The delegates, visitors and exhibitors that gathered in Manchester for the 2011 European Microwave Week from Sunday 9 to Friday 14 October have waved farewell to each other but, hopefully, they departed encouraged and inspired to Wave to the Future, which was the slogan for the Week. The slogan epitomises the fact that the event has, at its core, the traditional and established focused conferences, alongside Europe’s premier RF and microwave exhibition, yet is determined to look forward and innovate.
Manchester was at the heart of the industrial revolution in the 19th century and the city was again a positive hub of activity for the Week as the RF and microwave industry took the opportunity to demonstrate its current invention and productivity and illustrate how the development of microwave technology will impact economic recovery and the lives of individuals in coming years.
Even typical inclement, wet October Manchester weather could not dampen the mood as EuMW again showed why it is the leading microwave event in Europe by attracting participants and visitors from around the world, attracted by the comprehensive and complementary mix of academic and commercial content. The Week was organised around three conferences: the 41st European Microwave Conference (EuMC), the 6th European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC) and the 8th European Radar Conference (EuRAD). View our video coverage of the event including interviews, demos and general conference coverage by visiting our EuMW 2011 Video Library.
More than 1,000 papers were submitted from more than 50 countries and around 375 papers were presented in technical sessions, 200 in posters and 195 in workshops and short courses. On top of that, there were special sessions that included a focussed session on Advances in Nanoelectronics in Radio Frequency Technology and a joint APMC-EuMC session, as well a special half-day Microwaves inside Asia session and the popular Women in Engineering event.
Important recent initiatives continued. In particular, the success of the inaugural EuMW Defence/Security Executive Forum in 2010 saw the EuMW Defence and Security Forum 2011 expanded to a full day, featuring a mix of tutorials, a business Lunch & Learn session, an industrial Panel Discussion and the Executive Forum with contributions from the UK MoD Defence, Science and Technical Laboratory (Dstl) and leading defence/security contractors. For some sessions it was standing room only! View the abstracts, presentations and videos on our the 2011 Defence/Security Forum coverage page.
In its effort to Wave to the Future EuMW recognised the importance of encouraging and nurturing students by continuing established events such as the EuMW2011 Student Challenge and the Tutorial Seminars for Young Engineers, while launching new initiatives such as the Doctoral School in Microwaves aimed at early stage PhD students and the Filter Design Competition, which was open to postgraduate and undergraduate students.
Another significant first was that the Opening Ceremony, which was presented by Professor Konstantin S. Novoselov FRS, from the University of Manchester who received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of Graphene and its extraordinary properties. How long will it be before the fruits of this and similar breakthrough research develops into commercial products that feature in the European Microwave Exhibition? This year the three-day exhibition again proved to be an effective showcase for the design, innovation and application of technology to the commercial market.
However, the exhibition has developed to be much more than just a ‘show floor’. For example, this year, for the first time, the exhibition hall played host to the Microwave Application Seminars (MicroApps) at EuMW 2011, which succeeded in highlighting and elaborating on products and techniques useful to engineers in their day to day design work. The exhibition is a microcosm of the RF and microwave industry with companies large and small, established and embryonic, and from all corners of the globe. There were around 250 exhibiting companies, taking up more than 7,000 m2 (gross), many of whom launched new and significant products. Below is a selection of the new and innovative products on show.
Aeroflex has added to its PXI 3000 Series of RF modular instruments with the launch of the 3036 RF digitizer module, with frequency range extending to 13 GHz, for use in vector signal analysis of complex RF signals. The compact 3036 provides wide instantaneous bandwidth, fast frequency switching, high linearity and low noise, which make it suitable for testing devices and RF components used in high performance wideband RF and microwave communications.
It is a RF digitizer operating over the band 250 kHz to 13 GHz, with up to 90 MHz wide digitized -1 dB bandwidth and 13-bit ADC resolution. It supports high speed frequency switching in less than 325 µs. The 3036 is used with a 3010 Series synthesizer module to provide precision conversion of RF signals into digital IF or I and Q sample data. This combination of modules has a compact size of 4 slots (3 slots for the 3036 and 1 slot for the 3010) to minimize overall test solution footprint. The extended frequency range up to 13 GHz enables the measurement of harmonic characteristics of fundamental signals below 6.5 GHz.
The focus for Agilent Technologies was on providing solutions for ‘solving tomorrow’s test challenges’. To this end the company expanded its PNA-X Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer to 67 GHz, along with a new 67 GHz phase-reference calibration standard, configured to work with the 67 GHz PNA-X NVNA. Using this hardware, designers can characterize and model components accurately up to frequencies of 67 GHz. In addition, X-parameters can be measured up to 67 GHz, providing an accurate model of linear and nonlinear component behavior at very high frequencies and wide bandwidth.
