- Buyers Guide
EuMW 2006: Regenerating Interest
Manchester, UK, has been a major port and trading centre since the 1700s and the tradition continued in September when European Microwave Week (EuMW) visited the city for the first time and set out its stall at the G-MEX/MICC Complex. Exhibitors not only traded new and innovative products at the European Microwave Exhibition but visitors to the six-day event also traded ideas and opinions at the four major conferences, workshops and short courses.
Just as the historical city of Manchester has profited from regeneration, the established conferences received a makeover too with the introduction of the European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference EuMIC (formerly the GAAS® Symposium), which is the product of close collaboration between the GAAS Association and the European Microwave Association. The new format enabled it to dovetail well and complement the established 36th European Microwave Conference (EuMC 2006), the European Conference on Wireless Technology (ECWT 2006) and the European Radar Conference (EuRAD 2006).
In what is an increase from 2005, the European Microwave Conference featured 60 regular oral sessions, including several focused sessions on specific topics, and two poster sessions. The concept of EuMW favours the integration of the four component conferences, uniting their respective communities and, in this spirit, EuMC featured nine joint sessions with its sister conferences. In addition, there were various workshops designed to encourage technical exchanges on certain topics.
This is not only Europe’s premier meeting on wireless technology but also a growing international event, demonstrated by the fact that the conference received a record number of papers from over 50 countries with a significant proportion of contributors from North America and the Asia Pacific region. As well as established ECWT topics like antennas and integrated modules, the conference incorporated growing areas such as UWB, WiMAX and HSDPA through to fledgling topics like Cognitive Radio and Ad Hoc Networks.
The GAAS Association and the European Microwave Association worked together to produce this new conference. As the name suggests it focused on all monolithic microwave integrated circuits whether they are fabricated using silicon, silicon germanium, gallium arsenide, gallium nitride or any other semiconductor material. The global involvement and interest in the subjects covered was illustrated by the fact that the technical programme, which consisted of 85 papers selected from 189 submitted, represented the work of over 20 countries.
Right from its inception EuMW has involved radar activities, with the number of radar related papers increasing year by year. That growth continued with EuRAD 2006 seeing a substantial conference programme consisting of 55 papers for oral presentation and 35 poster papers. Contributions were received from authors from many countries around the world covering a wide range of topics. Among them were presentations on sparse antenna arrays, remote sensing of the atmosphere, ultra-wideband radar, real-time signal processing, novel antennas, SAR, new transmitter techniques, millimetre-wave radar and netted radars.
Central to European Microwave Week is the three-day European Microwave Exhibition, which was fittingly staged in the Central Hall of the G-MEX Centre. The venue, a transformed former train station, is an example of Manchester’s historical and industrial past and a symbol of regeneration and growth. The European Microwave Exhibition has grown too and was the largest to date, with more than 300 exhibiting companies, taking up 7500 m2 of gross exhibition. It has also grown in status with many exhibitors using it as a platform for launching new products and making major announcements.
It attracted international players, not just from Europe but also from across the globe with strong representation from the US and Asia who recognise the significance of the exhibition to showcase their wares to a wide and focussed audience. As always, it provided a stage for companies, large and small, established or new start-ups, to spotlight their latest introductions, discuss possible future developments and get feedback from customers. To give Microwave Journal readers feedback from the exhibition floor, a selection of new and innovative products showcased at the exhibition follows. Apologies to those companies that have not been mentioned due to space constraints.
Agilent Technologies specifically targeted EuMW as a platform to launch two brand new products. The first is the MXG signal generators with key manufacturing benefits for wireless communications applications. They are said to offer industry-best adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) performance and switching speeds, coupled with simplified self-maintenance to maximize uptime. These new analogue and vector signal generators are ideal for manufacturing teams producing components and receivers for communications systems.
The second announcement regarded the availability of the MXA signal analysis platform, heralding the arrival of the next generation in signal analysis. It is claimed to be the industry’s fastest signal analyzer with the highest accuracy and performance of any mid-range analyzer. Its measurement speed enables dramatically improved throughput and yields in manufacturing, enabling engineers to solve design challenges for current and emerging applications quickly and with few iterations.
Keeping it simple and practical, Anritsu introduced the VNA Master MS2034A and MS2036A that offer integrated vector network analyzer, spectrum analyzer and power meter capability in a single handheld, battery-operated, rugged instrument. Their multi-function capability enables them to serve as single-instrument solutions for phase matching cables, identifying sources of interference and troubleshooting transmitters in a variety of aerospace, defence and general-purpose systems.
The company 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.
Staying with the test, measurement and design theme, Ansoft displayed new technologies developed specifically for the needs of high performance electronic designers. Among the products showcased were a preview of the upcoming release of Nexxim and Ansoft Designer v3.5. It features Circuit Envelope, Monte Carlo and Loadpull analyses as well as Verilog AMS model support (compiled and interpreted) to both the Ansoft Designer and Cadence ADE environments. Other products featured included a new Distributed Analysis option for HFSS and Q3D Extractor that applies parallel computation to parametric design variations and ePhysics v2—a product that enables the company’s electromagnetic field simulation products to couple with thermal and stress analyses.
