Figure 1

Figure 1 IEEE IMS total attendance since 1998.

"San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality,” said Paul Kantner, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane, but come the week of May 22nd, it will be surrounded by thousands of microwave engineers. The 2016 IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium (IMS) takes place in San Francisco, Calif., May 22-27 at the well known Moscone Convention Center. It consists of a full week of events, including technical paper presentations, workshops, special sessions, panels and tutorials, as well as numerous social events and networking opportunities. The symposium also hosts a 600+ company exhibition and is co-located with IEEE RFIC and ARFTG conferences.

The event typically draws record crowds when it takes place in San Francisco and Boston as those areas are able to draw a large local audience from a significant number of surrounding companies in the industry. While total attendance has been averaging about 8000 over the last decade, the previous decade was closer to 10,000 with a sharp downturn occurring in 2007 in Honolulu (see Figure 1). As the event heads to Honolulu in 2017, we hope the big drop off in attendance does not happen again.

San Francisco is a great place to visit with a tremendous amount of high tech industry in the area. Silicon Valley is in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area and home to many of the world’s largest technology companies including Apple, Cisco, Google, HP, Intel and Oracle. The term came from the region’s large number of silicon chip companies but now is generally referred to as the high tech area. According to the IMS2016 website, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading hub for high tech innovation and development, accounting for one third of venture capital investments in the United States.

If you have not already visited San Francisco, try to make time to visit some of the many local attractions. View the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and visit the Golden Gate Park or take a trip to the infamous Alcatraz Island. Fisherman’s Wharf offers many restaurants, shops, attractions and street performers. The area is home to many wineries with various wine tours available. Downtown there are many interesting districts like Chinatown, Japantown, Mission District and Union Square for the shoppers as well as the iconic “most crooked street in the world,” Lombard Street.

IMS2016 Keynotes

The father of the cell phone, Dr. Martin Cooper, will speak at the plenary session about “The Birth and Death of the Cell Phone” on Monday at 17:30-19:00. Dr. Cooper believes that although the cell phone contains tremendous semiconductor and software technologies, it is still in its infancy as cell phone connectivity has the potential to revolutionize health care and education. The closing ceremony on Thursday from 16:30-18:00 includes Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and co-founder of National Instruments talking about “Software’s Role in Next-Generation 5G, RF and Microwave Systems,” and Professor Jan M. Rabaey, Donald O. Pederson Distinguished Professor at UC Berkeley talking about “The Human Intranet:  Where Swarms and Humans Meet.”


Microwave Week consists of the IMS, RFIC and ARFTG technical conferences, each offering excellent opportunities for all segments of the microwave community to learn about new technologies and products. The conferences include a wide variety of technical sessions, interactive forums, panel sessions, workshops, short courses, industry showcases, application seminars, and industrial and historical exhibits.

The theme of IMS2016 is “Gateway to the Wireless Future.” Several new topics added this year include 5G, autonomous vehicles, IoT, wearable electronics and RF/microwave technology in the life sciences. The conference starts with workshops and short courses on Sunday and Monday, then Tuesday through Thursday are  conference sessions and interactive forums. Friday concludes the symposium with more workshops and short courses. There are hundreds of technical papers presented at IMS so there is something for everyone. From all types of devices and components ranging in frequency from MHz to Terahertz, technologists from around the world present their latest research and development. Hot topics this year will surely be 5G and IoT including wearables and automotive sensing applications. IMS casts a wide net with everything from introductory courses to the latest technologies being developed at universities and companies. They engage everyone from experienced R&D engineers to students including a STEM program for middle and high school students.

Dr. Amarpal Khanna

IMS2016 Conference Chair
Dr. Amarpal Khanna


IMS2016 will feature about 470 technical papers, 31 workshops and five short courses in addition to a number of related events. Discussions will include emerging RF and wireless related growth areas such as 5G technologies, automotive radars, wearable electronics, Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Space (IoS) and RF/microwave technology in life science.

Multiple focused programs to promote student and diversity participation will be held this year. The student paper contest, student design competition, Ph.D. student initiative and the IMS Connect programs are designed to increase college graduate participation at the conference. The IMS Connect program aims to encourage participation of students from under-represented minorities and specifically prepare them for careers in science and engineering. The Women in Microwaves team this year has organized a focused session, which includes paper presentations from leading professionals practicing RF and microwave technologies. Following the paper-presentation session will be a leadership-coaching panel session.

Additionally, the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program will introduce students to the field of microwave engineering and technology through a STEM-focused day-at-a-conference experience on Thursday. Students from local middle and high schools will be invited to attend exciting talks and visit selected exhibition booths and demos. This one-day event will include opportunities to showcase student-submitted science projects, interact with engineers and graduate students and provide a conference experience.

