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Industry News

It’s a Wrap: 2007 Radio & Wireless Symposium and Exhibition

January 15, 2007
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The 2007 IEEE Radio & Wireless Symposium and Exhibition (RWS), held January 7-12, in Long Beach, CA, featured over 60 exhibitors, many of which introduced new products or new product-related announcements. To conclude our Online Show Daily for RWS 2007, we have compiled a collection of some of the more notable product releases. Due to space limitations, we are unable to include every company.

Agilent Technologies featured new test solutions for the fast growing 3GPP LTE, MIMO, fixed and mobile WiMAX, and WiMedia markets based on the popular Agilent ADS and recently introduced signal generators, analyzers and power meters. These innovative and leading products provide engineers with the test resources they need to efficiently and effectively deliver the next generation of high speed/high capacity wireless devices and networks.

Also featured in booth 637 was the new Time Division – Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) measurement capability for its PSA series high performance spectrum analyzers, a test and measurement solution for analysis of HSDPA/8PSK signals over TD-SCDMA.

Agilent showcased a series of first-to-market, broadband microwave test accessories specifically optimized for communications and aerospace/defense applications. Also on display was the 1xEV-DO Release A Enhancement to its 8960 Wireless Communications Test Set running 1xEV-DO networks. The 1xEV-DO Release A system is an upgrade to existing 1xEV-DO networks.

AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation showcased two amplifier series that cover the frequency range of WiMAX. Very linear amplification is available from 800 MHz to 4.2 GHz (1 to 700 W) and another series that covers 4 to 8 GHz (1 to 60 W). The company also introduced a custom amplifier module for the emerging wireless access market. The CMS1070 is a 3.4 to 3.7 GHz solid-state power amplifier module for the wireless broadband network. This 20 W, 43 dBm output linear power amplifier has a scaleable gain of 20 to 50 dB and is designed to meet the WiMAX 802.16d specifications. It can be modified to meet various types of OFDM or NPR requirements. The module comprises a printed wiring assembly housed in a machined aluminum enclosure. The amplifier is protected from thermal overload, over power, over voltage or wrong voltage polarity as well as having an internal isolator.

Computer Simulation Technology (CST) featured its CST STUDIO SUITE 2006B, including the industry-standard 3-D EM Time Domain tool, CST MICROWAVE STUDIO. In this latest release, improved and extended solver technology has been at the forefront of CST STUDIO SUITE’s development. Users of CST MWS’ Time Domain solver can now take advantage of the new Fast PBA mesher for higher performance, and a more flexible subgridding scheme with reduced memory requirements. The transient solver engine is the first module to run with Linux operating systems. The Frequency Domain solver features plane wave incidents and slanted ports, and the performance of mesher and solver has been increased. CST MWS 2006B’s range of solvers has been enriched by the addition of an Integral Equation solver based on the Multilevel Fast Multipole Method (MLFMM).

To provide an alternative for many test scenarios in which only a high-quality CW source is required, dBm introduced the SSG synthesized CW signal generator. The SSG is small and light and can be held in one hand, yet has enough mass to stay planted on the workbench with heavy coax cables attached to it. Giving up little or nothing in terms of performance, the SSG provides excellent phase noise, and switching speed that is much faster than YIG-based signal generators. The SSG can function within an automated test system since it can be remotely controlled via IEEE-488.2, RS-232 and 10/100BaseT Ethernet.

Focus Microwaves has developed a multi-purpose tuner (MPT) for WLAN, WiMAX and 3G/4G applications. The model iMPT-1818-TC uses three independent wideband probes allowing independent control of the amplitude and phase of the reflection factor at all three harmonic frequencies. The main application of the MPT is harmonic load pull, although it can also be used as a single-probe tuner as well as a high VSWR prematching tuner. The ultra-stable (fundamental only) mode of operation is a necessity for on-wafer vibration-free testing and is accomplished by moving the probes only vertically. MPT option "TC" (twin carriage) allows wideband operation up to one Decade. The iMPT-1818-TC covers the frequency range from 3 to 18 GHz.

