EuMW 2017, Nuremberg – Moving with the Times
Final numbers are yet to be confirmed but pre-registration figures, evidence of initial attendance, the interest in the conference sessions, short courses and workshops and activity on the show floor bode well for European Microwave Week that took place at the Nürnberg Convention Center from 8 to 13 October being another record breaker. Nuremberg may be steeped in history and while many of those attending EuMW 2017 took the opportunity to step back in time to enjoy the medieval spectacle of the city’s Old Town it was the activity of the present and the promise of the future for the RF and microwave industry that was of key interest.
Specific focus was on how the latest technology could be delivered – literally – as the increased interest in the development and application of drones in the RF and microwave sector was palpable. Their ability to access difficult or even impossible sites in crowded spaces or at a distance with flexibility and relatively little cost is opening up new possibilities for mapping, testing etc. For instance a lightweight spectrum analyzer suspended from a drone can perform mmWave spectrum monitoring in 3D or be flown into a satellite for precise measurement.
And, of course, with Germany at the forefront of automotive development the vital role that RF and microwave technology is playing in the industry’s advancement was demonstrated to a greater extent than ever before at EuMW 2017, where the focus was on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) on its way to Highly Automated Driving (HAD) in the Future, with four workshops and three sessions within EuRAD dealing with the subject.
Also, within the entrance hall of the Nürnberg Messe at NCC OST there was a special exhibition of technology demonstrators and test cars from Mercedes-Benz, Bosch, Hella, and Valeo. Test cars equipped with radar were available outside the Messe for test drives in the Nuremberg urban environment, while an Intelligent Drive Simulator in the entrance hall offered the opportunity for a hands-on operating experience. And, last but not least – in front of exhibition Hall 7A automated parking trials could be observed.
Indeed, the prime aim of European Microwave Week is to put the RF and microwave community in the driving seat and on the road to success by providing cutting edge conference content, showcase the latest innovations on the show floor with face-to face contact and hands-on demonstrations, together with numerous networking opportunities.
Regarding the conferences, a specific aim this year was to capitalize on the strength of international, national and local industry and academia with the introduction of the new Session Keynotes format, designed to boost industrial participation and intensify the interaction between industry and academia. For this, internationally recognized experts from industry open selected sessions with presentations on challenges and state-of-the-art achievements in their field, which was well received.
The Defence, Security & Space Forum continued to go where no Forum has gone before as it ventured into: The Internet of Space – Technologies and Applications, that focused on how a new class of satellite communication can be developed utilizing state-of-the-art microwave and millimeter wave technologies.
EuMW promotes inclusivity, epitomized by the Women in Microwave Engineering event, and planning for the future with events specifically tailored to the younger generation, including the very successful Student Challenge, the Student Design Competition, the European Microwave Doctoral School designed to address the needs of PhD students and The Career Platform aimed at putting prospective directly employees in touch with participating companies.
For young and old, established or new to the industry, an integral and vital constituent of EuMW is the European Microwave Exhibition, which, this year, took up 8000 square meters of gross space and attracted 349 exhibiting companies. The exhibition hall was not only a focal point for innovation but also a platform for interaction. Offering an industry lead focus the European Microwave Week Microwave Application Seminars (MicroApps) took place in the MicroApps Auditorium for the entire three days of the exhibition, providing an informative insight into the latest technology and some lively debate during panel sessions. Also, for the first time, Interactive Sessions saw papers displayed on active presentation screens instead of the posters used in previous years.
The opportunity interact on a personal and professional level was provided by the Keysight Technologies sponsored Welcome Reception on the Tuesday evening, which is designed to be convivial and encourage networking between delegates and industry. This year the atmosphere was added to with the cutting and consumption of a birthday cake and entertainment from mutli-colored light wielding performers!
The exhibition was the place to come face-to-face with the latest technology, establish and re-engage contacts and do business. It is also offers a platform for innovation that leading manufacturers often choose to launch new products and float future concepts, with this year being no exception. Below is a selection of the new and innovative products on show at EuMW 2017.
AMCAD Engineering launched VISION, an advanced RF circuit and system modeling solution for accurate RF & MMW system design. Building RF systems which are designed to operate with wideband modulated signals, like 5G, or with a large number of circuits, like active antennas, is challenging. Looking at the simulation accuracy, the bottleneck is always the model quality used by the simulators, because the different memory effects that take place into the different circuits are not always modeled with a comprehensive methodology. VISION enables measurement setup for model extraction and validation plus concatenating different circuit models to create a macro model using a schematic editor. It provides efficient system simulations that do not need circuit level co-simulations and can account for both low and high frequency memory effects. It will be interesting to see how this new system design tool catches on since it seems very powerful and easy to use.
Ampleon displayed its latest range of innovative RF power targeting the mobile broadband, broadcast, ISM, aerospace and defense and RF energy segments. Highlights included: new Doherty amplifiers for UHF DTV broadcast, high efficiency S-Band radar pallets and transistors – LDMOS for C-Band, next generation high power broadband GaN, what is claimed to be the smallest 2.5 GHz, 915 MHz and 433 MHz modules for RF energy and Thor, the first modular power amplifier reference design for RF energy applications based on Ampleon pallets.
