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Industry News

EuMW 2005: A Sophisticated Success

January 31, 2006
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Haute cuisine, chic cafés, restaurants and, of course, fine wines are the staple diet for Parisians. Last October, however, the city also served up a mouth-watering array of technology and innovation as the 8th European Microwave Week was staged at the CNIT La Défense, International Conference and Exhibition Centre. The event made every effort to satisfy the appetite of its global attendees and visitors, hungry to hear about and discuss new developments, view the latest products, and take the opportunity for professional and personal networking. There was also the opportunity to taste the delights of a sophisticated, cosmopolitan and hospitable city. Even a less than hospitable national one-day industrial strike did little to dampen spirits with the microwave community proving its resilience.


That resilience has been evident in recent years as the industry has had to cope with depressed markets in certain sectors and uncertainty in others. Confidence has been rebuilt slowly but surely. EuMW 2005 played a vital role in boosting this confidence by focusing on the commitment and drive being channelled into technological and product development, and by highlighting the positive efforts being made. That the Week had such an impact is a tribute to the prolonged dedication and endeavour of EuMW general chairman, Raymond Quéré; secretary, Michèle Lalande, treasurer, Bernard Jarry and their associates at GAAS® – chairman, Robert Plana; ECWT – chairman, Serge Toutain; EuMC – chairman, Jean-Louis Cazaux and EuRAD – chairman, Joseph Saillard. During the year they have been supported by countless people, including local organisers, the TPC-members, the members of the review boards, the organizers of the workshops, short courses and special sessions, and the members of the EuMA Board of Directors. Horizon House Publications played its part, organizing the European Microwave Exhibition, running the registration system, liaising with the venue and contributing to the organisation of the conferences. Invaluable as always were the many industrial companies and organisations that lent their financial and practical support.

The Conferences

The four separate but complementary conferences — GAAS®2005, the European Gallium Arsenide and other Compound Semiconductors Application Symposium; the European Conference on Wireless Technology (ECWT 2005); the 35th European Microwave Conference (EuMC 2005) and the second European Radar Conference (EuRAD 2005) were supported and enhanced by a variety of dedicated workshops, short courses and tutorials, focusing on specific, up-to-the-minute topics in the field of microwave technologies.

GAAS®2005

Papers were submitted from 25 countries, covering a broad spectrum of topics in the area of RF and microwave electronic devices and circuits. The result was a conference that featured more than 90 oral presentations in 18 sessions and four workshops and short courses. Focused sessions were organised that addressed activities in two EU Networks of Excellence as well as on new emerging technologies such as GaN and NanoCMOS. There were also sessions on 3D MCM modules for space applications, microwave and mm-wave ICs in silicon technology. Significantly, too, there was a session dedicated to industrial aspects, featuring invited speakers from industry and an industrial round table panel session.

Prizes and Awards

As always there was fierce competition for the prizes given to the best papers and the Fellowship awards. The €1,500 Alcatel Alenia Space Prize was won by Koli Yamanaka from the Mistsubishi Electric Corp. R&D Centre, Kamakura, Japan. Awarded with the WIN Semiconductors prize of €1,500 was Rachid Driad from the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Solid State Physics, Freiburg, Germany. Elisra awarded €1,500 to Sanghyun Seo from Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, while the UMS Prize of €1,500 went to Jean Godin from the Alcatel-Thales III-V Lab, Marcoussis, France. To encourage the youth and invest in the future, four €3,000 Young Research Fellowships were awarded to: Antonio Raffo from the University of Ferrara, Italy; Masoud Movahhedi of AmirKabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran; Krishnamurthy Lokesh from the University of Manchester, UK; and Vikas Manan of the University of California, Santa Barbara, US. A fifth Fellowship of €3,000 was shared by Rocco Giofrè and Antonio Nanni of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

ECWT

The conference is an international forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest developments in the field of wireless communication technologies. To underline that fact, 136 papers, submitted by authors from 25 countries, were presented during the 16 oral sessions and two poster sessions. In the opening and closing sessions, keynote speakers provoked keen discussion when addressing the present trends in the wireless communications field. Seven sessions were co-organised with the European Microwave Conference, together with a focused session on Wireless Personal Area Networks.

