Approximately 2,000 attendees comprised mostly of engineers and engineering managers attended the second annual Electronic Design Innovations Conference (EDI CON) held at the Beijing International Convention Center between April 8 – 10. Coming off a holiday weekend known as Qingming Festival, which is comparable to Chinese Memorial Day, attendees were treated to a full packed technical program that included 90 peer-reviewed papers, 40 workshops and 5 panel sessions as well as a 2 hour plenary featuring keynote talks from leading technologists in the field of IC design, test and telecommunications. The event also featured an exhibition of nearly 80 vendors and manufacturer representatives demonstrating their latest products for RF, microwave and high-speed electronic design.
The number of total unique attendees for the 3 days was 1979, a 9% increase over the previous year number. Organizers report 911 unique delegates, and 426 exhibition visitors, 514 exhibitors (staff) and 19 invited members of the press. The exhibition space was doubled over the previous year with a 50% increase in the number of exhibiting companies making EDI CON one of the largest conferences and exhibitions focused on high-frequency electronic design in China. Organized by Microwave Journal China, EDI CON focuses on connecting working engineers and researchers with the industry that provides commercial solutions in software, test equipment, semiconductor foundry services, integrated devices, materials, cables/connectors and related components targeting the telecommunications market.
The expanded press room was host to several press conferences as several EDI CON exhibitors took the opportunity to introduce new and recently released products to the China press corp. Microwave Journal China editor, Katie Huang joined MWJ Technical Editor, Pat Hindle and International Editor, Richard Mumford in reporting news from the Exhibition floor. Videos from vendors can be viewed at the following links:
Chinese– featured companies include: RFHIC, Rohde & Schwarz, NI (3 videos), Agilent (5 Videos)
English- featured companies include: NI, Agilent T&M, Agilent EEsof EDA, Anritsu
EDI CON 2014 Exhibitor Product News -
Agilent introduced the Agilent N1055A 35/50 GHz (8 ps) time-domain reflectometry and transmission module for the Agilent 86100D DCA-X platform. The 86100D DCA-X oscilloscope mainframe can be configured with one to four N1055A TDR/TDT plug-in modules to provide a 2- to 16-channel TDR/TDT measurement system that is both economical and accurate.The 2/4 port TDR/TDT remote heads can be configured with a sampler bandwidth of 35 or 50 GHz, providing single-ended and differential measurement capability, including True-Mode stimulus functionality. With TDR step edge speeds as fast as 8 ps and receiver bandwidths of 50 GHz, the DCA-TDR solution resolves the magnitude and location of impedance discontinuities with unmatched performance.
ANSYS featured the latest version of HFSS with circuit simulation which combines “the accuracy of electromagnetic analysis with the speed and capacity of circuit simulation, providing a comprehensive systems-level view of the design”. Combining HFSS with circuit simulation is beneficial for complex RF, microwave, and electronics design because engineering teams can study multiple results in larger systems, expanding the size and scope of designs, the company says. Additionally, the software supports comprehensive SI design by allowing cascading transmission lines, connectors, printed circuit boards, sockets and IC package interconnects. The additional HFSS RF and SI product options provide more advanced circuit simulation analysis with specific capabilities targeting applications in RF/microwave engineering and high-performance electronics design. Company representatives were also featuring their Apache product line.
Computer Simulation Technology (CST) recently announced the release of the 2014 version of the electromagnetic simulation tool, CST STUDIO SUITE®. The latest edition has been developed to improve the performance of the solvers and increase the capabilities for hybrid simulation without compromising on usability. Improving meshing was a major focus during the development of CST STUDIO SUITE 2014, in order to make the mesh engines more efficient, more robust and more user-friendly. Both the hexahedral and tetrahedral mesh have been improved to reduce the cell count and help to discretize complex or low-quality CAD data. The simulation of complex systems has also been improved. Field source coupling and multiphysics simulations can be set up automatically using the new System Assembly and Modeling (SAM) wizards. SAM allows different solvers to be combined in a single simulation project and can be used to model complex systems one component at a time.
EMSS introduced FEKO Suite 7.0 with fully integrated finite difference time domain (FDTD) and multilevel fast multipole/physical optics (MLFMM/PO) hybrid solvers taking the next step toward a complete solution. The FEKO approach is to provide all of the EM solvers in a single license, rather than licensing each solver individually. This broadens the scope of how customers are able to solve problems. The advantage of this approach is that, in the absence of measurements, a good correlation between simulation results using different solvers can give the user confidence and certainty in their models.
Pico Technology featured their 20 GHz bandwidth PicoScope 9300 sampling oscilloscopes that address digital and telecommunications applications of 10 Gb/s and higher, microwave applications up to 20 GHz and timing applications with a resolution down to 64 fs. Optional 11.3 Gb/s clock recovery, optical to electrical converter or differential, de-skewable Time Domain Reflectometry sources (40 ps/200 mV or 60 ps/6 V) complete a formidable, small-footprint and cost-effective measurement package.
EMSCAN reinvented its fastest EMC/EMI diagnostic system to assist high density board designers to visualize the root causes of potential EMC and EMI problems during pre- and post- EMC compliance testing. The ERX+ enables the PCB and design engineers to diagnose EMC/EMI problems between 150 kHz and 8 GHz and provides 7 levels of resolution (120 microns - 7.5 mm). Level 1 resolution (7.5mm) allows the engineers to visualize the hot spots, current loops or intermittent problems) in real-time. After locating the unintended radiators, engineers can zoom into the problem by selecting the resolution level based on the density of the board design.
