Four earthquakes and a tsunami warning not withstanding, the IMS 2005 Symposium and Exhibition in Long Beach, CA turned out to be a huge success. Cool ocean breezes and hazy days were the norm outside, while crowded technical sessions and a busy show floor were the norm inside the spacious Long Beach Convention Center (LBCC). The MTT-S International Microwave Symposium was held June 12 to 17 with an overall attendance topping 11,000. It is safe to say everyone had a good time.

Charlie Jackson, the General Chairman, and his superb team of volunteers did a great job of organizing and implementing this year’s Microwave Week activities and the City of Long Beach played happy host to all of the attendees. The roomy Long Beach Convention Center was a short walk to the waterfront and its renowned Aquarium of the Pacific, while across the bay the elegant Queen Mary played host to many of our visitors.

In addition to the MTT-S International Microwave Symposium and Exhibition, the 2005 Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium and the 65th ARFTG Measurement Conference held their events during the week. The RFIC Symposium was chaired by Joseph Staudinger and held from Sunday through Tuesday; the ARFTG Microwave Measurement Conference was chaired by Tom Ruttan and was held on Friday. All three events were a solid success and their respective organizing teams are to be congratulated.

The Technical Program

The Technical Program kicked off with two inspiring Plenary Session keynote addresses. “Digitally Assisted Analog Design for Wireless SoCs and Its Future” was presented by Dr. Teresa Meng, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, and Mr. Ziqiang Hou, professor at the Institute of Acoustics China Academy of Science, presented “3G and Mobile Broadband Wireless Access.”

In recent years the MTT-S technical program has become bigger and bigger and this year was no exception. There were 344 oral presentations and 149 interactive forums held under the guidance of Dave Rutledge, this year’s TPC Chair, and Co-chairs Mike DeLisio and Bob York. In all, 2856 delegates attended the 87 technical program sessions and 38 workshops. The workshops this year were organized by Ethan Wang and the special sessions were organized by Alina Moussessian. In addition, there were lunch sessions organized by Emilio Sovero, and 20 student papers were nominated for the Student Competition.

Social Events

The RFIC Symposium Reception in the Grand Ballroom of the Long Beach Convention Center Sunday evening kicked off the week’s social program, followed Monday evening by the Microwave Journal/MTT-S Reception held at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Other events included the IEEE MTT Women in Engineering Reception and the Ham Radio Social, both held in the Hyatt Hotel. Wednesday was the traditional Industry-hosted Cocktail Reception followed by the IEEE MTT-S Awards Banquet. This year our own Harlan Howe, Jr. received the well-deserved 2005 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his significant contributions and outstanding service to the MTT-S and the microwave profession. We here at Microwave Journal are very proud of Harlan’s achievements over the years. The week’s social program also included the IEEE MTT-S Student Awards luncheon and the Technical Attendees Breakfast in the LBCC.

The Industry Exhibition

In addition to the impressive technical program offered during IMS 2005, there is always the Industry Exhibition held Tuesday through Thursday in the LBCC. This year 513 companies were displaying their latest new products and services in 909 booths on the show floor. Also included with the exhibition was a very interesting display presented by the MTT-S Historical Society and 57 separate mAPS presentations by the various exhibitors. Some photographs of the Exhibition appear above and a sampling of some of the exhibitors and their offerings follows:

Aeroflex had on display its 2500 series frequency synthesizers that feature high speed, wide bandwidth and low noise, as well as increased reliability. The enhanced fast-switching synthesizers are faster, cleaner, smaller and more rugged than their predecessor. Also on display was its 1 to 40 GHz Microwave Downconverter that plugs into any Aeroflex PN9000 Phase Noise Analyzer or PN9500 Wideband Jitter and Phase Noise Analyzer. The PN9276 unit is billed as the highest bandwidth and lowest phase noise downconverter on the market, allowing noise measurements up to 200 MHz offset and allowing system sensitivity testing not possible here-to-fore.

