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Industry News / MTT-S IMS

IMS 2014 - Mergers and Collaborations Abound

June 13, 2014
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The "Powering the Waves" theme was very present at IMS 2014 starting with the kickoff reception party on Monday featuring a water skiing show starring general chair Larry Dunleavy. Larry and his team did an excellent job of running the event and the Tampa Convention center is a nice venue with close proximity to the session rooms and exhibition. Initial numbers show that the conference attendance was 2475, number of exhibit visitors was 1344 and number of exhibitor staff was 3828 for a total attendance of 7647.  These numbers are very similar to the last two years when the event was in Seattle and Montreal so it is very consistent over the last 3 years. The total number of exhibiting companies was reported as 587 with 74 of them being first time exhibitors.

 Reviewing the technical sessions and discussions, we noticed much attention was paid to mmWave technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), tunable filters/antennas, high efficiency amplifiers (envelope tracking, DPD, switched mode PAs, etc.) and biomedical devices/sensors. Showing how popular envelope tracking has become, almost all of the major test and measurement companies had demonstrations in the exhibition showing how to characterize and measure this technique.

The biggest news of the event were significant mergers and collaborations as recently announced mergers of RFMD/TriQuint and Cobham/Aeroflex were made before IMS and right after IMS, ADI announced they are acquiring Hittite.  These announcements are making big waves in the industry with significant consolidation going on. There were also many collaborations evident at the event as AWR/ANSYS are now interoperable with their design software, Agilent and Cascade are partnering to deliver probing test systems and Cooper Mountain systems are integrated into several test systems such as Maury and Focus load pull test sets to name a few.

The MicroApps again offered a wide variety of practical sessions including the Challenges of 5G Technologies that Microwave Journal coordinated.  Looking to the exhibition, we tried to cover as many of the 587 companies as we could and have reviewed almost 100 below.  Below are quick summaries of what each company was displaying at the exhibition by product category.

IMS 2014 Photo Gallery

IMS 2014 Video Gallery


AgilentAgilent Technologies announced the latest release of Genesys 2014, its affordable RF simulation and synthesis software. Designed for circuit and system designers, the Agilent EEsof EDA software features breakthrough modulated RF analysis as well as enhancements to its powerful, custom-filter direct synthesis technology. Using Genesys 2014, designers can now simulate digitally modulated RF signals like those found in today’s defense and consumer wireless applications as easily as they do traditional analog RF signals. Unlike other simulators that provide only single-value results for EVM, BER or ACPR, Genesys 2014 delivers breakthrough system budget analysis of these digital modulation metrics for every component in the system block diagram, all in a single pass. This provides RF designers the unprecedented ability to immediately identify culprit components causing digital performance failures.

They also showed EMPro that provides time- and frequency-domain 3D electromagnetic solvers in a full 3D modeling environment tightly integrated with ADS and Genesys. In addition, SystemVue system-level design and verification will show the newest features in high-performance design personalities for wireless/4G, radar/EW and next-generation verification (VTB).


Computer Simulation Technology(CST) announced new features to automate workflows for field source coupling and multiphysics simulation using its System Assembly and Modeling (SAM) framework. Since 2012, the company has offered the ability to link together multiple simulation and post-processing tasks using the SAM framework in its CST STUDIO SUITE EM simulation software. The 2014 release of CST STUDIO SUITE builds on this with features that automate the creation of SAM projects for common design tasks, such as antenna placement, emissions analysis and thermal detuning.

Multiphysics workflows, which combine full-wave EM simulation with thermal simulation, can now be created using the wizard from the schematic view in CST STUDIO SUITE. This means that all the solvers are set up and connected, and the entire simulation started with a single click. For simulations with temperature dependent materials, SAM allows simulations to be iterated until convergence is achieved. Mechanical simulations can be easily added to the workflow, allowing expansion and detuning effects to be calculated. All solvers are integrated in the same parametric 3D modeling GUI, making parameter studies and optimization runs including EM-thermal couplings possible. Field source coupling workflows can also be automated. These allow different components to be simulated with different solver types, with the fields calculated in one simulation used as the excitation in the next. See their video demo here.

EM Software and Systems has released new solvers in FEKO Suite 7.0. A Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) solver has been added to its comprehensive set of powerful computational methods as well as the hybridization of the Multilevel Fast Multipole Method (MLFMM) with Physical Optics (PO). Despite the fact that the method is set in the time domain, the use of Fourier techniques allows wideband frequency domain information to be calculated. It can achieve second order accuracy using first order numeric differentiation.

Also, a new hybrid iterative method is supported which allows MLFMM with either PO or LE-PO to be used in the same model. An advantage of this iterative technique is a significant reduction in memory. The MLFMM models the complex part of the structure which contains the fine details. The PO/LE-PO is used to model the smoothly varying part. When using LE-PO together with the MLFMM, bi-directional coupling is included. Applications of the MLFMM-PO (and LE-PO) hybrid span over a wide range of problems including analysis of electrically large antennas, antenna placement studies on large platforms for the purpose of antenna pattern, coupling and radiation hazard analysis.Read our product feature article on this product from the May IMS issue here.

Mician previewed the upcoming new release of µWave Wizard that is scheduled to be available by the end of September/early October. The main improvements include support of optimization/yield analysis/tuning of field strengths and resonant frequencies, together with dual reflector antennas (classical cassegrain/gregorian and displaced axis antennas).

Other features are: improved STEP export (autodetect cylindrical surfaces and curved edges), adaptive sweep of field output variables, display creation time of loaded files in the NTL 3D viewer, the addition of port coordinate systems to 3D field plots and the improvement of the STL import of structures from low precision STL files. New elements will include folded ridged waveguide magic, generic T-junction semicircular to coaxial waveguide, step rectangular/ridged waveguide with longitudinal rounded corners, generic continuous ridged waveguide bend, four-port circular/rectangular junction with screws and ridged waveguide step with radii in the xz-plane.

Microwave Innovation Group (MiG) demonstrated that it had significantly developed its fast hybrid WASP-NET EM CAD and optimization tool. An important feature is the graphic 3D Editor for arbitrary structures, allied to the 3D WNModeler – a powerful 3D editor in addition to the further improved text editor that enables users to combine full 3D generality and flexibility of user-defined structures with WASP-NET’s high calculation speed. Geometry dimensions are parameterized for fast optimizations; lossy materials as well as dielectric and ferrite materials with frequency dependent tensor permittivity/permeability can be included; available 3D CAD data of components of component parts can be imported via standard formats and parameterized to be combined full-wave with desired further elements or additional user-defined 3D structures for fast, direct EM based overall optimization.

NI AWR Corporation announced that they have integrated ANSYS HFSS™ into AWR’s Microwave Office high frequency circuit design software. This integration unites the industry standard for full-wave electromagnetic (EM) field simulation and NI AWR Design Environment™/Microwave Office to quickly and accurately simulate microwave circuits. With this design flow, Microwave Office users can readily access HFSS for analysis of EM fields and coupling of 3D structures like passive components, bumps, bond wires, and pins which are essential to successfully designing and realizing microwave circuits like monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), densely-populated RF circuit boards and multifunction modules. See their video demo here.

Remcom was featuring their XFdtd Release 7 for complex, high-fidelity EM simulations. They were showing off new automated workflow options for MRI analysis, new automotive radar whitepaper and a preview of new features in XF7 which include enhanced biological thermal solver, MATLAB report and project optimized gridding.