A Wireless Wonders pavilion is being organized to showcase consumer wireless technology products and services. The MicroApps forum, which will be held in the exhibition area, will include dynamic presentations by IMS exhibitors who will introduce attendees to new products and applications. A one-day RF boot camp will teach the basics to graduate students, young engineers and others interested in a fundamental understanding of RF technology. The boot camp will include demonstrations on how to use test instruments for modeling and characterization of RF components. To further enrich the IMS experience, ample opportunities to interact with peers and exhibitors will be provided throughout Microwave Week. Day-to-day programs have been created, keeping in mind the importance of networking for conference participants. We believe this will be an enriching and rewarding experience for all attendees.

I invite you to come and experience IMS2016 and the beautiful city of San Francisco. With all of what IMS2016 and the city have to offer, your time in San Francisco is sure to be fun and productive. The entire IMS2016 steering committee is looking forward to seeing you and extends a warm welcome!

RFIC 2016

The 2016 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium will be held May 22-24. It is focused exclusively on the latest advances in RF, microwave and millimeter wave integrated circuit technologies and designs, as well as high frequency analog/mixed-signal designs and innovations. The RFIC conference starts on Sunday with workshops and short courses, followed by two plenary talks and a reception embedded with a joint industry showcase and interactive forum. Monday and Tuesday will have presentations of contributed papers and special lunch-time panel sessions. RFIC also has short-format original industrial-only submissions.

Albert Wang

RFIC 2016 Conference Chair
Albert Wang


RFIC 2016 will continue to offer a number of initiatives: The two-page industry brief format, allowing the latest state-of-the-art RF IC design results to be presented without requiring die photos and detailed schematics, will continue in 2016. The popular Industry Showcase Session, featuring 13 poster presentations (some have demos) of the most innovative and highly-rated industrial papers (both two- and four-page), will be the highlight during the RFIC Reception Sunday evening. This year, the Industry Showcase will be held jointly with the Interactive Forum (IF) Session, featuring 11 papers during the RFIC Reception, which will offer attendees an enhanced interactive experience in a relaxed environment. To improve academic submissions, all of the RFIC student paper finalists will receive complementary RFIC registration. Students may volunteer to help with RFIC (and/or IMS) conference logistics in exchange for complementary conference registration, meals, T-shirts and other benefits. The joint RFIC/IMS Ph.D. Student Sponsorship Initiative Program will continue to involve selected first and second-year Ph.D. students to complete technical assignments during the conference in exchange for complementary conference registrations, lodging and meals.

The RFIC 2016 will open on Sunday, May 22, with 11 workshops (four full-day and seven half-day), seven of which will be joint RFIC/IMS workshops. These workshops cover a wide range of topics including: “Phased Arrays for Handsets and Cellular/Integrated Circuit, System and Antenna Realization of Millimeter-wave Front-ends for 5G Radios,” “Highly Efficient 5G PA Design,” “How mmWave Systems Reshape the Future of Telecom and Sensing Applications,” “Circuit Techniques and System Architectures for Carrier Aggregation and Multi-Band Radios,” “Calibration and Correction Techniques for CMOS Radios,” “Enhanced IC Design and Waveform Control Techniques for Wireless Power Transfer, Energy Harvesting, and RFIDs,” “Frequency Synthesizers of Multi-Band, Multi-Standard Radios and Internet of Things (IoT),” “RF/Analog IC Design Challenges in Advanced CMOS Technology,” “High-Efficiency Broadband Multimode Multi Standards Amplifier Design, High Efficiency Transmitters,” “Millimeter-Wave Electronics: From Applications to Manufacturing,” and “e-Health: Implantable Systems and Communications in the Human Body.”

The Plenary Session will be held Sunday evening beginning with conference highlights, followed by the presentation of the Student Paper Awards and the Industry Best Paper Award. The Plenary continues with two outstanding keynote talks by Craig Barratt, senior vice president of Google Access, discussing “Innovations for Enabling Scalable Wireless Capacity,” and K. Lawrence Loh, corporate senior vice president of MediaTek Inc., discussing “RFIC Under Big Digital Semiconductor Companies: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Immediately following the Plenary Session is the joint Industry Showcase Session and Interactive Session embedded in the RFIC Reception, providing a mixed experience of “hot chips” with cold drinks. You will not want to miss the RFIC Reception!

Technical papers will be presented during oral sessions throughout Monday and on Tuesday morning. Two Panel Sessions will be featured during lunchtime on both Monday and Tuesday. The two “controversial” panel topics will be “Bio-electronics: No Silicon in My Body!” and “Patents – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Make sure to bring your own “controversial” opinions to the panels. On behalf of the RFIC 2016, we cordially invite all of you to attend the 2016 RFIC Symposium.  We are looking forward to an exciting program and hope you can join us in San Francisco!