Always on the leading edge of the market, Agilent Technologies announced an innovative 64-bit version of the Momentum 3D-planar electromagnetic software suite that significantly improves accuracy, capacity and speed for design and verification of passive components and interconnects for RFIC, MMIC and PCB/hybrid/module design. The new 64-bit capability eliminates memory limitations and cuts EM simulation and verification time in half. Also announced was a new capability to co-simulate using CST Microwave Studio“ and Agilent’s Advanced Design System.

Agilent’s Test and Measurement group introduced a high performance Arbitrary Waveform Generator that generates waveforms for ultra-wideband and multiple-input, multiple output radios and advanced DSL. The Agilent N60321A enables the creation of realistic orthogonal frequency division multiplexing UWB signals compliant with the Multiband OFDM Alliance (MBOA) proposal.

Also on display was a 14-bit, 40 MHz Bandwidth Digitizer for 6.7, 13.2 and 26.5 GHz PSA series spectrum analyzers. This new instrument provides low cost, high precision signal capture for designers of radar, satellite, military, emerging digital communications and 3G wireless systems employing high data-rate modulation.

AR Worldwide introduced two new models in its line of S-series broadband amplifiers. The model 700S1G4 operates from 0.8 to 4.2 GHz and features a power output of 700 W, while the model 800S1G3 provides 800 W over the 0.8 to 3 GHz frequency range. The new amplifiers represent a dramatic increase in power options within the S-series family. Both new amplifiers feature low levels of spurious signals and superior linearity. A new 20 W model 20S4G11 amplifier has also been added to the broadband solid-state amplifier line and three new high power, 1500 W models have been added to the traveling wave tube amplifier line. AR Worldwide also previewed a compact, high power microwave horn antenna that can supply high intensity fields for RFI/EMI field-testing.

Anritsu had several new items on display. A new version of the Signature™ MS2781A High Performance Signal Analyzer features up to 30 times faster operating speed, increased demodulation bandwidth, improved IQ vector output and improved amplitude accuracy. It is also now compatible with the company’s MG3700A Vector Signal Generator. Three new CDMA2000 1xEV-DO options for the company’s Cell Master™ MT8212B handheld analyzer were also on display, expanding its analysis capability to include RF, demodulation and over-the-air measurements. In addition, a UMTS Master for Node B analysis was introduced that offers unprecedented size, performance and cost advantages to 3G/UMTS applications.

Ansoft Corp. and TDK Ltd. released a new library for TDK’s capacitor, inductor, common mode filter and ferrite bead components for use with Nexxim and Ansoft Designer. The new component library is free to Ansoft customers and will aid engineers in designing electronic equipment, such as wireless local area networks, car navigation systems, and cellular base stations and handsets. The device library contains S-parameters with proprietary equivalent simulation models of TDK’s discrete products for use with high frequency designs.

Applied Wave Research (AWR“) announced the release of a CDMA 2000 test bench for the company’s Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) design suite. The new test bench is designed for RF system engineers who need to evaluate the impact of RF link impairments on frame error rate, bit error rate, symbol error rate and other metrics. The VSS design suite offers a rich set of behavioral RF models and integration with AWR’s Analog Office™ circuit design software and popular industry instrumentation.

Boonton Electronics announced the release of its new 4500B Peak Power Analyzer. The new instrument captures, displays and analyzes RF power in both time and statistical domains, and can be used in applications involving pulsed RF such as radar, TDMA and GSM, and pseudorandom or noise-like signals such as CDMA and WLAN, and modulated time slotted signals such as GSM-EDGE and TD-SCDMA.

Dow-Key was showing its solid-state Canbus-based switch matrix that operates from 3.4 to 4.2 GHz and features an RS 422 interface. The switch matrix is available in full fan-out configurations from 32 × 32 to 32 × 64. The unit is designed with a focus on reliability and easy maintenance and is equipped with hot swappable redundant power supplies and hot swappable input and output cartridges.

Eagleware-Elanix Corp. announced its GENESYS™ 2005, a major new release of its popular RF and microwave design suite. The new version includes WhatIF, a new frequency planning tool, CAYENNE, a new time domain simulator, two new synthesis modules —AMPLIFIER and MIXER, plus enhancements to the linear, nonlinear, and system architecture simulators, new models and a revamped user inter-face.

