advertisment Advertisement
This ad will close in  seconds. Skip now
advertisment Advertisement
advertisment Advertisement
advertisment Advertisement
advertisment Advertisement
Industry News

EuMW 2004 —History in the Making

January 8, 2005
/ Print / Reprints /
| Share More
/ Text Size+

One hundred years on from the invention of radar the 7th European Microwave Week (EuMW) fittingly marked the anniversary with the birth of a new conference (EuRAD) that ran alongside the existing three conferences and industrial exhibition. Naturally, the event, held at the RAI Centre in Amsterdam last October, provided the perfect opportunity for the microwave community to discover just what is showing up on its radar screen, pinpoint the areas of technological activity and identify what new developments are on the horizon. From experience the industry has learned to be cautious, of course, but what could be detected loud and clear was optimism tempered by realism and a desire for consolidation allied to a willingness to move forward.

The event itself has progressed too and a smart radar antenna was not necessary to identify the buzz of the four conferences and the activity in the exhibition halls. The positive atmosphere and the smooth running of the whole five days was a tribute to over a year’s effort and endeavour by EuMW general chairman and EuMC chairman, Piet van Genderen; co-chairman, Guy Vandenbosch; secretary, Vladimir Volski and their associates at GAAS“ – chairman, Frank van den Bogaart, ECWT – chairman, Ramjee Prasad and EuRAD – chairman, Leo Ligthart. They have been supported by countless people, including local organizers, 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, managing the registration system and contributing to the organization of the conferences. Invaluable also were the many industrial companies and organisations that lent their financial support.

The Conferences

The four separate but complementary conferences – GAAS“2004, the European Gallium Arsenide and other Compound Semicon-ductors Application Symposium; the European Conference on Wireless Technology (ECWT 2004); the 34th European Microwave Conference (EuMC 2004) and the inaugural European Radar Conference (EuRAD) – 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® 2004

An increased number of paper submissions came from 25 countries, resulting in over 130 oral presentations in 28 sessions and three workshops and short courses. Focused sessions addressed the activities in two EU Networks of Excellence, a special session was dedicated to the state-of-the-art in Eastern Europe, together with focused sessions on new emerging technologies such as GaN and SiGe and space technologies applications. In addition, a special session was dedicated to industrial aspects, featuring invited speakers from industry and an industrial round table panel session.

Prizes and Awards

Reflecting the quality of the conference there was fierce competition for the best three papers. The UMS Prize of €1,500 went to D. Krausse, R. Quay, R. Kiefer, A. Tessmann, H. Massler, A. Leuther, T. Merkle, S. Müller, C. Schwörer, M. Mikulla, M. Schlechtweg and G. Weimann from the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Solid-State Physics, Freiburg, Germany. Elisra awarded €1,500 to D. Moran, E. Boyd, K. Elgaid, H. McLelland, C. Stanley and I. Thayne from the University of Glasgow, UK. The €1,500 Alenia Spazio Prize was won by A. Bessemoulin, J. Grunenputt, P. Fellon, A. Tessmann and E. Kohn of United Monolithic Semiconductors, France. To encourage the youth and invest in the future, five €3,000 Young Research Fellowships were awarded to: M. Krämer from the Technical University Eindhoven, The Netherlands; M. Pirazzini of the University of Ferrara, Italy; D.H. Kim from Seoul National University, Korea; J. Lonac of the University of Bologna, Italy and G. Conte from Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

ECWT

Reflecting the popularity of wireless technologies, 93 technical papers were presented in 18 oral and poster sessions. In both the opening and closing sessions keynote speakers considered the current wireless communications trends. There was also a focused session on the Strategic Vision for Future Wireless, two workshops on Wireless Communications: Visions, Roadmaps and Enabling Technologies and Secure Wireless Personal Networks and a joint workshop with the European Microwave Conference on Future Challenges in Space-time Wireless Communications.