Another aid to engineers is the RFA™ from Applied Wave Research, which is a system-level architectural planning tool that provides an advanced radio frequency 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.
Moving on to materials, Arlon announced the availability of the CLTE-XT microwave laminate. It represents the eXtended Technology of the existing CLTE product line and offers low insertion loss and loss tangent (0.0012 at 10 GHz). The laminate is a micro dispersed ceramic PTFE composite utilizing a woven fibreglass reinforcement to provide the highest degree of dimensional stability, which is critical in multi-layer designs.
Chronos Technology launched new RoHS-compliant power amplifiers, low noise amplifiers and multipliers from Cernex. They feature benefits such as solid-state class A design, 50 Ω in/out impedance and rugged construction. The power amplifiers also have the additional benefit of instantaneous broadband. The company also announced the release of the CW85 GPS ‘Broadcaster’ from NavSync, which incorporates NavSync’s high sensitivity GPS receiver with an 802.11b transmitter to provide location information when in the vicinity of a WiFi hotspot.
Similarly, CompoTRON announced the release of Pletronics’ new high frequency, crystal-controlled oscillator. It 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 featured its XtremeQ™ series of microwave filters and resonators, which is now available from prototype to high volume manufacturing. XtremeQ filters and resonators can be ordered from the company’s extensive catalogue, Resonators, Filters and Custom Ceramic Components. Or they can be 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 was 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.
A new name at EuMW was Emerson Network Power with, for the very first time, Vitelec Electronics, Johnson Components, Midwest Microwave and Thunderline-Z appearing at a trade event under the company’s Connectivity Solutions banner.
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.
A key announcement from Filtronic Compound Semiconductors was that it is now sampling a new family of packaged MMICs targeting the Wireless Infrastructure 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 suitable 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.
Hittite Microwave Corp. showcased four new active ×2 frequency multiplier modules that provide output frequency coverage from 6 to 46 GHz. Each of these active ×2 frequency multipliers provide high output power, and excellent fundamental and subharmonic suppression for microwave communications, RADAR, test equipment and general laboratory applications. The models HMC-C031, HMC-C032, HMC-C033 and HMC-C034 are broadband active ×2 multipliers that utilize GaAs PHEMT technology and are packaged in miniature hermetic 41.66 × 27.59 × 8.50 mm connectorized modules.
The new Empire XCcel™ 3D EM field solver that was showcased by IMST has been further optimized for speed. Utilizing modern processor architectures (for example, smart cache management), a speed-up of about 200 percent has been reported. Extra speed has also been obtained by using dual-core, single-CPU machines; the performance is an additional 60 percent, using dual-core, dual-CPUs; and performance values of at least 350 Mcells/s have been achieved. When utilizing Empire XCcel, there is neither a need for special hardware set-ups nor a limit for the application size to the memory space.
The leading range of SMA plugs from Johnson Components 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.
Keithley Instruments introduced an innovative line of RF test instruments, combining high performance, speed, flexibility, ease of use and compact size. To achieve this, these instruments employ new approaches to test and measurement that enable users to save time, effort and money. These new products can be used throughout the design, development and manufacturing processes, and complement the company’s existing solutions sold in this market such as battery simulation sources, semiconductor characterization systems and source-measure units.
LPKF showcased the ProtoLaser 200, 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 suitable 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).
The development of amplifiers was a major topic at the EuMW conferences and also at the exhibition, where M/A-COM announced new low cost two-stage driver amplifiers. They are the MAAMSS0072 and MAAMSS0073, which extend the company’s successful family of broadband, high linearity driver amplifiers. The broad frequency range, high linearity and reliability make this product family ideally suited for a variety of wireless applications such as WiMAX, WiBro and UMTS/WCDMA base stations. The company 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 has taken advantage of its newly expanded facility in Londonderry, NH, US, which now includes seven Gemini Epi reactors, to announce the expansion of its epitaxial growth and coating services for the semiconductor fabrication market.
Always keen to show off its new developments, 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 WiMAX requirements.
Antenna development is always of interest and 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 behaviour 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.
On the OMMIC stand, the company 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.
Pascall Electronics showcased the OCXO series, which 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 ±4×10–6 and output power is 13 dBm ±2 dBm, 50 Ω.
RADIALL featured an extension to its 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.
Several products were showcased by Remcom, including its latest version of XFDTD, version 6.4, with the emphasis 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. Also announced was XSTREAM-hardware acceleration for the well-established XFDTD electromagnetic analysis software package. This hardware option is said to improve performance by factors of 10, 20 or more. The company also featured version 2.3 of Wireless Insite and Varipose v1.2, a modelling tool for repositioning biological modes for use with XFDTD software.
Rogers Corp. used EuMW to introduce its new RO4450B™-dx Bondply, a high fill/flow version of the RO4450B high frequency circuit material. The RO4450B 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 RO4450B-dx is a high fill/flow version, designed to fill those high density designs while still offering thin dielectric spacing.