Analog Devices introduced a 9 kHz to 7 GHz directional bridge and dual RMS RF power detector that can simultaneously measure forward and reverse RMS power levels in a signal path along with return loss. The ADL5920 detector integrates a directional bridge-based coupler that results in an industry leading level of integration and bandwidth. For space-critical applications, it integrates the coupling or sensing function with the detection function and provides an output that can drive a precision ADC directly. For wideband operation or for frequency variants, the detector eliminates the need to choose a different directional coupler for each frequency.
ADI also announced a 14-bit, 2.6 GSPS dual A/D converter which enables IF/RF sampling with superior speed and linearity. The AD9689 A/D converter features power dissipation of 1.55 W per channel, half the dissipation of comparable solutions in the market, thus further increasing suitability for many of its targeted design situations. ADI also introduced two related converters: the AD9695, a dual 14-bit 1300/625 MSPS device, and the AD9697, a single 14-bit, 1300-MSPS unit. Both are lower-power, pin-compatible upgrades for existing devices. All three A/D converters include JESD204B interfaces for efficient and highest-speed interconnection to FPGAs, and share the same register map, so they can be used across multiple platforms with minimal coding efforts.
Anritsu Corporation showcased its latest spectrum analyzer/signal analyzers and vector network analyzers. Centre stage was the Spectrum Master™ MS2760A series of mmWave spectrum analyzers that deliver up to 110 GHz spectrum from an instrument that fits in the palm of the hand and can be used for applications such as 5G, E-Band, 802.11ad/WiGig, satellite communications, electronic warfare and automotive radar. Due to its light weight (300g) an application that was demonstrated at EuMW was drone based mmWave spectrum monitoring in 3D!
Another demonstration showed the analyze of 5G signals using the MS2850A signal analyzer with a maximum analysis bandwidth of 1 GHz by performing analysis of an 8-carrier simultaneously (100 MHz x 8 = 800 MHz total) signal output from the demonstration signal source. This demonstration generated an 8 x 100 MHz 5GTF waveform at 28 GHz and detailed resource block level analysis of the signals. This demonstration generated an 8 x 100 MHz 5GTF waveform at 28 GHz and detailed resource block level analysis of the signals.
The company also demonstrated several spectrum monitoring and signal analysis solutions including: using VISION and SpectraVision Software with a High-Speed Port Scanner, a live demonstration of TDOA geolocation with a testbed in Munich and demodulation of satellite communication signals with SpectraVision.
ANSYS discussed their new 3D components that are self contained HFSS models. It is extending the component concept from circuit/schematic to CAD/FEA. More complex geometries can be encapsulated in a compact design file, a 3D Component that can be easily reused and shared by users of HFSS. These 3D Components contain all the FEM simulation information associated with the parts of the components. In addition, the component creator can control what design parameters (e.g. dimensions, material properties) are accessible for control to the end user. In the HFSS UI 3D components can be dragged and dropped into a more complex 3D design or system without requiring creation of the entire 3D design from scratch in CAD. So a user assembles a complex 3D system from more basic components as schematics are assembled from circuit components. They have enabled 3D Component Encryption with Hidden Content where the 3D Component creator can elect to hide certain parts of their design (e.g. geometry, materials, boundary conditions) while only exposing enough geometric information to allow an end user to properly place the component(s) into their overall design. However, the HFSS simulation is fully aware of all the details in the component for a full and rigorous HFSS 3D analysis to capture all electromagnetic couplings between the component(s) and the design. The resulting solution is not a cascading of S-parameter models but a true three dimensional HFSS analysis.
API Technologies announced a collaboration with Analog Devices (ADI) for the production of custom, high reliability modules and assemblies for aerospace and defense (A&D) programs in the European market. API will design and manufacture the custom products in the U.K., combining ADI’s digital signal processing and RF products with API’s design and manufacturing capabilities. The two companies will jointly market their collaboration to European A&D customers. API also highlighted a new product line of optoelectronic transceivers that replace traditional electrical cables with fiber-optic connections. The OPTO-Fire™ high speed fiber-optic transceivers reduce system weight, particularly important in airborne applications, improve security, by eliminating the electromagnetic radiation from copper cabling, and improves data transfer. The single channel fiber core is capable of data transfer rates from 20 Mbps to 12.5 Gbps. The OPTO-Fire transceivers are designed for harsh environments, including airborne, naval and renewable energy.
AR was featuring their new “U-Series” amplifiers with CW outputs of 1. 2.5, 25 and 50 W over the frequency range of 10 kHz to 1 GHz. For example, the Model 50U1000 is a solid-state, self-contained, air-cooled, broadband amplifier designed for applications where instantaneous bandwidth, high gain and linearity are required. When used with a sweep generator, it will provide a minimum of 50 watts of RF power. Included is a front panel gain control which permits the operator to conveniently set the desired output level. The 50U1000 is protected from RF input overdrive by an RF input leveling circuit which controls the RF input level to the RF amplifier first stage when the RF input level is increased above 0 dBm. The RF amplifier stages are protected from over-temperature by removing the DC voltage to them if an overtemperature condition occurs due to cooling blockage or fan failure. Also featured were the high power and extended bandwidth S-Series, pulsed series and hybrid modules.
