IMS2022 was close to back to normal with about 6500 total attendees and 450 exhibiting companies in Denver – a great sight to see. The mood was very energetic, and everyone was very happy to see each other since it was close to two years since many had been together. As 5G and SATCOM continue to be areas of growth, it is good to see some new emerging markets like 6G, quantum and hypersonics gaining momentum.
A couple of very interesting new technologies were a transparent antenna-on-display solution and the emergence of RF Glass. KREEMO and Sivers Semiconductors announced that they have successfully demonstrated data communication between transparent antenna-on-display devices based on SUMMIT2629, a 28 GHz beamforming chip, and stackable patch antenna devices with 360-degree beam coverage. The SUMMIT 2629 is a RFSOI eight-channel RF beamforming IC for 28 GHz and extends link range and reduces power consumption while optimizing antenna array complexity. KREEMO has the first transparent antenna-on-display technology that implements mmWave antennas on displays and stackable patch antenna technology that provides 360-degree coverage. The products jointly developed and supplied by KREEMO and Sivers Semiconductors are the transparent antenna-on-display module, the 1x4 stackable patch antenna module with a 360-degree beam coverage, a 4x4 AiP module (scheduled in 4Q), a 4 x 4 stackable patch antenna module with a 360-degree coverage (scheduled in '23 2Q) and the antenna development kit 360° (ADK360°). This is a very interesting technology and development.
There were at least two exhibitors designing and supplying high performance RF Glass circuits. 3DGS and ED2 both offer this process with 3D Glass ready for production on 8-inch wafers. 3DGS leverages the properties of a patented APEX® glass-ceramic material with excellent electrical performance and ultra-low transmission loss at high frequencies ranging from 1 to 200 GHz. Using traditional semiconductor processes, 3DGS produces high-precision, high volume-scale components that meet the needs of consumer, commercial and mil/aero system designers. The process supports passive components including antennas, baluns, filters, inductors, capacitors and couplers, etc., and can use air in passive component design for very high performance.
ED2 has designed a C-band bandpass filter that is a high performance, low cost, BGA-type surface mount component. The filter typically has a <3 dB insertion loss over a MHz bandwidth. The filter’s excellent rejection makes it perfect roofing filter in complement to SAW and BAW applications and is also highly repeatable from filter to filter.
In addition, Keysight was featuring a 6G demonstration with Nokia Bell Lab's D-band radio-on-glass transceiver with an active phased array antenna module which highlights Keysight's 6G testbed's ability to enable wide-bandwidth measurements and explore ultra-high data throughput scenarios.
The exhibition featured several new activities including a 9-hole miniature golf course, systems pavilion, networking lounge booths, shoeshine station and professional photo booth. If you time in the exhibition was limited or you were not able to attend, we complied a list of companies in attendance and what they had to offer in their booth at IMS.
For images from IMS2022, view the gallery here and for our extensive video coverage, view the view gallery here with interviews and demos.
Aethertek showcased their Open RAN RU, mmWave antenna in module (AiM) and OTA test solutions supporting FR1 and FR2 mmWave bands at the workshop. Open RAN Radio Unit Aethertek’s O-RU supports FR1 and FR2 mmWave frequency bands, and it is developed according to ORAN standard Option 7.2, using eCPRI interface to connect with DU. In addition to the built-in FR1 antenna, it is also integrated with Aethertek’s mmWave module IRIS to achieve ultra-high speed transmission with dual-polarization of 400 MHz bandwidth.
Akoustis Technologies promoted the capabilities of its XBAW filter technology for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7, as well as RFM Integrated Device’s (RFMi) catalog portfolio of SAW, crystal oscillator and ceramic products. (Akoustis completed the acquisition of RFMi earlier this year.) Wi-Fi is currently driving the company’s growth because of the transition from LTCC and ceramic filters to BAW. With the added frequency bands of Wi-Fi 6 and 7, system architectures are moving to tri-, quad- and penta-band with tough filtering requirements that play to the strengths of XBAW. Akoustis is also pursuing design wins in smartphones and has five active customer engagements, one of which may reach volume production in 2023. To support these volumes, Akoustis has increased the capacity at its fab in upstate New York to around 500 million filters per year. XBAW’s differentiation stems from the starting piezoelectric material and the transfer flow process used to fabricate the filter, which yield higher Q. During IMS, Akoustis announced an award from DARPA that aims to extend XBAW filter technology to 18 GHz.
Altum RF showcased its featured products and technical expertise in booth 3012. Company leaders were in the booth answering questions about specific products, future plans and their decades of experience designing and delivering RF, microwave and mmWave semiconductors. New products featured in the booth included ARF1009Q5, ARF1020Q5, ARF1208, ARF1207 and ARF1206.
Ampleon featured GaN and LDMOS PAs from its two business units, Mobile Broadband and Multi-Market. Ampleon’s product development strategy is agnostic: choose the process technology that best meets market needs. For macro base stations, particularly at frequencies above 3 GHz, GaN’s efficiency, bandwidth and high power density — which yield smaller size — is generally preferred. However, an LDMOS driver is often used because it provides easier linearization with DPD and yields a lower cost lineup. Also, LDMOS remains viable for the output stage in many cellular bands, such as sub-1 GHz. For mMIMO, Ampleon offers several solutions: discrete output and driver stages, PA modules integrating the driver and output stage and integrated modules adding the bias control circuitry. Although discrete solutions provide better performance, the trend is toward integrated modules because of the limited size available in mMIMO arrays with 32 and 64 elements. For small cells requiring output power above a couple watts, Ampleon favors integrated Doherty PAs using LDMOS because of its efficiency advantages over 5 V technologies such as GaAs HBT. A live demo of a base station transmitter was featured in the AMD-Xilinx booth, showing the performance of the AMD-Xilinx RFSoC and digital front-end married to an Ampleon base station PA using a GaN output stage and LDMOS driver.
AmpliTech presented its industry-leading low-noise amplifiers suite that provides the lowest noise, lowest power dissipating amplifiers in the industry to promote more reliable, scalable and performant communication systems to the greater industry. The event also marked AmpliTech’s first public appearance of its low-noise MMIC chip designs that incorporates AmpliTech’s performance in a more flexible form factor for wider use. AmpliTech was joined by its semiconductor packaging arm, Spectrum Semiconductor Materials. Specialty Microwave was also present.
Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) showcased its latest RF, microwave, and mmWave technologies for instrumentation and aerospace and defense applications, including their vector network analyzer, satcom Signal Chain, high speed wireless data interconnect, complete solution for mmWave 5G radio units, single pole double throw switch in SOI, mmWave 5G evolution, PLL and quadband VCO frequency synthesizer, synchronization of dual fractional PLL with integrated VCO, optimizing power solutions for RF signal chains, Silent Switcher µModule Regulator, X-Band hybrid beamforming radar system platform, phased array prototyping platform, agile RF SDR transceivers and instrumentation grade 5G mmWave signal chain. ADI also introduced an 800 MHz to 12.8 GHz synthesizer for high performance ultra-wideband data converter and synchronization applications, the new ADF4377.
