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Industry News

IMS 2007: Reflections from Hawaii

June 11, 2007
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IMS 2007 certainly set at least one record — it was the most enjoyable location this yearly event has had thus far. We’re sure virtually all of the attendees and guests would agree that the beach was incredible, the weather fabulous, the accommodations superb, and the convention center comfortable and accommodating. Microwave Week attracted 6952 attendees — not a record attendance by any means, but certainly a respectable turnout considering its remote location.

This year’s success was a direct result of a lot of hard work by the 2007 general chair, Wayne Shiroma, and his very capable staff of volunteers that labored throughout the year to make this event a memorable experience. The symposium attracted 2392 delegates for the comprehensive technical program, a result that was more than a satisfying reward for their efforts. Congratulations should go to Wayne and his staff for a job well done.

Congratulations should also go to the general chair of the 2007 RFIC Symposium, Luciano Boglione, and his staff, and Dominique Schreurs, the general chair of the ARFTG Measurement Conference, and his team.

The theme this year was "Microwaves Across the Pacific" and it was particularly noteworthy that here was the first real military application of radar during that infamous Sunday in 1941 at Pearl Harbor. The world of microwaves came into its own after that fateful day.

The Technical Program

The technical symposium kicked off with two inspiring talks during the Plenary Session. Anil Kripalani, Sr. Vice President for Global Technology Affairs for Qualcomm, spoke of “The Future of Mobile Broadband,” while Ryuji Kohno, Director of the Center of Medical Information and Communication Technology for Yokohama National University, talked of “The Next Direction of Advanced Wireless Communication Technology — Medical ICT.”

The Honolulu venue certainly did not take away from the traditional depth and quality of the technical program. Tatsuo Itoh, this year’s Technical Program Chair, and his team assembled a superb technical program of 523 oral presentations in seven parallel program sessions, seven panel sessions and four interactive forums comprised of 142 individual papers, and 47 workshops and short courses.

The Social Program

The social program kicked off with the traditional MTT-S/Microwave Journal Reception on Monday evening in the ballroom of the Honolulu Convention Center, where old friends and colleagues reacquainted. The Women in Microwaves Reception was held Tuesday evening, as was the Student Reception. Wednesday was the Industry-hosted Cocktail Reception followed by the MTT-S Awards Banquet. In addition, there was an extensive Guest Program that included a day trip to Maui and many other trips and tours. This had to be one of the best symposiums for playing tourist.

The Industry Exhibition

Over 300 companies made the long trip to Hawaii to showcase their new products and make new business contacts. It wasn’t a record turnout, but for the companies that were there it had to be considered a good return on an enjoyable investment. There was an impressive line up of new products from some of the leading companies in the microwave industry. The IMS 2007 Industry Exhibition highlighted several key introductions from exhibitors around the globe. In addition, Microwave Journal published an on-line show daily sponsored by Agilent, M/A-COM and RFMD that highlighted many of the latest product entries being introduced. Some of those new product releases are listed here.

Advance Reproductions Corp. announced the installation of a Barco Silverwriter Phoenix P Laser Photoplotter. The Silverwriter's features include a 40,000 dpi resolution, a repeatability factor of 0.08 mil and an overall accuracy of < 0.16 mil. The system images onto 7 mil polyester film from 18" x 24" up to 29" x 32".

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the availability of its Signal Studio for 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) software. Designed to work with Agilent’s N5182A MXG and E4438C ESG vector signal generators, Signal Studio software helps wireless R&D and manufacturing engineers create Agilent-validated and performance-optimized signals to design and test evolving 3GPP LTE products for the next generation of mobile communications. Agilent also introduced the latest version of its premier signal integrity test solution: the Physical Layer Test System (PLTS) version 4.0. Featuring new multiport enhancements, this robust calibration, measurement and analysis platform is ideal for signal integrity engineers doing high speed digital design and encountering microwave transmission line effects in their printed circuit boards, cables, IC packages and backplanes. In addition, the company introduced PLTS Studio, an analysis-only version of the PLTS platform that provides a low-cost-to-entry for engineers performing post-measurement data analysis of Touchstone files.

Agilent introduced enhancements to the world’s fastest signal analyzer, the Agilent N9020A MXA signal analyzer, including the ability to create complete instrument security via CPU and hard disk drive (HDD) removal. Also featuring a new phase-noise measurement application, MATLAB drivers, time gating and an enhanced 802.16 OFDMA (Mobile WiMAX) measurement application, the Agilent MXA is the ideal solution for R&D and manufacturing engineers analyzing complex and time-varying signals. The company also introduced an enhanced model of the world’s fastest signal source analyzer, the Agilent E5052A. It features a tenfold improvement in measurement throughput and more precise analysis functions than its predecessor, as well as the best performance in clock jitter measurement with the lowest jitter noise floor ever achieved with 100 MHz offset frequency. In addition, Agilent announced the expansion of technologies in its Advanced Design System (ADS) and GENESYS design platforms to provide a full spectrum of software tools for microwave and RF designers. The company is increasing investments in RF/microwave design and simulation technologies to help designers of monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC), systems-in-package (SIP) and RF boards stay competitive when incorporating the latest communications standards and techniques.

American Microwave Corp. featured model LVD-709804-50-7193141 Option CS. This model is a 7.9 to 8.4 GHz, DC coupled detector log video amplifier for continuous wave applications. It includes an input low pass filter, temperature sensor circuitry, MIL-STD-461E EMI shielding and is environmentally sealed. The company also featured model AGTN-0320-60DD-100, a digitally-controlled variable attenuator with 60 dB dynamic range. The unit is designed to operate between the 0.1 to 20 GHz frequency range with an insertion loss of 5 dB maximum, switching time of 1 μS typical (100 ns goal) and a VSWR of 2.2 maximum.