The new 67 GHz NVNA enables engineers to make high-frequency nonlinear measurements across a very wide frequency bandwidth. The 67GHz phase-reference calibration standard enables accurate and traceable nonlinear measurements to 67 GHz using the NVNA. The phase reference generates a comb of frequencies from 10 MHz to 67 GHz with a known cross-frequency phase relationship traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This relationship calibrates the NVNA to measure spectrum to 67 GHz with a predictable and accurate cross-frequency phase.
To address the analysis and generation of wide bandwidth signals the company showcased the industry’s first 160 MHz analysis bandwidth option for the high-performance PXA signal analyzer. Wider bandwidth signal analysis, up to 160 MHz, is necessary to cover all of the bandwidths supported by 802.11ac. The PXA signal analyzer with 160 MHz bandwidth addresses this need, as well as any other application that requires engineers to analyze wider bandwidth signals. Its advanced performance provides valuable insight that helps speed the design, verification and troubleshooting of current and future 802.11ac devices. Moreover, when combined with the 89600 VSA software’s 802.11ac modulation analysis, the PXA enables high-performance, comprehensive analysis of 802.11ac signals.
Not all new announcements can be covered here but another of note is the first complete and compliant test solution for 60 GHz wireless devices, including WiGig, WirelessHD and IEEE 802.11ad devices. Using the company’s new M8199A Wideband Waveform Center software and the M8190A arbitrary waveform generator or a high-performance Infiniium 90000 X-Series oscilloscope, design teams can verify the overall performance of new 60 GHz wireless devices and validation engineers can perform specific measurements with expected values for transmitters and receivers as defined in the standard.
For Anritsu Corporation the theme was the company’s wide range of innovations that have enabled significant advances in test equipment through new technology and measurement methods. Designed for R&D and manufacturing environments, the VectorStar VNA features a broad frequency range of 70 kHz to 70 GHz, fast measurement speed, superior dynamic range and advanced time domain processing with up to 100,000 data points. It also offers users expandability, including frequency range upgrades to 110 GHz and higher, two-port to multiport upgrades, and linear to nonlinear measurement upgrades, meeting long-term measurement requirements.
Also on display were the MS2830A Signal Analyzers, which support high-level measurement speeds and high RF performance at low cost to help raise R&D efficiency and productivity. The MS2830A analyzer has swept spectrum analysis, FFT signal analysis, and a precision digitizer function as standard. The MS2830A offers a standard analysis bandwidth of 31.25 MHz. This best-in-class level accuracy of ±0.5 dB across a 6 GHz span uses innovative leveling and compensation techniques.
For field applications, the company showcased the MS2035B/MS2038C handheld VNA Master™, S332E SiteMaster™ broadband cable and antenna analyzer and Spectrum Master™ models, including the MS2726C – claimed to be the only handheld spectrum analyzer with frequency coverage up to 43 GHz. The lightweight, easy-to-operate, durable analyzers are suitable for engineers and technicians responsible for the deployment, installation, and maintenance of wireless networks.
Ken Foan of ETS-Lindgren (EMEA Sales & Marketing Director). The company has putting a lot of focus antenna test, co-operating with Agilent Technologies and the NSI. This includes over-the-air testing, mil-standard testing (in Turkey, UK and Sweden) and MIMO studies.
ETS-Lindgren is well-known for the design and manufacture of high quality anechoic absorber material for electromagnetic (EMC), radio frequency (RF), microwave and wireless test chambers and ranges. Expanding on this expertise, ETS-Lindgren launched its new FlexSorb absorber coating product at the annual symposium of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA). FlexSorb offers the same high performance characteristics as the company’s traditional absorber, yet it can bend significantly, without breaking. FlexSorb’s durable absorber tips actually resist breakage, which is especially important for high traffic areas, chamber entry ways and when using on a chamber floor. In addition, the new coated absorber is dust resistant, easier to handle, non-hygroscopic and flexible! We had the chance to play with the sample and I have to admit, it feels pretty cool.
The company was also showing off on their N255x filters. These high performance e power filters are fully tested for attenuation performance, voltage withstanding to 1 kV for thirty seconds, and insulation resistance. The N255x filters provide 100 dB insertion loss from 10 kHz to 10 GHz in both symmetric and asymmetric modes up to full load, offering maximum protection in TEMPEST and EMP applications, along with fully accessible end chambers for termination of input and output cabling.
Mesuro demonstrated both fundamental load pull, to 67 GHz, and active harmonic load pull using the Rohde &Schwarz ZVA67 VNA as the basis for the system. In this configuration customers can benefit from waveform engineering whilst utilizing existing RF & microwave hardware. Using a Focus Microwaves MPT harmonic passive tuner, the company also demonstrated how the use of an impedance transformation can impact the active portion of the load pull solution. With this configuration it is possible to provide all the benefits of the open loop active harmonic load pull solution, including the ability to achieve Gamma Load >=1.