Arralis announced the commercial release of the Corvus range of Level 4-5 Autonomous chips. The Corvus Power Amplifier is claimed to be the vital bridge between existing and emerging radars and beam-steering antenna solutions aimed at autonomous driving applications. It is a 4-stage MMIC PA that covers frequencies from 76 GHz to 81 GHz. The chip provides up to 25 dB of flat, stable gain, and a power output of more than 18 dBm from a 4 V supply voltage and <150 mA current. All bond pads and the die backside are gold plated. The Corvus PA MMIC is compatible with precision die attach methods, as well as thermo-compression and thermosonic wire bonding, making it ideal for MCM and hybrid microcircuit applications.
Atlanta Micro introduced a new tunable filter product line that consists of digitally tunable lowpass and highpass filters with cutoff frequencies ranging from 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The filters are available in 4mm QFN packages and can be used stand alone or combined together to form flexible, discretely stepped bandpass filters requiring no calibration or large analog voltages. The filters have a high input IP3 (+40 dBm) and maximum input level (+27 dBm), relative to analog voltage tuned filters.
Broadcom, a major supplier of high performance film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) filters for smartphones, discussed a new series of FBAR filters with higher power handling capability that are designed for small cell base stations. The FBAR design replaces a cavity or ceramic filter or duplexer used between the antenna and RF front-end, providing a smaller footprint — important for small cells. Broadcom displayed an FBAR filter designed for TDD-LTE band 41 (2496 to 2690 MHz) that handles 33 dBm RMS with a 10 MHz LTE signal or 38 dBm peak. The ACPF-8041 has less than 2 dB insertion loss across the band and typically 50 dB rejection in the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band.
Computer Simulation Technology (CST), part of SIMULIA, a Dassault Systèmes brand, previewed the upcoming release of CST STUDIO SUITE® 2018. At its heart is the CST® System Assembly and Modeling (SAM) framework. Its significantly improved Assembly Modeler is an intuitive design environment for importing and manipulating components. The 3D viewer is optimized for displaying complex systems with many detailed elements efficiently. Using the Assembly Modeler, users can bring together models from different projects or from the CST Component Library in a single environment and combine them into a system for simulation.
In addition, circuit models in SPICE format can now be imported directly into 3D models as lumped elements and included in both time-domain and frequency-domain simulations. The Particle-in-Cell (PIC) and Wake Field Solvers now also support true-transient EM/circuit co-simulation, offering new possibilities for the co-design of high-power vacuum electronic microwave devices such as magnetrons and traveling wave tube amplifiers. Also included is a preview of the Hybrid Solver Task, offering bi-directional field coupling between simulation domains that can be resolved either with different high-frequency 3D solvers or even the same 3D solver. To find out more the December edition of Microwave Journal will include an in-depth Product Feature on the CST STUDIO SUITE 2018.
Copper Mountain and Diamond Engineering teamed up to demonstrate an automated antenna measurement system. A typical system includes using a VNA and stationary calibrated horn with the DAMS system (positioner, controller and software). This system is a low-cost way to measure any type of antenna and automates the process. Copper Mountain recently added a 1-Port VNA operating from 1 MHz to 6 GHz. The new R60 1-port VNA was used in an interesting application where is was flown on a drone with a radar sensor to scan soil on farm land for moisture content. The setup successfully mapped the moisture content over the desired area. They also featured their ever expanding Cobalt Series of VNAs with new products that include 2- and 4-port analyzers, and add options for Direct Receiver Access and Frequency Extension. Cobalt Series VNAs come in two frequency ranges:100 kHz to 9 GHz and 100 kHz to 20 GHz.
Exxelia showcased high-rel microwave and RF components dedicated to a variety of demanding industries including medical, transportation and defence. The NHB series is a complete range of Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors based on NPO dielectric material, providing a very high self resonant frequency and limiting the parasite parallel resonant frequencies. The series’ capacitance ranges from 0. 3 pF to 100 pF and typical circuit applications include impedance matching, bypass, feedback, tuning, coupling and DC blocking. The company has also developed, with support of ESA and CNES, a new dielectric material, E7000 series, designed for high-end filters where high Q factor is requested. E7000 is Ba-Mg-Ta materials based that combines an ultra-high Q factor and the possibility to get all the temperature coefficients upon request. It provides the high-performance demanded for space use in the frequency range 5 to 32 GHz and guarantees up to Qxf > 250000 at 10 GHZ. Typical applications include satellite multiplexing filter devices, radio links for communication systems (LMDS) and military radars.
Filtronic Broadband and Plextek RFI both highlighted their collaboration to develop a multi-chip module (MCM) to cover the recently-designated European ‘Pioneer Band’ for millimeter wave 5G around 26 GHz. The Front-End Module (FEM) comprises a GaAs LNA, power amplifier and transmit/receive switch housed in a custom laminate surface-mount (SMT) package measuring 10 mm x 10 mm. The receive path gain is 20 dB across the full band, with a noise figure of 3.5 dB. Transmit path gain is 19 dB, and the output referred third order intermodulation (IP3) is +36 dBm. Low-loss RF filtering has been integrated into the package structure, with a band-pass filter after the LNA and a harmonic rejection filter after the PA. Insertion loss figures are 0.7 dB for the band-pass filter and 0.2 dB for the harmonic rejection filter.
