements for speed, accuracy, low phase noise, high dynamic range, etc. This year’s cover story will look at a trend in test equipment of recent years whereby much of the test instrument’s capabilities are based on signal processing and its operating software. Software defined instruments offer great flexibility and size reduction via PXI module platforms. Our cover story was co-authored by three leading companies in the development of commercially available software-defined instrumentation (SDI), namely Aeroflex, Agilent and National Instruments. This article will make a nice follow-up piece to last year’s cover story that discussed ATE systems for supporting defense systems, many of which utilize SDI technology. In addition to this cover story, we will be featuring a look at state of the art phase noise measurements from IEEE Fellow and Synergy Microwave founder, Ulrich Rohde along with product features from RFMD (frequency converters), CST (Microwave Studio 2013), Boonton (a US power meter) and more.
Also in March, we feature our annual cable and connector supplement. This issue features content from the world’s leading suppliers of high-frequency connectors and cable assemblies as well as vendors who develop software simulation tools that model connector performance using electromagnetic. This year’s contributors include Molex, Rosenberger, Maury, Carlisle Tyco Electronics and CST.
April looks at the RF active components that are at the heart of every communication, radar and navigation system, namely oscillators and amplifiers. These devices define the behavior of the signal in our high frequency systems and therefore receive much attention with regard to performance. This month’s cover feature will examine the state of oscillators (and synthesizers) outside of North America with a report from Alexander Chenekin, Chief Technology Officer of Phase Matrix, a leading supplier of high performance microwave sources (and subsidiary of National Instruments). Chenekin’s report, “Timing Device Technology in Russia and China” is well timed with the upcoming microwave event in Beijing (EDI CON 2013) , which will feature a number of prominent Russian oscillator/PLL experts. April will also feature a report on a new process developed by Marki Microwave to offer quick turn-around low-volume, high-mix mixers with MMIC-level performance and cost. We also look at a new baseband tuning technique used in Agilent test equipment to achieve unprecedented speed.