AmpliTech has begun offering its highly efficient, cryogenic amplifiers. These amplifiers are designed to operate at extremely low temperatures (below 16ºK or -257ºC). To minimize the consumption of energy to cool the amp, the company offers low DC voltage options (as low as +3 VDC), low current consumption and a lightweight, compact housing.

Analog Devices (ADI) showcased 14 new RF products designed to advance radio architectures in a broad array of end applications. ADI now offers designers the most complete portfolio of RF ICs, covering the entire RF signal chain in performance-driven applications, such as cellular and cable infrastructure; industrial and test equipment; medical instrumentation; avionics and satellites; and marine radar and RFID readers.

Analog Devices also expanded its industry-leading radio frequency solutions with the introduction of an RF amplifier portfolio of 12 new devices covering the complete RF signal chain. Combined with ADI’s industry-leading power detectors, modulators, demodulators, mixers and synthesizer products, this offering allows designers to implement complete signal chain solutions using Analog Devices’ high performance ICs, thereby simplifying the design process, streamlining supply chain logistics and shortening time to market.

Anritsu Co. introduced the MS2690A and MS2691A signal analyzers that have superior measurement performance and speed compared to comparable analyzers in their class. Covering the 50 Hz to 6 GHz frequency range, the MS2690A/MS2691A can be used during R&D and production to conduct highly accurate measurements on next-generation wireless communications systems, as well as devices and base stations. The company also introduced 2 MHz and 6 GHz cable and antenna frequency extensions to its S331D/S332D Site Master™ cable and antenna analyzers. The Site Master 6 GHz extension allows users to accurately measure signals in the 4.9 GHz public safety and 5.8 GHz ISM bands, while the 2 MHz extension makes the analyzers well suited for defense and aerospace applications in which HF coverage is needed. In addition, Anritsu introduced the S311D/S312D Site Master cable and antenna analyzers that combine a wide frequency of 2 to 1600 MHz, ease of use, and high accuracy in an extremely portable, rugged design that weighs less than five pounds. Developed to test the RF performance of P25 and TETRA systems in the VHF/UHF, 400 MHz, and 700 to 800 MHz bands, the S311/S312D are ideally suited for Land Mobile Radio (LMR) and Public Safety system technicians and engineers.

Ansoft Corp. announced the release of HFSS™ v11. This release of Ansoft's flagship product features new technology that delivers even greater accuracy, capacity and performance than before. HFSS v11 includes new higher order hierarchical basis functions combined with an iterative solver that provides accurate fields using smaller meshes and thus more efficient solutions for large multi-wavelength structures. A new fault tolerant, high quality finite element meshing algorithm allows HFSS to simulate very complex models two to five times faster using half of the memory compared to previous versions.

Applied Wave Research Inc. (AWR®) announced the 2007 versions of its flagship high frequency software, the Microwave Office® design suite and its unique system simulation software, Visual System Simulator™ (VSS). These latest releases provide unique and innovative new software capabilities that help designers deliver next-generation communications products with a higher degree of confidence in less design cycle time.

AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation featured model 5S10G20, a solid-state amplifier that covers the 10 to 20 GHz frequency range. Model 5S10G20, along with the rest of the “S” series amplifiers, is 100 percent VSWR tolerant and has superior linearity, making it ideal for wireless testing.

Auriga Measurement Systems announced the launching of its next generation pulsed IV/RF measurement system. The AU4550 Pulsed IV/RF System will offer Auriga customers state-of-the-art measurement science in a compact, versatile and highly adaptable desktop-sized package. The AU4550 utilizes Auriga’s synthetic instruments to protect customers’ investments as technology continues to advance.

Avago Technologies announced a new quintplexer module delivering superior global positioning system (GPS) performance levels. The company is a supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications. Avago’s highly integrated and compact ACFM-7102 quintplexer delivers a significant improvement in insertion loss while delivering high GPS to cell band, and GPS to PCS band isolation. With a unique, switchless design to optimize performance, the FBAR-based ACFM-7102 provides designers with flexibility and simplicity when creating ultra-small, high performance mobile phones that deliver simultaneous GPS functionality.

B&Z Technologies introduced next generation amplifiers. The BZ series offers wide bandwidth and low noise figures. Remarkably, the amplifiers fit into one standard housing. Within the 30 kHz to 70 GHz range, customized power, gain and noise figure combinations are available.

Barry Industries announced the company's line of power terminations and resistors for WiMAX applications, specifically for 3.4 to 3.6 GHz. Terminations and resistors are available in a selection of configurations, from chip, to a leaded chip, to a flange mounted device, with power ratings from 20 to 200 W depending on design needs.

Bliley Technologies Inc., a provider of crystal-based frequency control solutions for over 75 years, announced its latest offering, a high stability, low noise, 10 MHz OCXO in euro-style packaging (0.57” maximum). The NVG47S OCXO, targeted specifically for applications demanding tight stability and superior noise performance, is ideally suited for test equipment, microwave communication systems (both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint), as well as all cellular base station standards.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. announced the addition of PCB RF technology and design methodology to the Cadence® Allegro® PCB Design XL and GXL offerings. These additional capabilities address the key challenges customers are facing when designing PCBs with high frequency and wireless design requirements. The new versions of the Allegro PCB Design offerings provide RF-aware technology, a front-to-back flow, and interfaces to simulation which help PCB designers achieve shorter, more predictable design cycles by better ensuring that RF circuits match design intent.

