Microwave Journal

Exclusive product previews for IMS2016

May 13, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

Figure 2

Figure 2 Anritsu VectorStar VNA.

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

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

Figure 3

Figure 3 ANSYS Savant.

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

Figure 4

Figure 4 ANSYS EMIT.

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

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

Figure 5

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

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

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

Figure 6

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

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

Figure 7

Figure 7 K&L Microwave high power lowpass filters.

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

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

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

Figure 8

Figure 8 Focus Microwaves RAPID digital tuner measurement system.

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

Figure 9

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

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

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

Figure 10

Figure 10 Keysight X-Series UXA signal analyzer.

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

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

Figure 11

Figure 11 MACOM GaN power transistors for macro base stations.

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

Figure 13

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

Figure 12

Figure 13 Maury Microwave ColorConnect line.

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

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

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

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

Figure 14

Figure 14 NI PXI RF Vector Signal Transceiver.

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

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

Figure 15

Figure 15 Peregrine high frequency mixers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure 16

Figure 16 Skyworks BLE front-end module.

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

Figure 17

Figure 17 Wolfspeed 800 W GaN device.

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