Industry News

It's a Wrap for the 2006 European Microwave Week Exhibition

This year saw the largest European Microwave Exhibition (EuMW) to date, with more than 300 exhibiting companies, taking up 7500 m2 of gross exhibition space in the impressive Central Hall of the G-MEX Centre, Manchester. A sampling of some of the exhibitors and their offerings follows:

Agilent Technologies Inc. utilized EuMW as a platform for launching brand new products to the industry. The first is the MXG signal generators, which offer industry-best adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) performance and switching speeds, coupled with simplified self-maintenance to maximize uptime. These new analog and vector signal generators are ideal for manufacturing teams producing components and receivers for communications systems.

Agilent also announced the availability of its MXA signal analysis platform, heralding the arrival of the next generation in signal analysis. The MXA is the industry’s fastest signal analyzer with the highest accuracy of any midrange analyzer. Its exceptional measurement speed enables dramatically improved throughput and yields in manufacturing. This new platform provides the highest performance in a midrange analyzer, enabling engineers to solve design challenges for current and emerging applications faster and with fewer iterations.

Anritsu Co. introduced the VNA Master MS2034A and MS2036A that offer integrated vector network analyzer (VNA), spectrum analyzer and power meter capability in a single handheld, battery-operated, rugged instrument. The multi-function capability of the MS2034A/MS2036A allow them to serve as single-instrument solutions for phase matching cables, identifying sources of interference and troubleshooting transmitters in a variety of aerospace, defense and general purpose systems.

Anritsu also introduced a 70 GHz model and a series of options for its MG3690B family that not only extends the frequency range of the RF/microwave signal generators but also adds flexibility and cost of ownership advantages. The options – a 10 dB low phase noise and high power – are available for all six models, which cover 2 to 70 GHz and deliver high purity signals for accurate analysis.

Applied Wave Research Inc. (AWR®) announced RFA™, a system-level architectural planning tool, which provides an advanced radio frequency (RF) budget analysis feature and “frequency heritage inspection” capabilities for next-generation communication design. This new entry-level product is the latest addition to the company’s Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) design suite.

Arlon Inc. announced the availability of the CLTE-XT microwave laminate. CLTE-XT represents the eXtended Technology of the existing CLTE product line and offers insertion loss (S21) and loss tangent (0.0012 at 10 GHz). CLTE-XT is a micro dispersed ceramic PTFE composite utilizing a woven fiberglass reinforcement to provide the highest degree of dimensional stability, critical in multi-layer designs.

Chronos Technology launched new RoHS compliant power amplifiers, low noise amplifiers and multipliers from Cernex Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, at last week’s exhibition. The new range of amplifiers and multipliers feature benefits such as solid-state class A design, 50 Ohms in/out impedance and rugged construction. The power amplifiers also have the additional benefit of instantaneous broadband.

Chronos also announced the release of the CW85 GPS ‘Broadcaster’ from Illinois, US-based NavSync, which incorporates NavSync’s unique high sensitivity GPS receiver with an 802.11b transmitter to provide location information when in the vicinity of a WiFi hotspot.

CompoTRON Ltd. announced the release of Pletronics’ new high frequency, crystal controlled oscillator. The LV99 and PE99 series of oscillators have low jitter at a low cost. The new oscillator combines the latest advancements in IC and crystal technology to provide frequencies ranging from 10 MHz to 1.25 GHz with jitter as low as 0.16 pS RMS from 10 Hz to 20 MHz. The 5x7 mm ceramic, surface-mount oscillator is currently available in PECL output, 3.30 V, with LVDS output units to be introduced in the near future.

Dielectric Laboratories Inc. (DLI) featured its XtremeQ™ series of microwave filters and resonators. This series is now available from prototype to high volume manufacturing. XtremeQ filters and resonators can be ordered from DLI’s extensive catalog “Resonators, Filters and Custom Ceramic Components” or manufactured to customer’s specification utilizing proprietary or patented ceramic formulation to deliver the unique combination of compact footprint, unsurpassed temperature stability and excellent RF performance.

A new launch for EuMW from Elisra is the instantaneous frequency measurement (IFM) assembly, which is a digital frequency discriminator that measures the frequency of the RF input signal. Compact in size, the standard frequency range is 2 to 18 GHz, with the option of extension to 0.5 to 18 GHz. The frequency accuracy is 2 MHz as is the frequency resolution. It has internal or external triggering, a high dynamic range of –50 to +10 dBm, a pulsed width range of 50 ns to CW and a SNR of 3 dB.

