Microwave Journal

IMS2011 Product Wrap Up - Components, Cables & Connectors

June 15, 2011


AML Communications had a variety of new products that included GaN amplifiers to 18 GHz with wide band options up to 2 to 18 GHz and 20 W or 100 W at 7.8 to 11 GHz. The also have released low phase noise units such as a 2 to 6 GHz unit with phase noise of -173 at 10 kHz offset.

AVX was featuring their line of thin-film Accu-P series capacitors. Designed with high-purity electrodes and low-k dielectric to provide low and repeatable ESR values, these ultra-tight tolerance capacitors are ideal for antenna matching in handsets. These devices also feature high breakdown voltage (up to 250 VDC), high insulation resistance, and low losses at frequencies up to 40 GHz. Other products on show were their UQCF Series multi-layer cap (MLC) for use between 10 MHz and 4.2 GHz (available in 0805, with prices ranging between $0.07 and $0.49 in large quantities), and the UQCL Series MLC available in 0402 size covering the same frequency range.

CAP displayed a family of Spatium™, Solid State Power Amplifiers covering 2 to 40 GHz, in three platforms (2-20 GHz, 4-18 GHz, and 20-40 GHz) with various power ranges over these operating frequency ranges. In addition, CAP displayed a recently developed Spatium™ model covering 6.0-13.5 GHz; with over 100 watts CW output power. The company also displayed some of their “legacy products”, including: Low Noise, High Dynamic Range amplifiers as well as conventional power amplifiers developed for Defense and CIED applications.

Crane was displaying many of their new products such as VME master oscillator, L-band switch matrix system and frequency source, DC power system, point of load converters, and filters. But the most intriguing product is their MultiMix Microtechnology that is a multilayer process for integrating circuits and modules using direct bonding of PTFE layers. It results in a reliable high performance circuit that reduces the size of many components. It is also very reliable since the layers are bonded at very high temperature and provides a homogenous Dk for high performance circuits. View the video about this new technology.

Crystek introduced a new line of SAW Band Pass Filters, the CBPFS Series. Encased in a rugged SMA housing, this filter line is designed for test equipment and general lab use. Six models, with center frequency ranges from 836.5 through 1960.0 MHz, compose the CBPFS line. They also introduced a new RF Power Detector, the CPDETLS-4000. Encased in a rugged SMA housing, this detector is designed for low-cost RF power monitoring in general lab use. The CPDETLS-4000 features a frequency range of 10 MHz to 4 GHz.

Dielectric Laboratories had just released a new product catalog in May, so the company was well prepared to meet exhibition attendees looking to speak to their engineers and sales force. MWJ had the pleasure of sitting down with Chief Scientist/R&D Director David Bates to talk about their custom thin film, multi-layer polyimide on high-Q substrates. According to Bates, the proprietary material and process allows them to produce devices that offer substantial isolation (>70 db), greater miniaturization and higher quality. The technology has been a definite technical advantage when competing with lower performance devices from low-cost providers.

EM Power was featuring the BBM3K5KKO that is suitable for broadband mobile jamming and band specific high power linear applications in the P/L/S frequency bands. This compact module utilizes high power advanced GaN devices that provide excellent power density, high efficiency, wide dynamic range and low distortions. Is it a 50 W module operating from 500 to 2500 MHz. Exceptional performance, long term reliability and high efficiency are achieved by employing advanced broadband RF matching networks and combining techniques, EMI/RFI filters, machined housings and qualified components.

Herotek was featuring high frequency comb (harmonic) generators from 2 to 75 GHz plus their broad portfolio of limiters such as operating down to 100kHz and others for high power broad band applications from .5 to 12 GHz and 40 W.

A simulator and synthesizer took center stage for IMST. First, the FRAC.-N Spur Simulator is designed for phase locked loop applications. SpurSIM can calculate functional, coupling and reference spurs of fractional-N PLLs and both single and dual loop PLLs can be simulated. It also enables the calculation of phase noise in combination with spurs. Various Sigma-Delta structures can be used, such as a series construction or a MASH. Calculation makes use of transistor level based charge pump linearity curves, which can be created by external simulation software and a variety of spur elimination techniques can be applied. The simulator features a charge pump construction set enabling the generation of analytical charge pump curves that can serve as specification for any transistor level design. Second, the SiGe fractional-N synthesizer (FRAC.-N Synthesizer) has been developed for space applications such as satellite frequency converters. It features an on-board VCO (8 – 12 GHz or 17 – 20 GHz) and works with a dual-loop concept (coarse and fine regulation loop). It is protected against radiation (triple mode redundancy) and aging. The chip delivers 0 dBm output power and can be programmed in microHz steps in order to provide very high frequency accuracy and stability.