Anokiwave released its Gen-4 multi-band Si IC family this year, including Si IC beamformer ICs as well as industry’s first single-chip dual channel IF up-/down-converter with fully integrated LO synthesizer. Antenna Innovator Kits with new Gen-4 ICs demonstrated to customers how to realize the best performance of their ICs; showing the power of the IC plus antenna level solution that Anokiwave offers to the market. Complimenting the mmWave 5G family is a full portfolio of satcom Ku- and K/Ka-Band beamformer ICS with a rich digital core that simplify active antenna designs. Anokiwave’s satcom portfolio enables a new world of ubiquitous global satcom connectivity with cost and performance improvements that make flat panel satcom arrays a commercial reality.
Antenom extended the block-based antenna design and training kits into microwave component design and training products, exhibiting the microwave training and design kits for the first time at IMS2022 at booth 4011. Anten’it antenna training and design kits have been in the market since 2019. The same concept is applied to microwave areas to reach the users in this field. The reusable blocks allow us to design, build, measure and iterate easily. Different from any other training kit, block-based design kits allow students to design their own antennas and microwave components during the time limited laboratory lectures.
APITech™ had early samples of the company’s new line of high-power SAW filters on display. 1 W and higher. APITech developed the new SAW filter technology using an advanced manufacturing process that will deliver the higher power, tighter bandwidths and expanded package options required by these systems.
Arralis announced their advanced K- and Ka-Band analogue bare die phase shifters are ready to order. Operating at 17 to 21 or 25 to 33 GHz, the phase shifters enable up to 350-degree and > 360-degree smooth phase variation across the band respectively. Arralis analogue phase shifters are an alternative to digital phase shifters where any required phase delay is achievable with the phase set by varying the control voltage in the range of -0.5 to 0.7 V. This smooth phase variation is vitally important for the development of beam steering antenna systems.
AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation recently announced that the Company has started construction of a new testing center at its global headquarters in Souderton, PA. In addition to showcasing AR’s equipment, chambers, software, and system solution design capabilities, the new facility will enable the Company to perform tests up to HIRF level field strengths and EMC standards testing such as MIL-STD-461, DO-160, ISO-11451-2, and IEC-61000-4-3. AR’s new testing center is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021. To accommodate large equipment and field strengths, the new facility will feature a 10-meter semi-anechoic chamber and a reverberation chamber. These capabilities will enable AR to conduct final acceptance tests in-house for customers, prior to shipment. Additionally, a built-in product showcase will demonstrate the performance and breadth of AR’s solutions.
Benchmark Electronics, Inc. provided visitors with the latest word on high performance RF/microwave filters and components, including Lark’s mmW-FH Series bandpass filters and customizable ceramic monoblock bandpass filters.
Cadence’s IMS sessions taught attendees how their complete RF/microwave design workflows address MMICs, RFICs and modules, IC packaging, PAs, RF PCBs and 5G and radar system development. Cadence and Dassault Systèmes recently announced a strategic partnership to provide enterprise customers in multiple vertical markets, including high tech, transportation and mobility, industrial equipment, aerospace and defense, and healthcare, with integrated, next-generation solutions for the development of high performance electronic systems. The two companies have combined Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform with the Cadence® Allegro® platform in a joint solution that enables companies to master the multidiscipline modeling, simulation and optimization of complex, connected electronic systems. With this new multidisciplinary solution, customers can now accelerate their end-to-end system development process while optimizing their design for performance, reliability, manufacturability, supply resilience, compliance and cost.
CML Microcircuits, formed in 1968 and based in the U.K., exhibited its SuRF (semiconductor microwave RF) line, introduced a year ago to expand the company’s portfolio above 1 GHz. Timed with IMS, two mmWave amplifiers targeting 5G applications at 28 GHz were introduced: 1) a medium power, high linearity, GaAs PHEMT PA delivering 0.3 W at 1 dB gain compression; and 2) an asymmetric Doherty PA designed using a 0.15 µm GaN process and delivering 3.5 W saturated output power. CML sees these 5G mmWave PAs, and accompanying LNAs and gain blocks, best for passive beamforming antenna arrays. Compared to active phased arrays using silicon beamforming RFICs, CML says the passive beamforming architecture has system-level power dissipation and cost advantages.
Copper Mountain Technologies unveiled its Multiport USB VNAs during IMS2022. SN5090 VNAs are a competitively priced, versatile multiport solution with excellent dynamic range and measurement speed available in 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, 14- and 16-port configurations. The SN5090 VNAs are an organic extension of the Compact VNA family. This enables the full complexity of VNA measurements, a streamlined calibration process and reduced test times. The SN5090 hardware can fit a 19” rack and utilizes robust, durable port connectors with ergonomic positioning for simplified cable connection. SN5090 features CMT's next-generation software that delivers an intuitive and contemporary user interface compatible with both Linux and Windows OS.
CPI TMD Technologies Division attended IMS2022, with a representative selection of its extensive range of microwave and RF products for defence, electronic warfare, radar and homeland security programmes. Their booth had two typical innovative microwave power modules (MPMs) on display, namely—the PTXM9754 and PTXM1000—that epitomize the company’s design and manufacturing capability. CPI BMD products were at booth 3041 and included Ka- and X-Band receivers, solid-state limiters, solid-state filter/limiter/attenuators, GaN based solid-state MPMs, and UAV/SAR and mini helix TWTs.
dB Control exhibited and shared new high power amplifiers, RF receivers/sources and RF and microwave components and integrated microwave assemblies at booth 5102. Among the new products were the Detector Logarithmic Video Amplifiers (DLVA) and Successive DLVAs, compact, environmentally sealed packages featuring limited RF output, excellent absolute accuracy and log linearity. Also on display were the RF PIN Diode switches and assemblies that are high-power, environmentally sealed broadband and narrowband products designed to ensure accurate test and measurement of multiple RF components used in radar systems, EW systems, ground-based communications systems and other applications.
dSPACE offers the high-precision digital DARTS 9030-M, which benefits from the expertise of dSPACE development partners ITS and mirosys. It offers 1.2 GHz of usable bandwidth and covers a frequency range from 75 GHz to 82 GHz. The precision of the device is demonstrated by the fact that the range increments of 6 cm are consistent throughout the simulation range from 5.5 m up to 1,000 m with a simulation accuracy of less than 1 mm. This applies in conjunction with a dynamic range >60 dB. The advantages of the digital concept are even more evident considering the multi-target simulation capability: Up to four fully independent targets can be simulated without compromising the signal quality. dSPACE is in the process of improving the DARTS 9030-M by means of software updates. These updates will fulfill requirements related to the fast switching of simulation distances. Stay tuned for more details in the near future.
Dongwoo Fine-Chem introduced its new antenna on display (AoD) technology, a transparent antenna designed to deliver the best possible 5G coverage for smartphones and communication infrastructure, at IMS2022. Dongwoo Fine-Chem’s AoD technology allows device manufacturers to install a transparent antenna on the display, which typically has the lowest possibility of users covering it with their hands, minimizing transmission interruptions and achieving stable mmWave 5G communication.
