CMTCopper Mountain introduced the S5180 Vector Network Analyzer that delivers lab grade performance in a compact package, with all the features engineers have come to expect included standard in our software. This portable 3.8 kg/134 oz. vector network analyzer can be battery powered and used in the field, in the laboratory, and in production testing. The VNA can be integrated into a production test system via Manufacturing Test plug-in. The S5180 VNA includes an RF measurement module and S2 software application which runs on a Windows PC, laptop, or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. S2 software can be installed on multiple computers, making it easy to share the use of the analyzer measurement module. The frequency range is 20 kHz to 18 GHz with dynamic range of 135 dB. With measurement systems being very expensive, Cooper Mountain was showing how low cost reflectometers to 18 GHz could be used to test up to 16 antennas for basic measurements made in production.

CST’s complete Technology approach means that all solvers are available within a single graphical user interface, with strong links between different solvers. The 2018 release of CST STUDIO SUITE earlier this year builds on previous success with a range of new features for simulating entire systems with hybrid methods. A key strength of CST STUDIO SUITE is the ability to link multiple simulations with different solvers into a single workflow with System Assembly and Modeling (SAM). The improved Assembly Modeler offers users a more efficient way to combine multiple components into a system employing a 3D environment optimized for complex models. This is complemented by new features for EM/circuit co-simulation and the Hybrid Solver Task providing bidirectional solver coupling between the Time Domain and Integral Equation Solvers – a major step forward for hybrid simulation. Filter Designer 3D, CST’s tool for designing cross-coupled filters and calculating coupling matrices, is now connected directly to the powerful optimizers in CST STUDIO SUITE. This means that the optimizers have access to the coupling matrix calculation, allowing faster and more intelligent filter tuning.

Exodus Advanced Communications develops and manufactures high power solid-state power amplifiers and LNAs. At IMS, the company was exhibiting a self-contained, rack mounted, water cooled system for EMC testing, capable of supporting 200 V/m. The rack contains mutliple GaN-based power amplifiers covering various frequency bands to 40 GHz. The company states solid-state power amplifiers provide a three-year return on investment compared to tube-based amplifiers, due to the poorer reliability of tubes.

Focus Microwaves’ has released the new OMEGA series of electro-mechanical tuners are designed for 5G test applications in mind. It’s small footprint makes it ideal for on wafer testing. Its reduced weight and size not only allows to get the tuner closer to the device but makes its easy to integrate with off the shelf positioners. The user can now connect the tuner directly to the RF probe and get optimum tuning range. These operate from 25 to 60 GHz with a maximum power of 14 W CW. They also released the new DELTA series of electro-mechanical tuners is designed specifically for high frequency on wafer measurements. The tuner’s low profile allows it to be placed within the wafer perimeter and allows for a direct connection between the probe tip and the tuner, eliminating all possible insertion loss between the DUT and the tuner. This new tuner design enables the engineer to achieve optimum tuning range, with a tuner whose footprint and weight has been dramatically reduced. They operate from 10 to 67 GHz with a maximum power of 14 W CW.

FormFactor introduced its new Summit 200 wafer probing system for for DC, RF, mmW and THz applications, which is available in semi-automated, fully-automated, and/or shielded configurations. This new probing system offers 2X stage speed and a 5X faster loading over previous models. The Summit 200 system also offers the company’s contact intelligence technology, which helps customers get high quality contact. The version on display at IMS2018 had the autonomous RF measurement assistant, but the system is also available with DC or silicon photonics assists. It can be configured with one to 4 positioners, and, since it is modular in design, can be upgraded for increased functionality after purchase.

HolzworthHolzworth HSX Series provides industry leading channel-channel stability, due to the unique phase coherent channel-channel relationship provided by a proprietary architecture. The 1U platform offers best in class phase noise performance, spectral purity and output power dynamic range via 1, 2, 3 or 4 independently tunable channels. This series is now available to 40 GHz so has options for 3, 6, 12, 24 or 40 GHz versions. Holzworth's revised HA7062C Phase Noise Analyzer and HA7402C Phase Noise Analyzer Engine are each designed to give fast, accurate results. There is no guess work as to whether results are valid to the DUT or if there are unwanted variations or contributions coming from the measurement system itself. Holzworth applies an ANSI z540 calibration to every analyzer built, creating data traceability to the industry standards set forth by NIST which is not the case with most systems.

KeysightKeysight Technologies showcased solutions related to 5G Communications, Internet of Things, and Aerospace & Defense including:

• 5G NR – Enabling the entire ecosystem to characterize and validate new 5G products across the workflow by leveraging common development tools. End-to-end solutions allow 5G modem chipset and device manufacturers to address new technical requirements related to wider signal bandwidths, mmWave frequencies, and Massive MIMO in Over-the-Air (OTA) test environments.