Prizes

The ECWT Best Paper Prize was won by David Marchaland from ESIEE-ESYCOM/STMicroelectronics, France, while the ECWT Young Engineers Prize went to Georg Strasser of LMC, Austria.

EuMC

There was a significant rise in the number of submissions compared to previous years. There were 53 regular oral sessions, including three focused sessions on specific topics and 16 joint sessions with the other three conferences. Special emphasis was given to the activities of the different Networks of Excellence and there were lunchtime poster sessions each day in the European Microwave Exhibition hall.

Demonstrating that it has become a truly international conference, there was a dramatic rise in interest from Asia, with South Korea leading all other countries, including France, the host country. From the Middle East to Far East Asia, North and South America, Africa, Oceania, Eastern and Central Europe, there were contributions from 49 countries.

Prizes

The €5,000 EuMC Prize awarded by the EuMA for the best paper presented at the conference went to Hiroshi Murata, Kazumasa Kaneda, Akira Enokihara and Yasuyuki Okamura from Osaka University and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Japan. Two €2,000 Young Engineers Prizes were awarded. They went to Stefan Mueller of Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, and Alessandro Ocera from the University of Perugia, Italy.

EuRAD

Building on the success of the first European Radar Conference in Amsterdam last year, EuRAD 2005 received an increased number of high level papers with contributions from many countries. It encompassed a wide range of topics, including radar devices, systems and processing techniques. Within the conference framework radar and radar related researchers were given the platform to present their progress and offer new insights during oral and poster sessions as well as two focused sessions, one workshop and one short course.

Prizes

Two prizes sponsored by Raytheon were awarded by the EuRAD TPC and the General Assembly of the EuMA. The European Microwave Association Radar Prize of €3,000 was awarded to D. Cerutti-Maori, et al., FGAN-FHR/ARB, Wachtberg, Germany. To encourage the student fraternity, the €2,000 European Radar Conference Young Engineer Prize went to J.C. Diot, et al., Université de Limoges, France.

The Exhibition

Paris is renowned as being the centre of the world’s fashion industry but it was the microwaves and RF, wireless technologies, semiconductor and radar communities that took centre stage at the CNIT. And just as the top designers use the Paris catwalks to show off their latest creations, the European Microwave Exhibition provided a stage for companies from across the globe to showcase their wares. Indeed, some used it to launch brand new products or show their latest creations for the very first time. Read on to discover the stars of the RF and microwave winter collection and get an insight into future trends as the key products paraded at the show are highlighted; apologies to those companies that have not been mentioned due to space constraints.

Test and measurement crosses the boundaries of the different industry sectors that EuMW embraces, so it is no surprise that manufacturers in the field are particularly active, targeting the event for new product introductions.

That is definitely the case for Agilent Technologies, which made a number of key announcements. Particular emphasis was given to the new low cost compact spectrum analyzer (CSA), which is the first in a series of intuitive, low cost spectrum analyzers that enable technicians, R&D and manufacturing engineers to make complicated RF measurements with speed, ease and confidence. The company also chose to demonstrate its Synthetic Instruments product portfolio for the first time in Europe, using the capabilities of its existing bench top instruments to create a portfolio of synthetic instruments that support the LXI standard.

Also introduced were two additional models to the N6030A series arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) family. The N6032A, a dual-channel AWG designed for radar and military communications, delivers 625 MS/s and 15 bits of vertical resolution per channel to create wideband waveforms up to 250 MHz wide. The N6033A generator, designed for satellite communications and general-purpose wideband applications, delivers 625 MS/s and 10 bits of vertical resolution per channel.

Sharing the Agilent stand and similar ambitions to develop significant products, Cascade Microtech launched its WinCal 2006 software to address the testing challenges brought on by the increase in the volume of complex, high speed semiconductors that are designed and tested for use in mobile communications products.