Cascade Microtech added an important new capability, a 16-term calibration technique, to its WinCal XE calibration software to help semiconductor labs reduce design cycles and time to market. Using WinCal XE for on-wafer measurement helps semiconductor manufacturers create more accurate high frequency RF device models. With the explosion of wireless devices, semiconductor companies are under pressure to get their high speed products to market faster than ever before. The 16-term calibration eliminates certain undesired measurement parasitic effects, thus enabling more accurate device models and shorter design cycle times.

Ciao Wireless introduced its line of high performance cascadable low frequency amplifiers for connectorized/drop-in applications. The amplifiers operate in a frequency range from 1 MHz to 6 GHz, with standard and customized gain, output power of up to +30 dBm and noise figure as low as 1.5 dB values to meet special requirements. These models feature low power consumption and high ICP performance.

The Electronics Group of Crane Aerospace & Electronics, a Crane Co. segment, announced a new digital switch matrix family providing switching for high data rate emitter coupled logic (ECL) signals up to 300 Mb/s, or for the lower data rate of RS-422 signals. The matrices are configured so that they can accommodate up to 144 inputs and 144 outputs (which can be distributed among clock and data signals).

They provide full fan-out operation, allowing each input to be routed to any or all outputs simultaneously. The company also featured a new fast-settling K-band digital attenuator, Signal Technology brand, that has four channels, an ultra-fast 50 nanosecond setting time and a serial command interface. The unit is readily adaptable into a complex RF system that has multiple device interfaces and that requires those devices be controlled from a central processor.

Computer Simulation Technology (CST) and Acceleware Corp. announced the latest generation of integration between Acceleware’s hardware acceleration solution for CST’s market and technology leading Time Domain solver within CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® 2006B and soon to be released CST MICROWAVE STUDIO 2008 (CST MWS).

RF design engineers involved in the electromagnetic design and optimization of passive components such as antennas, filters and connectors, as well as those interested in signal integrity or electromagnetic compatibility effects, can combine the simulation accuracy of CST’s proprietary Perfect Boundary Approximation (PBA®) and the latest GPU Computing performance from Acceleware. CST also previewed the upcoming release of CST STUDIO SUITE™ version 2008, including the industry standard 3D EM Time Domain tool, CST MICROWAVE STUDIO.

Design engineers will experience a multitude of enhancements when switching to version 2008 of CST STUDIO SUITE. Time saving additions and features will be particularly welcomed and include: project management facilities, structural parts’ availability via copy/paste or sub-model imports and automatic software updates.

Custom Microwave Components Inc. announced the availability of the fastest switch in the world. With a switching speed of < 3 nsec, it operates over the 0.1 to 12 GHz frequency range with 4.1 dB loss and 55 dB isolation. The scientific community has found applications that include electron spin resonance and the excitation and storage of single photons.

Delta RF Technology Inc. announced a new broadband 500 to 1000 MHz, high power 500 W CW, high gain 57 dB amplifier model SCA500-500-100-57-A0. This integrated amplifier uses MOSFET RF amplifier modules to form a robust amplifier that will deliver power into a 2:1, and gracefully reduce power into up to a 3:1 output VSWR. It provides constant self-protection by monitoring each RF module as well as drivers, fans, temperature and power supplies.

Eagle Comtronics presented four new products. The company is extending its support of SONET/SDH customers by offering model SBLP-2-SP-SF/SF-X, a five-channel switch filter bank. This unit provides four filtered channels and one through path for compliance testing. The company offers a complete line of 4th Order Bessel low pass filters. The linear phase response of these filters makes them ideal for lightwave receivers and applications where pulsed system testing is required. Eagle offers its JBP series of five-section jitter bandpass filters, specifically designed for use in digital network measurement systems. Also on display was its EHLP series of high power, low pass filters, specifically designed for the broadcast VHF and UHF bands.

Endwave Corp. announced the release of a new series of millimeter-wave successive detection log video amplifiers (SDLVA) as part of the expanding product line from the acquisition of ALC Microwave. These products are ideal for use in early warning and ELINT receivers, DF radar systems, IFMs and other radar and missile guidance systems.

Fairchild Semiconductor displayed its leading-edge RF solutions for 3G handset, WLAN and WiMAX applications. Fairchild’s RF power amplifiers for WCDMA/HSDPA address the need to improve battery life in next-generation 3G handsets and offer decreased current consumption at all power levels.

Fox Electronics announced that the low levels of jitter and high performance features in its XpressO voltage-controlled crystal oscillators (VCXO) make it possible for more information to be transmitted than with traditional programmable oscillators. This high rate of data transfer can directly affect the bottom line of service providers such as cell phone and cable companies, whose success is dependent on their ability to send and receive information.

Fox also announced a new HCMOS, 14-pin DIP oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO). Designed for use in base stations, the new FTS310 OCXO will benefit the WiMAX, HIPERMAN and WiBro markets in the US, Europe and Korea, respectively.

Freescale Semiconductor introduced seven LDMOS RF power transistors that deliver exceptional performance and enable WCDMA and CDMA2000 base station transmitters to exploit the full potential of the Doherty amplifier architecture. Fast becoming an industry standard, the Doherty architecture offers exceptional efficiency but presents design challenges due to conflicting requirements for both high efficiency and high linearity. Designed specifically for the architecture, the new Freescale transistors successfully address these challenges, thereby enabling the creation of base stations that consume significantly less power than those using traditional transistor designs.

Freescale also unveiled the world’s highest power LDMOS RF power transistor. The MRF6VP11KH device delivers pulsed RF output power of 1 kW at 130 MHz and features the highest drain efficiency and power gain of any device in its class. This ultra-efficient transistor is the latest example of Freescale’s commitment to deliver the industry’s most innovative RF power solutions for the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) markets.