Test and Measurement:

Accel-RF supplies equipment for performing measured long-term reliability assessment on compound semiconductors. To keep up with the shift in GaN from low to high volume, they are expanding their RFBL measurement equipment with the introduction of an 80-Channel RF Bias Burn-In System. The system architecture is derived from the highly developed and field-proven measurement platform product, AARTS. Accel-RF has supplied AARTS equipment to most of the contractors participating in the DARPA wide-band-gap (WBG) semiconductor initiative and the follow-on Title III Program.

Agilent Technologies and Cascade Microtech announced a strategic alliance to provide fully configured and validated RF measurement solutions that streamline wafer-level semiconductor measurements while delivering guaranteed configuration, installation and support. With wafer-level measurement solutions (WMS) from Agilent and Cascade Microtech, semiconductor customers now have the equipment they need to perform accurate and repeatable DC and RF measurements, device characterization and modeling, all while realizing significant time savings to first measurement. Agilent had 19 demos so covering all of their new products would take a whole article but here are some highlights. Agilent announced the availability of a new automatic fixture removal (AFR) option for its PNA Series network analyzers. Previously available only in Agilent’s Physical Layer Test System (PLTS) software, the error-correction technique is the fastest, easiest way to accurately measure non-coaxial devices, saving engineers time and money. They also announced that its FieldFox handheld combination analyzers offer an easier, more cost-effective solution than benchtop instruments, with the accuracy and functionality required for performing precision radar system performance validation, including maintenance and repair in the field.

Agilent announced a series of enhancements for its MXA and EXA X-Series signal analyzers. Agilent’s MXA achieves best-in-class sensitivity through a new Noise Floor Extension (NFE) feature. With this optional capability, the analyzer yields up to a 9-dB sensitivity improvement over MXA models without NFE, without having to compromise the third-order intercept. The MXA and EXA achieve higher frequency stability with a new atomic frequency reference (AFR) option. The option builds on a previous improvement in the analyzers’ short-term frequency stability by offering a 100X improvement in long-term frequency stability. Higher-frequency coverage for the MXA is possible via an external mixing option. The option covers frequencies beyond 26.5 GHz and up to 110 GHz with Agilent M1970 smart mixers, and to 1.1 THz with VDI’s frequency extender. See their video demos here.

Anapico highlighted the 5 MHz to 26 GHz phase noise test system APPH20G – second revision – which provides fast and accurate measurements of SSB phase noise as well as full time domain analysis. The instrument has built-in power detector and frequency counter, operates with either internal or external reference sources and offers measurements from 0.1 Hz up to 50 MHz frequency offset. It can be controlled with LAN (VXI-11), USB, or with GPIB from any PC or laptop. A platform independent intuitive GUI, API library, and powerful SCPI command language set are included. Also shown was the APSIN26TP high output power, low phase noise, fast-switching microwave signal generator covering a frequency range from 100 kHz up to 26 GHz. The instrument provides leading edge output power up to +26 dBm and includes amplitude modulation, frequency chirps, and fast pulse (train) modulation as standard.

AnritsuAnritsu introduced a new family of VNAs targeting the market looking for an economical yet high-performance solution for passive device testing (up to 4 ports). The new Shockline product is a family of rack mountable VNAs based on Anritsu’s non-linear transmission line technology and their “VNA-on-a-chip” architecture. The highly stable system means longer intervals between calibrations, better repeatability up to 125 GHz and excellent temperature stability. The instrument is able to reduce its cost by eliminating the front panel, display, keypad and user interface which are maintained through an external computer and operating system (or instrument drivers such as NI LabView).

AR RF/microwave instrumentation showcased its latest solid-state amplifiers, which included their new 2000S1G2z5 (2000 W Class A CW amplifier) that covers the 1 - 2.5 GHz. Its cost and size is equivalent to a TWTA, but this new amplifier provides better linearity, better harmonic suppression, lower noise level, superior mismatch tolerance, and 100% rated power to any load.  AR also demonstrated their 200 W Class A solid state amplifier which instantaneously covers the 0.7 to 6 GHz frequency range in a single band.  This amplifier is aptly suited for wireless, EMC and military jamming applications.  Their new W Series Class A CW amplifiers covers 80 MHz to 1000 MHz with output powers up to 4000 W.  The AR Modular RF division showed off their new 50 W networking military booster amplifiers called the AR-55 along with their commercial 1000 Watt PEP VHF/UHF base station communications amplifier. 

dBm was featuring their new ultra high bandwidth satellite payload, UAV simulator. With a bandwidth up to 600 MHz, the unit supports link emulation to investigate multipath fading (up to twelve paths) and digital additive White Gaussian Noise impairment to be added to the link. The Satellite Link Emulator with frequency agility provides a cost-effective, time-saving, repeatable total solution for satellite to UAV RF link testing.

Empower RF demonstrated that two is better than one when it comes to featuring high power amplifier systems, introducing their 20-1000 MHz, 1 KWatt compact 5U chassis power amplifier and their new 20-1000 MHz, 500 Watt compact 3U chassis. Excellent engineering and design allows the company to expand its portfolio of compact (size matters) broadband and band specific (below 6 GHz)  high power amplifier systems for jammers, communications, radar/avionics and EMC test and measurement. Both systems on display are rack mount with significant size reductions over competitive offerings

Holzworth released the HSM12001A RF synthesizer module; providing a reliable, agile, broadband (10 MHz to 12 GHz) CW source for our X-band customers.  IMS2014 product previews from Holzworth included the HA7062C phase noise analyzer which now covers a DUT input frequency range from 5 MHz to 20 GHz and measurement offsets of 0.1 Hz to 40 MHz.  The highlight of Holzworth’s IMS product previews was the new HSX Series signal generators, which exhibit industry leading phase noise performance (-144 dBc/Hz at 1 GHz, 10kHz offset) from a broadband signal source and a spurious response of better than -87 dBc. See their video demo here.

Ladybug Technologies was showing their new line of power sensors operating over the 9 KHz to 40 GHz frequencies with a dynamic -60 dBm to +20 dBm and their patented Nozero NoCal technology. Providing 4,000 true RMS average power measurements per second the sensors are ideal for EMC testing with exceptional frequency flatness and flash and RAM logging memory.


National Instruments (NI) featured the NI Power Amplifier Experience where visitors could view different PA exhibits that included envelope tracking and digital predistortion demonstrations on live ET power amplifiers. They also featured an IEEE Hands-on Workshop exploring RF concepts entitled “Efficient RF Design Using Practical Behavioral Models - Bridging the Gap Between Measurements and Simulations" led by Marc Vanden Bossche, Technical Market Development Manager at National Instruments.

In addition, their famous Microwave Jeopardy where they put an IMS twist on the popular television game show was held again in their booth. The game tests the microwave IQ of contestants on topics ranging from wireless standards and measurements to RF in pop culture. NI/AWR and NI/Phase Matrix were also in the booth (see NI/AWR information in the Software section above).  See their video demos here on ET, NI/AWR V11 and Phase Matrix synthesizers.

Noise eXtended Technologies(Noise XT) has introduced the 2 MHz to 7 GHz SLC ultra-low jitter/dual clock synthesizer. The SLC is an affordable single or dual clock USB synthesizer with outstanding jitter in a small package. With a noise floor of -170 dBc/Hz at 10 MHz, the SLC is said to have the lowest phase noise of any synthesizer in a compact, low cost package. The SLC measures just 85 x 110 x 200 mm and is designed to provide clock or local oscillator (LO) substitution signals to semiconductors where jitter and noise really matter. Typically, it will be used to drive data converters (ADC and DAC), direct digital synthesizers (DDS) or high-speed FPGAs and serial links to achieve the highest performance.