ARFTG 2016

ARFTG (Automatic RF Techniques Group) will hold its 87th conference on Friday, May 27th as part of the Microwave Week activities in the Marriott Marquis Hotel. The Microwave Measurement Conference will cover electrical measurements, particularly high-frequency measurements (anything from kHz to THz), device or system modeling, and instrumentation. This includes everything from high throughput production systems to one-of-a-kind metrology measurements, complex systems or simple circuit modeling, small signal S-parameter or large-signal nonlinear measurements, phase noise or noise figure, DC or lightwave.

John Wood

ARFTG Conference Chair
John Wood

You will find that the atmosphere at ARFTG is informal and friendly. We have technical sessions and invited speakers, an exhibition of instrument and equipment vendors, a poster session, a breakfast and awards luncheon. The oral technical sessions at ARFTG conferences are conducted in a single-track style, with papers on topical subjects that are both theoretical and practical, address both end user and manufacturer, and cover both modeling and measurement. As well as oral presentations, authors may present their work as poster papers in the open forum that jointly runs with the vendor exhibition. The following link will give you an idea of the types of presentations given at ARFTG conferences:

One of the most stimulating parts of the ARFTG experience is the opportunity to directly interact on a one-to-one basis with colleagues, experts and vendors in the RF/microwave test and measurement community. Networking is a key feature of ARFTG’s conference, with ample coffee breaks to allow you to view the posters, meet the vendors and discuss their new products and measurement solutions, as well as meet up with old friends and new colleagues. Chances are you will come away with much more than you came with — maybe some new ideas to help with your current projects, some new technical contacts to use in the future and some answers to your tough questions.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Measurements for Emerging Communications Technologies.” ARFTG will highlight papers on the following key topics:

  • 5G, millimeter wave and THz technologies, including MIMO
  • High data rate optical communications
  • Nanomaterials, including graphene and related materials
  • Medical and biological technologies, including wearables and PANs

as well as contributions in other areas of RF, microwave, and/or millimeter wave measurement techniques and technologies such as wide bandwidth measurements, nonlinear systems and power amplifier measurements and modeling, calibration techniques, deembedding and correction methods, and more.

What is ARFTG?

ARFTG is the “Automated RF Techniques Group.” It is a technical organization interested in all aspects of RF and microwave test and measurement. ARFTG was originally set up in 1972 to help end-users get the most from the latest generation of test and measurement equipment; at the time, this was predominantly the vector network analyzer or VNA: a completely new instrument class. As the high frequency measurement field has continued to evolve, so has ARFTG, and it now covers the measurement space from kHz to THz, nonlinear or large signal network analyzers, signal analyzers, mixed-signal domains, signal integrity and much more. ARFTG now has more than 700 members worldwide.

ARFTG’s core mission is education, and it achieves this by hosting conferences, workshops and training courses covering a wide range of topics in RF, microwave and millimeter wave measurement, and by awarding research fellowships for graduate students and sponsorships to enable students to attend.

Panels and Rump Sessions

There are interesting and diverse panels and rump sessions at
IMS2016 including:

  • “Bio-Electronics: Silicon in My Body?!” (RFIC Panel), Monday, 12:00-13:15
  • “Patents: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (Joint RFIC/IMS Panel), Tuesday, 12:00-13:15
  • “The Internet of Space: Technological and Economic Challenges for the Future Space-based Internet,” Tuesday, 18:30-21:00
  • “Are S-parameters Dying?,” Wednesday, 12:00-13:15
  • “Doing Business in China,” Thursday, 12:00-13:15

Horizon House (Microwave Journal’s parent company) president, Ivar Bazzy, will present “Doing Business in China,” sharing industry best practices from our associations in China that we have built over the years with our Microwave Journal Chinapublication and successful trade show, Electronic Design Innovation Conference (EDI CON) China.


Exhibitors get a chance to show off their technology in the MicroApps Theater that is located in the back of the exhibition hall just off center to the left. Of the more than 100 proposed topics, about 80 were selected for presentation in the MicroApps. The featured keynote/panels include:

Keynote: “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t!” – A discussion on mmWave signal propagation and the implications on the design and test of next generation mobile communications systems. Mike Millhaem, 5G technical architect at Keysight is the presenter on Tuesday at 10:05.

Panel Session: “The 5G IoT Conundrum” – This panel of experts will debate possible solutions and future directions for the debate between very high speed, low latency networks, 5G networks and the opposite needs of IoT networks for a relatively low data rate, very low power network that can support millions of devices and sensors. This panel session is organized byMicrowave Journal and takes place on Wednesday at 12:00.