Fairchild Semiconductor was introducing its WCDMA/UMTS/HSDPA power amplifier modules that feature a dual-band PAM (RMPA2265) in a 3 × 3 mm footprint, a pin-compatible packaging that allows direct swapping with today’s industry standard 4 × 4 mm as well as 3 × 3 mm PA modules, and compliance with emerging HSDPA standards. Also on display was an EDGE power amplifier module with high power-added efficiency in both GSM and EDGE modes in a 7 × 7 mm compact footprint, and the i-Lo™ CDMA/WCDMA power amplifier product family that uses novel proprietary circuitry to dramatically reduce amplifier current at low to medium RF output power levels.

Focus Microwaves was displaying its 100 MHz to 1.1 GHz Fast iTuner, the first automatic tuner that extends below 200 MHz. The new tuner features fast calibration, ultra fast tuning (360° at 100 MHz in less than 15 s) and high accuracy. The iTuner features automatic VSWR routines, user-developed test software, LabView+, Visual Basic+, Vee+, C and C++.

W.L. Gore introduced the GORE™ 100 series connectors, the newest addition to its Blindmate/Push-on connector family. The connectors are a super high density blindmate, high performance microwave interconnect system for operation through 100 GHz. GORE 100 connectors are an extention of the SMP and SMPM connector families and were developed to the industry’s demand for increased package density, low mass and increased performance at higher frequencies. The new connectors are robust, durable and lightweight. A socket-to-socket bullet weighs less than 0.02 grams.

ITT Industries had on display its MINI RF series connector that combines miniaturization with durability and high performance. The new connector is intended for test and accessory use in conjunction with a wide range of telecommunications, consumer, automotive and industrial equipment.

Hittite Microwave introduced 18 new products that included the HMC247, HMC538LP4 and HMC-C010 analog phase shifters that operate from 6 to 21 GHz and provide up to 800° of continuously variable insertion phase. The phase is controlled by a positive analog DC voltage and the insertion loss is consistent versus phase shift. Also shown was the HMC535LP4 InGaP HBT phase-locked oscillator MMIC for VSAT subscriber equipment. The new PLO provides a single-ended RF output in the range of 14.6 to 15.4 GHz with 11 dBm output power and a low single-sideband phase noise of –110 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset.

Three new InGaP HBT VCOs have been added to its line. The HMC513LP5, HMC514LP5 and HMC533LP4 are fully integrated VCOs incorporating the resonator, negative resistance device and varactor diode. They cover the 10.43 to 11.46 GHz, 11.17 to 12.02 GHz and 23.8 to 24.8 GHz frequency ranges, respectively. The HMC260LC3B, HMC292LC3B and HMC329LC3B are passive MMIC double-balanced mixers offering IF bandwidths of DC to 8 GHz and covering all of the microwave radio bands from 14 to 32 GHz. The HMC523LC4, HMC526LC4, HMC527LC4 and HMC528LC4 are passive MMIC I/Q mixers providing RF/LO coverage from 6 to 23 GHz and delivering up to 28 dBm input IP3. The HMC383LC4 GaAs PHEMT MMIC driver amplifier, also shown, is rated from 12 to 30 GHz and delivers 15 dB of gain and +18 dBm of saturated output power while consuming only 100 mA from a single +5 V supply. In DBS downconverter applications, the HMC276LP4 GaAs MMIC 4 × 2 switch matrix is housed in a 4 × 4 mm leadless SMT package and is rated at 200 to 3000 MHz. The HMC374 GaAs PHEMT MMIC LNA was on display and is ideal for cellular/3G infrastructure, repeaters, WiMAX, broadband access and ISM applications from 300 to 3000 MHz. It exhibits 1.8 dB noise figure and +36 dBm output IP3 with 15 dB small-signal gain. Finally, the HMC-C011 is a DC to 20 GHz, non-reflective SPDT switch in a hermetic connectorized housing with field-replaceable SMA connectors. The switch offers 2 dB insertion loss, 35 to 65 dB isolation and +23 dBm input P1dB.