Endwave Defense Systems announced the release of a series of custom multi-function assemblies (MFA) for RF power distribution applications. These particular MFAs provide input filtering, amplification using GaAs MMIC devices, digitally-controlled attenuation and temperature-compensated power distribution of incoming RF signals among eight output ports.

Filtronic Compound Semiconductors announced it is now sampling a new family of packaged MMICs targeting the Wireless Infrastructure (WI) and WiMAX market segments. The FMA3017QFN, FMA3018QFN and FMA3019QFN MMICs are balanced low noise amplifiers packaged in industry standard, cost-effective RoHS compliant outlines. Each MMIC is designed for optimum performance over the 1.7 to 2 GHz frequency range making them ideal for first, second and third stage front-end base station LNAs. By integrating the input and output couplers on chip these LNAs reduce both board space and component count.

The new Empire Xccel™ 3D EM field solver was featured in the IMST booth. This version is scheduled to be released in October 2006 and has been further optimized for speed. Utilizing modern processor architectures (for example, smart cache management), a speed-up of about 200 percent has recently been reported. Another speed-up has been obtained by using dual-core, single-CPU machines; the performance is at additional 60 percent, using dual-core, dual-CPUs; and performance values of at least 350 Mcells/s have been achieved. Reference for the performance values was a modern 3.2 GHz dual-core, dual CPU desktop PC (Xeon). Utilizing Empire XCcel there is neither a need for special hardware set-ups nor a limit for the application size to the memory space.

Keithley Instruments Inc. introduced an innovative line of RF test instruments. With an unrivaled combination of high performance, speed, flexibility, ease of use and compact size, these instruments employ new approaches to test and measurement that enable users to save time, effort and money. These new products will be used throughout the design, development and manufacturing processes, and they complement existing Keithley solutions sold in this market such as battery simulation sources, semiconductor characterization systems and Source-Measure Units.

The LPKF ProtoLaser 200 is a versatile state-of-the-art laser system, combining advanced laser technology, optics and table mechanisms, resulting in superior quality, speed and accuracy. This rapid PCB prototyping solution is perfect for the precision geometries demanded by RF, microwave, RFID, antennas and filters. Laser structuring applies to nearly any substrate, such as FR4, flexible materials, ceramics, PTFE and AL2O3 (alumina).

M/A-COM announced new low-cost two-stage driver amplifiers, the MAAMSS0072 and MAAMSS0073, extending the company’s successful family of broadband, high linearity driver amplifiers. The broad frequency range, high linearity and reliability make this M/A-COM product family ideally suited for a variety of wireless applications such as WiMAX, WiBro and UMTS/WCDMA base stations.

M/A-COM also announced the MASW-007107, a new DC to 8 GHz SPDT RoHS compliant switch for applications that require low insertion loss and fast settling times over a wide frequency range in an ultra small size.

MicroMetrics Inc. announced the expansion of its epitaxial growth and coating services for the semiconductor fabrication market. The newly expanded Londonderry, NH facility now includes seven Gemini Epi reactors.

The Microwave Innovation Group (MIG) demonstrated the latest version of WASP-NET®, the fast hybrid EM CAD and optimization engine that utilizes the advantages of all four common EM solvers (MM/FE/MoM/FD) in one tool. Its high speed is of particular benefit, especially when full-wave optimizations are required to meet given specifications. New features include 64-bit capability utilizing enhanced memory handling performance, extended slot array library with direct feed optimization capability for very large arrays, dielectric resonator and combline filter library with full 3D flexibility, and improved efficiency.

The new MILMEGA 2.5 to 6 GHz range of amplifiers is designed to address the recently released edition 3 of IEC 61000-4-3 that outlines a new requirement for testing up to 6 GHz. The requirement presents those EMC labs with an existing amplifier capability up to 3 GHz with a procurement challenge of how best to fill this gap. In addition, this new range of amplifiers provides the perfect solution for testing against the WiMAX requirements.

MTI Wireless Edge announced the availability of its new ultra low cost omni directional antennas in the ISM bands. The development of these antennas was specially designed to support mesh architecture networks.

The NM100 VNA+ from NMDG Engineering is a combination of software and hardware, running on top of a VNA and allows the characterization of the harmonic behavior of high frequency components, including diodes, transistors and power amplifiers. On top of the regular capabilities of the VNA, the NM100 measures, in a calibrated way, the incident and reflected waves or voltages and currents at the ports of a component. During measurements, it is submitted to ‘realistic conditions,’ via a periodic harmonic-related stimulus, possibly in combination with tuners. The software includes a user-friendly graphical interface that allows visualization of data in time as well as in the frequency domain. The NM100 supports a frequency range from 600 MHz up to 20 GHz.