Centre stage on the Pico Technology booth was the PicoScope 9300 sampling oscilloscope, which addresses 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. The PicoScope 9300 Series oscilloscopes use triggered sequential sampling to capture high-bandwidth repetitive or clock-derived signals without the expense or jitter of a very high-speed clocked sampling system. The 20 GHz bandwidth allows measurement of 17.5 ps transitions, while the very low sampling jitter enables a time resolution as short as 0.064 ps.

As always Rohde & Schwarz showcased its complete spectrum of test and measurement equipment relevant to the RF and microwave sector. New introductions highlighted included the R&S SGT100A vector signal generator, which covers the frequency range from 80 MHz to 6 GHz. It is equipped with an integrated baseband generator that supports a maximum bandwidth of 160 MHz. and when using the R&S WinIQSIM2 PC software, the generator can quickly and easily deliver test signals for all major digital standards such as LTE, 3GPP and WLAN IEEE 802.11ac.

The company has also expanded the frequency range of its R&S SMW200A high-end vector signal generator to 20 GHz. The R&S SMW200A is claimed to be the only instrument on the market to combine a baseband generator, RF generator and fading simulator in a single box. In addition, it can be equipped with a second 20 GHz path, making it possible to simultaneously generate up to two wideband microwave signals with any type of modulation.

Another expansion sees the R&S SGU100A RF upconverter extend the frequency range of the R&S SGS100A vector signal generator from 12.75 GHz to 20 GHz. By combining the two instruments, users can now generate vector signals continuously from 80 MHz to 20 GHz, e.g. for use in test systems in the aerospace and defense sectors. Once combined, the R&S SGS100A and R&S SGU100A act as a single unit with one I/Q input and one RF output.

Also, the new R&S FPS signal and spectrum analyzer is now available in five models for frequency ranges up to 4, 7, 13, 30 and 40 GHz. It offers measurement applications for all key mobile and wireless standards and can demodulate IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi signals thanks to its 160 MHz analysis bandwidth. The higher frequency models are suitable for satellite monitoring applications and for the production of components for the aerospace and defense industry. See their video demos here.

SenarioTek had previously concentrated on custom high performance and reliability switch matrix solutions but now are offering standard products up to 40 GHz. Their FlexMatrix RF switch family offers a broad range of standard input and output configurations, frequencies from DC to 6, 26.5 or 40 GHz, over 10 million switching cycles for terminated and un-terminated products, minimal path delay skew between differential pairs, delay matching to +/- 1 ps, easy to use LCD interface and 3 year warranty.

Signal Hound (formerly Test Equipment Plus) changed its name in April 2014 to reflect the company’s line of economical real-time spectrum analyzers. Their BB60C is a high speed spectrum analyzer and a real time RF recorder. Operating from 9  kHz to 6 GHz with a sweep speed of 24 GHz/sec and resolution BW range of 10 Hz to 10Mhz, the BB60C collects 80 MSamples/second, streams digitized IF data to a computer via USB3.0 at 140 MB/sec, where IF data is converted to I/Q data  format. The new unit has an improved SFDR by 20 dB (typical), flattened noise floor and extended operating temp down to -40 deg C and up to + 65 deg C. Priced at just under $3K.

VDI was featuring their mini VNA extension modules that are a quarter of the volume of previous versions making them ideal for probe stations, operating from 50 GHz to 1.1 THz with exceptional dynamic range and unmatched stability. Partnering with VDI is a new company to watch called Swissto12 that was showing off some impressive new technology in millimeter-wave waveguide. Using a corrugated circular waveguide for much lower loss than can be achieved with rectangular guide, the company was featuring a material characterization it (MCK) that is available for frequency bands from WR-10+ (67-1115 GHz) up to WM250 (750-1100 GHz). They were demoing the characterization kit with a 500 um thick n-doped Si sample. The company was also showing off some very cool looking polymer waveguide (internally gold plated that had been fabricated using 3D printer manufacturing allowing highly customizable waveguide connector solution available in 2 to 3 weeks from order.

Wireless Telecom Group had several interesting demos on display highlighting their Noisecom product lines including the JV9000, which was part of a system to measure the impact of noise and spurs on Vcc of a PLL/VCO circuit and their UFX7000A series which was part of a system demonstrating how broadband noise generated by various sources interferes with the operation of the system as well as testing the impact of broadband jammers on the receiver. In addition, the company demonstrated how the Boonton 4500B and 4542 could be configured as a scalar analyzer to measure transient responses of passive RF components such as power limiters, useful when considering the possible damage to an amplifier due to a power spike on the input.


Cables and Connectors:

Frontlynk showed a cross-section of the company’s products including test and measurement devices, connectors and cable assemblies up to 110 GHz. Highlights included NMD cable assemblies. The NMD 3.5 mm and NMD 2.92 mm cable assemblies for test utilization combine ruggedized connectors and flexure and phase stable cables that are available in 25, 36 and 48 inch lengths and are claimed to provide outstanding durability and stability. Similarly the high performance 3.5 and 2.92 mm test and measurement cable assemblies exhibit extremely stable phase and amplitude for various applications, while flexure cables provide durability and stability for daily measurement.

Huber + Suhner demonstrated its array of connectivity solutions. Newly introduced is the  Multicoax MXP50 that joins the MXP18 and MXP40. Operating up to 50 GHz, it is high density-low loss and is available in standard lengths of 6, 12 and 24 inches with customized lengths available on request. It is designed with the company’s robust high fle MF53-02 cable and a new development is the optimized PCB connector. It features MXP break-out assemblies to PC2.4 connectors and is absolute matched to +/-2ps.

Also showcased were the Low Loss Minibend MMPX Assemblies. New is the Minibend L (32024E), which is available up to 50 GHz, has bend to the end cable entry and features a low Er solid PTFE dielectric. Also new is the 32088 low loss cable for dynamic applications. It has a frequency of 29 GHz, a 5 mm diameter and a temperature range of -65°C to +150°C.

Molex showcased its Flexible Microwave Cable Assemblies that replace stiff, semi-rigid assemblies with a combination of Temp-Flex coaxial cables and high-performance RF connectors.  They offer excellent electrical properties, and are assembled using a proprietary technique that minimizes Voltage Standing Wave Ratio and insertion loss for a complete end-to-end interconnect solution. The cables come standard with silver-plated conductors, fluoropolymer (FEP) dielectric, double shields and FEP jacket.  The solid-core, low-loss version uses proprietary low-loss FEP dielectric with 70% velocity of propagation (VOP) while the air-dielectric ultra-low-loss version use a unique air-enhanced design with up to 87% VOP.

Rosenberger featured a wide range of high-frequency connectivity solutions. In particular the company highlighted its multiple-use, solderless surface-mount PCB connectors for RF test and measurement applications. Available in the RPC-2.92 (up to 40 GHz), RPC-1.85 (up to 70 GHz) and RPC-1.00 (up to 110 GHz) connector versions the series is characterized by excellent RF properties. Pre-positioning of these connectors is determined by alignment pins, and even central positioning on the PCB is possible due to the 30° design. The mounting process is solderless and a wide range of board thicknesses can be utilized thanks to the clamping mechanism.