K&L Microwave was featuring its custom converter designs that employ state-of-the-art RF, analog and digital technologies to maximize performance and minimize size. The assemblies are configured from proven modular designs consisting of amplifiers, switches, multipliers, couplers and limiters. The new converters are compact, employing narrow and wideband filtering and feature integrated low noise amplifiers and a terminated IF diplexer for maximum IP3 performance. They are available in frequency ranges from 10 MHz to 18 GHz.

M/A-COM had many new pructs on display, including its 24 GHz SoC radar, a highly integrated SiGe design with multi-mode functionality in a low cost plastic package. Also featured was its line of RFID products that include a complete line of RFID antennas, RF components and value-added assembly services. The M/A-COM complete line of RF components for RFID readers includes a low barrier IQ modulator that replaces a discrete balun, as well as quadrature and Schottky diodes within a single monolithic device.

Maury Microwave had live demonstrations for power measurements, signal quality measurements, USB controlled tuners, LSNAs and noise measurements, and was displaying its Maury Automated Tuner System (ATS) Software’s new features and functions. The ATS 4.00 software features an advanced sweep plan, electrothermal memory characterization tool, migration of ATN noise algorithm, and over 50 improvements and advanced features.

Mimix Broadband was talking about its recent acquisition of Celeritek Inc., while displaying its new line of highly linear GaAs MMIC power amplifiers that cover the 13 to 40 GHz frequency range with up to 39 dBm of output IP3 performance. The new PAs use a 0.15 mm gate length GaAs pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (PHEMT) device technology and are well suited for wireless communications applications. They also introduced a three-stage balanced GaAs MMIC power amplifier and complementary driver amplifier at 43.5 to 46.5 GHz that produces more than 26 dB of gain and 1 W of output power.

Noise Com had a number of its instruments on display including the DNG7500 digital noise generator that generates programmable, user-specified, pseudo-noise and CW signal spectrums for RF, microwave and fiber optic equipment testing. Also on display were the GPS7500 noise and interference generator for GPS interference testing, the UFX-EbNo series precision generators and the NBS-series primary noise standards.

Palomar Technologies was displaying its automated gold wire bonder that combines high net throughput and flexibility. The model 8000 gold ball-and-stitch thermosonic wire bonder is designed for precision gold wire bonding applications where flexibility, ease of programming and high throughput are desired such as in complex multichip applications, high I/O count devices and gold ball bumping for flip chip with planarBump™ technology. The unit features a large 12" × 6" x-y range linear motor actuated positioner carrying a dual axes voice coil driven bond head with a rectilinear z-stroke of 800 mils.

Peregrine Semiconductor was showing its new wireless UltraCMOS™ switches with extended performance to 3 GHz. The general use RF switches feature high isolation, high ESD tolerance and low insertion loss. The new switches provide an optimal solution for most wireless applications. The multi-throw switches were developed using Peregrine’s patented UltraCMOS silicon-on-sapphire process technology and deliver an extraordinary combination of performance, price and monolithic integration. Also on display was the company’s 75 W UltraCMOS switches and digital attenuators, as well as two integer-N phased-locked loops with embedded EEPROMs.

Remcom Inc. was demonstrating its XFDTD“ 6.2 software suite that is an entirely new approach to EM modeling. The new automatic convergence check allows optimum run times and an adaptive meshing technique adjusts the FDTD mesh to one’s geometry. For large problems, the MPI version of XFDTD can be utilized on 64-bit computers to facilitate calculations. Also featured was a powerful dimension-based geometric modeler, which can import complicated CAD objects, mesh in seconds, and view and edit the mesh before making the calculation.

RF Micro Devices displayed its Powerstar“ EDGE Transmit module with four-port receive for large signal polar modulation. The RF3178 is RFMD’s first low profile quad-band polar modulator-capable transmit module with four-port receive capability for GSM/GPRS/EDGE Class 12 operation. The TX module features integrated power control, PHEMT switch technology and integrated filters, resulting in a compact, high performance module that simplifies transmitter design. The RF3178 polar modulator features quad-band transmit capability and four RX ports, and can be used to design all geographical combinations of GSM/GMSK/EDGE handset configurations. It features controlled harmonic radiation from the antenna and can be used in multiple platforms.