The software is designed to provide an easy and successful path for RF wafer testing for the experienced engineer or those new to RF device characterization. It solves a wide variety of common problems including data correlation, training of new users, obtaining correct calibration coefficient definitions, calibration verification, erroneous use of untrimmed or non-50 ? loads, and determining the source of unexpected or suspect measurement data.

Proving that they too can be prolific in the test and measurement arena, Rohde & Schwarz introduced a plethora of new products. The focus was on the new family of network analyzers, all of which have the same operating concept and a common remote-control command set. The R&S ZVA24 analyzer is the high end model. It is available as a two-port and four-port version and covers a frequency range from 10 MHz to 24 GHz. It has a dynamic range of more than 145 dB and a measurement speed of 3.5 ms per measurement point. The R&S ZVB20 network analyzer targets the medium price segment with high measurement speed, a wide dynamic range of more than 130 dB and maximum output power of up to +13 dBm.

The R&S ZVT8, the world’s only eight-port network analyzer, features true multi-port architecture and offers very short measurement times while maintaining high measurement accuracy and a wide dynamic range. Also showcased was a complete measurement solution for WiMAX signals, a versatile spectrum analyzer and a compact measurement system for determining electromagnetic susceptibility.

For Ansoft, three products made their European debut. First, the Q3D Extractor v7 is a 3D quasi-static electromagnetic parasitic extraction tool. New features have been introduced that make it easier and more reliable for engineers to import 3D CAD models and integrated circuit, printed circuit board and package layouts from third-party tools. A new fault-tolerant meshing algorithm has been added to make the meshing process tolerant to anomalies that occur in geometric data from CAD/EDA software programs.

Second, HFSS v10 is the new release of the company’s flagship high frequency/high speed electromagnetic design product, introducing new capabilities for design-flow efficiency that allow users to easily share CAD models and results across existing CAD/CAE products. Finally, the Turbo Package Analyzer v4.2 is the latest version that combines new bidirectional integration with Synopsys’ Encore package-design software with the company’s 3D electromagnetic simulation. It enables full parasitic extraction of complex IC packages, such as ball-grid arrays.

Keeping up the interest, Anritsu made two major announcements. The first being pulse modulation enhancements to the company’s MG3690B signal generators for more precise and convenient simulation of pulsed signals used in civilian and military radar applications. These enhancements provide more narrow-leveled pulses, increased resolution when using the internal pulse generator and include higher frequency internal waveform generators to simulate modulated signals. The signal generator’s pulse modulation performance responds to emerging needs of radar systems, especially those operating in the 1 to 2 GHz L-band.

The second is the launch of two wideband peak power meters, the single sensor input ML2495A and the dual sensor input ML2496A, which are designed for the demands of the rapid rise time radar measurement and the latest 4G wireless applications. The ML2490A series has been designed with a 65 MHz mainframe bandwidth and displays a typical rise time of 8 ns with 1 ns resolution when used with the company’s new MA2411B pulse sensor. The ML2490A measures the peak, average and crest factor of both the continuous OFDM and framed OFDM, and is suitable for WLAN and WiMAX applications.

EuMW 2005 saw APLAC Solutions exhibit in its own right for the last time, following its recent acquisition by Applied Wave Research. However, it was made evident that its input will be very much in evidence in the future. More immediately, AWR announced a robust, feature-packed 2006 version of its flagship product, Microwave Office design suite. This latest version offers a new integrated filter synthesis solution using Nuhertz Technologies’ filter synthesis technology. This feature offers complete synthesis capability for passive, transmission line, active, switched capacitor and digital filters, as well as two graphical user interfaces, one for the power user who requires advanced options and capabilities, and one for the mainstream user who needs ease-of-use. This latest development together with other key updates ensures that the design suite continues to deliver key productivity improvements to microwave designers, shortening design cycle time and speeding time-to-market for RF/microwave products.