Prizes

The ECWT Best Paper Prize was won by Pascal Philippe and Atila Oruk from Philips Semiconductors, France, while the ECWT Young Engineers Prize went to Francisco Monteiro and Antonio Rodrigues from the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal.

EuMC

The high quality of the 600 plus papers submitted resulted in a good balance of topics in the various areas of interest that were presented during 46 regular sessions and two poster sessions, while subjects of common interest with the other conferences featured in 13 common sessions. Complementing the submitted papers, five focused sessions considered issues special to EuMC, together with detailed presentations and discussions on selected topics in an additional seven workshops.

Prizes

The EuMC Microwave Prize went to S. Masuda and T. Hirose of Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Japan, and H. Kira of Fujitsu Ltd., Japan. As for the Young Engineers Awards, first prize was awarded to B. Motlagh, S. Gevorgian and H. Zirath from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, with the last two named also representing the Microwave and High Speed Research Center, Ericsson AB, Sweden. The second prize went to A. Saib, M. Darques, L. Piraux, D. Vanhoenacker-Janvier and I. Huynen from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

EuRAD

In its inaugural year the conference received over 100 high level papers with interesting contributions from many radar countries including the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. Around 60 percent of the submitted papers were selected to provide an attractive offering of regular sessions, a poster session, focused sessions and a workshop.

Prizes

The Raytheon sponsored EuMA Radar prize of €5,000 for the paper that best advances the state-of-the-art in radar was presented to A. Gustafsson, R. Malmqvist, L. Pettersson, G. Huss, M. Alfredson, S. Lindstrom, I. Ferrer, P. Grahn, S. Leijon, C. Samuelsson, T. Nilsson, A. Phol, A. Ouacha, B. Carlegrim, S. Hagelin and R. Erickson from the FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency, Sweden.

The Exhibition

Reflecting the reality that academic and commercial development run side by side to fulfill mutual goals and to move the industry forward, a great deal of effort was put into marrying the academic with the industrial. Specific industrial sessions were scheduled within the conference, workshops addressed practical applications and the exhibition attracted key players in the industry.

The German Pavilion built on its successful inception in Munich in 2003 and was joined by the Dutch Pavilion, a historical booth on radar technology sponsored by Thales Nederland and TNO-FEL, and a European Space Agency sponsored stand focusing on space technology.

The two exhibition halls not only featured Europe’s finest, including a significant Eastern European contingent, but also attracted key players from the US, and the Middle and Far East. The various technical workshops, allied to the exhibition and run by the exhibitors, were very popular as they offered hands-on demonstrations and the chance to talk technical with the experts.

On the show floor itself, exhibitors showcased their latest products and initiatives. A sample of some of these products and technologies and other exhibition news follows. Apologies to those companies that have not been mentioned due to space constraints.

Always to the fore on the exhibition floor and likewise with its technology, Agilent Technologies was again prolific with its product introductions. In particular it broke the double digit bandwidth barrier with the launch of the industry’s first oscilloscope and probing measurement system with a maximum real-time bandwidth of 13 GHz and a maximum sample rate of 40 GSa/s — namely, the Infiniium DSO80000 Series oscilloscopes and the InfiniiMax II Series probing measurement systems, which include 10, 12 and 13 GHz versions. They are seen as being vital to engineers designing high speed serial buses, RF and wireless products, and other ultra-high speed electronics.

Also showcased for the first time was a complete family of surface-mount millimetre-wave ICs for microwave radios up to 20 GHz, which is claimed to fill virtually all the active RF requirements of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint microwave links. Likewise, ten new high performance millimetre-wave ICs for cost sensitive base station microwave links were launched. They include frequency doublers, low noise amplifiers (LNA) and power amplifiers covering the 6 to 45 GHz frequency range.