It operates at 50 V, offers distinct advantages over bipolar and MOSFET devices, and provides the power required for equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, CO2 lasers, plasma generators and other systems.

Hesse & Knipps GmbH Semiconductor Equipment, a manufacturer of high speed fine pitch wedge bonders for the backend semiconductor industry, demonstrated its BONDJET BJ820 fully automatic thin wire bonder. The BONDJET BJ820 handles all wire bonding applications in a single platform -- RF and microwave devices, COB, MCM and hybrids, fiberoptics and automotive using aluminum, gold wire or ribbon.

HIRAI SK Corp. featured a foundry service of multi-layered LTCC substrates that targets higher Q, higher dimensional precision and higher yield for RF and millimeter-wave applications. Fine pitch and high Q substrate with thin film metallization, WLAN FEM with the embedded low loss diplexer and RF components sintered by microwave will be available soon. HIRAI ships samples in a week after the design freeze and provides RF design support to a substrate with embedded passive components and test service up to 67 GHz.

Hittite Microwave utilized its newly designed 10' x 20' corporate exhibit. The new exhibit features a fresh design and innovative features to showcase Hittite's products and demo pieces. The company also introduced new product lines and a new product family.

Hittite introduced the HMC610LP4 RMS power detector and the upcoming Digital Phase Shifter product family, including the HMC543 and HMC543LC3B. Along with these new product lines 25 new products (since the release of the 2007 Designer's Guide Catalog) were featured, including the HMC606 and HMC606LC5 wideband, ultra low phase noise amplifiers.

Holzworth Instrumentation introduced a truly ultra-low phase noise, USB powered RF source. The compact HS1001A has a typical phase noise of -135 dBc/Hz and is tunable from 9 kHz to greater than 1 GHz via the USB or Ethernet port of a PC.

IMST announced that it has released version 5.1 of Empire XCcel™, a 3D EM field solver. It now supports full 32-bit and 64-bit calculations on Windows XP, Vista and Linux operating systems. A further speed improvement of up to 900 MCell/s has been obtained by smartly exploiting multi-core processor technology. New features, like healing of imported 3D data, improved GUI speed for complex structures, and even more efficient memory management, were on display.

Infineon Technologies announced a new family of transient voltage suppressor (TVS) diode arrays intended specifically to protect controller area network (CAN) automotive control networks and industrial bus systems from voltage spikes as high as 30 kV. The new dual-channel bi-directional and uni-directional ESD24V diode arrays are available in the leading industry-standard SOT23 package. The company also announced the availability of a family of low capacitance transient voltage suppressor (TVS) diode arrays designed to provide electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection for such high speed data interfaces as USB2.0, 10/100 Ethernet, Firewire, video and LAN/WAN ports. Offering the industry’s lowest line capacitance and smallest packages, the ESD8V0L family is ideal for space-constrained 3.3/5/12 V mobile communication and consumer applications, including mobile phones, PDAs, MP3 players, LCD displays, printers and notebook computers.

iTerra Communications showcased its new iT2003 and iT2004 single-bias broadband MMIC power amplifiers that cover 2 to 20 GHz and provide the best available combination of power, gain, gain flatness and noise figure of any commercially-available MMIC single-bias amplifiers covering this frequency range.

Jacket Micro Devices Inc. (JMD) published a paper on a complete dual-band WLAN module with two transmits and two receives in a package measuring 4 x 8 mm, approximately four times smaller than the industry standard. JMD used the module to illustrate how the company's patented Multilayer Organic (MLO) technology can be used to design, fabricate and implement a complete multi-band radio unit using SOP technology for dual band WLAN, WiMAX and Bluetooth technology in a single module.

Jazz Semiconductor announced the release of a new 130nm SiGe BiCMOS technology designed for high speed wireless and optical communications applications.

This process combines industry standard 130nm CMOS with 200 GHz HBT NPN transistors for high performance RF and millimeter-wave integrated circuits.

J microTechnology showcased three new products: LMS-45 Adjustable Z-Axis Stage: an adaptable pedestal adjustment for its JR-2745 probe station, and standard with the JR-2746 probe station. With the new stage, once a user sets the probe height desired for the device under test (DUT), a user can substitute a device of any thickness and repeatably and easily adjust its height to match that position.

NAT-31 42X-540X Microscope Inspection System with Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 camera: based on high clarity zoom optics and an USB 2.0 digital camera, it resolves 1 micron or less features when added to a J microTechnology probe station, thus providing a cost-effective, versatile solution for clinical, life science, materials science, semiconductor and educational professionals, especially those in demanding research environments and teaching facilities.

The LMS-2709(S) Laboratory Microprobe Station: a versatile probe station that offers high quality RF and DC probe capabilities in a rugged, compact and self-contained package for research, development and education in the area of integrated sensor and semiconductor technology. It is a basic test fixture for prototype characterization of advanced active and passive components, excellent for research and scientific labs, and the ideal tool for educational training of university students in the discipline of both low frequency and microwave microprobing.

Junper Interconnection Co. Ltd., a supplier of RF and microwave products in China, features broad capability, engineering expertise and manufacturing improvements. The company showcased its MC-CARD coaxial switch that features small size, equivalent size with MMCX, self-latching coupling, maximum operating frequency up to 6 GHz, high reliability and long life.