LeCroy was showing off their WaveRunner 6 Zi Series that operates from 400 MHz to 4 GHz with 8 bit and 12 bit resolution. The WaveRunner 6 Zi has 40 Gs/s sampling rate and 256 Mpts of analysis memory. It also has a 12.1” widescreen WXGA color touch screen that rotates from landscape to portrait. We don’t always see LeCroy at microwave shows but they had a nice large stand at EuMW.
IVCAD advanced measurement and modeling software, offered by Maury Microwave and AMCAD Engineering supports multiple load pull techniques including traditional load pull using external instrumentation, VNA-based load pull, active load pull and hybrid load pull. It performs noise parameter measurements, DC-IV and pulsed-IV measurements and incorporates device modeling tools. Its modern visualization capabilities give users a greater ability to view, plot and graph measurement data in an intuitive manner.
Maury and Anteverta Microwave have an exclusive development and distribution agreement with regards to Anteverta’s next generation mixed-signal active load pull technology. The Maury Microwave MT2000-series mixed-signal active load pull system, powered by Anteverta Microwave, is available in 6, 18 and 26 GHz versions. As an active load pull system, the MT2000 is extremely fast, with measurement speeds of up to 1000 points per minute in CW and pulsed environments. When operating in a modulated signal environment, the system has the capability to control up to 120 MHz of instantaneous wideband impedances.
NMDG released the NM310S, a cost-efficient nonlinear starter kit, allowing engineers to make their first steps in the nonlinear world with their vector network analyzer. The starter kit is a software/hardware combination, enabling the VNA to characterize in time and frequency domain the harmonic behavior of active components from 20 MHz to 3 GHz. It supports a selection of four-port Agilent and Rohde & Schwarz vector network analyzers given the proper options.
Once acquainted, engineers will be able to extend, with incremental investment, the capability of their system to support the design and test efforts of their company or institute. They will then be able to perform nonlinear measurements under non-50 Ω conditions by using passive and/or active tuners.
National Instruments signaled their new emphasis on the RF and wireless markets last August during their NI Week conference in Austin and at MTT-S IMS in Baltimore. The recent acquisition of AWR and Phase Matrix last May has also helped extend the frequency range of their products well into the microwave spectrum. Company representative Jin Bains (Product Marketing) participated in the MWJ organized Defence And Security forum on Radar and company founder Dr. T flew out to attend his first European Microwave Week. Dr. T was very busy scoping out the other vendors on the exhibition floor, especially interested in learning more about GaN technology. Here’s a CEO who genuinely enjoys technology and its possibilities.
In the NI booth, the application engineers and product managers were busy highlighting a number of products including a complete PXI-based solution for RF power amplifier (PA) validation and production test. The NI PXI solution for power amplifier test integrates a variety of mixed-signal, high-performance instruments to meet the demanding requirements for fast and precise PA test in validation and production environments. The demonstration features the latest NI PXI instruments including the NI PXIe-5665 14 GHz vector signal analyzer, the NI PXIe-6556 digital per pin parametric measurement unit (PPMU), the NI PXIe-4154 battery simulator and the NI PXIe-5186 12.5 GS/s, 5 GHz digitizer. With these PXI-based modular instruments, engineers can perform a wide variety of PA tests and measurements such as power versus time (PVT), error vector magnitude (EVM), adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR), current leakage, harmonics and open-shorts tests.
Picoscope was showing off their high performance USB oscilloscope with 4 channels, 500 MHz BW, 5 GS/s sampling rate and 8 bits (12 bits enhanced) resolution. They also have a high resolution USB oscilloscope with 2 channels, 5 MHz BW, 10 MS/s sampling rate and 16 bits (20 bits enhanced) resolution.
Rosenberger showcased the versatile RPC-N Revolving Calibration Adaptors, which have been designed for test and measurement applications and consists of Open-Short-Load and Mismatch (optional) standards. These compact adaptors combine good mechanical and electrical properties, with excellent performance in industrial applications and ease of use. A particular advantage is the facility for verification directly after calibration.
A significant introduction for Rohde & Schwarz is the new, high-end R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer. The R&S FSW comes in three models that cover the frequency ranges 2 Hz to 8 GHz, 13 GHz or 26.5 GHz and has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of development laboratories in the aerospace, defense and communications industries. The practical 12.1" touchscreen offers a MultiView function display of the results of different applications at the same time, enabling users to keep track of even the most complex signal analyses and find errors easily. An additional benefit is the elimination of time-consuming switching between measurement applications.