Looking forward, the company, in association with VXI Technology, has introduced LXI (LAN extensions for instrumentation), a next-generation, LAN-based modular platform standard for automated test systems. LXI combines built-in measurement science and PC-standard I/O connectivity from rack-and-stack instruments with the modularity and size reduction of cardcage-based systems. Also announced were high performance microwave synthetic instruments, which utilise the LXI format and meet the stringent demands of the US Department of Defense (DoD) NxTest vision for flexible, morphable modular instrumentation. They claim to offer a smaller footprint and the highest performance microwave instrumentation available.

Sharing Agilent’s stand and innovation was Cascade Microtech, who announced the expansion of the Infinity Probe series with the introduction of the 220 GHz version. The new membrane GSG contact tip design reduces stray EM fields near the probe tip. It is designed to meet the challenges of high frequency probing for advanced on-wafer modelling and characterisation while providing low, stable contact resistance on 50 micron pads.

Pride of place for Anritsu went to the 37000D series of Lightning Vector Network Analysers (VNA) covering the four frequency ranges of 20, 40, 50 and 65 GHz. These two-port instruments deliver improved performance, updated interfaces, expanded software applications and Ethernet connectivity. The 37300D is a premium series designed for measuring S-parameters of active and passive devices such as amplifiers, mixers and up/down converters. They include step attenuators, bias tees, extended level control and power sweep as standard features. For applications requiring analysis of passive devices only, the 37200D economy series conducts highly accurate S-parameter tests on filters, isolators, circulators and attenuators.

Also featured was the Vector Network Analyzer and Passive Intermodulation Test System spanning the 10 MHz to 6 GHz range. The configuration of the MS4622B Vector Network Analyzer, which includes two internal sources, the SM6130 PIM software, SM612x PIM filter unit, SM612x PIM power amplifier allied to a PC enables both S-parameter and passive intermodulation (PIM) measurements to be made with a single connection to the device under test. Other significant products on show included the MS2721A handheld spectrum analyzer designed to conduct highly accurate analysis of wireless signals, including 802.11a, 3G, ultra-wideband and WiMAX, up to 7 GHz, and the Signature MS2781A signal analyzer that provides engineers with the spectrum and signal analysis tools required to design and manufacture advanced RF and microwave communications systems, including WLAN, 3G and 4G.

Continuing the instrumentation theme and demonstrating just how competitive the market is, Tektronix showcased a portfolio of real-time spectrum analyzers with the ability to trigger, capture and analyze time-varying RF signals that conventional spectrum and signal analyzers are unable to detect. In particular, the new RSA2200A and RSA3300A Series models are optimised for general-purpose RF applications, ranging from spectrum monitoring to component evaluation.

Also, the RSA3300A Series’ Frequency Mask Trigger makes it possible to trigger on interfering signals and seamlessly capture a record that contains events before, during and after the trigger and further analyse the signal behaviour over time. The WCA200A and WCA300A Series also operates with real-time spectrum analysis technology, and capabilities are aimed at wireless applications and include powerful automated modulation analysis features for mobile standards including GSM, EDGE and W-CDMA.

Closely allied to test instruments are CAD systems, and attracting RF and microwave engineers to the AWR stand was the new Microwave Office 2004 design suite aimed specifically at enabling them to tackle next-generation circuit designs. This latest version offers significant improvements in power and usability to increase design accuracy and shorten design cycle time.

This integrated solution is inherently synchronized with schematic, simulation and layout data to provide what is needed to take an idea from concept through simulation and directly into physical implementation. Also, the software has a dynamic EM-extraction capability that provides the ability to select schematic elements and target them for simulation using any of the popular EM solvers supported through the EM socket interface.

Similarly, the Microwave Innovation Group is always expanding its horizons and the capability of its WASP-NET tool with version 6.0 being showcased at EuMW. Specific features include: direct full-wave synthesis of combline and cross-coupled filters by extended filter wizards; a full set of ridged waveguide components; extended combline elements, such as top-down tuning of resonators; user defined arbitrary 3D-black box elements enhancing the software’s flexibility; horn antennas with arbitrarily shaped apertures; radiation pattern optimization; multipacting analysis for high power filters; and a multiprocessor option for further speed enhancement.