K&L Microwave featured model 4DRN40-422.75/X3-O/O, a high power ceramic bank reject filter. This filter offers power handling capabilities of 100 W CW. Its ultimate return is also 1.9 times center frequency, with a lower insertion loss. The company also featured its rugged FV series of filters. The 6FV20-8180/U680-O/O is part of the company's rugged FV series of products. These products have high reliability due to their relatively simple mechanical construction. The simplicity of the unit’s construction and high reliability makes it suitable for the severe military environment with high G shock and vibration loads, while maintaining a relatively low cost for commercial and test applications.

Keithley Instruments Inc. announced a series of enhancements to its model 2910 RF vector signal generator. The new capabilities included in the model 2910 V2.0 include additional wireless signal generation waveforms, a new power calibration feature, and increased ARB memory to accommodate more and larger waveforms.

LPKF Laser & Electronics unveiled the new ProtoLaser 200, a versatile state-of-the-art laser system for prototyping and on-demand production of PCBs. This fully enclosed laser-based system works directly off of CAD data to produce circuits on a variety of materials, including ceramic and PTFE-based substrates. The protective cabinet allows for a Class 1 laser safety rating and prevents any particles or evaporation from leaving the work area.

Micro Lambda Wireless Inc. announced the production release of YIG-tuned oscillators covering the 2 to 18 GHz and 2 to 20 GHz frequency bands.

Four fundamental frequency models providing excellent phase noise performance covering 2 to 18 GHz and 2 to 20 GHz are now available, while two switched frequency models providing superior phase noise performance over 2 to 18 GHz and 2 to 20 GHz are also available.

Microsemi Corp. announced the addition of its most powerful amplifier to date for wireless LAN access point applications. Designated the LX5535™, the new Microsemi power amplifier provides output power of 25 dBm, extending the range of wireless LAN access point devices utilizing the 2.4 to 2.5 GHz frequency range in 802.11b/g/n applications.

Like others in Microsemi’s leading portfolio of WLAN power amplifiers, the LX5535 is manufactured with an advanced InGaP HBT process. The company also announced four additions to its DRF family of RF MOSFET drivers and hybrid RF driver/MOSFETs.

Designated the DRF200 switch mode driver, the DRF1201 and DRF1202 single-channel hybrids, and the DRF1300 dual channel hybrid, the new devices are targeted at 2 to 50 MHz, high power, high voltage Class D and E RF generators that are used extensively in plasma generation, CO2 laser excitation, switch mode power amplifiers, pulse generators, ultrasound transducer drivers and acoustical optical modulators.

Microwave Communications Laboratories Inc. (MCLI) maintains large quantitites of RF terminations in stock. Covering DC to 18 GHz, the company offers terminations that can handle low, medium or high power with SMA or type N connectors. TNM-114, a type N termination, operates in a frequency range from DC to 4 GHz and handles power of 5 W. Price: $24.95 each in large quantities.

Maintaining its high level of optimization speed, efficiency and flexibility the latest version of WASP-NET® from the Microwave Innovation Group (MIG) has added recently introduced capabilities such as true 64-bit capability for increased memory handling and multiprocessor capability with even more features.

These include: the slot-array synthesis wizard for designing slot arrays with predicted side lobe level and beam width, arbitrarily shaped OMT structures for broadband antenna feed designs, coax-tee and x-junctions for fast direct optimization of stub-loaded and dissipative filters, square-tee-junction for squarax components like power dividers, extended combline elements for fast direct optimization of combline/interdigital filters, dielectric loaded horns, slot arrays with wrap around narrow wall slots and faster dielectric resonator filter elements. The company also announced that a Graphical User Interface (GUI) was currently under test for future introduction.

Mimix Broadband Inc. introduced a gallium arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) wideband buffer amplifier with on-chip drain bias coil and DC blocking. Using 0.30 micron gate length GaAs pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (PHEMT) device model technology, the buffer amplifier covers the 2 to 18 GHz frequency bands and has a small-signal gain of 9 dB with a noise figure of 4.5 dB across the band. Identified as the CMM4000-BD, this device also achieves +19 dBm P1dB compression point and is well suited for fiber optic, microwave radio, military, space, telecom infrastructure, test instrumentation and VSAT applications. Mimix also introduced a GaAs MMIC transmitter that delivers +25 dBm OIP3, 35 dB gain control and 9 dB conversion gain. Using 0.15 micron gate length GaAs PHEMT device model technology, the transmitter covers the 18 to 36 GHz frequency bands and includes a balanced resistive mixer followed by a distributed amplifier, an LO doubler and an LO buffer amplifier. Identified as XU1009-BD, this device is well suited for point-to-point radio, LMDS, SATCOM or VSAT applications.

Modelithics announced the introduction of an exciting new class of models to the Modelithics Library® of high accuracy RF and microwave simulation models. The System Component Library (or SCL Library™) includes a collection of accurate linear and nonlinear models for functional system blocks including filters, switches, attenuators, transformers, amplifiers and mixers.

Narda Safety Test Solutions, an L-3 Communications company, introduced the NBM-550, a lightweight, handheld meter for broadband measurement of electromagnetic (EM) energy that incorporates a range of features never before available in a single instrument in the RF radiation safety marketplace.

Narda Microwave-East, an L-3 Communications company, introduced a comprehensive line of low noise amplifier modules that cover up to 18 GHz in bands, with noise figures as low as 1.8 dB, gain as high as 28 dB (±2 dB or less) and P1dB output power up to 20 dBm. They are excellent choices for applications ranging from broadband test equipment to various aerospace and defense systems, and meet MIL-STD-883.

National Instruments provided an RF stream-to-disk demonstration wherein a PXI vector signal analyzer records time-continuous RF signals for minutes or hours of time. This capability is particularly important in spectrum monitoring or signal intelligence applications, providing both time-domain and frequency-domain measurements. Common measurements include: pulse duration, bandwidth, center frequency and interval.