OMMIC announced the introduction of two new circuits in its family of products of control functions for military, civil and telecommunication applications. The CGY2176AUH is a 6-bit digital attenuator with good performance from 4.5 to 6.5 GHz. The CGY2177AUH is a 6-bit digital phase shifter with good performance from 4.5 to 6.5 GHz.

The OCXO series from Pascall Electronics Ltd. is designed to meet the increasing demand for high performance reference oscillators. Oven-controlled SC-cut crystals are used to give good temperature stability combined with the lowest possible phase noise. The oscillators are available with either mechanical or electrical tuning, with the option of a low noise reference voltage output to allow the oscillator to be tuned using an external potentiometer. The frequency range is 50 to 130 MHz, tuning range is +/- 4x10-6 and output power is 13 dBm +/- 2 dBm, 50 Ω.

RADIALL featured its extension of coaxial microwave switching product range with the new DP3T-SPDT Platinum series and 40 GHz SPnT terminated switch. New test and measurement RF microwave cable-assemblies; coaxial connectors: SMP, R3C, QMA, QN, IMP 18 GHz; RF micro and power switches, antennas for military applications (wideband and broadband) and civil applications (combined antennas) were also on display.

Remcom featured several products at EuMW including its latest version of XFDTD, version 6.4. Emphasis has been placed on antenna calculations to answer a need in the market. One of the major applications for XFDTD is in the area of antenna design and analysis. Remcom announced XSTREAM – hardware acceleration for the well-established XFDTD electromagnetic analysis software package. This hardware option can improve performance by factors of 10, 20 or more. The company also featured the development of Wireless Insite that has continued at an astounding pace with the recent release of version 2.3. An exciting enhancement of this version includes the ability to run on Linux and on multiple processors. Varipose v1.2 was also on spotlight at EuMW. Varipose is a modeling tool for reposition biological modes for use with Remcom’s XFDTD software.

Rogers Corp. introduced its new RO4450B™-dx Bondply, a high fill/flow version of the RO4450B high frequency circuit material. RO4450B circuit material is a glass-reinforced hydrocarbon/ceramic thermoset bondply designed for performance-sensitive, multilayer printed circuit boards. These bondplys are designed to offer superior high frequency performance and low cost circuit fabrication. The result is low loss material, which can be fabricated using standard epoxy/glass (FR4) processes. The new RO4450-dx is a high fill/flow version of the RO4450B bondply. It is designed to fill those high density designs while still offering thin dielectric spacing.

Rohde & Schwarz demonstrated its expertise in all aspects of microwave measurement technology. The new vector network analyzer R&S ZVA40 from Rohde & Schwarz, the flagship member of the well accepted family of network analyzers, now also allows measurements on pulsed signals up to a frequency of 40 GHz. Further highlights that Rohde & Schwarz showcased this year included the signal source analyzer R&S FSUP, an all-in-one spectrum analyzer up to 50 GHz and a phase noise tester in a single instrument, the high-end signal generator R&S SMA100A with a frequency range of now up to 6 GHz and the new EMI test receiver R&S ESU offering measurement speeds up to 100 times higher than with comparable receivers. Last but not least, the company presented reliable and standard-compliant measurement solutions for WiMAX applications in addition to its I/Q Modulation Generator R&S AFQ100A with extended memory space up to 1 GSample and I/Q bandwidth of up to 100 MHz.

Rosenberger featured its new series of QN connectors that are based on the N connectors’ interface and operate in a frequency range up to 11 GHz. The quick lock coupling mechanism allows fast, easy and reliable connections in the tightest spaces. Rosenberger’s current product spectrum covers straight and right angle plugs as well as panel jacks for various cables (UT 141, RG 58, RG 213, RG 214, RG 223). The product range is completed by N (female) – QN (male) adapters. QN and standard N connectors are not intermateable. SEMCAD X V11.0 Mönch is the latest release of SPEAG’s powerful EM TCAD package and another major breakthrough in numerical simulations. Now featuring 4 EM solvers (Yee-FDTD, FIT/Conformal-FDTD, ADI-FDTD, C/FIT-ADI-FDTD), 2 EM combined thermal solvers (T, Conformal T) and ultra-fast aXware hardware acceleration, SEMCAD X provides a complete solution to analyze and optimize multi-physics problems of any complexity.