An interesting product we came across was wearable antennas by Octane. They manufacture a wide range of wearable antenna products that fit about any form factor using flexible antenna technology. They are well suited for first responders, soldiers, marines and security/intelligence personnel operating covertly.

Pascall Electronics highlighted its XMN and XMNP low-noise signal sources, which are designed to provide a range of high performance building blocks for frequency synthesizer designers. They can also be used as stand-alone fixed-frequency signal sources. The XMN combines the company’s OCXOF with a frequency multiplier and bandpass filter, to give an output with ≤-80 dBc sub-harmonics and exceptionally low noise floor. In addition to the multiplied frequency, an output is provided at the oscillator's frequency. The XMNP adds a phase-locked loop, to enable the module to be locked to an external reference.

Power Module Technology produces solid state amplifiers and has developed a 2000 W peak power amplifier module designed for the IFF 1030 and 1090 MHz frequencies. The solid state amplifiers uses LDMOS transistors to maximize reliability.

Scintera announced the availability of the SC1869 and SC1889 second generation system-on-chip (SoC) adaptive RF Power Amplifier Linearizers (RFPAL). Based on broadly deployed and field-proven technology, the SC1869 and SC1889 (SC1869/89) expand Scintera’s power amplifier linearization solutions to address 3G and 4G heterogeneous network deployments. See our video of their demonstration from the booth.

Synergy was featuring their new VCOs, which combine mode-coupling methods with slow-wave transmission-line structures to achieve both optimized and wide tuning ranges with low phase noise comparable to low-Q sources. The devices offer 2:1 tuning bandwidths over frequencies ranging from 500 MHz to 18 GHz. These new distributed coupled resonator oscillators can be delivered at standard and custom frequencies without the non-recurring-engineering (NRE) costs associated with more expensive custom-resonator-based oscillators and can also be designed into compact housings with low phase noise and optimized bandwidths to challenge the performance of high-Q ceramic-resonator, dielectric-resonator (DR), yttrium-iron-garnet (YIG) resonator, and surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) resonator oscillators—as well as low-Q resonators based on lumped circuit elements and printed transmission lines at about one-third the size.

Micro Lambda was showing their MLSP series wideband, low noise synthesizers operating in bands from 500 MHz to 20 GHz. They have excellent phase noise, 1 kHz step size, external reference 1 to 200 MHz and are PXI/compact PCI size compatible.

Microwave Dynamics was promoting an interesting fast delivery of 48 hours for DRO's! This includes free-running DROs, external reference phase-locked DROs and certain internal reference DROs.

Mini-Circuits had a very large booth showing all their products which are far too many to cover here. See our video interview with Mini-Circuits for a brief overview of some of the highlights of the show for them.

Phase Matrix which was recently acquired by NI was featuring their QuickSyn microwave synthesizers featuring 10 and now 20 GHz coverage with .001 resolution and 100 micro sec frequency switching. They also provide microwave components and sub-assemblies such as VCOs, FTOs, PLOs, DTOs, high-frequency clocks, multipliers and custom sub-assemblies to 50 GHz.

Quest Microwave had a wide variety of circulators and isolators on display including drop-in to 26GHz, coaxial to 32 GHz and waveguide to 40 GHz. They also provide iso-adapters, iso-hybrid combiners, multijunction, and microstrip units.

Teledyne MEC announced their new SSPA line to address demanding power and reliability requirement for new radar systems. The patented cooling technique improves thermal efficiencies by more than 50% over other conventional methods and allows for smaller form factors. They are using efficient combining techniques to improve output power. The power levels are from over 100 W to over 1 kW in UHF through Ku-bands. These devices feature .5 dB gain flatness peak to peak, excellent VSWR match and low harmonic performance of -60 dBc with low pass filter.

TTE was highlighting its 315P series Combline Bandpass Filters are available to ship in 3 weeks ARO. The combination of quick delivery, solid and reliable performance and very attractive pricing made this a popular item. Some features are center frequency from 900 to 6000 MHz, Passband bandwidth is 1.5% and Passband Insertion Loss -3 dB maximum. TTE offers additional Combline Filters from 400 MHz to 26 GHz.

Valpey Fisher was busy showing off their products for timing and frequency control applications, introducing the VFOV650, the newest addition to the company’s Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillators (OCXOs) product line. The VFOV650 provides excellent performance and utilizes Valpey Fisher’s unique crystal heating system to save cost making it less expensive than conventional oven oscillators. At 600 milliwatts the device consumes significantly less power than most standard OCXOs. It is built in a space-saving 13 x 20 mm package and generates frequencies up to 52 MHz with temperature stability performance of ±10 ppb or better and a typical phase noise floor of -170dBc/Hz.