At 10 kHz carrier offset, the instrument achieves a phase noise specification of less than –137 dBc (1 Hz). Equipped with the R&S FSW-K6 option, the R&S FSW also supports comprehensive analysis of pulsed signals, e.g. for radar applications. Its broad analysis bandwidth of up to 160 MHz enables it to measure wideband, hopping and chirp signals, which makes it ready today for the requirements of tomorrow's wireless standards such as 802.11ac.
The company has also enhanced its analog R&S SMB100A mid-range signal generator by adding new frequency options. The R&S SMB-B120/B120L and R&S SMB-B140/B140L options (L versions without step attenuator) enable the generator to cover the frequency range from 100 kHz to 20 GHz and 40 GHz, respectively. The instrument can now handle everything from analog RF to microwave applications. Also featured at EuMW was the new 600 MHz R&S®RTO oscilloscope that is available as a two-channel or four-channel model, offering a high-performance oscilloscope in the lower bandwidth range. With regard to specifications and features, the new 600 MHz R&S®RTO models (R&S®RTO1002 and R&S®RTO1004) are identical to the previous 1 GHz and 2 GHz models.
A critical step in testing any 802.11 device is to generate standard-compliant 802.11ac test signals. Agilent’s Signal Studio for WLAN software aids this task by enabling the creation of 802.11ac waveforms with BCC or LDPC channel coding, all MCS codes, and single or multi-user MIMO up to four streams. Generation of up to 80MHz bandwidth signals are supported with the company’s ESG, MXG or PSG vector signal generators and the PXB baseband generator and channel emulator; 160 MHz bandwidth signal generation is possible with support from two Agilent vector signal generators.
Ansys was featuring many of the company's 3D EM (HFSS) and circuit design (Designer) products but we were intrigued with the Microwave Education Kit developed by Elliptika which offers practical course examples based on components' behavior. There is a kit for both active and passive devices. This education kit, EDUCTIKA, is composed of basic sub-sets of microwave passive components aimed at teaching students the fundamentals of microwaves. It allows students to develop skills in various subjects through practice with real devices. It covers subjects such as the physics of microstrip lines, impedance matching devices, CAD tools using Eductika component library available in Ansys Designer, etc. We hear everywhere that there is a shortage of engineers in our field and these types of interactive tools for students can certainly be a first step to generating more interest in our field.
As sponsor of the MicroApps session at European Microwave Week, AWR was very busy organizing speakers and presenting their own talks on a variety of RF/MW design issues. AWR’s Chris Paris provided the keynote on Wednesday and lined up famed PA guru Steve Cripps to provide the keynote on Tuesday.
In addition to the in-booth software demos, the company was also featuring a number of free workshops with partners (NI, Rhode & Schwarz, and Anritsu) as well as conducting private and personalized demonstration of AWR software to its valued customers. AWR and National Instruments (NI) were also jointly demonstrating “hardware-in-the-loop” in the AWR stand by showing AWR software connected to NI LabVIEW. Infineon high-power PA is studied using Visual System Simulator in conjunction with PXI RF signal generator and analyzer.
Editor David Vye had the chance to speak with Executive VP, Ted Miracco. Ted was excited to talk about the company’s latest partnership with Antenna Magus. Antenna Magus provides a database of many different highly-characterized antenna types that can be exported to AWR's EDA tools for EM analysis, integration, tuning, and optimization. The first result of this relationship is AWR Connected™ for Antenna Magus, an interface between the respective firms' software products that expedites antenna design from synthesis with Antenna Magus to full circuit/EM simulation with AWR's Microwave Office™ and AXIEM® software tools. This allows Microwave Office and AXIEM software users to integrate antennas into their designs, targeting commercial and military terrestrial and satellite wireless communications systems.
AWR’s Microwave Office software is also resident in the Anritsu VectorStar VNA. Having high frequency design tools resident on a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) provides a streamlined work flow that reduces the time required to transfer measured data to a simulator running on a separate PC or workstation. To complement this demo, a new application note is also available. Entitled “High-Speed Serial Backplane – SERDES Design Example” it demonstrates these advantages in the design of a high-speed serial backplane, such as allowing good channel design to be achieved at early development stages and validating the design as it grows in complexity throughout the design process.
Computer Simulation Technology (CST) previewed its CST MICROWAVE STUDIO version 2012, which features a new multi-layer solver. This is a 3D planar electromagnetic solver for planar modeling and analysis. It is based on the Method of Moments (MoM) and enables users to simulate multi-layer geometries accurately and efficiently. The new solver features automatic layer stack generation from 3D models, open boundaries, automatic edge mesh refinement as well as automatic de-embedding of ports.
