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Blogs

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Pat Hindle, MWJ Editor

Space Fence Goes GaN

Lockheed Martin recently released new information about their Space Fence which caught my attention since they are using GaN amplifiers in the system. Space Fence is a long range radar system to track and monitor objects and debris in orbit around the Earth. They announced that objects in space will soon be monitored by a radar array for the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence as part of Lockheed Martin’s new test site.


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How particle accelerator maths helped me fix my Wi-Fi

Electromagnetic radiation – it might sound like something that you’d be better off avoiding, but electromagnetic waves of various kinds underpin our senses and how we interact with the world – from the light emissions through which your eyes perceive these words, to the microwaves that carry the Wi-Fi signal to your laptop or phone on which you’re reading it.


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Meeting Chiphead

DesignCon 2016 Summary

It was fun meeting Chiphead for the first time at DesignCon 2016. The event covers areas such as PCB design tools, power and signal integrity, jitter and crosstalk, high-speed serial design, test and measurement tools, parallel and memory interface design, ICs, semiconductor components and more. The test/measurement, software and connector companies dominate the exhibition. As the speed of digital electronics has increased, the techniques and methods for digital and RF/microwave design have converged so it was interesting to see the similarities between the two worlds.


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RichardMumford

Richard Mumford, MWJ International Editor

Gary-blog

Gary Lerude, MWJ Technical Editor

Weekly Report

For the week ending April 15
A summary of company, product, market and technology news for busy people.
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Weekly Report

For the week ending April 8
A summary of company, product, market and technology news for busy people.
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Janine Sullivan Love

Janine Sullivan Love, Events Director and Contributing Editor

EDI CON 2016 Opportunities Abound

This year marks the first that we are running two EDI CON conferences: EDI CON China on April 19-21 in Beijing and the new EDI CON USA on September 20-22 in Boston, MA. Both conferences include an exhibition, keynotes, technical conference sessions, workshops, networking, and training opportunities.


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Career Conversations

Ken Conklin

Ken Conklin

Hall of Famers

Humankind, which includes me, has a primal fascination with those who have achieved excellence, fame or notoriety in their field.


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Leger

Jaime Leger

Make The New Year One To Remember

It is that time of year, at the start of a new year, to take stock of our time: our past, present, and future. Without becoming too philosophical, the break that many individuals and their companies take during the year-end holidays and into the New Year gives most people pause to think about their lives, whether they are goal-oriented or simply trying to figure out where they are in life and in their professions.


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Two Decades at IMS and counting…

 When I first attended IMS in 1995 in Orlando, my wife was pregnant with our first child and complained about the heat all week.  I was 29 years old and slaved at a small ad firm with a couple of microwave accounts, but thought I was so cool with my permanent “car phone” after ditching my pager, and was one of the first AE’s to have their own web site, having spent nights learning HTML from Laura Lemay’s book, “Teach yourself Web Publishing in a Week”. 


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rog_blog

ROG Blog

Finding the Best Blend of PCB Solder mask

Solder mask is an often-overlooked component of an RF/microwave printed-circuit board (PCB). It provides protection for a circuit but can also have an effect on final performance, especially at higher frequencies. Solder mask may not always be used in RF/microwave circuits but, when it is part of a circuit, it should be accounted for electrically as well, for the most accurate modeling and simulation. Knowing more about the material properties of solder mask can help boost an understanding of how these circuit layers can impact performance at RF/microwave frequencies.


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How Is PCB Laminate Dk Determined Anyway?

The dimensions of high-frequency circuit structures, including different types of transmission lines and the spacing between lines for proper isolation and/or coupling, are determined by the circuit material’s dielectric characteristics, and one of the main parameters for understanding those characteristics is Dk. Many designers grow to trust that the Dk value assigned to a given circuit material is truly accurate and consistent from board to board and base their designs on that trust. But how does the material supplier determine a circuit material’s Dk value anyway?


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For Millimeter-Wave Performance, Thinner Materials are Often Better

Thin can be a good thing for high-frequency circuit laminate materials. As this ROG Blog detailed some years ago (see “Thinner Materials Help Target Higher Frequencies,” http://mwexpert.typepad.com/rog_blog/2010/11/thinner-materials-help-target-higher-frequencies.html), thinner printed-circuit-board (PCB) laminates offer many electrical benefits as well as mechanical advantages compared to thicker circuit materials, especially at higher frequencies reaching into millimeter-wave bands.


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Judy Warner

Judy Warner

Countdown to IMS 2015

If you are a delegate or workshop attendee, IMS 2015 is just 4 short days away! For exhibitors, like us at Zentech Manufacturing, we have 6 days until the doors open to the exhibit hall. Either way, don't blink, because we are just days away from the world’s largest international gathering of RF and Microwave professionals in the world!
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“Making the Impossible Possible” at IMS2015

 For the better part of the last year, I have been watching, with great interest, a company and PCB technology that may be a real game-changer. In fact, I became such an enthusiastic fan of eSurface that they invited me to join their advisory board last summer. eSurface Technologieshas developed a chemistry that enables PCB manufacturers to deposit metal directly to an unclad substrate, as opposed to subtractive print and etch processing.  


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Fully. Integrated. Supply Chain. Solutions.

 Since I am a writer, as well as an electronics professional, I have the quirky habit of really thinking about words. Which is why I started thinking about the commonly (if not overused) term Supply Chain Management recently. Having pushed off from the dock of my former narrow focus on Printed Circuit Board (PCB) fabrication--particularly those of the RF and Microwave variety--I now find myself in the deeper and more complex waters of Contract Manufacturing. 


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Sherry Hess

AWR Expert Blog

Microwave & RF Engineers…Communication is Key!

I recently agreed to co-chair the IEEE MTT-S Women in Engineering (WIE) / Women in Microwaves (WIM) organization. I have long been an advocate for advancing the cause of women in the world of RF and microwave engineering, actually back to my college days at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) when I was one of only eight women in my EE graduating class of 110. Things have not improved much since then with women representing only 10 percent of the engineers in the U.S. today. Asia and Europe fair far better with approximately 40 percent and 20 percent respectively.


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Keysight blog

Keysight: expert to expert

Extending the Life of Test Systems that Support Long-term Programs

Jim Curran, Keysight Technologies, Inc. (formerly Agilent Technologies electronic measurement business)

At the beginning of every new product program, tremendous amounts of time, attention and money go into defining and integrating the required test system. The system is used to test the new products, ensuring that they function at the required levels and remain highly productive. The system is also expected to last for the life of the program.


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Reducing the Test Time Required to Calibrate a Multi-channel Antenna

By Dave Brannon and Alex Dickson, Keysight Technologies, Inc. (formerly Agilent Technologies electronic measurement business)

 For active antenna arrays, a significant amount of production test time is spent on calibration.  Large arrays can consist of hundreds or thousands of elements and it is necessary to characterize the phase and gain alignment between these elements to ensure precise beam-forming.  In addition, the test time to align these elements can increase dramatically as the number of elements increases.  Hence, the ability to accelerate test by using multiple coherent measurement channels is a significant benefit. 


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