Focus Microwaves’ RAPID digital tuner 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. The RAPID series is compatible with the hardware and software of existing labs, thereby allowing users to easily upgrade their existing systems. They also had on display Auriga MEM™, Auriga’s newest pulsed IV function, enhances current resolution to an industry-leading 0.01% of maximum current. Using Auriga’s advanced calibration algorithms and an external Keysight digital multimeter (DMM), Auriga MEM brings the DC measurement plane directly to the device under test.
Gapwaves was a new company to me with an interesting technology. GAP waveguides is a unique packaging technology for mmWave and terahertz circuits and components that has advantages compared to existing transmission line and waveguide technology. The technology enables planar solutions with low losses, operating typically from 30 GHz to THz in applications such as antenna systems for Gigabit speed wireless communication and backhaul. The technology is based on an Artificial Magnetic Conductor that enables contactless propagation of electromagnetic waves, significantly reducing transmission losses. Antennas based on the GAP technology have more than 10 times lower losses than micro strip lines, more than 3 times lower losses than SIW, and approximately the same losses as rectangular waveguides. The GAP waveguide technology can create tightly integrated solutions, including planar antennas, filters, diplexers, and other active components. GAP antennas with multiple ports are suitable for beamforming applications and is working with several providers on 5G solutions so will be interesting to follow their progress.
Holzworth recently introduced the new user interface GUI for the HA7000C Phase Noise Analyzer product line is receiving great reviews "an interface that truly matches the hardware!" Holzworth has always been focused on measurement accuracy and repeatability. However, the current analyzer hardware offers a new level of measurement flexibility that demands a completely reinvented interface.
HUBER+SUHNER unveiled its new injection molded 3D structure radar antenna. Claimed to be superior to standard PCB antennas, the new solution will have a higher bandwidth of up to 15% compared to PCB technology. It provides beamforming and beam steering over the whole bandwidth, with less losses and more gain in the feeding network, providing the reliability and long life that is required in the automotive sector. The company also demonstrated its expertise in test and measurement, showcasing the newly launched SUCOFLEX 526V and 526S assemblies that are flexible and easy to use and said to deliver best-in-class phase and amplitude stability with flexure, movement, temperature and tensile stress. RF-energy experts were also on hand to discuss the company’s latest RF-technology and how using solid-state generated and amplified RF-power can be applied to cooking and mass production processes.
Infineon was showing off their Distance2Go development kit, a 24 GHz sensor utilizing Infineon BGT24MTR11 RF transceiver and XMC4200 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M4 MCU series. This development kit allows the user to implement and test several sensing applications at the 24 GHz ISM band such as FMCW distance measurement, Doppler based movement detection, Doppler based direction of movement detection, and Doppler based speed measurements of targets. The kit consists of the BGT24MTR11 transceiver MMIC and a XMC4200 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M4 for signal processing and communication via USB.
New to the RF and microwave industry Jet Metal Technologies presented its in-line metallization technology as a green and cost efficient alternative to existing metallization technologies or to replace intermediate production steps. It utilizes standard spray painting methods to spray two aqueous based solutions simultaneously onto a substrate at ambient pressure and temperature, leading to a chemical reaction, forming a metal layer onto the substrate. The metallization technology can be applied on various substrate geometries – large, small, simple, complex, 2D, 3D etc – and basically all substrate material choices, whether it is an electrically conducting or non-conducting surface. The range of substrates extends from metals, metal alloys (like Zamak), over glass, all types of textiles, ceramics, silicon, to a long list of plastics and composites to even wax.
K&L Microwave introduced Thin Film Lumped Element (TFLE) highpass filters with 17 cut-off frequency options. They have low loss, small size and DC blocking provides isolation between two or more RF paths. The 7-section family of AH series highpass filters provides Chebyshev response realized via thin film on alumina substrates, typically 0.025” thick, using a sputtering process that guarantees enhanced Q and high repeatability. Filters can be soldered to PWB with the recommended permittivity range of 3 to 4 or adhered to metal carrier with silver epoxy. Wire bonding end launches complete the mounting and attachment process. Designed in a shielded open frame style, placement in a channelized groove minimizes RF leakage and coupling paths between input and output ports.
Keysight Technologies introduced the N5194A UXG X-Series agile vector adapter that extends the capabilities of the UXG X-Series agile signal generators to generate complex pulsed signals and waveforms for simulating electronic warfare threats. The agile vector adapter operates from 50 MHz to 20 GHz and includes a 2 GSPS digital baseband system capable of producing wideband signals with up to 1.6 GHz bandwidth. This makes it possible to generate complex pulsed signals with variable rise and fall times, non-linear chirps, and advanced modulation coding with excellent signal purity, typically −70 dBc in X-Band. The UXG vector adapter includes a built-in solid-state attenuator with 120 dB of amplitude range, for creating antenna scan pattern and angle-of-arrival scenarios. Keysight also featured recently announced enhancements to its FieldFox handheld RF and microwave analyzers; the analyzers connect to Keysight’s 89600 vector signal analysis tool for signal demodulation and vector signal analysis. The signal formats that can be analyzed include APCO-25 and TETRA, for public safety radio; IEEE 802.11p, for wireless vehicular communications; low power wide-area networks and other formats for the internet of things (IoT); and LTE, WCDMA and GSM.