Keynote: “Getting mmWave Products to Market and Avoiding Regulatory Issues” – Michael Marcus, founder of Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC, presents on this topic Thursday at 09:00.


The exhibition runs from Tuesday to Thursday consisting of more than 600 companies covering the latest technologies in materials, devices, components and subsystems, as well as design and simulation software, and test & measurement equipment. The exhibition is a great place to network and see what state-of-the-art products are debuting this year. In addition to the MicroApps theater area on the exhibition floor, the Wireless Wonders Pavilion will display the latest in wearable electronics.


Microwave Journal reached out to some leading microwave companies and gathered the following exclusive product previews for IMS2016.

Analog Devices (ADI) (Booth 1519) will showcase a number of new products that focus on improving efficiencies in power, design time and cost to meet increasingly rigorous demands across applications in the communications, industrial, and aerospace and defense industries. ADI will feature a PLL synthesizer with integrated VCO that allows mobile network operators to improve cellular base station performance and the quality of wireless service. The new ADF4355 PLL with VCO synthesizer operates up to 6.8 GHz, a frequency band that allows significant margin to industry’s current carrier frequencies. Another product is a 10 W GaN amplifier that operates between 0.01 and 1.1 GHz with ±0.5 dB gain flatness. The HMC1099 GaN amplifier is ideal for Industrial applications where GaN technology is needed to meet the increasing demands on battery lifetime, energy and low cost requirements while reducing the system complexity in a smaller footprint.

The HMC8100 and HMC8200 product family of intermediate frequency receiver and transmitter chips will also be featured, which offers a highly integrated compact solution for microwave radio as well as broad market RF communication applications. The T/R functionality across the broad frequency range combines the value from what were traditionally four to five separate chips into a single IC.

Finally, a 100 W high power microwave amplifier that covers 2 to 18 GHz will be on display. High power and small form factor are achieved using proprietary power combining GaN MMICs. Small and rugged, the solid-state high power amplifier is well suited for EW applications and the replacement of TWT amplifiers – offering long lifetime reliability, continuous 2 to 18 GHz bandwidth, and no need for a high voltage power supply.

The Ampleon (Booth 2149) name may not have appeared at IMS before but the company’s expertise and technology will be familiar as this spin off from NXP Semiconductors attends the show as a uniquely focused RF power technology company for the first time. As well as highlighting its latest developments in its key traditional markets such as wireless infrastructure, broadcast and industrial, scientific and medical, the company will demonstrate the strategic growth of the A&D segment. The company’s focus on the RF Energy markets will continue, enhanced by the participation of the RF Energy Alliance at the Ampleon Booth 2149.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Anritsu VectorStar VNA.

Anritsu Co. (Booth 949) will display the ability to make vector network analyzer (VNA) measurements of devices under test (DUT) stimulated with wideband modulated signals. Utilizing the high speed IF digitizer option in the VectorStar® VNA series (see Figure 2), measurements can be made with up to 200 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth in the receiver. The primary enabler of wideband VNA measurements is the Anritsu Non Linear Transmission Line (NLTL) sampler that can capture wideband modulated signals for waveform analysis. The result is the ability to perform VNA corrected modulated measurements with bandwidths up to 200 MHz and carrier frequencies up to 70 GHz with 14-bit dynamic range resolution.

Also on display will be the MS46524B 4-port Performance VNA in the Anritsu ShockLine™ VNAs. The MS46524B will be equipped with the E-Band option that makes E-Band component design and manufacturing more affordable. These VNAs are also based on the Anritsu NLTL technology, which in this case enables high performance millimeter wave measurements at a lower cost than alternative technologies. In addition, the option provides a dedicated solution focused on the enhanced E-Band, allowing further cost reduction by stripping out components for unused bands.

Figure 3

Figure 3 ANSYS Savant.

ANSYS (Booth 1539) will feature new technology to analyze installed antenna performance. ANSYS Savant is now a part of the ANSYS HFSS design environment. Savant’s industry leading Shooting and Bouncing Ray plus (SBR+) technology provides fast and accurate prediction of installed antenna patterns, near fields and antenna-to-antenna coupling on electrically large platforms (see Figure 3). Savant is ideal for analyzing antennas installed on platforms and in environments that are 10s to 1000s of wavelengths in size, can compute accurate solutions with incredible speed.

Figure 4

Figure 4 ANSYS EMIT.

ANSYS will also feature EMIT, software for predicting radio frequency interference (RFI). EMIT works hand-in-hand with ANSYS HFSS to combine RF system interference analysis with best-in-class electromagnetic simulation for modeling installed antenna-to-antenna coupling (see Figure 4). The result is a complete solution that reliably predicts the effects of RFI in multi-antenna environments with multiple transmitters and receivers. EMIT’s powerful analysis engine computes all-important RF interactions including nonlinear system component effects. EMIT solves radio frequency interference in environments ranging from large platform cosite interference to receiver desense in electronic devices.