Empower RF provided a “virtual display” of its high power, solid-state amplifiers, which span from HF to X-Band. To Empower RF, high power means 180 kW pulsed at UHF and 90 kW pulsed at C-Band. Jon Jacocks, CEO, noted the difficulty demonstrating such products at an exhibition and invited IMS attendees to visit Empower RF’s facility in Inglewood, Calif. to see its high power amplifiers (HPA) demonstrated. The design team at Empower RF continues to enhance the capabilities of its HPAs beyond increasing frequency and raw power. For pulsed applications, Jacocks is proud the reliable operating duty cycle has been extended to 20 percent, compared to the industry norm of 10 percent. For communications applications, Empower RF has been contracted to develop a DPD module that will improve the spectral mask of a transmitter. Once the capability has been developed for this customer, it will be adapted for other Empower RF products.
Eravant was featuring their mmWave products up to 325 GHz. They have developed a rail system for their frequency extenders that ease alignment and speed up testing as the components can quickly be mated and tested. They now supply extenders that are compatible with Keysight, R&S, Anritsu and Copper Mountain measurement instruments. They also have developed the Uni-Guide system that automatically aligns components as they are fit together making attachment easy and accurate without damaging the flanges or devices.
ETS-Lindgren engineers presented in the Industry Workshops and MicroApps Seminars Technical Programs as well as supported ETS-Lindgren’s booth 8037. Customers got the opportunity to meet the expert speakers as well as see the latest products and services addressing 5G NR and EMC technologies.
Eureka Aerospace featured its flagship “Integrated Blumlein Antenna (IBA) Module” at IMS. The IBA integrates a multitude of modules that incorporate several Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches into a single module, and has a high (10s of GW) peak microwave power. The module acts as both a microwave source and a radiator, and is tunable within the 100 MHz to 1 GHz frequency range. No external antenna is needed. Depending on the operational requirements, the IBA module is scalable to any size.
Gel-Pak showcased its new Lid Clip Super System LCS2™, Polyurethane Device Carrier and Texturized Film JEDEC Carrier at booth 10070. The new lid/clip system prevents thin semiconductor die from migrating out of the pockets of waffle pack/chip trays during shipping and handling. Gel-Pak’s new Polyurethane Device Carriers look and function similar to the market-leading Gel-Box, Gel-Tray and Vacuum Release Tray products, but with an alternative elastomer technology. The proprietary polyurethane material is both static dissipative and non-silicone.
General Microwave Corporation offered catalog mmWave phase and amplitude control modules, which included IQ modulators, phase shifters, switches, attenuators, as well as custom integrated assemblies operating in the 18 to 50 GHz frequency range.
Glenair application engineers and product specialists were available to answer RF/microwave interconnect questions at booth 4104 during IMS. On display were high performance RF cable assemblies and components manufactured with their own low-density ePTFE taped coaxial cable.
GlobalFoundries (GF) briefed IMS attendees on its RF process capabilities and announcements from the recent GF Technology Summit, highlighting its GF Connex portfolio. GF has shifted from a process technology organization to one aligned with markets, where it combines the various process platforms to present solution sets for given applications, i.e., SOI, fully-depleted SOI (FDX), SiGe and FinFET. Fully-depleted SOI (22FDX) is the “hallmark” process and a focus for adding new features without forcing customers to move to a different node. Looking to 6G and applications requiring sub-THz RFICs, GF is developing a 45 nm SiGe on SOI process (45SG01). To support mmWave mMIMO systems, it is commercializing an 8-inch GaN on Si process, building it on IP licensed from Raytheon. It plans to ramp the GaN on Si process in 2024–2025. Despite supply chain issues hampering various industries, GF sees no reduction in demand for its technologies. Rather, because of the pervasive demand for connectivity throughout society, GF is adding capacity to support growth.
Guerrilla RF, Inc. announced it is now sampling the GRF5526 and GRF5536, the latest in a series of new ¼ W linear PAs being released by the company. These InGaP HBT amplifiers were designed specifically for 5G wireless infrastructure applications requiring exceptional native linearity over large 100 MHz bandwidths and temperature extremes of -40°C to 85°C. Also, the GRF6402, the first of a new family of 0.25 dB step digital step attenuators being developed by the company was on display.
Representatives from HASCO were available in booth 7005. Featured were some of its latest active and passive RF and microwave components, engaged in technical discussions related to their vast inventory of COTS parts and offered a raffle for either a set of SMA Littlebend ultra-flexible cables or a pair of ruggedized cables.
HYPERLABS had several new product releases timed for IMS. Following the 100 GHz balun announced at DesignCon in April, HYPERLABS just added a bias tee and DC block, both with frequency coverage to 110 GHz. Brian Doxey says the bias tee has the best flatness on the market, from 160 kHz to 110 GHz, and the flatness variation of the DC block is less than 2 dB. HYPERLABS also extended its surface-mount (SMT) product line with power dividers, bias tees and pick-off tees in 4 mm x 4 mm packages, achieving frequency coverage to 30 GHz, 10 GHz above the design goal. These components are assembled and tested at the company’s facility in Colorado, which ensures product quality and minimizes supply chain delays. HYPERLABS’ revenue grew through the pandemic, with 2020, 2021 and 2022 revenue setting records.
iCana is the product of Foxconn’s acquisition of arQana’s 5G business unit. Headquartered in Taiwan, iCana will operate as an independent company, a fabless supplier of semiconductor products for 5G. iCana’s product roadmap encompasses all the sub-6 GHz infrastructure components between the transceiver and antenna. Current products include differential gain amplifiers and a small cell PA with 4 W peak output power (28 dBm average), with 8 W (30 dBm average) and 20 W (35 dBm average) PAs to be released later this year. The 20 W design will shift from GaAs to GaN. For the receive signal chain, iCana offers a dual-channel front-end module containing an SOI SPDT switch followed by a two-stage GaAs LNA for each channel, with the net noise figure approximately 1.3 dB midband and 1.5–1.6 dB high band. During transmit, the switch supplements the circulator to protect the LNA and is capable of handling 12 W average or 200 W peak power. For 5G systems at mmWave, iCana is developing a beamforming RFIC, up/down-converter and synthesizer for 28 GHz, with the beamformer planned to release during the first quarter of 2023. iCana has chosen 28 nm CMOS for the beamformer and up-/down-converter RFICs, enabling digital processing to be added, such as converting the beamformer from analog to digital.
Indium Corporation promoted products developed to solve common issues facing companies that are producing technology for the RF/micro application sector—controlling thermal management of and maintaining strong solder joints in the hardware. Indium’s AuLTRA® ThInFORMS™ are premium 80Au/20Sn preforms for die-attach applications that improve thermal transfer and overall operational efficiency, as well as reduce voiding, solder volume and wicking up the die. Their off-eutectic alloys, AuLTRA75 (75Au/25Sn), AuLTRA78 (78Au/22Sn) and AuLTRA79 (79Au/21Sn) work in conjunction with thick gold plating on GaN dies to ensure strong solder joints.
Integra announced it has begun production shipments to US and European customers of its groundbreaking 100 V RF GaN technology. Integra also announced expansion of their 100 V RF GaN product portfolio with the introduction of 7 new products for avionics, directed energy, electronic warfare, radar, and scientific market segments with power levels up to 5 kW in a single transistor. These products incorporate Integra’s 100 V RF GaN technology optimized to deliver the highest power and efficiency in a single transistor while maintaining reliable operating junction temperatures. Combined with Integra’s thermally enhanced patents and transistor design expertise, these products offer reliable operation with a MTTF of 10 million hours.
Isola offered visitors to their exhibition booth the latest news and views on their advanced circuit materials and how to apply those circuit materials to achieve the best results in applications extending across aerospace, commercial, defense, industrial, medical and space markets. Isola’s circuit materials support the current industry trends in higher frequency operation and miniaturization, but they do so while paying close attention to manufacturing requirements, with materials that can be transformed into PCBs using the same processes used for many popular circuit materials, such as mid-and high-Tg FR-4 materials.
Junkosha showcased the core qualities of its new MWX7 Series in environments where significant temperature gradients are experienced across cable assemblies. These assemblies provide phase stability in multipurpose applications delivering reliable electrical performance, especially in phase and amplitude stability against temperature, to support repeatable measurement results across applications like phased array radars, 5G antennas and automatic test environments.
JQL Technologies highlighted their products on the show floor, including isolators and circulators RF filters, coaxial, drop-in, microstrip, waveguides, cavity filters, discrete filters, ceramic filters, waveguide filters, ceramic waveguide filters, diplexers and multiplexers.
The Keysight Technologies team was available on the show floor on June 22 with a 30-minute interactive journey of each demo station. Keysight's experts explored the peaks of microwave engineering through the demonstrations, technical paper presentations, workshops and tutorials. Among the many demos, Keysight exhibited a wideband mmWave active device characterization solution including the N5247B PNA-X Microwave Network Analyzer, M9484C VXG Vector Signal Generator and a proprietary direct digital synthesizer, plus a modulation distortion application. They had the following demos:
Wideband Active Component Test:
Keysight will demonstrate a wideband mmWave active device characterization solution including the N5247B PNA-X Microwave Network Analyzer, M9484C VXG Vector Signal Generator, and a proprietary direct digital synthesizer (DDS), plus a modulation distortion application. This solution simplifies complex measurement setups with a single connection between a network analyzer and a signal generator. It improves time and accuracy for a wide range of active device measurements by providing the lowest residual error vector magnitude (EVM).
5G mmWave Design:
5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) applications integrate numerous technologies and use complex digital modulation schemes to push the limits of packaging assemblies for electromagnetic (EM) and circuit simulations. Keysight's PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) software enables 3D layout and assembly for multi-technology radio frequency (RF) modules, including RF integrated circuits (RFIC), monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC), wafer-level packaging and printed circuit boards (PCBs).
Field Signal Analysis:
Instrument size, weight and capabilities are key factors for increasing field technician efficiency. Keysight's N9953B FieldFox Handheld Microwave Analyzer is a light and powerful field test solution that improves the quality of the network and beam performance as users transition to 5G and 6G. Field technicians can display key metrics from multiple base stations to identify frequency drifting, isolate power issues and investigate performance problems.
Research and Development Testbed Solutions:
The 5G demonstration includes Keysight's M9484C VXG Vector Signal Generator, N9042B UXA Signal Analyzer, and RCal module to showcase leading error vector magnitude (EVM) and adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) performance in FR1/FR2 with single and multi-component carrier configurations. The 6G demonstration features a Nokia Bell Lab's D-band radio-on-glass transceiver with an active phased array antenna module which highlights Keysight's 6G testbed's ability to enable wide-bandwidth measurements and explore ultra-high data throughput scenarios.
RF System Digital Twin:
Keysight's PathWave System Design enables RF modelling excellence and accelerates digital mission engineering workflow. The solution's phased array beamforming simulation and analysis capabilities cover all non-ideal effects across channels and between amplifiers and antennas.
RF/Digital Cross-Domain Test:
Keysight's solution reduces weeks of in-house measurement and data analysis efforts to minutes, by making single measurements using hundreds of frequency points. The digital transmit/receive module (TRM) test methodology enables users to characterize the full RF path and produces metrology-grade RF/digital cross-domain measurements traceable to national standards.
Knowles' acquisition of IMC helps expand their offering to serve applications operating in the lower portion of the frequency range from VHF to L-Band. They highlighted many new products including high Q bandpass filters at S-Band, SMT quadrature hybrid couplers at C- to K-Band, 2-18 GHz highpass and bandpass filters, SMT cavity filters at C-Band, 8-50 GHz Wildinson power divider and V80 SLC.
KREEMO and Sivers Semiconductors jointly announced that they have successfully demonstrated data communication between transparent antenna-on-display devices based on SUMMIT2629, a 28 GHz beamforming chip and stackable patch antenna devices. The products jointly developed and supplied by KREEMO and Sivers Semiconductors are the transparent antenna-on-display module, the 1x4 stackable patch antenna module with a 360-degree beam coverage, a 4 x 4 AiP module (scheduled in '22.4Q), a 4 x 4 stackable patch antenna module with a 360-degree coverage (scheduled in '23. 2Q) and the antenna development kit 360° (ADK360°).
MACOM Technology Solutions Inc’s booth featured new product demonstrations optimized for telecom, satcom, aerospace and defense, test and measurement and industrial applications. Among these included RF/microwave amplifiers, switches and BAW filters. MACOM also hosted 10 live demonstrations during IMS. They also announced that they expanded their PA product portfolio with the MAPC-A1605 7.0 kilowatt PA. This product is ideal for high-power and high voltage aerospace and defense applications, including radar and electronic warfare systems. MACOM’s MAPC-A1605 can operate between 960 MHz and 1215 MHz and it currently represents MACOM’s highest power level RF amplifier component product.
Marki Microwave introduced a family of broad bandwidth mmWave mixers, offered in die form or in the company’s innovative M-package design, which allows for DC to 100 GHz+ operation for any two, three or four port MMIC device. The unique packaging approach delivers optimized performance and makes the mixers a mechanically reliable solution. The MM1-30100L, MMIQ-40100L and MMIQ-40100H are available in bare die or a connectorized M-package, while the MM1-35130H is currently offered in die form only. They also entered the RF SOI market with the release of the MSW2-1001ELGA. Featuring wide bandwidth support currently up to 40 GHz, the SPDT switch marks the first product in Marki Microwave’s upcoming series of RF SOI switches. Finally, Marki introduced the BAL-0032SSG, a surface mount broadband balun, hand-tuned for optimal phase and amplitude balance over an industry leading 10 MHz to 32 GHz.
Marvin Test Solutions featured their 5G mmWave production test system, the TS-900e-5G, which has been designed for speed. Supporting measurements to 44 GHz, the system uses Keysight’s PXI VNA cards and the same measurement science as Keysight’s PNA-X VNAs, used by many companies during development. Using common VNAs helps ensure measurement correlation between development and production. The open architecture design of the TS-900e-5G system supports up to 20 independent VNA channels, enabling test capacity to be added without introducing additional measurement uncertainty.
Menlo Microsystems, Inc. showcased their Ideal Switch products, technologies and RF switching solutions at IMS. At the booth, Menlo Micro was demonstrating their MM5600 DPDT switch module,5G C-Band beam steering antenna, reconfigurable and tunable RF filters and demonstrated multiple designs for high-power tunable and switched filter banks.
Mercury Systems announced a new family of low-power, ultra-compact tuner modules purpose-built to support customers’ spectrum processing applications such as signals intelligence (SIGINT), direction finding (DF) and test and measurement. The high-performance design and compact size of the new AM9018 and AM9030 modules brings faster broadband RF processing to mission-critical operations in harsh environments, where space is at a premium such as in small ISR drones and man-portable SIGINT systems.
MilliBox had five separate live demonstration on the show floor at IMS. At booth 7107, attendees got to see the new GIM05 mmWave and THz phased array antenna positioner and the MBX33—a 2 m far-field mmWave anechoic chamber—with GIM04-300x—a member of the modular mmWave and THz phased array antenna positioner. The GIM05 mmWave and THz mmWave spherical roll and polarization controller positioner in its MBX02 benchtop 4 ft anechoic chamber using Anritsu’s ShockLine™ ME7868A distributed modular two-port vector network analyzer (VNA) was also demonstrated. Other booths displayed MilliBox products as well. pSemi demonstrated its new design using a custom modified MilliBox MBX02 with MilliBox GIM03 positioner, NI showed its integration of a MilliBox controller in its mmWave OTA tool suite and Copper Mountain Technologies showed MilliBox integration of its USB VNAs control.
Millimeter Wave Products Inc. (Mi-Wave) is an award winning company and worldwide leader in microwave and millimeter wave products for commercial and military applications. Located in St Petersburg, Fl. MI-WAVE is a privately owned company that provides the microwave and millimeter wave industry with products, components and custom services. Mi-wave is recognized as a Top 10 Manufacturing Solutions Provider. Mi-Wave Inc’s history incorporates the fundamental engineering and product lines of Alpha Industries Inc. / TRG Division, Northeast Microwave Systems and Millimeter Products Inc. / Center Technologies Div. along with new designs in both passive and active components and systems engineering. They were displaying a wide range of products at the event.
Mini-Circuits' eVNA-63+ is a high performance, software-controlled vector network analyzer. By moving the complex data processing and calculation required of vector network measurements out of the instrument and into an advanced software package, Mini-Circuits is able to offer a fully-featured but cost effective VNA for every test bench. The product ships with Mini-Circuits’ eVNA View software, providing a powerful user interface which will feel familiar to any engineer with experience of VNA measurements. eVNA View also includes a full API with SCPI support, allowing automation of VNA calibrations, measurements, trace displays and data exports from a custom control program. While Mini-Circuits has a huge product selection, this is a new area for them.
Modelithics was present at booth #7010, with presentations on their unique premium models as well as their characterization and modeling services including GaN and 3D modeling. Modelithics also held presentations in the Cadence Design Systems and Ansys booths.
Naprotek, LLC was in booth 12030 at IMS. Naprotek has grown to offer RF products and expanded services as a result of recent acquisitions of SemiGen and NexLogic. The company’s new platform for growth is designed to strategically support customer roadmaps. As a core building block, the RF product lines include a mix of commercial-off-the-shelf components, complimented with a series of derivative, and custom parts. The manufacturing elements include both RF/microwave assembly (MicroE) and surface mount technologies for modules, PCBA’s, sub-assemblies and box build integration.
NI’s cross-correlation Technology was available as a hands-on demo at IMS at booth 5020. The fast convergence cross-correlation measurement technique provides best-in-class error vector magnitude (EVM) performance with Wireless LAN (WLAN) signals. The new technique utilizes patented technology that allows engineers to improve both the accuracy and measurement speed of critical EVM measurements. This new technique allows WLAN device manufacturers to guarantee spec compliance and state-of-the-art performance while accelerating time to market.
NIC’s space-qualified products were on display at IMS, including capacitors screened per MIL-PRF-123, crystals screened per MIL-PRF-3098, inductors screened per MIL-PRF-38534 and in-house environmental screening per MIL-STD-202 and MIL-STD-883.
Founded in 2018, fabless semiconductor supplier Nxbeam designs and supplies GaN and InP MMICs for wireless infrastructure networks operating at mmWave frequencies. At IMS, Nxbeam showed preliminary performance results for a 2 W GaN PA for Q-Band, envisioned for point-to-point radio or as a driver amplifier for satellite applications. Devices will sample later this summer. The company is also developing an E-Band PA MMIC, which is currently in fab. Both products will extend the company’s catalog of PAs, which currently cover bands from 12 to 31 GHz.
Otava demonstrated three new tunable filter RFICs, covering from 2 to 40 GHz. Each is a five pole filter, and the poles can be individually tuned to optimize some aspect of the performance — insertion loss or 3 dB bandwidth, for example. Among the many applications, they can improve the performance of wideband phased arrays by protecting the RF signal chain from interfering signals. This application was described in a June 2022 Microwave Journal article, SOI RFIC Tunable Filters Improve Phased Array System Performance. Otava also highlighted its 24 to 40 GHz beamformer RFIC, developed to support multiple 5G and DoD bands with a single beamformer and featured at last year’s IMS in Atlanta. Otava is developing additional RFICs to fill out the mmWave radio block diagram and intends to offer a complete system solution.
Pasternack showcased its new lines of innovative products including: waveguide rotary joints, waveguide pressure windows, waveguide frequency multipliers, temperature compensated amplifiers, waveguide failsafe electromechanical relay switches, low-PIM 5G indoor and outdoor antennas, waveguide gain horn antennas, 1.85 mm connectors and adapters and NMD and low-PIM connectors and more.
PCB Power Market’s team presented at booth 11014 provide customers with complete knowledge of all displayed RF and microwave PCBs including the latest RF and microwave PCBs with tight impedance tolerance and high signal-to-noise ratio, optimal quality material that withstands high-powered thermal, chemical and electrical frequencies, Industry 4.0 compliance and user-specified customizations.
Pickering Interfaces has improved its 4x-785C range of SP4T & SP6T microwave multiplexers with the addition of 67 GHz terminated SP4T / SP6T modules to support the latest requirements of the 5G and semiconductor test sectors. The 40-785C (PXI) and 42-785C (PXIe) modules feature internal relay terminations that can improve signal integrity. Devices feature panel and remote mount options that enable users to locate the switches at the most convenient location for their application; remote mount options occupy a single chassis slot but can control up to three switches, saving space.
pSemi® Corporation exhibited at booth 7078 with a live demo of their 5G mmWave module and ICs. On display were the Complete 5G mmWave Portfolio (antenna-integrated modules, beamforming front-ends, up/down-converters, digital step attenuators, switches) and the Complete 5G Sub-6 GHz Portfolio (high linearity SP4T, high isolation SP4T, receiver protection SPDT and digital step attenuators).
Qorvo had a lot to offer at this year's IMS. On display were the ACT41000-104- REF1, a GaN power amplifier (PA) biasing reference design that enhances the design and testing of Qorvo’s GaN PAs; the QPA2935 2 W S-Band MMIC PA; the QPA0506 is a 4 W C-Band MMIC PA and the QPA3908 and QPA3810 GaN 8 W PAMs. Qorvo also annouced, with MaxLinear, the combination of MaxLIN Linearization Technology and Qorvo’s GaN high efficiency PA, QPD0011J Doherty PA driven by QPD0006.
Quantic™ Electronics had representatives from Quantic and their businesses Quantic TRM, Quantic Corry, Quantic PMI, Quantic Ohmega, Quantic Ticer, Quantic Evans, Quantic Paktron, Quantic UTC, Quantic Eulex, Quantic Wenzel and Quantic X-Microwave at the Quantic Pavilion, booths #8076-9081. Highlights at IMS included: low-noise crystal oscillators (including an OpenVPX SOSA/CMOSS compliant oscillator platform and a high-reliability bootstrap oscillator demonstration), hybrid MIC/MMIC components, power dense hybrid capacitors, MLP film capacitors, ceramic capacitors, thin film resistors and more.
Quantic PMI was featuring their PRX-20-1G18G-850M-Sff-V2 Channelized Receiver with an RF input of 1 to 18 GHz and 20 outputs allowing simultaneous signals of 850 MHz in a 1 to 4.4 GHz IF band to be output for digitization. They also had a broadband LNA that operates to 50 GH with low noise figure (about 2.5 dB below 18 GHz and 3 dB above that). Another featured product was high power limiters to 62 GHz. The line features input powers to 200 W CW and 2 kW peak.
Rapidtek Technologies Inc. participated in IMS2022 at booth 4095, showing the next-generation test solution with strategic partner Amarisoft. The test solution is using Rapidtek's UDC Modules and accessories with AMARI Callbox. It can provide the customers with instant and cost-effective test methodology in the next generation of seamlessly connected life with different requirements of bands.
RF Lambda is a leader of RF Broadband solutions and offers a broad range of high-end RF Components, Modules, and Systems – from RF Solid State Power Amplifiers and Low Noise Amplifiers, to RF Switches, Phase Shifters, and Attenuators. With microprocessor and FPGA capacity, their products are widely used for high power radar stations, phased array systems, and broadband jamming systems. They offer customized designs and support a variety of applications, including wireless infrastructure, RF testing equipment, military defense, and aerospace.
RFMW recently acquired Spantech Technology Solutions S.L.U. Spantech represents industry-leading manufacturers of RF, microwave, mmWave components and satellite communication equipment in Spain and Portugal. The agreement fortifies RFMW’s international presence and enhances their prominent position as a global and technically competent sales and marketing organization. RFMW recently announced design and sales support for a high-efficiency amplifier from Qorvo. The QPA9909 is a high efficiency, linearizable power amplifier targeting 758 to 798 MHz small-cell wireless infrastructure systems. The product delivers high efficiency of 37.7 percent at +29 dBm average output power, while providing excellent DPD linearized ACPR of -52 dBc for signal bandwidths of up to 40 MHz. The QPA9909 is housed in a 5 x 5 mm SMT package. It is pin-to-pin compatible to QPA9901, QPA9903, QPA9907, QPA9908, QAP9940 and QPA9942. RFMW is now supporting design and sales for XMA Corp’s 8582-6150-xx series of 2.4 mm, 50 GHz attenuators. The XMA coaxial attenuators are available in standard dB values of 3, 6, 10, 20 and 30 dB and handle up to 1 W of power. Low VSWR provides high performance with minimal additional through path insertion loss. RFMW and Smiths Interconnect recently announced the TSX series of fixed chip attenuators offer broadband performance to 50 GHz in a small 0604 surface-mount package, with 1 to 3 W CW power handling. The TSX series offers attenuation values from 1 through 10 dB in 1 dB steps, as well as 15 and 20 dB. Accuracy is specified as ±0.5 dB through 40 GHz, ±0.5 dB to 50 GHz for the 1 through 10 dB attenuators and ±3.0 dB between 40 and 50 GHz for the 15 and 20 dB attenuators. VSWR is a maximum of 1.2:1 through 40 GHz and 1.25:1 between 40 and 50 GHz.
Richardson Electronics – Power & Microwave Technologies was at booth 3006 where attendees met with representatives as well as viewed the latest products from their partners.
Richardson RFPD announced the availability and full design support capabilities for a new UltraCMOS® SPDT RF switch from pSemi Corporation. The PE42726 is a HaRP™ technology-enhanced reflective SPDT RF switch designed for use in cable applications, including DOCSIS 3.0/1 cable modem, set-top box and residential gateway. It delivers high linearity, excellent harmonics performance and high surge immunity in the 5–1794 MHz band. It also features low insertion loss and high isolation performance, making the PE42726 ideal for DOCSIS 3.1 applications.
Rogers Corporation showcased its most recently released products in booth #2030, Radix™ 3D Printable Dielectrics and RO4835IND™ LoPro® Laminates. Radix 3D Printable Dielectric is a proprietary composite material designed for Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing, enabling a scalable, high-resolution printing process for end-use RF dielectric component manufacturing. RO4835IND LoPro thermoset laminates are specially designed for 60 to 81 GHz short-range industrial radar applications, where excellent electrical performance and cost-efficiency are equally important. These laminates also provide environmental reliability and interconnection stability, which are critical criteria for PCB material selection. The company also featured their RO3003G2 circuit materials that are a high frequency ceramic-filled PTFE laminate (an extension of the RO30003 series) for mmWave automotive radar applications. It has a Dk of 3.00 @ 10 GHz and 3.07 at 77 GHz with a low insertion loss of 1.3 dB/in for 5 mil laminates.
Rohde & Schwarz highlighted its latest solution for optimizing Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) capabilities, based on the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator (VSG), which now covers up to 67 GHz, and the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer. Accurately measuring EVM has become a key specification for both the device-under-test and the test instrumentation, as it encapsulates many critical test parameters. The R&S FSW has been the leading instrument for high-end measurements requiring extreme precision. Its new front end continues the path of innovation with unrivalled EVM measurement accuracy for wideband modulated signals in the mmWave range. This makes the solution ideal for testing any high-end communication component or systems, including 5G NR FR2 or IEEE 802.11ay / ad chipsets, amplifiers, user equipment and base stations. The R&S FSW is complemented by the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator. When it comes to creating complex digitally modulated signals, 44 GHz has been the limit for high-accuracy standalone vector signal generators. Higher frequencies have only been possible with additional external equipment and limitations in accuracy. Now, the R&S SMW200A from Rohde & Schwarz dramatically raises the limits for generating wide bandwidth signals of high quality with two new options for maximum frequencies. The 100 kHz to 56 GHz option covers all currently used 5G frequencies, plus earth-to-satellite applications. The 100 kHz to 67 GHz option also supports planned higher frequency 5G bands, the 60 GHz WiGig band, and inter satellite links. In another highlighted demo, Rohde & Schwarz will present an R&S ZNA vector network analyzer (VNA) used for 6G D-band system and component characterization. Key industry players have identified the D-Band, ranging from 110 GHz to 170 GHz, as a candidate frequency band for 6G mobile communications, as well as for future automotive radar applications. Additionally, show attendees will be able to experience up close the R&S ATS1800C CATR based 5G NR mmWave Over-The-Air (OTA) test chamber, which provides the ideal environment for testing 5G FR2 antennas, modules and devices from R&D to conformance. When equipped with the two side chamber extensions, a unique 3D quiet zone is formed, with which the test solution even supports on a very small footprint RRM measurements including multiple angles of arrival (AoA).
Samtec demonstrated a flexible waveguide that is being developed in conjunction with Vubiq Networks. It’s based on the company’s standard coextruded twinax cable but without center conductors, which leaves a dielectric inside a metal shield. Special connectors are required to launch the signal into the waveguide. The advantages of flexible waveguide are 1) easier to route than waveguide with 2) lower insertion loss than a coaxial cable. Samtec is finalizing the materials and manufacturing process to optimize insertion loss, cable flexibility and reliability and plans initial product release by the end of the year. Designs for V- and E-Band have been demonstrated, with plans to extend coverage to D-Band and, possibly, lower frequencies.
SignalCore showcased their high-performing RF signal sources, up-converters and down-converters. Featured were the new 40 GHz RF signal source and 20 to 40 GHz RF down-converter. Additionally, they exhibited their growing nanoCircuits® platform with the introduction of three new synthesizers as part of their SMT nanoSynth® family such as their SC802A, with a tuning range from 1.25 to 20 GHz.
The big news from Signal Hound at IMS was Bruce Devine selling his business to Harrison Osbourn. Osbourn started an investment group to acquire and operate small- to medium-size businesses in the Pacific Northwest, and Signal Hound fit the criteria. He and Devine were simpatico, both having military intelligence backgrounds and similar values, and the proposed deal was attractive to Devine. He was looking for a buyer who would keep the business intact, rather than cutting it up or flipping it. Osborne plans to focus on strategy, operations and finance, and new president Tom Lane brings an engineering background and has relationships with Signal Hound’s customer community. Devine retains a minority interest in Signal Hound and will remain involved as an advisor. Osborne said he is committed to continuing Signal Hound’s product roadmap and the R&D pipeline defined by Devine and maintaining Signal Hound’s reputation for quality and value. At IMS, Signal Hound announced two anticipated products are available to order: 1) The BB60D spectrum analyzer upgrades the popular BB60C with an integrated preselector covering 130 MHz to 6 GHz, 10 dB greater dynamic range and 10 dB better phase noise at 100 Hz to 10 kHz offsets. 2) The SM435B spectrum analyzer and real-time monitoring receiver provides coverage to 43.5 GHz and 5 kHz to 40 MHz of selectable I/Q streaming bandwidth.
Sivers Semiconductors and recently acquired MixComm demonstrated several of their combined products. A 96-element, dual-polarized, 28 GHz array using 24 SUMMIT beamforming RFICs was receiving a 64-QAM signal occupying 100 MHz bandwidth at 27 GHz, demonstrating a system for 5G infrastructure. Illustrating a solution for customer equipment, a second demo had a complete front-end RFIC comprising 16-channel, dual-polarized beamforming integrated with up- and down-conversion and frequency synthesis. The front-end was receiving a 256-QAM signal occupying 400 MHz bandwidth at 26.3 GHz. A third demo was a 60 GHz chipset, with 16 transmit and 16 receive channels, used in a 200 m link carrying a livestream video from the KREEMO booth. Sivers’ 60 GHz RFICs are being used in several fixed wireless access deployments.
Skyworks showcased two new 5G small cell RF front-end (RFFE) reference design boards and the company’s SKY66520-11 and SKY66523-11 PAs were on display at the event . Designed to operate with leading transceiver ICs from Analog Devices (ADI) and AMD, these new RFFE reference designs from Skyworks allow 5G equipment manufacturers to accelerate time to market for their small cell solutions. The ADI compliant 4T4R and the AMD compliant 8T8R 5G small cell reference designs showcase the SKY66520-11 and SKY66523-11 PAs from Skyworks. Using these partner platforms from ADI and AMD, Skyworks’ ACLR complaint PAs demonstrate a greater than 200 MHz IBW signal. The performance of the reference boards and PAs from Skyworks offer mobile network operators and wireless service providers an increase in 5G radio bandwidth that is essential for next-generation deployments.
Smiths Interconnect announced the launch of its Planar X Series of thin film bandpass filters designed for applications in harsh environments. Planar X Series provides system engineers with a high performance, compact solution for critical RF filtering in X-, Ku- and Ka-Bands. The new Planar X Series leverages thin film process technology on various substrates which are designed for mission critical applications. The small footprint, light weight and surface mountable configuration allow for high-volume pick and place applications and are ideal for radar, satcom and satellite industries.
Southwest Microwave, Inc. had their new SSBB Multi-Pin Board-to-Board Connector on display. Designed to resolve design challenges related to misalignment, number of engagements, insertion loss, VSWR and even board damage, the connector is freely configurable to meet PCB requirements and is available in surface- or edge-mount configurations.
StratEdge Corporation displayed its thermally-efficient line of post-fired and molded ceramic semiconductor packages in booth 4089 at IMS. StratEdge packages operate from DC to 63+ GHz and dissipate heat from compound semiconductor devices such as GaN, GaAs and SiC. These packages enable compound semiconductor devices to meet the critical requirements of markets such as telecom, mixed signal, VSAT, broadband wireless, satellite, military, test and measurement, automotive and down-hole.
Tagore Technology is a fabless semiconductor company founded in 2011 to provide GaN on Si RF and power electronics components. At IMS, it exhibited the RFIC portfolio, including GaN RF switches, GaN PAs and GaN and GaAs LNAs. Tagore’s second-generation switch designs cover the sub-6 GHz bands and offer lower insertion loss and higher power handling: 10, 20, 50 and 100 W in two- and four-throw options. GaN switches are driven with 5 V and draw only microamps current, significant advantages compared to PIN diode switches. Complementing the switch products, Tagore has designed several broadband PAs for portable land mobile and military radios, where a single GaN device can cover 30 MHz to 2.7 GHz. Because of the bandwidth, the PAs are attractive replacements for LDMOS amplifiers. While GaN can be used for LNAs, the 1.2 to 1.5 dB noise figure is not competitive with what can be achieved with GaAs PHEMT designs. So Tagore has developed several GaAs LNAs with typical noise figure of 0.4 dB for applications to 6 GHz.
Taitien released a miniature ultra-low power /low g-sensitivity OCXO, NH-7500 Series, in a small 15 x 15 mm footprint the NH7500 offers ultra-low g-sensitivity of 0.3 ppb/g and ultra-low power requiring only 95 mW of power at 25°C for a wide -40 to +85°C temperature range. Available from 10 MHz to 40 MHz the NH-7500 is ideal for battery-powered applications such as portable test equipment, mobile communication systems and emergency rescue devices. With fast warm-up and excellent long-term aging, the phase noise is < -130 dBc at 100 Hz and < -155 dBc at the floor.
Tecdia rolled out its new Dielectric Varactor made with a unique tunable dielectric. Ideal for phase shifters, VCO’s, beamforming and tunable matching networks with high linearity requirements. The device maintains a low ESR, even up at mmWave frequencies. These varactors maintain micro-second level switching speed and are SMT compatible. Tecdia is working with Modelithics to develop models for Tecdia’s new dielectric varactors with part numbers HBC2R2KY20X10X5A02 and HBCR22KY20X10X5A02, they will be available on the Modelithics webpage in July.
