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Test and Measurement

RF Coplanar Probe Basics

Explanation of the construction, characteristics and usage of coplanar waveguide probes
Coplanar waveguide probes, also referred to as coplanar probes, are the method of choice for launching RF signals on and off a wafer. This article explains their construction, RF characteristics and proper usage. Before the advent of coplanar probes, finding the RF behavior of a die on a wafer...
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A Low Noise Wideband Microwave Oscillator Using a Tunable Microstrip Combline Filter

In RF measurement equipment, microwave synthesized signal sources, broadband digital satellite receivers and many other applications, broadband and low phase noise oscillators are becoming more and more important. A wide tuning range and good phase noi...
Typical oscillator designs use a common-base or common-collector circuit for generating a negative resistance at one port, which is usually terminated with a parallel or series LC-resonant circuit. The main problems in this design are the bandwidth of the negative resistance, which cannot be easily extended over one frequency...
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Overcoming Hard Limiter Suppression

For about half a century the suppression effects of bandpass hard limiters on various combinations of signals and interference have attracted widespread interest. 1-4 Certain "rules of thumb" have accreted around a variety of theoretical results. The purpose of this article is to revisit issues of interpretation and to...
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Hybrid Synthesizer Tutorial

Use of a variety of synthesis blocks to create frequency synthesis systems with enhanced performance characteristics
Frequency synthesizers are used in a variety of communications and timing systems. Phase-locked loops (PLL) have been the "workhorse" of the majority of traditional synthesizers and clock generation circuits. However, there are other types of synthesis blocks available such as direct digital synthesizers (DDS), mixers, frequency doublers and dividers...
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HFSS Software for Next-generation Design

When HFSS™ was introduced in February 1990, it created a new era in microwave design. Prior to this event, microwave design was limited to simple analyses and cut-and-try methods. With HFSS, engineers could conveniently build, analyze and refine three-dimensional (3D) microwave prototypes using their computers. For the first time,...
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New Enhancements for the GENESYS Software Suite

All 15 modules of the GENESYS RF/microwave design software suite have recently been enhanced. For 17 years, Eagleware has worked with thousands of customers worldwide to continuously upgrade its suite of synthesis, simulation and design environment tools. Major enhancements in the current release include new models, an antenna pattern...
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RF/Microwave Manipulators for Precise Test Probe Measurements

In today's fast paced semiconductor industry making accurate and reliable measurements at microwave frequencies is critical to successful product development operations. Microwave measurements enable engineers to characterize both the linear and nonlinear behavior of devices, providing critical performance information. Precise probe contact is a necessity to obtain accurate test...
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A Fully-integrated 5 GHz 0.18 µm CMOS VCO for 802.11a WLAN Applications

This article presents a fully-integrated 5 GHz CMOS voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) for a U-NII band 802.11a WLAN application. The VCO core circuit uses only PMOS fabricated with the 0.18 mm 1P6M standard CMOS process to obtain better phase noise p...
Due to the fast growing demand for broadband wireless communications, the operating frequency is moving toward the 5 GHz U-NII band. With a maximum data rate of 54 Mbps, the IEEE 802.11a wireless LAN (WLAN) standard specifies a 300 MHz allocation of spectrum in the 5 GHz range that...
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Understanding W-CDMA Modulation Quality Measurements

There are many ways of characterizing W-CDMA transmitter performance. However, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications require two measurements to verify the in-channel modulation quality of W-CDMA transmitters - error vector magnitude (EVM) and peak code domain power (peak CDE). This article explores the purpose behind these key...
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