• Next Generation WLAN – Delivering the industry’s most extensive offering of WLAN simulation and test solutions to bring insights in R&D, validation, and manufacturing.

• Component Characterization - Measuring high-power devices which incorporates couplers, switches, amplifiers, isolators, and other components needed for complete device test and design with transmit and receive paths, like beam-forming ICs with integrated GaN amplifiers used in upcoming 5G wireless-communications devices.

• Radar and Electronic Warfare – Displaying leading-edge technology innovations in A&D within the RF/uW environment to open new areas of innovation back into A&D.

• Automotive Radar - Providing solutions from early design simulation through Research & Development (R&D) and manufacturing to solve current and future automotive radar design and test challenges.

• PathWave - Managers and leaders of design, test, and manufacturing teams can improve handoff time, integrate new equipment faster, and scale resources.

• Calibration, Repair, and other Services - Industry-leading array of people, processes, and tools focused to assist with the implementation of new technologies and engineer improved processes to lower costs.

Keysight also displayed Noise Figure measurements to its FieldFox Handheld Analyzers. Transforming the Keysight FieldFox handheld microwave analyzer into noise figure (NF) mode provides portable one-button noise figure and gain measurements to characterize devices including low noise amplifiers (LNAs), frequency converters, and receivers using the industry proven Y-factor technique.

NINational Instruments is addressing the increased bandwidth and efficiency requirements of 5G that engineers require with sophisticated linearization techniques. NanoSemi has developed advanced linearization software that complements NI’s existing solutions for PA and RF FEM test. Using these solutions, engineers can test PA and FEM designs using a wide range of DPD techniques in conjunction with 802.11ax, 4G and 5G waveforms. Typical NI system configurations include the NI PXI platform, PXIVector Signal Transceiver technology that offers up to 1 GHz of instantaneous signal generation and measurement bandwidth, and NI-RFmx 5G measurement algorithms. The new NanoSemi Linearizer software adds advanced digital predistortion (DPD) algorithms using machine learning techniques.

NI AWR was featuring the new capabilities of V14 of Microwave Office that focuses on expediting all stages of design from initial starts using powerful network synthesis to circuit/system and EM simulation technology for performance analysis, optimization and verification. Coupled with further enhancements to design flow automation, NI AWR Design Environment V14 offers an unmatched user experience to accelerate RF/microwave designs from concept to product. Also announced was that 3D Glass Solutions released of an industry-first, glass-based RF integrated passive devices (IPDs) process design kit (PDK) specifically for NI AWR Design Environment customers. Developed in collaboration with NI AWR software experts, the 3D Glass Solutions IPD PDK enables the design of high performance components for internet of things, LTE, 5G and satellite communications. NI AWR previously announced integration with ANSYS HFSS and Wolfspeed stated that the ability to quickly add a full ANSYS HFSS package transistor model in Microwave Office software, along with a full AXIEM EM simulation of the printed circuit board, enabled the team to analyze the circuit in detail and achieve industry-leading performance in a short period of time. This is a trend we are seeing with software companies connecting with each other to help designers speed up time to market. NI AWR again was leading the way in this department as they announced AWR Connected™ – integration with high-frequency design software from AWR with Cadence's leading IC/PCB software to provide a more seamless and complete software-to-software RFIC / RF PCB design environment.

R&SRohde & Schwarz had a demonstration of its new RTP line of performance oscilloscopes that are available in 4, 6, or 8GHz models. This product line is designed for higher memory depth and higher sample rates. What’s unique about this 8 GHz scope is that it performs its real-time processing in hardware rather than software, which improves speed. In standard acquisition mode, it can measure a million waveforms per second. R&S also demonstrated its NRQ6 frequency-selective power sensor that can zero in on a single signal (rather than just measuring all power). The company designed this for engineers who need to measure power below the -70 dBm noise floor (which in the past required a signal analyzer). The NRQ6 power sensor features a -130 dBm noise floor. Operating across 50 MHz to 6 GHz, it also captures I/Q data, and users can take data offline and process. The unit can perform band-limited continuous average power measurements (measurements on a selected transmission channel) up to a signal bandwidth of 100 MHz. Another highlight in the booth was the R&S SMB100B IoT signal generator (and companion SMBV100B vector signal generator) as part of the company’s mid-range class of instruments designed for the bench. With frequency ranges from 8 kHz to 1, 3, and 6 GHz, the newly released signal generators are available in various configurations. For instance, customers can choose among three different RF output power stages to scale the maximum output power to their specific needs. The generators can deliver up to +34 dBm output power (at 1 GHz carrier frequency) without an external amplifier.