Sonnet Software Inc. showcased its new Sonnet® Suites Professional™ Release 11. This release introduces a new type of internally calibrated port, which exhibits exceptional dynamic range. These ports can be used as accurate attachment points for transistors, diodes or other active components enabling full co-simulation of surface-mount parts and packages with planar EM analysis. Release 11 also introduces a redesigned seamless interface to the Agilent EEsof EDA's ADS Suite. The re-design, including an intuitive, easy-to-use GUI interface, runs entirely in the ADS environment, which greatly simplifies the translation process. One can produce layout look-alike schematic symbols for using and sharing Sonnet models in ADS schematics.

SUSS MicroTec AG featured its recently released version of wafer-level, high frequency calibration software. SussCal Professional simplifies the wafer-level calibration process and significantly increases the accuracy of on-wafer measurements.

Tektronix Inc. announced the Tektronix RSA6100A series of real-time spectrum analyzers that provides an unmatched combination of real-time performance, capture bandwidth and dynamic range to meet the needs of a broad range of digital RF applications. DPX™ waveform image processor technology transforms volumes of real-time data to produce a live RF spectrum presentation that reveals previously unseen RF signals and signal anomalies. Live RF is achieved by improving the spectrum measurement rate nearly 1000 times compared to the fastest swept spectrum and vector signal analyzers (VSA).

An RF MEMS switch technology was on spotlight at the TeraVicta Technologies exhibit. This switch features a wide frequency range that operates from DC to 20 GHz, high isolation of 21 dB at 20 GHz and high linearity of IP3 > 65 dBm. These switches are used in high performance RF switching, automated test equipment and instrumentation.

Thunderline-Z announced the posting of two new engineering tools to its web site. The first tool is an advanced search engine of the company's entire database of previously designed feedthrus. This tool allows users to search over 2000 models of RF/50 Ohm, DC and capacitor/filter feedthrus to find the model that most closely resembles their application. The second tool offered is a new impedance reference calculator. This tool allows engineers to calculate the opposing dimension of glass to pin, or pin to glass that will achieve optimal impedance from their package.

TriQuint Semiconductor introduced two new high-OTOI (output third order intercept) gallium arsenide (GaAs) amplifiers. These new advanced design amplifiers are part of TriQuint’s continuing commitment to meet customers’ market-specific high frequency signal amplification needs while also providing smaller, lower-cost alternatives compared to previous-generation products.

Vector Fields Ltd. introduced a new variant of Concerto™, its advanced RF and microwave design software. ConcertoES™ offers 3d Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) analysis at a fraction of the cost of the full version, but with no compromise to performance or accuracy.

For the very first time, Vitelec Electronics, Johnson Components, Midwest Microwave and Thunderline-Z appeared at a trade event under the Connectivity Solutions banner of Emerson Network Power. Vitelec itself announced the availability of a leading range of connectors that meet or exceed MIL-PRF-39012 performance requirements.

A range of high performance SMK connectors, specifically designed for demanding applications, is now available throughout Europe from Vitelec Electronics. The range includes hermetically sealed, field replaceable components and is ideally suited to, among others, military and aerospace applications.

A new thin film innovation has been announced by UltraSource. By eliminating the need for a wirebond, or an air bridge, this consistent, reliable, cost-effective solution called UltraBridge is a useful design option for circuit designers at high frequencies.

Johnson’s leading range of SMA plugs is now available in Europe through Vitelec Electronics. The devices quickly and easily mate to standard, threaded SMA Jack receptacles allowing rapid test connections without compromising electrical performance.

Retaining all the benefits of a threaded coaxial coupling, Johnson SMA Quick-Connect Plugs deliver high performance coupled with superior ease-of-use.

Universal Microwave Corp. announced its new RoHS-compliant, octave-band oscillator (model UMZ-1601-A16-G) that operates in a frequency range from 800 to 1600 MHz and features low phase noise performance of –100 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset from the carrier over the 800 MHz bandwidth. Operating with a 10 VDC supply while drawing 25 mA (typical) over the temperature range of –40º to 85ºC, model UMZ-1601-A16-G is suited for applications requiring signal stability, tuning linearity, and low phase noise performance across a wide frequency range.

W.L. Gore & Associates has extended on-line capabilities building on the success of last year's launch of the cable configurator. Available now from Gore is the new GORE™ Microwave/RF Assembly Builder, an online interactive design guide that provides simple step-by-step instructions for configuring GORE microwave/RF cable assemblies.

Z-Communications Inc. announced the introduction of a high linearity power amplifier (5 W average) for emerging 802.16 WiMAX base station applications. The first in the series of power amplifier products for WiMAX, model ZPA3436-5W, operates over the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band with a typical gain of 46 dB and 37 dBm OFDM output power for 64 QAM, 3/4 coding, 3.5 MHz channel bandwidth, 256 carriers.

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