Also featured was Rosenberger’s educational RF training kit aimed at academic and industrial customers. The kit includes: coaxial devices with adapters; circuit board with 15 microstrip structures; documentation covering basic circuit theory up to sources of reflections, losses and crosstalk; guided exercises for experiencing these effects using the kit hardware on a vector network analyzer; and PowerPoint slides and field animations supporting the exercises.

San-tron announced their new pSeries pressurized connectors which provide low-loss, high-stability performance through 30 GHz at +/-65 psi. These pressurized connectors, which meet the IP68 standard, feature a simplified, three-piece design – body, center contact, and an innovative dielectric – which eliminates troublesome internal O-rings, gaskets, and silicone greases. The pSeries pressurized connectors are available in a variety of different connector types, including 2.92 mm, 3.5 mm, SMA, TNC, Type N, and mini-DIN (4.1/9.5). San-tron has also added a new style as another option to be used within their growing SRX low PIM cable assembly line. The high performance mini-DIN (4.1/9.5) connectors and adapters feature RF performance through 16 GHz and yield low PIM of -160 dBc with VSWR < 1.10:1 up to 7 GHz.

SGMC Microwave is a registered ISO 9001:2008 manufacture of precision coaxial connectors including cable connectors, receptacles and adapters.  They were featuring an extensive line of products which includes these series: 1.0mm, 1.85mm, 2.4mm, 2.92mm, 3.5mm, SMA, N, TNC & SSMA.

SV Microwave was showing off their Feathermate zero force to disengage multi-port connector with operation to 40 GHz.  It has .1” center to center spacing, rated to more than 500 mating cycles with a multiple number of port configurations available.  Mil-spec material and plating are also available.

SRI re-introduced their Superites.  These products offer users with applications requiring critical performance to at last design in a right angle without affecting performance-maybe even improve it.  The VSWR of the SUPERITES SMA is a maximum of 1.15:1 to 27 GHz.  This product is available in plug to plug, jack to jack and plug to jack.

Times was showing off some new cable/connector products including the 4.1/9.5 mini-DIN straight male connector TC-SPP250-4195M-LP now available for their SPP-250-LLPL (SuperFlexible Plenum Pim) 50 Ohm low loss plenum rated coaxial cable assemblies for use in distributed antenna system (DAS) applications.  SPP-250-LLPL is a ¼” very flexible type corrugated cable with low density PTFE dielectric and FEP jacket that meets the requirements of UL 910 for plenum applications.  They recently expanded the SPP-LLPL plenum rated/UL listed coaxial cable assembly family beyond the popular SPP-250-LLPL 1/4” cable to include SPP-375-LLPL 3/8” and SPP-500-LLPL 1/2” cables for even lower loss. High quality connectors assure excellent and reliable static and dynamic PIM performance better than -155 dBc for applications up to 6.0 GHz.  All Times plenum cables are UL listed and printed with the UL file number. Static and dynamic PIM performance is better than -155 dBc for applications up to 6.0 GHz.  All Times plenum cables are UL listed and printed with the UL file number.

GoreW. L. Gore & Associates has developed a Cable Installation Simulator to evaluate the stress of installation on microwave airframe assemblies. By comparing signal integrity before and after installation, Gore can engineer assemblies that withstand airframe installation as well as the demands of the aircraft's flight envelope. Prior to installation in the simulator, new cable assemblies are tested to verify the insertion loss and VSWR over a given frequency range. This information serves as the baseline to evaluate any performance change after being routed through the simulator. Then they are stressed by the simulator and re-measured to make sure they will continue to operate to specifications.


Materials, Semiconductors and Components:

3D Glass is providing a new photo-definable glass ceramic material has been developed that is processed in a three-step batch process enabling an HVM solution for glass microfabrication. Since the technology is based on a lithographic process, many design and process capabilities not typically associated with glass microfabrication are now possible, such as through glass vias (TGV) for I/Os, complex inductor line structures, high Q-factor architectures, and antenna air bridges on a single electrical substrate. The material’s fine surface finish also enables an MCM capability with fully integrated thin film passive components such as resistors, capacitors and inductors. See their full article here.

American Microwave Corp was showing their CW immune DLVA with 57 dB dynamic range and leading edge detection.  It is a single detector covering -42 to +15 dBm over 2-6 GHz and operating over -54 to 100 deg C. Rise time is 75 ns max and 40 ns typical and log slope of 50 mV/dB nominal.

AmpliTech was featuring several new products including their line of high-performance phase locked DRO’s (dielectric resonator oscillators) that operate up to 30 GHz. Their small size and low power consumption are ideal for many applications such as airborne receivers, jamming systems, simulators, satellite wireless networks and fiber optic communications and they can be used as a standalone component or integrated into custom assemblies. The company also features frequency converters, LNBs (bloc converters), multipliers and PIN diode switches with switching times as low as 10 nanoseconds. The company also was debuting their new L-band variable crossover non-complimentary surface mount diplexer for APT-DPX-2G for GPS/PCS receiver front-end, radar and wireless basestation/infrastructure applications.

Analog Devices had huge news the day after the show as they announced they will acquire Hittite.  They announced at the show the AD-FMCADC2-EBZ FMC module with HDL code and software drivers for rapid design prototyping and interoperability with Xilinx FPGAs. The board incorporates the 12-bit, 2.5-GSPS AD9625-2.5 A/D converter and the ADA4961 RF amplifier, also newly introduced, with input balun, power supplies and software stack. This module provides wideband dynamic performance and integrated functionality and enables development and prototyping of advanced RF sampling architectures. They also introduced a new highly integrated RF ICs that simplifies the design and reduce the development cost of multi-band base stations and point-to-point (PtP) radios. These new devices include the ADRF6720 I/Q modulator, ADRF6820 I/Q demodulator and ADRF6612 dual-mixer. The highly integrated devices enable the design of base station and high-performance radios requiring multi-band support, high dynamic range and wide channel bandwidths. They also introduced 3 new phase-locked loop (PLL) devices one of which is reported to feature the industry’s widest frequency coverage and lowest voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) phase noise in a single device. The ADF5355 PLL covers a 55 MHz to 14 GHz frequency spectrum, while the ADF4355-2 PLL features a 55 MHz to 4.4 GHz frequency span. Both PLLs integrate ultra-low-phase-noise VCOs that deliver -133 dBc/Hz @ 1 MHz offset at 6 GHz—at least 2 dB lower noise performance than any competing device.

Arrow Electronics (Richardson RFPD) was featuring a full slate of 15-minute presentations and Q&A sessions featuring the leading innovators and suppliers of RF, wireless and energy technologies. Companies with presentations included TriQuint, Microsemi, MACOM, ADI, Freescale, Carlisle, Peregrine, Skyworks, Wavelex, Empower and H+S.  It was a mini-MicroApps in their booth!

Avago introduced 4 new small cell PAs addressing LTE band 3, 12, 17 and 40 and 2.4 GHz WiFi band. They also showed off a complete set of LTE/WiFi coexistence FBAR filters. They were running 2 live demonstrations: one was reported to be the industry's first SDARS LNA+Filter solution coexisting with cellular and WiFi and the other was a carrier-grade WiFi PA with best-in-class restricted band edge (RBE) performance. They also recently completed the acquisition of LSI making them a $5 billon company.