Freescale Semiconductor unveiled four general-purpose broadband RF amplifiers that deliver high gain and linearity over bandwidths from DC up to 6 GHz. The amplifiers are well suited for applications ranging from WiMAX base stations to meter readers, set-top boxes, RFID readers and any application requiring a cost-effective, small-signal gain source. In addition, the company introduced its first 3.3 V UHF television radio frequency (RF) modulators based on CMOS technology. The modulators offer customers cost-effective, low power solutions designed to help shorten design-to-market cycles. They also reduce system requirements for television-related applications including DVD/DVDR players, modules and video games, as well as analog, digital and internet protocol set-top-boxes for satellite, terrestrial or cable television. Freescale also showcased a development platform utilizing Power Architecture™ technology for the creation of WiMAX base band applications. Incorporating high performance PowerQUICC™ communication technology, StarCore™ digital signal processors and a field programmable gate array (FPGA), the WiMAX base band platform works together with Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) software to provide the performance and programmable processing required for production of WiMAX base station products. According to In-Stat, the number of fixed WiMAX subscribers worldwide is projected to reach 16 million by 2010, and the number of mobile WiMAX subscribers is expected to range from 15 to 25 million. Designed to support both fixed and mobile stations, the WiMAX platform provides the essential hardware functionality required for a first generation WiMAX IEEE 802.16-2005 mobile base band platform in a single Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) form factor.

JFW Industries introduced a new 20 to 2500 MHz high power switch. Model 50S-1505 delivers high power (25 W average; 200 W peak) and is designed for rugged military environments.

Keithley demonstrated its 2910 vector source and 2910 vector analyzer that allows engineers to create new signal formats and analyze them using general lab tools such as Matlab. The 2910 creates an RF signal by converting the time record to an IF, with 16 bits of resolution and up converting the signal to an RF frequency. Conversely, the newly created signal was captured by the 2810, down converted and digitized with 14 bits of resolution, and stored as an IQ time record in the analyzers memory. In less than a second the record was exported from the instrument and displayed as a constellation on the PC using Matlab.

M/A-COM introduced several new items including two new HBT MMIC amplifiers. The MAAM-007865-0P1R00 and the MAAM-007866-0P1R00 exhibit exceptional broadband frequency performance using only a single application circuit to cover frequency bands from 50 to 2000 MHz and 50 to 3300 MHz, respectively.

M/A-COM announced the MAAP-007649-000100, a 2 W power amplifier for the 800 to 1000 MHz frequency band. The MAAP-007649-000100 design displays optimum performance for RFID reader applications, with greater than 1 W dense reader mode (DRM) spectral mask linearity and a flat gain response.

M/A-COM also featured a new low cost RoHS compliant 2.4 GHz linear power amplifier for 802.11b/g Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) WLAN applications that require high gain, high efficiency and small size. The MAAP-008015 amplifier provides 20 dBm of linear output power with EVM < 3.0 percent, maximizing system performance while maintaining low DC power consumption.

MicroMetrics featured high power PIN diodes. The structures consist of a P+ layer of carrier concentration >1020, an intrinsic layer >3000 ohm cm and a substrate >0.001 ohm/cm. The intrinsic layer is varied depending upon the voltage, lifetime, switching speed and series resistance. The >3000 ohm cm intrinsic layer produces a larger mesa diameter for a given capacitance value enhancing the power handling capability of these devices. This creates a diode structure that is ideal when power handling is a primary concern. The ceramic passivation enables the user to put the diode chip directly onto a substrate, or the devices can be packaged in various configurations offered by the company.

Nitronex showcased a high voltage platform to support next generation wireless infrastructure applications. Leveraging the company’s existing qualified NRF1 (GaN on Silicon) technology, the new platform takes advantage of thermal enhancements in wafer processing, transistor design and packaging to support 48 V operation under all waveforms and extreme flange temperatures. The initial products planned will be designed for WiMAX and 3G/3G LTE waveforms operating in frequency bands from 1.8 to 2.2 GHz and 2.3 to 2.7 GHz. Line-ups with output power ranging from 5 to 200 W will be supported. Target specifications will be available in late January with initial samples expected in March 2007 and full production qualification to be completed in the third quarter of 2007.

precisionWave Corp. introduced its next low cost, high performance RF vector signal generator. The new p1511A generates digitally modulated and CW signals in the 800 to 1000 MHz and 1700 to 2200 MHz cellular bands for developers of cellular technology-based products. The instrument’s I/Q generator produces high accuracy signals for any digital modulation scheme used in these bands. As examples, EDGE avg. RMS EVM is typically less than 0.8 percent, and GSM phase error is below 1°. With a wide -100 to +20 dBm power output range, harmonic suppression is better than -40 dBc at +13 dBm, and spurious is below -80 dBc. The source’s 1 GHz CW phase noise is less than -100 dBc/Hz at 20 kHz offset, and at 2.2 GHz is better than -92 dBc/Hz at 20 kHz offset. Like all precisionWave instruments, the source is CE certified, and is fully warranted for one year.

RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD) had a couple of announcements, the first of which was that its RF3159 linear EDGE power amplifier (PA) is supporting Samsung's SGH-D900 "Black Carbon" mobile phone, the thinnest slider phone in the world. A member of Samsung's Ultra Edition line of handsets, the SGH-D900 is a GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band handset featuring an MP3 player with a micro SD-card expansion slot, 3.13 megapixel camera, support for a Bluetooth® stereo headset, TV-output and a vivid 2.1" 262K color screen for a full multimedia experience. Samsung's use of the RF3159 further extends RFMD's industry leadership in EDGE PAs and supports the company's continued growth in the EDGE market. The RF3159 is a high linearity quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE PA designed to support EDGE transceivers utilizing a linear transmit architecture, including transceivers by Silicon Laboratories, Infineon Technologies and NXP Semiconductors. The RF3159 PA module is fully matched for easy implementation and is housed in a small 6x6 mm package, which is industry-leading for the linear EDGE PA market. The product's gain and linearity lineups enable handset manufacturers to optimize the transmit chain to meet various requirements of linearity, efficiency and output power. The module is designed to be the final amplification stage in a dual-mode GSM/GPRS/EDGE mobile transmit lineup operating in the 824 to 915 MHz and 1710 to 1910 MHz bands.

The company also introduced its newest RF switches – the RF1200 and RF1450. The RF1200 is a single-pole double-throw (SPDT) high-power switch that meets all linearity requirements for WCDMA and features low insertion loss, low control voltage and very good harmonic characteristics. It is fabricated with 0.5 μm GaAs pHEMT process and is packaged in a very compact 2x2 mm, 6-pin, leadless QFN package. The RF1450 is a single-pole four-throw (SP4T) high-power switch specifically designed to provide superior linearity performance for multimode WCDMA applications. The RF1450 includes integrated decoding logic, allowing just two control lines needed for switch control. It is packaged in a compact 3x3x0.6 mm, 16-pin, leadless QFN package.

Rohde & Schwarz has expanded its flagship ZVA Series vector network analyzers with R&S Option ZVA-K7, which enables pulse profile measurements to be made on semiconductor components and antenna/radar systems. Absolute levels, complex S parameters and other data can be displayed in real time with resolution of 12.5 ns. The option also allows the analysis of periodic and single pulses. The pulsed RF signal is generated by an external signal source such as the R&S SMR signal generator or it can be generated by modulating the signal generator in the R&S ZVA with an external pulse modulator. The concept employed by Rohde & Schwarz is based on directly recording the signal with a sampling rate of 80 MHz, which makes dynamic range and system error correction independent of duty cycle. Option R&S ZVA-K7 allows pulses with a minimum width of 50 ns and rise times of up to 33 ns to be measured. Measurement bandwidth can be up to 30 MHz, and because of the instrument's large memory, the user can continuously record pulse profiles of up to 3 ms.

SUSS MicroTec Test Systems introduced AccuraCV,™ part of the SussCal® Professional calibration and measurement software suite. It addresses the challenges resulting from shrinking device sizes by making accurate impedance measurements of physically small elements. Having the capability to make such measurements is becoming increasingly important—for instance, the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) reports that in 2012 the thickness of gate oxides, characterized using impedance measurements, is predicted to be about half as thick as it is today. AccuraCV is an intuitive tool for optimizing the frequency of impedance measurements that will provide the most accurate results. In addition, it can be used to optimize device design by reducing the costs incurred during process control.

Tektronix highlighted its new RSA6100A Series real-time spectrum analyzers. Featuring the revolutionary DPX™ spectrum display, these spectrum analyzers offer an intuitive live color view of signal transients changing over time in the frequency domain, giving immediate confidence in the stability of a design, or instantly displaying a fault when it occurs. This live display of transients is impossible with other signal analyzers. Once a problem is discovered with DPX, the RSA6100A series can be set to trigger on the event, capture a continuous time record of changing RF events and perform time-correlated analysis in all domains. The functionality of a wide-band vector signal analyzer, a spectrum analyzer and the unique trigger-capture-analyze capability of a real-time spectrum analyzer exists all in a single package. The patented DPX spectrum processing engine brings live analysis of transient events to spectrum analyzers. Performing > 48,000 frequency transforms per second, transients as brief as 24 μs in length are displayed in the frequency domain. This is a 1000-fold improvement over swept analysis techniques. Events can be color coded by rate of occurrence onto a bit-mapped display, providing unparalleled insight into transient signal behavior.

Zeland Software Inc. announced the release of IE3D V12. IE3D V12 features a FastEM Design Kit for real-time full-wave EM synthesis; multi-fold speed improvement and multi-CPU support for improved efficiency; equation-based schematic-layout editor with Boolean operations for easy and flexible geometry editing; and lumped equivalent circuit automatic extraction and optimization for convenient circuit designs.

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