Knowles Capacitors showcased the DLI, Novacap, Syfer, Voltronics and Johanson MFG brands. At the forefront was the newly launched V Series, Single Layer Capacitor (SLC) from DLI, which has been designed to provide higher capacitance in a smaller footprint. The wire bondable range is suitable for power applications where excellent high frequency response is a prerequisite. This, together with the small footprint of just 0.03 inch by 0.77 mm square, allows for high density mounting. Excellent in high frequency characteristics the impedance of this product becomes lower at high frequencies. High capacitance, X7R dielectric temperature stability, and gold termination, completes the spec for DC blocking, RF bypassing, filtering, tuning and coupling applications, while RoHS compliance is standard.
LPKF Laser & Electronics featured the LPKF ProtoLaser S4 Laser System that uses a green laser wavelength and can laser etch PCBs in minutes on a wide range of laminated substrates, FR4 and PTFE or woven PCB materials. Prototypes and small production batches can also be produced at short notice if required. The precision of the LPKF ProtoLaser S4 makes it suitable for HF and microwave circuits, as well as digital and analog circuits.
Another product that is likely to have significant impact in the future is the LPKF ProtoLaser R, which was originally developed for the medical sector but promises to also have applications in the RF and microwave field. Unlike pure cutting applications, micro material processing does not require high powers. Instead, stable laser parameters in the lower output range are crucial. The LPKF ProtoLaser R features a laser source with a laser power of up to 4 W. This allows even complex thin film systems, temperature-sensitive substrates, and OLED coatings on glass to be ablated or structured with a high degree of control and the laser system requires no masks or films.
MACOM announced that its RF Energy Toolkits are now available for order providing a flexible and cost-effective development platform that helps accelerate time to market with high-performance, power efficient solid-state RF systems. Targeted for use in commercial markets ranging from cooking, lighting and industrial heating/drying to medical/pharmaceutical, automotive ignition systems, the RF Energy Toolkits enable engineers to quickly and easily take advantage of GaN-on-Si as a high-precision, high-efficiency energy source. With the Toolkit, designers are able to fine-tune RF energy output for any application requirements with push-button ease and an intuitive display interface. OEMs designing for more complex RF energy applications can request MACOM and its partner network for custom applicator and algorithm development, plus expert engineering support. The toolkits can scale power output up to 300 W leveraging the onboard MACOM GaN-on-Si power transistor, and can be easily paralleled for higher power applications. They support pulsed and continuous wave operation at the 2.45 GHz frequency band with future toolkits will supporting the 915 MHz frequency band. Macom also had on display a variety of A&D products plus diodes solutions for many applications. They are supporting a full line of general purchase MMIC devices that also support a variety of applications.
Maury Microwave was showing off AM3000 PIV system, designed specifically for synchronized PIV/RF measurements and compact model extraction. What is unique about this new hardware is the asynchronous recharge, which allows us to extend a typical 1 ms maximum pulse width to 200 seconds. These wider pulse widths allow unique investigations into trapping effects and allow engineers to model these trapping effects quite accurately. The second advantage is the new 18-bit ADC which allows for a lower the noise floor and turn what used to be low-current noise into clear IV curves. They also showed the MT2000 mixed-signal active load pull system and demonstrated a pre-5G signal with 120 MHz of wideband impedance control at 3 GHz and 240 MHz of impedance control at 6 GHz (second harmonic frequency). This is the only active load pull system capable of 240 MHz of impedance bandwidth control, and the only system suited for load pull of modulated signals. Lastly, they discussed the pre-release of IVCAD 3.7, with the addition of traditional load pull to our already implemented VNA-based load pull. Adding traditional load pull to IVCAD enables engineers to build a single load pull system comprising of both modulated load pull and VNA-based active harmonic load pull. They expect to release IVCAD 3.7 within 6 weeks.
Mician featured Version 8.1, the latest release of its µWave Wizard hybrid EM-design software design tool using the well-known fast and accurate Mode-Matching (MM) technique. This method is particularly suitable for simulation and optimization of passive microwave systems and components, including antennas. The MM method and its derivatives (i.e. the fast hybrid MM/boundary contour and the MM/2D-finite-element method) is claimed to be the only method capable of simultaneously offering fastest processing speed and highest accuracy. A 3D FEM solver on element level is available within the µWave Wizard for structures with very complex geometries or with features not feasible to be implemented in MM. Typical applications for the µWave Wizard are complex passive waveguide components and structures like waveguide and combline filters, multiplexers, couplers, tapers, horn antennas and cluster feeds, OMTs, polarizers, etc. For such components, more than 300 waveguide, combline and coaxial line elements are available in the continuously expanding element library.