BSC Filters was featuring a number of filter solutions including their agile and tunable filters. Their novel approach provides a continuously-variable filtering solution using high-Q resonators, allowing a cross-coupled bandpass response (notch variants are also available with the same infrastructure core).  The agile filters offer high selectivity, improved power handling with hot RF switching functionality. An open FPGA control architecture provides in situ reconfiguration with tuning speeds from 100 ns to 10 sec, covering the 1 MHz to 18 GHz frequency band (with 2 to 20% BW), the filter is ideal for a variety of applications ranging from frequency-hopping radio protocols to EW receiver protection. Other product lines include the company’s cavity and ceramic filters as well as their Neat Adaptor and No connector (NANO) coax to waveguide connector.

Component Distributors Inc., (CDI) announced the addition of Huawei Technologies to its power supply product portfolio. Huawei provides high efficiency power conversion solutions for communications, networking and cloud computing equipment. Its embedded power products include AC/DC and isolated DC/DC power supplies in industry standard brick formats, non-isolated point-of-load (POL) converters and 48V rectifier systems and modules including its latest rectifier featuring 98% conversion efficiency globally, the highest conversion efficiency ever released commercially for telecom equipment power supply systems.

CreeCree recently announced a new GaN HEMT DFN product family that includes 28 and 50 V, 15 and 30 W unmatched transistors. The frequency-agile transistors are capable of operating at a range between 700 MHz to 3.8 GHz instantaneous, and may be optimized for band splits. Multi-band capability creates design flexibility that helps small cell OEMs speed their time to market and allows operators to reconfigure the same small cell unit for different market requirements. They developed a Doherty reference design that delivers approximately 50 % drain efficiency at 10 W average power under a LTE 7.5 dB peak-to-average ratio signal, and covers 2.5-2.7 GHz instantaneous RF bandwidth while offering 16dB of linear gain. They also recently introduced high power CW transistors packaged in a DFN format aimed at the cost-sensitive sub-100 W commercial radar and data link amplifier market segments. The new 6 and 25 W DFN transistors can replace less efficient GaAs transistors in C- and X-Band frequencies and tube-based technology for commercial radar applications such as weather, marine and surveillance. Additionally, they introduced a new family of high power GaN RF transistors based on an new plastic package design, which leverages the high RF performance of GaN in a low-cost platform. Initial products include the industry’s first 300 W plastic packaged transistor operating at 2.7 GHz, delivering Psat efficiency of 65 % and broadband capability at nearly half the price of the same GaN transistor housed in an industry-standard ceramic package. Scalable to high power levels and capable of operating in all cellular telecom bands up to 3.8 GHz, the new GaN transistors are expected to enable the deployment of smaller, lower-cost macrocell radio units capable of supporting the growing data demands of today’s cellular LTE networks.

Custom Microwave Components (CMC) Inc. has been servicing the industry with, what is claimed to be, the fast RF switch in the world at 3 nsec since 2006.  The unit operates from 0.1 to 12 GHz (w/options through 18 GHz) with maximum insertion loss of 4.1 dB and isolation from 55-60 dB min.  CMC also provides unique cost-effective state-of-the-art Switch Matrix solutions such as a Mil Airborne 0.1 to 18 GHz Non-Blocking 80X5 and a Sat Com L-Band 8X8.   The company mates matrices with control software to offer networkable RF Routers with an intuitive user-friendly browser based GUI.

Crane Aerospace & Electronics Microwave Solution launched the new Ku-Band 4-Way iso-divider designed for use in satellite applications. This unit represents a further expansion of the products available in this product line. The iso-divider combines the functions of high performance power dividers with ferrite isolators to provide a high isolation power divider solution, making the external isolators redundant, for satellite receiver applications, without introducing complex switch-based solutions. Integration of the two functions into a single package provides enhanced product reliability due to fewer external components, interconnects and transitions. Additionally, marrying the power divider and isolators in the same package allows the performance of the integrated unit to be carefully matched and better overall performance can be obtained. Size and weight of the new product are considerably less than an equivalent discrete assembly. See their video demo here.

CrystekCrystek announced the release of many new products such as a 2.5 GHz phase locked clock source with internal reference, the CRFS75-2500. Crystek designed the module using proprietary circuitry and SAW resonator technology to provide ultra-low jitter/phase noise performance with true SineWave output.  The resulting source features -105 dBc/Hz phase noise at 10 kHz offset and a noise floor of -165 dBc/Hz. They also announced the CVCO33CC-2500-2500 VCO which is a coaxial-based VCO operating at 2500 MHz in a 0.3-in x 0.3-in SMD package. This VCO features a typical phase noise of -110 dBc/Hz @ 10kHz offset with a noise floor lower than -165 dBc/Hz.  It is powered from a +3.3V supply and it has an output power greater than +5 dBm.  Harmonic suppression and current consumption are -20 dBc and 20 mA typical, respectively.

CTS Electronic Components announced its new ClearPlex® Waveguide Duplexer, delivering performance comparable to air-cavity with 2x to 4x smaller size, for cellular infrastructure, 6-10 GHz microwave, NLOS backhaul and military communications. The Waveguide Duplexer uses patent-pending structures and proprietary high-quality ceramic formulations in duplexer and band pass filter configurations for 3GPP bands 1, 2, 4 and 7, with more bands in development. This technology can support input powers of up to 500 W peak and 50 W average. Key attributes include low insertion loss of 1 to 2 dB, frequency ranges from 1700 MHz to 10 GHz, sharp rejection points reaching up to -80 dB and PIM levels less than -110 dBm. They also introduced new clock oscillators and OCXOs.

Custom MMIC was discussing the benefits of the all-positive bias scheme available in many of their amplifiers. In comparison to depletion mode amplifiers, which require a bias sequencing circuit that ensures the negative gate voltage is applied before Vdd, enhancement mode amplifiers developed by Custom MMIC allow Vdd to be applied at any time with no current draw until the enable line is energized. In addition to removing the complex bias sequencing circuitry, the all-positive bias approach also eliminates the possibility of running the device open channel, a scenario that can easily damage or destroy depletion mode amplifiers. Finally, the positive bias scheme allows for pulsed mode operation at high speeds due to the low capacitance of the control line.

Diamond Microwave announced that it has extended its range of GaN-based solid-state power amplifiers (SSPA) to include a 2 - 6 GHz model that can be operated in either pulsed or CW mode. The DM?SC50?01 is an ultra-compact broadband amplifier that complements the company’s existing SSPAs in X-Band and Ku-Band, all of which are defence, aerospace and communications applications. The DM?SC50?01 demonstrates 100 W peak power in pulsed mode at 2 GHz and an average power capability of 50 W across the full band. The amplifier measures 120 x 100 x 20 mm excluding the heat sink. The amplifier designs are flexible in layout and architecture, and are fully customizable to meet individual specifications for electrical, mechanical and environmental parameters. Amplifiers with pulsed power outputs in excess of 1 kW, and with multi-octave performance are also under development.

Ethertronics unveiled EtherHelix GPS™, reported to be the world’s smallest, stand-alone, RHCP, external GPS antenna. Measuring 35 mm in length, it is 27 percent shorter in length than other antennas on the market with no performance trade-offs. It is an ideal solution for high-performance, mission-critical devices such as walkie-talkies, tough books, tough tablets, first responders, public safety, military applications and more. EtherHelix can be tuned for various Satcom frequencies and various polarizations (RHCP or LHCP).