Typical applications are RF designs such as planar antennas and filters, as well as MMIC and planar feeding network designs. Accurate co-simulation of complex micro-strips and transmission lines in 2D is facilitated in CST STUDIO SUITE by CST DESIGN STUDIO. The new multi-layer solver makes this easier than ever, and together with CST's new System Assembly and Modeling (SAM), the new solver can be used to simulate planar components of complex systems even more efficiently.
Today’s design engineers have to deal with increasingly complex systems whose performance might be affected by the interdependence of components. SAM provides an environment that simplifies the management of simulation projects and helps engineers to compare the results of different solvers or model configurations within one simulation project. A linked sequence of solver runs can also be initiated. All simulations and links can be defined easily in SAM to enable for example a seamless multiphysics work flow. In addition, SAM can be used to set-up 3D systems built from various components.
Mesuro launched a vector network analyzer based software solution for Fundamental Only Active Load Pull. The Fundamental Only software implementation follows the format, structure and operation of the existing main system software. This allows a customer to both reutilize existing equipment and also expand to full harmonic load pull at a later date through additions of software and hardware modules. The current implementation currently supports the Rohde & Schwarz ZVA family of Vector Network Analyzers and the Agilent PNA-X family.
At the forefront of the Frontlynk Technologies Inc. stand was the new 1.0 mm connector series, which is designed for semi-rigid and low-loss flexible cable and adaptors for custom applications. They are designed for 50 Ω, and are said to exhibit excellent performance up to 110 GHz. The connector’s outer conductor ID is 1.0 mm; the interface is air dielectric and the contact is supported by a short dielectric bead. The connectors can operate in a temperature range from -55° to 125°C and other features include low insertion loss, low reflection loss, and good VSWR performance.
Rosenberger featured its Multiport Mini-Coax Connectors, which have been developed to meet the challenging requirements of the semiconductor test equipment industry – high frequencies and the requirement to take up the minimum of space. Also to the fore was the offering from the Rosenberger Micro-Coax division, which manufactures the UTiFlex range of high performance flexible microwave cables. The entire product line is constructed using a low or ultra low density PTFE dielectric which offers good loss characteristics and phase stability, along with excellent flexibility. The division has greatly increased connector reliability through a patented connector attachment that withstands mechanical and thermal stresses particularly well.
SPINNER exhibited its comprehensive product range, with the highlights being two new rotary joints. The new Ka-band rotary joint for SatCom applications is a dual channel rotary joint that covers the preferred military frequency range for downlink frequencies (19.7 to 21.2 GHz) and uplink frequencies (29.5 to 31.0 GHz). There is also a broadband version for civil applications that is available with 17.7 – 21.2 and 27.5 – 31.0 GHz for downlink and uplink frequencies. The non-contacting dual channel Ka-band rotary joint is said to provide outstanding electrical properties even under severe conditions (-40 °C to 70 °C) over a long service life.
The company has also developed a complete range of single channel rotary joints for the W-band with R900 (WR10) waveguide connections. The transmission band of these rotary joints is set to a centre frequency of 94 GHz. Through a compact modular design, a full range of rotary joints is available, including all four basic designs – the I-style, the U-style and two different L-styles. These rotary joints are claimed to have excellent electrical and mechanical properties and can be used in both FMCW sensors and pulsed narrow-band systems.
125 years strong and still going, AT Wall was on hand to display a wide range of seamless tubing and high-speed stamping capabilities. The company stocks tubular raw material in a broad range of materials in sizes up to 6" OD and supply stamped components for the electronics, telecom, and automotive industries. They also offer thin walled waveguide materials for space applications.
Rogers was featuring several materials including SYRON high temperature materials that are thermally stable, with a melt temperature higher than PTFE materials and an estimated relative thermal index greater than 210°C (410°F). The SYRON products possess excellent chemical and radiation resistance. Rogers was also featuring their RT/duroid® 5870 and 5880 families of high frequency laminates are PTFE composites reinforced with glass microfibers. These microfibers are randomly oriented to maximize the benefits of fiber reinforcement in the direction most valuable to circuit producers and in the final circuit applications. The dielectric constant of these high frequency laminates is the lowest of all products, and low dielectric loss make them well suited for high frequency/ broad band applications where dispersion and losses need to be minimized. Another featured material was the RO4730 LoPro antenna grade laminates that are fully compatible with conventional FR4 and high temperature lead-free solder processing. These laminates do not require the special treatment needed on traditional PTFE-based laminates for plated through hole preparation.
Ron Kirby (Dir. Sales & Marketing Europe) of Arlon was happy to talk to us about his company’s halogen-free multi-clad low-loss thermoset and prepreg products for high-speed and high-frequency printed circuit boards. This new technology combines a low-loss, high reliability thermoset resin system with non-brominated flame retardant system to create a material that is an environmentally friendly laminate system with competitive Insertion Loss and Loss Tangent (Df<0.005) for High Frequency applications. The Non-PTFE Formulation meets standard lead-free process requirements, while maintaining low-halogen content per current industry standards. The product’s improved thermal robustness over competing low-loss Thermoset materials provides better device reliability and consistent performance over time, while the low thermal expansion and high glass transition temperature minimizes potential for PTH failures and improves operating reliability.