AR (Booth 1711) has some impressive high power products that it just released (we are talking about really high powers here) — a Class A RF amplifier capable of delivering over 50,000 W with excellent harmonic performance of -40 dBc minimum. Another recent milestone is a 10,000 W linear amplifier covering the entire 80 to 1000 MHz frequency band as well as a 1 to 2.5 GHz amplifier capable of producing over 3,000 W. These products are leading the industry in energy efficiency and are capable of delivering extremely large field strengths when combined with a matched antenna. At IMS they are introducing a new series of solid- state pulse amplifier products that cover 1 to 4 GHz in various bands. These amplifiers have excellent harmonic distortion, ease of maintenance, very high MTBF and produce output powers approaching 20,000 W. Typical applications include EMC and radar testing.

Figure 5

Figure 5 AR wideband single amplifier covering 0.7 to 6 GHz.

AR is also showcasing their ultra-wideband single amplifier 0.7 to 6 GHz (see Figure 5), hybrid power modules and benchtop amplifiers in both Class A and Class AB designs. These single band amplifier designs incorporate the latest GaN devices, and utilize chip and wire technology, proprietary combining techniques, and are manufactured in its recently expanded microelectronics hybrid facility. Typical applications include semiconductor testing, wireless communications, EMC, IED and EW.

CST (Booth 739) will release CST STUDIO SUITE 2016 at IMS, the latest version of the company’s EM simulation software. One area that has seen particular development is antenna design and placement —this has always been a crucial and fast-moving field, but with the rise of wearable electronics, V2V and the IoT, more engineers are finding that understanding the installed performance of antennas are crucial to the success of the device. In addition, technologies such as mmWave and smart antennas mean that antenna arrays now are used in numerous applications. The integration of Characteristic Mode Analysis (CMA) allows patch antenna designers to visually analyze how the geometry of the antenna and the flow of current correspond to its resonances (see Figure 6). This is particularly useful for analyzing and optimizing integrated printed antennas, which often have to be compact and multiband to fit in a portable device.

Figure 6

Figure 6 CST STUDIO SUITE 2016 current flow correlation to resonances.

Also, a range of new features including real ground, GPU acceleration for the ray-tracing asymptotic solver and improved workflow for hybrid antenna-platform simulations help engineers investigate the installed performance of antennas faster and more flexibly. New features in the CST array design tool also make it easier to develop antennas from creating the initial element to analyzing the installed performance of the whole device.

Figure 7

Figure 7 K&L Microwave high power lowpass filters.

The Dover Microwave Products Group (Booth 1639) has developed a series of K&L Microwave® brand high power, lowpass filters for these types of requirements. Multiple design innovations reduce insertion loss, minimizing dissipated power to provide higher power handling in a relatively small package. Cutting off at frequencies as low as 460 kHz and handling up to 3.0 kW CW, the filters are remarkably compact. Two part numbers delineate the current cut-off frequency range for this series. Part number 3LL10-0.46/XQ0.70-N/N, with 0.5 dB of insertion loss from DC to 460 kHz and 60 dB rejection at 700 kHz, was designed to handle 2.5 kW in the passband and passed qualification with 3 kW input power. Dimensions are 12.3"L × 3.5"W × 2.1"H. Part number 7LL10-100.0/XQ140-N/N features 0.5 dB insertion loss from DC to 100 MHz and 60 dB rejection at 140 MHz, handling 1.1 kW CW power. Size is 4.51"L × 1.9"W × 1.25"H. Both are quite small given frequency and power (see Figure 7).

The Microwave Products Group will also launch a new K&L Microwave brand Thin Film Lumped Element (TFLE) product line utilizing sputtering deposition on alumina. Inductors are realized as high impedance lines, with capacitors implemented as low impedance sections or interdigitated structures. In direct coupled schemes, this approach supports fractional bandwidth beyond 60 percent of center frequency, exceeding the range of relatively narrow bandwidths typically realized with quarter-wavelength edge-coupled lines. In addition, the ability to alter the nature of the main coupled sections and to mix inductors and capacitors allows the reduction of rejection skirt skewing effects associated with wide bandwidths. Sonnet® software and co-calibrated port capabilities facilitate optimization of performance and size during the design process.

Focus Microwaves (Booth 1349) will feature their RAPID digital tuner that is the heart of a precision, high-speed, load-pull device characterization system. The RAPID has been developed by Focus’ UK subsidiary MESURO and is suitable for every phase of the design and production test cycle. This series of new digital tuner products provide performance, reliability and cutting edge features for a reasonable cost. The RAPID series is compatible with the hardware and software of existing labs, thereby allowing users to easily upgrade their existing systems.