Exodus Advanced Communications was featuring their AMP1052 SSPA with high power Class AB GaN design, instantaneous wide bandwidth, built-in protection circuits and high reliability and ruggedness. It operates from 6-18 GHz with 20 W minimum CW.

Freescale Semiconductor introduced its second generation of Airfast™ RF power solutions, delivering a new level of performance for advanced wireless infrastructure equipment, including GSM/UMTS, CDMA/W-CDMA, LTE, and TD-LTE applications. The new line includes the first production RF power LDMOS parts to achieve 50 percent efficiency in a Doherty configuration. Additionally, second-generation Airfast power amplifiers expand the portfolio’s breadth to include two-stage integrated circuits, incorporating multiple gain stages in a single package; as well as adding new offerings based on GaN and 48V LDMOS process technology.  They also announced the addition of the AFT05MS004N 4W RF power device for handheld and mobile radio applications. The device delivers excellent low power operation and extends the company’s support of mobile radio power levels to the 4-75 W range.  They have introduced their new RF Power Tool System that allows users to define RF conditions for their applications and provides easy system validation and real-time performance monitoring and data logging to allow customers to evaluate application tradeoffs. Targeted at low cost industrial applications, they introduced the new MRFE6VP5150N/GN and MRFE6VP5300N/GN power amplifiers that are the industry’s first > 65:1 VSWR rated devices to be housed in over molded plastic packaging.

Hittite had huge news the day after the show as ADI announced they will acquire them. Hittite had recently acquired Keragis and their high power, wideband amplifier lines. They have broadband CW amplifiers up to 300 W (2-6 GHz) and pulsed up to 8000 W (X-band). They were also featuring highly integrated transceivers 9.8 to 4 GHz RF input range) with bandwidths of 3.5 to 112 MHz with 80 dB gain control, IM3 less than 60 dBc and noise figure less than 5.2 dB. They were also showing 60 GHz transceivers covering 57-66 GHz in 250 MHz steps. Tunable bandpass filters with band pass from 1-37 GHz and data converters using high speed ADCs with track and hold amplifiers.

IBM is launching new RF SOI technology (7SW SOI) that is designed for 30 percent better performance than its predecessor. The new technology gives designers added flexibility, enabling them to develop chips that integrate more function or that take up to 30 percent less space, depending on design goals. It is a hybrid 180 nm/130 nm technology base and devices optimized to accommodate aggressive LTE standards and demanding worldwide coverage requirements. IBM announced September availability date for its new SiGe 9HP technology that is geared for the emerging E-band spectrum, operating at frequencies in the 70-100 GHz range. IBM also introduced SiGe 8XP optimized for clients who need improved performance without the additional CMOS integration capabilities offered by 9HP.  It is built on 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS 8HP technology and provides a 20 percent performance increase over the IBM 8HP HBT offering.

In close cooperation with Semtech Corporation IMST has developed the iM880A-L ultra long range radio module based on Semtech’s patented LoRa™ technology. With strong robustness against interferers and the minimized power consumption the module is a good solution for applications that require a long range and secure radio link within the 868 MHz frequency band. The iM880A-L can achieve a sensitivity of more than -137 dBm using a low cost bill of materials. The high sensitivity combined with the integrated +20 dBm power amplifier is said to yield industry leading link budget making it optimal for any application requiring range or robustness. LoRa™ also provides significant advantages in both blocking and selectivity, solving the traditional design compromise between range, interference immunity and energy consumption.

Infineon showed off its broad portfolio of packaged RF transceivers for basestation backhaul solutions – the BGT60 for V-band radio and the BGT70 and GT80 for E-band radio. The family approach has a major benefit – one architecture supporting the three backhaul frequency ranges of 60, 70 and 80 GHz. Customers can easily design all three radios with the same footprint for all three transceivers.

Thanks to the company’s advanced SiGe technology with a transit frequency of 200 GHz RF building blocks – such as power amplifier, low noise amplifier, mixer, programmable gain amplifier and voltage controlled oscillator can be integrated into a single chip. A solution using wireless backhaul in the V-band (57–64 GHz) via the BGT60 enables the 7GHz frequency to support higher data rates sufficient for LTE. The E-band chipsets consists of a transceiver for 71–76 GHz (BGT70) and a transceiver for 81–86GHz (BGT80). All three chipsets are housed in an eWLB (6 x 6 mm²) package.

K&L Microwave featured a number of their filter solutions including their adjustable bandwidth tunable filter that operates from 700 to 1000 MHz with variable 1 dB bandwidth of 5 to 20 MHz, 2.5:1 max. VSWR and typical insertion loss of 2 dB. The company was also highlighting their ceramic tunable band-pass filter from 225 to 400 MHz. These tunable filters are especially attractive to defense applications whose pass-band frequency requirements often change. K&L also featured their latest products for accurate IMD measurements (including triple beat testing) over 4G-LTE bands. Along with and sister company Dow-Key supply, K & L presented custom test solutions for emissions monitoring which is critically important to OEMs for a variety of reasons including:

·  separation of IM products from carriers while operating at full power
·   protecting devices from energy bounce-back
·   broad-band spurious emission
·   TX/RX measurement
·   interferer/interference tests, including interactions with satellite communication (GPS, Inmarsat, etc.).

Lark Engineering was featuring their suspended substrate filters with a frequency range of 5-18 GHz, low insertion loss of 1 dB or lower, power handling up to 15 W CW, VSWR of 1.4:1 in high pass, low pass and notch configurations. They are up to 50% smaller in size compared to other similar filters with connector options of SMA, N-Type and GPO.

MACOM announced that they have been accredited by the Department of Defense (DoD) as a Category 1A Trusted Foundry. This DoD accreditation distinguishes MACOM as a trusted manufacturer of integrated circuits (ICs) for classified and unclassified U.S. military and aerospace applications. The Category 1A designation is conferred to microelectronics vendors exhibiting the highest levels of process integrity and protection.  They were featuring their low cost, plastic packaged GaN technology and strategy to drive down the cost of GaN and mainstream its use.  They are going to be using 8 inch GaN on Si to obtain low cost starting material and fabrication costs and utilize standard low cost plastic packaging to reduce costs in the back end. This will be covered in-depth in our June cover feature.  They also released a variety of diode and GaAs based products for various applications.  See their video demo here.

MarkiMarki Microwave pointed out that nearly all small form factor IQ mixers available on the market today are single octave units with frequency ranges (2:1, i.e. 15-23 GHz, 6-10 GHz, etc).  Marki Microwave is proud to break the mold with the introduction of new Microlithic® IQ mixers, covering bands of 2-18 GHz and 4-16 GHz.  Each of these mixers features excellent phase and superior amplitude balance, leading to typical un-tuned sideband suppressions of 30 dB.

MCV Microwave makes dielectric resonators, patch antennas and dielectric substrates using their own special high Q ceramic materials. Some of these materials exhibit ultra-high Q performance with Qf greater than 300,000 at 10 GHz. Dielectric substrates are available in a wide range with K values from 9 to 190 and can be used in applications from 6 to 100 GHz.

Metrigraphics produces ultra-small electrical, mechanical or optical components to tight tolerances. They offer services that include thin film, photolithography, metallization, and electroforming providing products such as flexible circuits, thin film devices, optical components and electroformed structures at down to a micron scale.