MIG’s fellow German companies, Suss MicroTec and LPKF, are at the forefront of their product sectors. In particular, Suss has been probing new frontiers and this time showed a complete set-up — probes and calibration software — for multi-port measurements. In particular, the SussCal Calibration Software package has been extended to enable fully automated calibration using multi-port vector network analyzers (VNA). It claims to be the only calibration tool on the market that can perform fully automatic multi-port calibration. This means that the VNA front panel, which is often difficult to access in a wafer-level test system, does not need to be reached for setting up the calibration procedure.

This calibration software provides the interface between any type of multi-port VNA available on the market and the Suss probe station. It supports differential probes and multi-port VNAs in the fully automatic mode and with a few simple clicks the prober moves automatically through the calibration procedure before beginning the measurement.

Taking pride of place for LPKF was the new self-contained ProtoLaser 100 laser structuring system for printed circuit boards that combines milling, drilling and contour routing capabilities. It produces high quality RF and microwave boards with structures as small as 50 mm. The laser beam has a diameter of 25 mm and it creates precise contours with sharp edges. It produces PCBs on a variety of substrates and can structure at speeds up to 5 cm2/min.

Those looking for innovation trained their antenna on the Chelton Telecom & Microwave stand and specifically European Antennas, who exhibited the new extended performance omni antenna for Link16 ground-based installations. Having a 7 dBi gain this lightweight antenna covers the entire Link16 band — 960 to 1215 MHz. The higher gain also allows reduced transmit power from the ground-based transmitter and receive sensitivity is increased significantly. The antenna has a corporate feed structure to ensure that the peak gain remains at the same elevation angle at all frequencies. Also, the radiating elements and feed structure have been designed to produce an omni antenna with less than ±1° azimuth ripple across the entire band.

Eastern Europe has an increased presence in the industry and an established player is ELVA-1, with its millimetre-wave division headquartered in Latvia. At EuMW centre stage was given to the DPM-xx Power Meter series that has been extended to provide microwave-power measurements within the 0.01 to 220 GHz band. It is compact, has a digital output, automatic zeroing and a built-in battery for portability. This single-channel average power meter measures absolute power in mW/mW or dBm and displays set signal frequency in gigahertz. The minimum measured power is 0.1 mW with a dynamic measurement range of 60 dB. For easy-to-use operation it has automatic recognition of a plugged-in sensor and a calculation factor table for every sensor stored in its memory.

Even further afield, and outlining European Microwave Week’s international importance, several US companies used the exhibition to showcase new products in Europe. Teledyne Relays unveiled the surface-mount RF522 relay, which is claimed to be the world’s smallest 30 W microwave switch. Rated from DC to 10 GHz over a temperature range of –55° to +85°C, it is available in two coil voltages — 5 and 12 VDC — and features a 50 W characteristic impedance.

The RF522 package employs lead-free construction and is sealed against moisture and contamination. It measures 18 ¥ 18 ¥ 8.5 mm, ground bumps add 0.35 mm to the depth and the relay weighs 14 g. This compactness makes it suitable for applications in the test and measurement, military and aerospace, and point-to-point telecommunications markets.

Noticeable too was the strength of US companies in the field of materials development. For example, Taconic has developed its Temperature Stable Material (TSM) to meet the demanding requirements for temperature stability of dielectric constant and plated-through-hole reliability for high temperature and varying environmental conditions. It has a nominal dielectric constant of 3.0, is available in 0.005 inch thickness iterations and is supplied with all types of copper foil, including Ohmega ply resistor foil. The material is based on a high temperature, low loss organic combined with ceramic in a homogeneous structure.