Figure 8

Figure 8 Focus Microwaves RAPID digital tuner measurement system.

The RAPID can be used as a stand-alone impedance synthesis and measurement system, or combined into a hybrid solution when paired with Focus’ MPT series harmonic tuners. The passive tuners can be used to synthesize fixed harmonic impedances in a high speed fundamental active setup. With this modular configuration the user benefits from speed, increased tuning range for F0, CW, pulsed and modulated signals while reducing cost and simplifying the system (see Figure 8). The system provides full wave characterization (a1, b1, a2, b2) and DC in 20 ms per measured point. A full application programming interface (API), compatible with a large variety of commonly used compilers is available for impedance control and measurement automation. This programming library allows the user to synthesize any impedance, perform measurements from a variety of platforms.

Figure 9

Figure 9 H+S cable assemblies, panel connectors and adaptors for space applications.

While showcasing its wide range of RF and microwave products, HUBER + SUHNER (Booth 846) will highlight its test and measurement products together with those for space applications. An example of the company’s development in the T&M sector is the SUCOFLEX®126 low loss, phase stable assembly that operates up to 26.5 GHz. This high performance microwave cable assembly offers a comprehensive connector portfolio and features optimized inner conductor construction, precise measurements with high phase stability combined with low loss and excellent return loss, excellent reliability with a ruggedization that can withstand flexure and crushing reducing downtime because of increased intervals between calibrations.

For space applications, the Power Sub-Miniature (PSM) connector range combines low weight and small envelope characteristics of the SMA-connector, and the high power capability of the TNC-connector will be previewed before its launch in Q3/Q4. With its future proof interface, the range offers: multicarrier capability, is multipaction, corona and PIM optimized, with a multipaction threshold >1500 W in P-Band and L-Band. The offering includes cable assemblies, panel connectors and adaptors (see Figure 9).

Figure 10

Figure 10 Keysight X-Series UXA signal analyzer.

Keysight Technologies (Booth 1239) will be showcasing their latest design, simulation and test solutions for wireless communications (5G, IoT, 802.11ad) and aerospace/defense (Radar, EW, Ka-Band and beyond). Visitors can meet Keysight’s application experts and evaluate a range of solutions in various form factors from benchtop to modular to handheld. Keysight will be demonstrating the new X-Series signal analyzers that feature streamlined multi-touch interface, integrated 1 GHz analysis bandwidth up to 50 GHz, the widest real-time streaming up to 255 MHz bandwidth, and industry-best phase noise performance in all models (see Figure 10).

Also in the Keysight booth will be their new CX3300 Series of Device current waveform analyzers which enable the visualization of low-level current waveforms that were previously unmeasurable. The CX3300 series will be used by R&D engineers designing IoT devices and modules (i.e., ultra low power modules) and provide 150 pA minimum measureable current, 1 GHz maximum sampling, 14-bit or 16-bit wide dynamic range, and 200 MHz maximum bandwidth.

Figure 11

Figure 11 MACOM GaN power transistors for macro base stations.

MACOM (Booth 939) will introduce its MAGb series of GaN power transistors for use in wireless macro base stations (see Figure 11). Leveraging Gen4 GaN technology, MACOM’s new MAGb series are the industry’s first commercial base station-optimized GaN transistors to achieve performance parity with expensive and GaN on silicon carbide-based products at a LDMOS like cost structure, with path to better than LDMOS cost. The MAGb series of power transistors target all cellular bands within the 1.8 to 3.8 GHz frequency range. Initial entries in the product series include single-ended transistors providing up to 400 W peak power in small packages, dual-transistors, and single-package Doherty configuration providing up to 700 W peak power in both symmetric and asymmetric power options. This product series delivers power efficiency improvement of up to 10 percent and package size reduction greater than 15 percent over legacy LDMOS offerings.

Figure 13

Figure 12 Maury Microwave multi-harmonic mixed signal active load-pull system.

Figure 12

Figure 13 Maury Microwave ColorConnect line.

Maury Microwave (Booth 1139) will address today’s demanding commercial telecom and military communication measurement challenges, including the analysis of wider bandwidths and more complex modulation schemes. Maury’s new MT2000E4-series 40 GHz multi-harmonic mixed-signal active load-pull system is unique in its ability to control up to 240 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth for wideband modulated signals between 700 MHz and 40 GHz (see Figure 12). The MT2000E4 is ideal for LTE, WCDMA, WLAN, 802.11ac, X-, Ku-, K- and Ka-Band communication protocols.