National Instruments (NI) has doubled its PXI RF switch offering for 50 and 75 ohm RF applications with the release of 11 new RF switches. The new modules include 4x1, terminated 4x1, dual 4x1 and 8x1 multiplexers as well as quad (4) SPDT and dual-terminated SPDT general-purpose configurations. With these new products, engineers have more choices to optimize their RF switch networks around price performance and improved signal integrity.

The six new 2.5 GHz 75 ohm modules are the company’s first switches for high frequency video applications, such as set-top box testing. The five new 2.7 GHz 50 ohm modules add to the company’s current RF switch offering of 10 modules for routing signals between DC and 26.5 GHz and are ideal for expanding the channel count of RF generators, such as the NI PXI-5671 2.7 GHz vector signal generator, or RF analyzers such as the NI PXI-5661 2.7 GHz vector signal analyzer.

P1dB announced YouForm™ high quality, low cost jacketed hand formable cables that feature stainless steel SMA plugs on each end and are now available in straight and right angle configurations.

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. and OKI Electric Industry Co. Ltd. announced that their collaborative efforts toward the ramp and manufacture of 0.5 μm UltraCMOS™ RFICs in OKI’s fabrication facility has completed qualification by Peregrine’s major customers and OKI is now shipping in high volume. This is a significant milestone, set in the early technology transfer process, which began three years ago. Peregrine also announced the next generation of its world-class UltraCMOS products. The new 0.5 &956;m PE42693 SP9T RF antenna switch is the highest throw-count RF CMOS antenna switch available on the market today. To support more highly integrated and even smaller WCDMA solutions, Peregrine also announced that it has qualified its 0.25 &956;m UltraCMOS technology for three new SP9T switches: the wirebond PE42691 and the flip-chip PE42692 and PE42694 devices.

Planar Monolithics Industries Inc. announced the development of its new 0.4 to 16 GHz two-way power divider, model number: APD-2-0416-YR1. The insertion loss from 0.4 to 6 GHz and 6 to 16 GHz are 1.8 dB maximum and 4 dB maximum, respectively. The company also featured model PS-90-8018 option 812, HS15NS, a high speed 0 to 180 degree, miniature, bi-phase modulator/phase shifter with TTL control logic (ECL logic available).

This high speed model has 15 ns delay on/off and operates between 8 to 12 GHz. Other frequency ranges are available to meet other requirements (for example, 6012 for 6 to 12 GHz or 2040 for 2 to 4 GHz).

Q Microwave Inc., a designer and manufacturer of quick-turn and low cost RF and microwave filter products, announced a new line of RF filters customized for RF and microwave system requirements operating over the range of 500 MHz to 6 GHz. The new filters are available in low cost, surface-mount technology (SMT) package designs for high reliability and ease of assembly. These filters are excellent solutions for use in identification friend or foe (IFF) systems or any other applications requiring rugged and robust filter designs in demanding environments.

Quantum Leap Packaging Inc. (QLP), a provider of high performance, air cavity packages for semiconductor assembly, has announced the availability of HermeTech™, the industry's first hermetic plastic package that meets JEDEC standards.

R&D Microwaves LLC introduced a family of unequal power dividers using a novel, rugged, patented airline structure. The fixed split ratio is maintained over a 380 to 6000 MHz bandwidth with minimum ripple and insertion loss, high RF power rating and low PIM. DC is continuous through the main line, while the coupled port is DC isolated from the main line and passes RF power only.

RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD) showcased its new portfolio of GaAs PHEMT low noise amplifiers (LNA) for wireless infrastructure and provided a demonstration of its GaN high power products for commercial and military applications. RFMD announced it has commenced shipments of its gallium nitride (GaN) RF3822 PowerIC broadband power amplifier (PA) to a top-tier military supplier. RFMD's RF3822 PowerIC delivers power performance over a frequency range of 0.1 GHz to 1 GHz and is ideally suited for multiple-band and broadband applications, such as software-defined radios (SDR) for military communications. The company also announced the availability of the RF386X family of GaAs PHEMT low noise amplifiers (LNA). RFMD’s new PHEMT LNAs offer capabilities from 700 to 3800 MHz and provide the best-in-class combination of low noise and high linearity performance, as compared to competing solutions. The new broadband LNAs are ideally suited for wireless networks, including cellular, WLAN and WiMAX infrastructure.

In addition, RFMD announced the introduction of the RF393X family of 48 V gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors. The RF393X product family offers power performance from 10 to 120 W and very wide tunable bandwidth, demonstrating the superior combination of high power and bandwidth offered by RFMD’s GaN technology versus competing GaAs and silicon LDMOS technologies. The RF393X product family is comprised of five 48 V GaN unmatched power transistors, each of which deliver gain in the range of 14 to 16 dB and high peak drain efficiency of greater than 65 percent at 2.1 GHz.

RLC Electronics featured a variable phase shifter. The model PSM-10 is a variable phase shifter constructed using high speed operational amplifiers. A full 360 degrees of phase shift is accomplished over a ±10 percent bandwidth using two manual adjustment controls of 0 to 180 degrees each. Input and output impedance is 50 ohms. A 180 degree version with a single control is also available. Different frequency ranges or special packages are available upon request.

Rogers Corp. showcased several advanced circuit materials. These products are used in a wide range of high frequency applications, including the advanced packaging, antenna and power amplifier markets.

