The recent one-day Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Seminar on RF and microwave IC design held at Savoy Place, London, UK, featured the latest in IC design and technology. The content reflected the current trends of higher operating frequencies, increased levels of integration and low cost, low power solutions, covering a wide range of semiconductor processes including SiGe, InGaP HBT, PHEMT and CMOS.
The event was sponsored by Applied Wave Research and Ansoft, who provided tabletop displays of their products that specifically address the RF and microwave IC design sector. Experts were also on hand to give advice and discuss the latest test and measurement technology. The exhibition provided a useful contribution by enhancing the discussion periods between talks and during lunch.
The seminar’s chairman was Liam Devlin of Plextek, UK, who commented, “I was impressed with the quality of the papers and was heartened to see the broad range of RF and microwave IC development activity that is ongoing in the UK and Ireland. It was also great to see the positive interaction between the audience and presenters with people genuinely trying to share the fruits of their design and development work.”
In particular, he stated, “Highlights of the seminar included Iain Thayne's presentation of the GaAs MOSFET process development work underway at Glasgow University. This could pave the way for higher speed logic when geometry shrinking in Si CMOS ultimately runs out of steam. Merv Haynes at Selex described a 2 to18 GHz Successive Detection Logarithmic Amplifier (SDLA) realised on an InP HBT process. It provided a +/-1dB log error, an impressive achievement for a first pass design.
“Also, MoD funded research at QinetiQ resulted in a miniature Ku-band phased-array module that included gain and phase control, LNA and PA and even the antenna all in a single surface-mount package. All of the technology for this development was European sourced. Other organisations presenting at the event included Analog Devices, Cardiff University, Elisra, Nottingham University, Plextek and Queens University Belfast.”