Microwave Innovation Group (MIG) showed the latest advancements to its WASP-NET EM CAD tool. WASP-NET’s hybrid multisolver domain-composition technology combines, in each case, the most appropriate solver for sub-domains of a structure. At EuMW the focus was on Version 10, where a new efficient hybrid Shooting-and-Bouncing-Ray (SBR), Physical-Theory-of-Diffraction (PTD), Method-of-Moment (MoM) technique is combined with WASP-NET’s other solvers (MM/FE/FE-BI/PO/FD), which significantly reduces calculation time for both large antenna structures and small structures such as dielectric inserts in feed-horns. Also, large arrays such as patch, Vivaldi arrays can be efficiently and accurately calculated by an advanced MoM/FE-BI/FETI domain composition technique.
Other features of Version 10 include a new characterization mode (CM) engine that determines optimum antenna locations, antenna shapes and feeding positions of user-defined platform-mounted antennas. For layered media, WASP-NET includes a new MoM/AIM solver, which in combination with the remaining solvers allows the efficient analysis/optimization of planar structures like microstrips and PCBs. Version 10 now also facilitates the convenient design of shaped offset dual-reflector antennas by a user-friendly wizard and extensions at slot-arrays include compound and crossed slots for generating circular polarization as well as the possibility to add multiple dielectric layers.
Molex was showing off their wireless market products including ferrite isolators and circulators for 5G solutions, in addition to reduced size waveguide diplexers for the next generation radio link/microwave backhaul systems and one-piece weather proof boots for outdoor jumper cables. They also talked about a 40 GHz, 5G coaxial connector system that is in the late stages of development with expected release in December of 2017. They also discussed next generation SMP-MAX (evolution) board-to-board RF using lower cost manufacturing methods and materials. Molex featured an expanded line of multi-port RF solutions including Micro D-Subminiature products and a newly released sealed FAKRA in-line system for automotive applications which is becoming very popular for camera and ADAS applications.
MPI Corporation announced successful installation of a next-generation THz probe system to the Kollberg Laboratory at Chalmers University of Technology to develop new measurement solutions for wafer-level characterization at THz frequency range. The integrated wafer probe system TS150-THZ was designed for probing at THz frequencies incorporating many innovative features such as seamless integration of VNA frequency extenders of any type and frequency bands up to 1.7 THz. TS150-THZ provides the maximum possible measurement dynamic range and highest accuracy. It features Probe Hover Control, Chuck Auto-Lock and Auto-Contact to significantly increase reproducibility of system calibration and measurement data and extends the lifetime of expensive THz accessories.
National Instruments introduced the Vehicle Radar Test System (VRTS) that Engineers can use to test 76–81 GHz radar technology from the R&D lab through high-volume production test and from individual radar sensors to integrated advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The VRTS combines NI’s mmWave front end technology, a PXI VST and application-specific software. Unlike traditional automotive radar simulators that are only capable of obstacle generation for functional behavior test, the VRTS integrates a 76–81 GHz vector signal generator/analyzer designed for dynamic obstacle generation and comprehensive RF characteristic measurements. Using a more comprehensive approach to radar test that includes both traditional and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test techniques, engineers can deliver more robust autonomous driving technology to comply with evolving regulatory requirements. The VRTS is available through select NI Alliance Partners who provide advanced system integration and support. NI is partnering with companies like Konrad and Noffz to supply full test systems to the automotive industry.
NI was demonstrating various applications with its VST, baseband VST and mmWave channel sounder for 5G, automotive, WLAN and other applications. In the middle of this year, they released many new products in these areas that support the latest advancements being made in these markets.
OMMIC emphasized its capabilities following the recent inauguration of a new 6-inch GaN production line at its facility in Limeil-Brévannes, near Paris, France. This development multiplies by 4x the company’s production capacity and makes it the only European company able to produce GaN and GaAs on 6-inch wafers. The company is a pioneer in III-V – especially GaAs and GaN – semiconductors. This new production capability strengthens its position as a leader in Europe to cover the needs of 5G antenna relays at 28 and 40 GHz, while continuing to serve and assist its current clients with more modern equipment. OMMIC’s processes can be used at frequencies above 30 GHz with output powers that have not yet been achieved.
Optenni Lab has developed a matching circuit synthesis and optimization software for solving all matching problems in the RF chain within wireless devices. Optenni Lab can optimize broadband, multiband, multiport and tunable matching circuits for antennas, filters, amplifiers, switches, tuners and other RF components. They have coined the term RF Design Automation as the software does all of the heavy lifting to automate the matching of components. It links to ANSYS, CST, Altair/FEKO, Remcom and NI/AWR software plus real-time linking to VNAs. They were demonstrating how to design a matching circuit in minutes for an antenna at various frequency bands.
Planar Monolithics Industries (PMI) was featuring model P16T-100M40G-100-T-I-292, a single pole, sixteen throw solid state switch operating over the 0.1 to 40 GHz frequency range. This model offers a typical insertion loss of 15 dB while maintaining a typical isolation of 80 dB. Maximum input power is 20 dB CW with typical switching time of 50 ns.