WIN semiconductors was talking about their recently introduced 0.1 micron mmWave power pHEMT process. The Ft is 130 GHz for applications up to 90 GHz with 4 V operation. It is suitable for 60-90 GHz pt to pt radios.
Analog Devices introduced quadrature demodulators with the industry’s highest dynamic range and integration. They are suited for a wide range of broadband communications applications such as cellular infrastructure and microwave pt to pt radios. One operates in the 50-525 MHz range and the other 700-1050 MHz. ADI also introduced a new microwave PLL synthesizer that can be used to implement Los as high as 18 GHz in the up-conversion and down-conversion sections of wireless receivers and transmitters. The high bandwidth allows designers to potentially eliminate a frequency doubler stage.
AR United Kingdom specializes in integrated testing systems. They can custom design systems optimized for the customer using a wide variety of instruments from various manufacturers. They also provide AR’s well know line of amplifiers covering DC to 40 GHz, EMC antennas, couplers, field monitoring systems, EMI receivers, power meters, signal generators and EMC software.
AVX was displaying a unique organic capacitor which is probably an industry first. It provides the performance of a ceramic cap but at a lower cost. The multilayer organic caps are polymer based and use high conductivity copper interconnects in a multilayer fashion. They can support frequencies well about one GHz.
BAE Systems used EuMW to announce the imminent launch of Solid Copper thin film via technology. Available from April 2012 this new generation of interconnect technology for ceramic substrates represents a step change in capability for advanced, high density module design in the microwave band. The advantages of a filled via include: lower electrical and RF resistance, higher level conductivity, a higher percentage of real estate is available for component placement, easing of downstream substrate processing and a more cost effective packaging approach.
China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) was on hand displaying a wide variety of passive and active components. They manufacture adapters, load, cal kits, couplers, filters, attenuators, switches, DC blocks, dividers, antennas, mixers, amplifiers, detectors and oscillators.
Cobham had a large presence and was showing off their broad line of military components and sub-systems. They had a wide range of waveguide assemblies on display including assemblies covering frequencies from 1 to 50 GHz, rigid waveguide and pre-formed flexible waveguide. Their components include transitions, couplers, power dividers, filters, tuners and loads.
Crane Aerospace & Electronics announced that they wree selected by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. to supply its Transformer Rectifier Units (TRU) on the Gulfstream G650. The five 250A TRUs on each G650 provide DC bus power throughout the aircraft. They also announced the availability of its Interpoint MFP Series Point of Load converters in qualified H and K level MIL-PRF-38534 versions.
Creowave provides RF and microwave electronics solutions for extreme environments and its range of filters consists of diplexers/duplexers, bandstop filters, bandpass filters, highpass filters as well as notch filters. The range has been extended with high class low PIM diplexers, which were launched at European Microwave Week.
Several subsidiaries of Dover Company shared a stand at EuMW, providing the critical mass necessary to beckon attendees over to their location and spend a little time with the various groups being represented.
Hittite had on display the new direct conversion receiver that operates from 700 to 3000 MHz with 14 bit low power ADCs, high performance PLL/VCO, programmable baseband filtering and 40 dB differential VGAs. Typical applications include base stations, pt to pt radios, adaptive IF strips, WLAN, test equipment and SDR. They were also featuring their fractional-N PLL with integrated VCO operating from 25 to 3000 MHz. It has industry leading phase noise and spurious performance across all frequencies making it a good choice for applications that require excellent signal quality performance and high SNR.
In addition to K&L’s product line of RF and microwave filters, duplexers and subassemblies of the ceramic, lumped element, cavity, and waveguide variety, K&L was also featuring filter products to help mitigate interference from intermodulation products using electronically controlled band-pass filters with adjustable bandwidth. These units have a 5% bandwidth covering a variety of frequency ranges from 30 MHz up to 2600 MHz with max. insertion loss of less than 1.0 or 1.3 db depending on the model and power handling capability up to 50 watts CW.
Dielectric Labs was on hand to talk about their myriad of High-Q Multi-Layer capacitors (MLC) and Single-Layer capacitors (SLC), Resonators, Filters, Broadband DC blocks, Thin Film components, and Custom ceramic components. The company supplies components for optical and wireless communications, military, medical, semiconductor, aerospace, and transportation markets.
PMI is a dedicated OEM of components & assemblies up to 40 GHz, which strives for total customer satisfaction by providing our customers with rapid response and high-quality products at reasonable pricing. They offer custom products at catalog prices and had many of their products on display at the show.