As usual, Rohde & Schwarz set out to demonstrate its expertise in all aspects of microwave measurement technology. The new R&S ZVA40 vector network analyzer is the flagship member of the well established family of network analyzers and now allows measurements on pulsed signals, up to a frequency of 40 GHz. Further highlights included the R&S FSUP signal source analyzer, an all-in-one spectrum analyzer up to 50 GHz and a phase noise tester in a single instrument, the high end R&S SMA100A signal generator with a frequency range up to 6 GHz and the new R&S ESU EMI test receiver 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 R&S AFQ100A I/Q modulation generator 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. The manufacturer’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.
New from Schmid & Partner Engineering (SPEAG) is SEMCAD X V11.0 Mönch, the latest release of the 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 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. Users can produce layout look-alike schematic symbols for using and sharing Sonnet models in ADS schematics.
Taking centre stage on the SUSS MicroTec stand was the company’s recently released version of wafer-level, high frequency calibration software, SussCal Professional, which simplifies the wafer-level calibration process and significantly increases the accuracy of on-wafer measurements.
Tektronix announced the 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.
An RF MEMS switch technology was spotlighted at the TeraVicta Technologies stand. It 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 is an advanced search engine of the company’s entire database of previously designed feedthroughs. This tool allows users to search over 2000 models of RF/50 Ω, DC and capacitor/filter feedthroughs to find the model that most closely resembles their application. The second tool is a new impedance reference calculator, which allows engineers to calculate the opposing dimension of glass to pin, or pin to glass that will achieve optimal impedance from their package.
Two new high output third order intercept (OTOI) gallium arsenide amplifiers were the star attraction for TriQuint Semiconductor. These advanced design amplifiers are part of the company’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.
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.
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 –40° to 85°C, model UMZ-1601-A16-G is suited for applications requiring signal stability, tuning linearity and low phase noise performance across a wide frequency range.
Vector Fields 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.
The availability of a leading range of connectors that meet or exceed MIL-PRF-39012 performance requirements was announced by Vitelec. The company also announced that it is making a range of high performance SMK connectors, specifically designed for demanding applications, available throughout Europe. The range includes hermetically sealed, field replaceable components and is ideally suited to, among others, military and aerospace applications.
W.L. Gore & Associates has extended on-line capabilities building on the success of last year’s launch of the cable configurator. Newly available is the GORE™ Microwave/RF Assembly Builder, an online interactive design guide that provides simple step-by-step instructions for configuring GORE microwave/RF cable assemblies.
Last alphabetically, but not least, Z-Communications 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.
The organisers of European Microwave Week always endeavour to create a balance between business and pleasure through a wide variety of social events and Manchester was no exception. On Monday, EuMIC celebrated its inception with a Reception and Dinner sponsored by Filtronic Compound Semiconductors at the magnificent Manchester Town Hall, with the Lord Mayor of Manchester as honoured guest. The Town Hall was again the venue for the QinetiQ sponsored EuRAD Conference Dinner in the magnificent neo-gothic Banqueting Room on Thursday.
It was more sporting than historical on the Tuesday when the EuMW Gala Dinner was held against a background of football legends and memorabilia at Old Trafford Stadium, the home of Manchester United. Not quite legendary but going that way is the EuMW 2006 Welcome Reception, sponsored by Agilent Technologies, EuMA and Horizon House Publications. Held on Wednesday evening it presented the registered conference delegates and the exhibitors participating in the show with the unique opportunity to network and interact.
The conferences, exhibition and social events would not have been so extensive, varied and successful without the support and encouragement of commercial sponsors, many of which have made specific features their very own in recent years. That is the case with Platinum Sponsors Agilent whose contribution to the Welcome Reception has made it a social highlight. Thanks also to Filtronic for the delegate bags, complete with pens sponsored by Tony Chapman Electronics, WIN Semiconductors for the badge cords and Mician for the visitor bags. The very welcome coffee breaks were sponsored by Mimix Broadband, Avago, Impulse Technologies, MicroMetrics, UltraSource, Emerson Networks and Endwave, while the ever popular Cyber Café sponsored by CST provided a mental caffeine boost and the opportunity to visit (among others) the EuMW web site with its Rohde & Schwarz sponsored banner. Rohde & Schwarz also played a vital part in the conference preparations with its all-important support of the TPC Dinner.
To celebrate its first decade the 10th European Microwave Week returns to the ICM, the International Congress Centre in Munich, Germany, from 8 to 12 October 2007. And where better to celebrate such a milestone than the home of the Oktoberfest, especially as EuMW 2007 follows immediately on from the world famous beer festival. But what have the organisers brewed up for the Week itself? Every effort is being made to provide an intoxicating mix of relevant, incisive and challenging conferences, a strong international exhibition and social events worthy of the EuMW’s 10th Anniversary. The Call for Papers has gone out, so if you would like to contribute or just find out more about EuMW 2007, visit www.eumweek.com.