In addition, the company will feature its ColorConnect™ line of interconnect solutions, including Stability™ and Utility™ microwave/RF cable assemblies, precision adapters, attenuators and torque wrenches. ColorConnect is the industry’s only comprehensive line of color-coded interconnects that enable easy identification of compatibility (see Figure 13). The benefits of using ColorConnect include the prevention of damage to equipment due to compatibility mismatch, a greater confidence in connector identification and use, and financial savings in training time and costs.

National Instruments (Booth 1529) will be featuring new products that address the entire product lifecycle – from initial design to manufacturing test. NI AWR Design Environment demonstrations will feature advances in NI AWR software automation and tool interoperability. The most recent release of the open platform supports enhanced management of design/result data and simulation control between Microwave Office and EM simulation technologies, including AXIEM and Analyst or third-party tools such as ANSYS HFSS and Sonnet EM. With its innovative EM Socket II technology, NI AWR Design Environment offers seamless uni- and bidirectional data flows between the Microwave Office circuit framework and supported EM solvers, allowing engineers to define their chip/package/module designs, specify simulation parameters and review results all from within a single user interface. This new capability supports a number of operations ranging from a single embedded EM simulation to more robust yield/corner analyses of 3D structures. Results are automatically integrated with active devices in the circuit hierarchy for nonlinear simulations, optimization and circuit verification without users needing to manually import/export EM design data.

In addition to EDA tools, NI will be demonstrating its industry leading solutions for RFIC test — from lab-based characterization systems to high-volume manufacturing test solutions. NI’s PXI-based RFIC test system combines its vector signal transceiver (VST), high-speed digitizer, and source measure unit (SMU) technology into an integrated system for WLAN, UMTS, and LTE power amplifier test. In version 2.0 of the RFIC Test Software NI has added LTE-advanced multicarrier support, with EVM and ACP measurements on up to five component carriers. In addition, the new version natively integrates NI’s SMU technology for integrated power added efficiency (PAE) measurements.

Figure 14

Figure 14 NI PXI RF Vector Signal Transceiver.

Finally, NI will be introducing the industry’s first measurement solution for 802.11ax or high-efficiency Wi-Fi (HEW) devices. The system is based on NI’s PXI RF vector signal transceiver (VST), which offers 200 MHz of bandwidth at frequencies of up to 6 GHz (see Figure 14). The new 802.11ax measurement suite supports narrower subcarrier spacing, 1024-QAM, and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). The software is based on the latest draft of the 802.11ax specification revision.

NXP (Booth 1839) will feature solutions for cellular infrastructure, industrial and military markets to help accelerate RF design. NXP RF Military adds to its high performance GaN offering by introducing five new products covering output powers from 12 to 250 W CW, which are suitable for narrowband and multi-octave amplifiers, radar, EW jammers and EMC testing up to 2.7 GHz. The four lower power transistors are in NXP’s plastic OM270 package which offers excellent thermal performance. In addition, NXP RF military announces a new 1000 W LDMOS RF transistor for 1.2 to 1.4 GHz L-Band primary radar applications, and is suitable for long pulse applications with large duty cycle. For S-Band radar there is a new 60 W and > 500 W wideband 2.7 to 3.5 GHz GaN RF transistors in NXP’s plastic OM270 package which offers excellent thermal performance. Finally, NXP RF Military expands its L-Band RF LDMOS transistors targeted for IFF, DME and TACAN applications. This portfolio expansion includes a 250 W, 2-stage RF plastic IC for IFF transponders, offering an ideal solution for size and weight sensitive applications such as UAVs. Also available are a 1 kW wideband 960 to 1215 MHz transistor suitable for long pulse applications with large duty cycles, and a 1.5 kW narrowband 1030/1090 MHz transistor for IFF secondary radar.

Figure 15

Figure 15 Peregrine high frequency mixers.

Peregrine Semiconductor (Booth 2129) will be highlighting their UltraCMOS PE41901 and PE41902 high-frequency mixers that operate from 10 to 19 GHz. The PE41901 is an up-conversion mixer with an integrated LO coupler, and the PE41902 is a down-conversion mixer with an integrated LO combiner and RF coupler (see Figure 15). These complete MMIC mixer solutions are ideal for test & measurement systems and Ku-Band earth terminals such as VSAT and point-to-point communication systems.

Another featured product includes the UltraCMOS® PE46130 and PE46140 that join the PE46120 MPAC product family in offering phase and amplitude control for Doherty power amplifier applications. The PE46130 provides excellent phase and amplitude accuracy from 2.3 to 2.7 GHz, and the PE46140 extends from 3.4 to 3.8 GHz. Each monolithic phase and amplitude controller (MPAC) integrates a 90-degree hybrid splitter, digital phase shifters, digital step attenuator and a digital SPI interface on a single die.