Freescale Semiconductor recently introduced a 2 W integrated power amplifier operating with a 5V supply and delivering more than 40 dB of gain to cover all frequency bands between 1500 and 2700 MHz (MMZ25333B). The component supports any cellular standard operating at this frequency including GSM, 3G, 4G and LTE. They also recently introduced a new 6 W device for handheld mobile radio applications (AFT05MS006N). With this latest addition to its flagship Airfast RF power solutions portfolio, Freescale is the only supplier capable of supporting all power levels of relevance to the mobile radio space, from 5 W handheld units to 75 W digital mobile radios and base stations.
Peregrine Semiconductor announced at the show the Greater China debut of UltraCMOS Global 1, the industry’s first reconfigurable RF front-end (RFFE) system, at EDI CON 2014. By integrating all the components of the RFFE on a single chip, UltraCMOS Global 1 delivers one platform design – a single, global SKU – that operates in all regions worldwide. The system includes the first LTE CMOS power amplifier (PA) to meet the performance of GaAs technology. The UltraCMOS Global 1 PA offers a highband PA path that supports China’s recently licensed TDD-LTE technology networks.
The UltraCMOS Global 1 RFFE system includes a 3-path MMMB PA, post-PA switch, antenna switch and antenna tuner, support for envelope tracking and common RFFE MIPI interface. Using a WCDMA (voice) waveform at an ACLR (adjacent channel leakage ratio) of -38 dBc, the performance of the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA approaches 50% PAE. Further, the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA maintains GaAs-equivalent PAE for LTE waveforms with varying resource-block allocations. This level of performance is reached without enhancements from envelope tracking or digital predistortion, which is often used when benchmarking CMOS PAs with GaAs PAs.
Anritsu Company introduced the VectorStar™ ME7838E Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) broadband system that provides frequency coverage of 70 kHz to 110 GHz in a single connection. Incorporating all the benefits of the VectorStar ME7838 series broadband system, including compact millimeter (mm-wave) modules, best-in-class stability and dynamic range, and fast measurement speeds, the ME7838E addresses the challenges associated with today’s high-speed device characterization. Removing the need for a MUX combiner results in true directivity, helping achieve improved measurement stability of 0.1 dB over 24 hours. This also reduces the number of necessary calibrations for increased throughput and productivity as well as lowers cost-of-test. Excellent dynamic range of 109 dB at 110 GHz is achieved with the VectorStar ME7838E without the need for large amplification due to the integration of Non-Linear Transmission Line (NLTL) harmonic samplers. Incorporating NLTL technology offers a higher comb frequency with less drop-off at higher frequencies. The ME7838D extends the frequency operation to 145 GHz.
Millitech is the first millimeter wave components company to exhibit and found great success as the market for these products is expanding. They were featuring active upconverters and downconverters in small packages that integrate amplifiers, mixer and filter. Multiple configurations and frequency ranges are available in bands from 50 to 96 GHz. They also featured the Spartan test modules from 57 to 86 GHz that provide a single test set to cover V- and E-bands. The modules work with VNAs and SNAs.
National Instruments recently announced the NI PXIe-5646R vector signal transceiver with 200 MHz of RF bandwidth, making it ideal for testing the latest wireless standards such as IEEE 802.11ac, 160 MHz WLAN and LTE Advanced. Engineers can use the open software design of the vector signal transceiver to develop channel emulation systems, radio prototyping, custom real-time signal processing for spectrum analysis and many other applications. NI vector signal transceivers combine a vector signal analyzer with a vector signal generator and a user-programmable FPGA for real-time signal processing and control. Customers have seen 10X to 100X improvements in test time in applications such as power servoing in power amplifier test by taking advantage of the speed, deterministic processing and inherent parallel architecture of the FPGA. Built on the NI LabVIEW RIO architecture, the vector signal transceiver combines programming flexibility and the latest RF hardware to revolutionize mobile technologies test. The NI PXIe-5646R offers 200 MHz of complex bandwidth via a sample rate of 250 MS/s, which is greater than eight times the data rate for the standard LTE radio frame. This makes the vector signal transceiver ideally suited for the latest design and test techniques such as digital predistortion and envelope tracking.
MACOM had a major announcement of an IP licensing program for GaN on Silicon technology just prior to the event. MACOM detailed recent progress in two areas critical to realizing its future vision of enabling the mainstream adoption of GaN as a large-scale RF semiconductor technology across the industry. As a first step, MACOM announced a license and epi wafer supply agreement which will enable IQE, the world’s largest supplier of compound semiconductor epi, to manufacture GaN-on-Silicon epi at 4, 6 and 8-inch diameters in high volume for RF applications. This move is expected to allow MACOM to deliver GaN RF products with breakthrough bandwidth and efficiency at mainstream 8-inch silicon cost structures. Further, MACOM announced that it is in active discussions to make GaN-on-Silicon technology available to select companies for use in RF applications. MACOM believes that establishing such large diameter wafer manufacturing sources will be a key factor in driving mainstream, commercial adoption of GaN technology. Surety of supply is of critical importance in power amplifier dependent markets such as cellular basestations. They featured various GaN products at EDI CON and other component solutions from Si diodes to GaAs MMICs.
Rohde & Schwarz demonstrated its RF, microwave and high speed digital test solutions for electronic design including its latest real-time digital oscilloscopes featuring high sampling and acquisition rates and excellent signal fidelity. The R&S RTE from Rohde & Schwarz is available with bandwidths from