Rogers Corp. showcased its high frequency laminates, including its RO4000“ series high frequency circuit material, a glass-reinforced hydrocarbon/ceramic thermoset laminate system designed for performance sensitive, high volume commercial applications. Also on display was its RT/duroid“ 6202 material for traditional microwave laminates and their R/flex“ 3000 family of liquid crystalline polymer (LCP)-based circuit materials.

Rohde & Schwarz introduced the model ZVT8 eight-port vector network analyzer, that makes it easier and faster to measure multiport and balanced devices with high accuracy and wide dynamic range over a measurement range of 300 kHz to 8 GHz. The instrument has a reflectometer at each of its eight test ports, thus making it possible to perform measurements at all ports simultaneously. Also on display was its model FSL compact, low cost spectrum analyzer, a lightweight, portable instrument designed for field measurements as well as for product development and production test applications. The unit weighs only 15.5 lbs. The model SMJ100A vector signal generator was also introduced. This instrument is the latest in the SMx family of instruments and provides comprehensive baseband modulation capabilities, superior RF performance, fast frequency and level-setting times, and simple operation.

Times Microwave Systems was displaying its new TuffGrip™ for the SilverLine-TG™ test cables. The new grip enables the user to apply as much resistance as necessary in mating the connector. The SilverLine test cables are cost effective, durable, high performance cable assemblies designed for use in a broad range of test and interconnect applications. Also on display were its Zero dB™ coax cable assemblies that feature a unique design with no insertion loss, its SiO2 silicon dioxide hermetically sealed cable assemblies for use in extreme environments, and its BlindMate™ antenna solutions for “plug-in and forget” quick release antenna mount applications.

Trak Microwave introduced a new Ka-band isolator with an ultra miniature design that is ideal for defense and space applications. They also introduced a Ku-band switch assembly for antenna applications. The unit is extremely small, making it ideal for airborne application, especially aerial vehicles where size and weight are critical. In addition, a new C-band dielectric resonator oscillator was on display that was designed for rugged military applications that demand low phase noise, and new hybrid S- to C- and X- to Ku-band switch limiters were introduced that have a miniature, low profile design for defense applications. On the commercial side, Trak was showing a new Iso-Hybrid family for wireless applications that feature small size and low weight for use in micro base stations, and three new product families for RFID applications that include surface-mount circulators and drop-in isolators.

TriQuint Semiconductor introduced two new power amplifiers for 3.5 GHz WiMAX applications that are in low cost surface-mount packages and feature an instantaneous bandwidth of 200 MHz, and deliver high saturated power and PAE. Six new packaged millimeter-wave amplifiers for satellite and radio applications were also shown that comprise the output and driver stages for 27 to 31 GHz transmit chains and a power amplifier and low noise amplifier for the 17 to 27 GHz band. New power PHEMT transistors for DC to 20 GHz operation were also displayed that offer superior power, gain and efficiency for L- through Ku-band high power amplifier applications.

Valpey Fisher Corp. introduced integrated subsystems for demanding frequency control applications that are designed to offer the design engineer a complete solution. The basic building block is a very high frequency, very low noise reference oscillator and additional components are included to provide multifunctionality based on the user’s unique requirements. The example shown was a high precision OCXO, power amplifier and an output filter/matching network, fitting neatly into a 2" ×2" × 0.75" package.

WJ Communications was showing its 12 V, 4 W power amplifier modules for PCS, UMTS and DCS band operation. The AP series amplifiers are multi-stage devices and are internally optimized for efficiency and linearity. Each of the devices include internal matching for input and output and operate from +12 V without requiring negative biasing voltages. The devices were developed using the InGaP HBT process.

San Francisco Next Year

Planning is already well underway for an even better IMS Week in 2006 in San Francisco, CA. The symposium and exhibition will run from June 11 to 16 and the city of San Francisco always offers a host of interesting activities to make your stay memorable. Mark you calendar and plan to join us there.