Mini Circuits was featuring a wide breath of products, too many to name here.  They featured the AVM-273HP+ monolithic amplifier covering 13 to 26.5 GHz with output power up to +27dBm and excellent directivity of 43 dB typ. @ 20 GHz. Also the TSS-53LNB+ low noise bypass amplifier operating from 500 MHz – 5 GHz with flat gain, ±0.7 dB from 700 to 2100 MHz and low NF over entire frequency band of 1.4 dB.  They mentioned their BW-K3-2W44+ precision fixed attenuator with Precision Fixed Attenuator featuring operation from DC to 40 GHz, precise attenuation, excellent VSWR, 1.20 typical and passivated stainless steel connectors. They were also featuring their FLC series test cables and custom test racks providing complete testing solutions including software.

NIC featured its miniature filter line that range in frequency from 20 MHz to 7 GHz.  These low profile (0.15”) LC and ceramic filters can be customized to meet passband requirements from 1%-100% and meet a wide range of environmental requirements as well. Whether the challenge is a small form factor, high power, or cost, NIC’s products showcase a variety of creative solutions for radar and communications needs.

Northrop Grumman Corporation introduced two new high GaN MMIC power amplifiers for Ka-band satellite communication terminals and point-to-point digital communication links. The APN228 and APN229 power amplifiers were developed with the company's proprietary GaN power process and provide unmatched saturated output power of 13 and 8 W, respectively. These second-generation power amplifiers offer the highest power density of any existing Ka-band GaN product on the market.

NXP Semiconductors launched its ninth generation (Gen9) LDMOS RF power transistors for wireless/cellular base stations – specifically high-performance LTE base stations. The first Gen9 transistors are designed for Doherty power amplifiers – symmetric and asymmetric – and offer benchmark power densities in existing high-volume packages. The Gen9 technology is also optimized for operation at 3.4-3.8 GHz in anticipation of these frequency bands being released on a global scale next year for use by mobile telecoms providers.

The company also highlighted the latest additions to its portfolio of plastic transistors for wireless/cellular base stations. Plastic transistors are available from low to medium powers, and both single and dual stage, while the MMICs in the portfolio are optimized for Doherty performance in small cells. Also shown were the newest members of NXP’s family of LDMOS transistors, MMICs and integrated Doherty power amplifiers (iDPAs) specifically designed and optimized for small cell LTE base stations, including picocells and microcells. The RF power transistors in this portfolio span frequency ranges from 700 MHz to 2.7 GHz and include the world’s first asymmetric MMICs, as well as low-cost, low-power plastic devices.

Building on its research and development in the RF Energy sector the company demonstrated a wide range of applications that harness the power of RF as a clean, highly efficient and controllable energy source using its portfolio of RF power transistors designed specifically for the 2.45 GHz ISM frequency band.

OEwaves was showing off their micro opto-electronic oscillator with low phase noise and low vibration and acceleration sensitivity in its class for signal sources. It is based on photonic generation of spectrally pure signals at RF and millimeter wave frequencies allowing signal sources to scale to higher frequencies with little or no penalty in phase noise performance. Available in 34-36 GHz, this oscillator offers typical phase noise of -108 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset from the carrier. 

OMMIC is a supplier of MMIC circuits, foundry service and epitaxial wafers based on III-V (GaAs, GaN and InP) materials. The company showcased its portfolio of MMICs, which includes LNAs from 5 to 160 GHz for civil application such as telecommunication, passive imaging, and radars as well as for space and military applications. The company’s portfolio of MMICs, includes Corechip and control functions. Corechips are based on the integration in a single die of digital phase shifters, digital attenuators, LNAs, MPAs and switches for phased array antenna applications. Phases and attenuation states are controlled through a single digital data serial input using OMMIC’s E/D technology (ED02AH), enabling integration of a Serial to Parallel interface on the die (SIPO).

Peregrine Semiconductor was demonstrating their Global 1 re-configurable RF front end previously released at MWC showing that their single chip CMOS performance is as good as or better than current GaAs modules even at 4G/LTE bands.  They were also showing off a new line of UltraCMOS® Monolithic Phase & Amplitude Controllers (MPAC), the first monolithic RF solution to maximize Doherty amplifier performance. Through a digital interface, MPAC enables alignment of the phase and amplitude between the Doherty amplifier’s carrier and peaking paths. Designed for wireless infrastructure applications, MPAC improves system performance, lowers costs, increases reliability and provides maximum tuning flexibility. They also announced the availability of UltraCMOS® PE45140 and PE45450 RF power limiters. These power limiters represent turnkey, monolithic solutions to provide an alternative to discrete, PIN-diode limiters based on GaAs. Now shipping, these components offer repeatable and reliable protection designed for test-and-measurement, LMR, wireless-infrastructure, military and radar systems. See their video demo here.

Planar Monolithics Industries (PMI) was featuring their 100 MHz to 18 GHz transceiver in a 3U open VPX architecture.   It has a VITA 67 RF interface with up to 4 GHz instantaneous bandwidth and customizable switched filter banks.  It also features linear and limited RF, SDLVA output channels, log and threshold video SDLVA output channels, time gated SDLVA’s for pulse blanking and CW immunity.

Pole Zero was presenting their solutions for communication problems arising from RF co-site interference including tunable filters, integrated Cosite Equipment and low noise and cosite power amplifiers. The company’s modular building blocks offer low loss, narrow band solid-state tunable hopping filters, available in bandpass or notch configurations from 1.5 MHz to 4 GHz with power handling up to 100 W peak power.

RFMD had their press conference and mostly discussed their merger with TriQuint.  They do not see much overlap in products and see a good fit to the overall company that will be announced in the last quarter of this year. Known as a GaAs company, they are now shipping more Si products (in area) than GaAs.  The merger will create a $2 B company with about $1.5 B on the commercial side.  They have committed to $150 M in cost savings over the next 2 years evenly split.

Reactel featured its complete filter, multiplexer and multifunction assembly lines covering DC to 50 GHz.  Utilizing one of its Network Analyzers from Copper Mountain Technologies, attendees were invited to try their hand at tuning a filter making the Reactel display truly interactive.

Res-net Microwave was displaying their high-performance alumina chip terminations with operation from DC-6, 12 or 20 GHz.  The DC-20 GHz model has a VSWR of 1.35:1 and power of handling of 1 W, DC-12 GHz 1.5:1 and 2 W and DC-6 1.25:1 and 20 W. Nova Microwave was showing off a high power drop-in isolator operating from 8500-11500 MHz in a mini package. It has isolation of 20 dB, insertion loss of .5 dB and power handling of 30 W.

RogersRogers had a great pirate themed event one evening that was a lot of fun.  They were featuring their COOLSPAN TECA (thermally and electrically conductive adhesive) that is a thermosetting, epoxy based, silver filled adhesive film used to bond circuit boards to heavy clad metal backplanes, heat sink coins and RF module housings. The adhesive can be used as an alternative to fusion bonding, sweat soldering, mechanical, or press fit metal attachment.  It is both a thermal and electrical conductive bond interface so a very useful way to make these types of attachments. If has good chemical resistance and high temperature performance and will survive lead-free solder processing.

SAGE Millimeter was showing their Model SBL-7531144050-1010-S1 amplifier that is a W-band LNA covering the entire W-band from 75 to 110 GHz . The amplifier exhibits more than 40 dB small signal gain with ± 2.5 dB gain flatness and less than 5.0 dB noise figure. The output P-1 dB of the amplifier is around 0 dBm, typically. The amplifier draws 40 mA current from a single DC power supply in the range of +5 to +12 Vdc. The low noise amplifier is equipped with WR-10 waveguide and UG387/U-M standard flange for its RF ports. SAGE Millimeter also offers many low noise, broadband and power amplifier models to cover the frequency range of 18 to 110 GHz.