Pickering Interfaces showcased its broad range of PXI and Ethernet LXI RF and microwave switching solutions. Featured were the recently expanded PXI Microwave Multiplexers (model 40-785B) with new 50 GHz versions. They are single or dual 6-channel multiplexers with relays mounted on the front panel and are suitable for switching 50 Ω signals up to 50 GHz. The single slot version can support up to three remotely mounted multiplexers. The range is compatible with any PXI chassis and can be fitted to PXI hybrid slots in a PXIe chassis.
Highlights for Radiall included the new Quartz series of SMT switches up to 26.5 GHz for test and measurement applications, V-Band millimeter wave antennas for telecom applications and a range of other high performance and reliable switch solutions. Compared to the previous SMT relay the Quartz series provides higher frequency up to 26.5 GHz with excellent reliability, hermeticity and thermal resistance. Its life span figures are 3 million cycles guaranteed, and 5 million cycles typical. The V-Band millimeter wave antenna is designed for integration in small cells, backhaul and fronthaul radio systems. This new solution provides 32 dBi boresight gain from 57 to 66 GHz, coinciding with the normal axis of the antenna, helping to facilitate quick and easy alignment between radio units. Designed for outdoor installations, the antenna is also tested in accordance with the IEC 60068-2 environmental standard and is IP67 rated.
Remcom showcased new features in Wireless InSite, its site-specific radio propagation software for 5G and mmWave MIMO simulations. As 5G technology forces expansion into higher frequencies in the mmWave spectrum, the diffuse scattering model further increases precision by revealing how paths interact with a variety of surfaces and structures and how signal power is affected by these interactions. Remcom’s MicroApps showcased this plus a new predictive tool for simulating FD-MIMO. MicroApps are available on Remcom’s website.
At its main booth Rohde & Schwarz showcased test solutions for RF & microwave components, radar, 5G communications and satellite payload. The company launched the R&S ZNL network analyzer and the R&S FPL1000 spectrum analyzer to offer flexible solutions for the characterization of components such as antennas, attenuators, filters and amplifiers, as well as measurements on signal sources including spectral measurements, analog and digital signal demodulation and accurate power measurements. With frequency ranges from 5 kHz to 3 GHz or 6 GHz, the R&S ZNL offers solid network analyzer performance with a dynamic range of up to 130 dB (typical) and an output power range from –40 dBm to +3 dBm (typical). The R&S FPL1000 spectrum analyzer operates in the frequency range from 5 kHz to 3 GHz. It delivers solid RF performance with a typical phase noise of –108 dBc at 10 kHz offset (1 GHz carrier) and a displayed average noise level (DANL) of –167 dBm using the optional preamplifier.
For the first time, Rohde & Schwarz also featured a special exhibition area dedicated solely to innovative automotive radar test solutions that were presented to the public for the first time, which included a product preview of the new R&S AREG100A automotive radar echo generator for reliable testing of radar sensors in production, which supports all automotive radar bands (24 GHz, 76 GHz and 79 GHz). Together with the R&S ATS1000 shielded chamber and the R&S QuickStep test execution software, it ensures fail-safe testing of automotive radar sensors. Finally, the R&S QAR, which is scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2018 and offers a complete frequency sweep from 75 GHz to 82 GHz is used to measure material attenuation in the 77 GHz and 79 GHz automotive radar ranges. With both sets of measurements, the R&S QAR offers the comprehensive and detailed analysis required for future radar generations.
Rosenberger exhibited a vast range of connectivity products. Significantly, the RPC-1.00 range of connectors has been completed by the introduction of waveguide-to-coaxial adaptors. The connectors, with 50 Ω impedance and 1.00 mm outer conductor, can be used for challenging test and measurement applications up to 110 GHz. With high levels of reliability and repeatability of performance the new revised portfolio covers cable assemblies, in-series and inter-series adaptors and PCB connectors as well as the waveguide-to-coaxial adaptors and gauge kits.
Also the company’s range of Solderless PCB Mount Connectors has been completed by the introduction of Economic Solderless Connectors, which can be easily mounted by using screws. Standard screws are included, with other lengths available on request. The mode-free design of these connectors allows very good RF performance for standard applications in the fields of test and measurement, chip testing fixtures, board characterization and communication industries. Rosenberger also announced that its SMP Infinity Connectors with a one-step locking mechanism are available for telecom applications with their qualification for space applications in the pipeline.
SAGE Millimeter launched a new website this year, designed to provide comprehensive information about the company’s extensive catalog of millimeter wave products, which range from components to test equipment. The site’s functionality allows customers to obtain pricing and order products. The company is responding to the development of millimeter wave 5G systems and has released several new products to support system development and testing. These include a Ka-Band scalar feed horn antenna and an orthomode transducer, both covering 24 to 42 GHz. For WiGig and other 60 GHz applications, SAGE recently announced a balanced mixer with an input 1 dB compression point of +10 dBm.
SCHOTT showcased its capabilities and product offerings in hermetic microelectronic packages and substrates for defense and aerospace systems for which it is a supplier of glass-to-metal sealed hermetic packages. Components and systems supported include power amplification in aerospace communication, TRM modules, cooled and uncooled IR detection, high-temperature sensors and laser warning receivers, as well as microwave and power supply for E-Scan radar. The company manufactures products that meet high performance and lifetime expectations, even in working environments with extreme pressure, vibrations and temperatures in excess of 175ºC.