Rohde & Schwarz introduced the R&S ZVL Series, the first solution to combine a full-featured vector network analyzer with a spectrum analyzer in a single portable instrument. It is also the smallest and lightest portable vector network analyzer on the market, and is available in frequency ranges from 9 kHz to 3 GHz or 6 GHz. The company also made the first public demonstration of its breakthrough technology that allows accurate measurements of balanced active RF and microwave devices to be made when the devices are operating under large-signal conditions. The capability, available via Option ZVx-K6 for the R&S ZVA four-port vector network analyzers and R&S ZVT analyzers with three or more ports, is the first technique to allow RF and microwave power transistors and amplifiers, MMICs, RFICs, filters and single-chip receivers to be accurately evaluated under these signal conditions.

The technology is the result of more than six years of development and has resulted in several patents. Rohde & Schwarz also introduced the R&S ZVA-Z110 option for its R&S ZVA24 (24 GHz) and R&S ZVA40 (40 GHz) four-port vector network analyzers that allows them to make measurements between 75 and 10 GHz (W-band).

The option is a cost-effective solution for evaluating the performance of millimeter-wave components designed for applications such as collision-avoidance automotive radar, developmental wireless systems and defense systems.

Sirenza Microdevices announced the production release of the SGC series of active bias amplifier ICs, which includes 10 new SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) Darlington amplifiers, configured with Sirenza’s patented active-bias network.

Skyworks Solutions Inc. unveiled the first of several forthcoming direct demodulators for use in various wireless communication applications, including WiMAX and cellular infrastructure. The SKY73012, which is ideal for quadrature demodulation of RF waveforms from 400 to 3900 MHz, delivers breakthrough simplicity, allowing customers to integrate a single solution across an entire spectrum of radios rather than requiring multiple demodulators for various frequency ranges. Skyworks’ new high performance, monolithic, digitally programmable low pass filters -- the SKY73201-364LF for single bands and SKY73202-364LF for dual bands -- are configured as 6th order Butterworth to provide extremely high stopband isolation while maximizing passband flatness and minimizing group delay distortion. The devices are programmable in 1 MHz steps, from 1 to 28 MHz, via the 3-wire serial peripheral interface (SPI).

Sonnet Software Inc. showcased the latest SONNET® Suites Professional™ Release 11. One of many new features in Sonnet Release is an industry first: Co-calibrated™ Ports. Co-calibrated Ports are based on a new de-embedding technology that enables perfect calibration of internal port groups. Co-calibrated Ports are also used in the new Sonnet Components giving users the most accurate way to combine external device models such as transistors or passive surface-mount devices all within a Sonnet EM analysis.

Sonnet also demonstrated its industry leading interface products such as the totally redesigned interface to Agilent EEsof EDA Advanced Design System (ADS), feature-rich interface to AWR® Microwave Office® and the interface to Cadence® Virtuoso®, which now supports the new OpenAccess initiative.

StratEdge, a leader in the design and production of semiconductor packages for microwave, millimeter-wave and high speed digital devices, announced the release of its Power Package Series. The new line of packages can be used in silicon, silicon carbide, gallium nitride and other applications for power integrated circuits. Thermally conductive beryllium oxide (BeO) ceramic give the packages excellent thermal properties. StratEdge also announced that its complete line of high performance semiconductor packages operating from DC to 50+ GHz is now available in hermetic versions. StratEdge packages fit applications for high speed digital (OC-48, OC-192, OC-768), mixed signal, broadband wireless, satellite, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint, VSAT, and test in the aerospace, telecommunications, automotive and optoelectronics industries.

Synergy Microwave Corp. featured low phase noise planar resonator oscillators rivaling the phase noise performance of expensive SAW and CRO/DRO oscillators, YIG-like VCOs offering ultra-wide bandwidth and low power consumption, highly versatile synthesizers in optimized and higher than octave bandwidths, high IP3 FET mixers, wideband mixers up to 18 GHz, high power signal processing couplers and 90º hybrids. In addition, a new series of broadband linear power amplifiers in SMA housings were introduced for test lab and modular applications.

The Advanced Dielectric Division of Taconic featured a variety of unique products that offer low loss and high reliability for conventional and multilayer RF and high speed digital board fabrication. Taconic’s TacPreg prepregs, constructed with BT epoxy/woven fiberglass/PTFE components, offer reduced electrical loss and ease of fabrication for high speed digital and RF commercial and military applications. HyRelex thin flexible interconnect materials offer exceptional thermal, mechanical, electrical and moisture resistant properties for multilayer, double-sided and rigid flex circuits. TSM-30, designed for consistent performance over broad temperatures and frequencies, offers the unique properties of both low loss and low moisture and solvent absorption. For heat dissipation in multilayer boards, Taconic’s heavy metal clad laminates provide thick layers of copper, brass and aluminum for reliability in temperature management.

The TEGAM model 1830A RF power meter achieves the lowest uncertainty RF power measurement available. The model 1830A is designed to replace the HP432A and the external voltmeter for a complete high accuracy average RF power measurement with LXI-C and USB interfaces. It is also compatible with the 478A and 8478A RF power sensors as well as virtually all existing thermistor-based RF power sensors.

Teledyne Microwave announced a new ultra-low phase noise YIG-tuned oscillator (YTO) in a miniaturized board-mount package that provides for continuous coverage of the 3 to 8 GHz frequency band. This uniquely designed device is part of the Teledyne large family of YIG-based products.

Temptronic Corp., a leader in localized temperature control, introduced the MobileTemp™ System, a mobile thermal system for testing standard to high frequency devices, assemblies, modules, PCBs and multiple UUTs from -65º to +200ºC in a compact enclosure located at the tester site. MobileTemp provides fast thermal test thoughput and thermal precision with direct device control to ±0.1ºC.