The material exhibits superior low loss, high copper peel strength and chemical moisture resistant properties, allied to good dimensional stability for construction in multilayer boards. TSM delivers good performance for high frequency applications where consistent stable dielectric constant is needed for a changing environment. The low loss and improved thermal conductivity make it suitable for high power applications.

Similarly, Rogers Corp. showed its latest high performance laminates. The RO3035 High Frequency material is said to be the lowest loss DK 3.5 material on the market. It is ideal for power amplifier designs, not only because of the low loss but also due to its high thermal conductivity and availability with thick metal backing. These features make it suitable for designs with critical power and thermal requirements.

Also shown was the RT/duroid 6202 material, which provides the key feature of improved dimensional stability while supporting high performance requirements for the most demanding applications for frequencies of 3 to over 90 GHz. The material also offers good electrical characteristics and highly predictable performance.

Finally, while the European Microwave Exhibition was organised with the visitor in mind, W.L. Gore featured the Phaseflex 110 GHz microwave test assemblies, which have been designed with the user in mind. They offer torque and crush resistance, and stability with flexure and temperature, while remaining very flexible. The test assemblies are also designed to optimize test system performance while reducing the cost of test and ownership.

EuMA Membership

It was not just the big manufacturers who were attracting attention. The European Microwave Association stand was also a hive of activity as visitors sought out more information regarding the Association and signed up for Associate Membership. More than 100 registered at the event, eager to take advantage of the new membership category, which was created by EuMA in 2003, with applications welcome from anybody professionally engaged in RF and microwave work. Those who signed up at EuMW were from across the industry, from students to professors, and not just from Europe, but also as far away as the US, Canada, India, Korea and Singapore.

Social Events

The secret of a successful event is enabling visitors to mix business with pleasure and Amsterdam is the ideal

city to do just that. The social events laid on by the organisers were numerous and broad, beginning on Monday with the traditional GAAS“ Dinner. Making the most of the host city’s amenities it was held onboard a boat that sailed around Amsterdam Harbour.

The following day, the EuMW 2004 Welcome Buffet, sponsored by Agilent, EuMA and Horizon House, in the Europa restaurant at the RAI, offered food for thought as well as food for consumption as it provided the opportunity for delegates and exhibitors to network and exchange ideas. On Wednesday the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Amsterdam held a reception in the city town hall. A nice touch was ferrying guests in canal boats from the RAI, not only a leisurely way to travel but also providing the opportunity to take in the sights en route.

Of course, the centenary of the invention of radar could not go unrecognised, so there was the chance to see the latest generation of radar onboard HrMs De Ruijter, which was moored in Amsterdam Harbour. Sponsored by the Royal Dutch Navy, Thales Nederland and TNO-FEL, these excursions were sociable too with drinks, snacks and a buffet.

Sponsors

A vital ingredient for the success of any event is the support and encouragement of commercial sponsors. So, thanks go to Platinum Sponsors Agilent, to Ansoft for the delegate bags, WIN Semiconductors for the badge cords and MiCian for the visitor bags. More than welcome sustenance was provided during the coffee breaks, which were sponsored by Mimix, RF Micro Devices and Rohde and Schwarz, while food for thought and that vital link with the outside world was available at the two CST sponsored Cyber Cafés, which proved to be a significant draw on the exhibition floor.

Paris 2005

The chic, the artistic and the cosmopolitan all flock to Paris and from 3–7 October 2005 the microwave community will be invited to join them as the 8th European Microwave Week returns to the CNIT. Along with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and other tourist attractions, the city offers good food and wine in a convivial atmosphere, and for the event itself every effort is being made to provide a substantial menu of relevant, incisive and challenging conferences, a meaty exhibition and hopefully an intoxicating mix of business and pleasure. See you there.

Recent Articles by Richard Mumford

Post a comment to this article

Sign-In

Forgot your password?

No Account? Sign Up!

Get access to premium content and e-newsletters by registering on the web site.  You can also subscribe to Microwave Journal magazine.

Sign-Up

advertisment Advertisement