Pole Zero was displaying their line of tunable filters that operating over a range of frequencies. These filters are optimized for size, RF Power Handling, Low Distortion, and exceptional Selectivity. Products included the micro-pole (varactor-based surface mount module with minimal size and power consumption (up to 2 GHz), mini-pole available in thru-hole, SMT and connectorized products, maxi-pole (reduced insertion loss in slightly lager package) and power-pole (increased power handling and lowest loss for given bandwidth).The product line includes several standard designs in various bands, approximate performance is summarized in the Mini-Pole Series Selection Guide.
Dow Key was featuring their low PIM coaxial switches from SPDT up to SP12T. These switches are specifically designed and guaranteed to meet 3rd order PIM requirements below -160 dBc at 1870 MHz and at approximately 43 dBm (20 W), with carrier frequency 1 at 1930 MHz and carries frequency 2 at 1990 MHz.
Emblation Microwave launched the ISYS245 connect, which is a fully USB controlled 2.45 GHz microwave generator. It is the most cost-effective generator to date, with savings for customers of up to 30 percent on the cost of the flagship ISYS245 microwave generator. It features: real time reflected power measurement, real time forward power measurement, real time temperature and system status, data storage and management capabilities, automated test and measurement function and a simple graphical user interface (GUI).
The ISYS245connect uses the latest technology and a unique cooling system to produce a highly efficient 2.45 GHz system, capable of generating variable power in excess of 100 W utilizing Emblation’s safesweep® reflection measurement capability and temperature stability. The ISYS245connect software package comes free of charge, and is fully compatible with any PC or laptop and Windows XP, Vista and 7.
Farran Technology showed two product types. In the imaging sector the 77 GHz FMCW, 94 GHz direct detect and the 183 GHz front-ends were featured. In the test and measurement field the company highlighted a set of D-Band (110 to 170 GHz) frequency extension heads for the Agilent PNAX, a W-Band (75 to 110 GHz) harmonic mixer and multiplier for a signal generator and spectrum analyzer and a W-Band (75 to 110 GHz) downconverter for a noise figure analyzer.
Simon Watkins, VP of International sales was manning the stand at JFW Industries. JFW maintains its European headquarters in the UK, not too far a drive from the Manchester EuMW venue. The company was featuring their various product lines of attenuators, RF switches, and specialized test systems for use in the cellular, telecommunications, OEM test equipment, medical, automotive, defense, and automated test markets. The new 50FR- series of fixed attenuators operate from DC-3 GHz at 1 Watt average power and are available with SMA connectors (male to female) in 3, 6, 10, 20 or 30 dB values. Pricing starts at $12.50 US for quantities of one. The 50DR-125 manually variable attenuator has a frequency range of DC-2700 MHz which covers the LTE band. It has an attenuation range of 0-80dB x 1dB. The 50DR-125 can handle 2 Watts of RF input power and is bi-directional. Also on display was the 50S-1887 SMT, a surface-mount switch that can handle up to 100 Watts (average RF input power) and it’s capable of hot-switching 20 Watts. The 50S-1887 is designed to operate from 225-400 MHz, but other frequency ranges may be available upon request. For more information go to the company’s web site, featuring their brand new component catalog.
Mitsubishi Electric introduced an internally matched GaN HEMT power amplifier for C-band satellite communication, which offers a power-added efficiency of 67 percent. This figure is achieved by placing individual tuning circuits in front of each GaN HEMT cell on the substrate. This means that every GaN HEMT is controlled via an optimized harmonic tuning circuit consisting of a MIM capacitor and a spiral indictor. In addition, the PAE is improved by the GaN HEMT’s second harmonic impedance providing a highly accurate input control. Measuring 17.4 by 24 by 4.3 mm and with a mass of 7.1 g the device delivers a high output power of more than 100 W or, respectively, 50 dBm. The new GaN HEMT will allow for the design of smaller and lighter transmitter devices helping microwave communication satellites to save power.
NXP had a broad portfolio of RF products on display. Their power products for mobile communication infrastructure including Doherty amplifiers, rugged power transistors and LDMOS Gen8 devices. They also were showing their VGAs and medium power amplifiers for infrastructure which are made with their high performance SiGe process. They also have GaN devices coming so they will be able to offer devices based on most of the RF processes used by semiconductor manufacturers.
M/A-COM Technology Solutions was displaying several of the products such as their 42 GHz SmartSet Chipset for pt to pt radio applications. M/A-COM recently introduced a family of GaN power products with power levels ranging from 30 to 450 W. They also were showing off their innovative Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) LRU which utilizes a PCB-based T/R module that brings low cost manufacturing to Aerospace and Defense solutions. They have a highly integrated multifunction IC for S-band radar containing multiple gain stages, two 6-bit phase shifters and two 4-bit constant phase digital attenutors.
OMMIC announced the release of three new GaAs MMICs, which can be used in telecom, radar, security scanning and instrumentation applications. The CGY2123UH is an LNA operating in the 32 to 38 GHz band. It has a NF of 2.3 dB and 23 dB of gain at 35 GHz. The CGY2173UH is a 6 bit wideband phase shifter, operating in the 6 to 18 GHz band. It has a shifting range of 360°, LSB of 5.625°, a phase error of 3° typical, S11 & S22 of -10 dB, and an input P1dB of 25 dBm. Finally, the CGY2190UH is an LNA operating in the 75 to 110 GHz band. It has 23 dB gain, a NF of 2.8 dB at 90 GHz and an ultra low power consumption (Vdd=1 V, Total Drain current = 30 mA).
Teledyne relays announced a couple of new products including the first hermetically sealed LoopBack relay. Each LoopBack relay combines two DPDT electromechanical relays in one package that includes an internal bypass path for Automated Test Equipment (ATE) applications. The LoopBack relay combines the technology of two Teledyne RF300 Series relays which eliminates the need for external PCB traces in loop-back test applications. The LoopBack relay is designed for digital signaling applications and provides excellent signal integrity up to 12 Gbps data rates. Also released was the RF332 that is designed to exhibit high repeatability and is capable of transmitting signal integrity up to 12 Gbps data rates as well as RF performance over a bandwidth from DC-8 GHz. The sensitive RF332 relay has a high resistance coil, thus requiring extremely low operating power.
The XMN and XMNP low-noise signal sources from Pascall are designed to provide a range of high-performance building blocks for frequency synthesizer designers and can also be used as stand-alone fixed-frequency signal sources. The XMN combines a Pascall OCXOF with a frequency multiplier and bandpass filter, to give an output with ≤-80dBc 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.
Because of their very low phase noise floor, the XMN/XMNP series offer an alternative to SAW oscillators in many applications, giving an improvement in close-in phase noise. A further advantage is the availability of crystals at custom frequencies, which eliminates the high development cost and lead time associated with non-standard SAW frequencies. Typical applications include low-noise frequency synthesizers, phase noise test systems, radar and EW, NMR/MRI and scientific research.
Q-par Angus Ltd launched a new ‘base-line’ compact ultra-wideband 0.5 to 18 GHz spiral antenna intended for UWB communications, feeds, radio surveillance and direction finding applications. The 152 mm diameter antenna is Circularly Polarized (CP) with bore-sight axial ratio better than 3 dB above 0.7 GHz. The new antenna was shown alongside the company’s range of spiral antennas, which currently provide wideband performance up to 42 GHz, with either left or right hand CP. The new design will allow Q-par to quickly modify the antenna to meet specific customer requirements, resulting in reduced development lead-times.
According to the company founder, Dr. Samuel Cho, Korean company RFHIC sees the European market as being key in expanding microwave technology and a stepping-stone to other markets, and so “we believe that by investing in the European market we will be able to further develop newer technology and develop enhanced products and European Microwave Week has an important and valuable role to play in achieving that goal.”
The company had a number of Gan and GaAs MMIC, pallet and module based amplifier products to show off including wideband GaN amplifier modules operating up to 6 GHz. They are available in a wide selection of frequency ranges, power levels (up to 51 dBm) and pulse formats. The company’s hybrid amplifiers use GaN on Silicon Carbide (SiC) devices over alumina substrate via chip on board. Input and output matching and bias circuits are integrated and are in a surface mount type package. RFHIC plans to develop GaN Hybrid Amplifiers from 20MHz to 9600MHz, contributing the state-of-the-art GaN technologies to Satellite Communication, LTE, WCDMA, ISM, WiMAX, VSAT, Point-to-point and Radar applications.
Valpey Fisher Corporation was proudly showing off the VFTX250 - the industry’s smallest size Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) which was introduced in early September. The device delivers frequency stability of ±0.5 ppm and is also available across the industrial temperature range of -40°C to +85°C in a miniaturized 2.5 x 2.0 mm SMD ceramic package.
The VFTX250 TCXO offers output frequencies up to 52 MHz in the low-power clipped sine wave output with supply voltages ranging from 2.8V to 2.5V. Typical current consumption is as low as 1.1 mA and to minimize battery drain the device also has an output enable/disable option. Its ultra miniature size, 2.5 x 2.0 mm, allows for efficient use of board space and product designs expansion. The VFTX250 is ideally suited for applications where power consumption and product size are critical while providing the frequency and stability with excellent performance. The device is well-suited for wireless and portable applications such as hand held test equipment, Portable Navigation Devices, wireless meter reading and RFID.