Centre stage on the Aeroflex stand was taken by a new test capability, the PN95-DSM digital spectrum monitoring (DSM) option that has been added to the expanding PN9500 phase noise test system. The DSM option allows the user to view the spectrum of a signal in the same way as a spectrum analyzer and also integrates specific processes that are ideal for radar testing. The PN95-DSM measures power level, power variation, adjacent channel power and harmonic distortion, and more measurements are possible by setting markers. The company also showed the PN9276 microwave down converter, which has had its frequency boosted to 50 GHz to enable phase noise testing for higher frequency applications.

Now very much a key contributor to the Week is the Microwave Innovation Group, which showcased its WASP-NET and previewed Version 6.1, the enhanced features of which will include dielectric resonator filters, dielectric loaded horns, horns with shaped subreflectors, ridged waveguide slot arrays, LTCC filters and diplexers, extended combline elements, advanced broadband OMT elements, 3D black box elements, and 64 bit and multi-processor options.

Staying with German companies, Computer Simulation Technology previewed the CST Microwave Studio 2006. This time domain 3D EM simulator features a major redesign of the architecture, together with substantial new functionality. Most significant is the use of the CST Design Environment as a common access point to the company’s solver technology. Structures are presented in 3D and schematic views and the comparison of models and co-simulation is facilitated by a new multi-document interface. No more details could be given as the product was still being developed but that can now be remedied by turning to the Product Feature on page 150 for the full story.

Not test and measurement but still focusing on the German companies, Antennessa launched two products. First, the INSITE box is an RF EMF monitoring station. Remotely operated, it makes on-going isotropic and selective measurements in twelve frequency bands: FM, TV3, TETRA, TV4&5, GSM Tx and Rx, DCS Tx and Rx, DECT, UMTS Tx and Rx, and WiFi. Second, the company completes its range of EMF measurement systems with EME GUARD, a new alarm dosimeter developed to protect workers from the risks associated with RF electromagnetic fields.

Moving over the border and to the EuMW host country, France, OMMIC targeted the show to introduce a new range of products to include six-bit phase shifters, six-bit attenuators and complete integrated core chips at X- and C-band. These products take advantage of OMMIC’s 0.18 mm enhancement-depletion technology that allows for the complete integration of functions. The first products include CGY2170UH and CGY2175UH, which are fully integrated ‘core chip’ functions for phase array radar at X- and C-band, respectively.

As for the Italian representation, ABF Elettronica presented a 7/8 GHz duplexer, which is particularly suited to high capacity digital radio applications in outdoor units and is an alternative to the dielectric resonator approach. Important features are low cost, high reliability, quick frequency tuning, good performance and compactness. Characteristics include tunability frequency ranges of 7.1 to 7.4 GHz, 7.4 to 7.7 GHz, 7.7 to 8.1 GHz and 8.1 to 8.5 GHz. It has six resonators and an operating temperature range of –33° to +70°C.

Demonstrating the significant global impact of the exhibition, several non-European companies took the opportunity to launch new products. For instance, Peregrine Semiconductor unveiled the next generation of its UltraCMOS™ process technology. The first devices to be released on the company’s HaRP™-enhanced UltraCMOS™ process are the PE42672 SP7T and the PE42660 SP6T RF switches for quad-band GSM and GSM/WCDMA handset applications. The former is said to be the world’s first monolithic SP7T switch with an on-board CMOS decoder. This highly integrated solution simplifies and lowers the cost of RF designs by reducing overall part count by as many as six devices and 13 wire bonds. The PE42660 switch is drop-in compatible with the PE4263 GSM handset switch that was released at the end of 2004.

Similarly, TriQuint Semiconductor debuted four new high performance wideband millimetre-wave amplifiers with industry leading power bandwidth performance. The TGA4521 is a wideband millimetre-wave driver amplifier covering the 32 to 45 GHz frequency range, that features +25 dBm saturated output power and +24 dBm, 1 dB compressed output power. The TGA4522 is a balanced version of the TGA4521, offering a higher output power capability with +27.5 dBm saturated and +27 dBm, 1 dB compressed performance at 38 GHz.