Rohde & Schwarz (Booth 1827) will introduce and showcase a variety of barrier breaking test and measurement instruments. For wideband communication standards such as 5G or IEEE 802.11ad, R&S will showcase new capabilities for the R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator, which is the first to offer an internal modulation bandwidth of 2 GHz with a frequency range all the way up to 40 GHz. There is also the R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer which is the first offering frequency ranges up to 85 GHz, an analysis bandwidth up to 2 GHz, and a real time bandwidth of up to 512 MHz. For the automotive industry, in addition to the above mentioned 85 GHz signal and spectrum analyzer, Rohde & Schwarz has introduced the ARTS — Automotive Radar Target Simulator, that allows customers to simulate variable distance, variable speed, variable direction and variable size targets, and test their products (radar sensors) as these would operate in the real world.

Also new is the R&S®FSWP phase noise analyzer and VCO tester that now supports phase noise analysis up to 50 GHz in a single platform. It combines low noise internal sources and cross correlation technology, delivering extremely high sensitivity for phase noise measurements. As a result, it takes just seconds to measure even highly stable sources such as those found in radar applications. Other presentations include VNA’s and an up-converter for terahertz applications for up to 750 GHz, a new lineup of fast and accurate USB and LAN power sensors up to 50 GHz, and new handheld spectrum analyzer and oscilloscopes that are equally capable of addressing measurement needs in the field and in the lab.

Rogers Corp. (Booth 2039) will be featuring TC350TM laminates that are for designers seeking a cost effective high thermal conductivity PTFE material. These materials are designed for applications where high power RF signals demand improved PCB thermal management. With a combination of low loss tangent (0.0020 at 10 GHz), high z-axis thermal conductivity (1.0 W/m°K), low z-axis CTE (23 ppm/°C), and excellent temperature phase stability (-9 ppm/°C), TC Series™ laminates enable improved performance and reliability in high power applications. TC Series materials are ideal for high volume applications with panel sizes available as large as 48"×54". TC Series materials are often chosen for applications such as power amplifiers and devices such as couplers, combiners and dividers.

In addition, Rogers will feature RO4700JXR™ series antenna grade laminates were designed for use in base station, RFID and other antenna designs and combine low-loss dielectric with low-profile copper foil for reduced passive intermodulation (PIM) and low insertion loss. The specially formulated RO4700JXR thermoset resin system incorporates a hollow microsphere filler resulting in a light weight, low density laminate, which is approximately 30 percent lighter weight than woven-glass PTFE materials. In addition, RO4725JXR™ (2.55 Dk) & RO4730JXR™ (3.0 Dk) laminates provide a lower cost solution for high frequency circuit boards used in base station and other antennas. RO4700JXR laminates feature a low Z-axis coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE of <30 ppm/°C) for design flexibility. With a TCDk <40 ppm/°C, the laminates provide consistent circuit performance regardless of short term temperature variations.

Figure 16

Figure 16 Skyworks BLE front-end module.

Skyworks (Booth 1611) will be featuring two low-power Bluetooth® low energy (BLE) front-end modules (FEM) for connected home, wearable and industrial applications. The SKY66110-11 and SKY66111-11 FEMs (see Figure 16) operate between 2.4 to 2.485 GHz, with power consumption of only 10 mA in transmit mode. They are suitable for products operating from coin cell batteries including sensors, beacons, smart watches, thermostats, smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, wireless cameras and audio headphones, hearing aids and medical pendants. The FEMs more than double the range when compared to a stand-alone system on chip solution. The SKY66111-11 FEM features adjustable output power. Each device comes in a small footprint 3 mm × 3 mm  × 0.8 mm, 16-pin multichip module solution. They will also introduce a step-down regulator with auto-bypass and low drop out that controls the operating voltage for multimode, multiband WDCMA or GSM/EDGE power amplifiers, delivering optimum efficiency for all operating states. Targeted for smartphones, mobile/cellular phones, wireless data cards, and portable media devices the SKY87000-13 integrates a bypass linear regulator that further improves system performance.

Figure 17

Figure 17 Wolfspeed 800 W GaN device.

Wolfspeed (a Cree Company, Booth 1621) will introduce a new 50 V, 800 W GaN HEMT device that provides high output power for L-Band radar applications. Live demonstrations are scheduled to take place in their booth. The CGHV14800 is an input and output matched GaN HEMT with a circuit for pulsed applications from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz. Utilizing a Class A/B circuit, the 50 V device provides 13 dB gain, 70 percent drain efficiency and 850 W output power at pulsed PSAT, with a 3 µs pulse width and 3 percent duty cycle (see  Figure 17). The product is available in metal-ceramic flange and pill packages. The export classification is EAR99. The part will be available for purchase, including the evaluation board, from Digi-Key and Mouser in the second half of 2016.