Other instruments on display included: ZVA24 network analyzer: features upgraded output power for millimeter wave applications and can do power sweeps to examine amplifiers. It automatically configures to the converter chosen, handling converters up to 500 GHz (compatible with non R&S converters). Integrated converters for MPI probe station: Since much work on millimeter wave applications is on wafer, R&S’s customers were buying probe stations and it took a long time to get the converters configured correctly. So, the company created an integrated converter on an MPI probe station. ZNB VNA: Introduced three years ago, the ZNB VNA was enhanced last week for pulsed phase noise measurements that need stability from pulse to pulse, such as radar applications. The instrument is also used in high speed digital applications, such as in making a phase noise measurement of the reference clock for PCI Express.

Signal Hound released the SM200A 20 GHz headless RF spectrum analyzer and monitoring receiver for applications ranging from IoT and 5G cellular, to military, aerospace, spectrum management, automotive, and radar. Optimized for performance, flexibility, space, and cost, the SM200A lowers the cost of entry to high-end spectrum analysis while delivering precisely what’s required for the most demanding production-line and spectrum monitoring RF analysis applications. The SM200A tunes from 100 kHz to 20 GHz, has an instantaneous bandwidth of 160 MHz, a high dynamic range of 110 dB, a sustained sweep speed of 1 THz/s, a built-in sub-octave preselector from 20 MHz to 20 GHz, and ultra-low phase noise -- introducing no more than 0.1% error to EVM measurements. Its system noise ranges between 13 and 19 dB between 700 MHz and 15.2 GHz. The unit measures 10.2 x 7.2 x 2.15 inches (259 x 183 x 55 mm) and weighs 8.67 lbs. (with passive cooling, AC desktop adapter, and power cord). Architecturally, the SM200A distributes its digital signal processing requirements for high-speed RF signal analysis across an on-board Altera Arria-10 FPGA and an external PC with an Intel Core i7 processor. This provides users with the flexibility to scale to any current or future configuration. The analyzer can be accessed remotely over a network via the PC to which it’s connected, and it also includes a built-in GPS for automatic time and geolocation stamping of the received signals. The SM200A offers a fully-documented API supporting features such as spectrum sweeping, setting record-on-event triggers, real-time analysis, and streaming of calibrated I/Q data.

Vaunix was promoting their Lab Brick™ line of low-cost, USB-programmable attenuators for wireless system testing and simulation. The most recent product, the LDA-906V, has a 90 dB control range in 0.1 dB steps from 200 to 6000 MHz, with a typical accuracy less than 0.25 dB. The attenuator is bidirectional and matched to 50 Ω. In addition to developing additional programmable attenuator products, Vaunix plans to release a 1 MHz to 15 GHz signal generator in the fall.

VDIVirginia Diodes was showing many of their mmWave and Terahertz solution including VNA Extenders that deliver high performance network analyzer frequency extension into the THz range. Models cover 50 to 1,100 GHz with additional bands in development. In addition to our full Transceiver modules, VDI also offers Transmit-Reference modules and Receive only modules that deliver optimized performance for specific applications. These modules combine high test port power and exceptional dynamic range to deliver industry leading performance. They are compatible with most network analyzers and can be integrated into probe stations and antenna chambers. Power leveling and sweeping is also supported when used with our PM5 Power Meter. They are featured in our June issue Fabs and Labs. Also in their booth was Guzik showing Digital Equalization of mmWave Analog Frequency Up and Down-converters which is published in detail in a MWJ article.

Wireless Telecom Group showcased demonstrations covering the company’s development of technology for 5G and millimeter wave applications as well as radar and electronic warfare, private LTE networks, in-building wireless and over the air testing. Boonton USB power sensors provide an industry leading 195 MHz of video bandwidth, and capability into the millimeter wave range up to 40 GHz. With Real-Time Power Processing, Boonton sensors have virtually zero measurement latency (5 ns rise time) minimizing the chance of missing any waveform dropouts our anomalies. These capabilities are well suited for verifying new radio signals in development, for ensuring proper operation during production, and for troubleshooting issues in the field. Boonton demonstrated these Real Time Power sensors alongside its two newest products, the CPS2000 Connected Power Sensor for low cost, high volume manufacturing test of wireless devices and the 4500C Peak Power Analyzer for high performance radar and pulsed RF test.

CommAgility showcased its modular hardware used for eNodeB and UE simulation and testing, radar and electronic warfare applications and private LTE networks. Microlab introduced a digital GPS repeater to ensure wireless networks are 5G ready, providing network time and phase synchronization below 100 ns accuracy which is critical for low latency requirements of 5G networks. Noisecom featured broadband noise sources for over the air testing and chamber calibration, critical aspects of 5G device testing where conducted testing and physical connection to a device under test is impossible due to highly integrated components and high bandwidth signals. Watch WTG on Frequency Matters: