Filtronic launched two new product ranges — Taurus and Hades X2. Hades X2 is a next-generation active diplexer with increased performance with a typical PSAT of 30 dBm and dual high-power amplifiers. It also boasts 2 x GaAs MMICs that are performance-matched and power combined in waveguide to deliver maximum power and linearity. Taurus is a high-power E-Band amplifier with market leading linear mmWave power and unparalleled performance for long range E-Band communications, with a typical PSAT of 38 dBm.
Finwave Semi did not exhibit, but they were holding meetings in a hotel near the convention center. The company began in 2012 at MIT, when the co-founders invented a type of GaN transistor based on a FinFET architecture. They felt that this 3D fin structure was exactly what GaN transistors needed to significantly improve efficiency and linearity. The company has spent the last decade improving device performance, scaling the wafer size to today’s 8” wafers with Si-compatible process and establishing a global network of partnerships. In addition to the co-founders, Finwave brought SOI veteran Jim Cable onboard and just announced that Dr. Pierre-Yves Lesaicherre onboard as CEO. While they weren't displaying products yet, the company has an impressive presentation detailing the performance improvements that their FinFET architecture enable and they have GaN-on-silicon PAs for handset applications squarely in the sights for their product and process development activities.
Fine-Line Circuits exhibited in booth 1713, providing the ideal surface finish for RF microwave PCBs – electrolytic thick gold direct on copper which gives a great skin and no nickel related signal losses giving the designer the precise RF performance that the system is designed for. Fine-Line has built a variety of PCB boards (hybrids, cavities, copper back, oversized PCBs) for a variety of space and defense applications and a variety of systems (satcom, radar, antennas, dividers, amplifier, etc.)
Garlock was highlighting products from their WavePro division in booth 1701 at IMS. In particular, they were showcasing the recently released WavePro® 150 (WP150), a ceramic-filled PTFE dielectric material with a dielectric constant (relative permittivity) of 15.0 and a loss tangent of 0.003 at 6 GHz. WP150 extends the range of PTFE dielectrics to higher dielectric constant values than were previously unavailable, unlocking applications where stability and higher dielectric constants are advantageous. It is available in standard flat panels up to 10 mm thick, as well as made-to-order 3D shapes and conformal surfaces. PTFE is a versatile and durable dielectric that is used in antennas, cables, radomes, RF circuit boards and many other microwave and mmWave applications due to its low loss and high performance and the company had many shapes and sizes of the material on display.
Guerrilla RF, Inc
Guerrilla RF launched their latest linear power amplifiers at IMS. The GRF5526, GRF5526W, GRF5536 and GRF5536W, the latest in a series of ¼ W linear power amplifiers. These InGaP HBT amplifiers were designed specifically for 5G wireless infrastructure applications over large 100 MHz bandwidths and temperature extremes of -40°C to 105°C. Spanning frequency ranges of 2.3 to 2.7 GHz and 3.3 to 4.2 GHz respectively, the GRF5526/GRF5526W and GRF5536/ GRF5536W are tuned to operate within the n7, n30, n38, n40, n41, n48, n53, n77, n88 and n90 5G NR bands. The GRF5607 and GRF5608, the first in a new class of InGaP HBT ½ W linear power amplifiers being developed by the company, were designed specifically for 5G wireless infrastructure applications over temperature extremes of -40°C to 85°C. Spanning frequency ranges of 703 to 748 MHz and 746 to 830 MHz, respectively, the GRF5607 and GRF5608 are tuned to operate within the n12, n14, n18, n20 and n28 5G NR bands.
iCana returnd to IMS with a demo of AMD's ZCU670 platform and iCana's 4T4R FR1 reference board, highlighting impressive performance, power efficiency, and pin-to-pin compatibility. Attendees who visited booth 2350 explored iCana’s latest solutions in action and their FR1 and FR2 product line-up.
IHP is a non-university research establishment institutionally funded by the German federal and state governments and a member of the Leibniz Association. IHP is a research institution for silicon/germanium electronics. They have expertise in semiconductor technology, materials research, high-frequency circuit design and system solutions. The institute has a SiGe:C BiCMOS pilot line that manufactures RF and silicon photonics modules. IHP provides a Multi Project Wafer Service with 0.13 and 0.25 μm SiGe BiCMOS technologies on 8” silicon wafers. Integrated SiGe heterobipolar transistors with 500 GHz fmax are qualified for research and product design, devices with up to 700 GHz fmax are under development. A Cadence-based mixed-signal design kit is available. For high frequency designs an analog Design Kit using Keysight ADS can be used.
IMS Connector Systems
IMS Connector Systems introduced their SmartMod, a standard M12-based connector is the perfect service tool for troubleshooting and machine maintenance when in combination with a smartphone or tablet. The SmartMod enables continuous measurement of functions such as temperature, humidity, air pressure, voltage, current and power. In combination with a smartphone or tablet, it is the perfect service tool for troubleshooting and machine maintenance. It can also be networked with existing control systems. The SmartMod is based on the industry standard connector and is installed exactly where it is needed. Thanks to wireless connection to a smartphone or tablet with a range of 40 m indoors and 100 m outdoors, the connectors can also be used at measuring points that are far away from each other.
IMST is a development center for customer-specific radio technology and microelectronic systems. More than 130 highly qualified engineers develop integrated circuits, hybrid modules and systems, radio modules, antennas, micro-controller circuits, embedded systems and 3D-EM simulation software in Kamp-Lintfort. They guide customers from the first product idea all the way to the finished system.
Indium Corporation featured its high-reliability, Au-based precision die-attach (PDA) preforms for critical laser and RF applications, as well as 5G communications. Indium Corporation’s AuLTRA™ 75 is an off-eutectic AuSn preform solution (75Au25Sn) designed to improve intermetallic reliability in applications using a die with a thicker gold plating, such as a GaN die used for high-frequency, high-power RF power amplifier devices for 5G and other critical military and aerospace wireless communications. AuLTRA™ 75 helps improve the operation of these critical technologies by adjusting the final solder joint composition, and improving wetting and voiding. The AuLTRA™ product line also comes in 78Au22Sn and 79Au21Sn compositions.
Isola Group's booth offered sampling of its extensive lines of laminates and prepreg materials for RF, microwave, mmWave and photonics circuits. The circuit materials on display include the Astra® MT77, available in laminate and prepreg forms, I-Tera® MT40 laminate and prepreg materials and Tachyon® 100G laminates and prepregs. Isola Group also showed its halogen-free materials at the 2023 IEEE IMS exhibition, with example circuits on its TerraGreen® laminates and TerraGreen® 400G laminates and prepregs.
Junkosha chose IMS2023 to launch their two new (26.5 GHz and 50 GHz) metrology grade microwave/mmWave vector network analyzer (VNA) test cable assemblies for applications including calibration tests.Utilising Junkosha’s precision engineered-EPTFE tape wrapping technology, the new 26.5 GHz and 50 GHz cables exhibit excellent phase (within +/- 4.5 degrees at 50 GHz) and amplitude (within +/- 0.08 dB at 50 GHz) stability in flexure alongside strong phase stability in temperature.
Keysight Technologies, Inc.
Keysight demonstrated its comprehensive portfolio of wireless design, emulation, and test solutions, including the ENA-X, at IMS2023 in booth 835. The new Keysight ENA-X is a midrange VNA that produces fast, accurate EVM measurements and accelerates the characterization of 5G component designs by up to 50 percent.
Keysight's collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs presented their most recent achievement at Keysight's booth. Built on the Keysight PNA-X Vector Component Analyzer solution, the demonstration characterized a Nokia power amplifier (PA) developed for use in 6G D-Band wireless communications systems and designed to operate with a low error vector magnitude (EVM). Using the Keysight N5290A PNA Millimeter Wave System, Nokia Bell Labs can accurately detect the PA's low EVM, which is a measure of the signal distortion introduced into the communications system by the component. With these measurements, Nokia Bell Labs can better understand the PA's performance to optimize its 6G transmission system design. Keysight and Nokia Bell Labs also partnered to showcase an E-Band test solution at IMS2023. The demonstration featured the Keysight N9042B UXA Signal Analyzer used in combination with the V3050A Signal Analyzer Frequency Extender to measure a Nokia transceiver RFIC designed for use in an E-Band system for backhaul applications.
Keysight Technologies also introduced PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) 2024, an electronic design automation (EDA) software suite giving chip designers new millimeter wave (mmWave) and subterahertz (sub-THz) frequency capabilities that accelerate 5G mmWave product design and anticipate requirements for 6G wireless communications development. The latest version of Keysight’s industry-leading radio frequency and microwave (RF/uW) design software suite addresses these development pain points with algorithm, layout, electro-thermal, and workflow automation enhancements.
Knowles Precision Devices
Knowles Precision Devices focuses on a wide variety of capacitors and components in the microwave to millimeter wave frequency ranges for use in military, medical, electric vehicle and 5G market applications. The company offers a wide range of custom-designed and build-to-print solutions to meet aerospace and defense requirements. The company was showcasing 5G catalog filters at 26 GHz, 28 GHz, and 39 GHz, with each device providing 3 GHz of bandwidth, more than 50 dB rejection, with operating temperatures from -55°C to +125°C. In particular, the company was showcasing a line of C, X, Ku and Ka-Band filters and other passive products for SatCom applications.
MACOM had a large booth presence at IMS. They were showcasing the latest products in their broad portfolio of active and passive RF/microwave, Optical and Broadcast solutions. MACOM's recent acquisition of OMMIC closed a few weeks before IMS, so they were talking about their plans to make OMMIC's facility in France the foundation for their newly established European Semiconductor Center. The center will enable MACOM to offer its customers higher frequency Gallium GaAs and GaN MMICs. MACOM was also showing products and capabilities from recently acquired Linearizer Communications Group. Linearizer specializes in non-linear microwave predistortion for use in terrestrial, avionic and space-based applications and high-performance microwave photonic solutions for use in the industrial and defense markets.
Marvin Test Solutions
Marvin Test Solutions featured their 5G mmWave production test system, the TS-900e-5G, which delivers unrivaled semiconductor production test performance for mmWave devices. The flexible, open-architecture design supports up to 20 independent VNA channels with gap-free performance to 53 GHz for impactful solutions in the production test lab and OSAT alike.
MathWorks participated in four demonstrations, four industry workshops, a technical session and an industry showcase at IMS. Demonstrations held in booth 2541 included PA modeling and DPD with NI instrument, targeting satcom applications with RFSOC and testing over the air with Otava DTRX2, measuring RF filters with Keysight VNA, creating MATLAB behavioral models and tuning filter performance and developing and testing algorithms with radar book.
MCV Microwave had their line of passive RF components on display at booth 1804. MCV provides leading edge technology to military, commercial and wireless providers. The company makes materials, devices and modules using their unique ceramic materials. One example is antenna/LNA modules which can be custom designed precision modules or standard band pass and notch filter operating at GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO QZSS and NAVIC/IRNSS frequencies. They also provide a variety of products like spiral antennas, low ESR/high Q capacitors, isolators, duplexers and filters for 5G and SATCOM to name a few.
Microwave Development Labs (MDL) was celebrating its 75th year in business at IMS. Established in 1948 in Needham Heights, MA, MDL is a leading supplier of components and assemblies for RF, microwave, and millimeter-wave applications requiring low-loss transmission of electromagnetic (EM) energy. MDL has built an experienced, expert staff of design engineers capable of working closely with each customer’s specific electrical and mechanical specifications to meet the most demanding custom requirements. The company’s rich history includes pioneering the Riblet coupler in 1948 for use at microwave frequencies, before that portion of the frequency spectrum was widely used for transmission of electromagnetic waves. From that innovative first year, the company has never stopped enhancing microwave coupling solutions, leading to such achievements as the thin wall monopulse comparator for the Lunar Excursion Module in the 1960’s and waveguide feed and monopulse networks for F-14 and F-15 fighter aircraft in the 1970’s. Internally milled waveguide technology from MDL developed during the 1980’s helped reduce the size and weight of high-performance waveguide components for radar systems in F-18 fighter and B-1 bomber aircraft, long before new product development for military and aerospace customers required adherence to reduced size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) trends.
MegaPhase had a variety of space rated assemblies on display, including AlumiBend™, HyperFlex™, Phase3™, UltraPhase™, GrooveTube® and Semi-Rigid cables. MegaPhase Phase3™ cable assemblies were recently utilized in the LunIR lunar flyby mission, jointly funded and developed by Lockheed Martin and Terran Orbital, following the company’s AS9100 certification last year. Also on display was the company’s line of ruggedized test and measurement products, including the Survivor™, Warrior®, KillerBee® and RF Orange® cable assemblies.
Menlo Micro announced in May product specifications update for the MM5140 DC-to-8 GHz SP4T switch. This product is positioned to address the globally evolving wireless standards in 5G sub-6 GHz RF network applications and emerging broadband wireless applications up to 8 GHz, which includes the ever-growing O-RAN frequency bands. Built on Menlo Micro’s market-proven Ideal Switch technology, the MM5140 continues to offer +90dBm IP3 linearity, 25W CW RF power handling, ultra-low insertion loss, integrated charge pump with SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) and GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) interface control, and 3 billion cycles reliability, all in a 5.2 mm x 4.2 mm LGA package.
Mercury Systems, Inc.
Mercury, had their COTS open-architecture board at their booth. It delivers the latest commercial signal processing technology for aerospace and defense applications, driving higher performance from a smaller form factor. The DRF3182 Direct RF Processing Module is the first standard product purpose-built for the aerospace and defense industry that leverages Intel’s new Stratix® 10 AX SoC field programmable gate array (FPGA), which adds a key capability to the Mercury Processing Platform by enabling the direct digitization and processing of broadband RF signals.
Mician was showcasing µWave Wizard. Initially geared toward the space sector and satellite payloads, Mician’s µWave Wizard software offers a combination of advanced hybrid solver and 3D modeler technology in order to speed up the process of accurately analyzing, synthesizing and optimizing RF components. In addition to filters, multiplexers, couplers, and horn antennas, applications also include complex waveguide assemblies such as feed networks. Launched over 20 years ago, and continuously improved, µWave Wizard's hybrid solver technology provides users with the benefits of "several engines under one roof." For large assemblies and complex RF circuits, the solver breaks the problem down into a series of smaller circuits that are simulated and optimized separately. They can subsequently be recombined, analyzed and optimized for final performance. Mician says that the development speed of µWave Wizard is complemented by its accuracy and RF components designed using µWave Wizard can be found in just about every commercial and government satellite launched in the past decade. Mician’s industry-leading software solutions are also utilized for RF circuits on UAVs, VSAT terminal assemblies, TV broadcast, radar systems, automotive, 5G backhaul and for research.
In booth 2435. was showcasing its broad portfolio of smart, connected and secure embedded control solutions. With this portfolio, the company targets applications across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications and computing markets. In particular, Microchip was showcasing their 5071B cesium atomic clock. The unit is available in a three-unit height (3U) 19-inch rackmount enclosure. It has upgraded electronic components to address possible obsolescence or non-RoHS circuitry. The product provides 100 ns holdover for more than two months, maintaining system synchronization when GNSS signals like GPS are denied. As a cesium beam tube product with no deterministic long-term frequency drift, the 5071B provides absolute frequency accuracy of 5E-13 or 500 quadrillionths over all specified environmental conditions for the life of the product. Microchip is targeting telecommunications, data center, metrology, aviation and defense applications with this long-term, precise timing and frequency solution.
With all its acquisitions over the years, the company also was showing an impressive selection of GaAs, GaN and silicon transistors and diodes, in addition to RF MMIC amplifiers, prescalers and control products. Microchip also integrates these semiconductors and functions into higher level amplifiers, modules and assemblies.
Millibox makes mmWave antenna test systems. These systems consist of a mmWave anechoic chamber and a 3D antenna positioner. The anechoic chamber and antenna positioner allows users to quickly and efficiently test the antenna radiation pattern and other key OTA metrics. The company makes five different types of antenna positioners with their GIM04 and GIM05 units in the booth. Millibox makes four different types of anechoic chambers, ranging in size from 4 to 8 feet. The company had one of their two-foot anechoic chamber building blocks, along with their four foot MBX02 on display with antennas on their positioners.
At their first IMS, mmTron exhibited in both 343. mmTron staff discussed how the company’s designers are developing disruptive MMICs that extend output power, linearity, and efficiency — simultaneously — to extend the reach and data capacity of mmWave communications systems. mmTron’s approach to this power, linearity, and efficiency challenge was explained by Seyed Tabatabaei, mmTron’s founder, president, and CEO, in his MicroApps presentation “mmWave PAs: Why Sacrifice High Power for Linearity?” mmTron was highlighting a unique IC module that converts the differential output of a high-speed digital-toanalog converter (DAC) to a clean, low noise, single-ended RF signal. The TMC160 integrates anti-alias filters, quasi-differential low noise amplifiers, and a balun with bias T in a 7 x 7 mm surface-mount package. The TMC160 was demonstrated with a Texas Instruments highspeed DAC. As part of its focus on mmWave, mmTron has designed a family of broadband distributed amplifier MMICs with upper frequencies from 20 to 160 GHz, for applications like instrumentation and EW. To support 6G research programs, the company offers the TMC774, with a frequency response from DC to 160 GHz.
Molex has extended its cable-assembly product line with the addition of innovative solutions from I-PEX. Together, the organizations offer I-PEX MHF® 4L LK and MHF® I LK cable assemblies, which are available in multiple configurations using standard MHF receptacles and Molex RF connector interfaces. The MHF I Series of micro-RF coaxial connector systems takes advantage of I-PEX’s patented locking mechanism to add another layer of connection reliability and security. Designed to keep signals connected through constant shock and vibration, this cutting-edge solution clicks into place seamlessly. Inspired by operation with drones, the patented locking system is ideally suited to address the most rigorous connectivity demands.
MtronPTI showcased a Ku-Band Integrated Microwave Assembly (IMA) to support broadband communication datalinks used in applications like manned and unmanned aircraft, on the move and fixed ground stations, shipboard beyond line-of-sight wideband satellite communications and all unmanned vehicles. This integrated Ku-Band microwave assembly incorporates low insertion loss, high power handling, high isolation between bands, Ku-Band diplexer filters that are interconnected with two wave guide RF switches, a coupler and a lowpass filter for harmonic suppression. RF cables are fed from the diplexers to a separate RF module consisting of an RF board with low noise amplifiers and an RF switch that switches the receive signal between the two paths. The module contains peripheral control and status circuitry for user access
Nullspace spun out as an independent company from IERUS Technologies, an established defense contractor in 2023. They have the goal of becoming a recognized leader in advanced engineering software. The company has developed a set of proprietary solutions built on a specific method of moments (MoM) formulation. They offer Nullspace Prep, a comprehensive CAD and meshing pre-processor that integrates with Nullspace EM, a fast, accurate 3D Electromagnetic simulation tool and Nullspace ES, which they claim is the world’s only commercial electrostatic solver for extremely large-scale, rapid, and accurate design and analysis for quantum computing. The Nullspace solutions use proprietary fast linear algebra algorithms and hybrid multi-CPU and multi-GPU acceleration techniques and differentiate with their ability to solve large, complex problems quickly and accurately.They claim to be able to solve these problems over 25x faster than available solutions.
Nxbeam expanded its mmWave MMIC portfolio with the introduction of a GaN E-band power amplifier MMIC. The NPA7000-DE operates from 65 to 76 GHz and provides an average saturated output power of 1 W, average power added efficiency of 28%, and average linear gain of 13 dB. The chip dimensions are 1.575 x 0.875 x 0.050 mm. The output power level of this MMIC makes it ideal for point-to-point E-band communication links. The small size of this MMIC simplifies power combining schemes and can greatly increase the range of E-band point-to-point links. The design consists of two amplifier stages which are independently controlled, allowing the bias and performance to be tailored to the end-user’s specifications. The RF input and RF output are matched to 50 Ω with DC blocking capacitors for easy system integration. Bond pads and backside metallization are Au-based for compatibility with eutectic die attachment methods.
Otava had three demonstrations at IMS. In their booth, 2514, their digitally tunable 24 to 40 GHz bandpass filter. At MathWorks' booth 2541 the Wideband mmWave Radio Development Kit for AMD RFSoC Gen 3 was demonstrated. Otava’s 64-element 24 to 30 GHz active phased array antenna module could be seen at Samtec's booth, 2627.
Pasquali Microwave Systems
Pasquali Microwave Systems offers full-in-house engineering, manufacturing, surface treatments and QA/testing of µ-Wave and mmWave assemblies (1 to 200 GHz, passive and active) for defense, space, naval and civil/TLC sectors, such as: µ-Wave and mmWave waveguide assemblies and antennas systems: 1 to 150 GHz or higher frequencies; Blackbody RF absorbers for calibration targets and polarizers: 10 to 200 GHz, 4°K to 330°K; and electronics subassemblies and components: on-waveguide integrated parts, microstrip/PCBs (1 to 50 GHz).
PRFI, the UK custom MMIC design specialists, has announced a significant milestone: its 150th custom MMIC design, a low-current mmWave gain block, has moved to production. The company has a reputation for high quality, successful design work, with an impressive list of clients that includes Samsung, Sony, Analog Devices, BAE Systems and Qorvo. The milestone MMIC provides a small-signal gain of 17dB across an operating range of 23 to 29.5GHz from a very low current consumption of just 10mA. It is housed in a low-cost 3mm x 3mm QFN package and is fully matched to 50Ω, making its use very straightforward. The part was designed for CML Microcircuits’ SµRF product range, and is commercially available as the CMX90B702. A companion part has also been designed by PRFI, which has similar gain with the same very low 10mA current consumption and covers 17 to 23GHz.
At IMS, pSemi announced its newest SP4T switches up to 8 GHz and two multi-chip modules featuring dual-channel switches. The new PE42445 and PE42446 switches integrate seamlessly into 4G and 5G base stations and mMIMO architecture, providing digital pre-distortion (DPD) feedback loops and transmitter monitoring signal paths to prevent interference and maintain signal integrity, given massive MIMO applications. Thanks to their high reliability and extended operating temperature range, the new high isolation SP4T switches can be used for a wide variety of applications, including DPD and VSWR monitoring, portable wireless radios, repeaters and E911 systems and test and ATE equipment. Offered in a compact 6×6 mm LGA package, the PE53230 and PE53231 products feature high gain of more than 36 dB and fast switching time of less than 600 nanoseconds. With low power consumption of less than 500 mW/channel, these integrated solutions lead the industry with the highest average input power handling at 20 W. They also announced two multi-chip modules featuring dual-channel switches, the PE53230 for 3.3–3.8 GHz and the PE53231 for 3.5–4.0 GHz. Each module contains two switches and two LNAs for high and low band frequencies. The new module portfolio delivers the lowest noise figure in the industry, at less than 1 dB, enabling best-in-class receiver sensitivity and performance while handling 20W average input power enabling removal of external circuitry.
Q-Tech bills itself as the world's leading manufacturer of high-reliability crystal oscillators. They supply these devices into high-performance applications in high reliability/space, military, avionics and high-temperature markets. They did not have any products released specifically for IMS, but they were showcasing representative examples of their product portfolio.
Attendees who visited Quantic's booth at IMS saw demonstrations of their frequency control components and assemblies under vibration were on display. Quantic Wenzel showed off their world class low phase noise oscillators. They excel in low phase noise oscillator under extreme conditions also. For power products, their patented ceramic capacitors for next-generation RF/ microwave applications, power-dense hybrid tantalum capacitors ideal for pulsed power space applications and thin film resistor foils (OhmegaPly®, TCR® and TCR-EHF®) were exhibited. Quantic X-Microwave was showing off their expanding line of breadboarding products. They now offer modules that plug into larger packaging to make full integrated microwave assemblies and have an A&D customer that recently placed an order. Quantic PMI was featuring a high power amplifier operating from 8 to 12 GHz with high gain of 43 dB and saturated output power of 40 dBm (10 W). It has a noise figure of 3.5 dB and gain flatness of +/- 3.5 db max.
Reactel featured their application-specific filters, multiplexers and multifunction assemblies up to 67 GHz, along with the debut of its new Short Form Catalog for an overview of their extensive filter portfolio. An example product is Reactel model number 7R6-269-X17S11 which is a narrowband high power notch filter. The center of the notch is 269 MHz with a nominal 3 dB bandwidth of 16 MHz. Passband Insertion loss is less than 0.3 dB, notch depth is 85 dB while power handling capability is 100 W CW. This dynamo is housed in a package only 1.5″ x 1.15″ x 3.5″, and is suitable for extremely rugged conditions.