Other exciting news for Valpey-Fisher has been the development of a new line of Silicon monolithic passive discrete passives and integrated modules. Over the last five months, the company has developed and begun delivering discrete passives including low VSWR/ high isolation 90 degree hybrids, the industry’s smallest 2-way power divider, a broadband (DC to 8 GHz) fixed attenuator and high directivity directional coupler in an impressively small form factor. Their integrated module line includes a voltage variable attenuator.


Frontlynk featured its comprehensive range of cables and connectors up to 110 GHz. The 1.0 mm Series of connectors are designed for 50 Ω and offer good performance up to 110 GHz. The range of SMP connectors is suitable for board to board interconnection by joining plugs on different boards with a jack-to-jack adaptor in between. The SMPM Series of connectors are said to be 20% smaller than SMP connectors and are available at frequencies up to 65 GHz. The 7/16 Series features low IMD and low VSWR and limited internal junctions reduce sources of IMD. Silver-plated contacts and silver or white bronze-plated bodies deliver conductivity and provide corrosion resistance.

From its comprehensive range of products GigaLane highlighted the RSJS SMA Type RF Switch, which is one of its latest products. It is designed for switching signals automatically as the mating connector is plugged in. Its main applications include home repeaters and telecom base stations.

RF Precision Products designs and manufactures high frequency stainless steel connectors, adapters and cable assemblies for OEM, military and metrology labs applications. The cable assemblies are phase stable with exceptional electrical results to 18 GHz. The assemblies feature triple shield coaxial cable and operate between -55 to +200 deg C. Armored versions are available. Phase matched assemblies also available.

Santron was featuring their new eSeries SMA, N, TNC, etc. connectors that have been re-engineered for higher performance and durability. PIM is better than -155 dBc (static and dynamic) and they are perfect for their T-Flex cables. They are in stock and with cables have a 3-4 week deliver.

Rosenberger’s new WSMPTMultra high-density, push-on interconnect system offers the flexibility and high frequency performance to meet a range of standard and custom configurations for space, military and commercial applications. The series of miniature connectors covers frequencies from DC to 100 GHz. They are available in multiport versions, insertion and extraction tools facilitate assembly and they feature detent and smooth bore push-on captivation. Center-to-center spacing of 2.16 mm and board-to-board height of 3.05 mm increase package density and ‘bullets’ in different lengths accommodate axial and radial misalignments.

Southwest Microwave was showing off their SSBT ultra-miniature threaded coupling microwave coaxial assemblies (.9 and 1.2 mm) and their SSBPhigh performance microwave coax contacts for use in standard multi-contact connectors.

SPINNER showcased a wide range of products. Featured was a broadband dual channel rotary joint for satellite communications that exhibits a low profile, which means that the overall system can be built lower and can thus help save fuel, e.g. on an aircraft. The design also sets new standards in terms of shape, size and RF properties. Particularly in the ranges DC to 4.5 GHz (CH1, CH2), 10.75 to 12.75 GHz (CH2) and 13.7 to14.5 GHz (CH1) the dual channel rotary joint stands out due to its extremely low insertion loss and low VSWR. In addition to having excellent isolation between both channels of over 50 dB (typical 60 dB) its ambient temperature range of between -55°C and +70°C means it meets all requirements and conditions for military applications.

SPINNER also exhibited its wide range of measurement equipment and calibration kits. The company has developed articulated lines to replace measurement cables between the test port of a VNA and the device under test. The use of several joints between rigid line sections allows the end of the line to be easily moved to all points within a sphere of approximately 0.5 m radius. Articulated lines are available in 3.5 mm and N connector types and the choice of materials ensures high reliability and long life.

Times Microwave was showing us a new TFlex cable design that improves flexibility of their test cables. There is some trade off in temperature range but are very flexible and available in longer lengths. They also had 40 GHz test cables with a 1.3 max VSWR over the full operating frequency range.

TRU was displaying their high performance cables including assemblies, test cables, receptacles and adapters. Their high power test and measurement RF cable kit addresses a full range of testing needs for high power, high current requirements across a variety of applications.

W. L. Gore added a rugged 18 GHz cable assembly to its GORE® PHASEFLEX® Microwave/RF Test Assemblies line. This rugged cable assembly is specifically engineered for high throughput production test applications in the wireless infrastructure market. The increased durability of this assembly reduces total costs for testing because it lasts longer, decreasing the frequency of cable assembly replacements. Its stable performance ensures precise measurements and repeatability, which reduces the risk of testing errors and the need for time-consuming troubleshooting and system calibration. In addition, the ergonomic design of this cable assembly eliminates the need to use a torque wrench to connect and disconnect accurately, which increases throughput on the manufacturing line.