Teledyne had many groups represented at the event. Teledyne e2v was featuring their high performance solutions for harsh environment applications including data converters up toe Ka-Band, radiation tolerant memories and ultra compact processing modules. They also announced the availability of a low phase noise 13.9 GHz, deltasigma modulated fractional-N connectorized frequency synthesizer module for low earth orbit (LEO) space and other demanding applications. The TDFFS014 is a ready-to-use package equipped with SMA connectors, allowing engineers to quickly prototype designs without the need for evaluation boards.
The RF strategy being pursued by Texas Instruments (TI) can be summarized as the digitization of RF. As an opening bid, a wide bandwidth, multi-channel transceiver integrates four transmitter (Tx), four receiver (Rx) and two sampling paths handling RF frequencies from 600 MHz to 12 GHz. At IMS, TI demonstrated the spectral purity of this transceiver, the AFE7950. Transmit processing supports 1.2 GHz signal bandwidth with four Tx or 2.4 GHz with two Tx channels. The maximum receive signal bandwidth is 1.2 GHz without the feedback channel or 600 MHz with it. Just prior to IMS, TI raised its bid with a new analog-to-digital converter (ADC), the ADC32RF54, a 14-bit, dual-channel, 2.6 GSPS ADC developed for phased array radar, EW, software-defined radio and test and measurement systems. TI’s design uses a non-interleaved ADC architecture with four ADC cores per channel. Averaging the four signals reduces the noise floor, improving the dynamic range. To drive the ADC, TI offers high frequency differential amplifiers which convert a single-ended input from the RF front-end to the differential signal required by the ADC.
TMY Technology Inc. (TMYTEK) launched its Antenna-in-Package (AiP) solutions for 5G mobile and SATCOM applications, as well as started the demonstration of beamformers, frequency converters and developer kits at IMS 2022. TMYTEK brings up the one-stop-shop mmWave design-manufacturing-testing solutions partnering with DuPont worldwide. TMYTEK AiP 5G mobile solution is ready for antenna design, verification and manufacturing based on 5G mmWave O-RAN RU, n257, n258 and n261. It's an 8x8 tile-based, dual-polarization phased array antenna. The up and down converter is integrated with the dual-mode operation: IF mode (2-8 GHz) and IQ mode (baseband, low PHY, DC -1.5 GHz). The highest EIRP and linearity come with 64 dBm (single pol.) @P1dB and 57 dBm (single pol.) @3% EVM of 800 MHz 64-QAM OFDM.
Transline is used for PCB production of the most challenging designs. They have noticed an increase in the demand for spiral antenna and have produced some of the largest PCB spiral antennas ever made which they display in their booth each year. They do flex, rigid-flex, circuit boards, sculptured flex and extended length board production.
Vaunix announced the release of a new, portable 0.1 to 40 GHz Lab Brick™ programmable digital attenuator for broadband RF and microwave test and measurement applications. Model LDA-403 is a high-resolution digital attenuator that features a 31.5 dB attenuation range and 0.5 dB step size. It is ideal for use in creating highly refined automated test equipment stands for Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6E, 4G, 5G, LTE, DVB, microwave radio fading simulators and for engineering/production test labs. Also announced was the the new BLX-403 Lab Brick TM portable and programmable signal generator for RF and microwave test and measurement applications up to 40 GHz. This broadband signal generator offers a frequency of operation from 0.5 to 40 GHz. It is ideal for test and measurement teams who need a flexible signal generator for their varied L-, S-, C-, X-, Ku-, K- and Ka-Band applications.
VDI was featuring their Noise Sources that offer high Excessive Noise Ratio performance across full waveguide bands up to 300 GHz. VDI Noise Sources include waveguide isolators to improve the match between the noise sources and the DUT and are configured with a +28V voltage bias port, compatible with many spectrum analyzers or noise figure analyzers. Additional noise sources are under development. VDI Noise Sources can be used to measure the noise figure of amplifiers with a spectrum analyzer with the Noise Figure Measurement software, VDI down-converter, and an external LO signal generator. They also were showing off 6G test system capabilities by using VDI Spectrum Analyzer Extension modules that provide high performance broadband down-conversion and frequency extension of microwave spectrum analyzers into the THz range. These modules offer full waveguide band coverage and are available from WR28 (26 to 40 GHz) to WR1.0 (750 to 1100 GHz) with additional bands under development.
WIN Semiconductors Corp. showcased its compound semiconductor RF and mmWave solutions in booth 6080, including its latest generation 0.1 µm pHEMT technology, PP10-20. Building on the mature and production proven PP10 platform, this second-generation technology provides a substantial increase in transistor gain and improves ƒt/ƒmax to 160 GHz and 240 GHz respectively. These improvements have been achieved while maintaining reliable 4 V operation necessary for backhaul power amplifiers and high linearity receivers operating from W-Band though D-Band. WIN also expanded its portfolio of RF GaN technologies with the release of a new GaN on SiC 0.12 μm-gate technology. The NP12-01 mmWave compound semiconductor technology provides increased gain and improved transistor stability factor. The NP12-01 technology is ideal for the high-power amplifiers used in 5G mmWave radio access networks, satellite communications and radar systems.
Wireless Telecom Group (WTG) goes all out with educational demos. The were featuring Holzworth low phase noise systhesizers and real-time phase noise analyzers, Holzworth mulit-channel RF synthesizers and Booton true-average connected RF power sensors, Noisecom UFX7000B programmable AWGN generator and Booton RF power measurement instrumentation and Boonton SGX1000 fast switching RF signal generator demos. The Boonton SGX1000 series utilizes a proprietar blend of direct digital and direct analog synthesis that enables low phase noise, such as -122 dBc/Hz at 3 GHz and 10 kHz offset and switching speed of 350 micro sec.
W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. exhibited in booth 8067, displaying how GORE® Microwave/RF Test Assemblies are a perfect fit for mmWave and higher frequency applications now and in the future. Attendees got to see Gore’s assemblies’ high flexibility and electrical stability over thousands of flex cycles and how you get accurate, repeatable measurements.
Wolfspeed exhibited its portfolio of GaN devices for both 5G and defense markets. For base station PAs, GaN is Wolfspeed’s preferred technology, although it continues to support the LDMOS products it acquired from Infineon — still getting some LDMOS design wins. However, GaN has the advantage of wider bandwidth and continues to take share from LDMOS. Wolfspeed tailored its second generation GaN to improve performance, enabling wider instantaneous bandwidth (200 to 300 MHz) and reduced trapping to improve linearity with DPD. For mMIMO systems, Wolfspeed offers both discrete devices and integrated modules. At IMS, the company demonstrated a GaN transistor that supports all the cellular bands below 1 GHz. Although different Doherty network designs are required, this single transistor can be used for all the bands, giving GaN an edge over LDMOS. For the defense market, Wolfspeed sees attractive opportunities in radar, EW and military communications, with the strongest demand for radar systems. To better support the defense market, Wolfspeed is introducing pallets — integrating the power transistor with the matching circuitry on a single circuit board — and demonstrated an S-Band radar pallet at IMS.