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Semiconductors / Integrated Circuits

A Fast and Flexible Circuit Board Plotter

When employing circuit board plotters for product development the main requirement is for fast, efficient and flexible operation. Consequently, the high costs incurred by the long waiting periods inherent when externally procuring circuit board prototypes, particularly those with RF substrates, can be avoided. The ProtoMat 95s/II meets these requirements,...
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Active Multipliers and Dividers to Simplify Synthesizers

A new family of active frequency multipliers and dividers is featured this month
Modern frequency synthesis uses a combination of frequency multiplication and frequency division to generate the required data and carrier signals for microwave radio and radar applications. Frequency multiplication increases the carrier frequency while increasing the phase noise of the carrier by 20log(N), where N is the multiplication factor. Conversely,...
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A Cost-effective 2 W GaAs MMIC Amplifier Solution

GaAs HBT technology has been successfully deployed for low to mid-power MMIC RF amplifiers in recent years. EiC Corp. pioneered the use of an InGaP emitter for RF power amplifiers and first introduced gain block products in 1998. InGaP/GaAs HBT devices have proven to provide better performance and be...
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Practical Design Consideration of a Modified Structure for a Planar Multiport Power Divider at 2 GHz

This article proposes a modified structure at 2 GHz of IMT-2000 for the planar multiport power divider published in the literature.<sup>8-10</sup> Design parameters for the practical realization of the structure have also been investigated using HFSS (...
A power divider is a basic microwave and millimeter-wave circuit dividing the input RF power by an arbitrary ratio. This circuit has a wide range of applications such as antenna systems, power amplifiers, power oscillators, balanced mixers and so on. Multiport power dividers/combiners have been used in power amplifiers...
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Using Load Pull Analysis and Device Model Validation to Improve MMIC Power Amplifier Design Methodologies

This article describes a methodology for the design of a 2 GHz monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifier (PA) using a heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) process. It is based on the use of modern software tools and advanced loa...
There is certainly no shortage of information about designing power amplifiers these days, and several books address the subject quite admirably. 1-6 However, as well as these books cover the theory and underlying logic of such designs, they do not tell the reader precisely how to do it. As...
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Considerations in Capacitor-pairing to Obtain Nonstandard Part Values

Series- and parallel-combining of surface-mount capacitors is a standard approach to realize semi-arbitrary capacitance when designing a printed circuit board layout. This pairing of components is often necessary as surface-mount parts are available in only a limited number of fixed values, such as 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 pF. This article...
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Balancing the Budgets: The Importance of Dedicated Software for System Design

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) was derived from code-division multiple access (CDMA), and is officially known today as IMT-2000 direct spread. It is a third-generation (3G) mobile wireless technology offering much higher data speeds to mobile and portable wireless devices than commonly offered...
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Single- and Dual-branch Downconverter ICs for Wireless Base Station Applications

A new family of single- and dual-branch converter integrated circuits has been introduced for use in mobile infrastructure base stations. The new CV series converters are all priced below $10 in volume and are available in a 6 x 6 mm QFN package, as shown above. Their small size...
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An LTCC Double-balanced Mixer

Double-balanced mixers are used extensively in transmitters and receivers. For frequencies below 5 GHz, the designs are normally realized using ferrite-based transformers, because they are very compact and their technology is mature. As the operating frequency increases, distributed element baluns become smaller in size and more attractive. Semiconductor-based mixers...
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Specifications and Definitions for Quadrature Demodulators and Receiver Design Measurements

This article discusses the common and questionable definitions of the specifications for quadrature demodulators, including gain, intercept point and noise figure. Emphasis is on the mapping between single-tone measurement data and the modulated signal...
The quadrature demodulator is used in either heterodyne or homodyne receivers. In commercial communication receivers, the local oscillator frequency ranges from a few kilohertz to a few gigahertz. It is usual to test the individual part with a single tone to avoid the complexity of the baseband waveform. The...
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