The TGA4046 is a balanced high power amplifier MMIC for Q-band applications, particularly military and commercial satellite uplink communications with a saturated output power of +33 dBm and 1 dB compressed power of +32 dBm. Finally, the TGA4040 is a medium power amplifier/frequency multiplier MMIC for a variety of applications including military and commercial satellite communications, electronic warfare, digital radio and instrumentation.

Illustrating the diversity of the products on display, Analog Devices has extended its portfolio of leading RFICs with the ADF7020-1 transceiver. Designed to address short range device (SRD) wireless connectivity applications in home and building automation, wireless video and audio, automatic wireless metering and security applications, the transceiver is a single-chip solution for the 135 to 650 MHz frequency range with good co-channel and adjacent channel rejection. The transceiver supports data rates of 0.15 to 200 kbits/s frequency shift keying and 0.15 to 64 kbits/s amplitude shift keying. The device operates on a +2.3 to +3.6 V power supply with programmable output power from –16 to +13 dBm in 0.3 dBm steps.

This product round up began with Agilent and will finish with it too in the guise of Agilent Semiconductor Products, which announced the expansion of its family of millimetre-wave integrated circuits to include low cost, surface-mount amplifiers operating in the 20 to 40 GHz frequency range. The new product family consists of seven devices. The AMMP-6231 is a high performance, low noise amplifier ideally suited for 18 to 31 GHz receive chains. The AMMP-6345 and AMMP-5040 are driver amplifiers for 20 to 45 GHz broadband applications. The AMMP-5024 is a travelling-wave amplifier operating from 100 kHz to 40 GHz. Two others, AMMP-6425 and AMMP-6430, are high performance, 1 W power amplifiers for use in frequencies from 17 to 33 GHz. Finally, the AMMP-6130 is a frequency multiplier with an integral driver amplifier operating in the 30 GHz satellite band.

Social Events

The extracurricular activities that are organised are just as important as the academic and have become an integral part of the Week. On Monday evening, guests of the GAAS Association enjoyed the traditional GAAS Dinner, but at a typically chic location, in a restaurant located on the fifth floor of the famous La Samaritaine store in the historical heart of Paris, with a splendid view of the city.

It was more the exchange of views that the EuMW 2005 Welcome Reception, sponsored by Agilent, EuMA and Horizon House, provided as it accomplished the difficult feat of bringing together the registered conference delegates from all four conferences and the exhibitors participating in the show, thus providing academics with the rare opportunity to exchange ideas with those who actually turn the theory into practice. On Wednesday evening, attendees realized that life does not get much better as they were treated to a Gala Cocktail Evening combined with a trip on the Seine to savour the historical heart of Paris.

Sponsors

An interesting and challenging conference, allied to an exhibition that attracts the leading global players are the key ingredients of a successful event, but it is the added extras that gives the Week its own memorable and unique flavour. That can only be achieved with the support and encouragement of commercial sponsors, many of which have made specific features their 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 Ansoft for the delegate bags, WIN Semiconductors for the badge cords and Mician for the visitor bags. Welcome sustenance was provided during the coffee breaks, which were sponsored by Ansoft, Mimix, AEP, Micrometrics and Ultrasource, while the two Cyber Cafés sponsored by CST provided an intellectual 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 their all-important support of the TPC dinner. And finally, those who attended the event would not have missed the Tektronix footsteps, which combined practicality with humour.

Manchester 2006

It’s a new venue, a new city and an extended format as the G-Mex/MICC Complex in Manchester, England, plays host to the 9th European Microwave Week, over six days, on 10 to 15 September 2006. The microwave community should feel at home in the world’s first industrial city, which boasts a wealth of historical and modern attractions, together with a plethora of restaurants, pubs and bars as well as the Manchester United Football Club, of course. As for the event itself the organisational team is in place, with the goal of providing four strong, responsive and challenging conferences, complemented by a healthy exhibition featuring international players and an attractive and vibrant social agenda.

Recent Articles by Richard Mumford, Microwave Journal European Editor

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