Thales MESL has launched a range of waveguide couplers from 7 to 23 GHz for the point-to-point radio market. Coupling values of 3, 6 and 10 dB are available. The couplers also include a polarization flange. Thales MESL can support fast prototyping using machined parts before moving to casting suitable for the production volumes. Global supply can be supported from the company's manufacturing sites in Europe and Asia. The company also launched a range of surface-mount X-band packaged drop-in and substrate drop-in, isolators and circulators. These devices combine small size and low mass with high power handling capabilities (45 W peak or 20 W CW) and low loss (0.2 dB per junction).

Times Microwave Systems had several products on display including the Heli-Foil™ microwave cable that features low loss of DC to 18 GHz; microwave contacts for MIL-C-38999 connectors; SilverLine QMA test cables and adaptors for stable quick-disconnect interface and full offering of SS adaptors; and LMR® bundled cable that is ideal for smart antenna feeders and a complete package of install accessories.

Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC) and its parent company, Toshiba Corp., announced its first commercially available GaN semiconductor high electron mobility transistor (HEMT). The GaN HEMT is an X-band device targeted for radar and medical applications. The TGI8596-50 is an internally matched GaN HEMT power amplifier that operates in the 8.5 to 9.6 GHz range with output power of 50 W. The device features a 3 dB compression point of 47.5 dBm1 (typ.), linear gain of 9.0 dB1 (typ.) and drain current of 4.5 Amps1 (typ.).

TriQuint Semiconductor announced the release of the first three packaged devices in its multi-function circuit (MFC) family of products for PTP radio and SATCOM (VSAT) applications. TriQuint’s three new packaged products address OEM needs for frequency upconversion (amplification) in the transmit (Tx) and local oscillator signal chains. The company also released its Network Business Unit’s global vision for simplifying connectivity in consumer voice, data, music and video for fixed and mobile environments. In addition, TriQuint Semiconductor announced the release of two new packaged heterojunction field-effect transistor (HFET) products for base station, point-to-point radio and general purpose amplifier applications. These new releases, TGF2960-SD and TGF2961-SD, are included in TriQuint’s first Product Selection Guide.

TriQuint also announced the release of two new satellite communications (SATCOM) high power amplifiers (HPA) that lead the industry in performance and overall size reduction. The new die-level products, TGA4916 and TGA4906, are the latest example of TriQuint’s leadership in the evolution of ground terminal SATCOM RF amplifiers.

T-Tech Inc. has released Quick Circuit Model 3000, a new entry-level PCB machine. Its low cost and high precision is perfect for the university and international marketplace. Students at technical colleges can mill and drill single- and double-sided rapid prototype circuits in the classroom chemical free. The Quick Circuit 3000 provides a cost-effective alternative to other rapid prototyping machines. Its small design and affordable price make this machine great for the educational and international markets.

Tyco Electronics announced the expansion of the M/A-COM RFID reader module line to include new in-phase/quadrature (I/Q), source and transmit modules. The new M/A-COM RFID reader modules are ideal for a variety of applications, specifically those that require high performance, flexible and compact features. Tyco Electronics also announced the availability of the M/A-COM MASW-000822-12770T, a new SP2T broadband PIN diode switch for 0.5 to 6 GHz applications. The switch is ideal for higher power WiMAX base station and military radio applications and features high linearity and power handling. The device provides over 8 W (C.W.) power handling coupled with 65 dBm IIP3 for maximum performance. In addition, the company announced a new line of M/A-COM radiating cable antennas, which is designed to replace conventional antennas in applications that require wide frequency bandwidths and deployment in physical spaces that present extreme challenges to traditional antenna solutions. The M/A-COM radiating cable antenna series is ideal for cellular, Bluetooth and WLAN frequency band installations, as well as airborne, vehicular and ground-based applications. Tyco Electronics also announced a new family of single-junction surface-mount circulators ideally suited for various WiMAX applications. The M/A-COM MAFR-000229-000001, MAFR-000050-5S4C1T, MAFR-000159-5S4C1T and MAFR-000200-5S4C1T circulators are high performance, reliable products that split the WiMAX frequency bands and are ideal for CPE, base stations and repeater equipment.

Vector Telecom Pty. Ltd. featured a newly released series of waveguide power combiners/dividers with frequency ranging from 2.6 to 40 GHz. The peak power handling capacity (without additional pressure) ranges from 18 kW in WR-28 to 2.5 MW in WR-284. All models can be customized mechanically or electrically to meet a customer’s special requirements.

W.L. Gore & Associates has extended its microwave/RF assembly offerings with the GORE<\#170> 100 Series Assemblies. Flexible and semi-rigid assemblies as small as 0.047" (1.2 mm) are available and can fit on less than 0.085" (2.2 mm) centers. The connectors are specifically designed for use on devices where critical signals must reach tightly-spaced connection points.

Zeland Software Inc. announced the release of IE3D EM simulation and optimization package Release 12 with FastEM Design Kit for real-time full-wave EM tuning, optimization and synthesis. IE3D Release 12 also implements multi-CPU support with multi-fold speed improvement, Boolean-enabled equation-based schematic-layout editor for easy parameterization, and JobsManager for robust network distributed EM simulation and optimization.

This is a relatively small sample of the new products and technologies that were showcased during the Industry Exhibition. Space is always at a premium, of course, so our apologies to the companies and products that have not been mentioned.

New Year, New Venue: Atlanta

Next year Microwave Week returns to the East Coast. IMS 2008 will be held in Atlanta, GA, June 15 to 20. Atlanta is a great convention city and will no doubt be a gracious host to our annual event. We hope to see you all there next year.

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