Signal Core was highlighting their nanoSynth integrated broadband CW signal synthesizer that combines PLL, DDS and frequency dividers into a single, rugged, miniaturized 2” x 1” surface mount package. The output frequency is 25 MHz to 6 GHZ with an average output power of +10 dBm and tuning resolution of 1 Hz. The multiple PLL architecture eliminates close-in phase spurs that are associated with fractional-N PLLs. The SC800 also features low phase noise better than -112 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz for a 1 GHz carrier. An onboard microprocessor controls output frequency.

Skyworks was featuring new LNAs, the SKY67150-396LF and SKY67153-396LF, that are optimized for 300-2200 MHz and 700-3800 MHz, respectively, with active bias, high linearity, superior gain and industry-leading NF performance. The devices leverage Skyworks' advanced semiconductor manufacturing and packaging processes in a compact 2 x 2 mm, 8-pin, dual flat no-lead package. Internal active bias circuitry provides stable performance over temperature and process variation. The LNA family uses a common layout with band-specific tuning and offers the ability to externally adjust supply current for system-level optimization. See their video demo here.

Smiths Microwave which consists of Millitech, Tecom, RF Florida/EMC Technology, Kaelus and Trak Lorch subsidiaries had a commanding presence at IMS with a center of the exhibition hall joint booth. Trak Lorch featured their airborne 25 watt GaN SSPA Ku block up converter (BUC) for in-flight entertainment systems, optimized for volume manufacturing and for compliance with phase noise requirements for both commercial and military satellite bands. The company was also featuring their VSAT dual band block down converter (BDC). Both units are ITAR free.

Tecom was featuring their airborne Ku broadband antenna systems for in-flight connectivity. Their novel 2000 antenna system is based a unique cavity array with suspended air strip line-feed network for superior G/T. The embedded GPS pointing solution eliminates pointing error drift. Other products in their in-flight connectivity portfolio includes their high power transceivers (block up and down converters, high power amps), antenna control units which interface with the aircrafts navigation system and provides antenna positioning command and control and their satellite antenna assembly that features precision horn array aperture with integrated feeding network, two orthogonal linear polarizations and integrated diplexer architecture.

RF Florida EMC Technology released a new series of low-loss wideband hybrid couplers. Part of the innovative HybriX® signal distribution product family, the WH0530TF and WH1727F are optimized for 0.5 to 3.5 GHz, WH0530TF features wideband operation without the performance penalties associated with traditional multi-staged hybrid coupler architecture. Power combining efficiency is maximized with its low insertion loss and excellent amplitude and phase balance. The WH1727F offers a very low 0.1-dB typical insertion loss from 1.7 to 2.7 GHz in a compact package. Also offering 30 dB of typical isolation, WH1727F provides the high performance demanded by today’s 4G LTE systems. EMC Technology also features their Thermopad® temperature variable attenuators and high power resistives, which are being used RF and microwave designers in commercial wireless and space/military industries.

Teledyne was well represented with Teledyne Microwave Systems and Teledyne LeCroy present in their booth. Teledyne Microwave Systems was recently showing off a complete suite of ITAR-free products for Ka-Band systems that have been specifically developed for both legacy and new designs at AUVSI. Both up and down converters have the ability to electronically switch between the commercial and military Ka-/K-Bands. Each converter has a number of functions that enable easy integration into legacy and new systems. These include either internal or external reference at both 10 and 50 MHz along with blanking and attenuation control. By combining these converters with the standard SSPA, a full transceiver can be configured to operate over the 29 to 31 GHz transmit band and the 19.2 to 21.2 GHz receive band with just three hermetically sealed modules. Teledyne LeCroy was showing off their real-time LabMaster 10 Zi Series oscilloscope with 160 GS/s and 65 GHz bandwidth (4.9 ps risetime, 20-80%).  They also had on display their high definition HDO6000 oscilloscope with bandwidths of 350 and 500 MHz in addition to 1 GHz. These are 12-bit scopes with up to 15-bit enhanced resolution so provide the best resolution in the industry.

Transline Technology, a PCB design and production company, was showing the first samples run with 2 mil Rogers CoolSpan TECA (thermally and electrically conductive) bonding Rogers 4350 to a half inch copper heat sink/carrier with good results. This is one of the first companies to be evaluating this new material so will be one of the first ready to produce product soon.


TriQuint had a large breath of products on display including their patented Spatium™ technology that achieves high levels of Ka-Band solid state power, bandwidth and efficiency replacing some TWT applications. Spatium combines multiple GaN or GaAs MMICs with low loss enabling cost effective and reliable solid state broadband power amplification. They were also featuring their GaN technology for defense, aerospace and foundry customers including a new family of transistors; new packaging; and robust amplifiers (TQGaN25, TQGaN25HV and TQGaN15 technologies). TriQuint offers GaN power amplifiers from L through Ka-band, low-noise amplifiers from S to X-band and RF switches from DC to K-band. They also had on hand their optical and cable infrastructure including dual and quad channel limiting and linear drivers and TIAs for next generation 100, 200 and 400 Gb/s optical systems; GaN and GaAs MMICs for CATV; and temperature-compensated notch filters enabling the coexistence of Wi-Fi and LTE to name a few.

UMS showcased three new high power, high efficiency GaN products that are thermally optimised and integrated and fully matched. All three utilise the Quasi-MMIC concept that consists of the combination of GaN power bars with matching networks realised on high power passive MMIC technology, recently developed by the company. The first two are GaN internally-matched power transistors from L to C-band, which are hermetic thermally enhanced metal-ceramic packages.

The C-band 50W CHZ050A-SEA operates in the 5.2 – 5.8 GHz frequency range, has a small signal gain of 15 dB and associated gain of 12 dB. The  L-band 200W CHZ180A-SEB operates in the 1.2 – 1.4 GHz frequency range, has a small signal gain of 20 dB and associated gain of 15 dB. The third is the L-band 15 WCHZ015A-QEG internally matched Quasi-MMIC device in a low cost SMD plastic package. It is a QFN 4x5, multi-chip package with integrated gate biasing operating in the 1.2 – 1.4 GHz frequency range, has a small signal gain of 19 dB and associated gain of 13 dB.  Also shown was a complete UMS E-band radio chipset for high data rate millimeter-wave wireless backhaul, which are very low noise, smart PA’s with on chip detector and a highly integrated mixer.

Vectron International announced the release of a low g-sensitivity TCXO for Military, Industrial and other harsh environment applications. It has low g-sensitivity of 0.2ppb/g standard, with a 0.1ppb/g option and packaged in a 7.0 x 5.0 x 2.8mm outline. Temperature stability is to +/-1 ppm -40 to 85 deg C with standard frequencies of 10, 12.5, 20, 25, 40 and 50 MHz.

Wenzel Associates presented a live measurement of its latest low noise OCXO based product line, the Golden Multiplied Crystal Oscillator (GMXO). The 1 GHz GMXO offers a noise floor of -164 dBc/Hz (100 kHz offset) and an output level of +16 dBm. The GMXO product Series can be made at any fixed frequency between 200 MHz and 12 GHz and options such as phase locking and multiple outputs along the multiplier string are standard.

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