SEMIC RF Electronic GmbH highlighted its wideband LogPer antenna range that comprises the WLP 2002, WLP 2003, WLP 2006 and WLP 2009, which operate at 20 MHz to 2000 MHz, 20 MHz to 3000 MHz, 20 MHz to 6000 MHz and 20 MHz to 9000 MHz respectively. With a calibrated accuracy is +/- 0.5 dBi each biconical, log-periodic antenna is subjected to a multi-step calibration process across its operating range. They have applications for electromagnetic immunity measurements where very high field strengths of more than 10 V/m are demanded. Owing to its wideband antenna performance, the SEMIC RF WLP LogPer Antenna range can replace multi-antenna arrangements used in EMC and EMI tests. The company also featured The SEMIC RF WHA 2024 wideband horn antenna that can be used as transmit or receive antenna within the frequency range of 2 to 24.5 GHz. The antenna Features an extremely high bandwidth at very high input power and very good matching. The maximum antenna gain shows 17.5 dBi.
Sivers IMA featured the 24 GHz Radar Sensor Platform Evaluation Kit that will appear as a Tech Brief in the November issue of Microwave Journal. The EVK02401/00 is a complete 24 GHz radar, intended as a platform for the development of customer specific sensing solutions. It integrates an analog front-end, an ARM M7 MCU board with radar firmware and antenna along with signal processing software into an easy to use sensor (the RSE02401/00), enabling customers to create high performance systems using radar as the sensing technology. It includes both FMCW and Doppler functionality for immediate distance and speed measurement. Other features include: serial over USB connectivity, low power consumption, the option to use an external antenna, an easy to use Graphic User Interface (GUI), including distance and speed and raw data logging.
Among the myriad of products Spectrum Elektrotechnik GmbH featured the DC to 63 GHz Phase Adjusters. Phase adjusters are designed for constant impedance over the whole adjustment range and they are employed to adjust the electrical separation of other components without introducing additional mismatch. For the Spectrum products all step discontinuities have been carefully compensated and locking screws are provided to ease the sliding tension and to lock at the desired adjustment, while the best materials have been used for ruggedness, low weight and best performance.
SPINNER presented a new PCB probe that is claimed to take PCB testing to a new level by enabling abrasion-free and therefore lossless RF transmission. Also featured was a simplified switch matrix with multiple input and output ports for antenna testing, while the latest generation of EasyDock push-pull measurement adaptors with nonlocking and lockable versions for manual and automatic use were also showcased.
Teledyne was showing several divisions in their booth. The Relay group was featuring surface mount high frequency, active SPDT switches using high-speed, low loss InP devices. It operates from 300 kHz to 40+ GHz with low insertion loss (2-5 dB), high isolation (20-60 dB) and fast switching time (less than 100 ns). They also featured the GRF121 relays operating from DC to 16 GHz with signal integrity up to 40 Gbps. They are hermetically sealed, with a 3 million cycle lifetime. The Microwave group was featuring a 350, 550 and 1 kW X-band GaN SSPA. These amplifiers can be combined to support even higher powers. Options include harmonic filters, remote monitoring/control and alternate input voltages. The Storm Microwave group was showing off SF047EW supporting frequencies up to 110 GHz. They can withstand handling and flexing while still maintaining original insertion loss and VSWR performance. These are being used to replace waveguide in some places where the flexibility is needed.
Pride of place on the Teledyne e2v booth went to the EV12DS460A, which is claimed to be the first K-Band capable Digital-to-Analog Converter. This DAC provides an analog bandwidth extending beyond 7 GHz, facilitating multi-band, direct digital synthesis up to K-Band (26.5 GHz). A flexible 4:1 or 2:1 input multiplexer enables guaranteed sampling rates up to 6 GSps with the capability to operate at 7 GSps. The EV12DS460 is equipped with four output operating modes (NRZ, RTZ, NRTZ and RF) and includes an option for program pulse shaping, making it proficient at handling the most specific of RF applications.
Teseq’s new high power density design has allowed them to produce a 30 W 1 MHz to 1 GHz amplifier in a compact 3U package. With a minimum of 25 W of linear power, this amplifier is ideal for RF immunity testing in a GTEM cell. These amplifiers are easily integrated with the Teseq immunity instruments such as the NSG4070 or ITS 6006 and Teseq GTEM cells to create turnkey IEC61000-4-3 test systems. They also featured the NSG 4070 which is a multi-functional device for carrying out EMC immunity tests to accompany development and conformity testing in accordance to IEC / EN 61000-4-6, Namur and several automotive BCI standards. Its modular set-up using internal or external amplifiers enables a large variety of applications. The firmware makes the NSG 4070 independent from an external PC and control software, however it can also be remote controlled for system operation. A state-of-the-art data transfer of test and measurement data for documentation is provided by USB stick to be plugged into the front panel.
WIN Semiconductors briefed EuMW attendees on two recent announcements: a new process platform (PIH1-10) for single-chip, millimeter wave front-end modules and enhancements to the company’s 0.25 µm GaN power process. The PIH1-10 process integrates monolithic PIN diodes with a 100 GHz ft PHEMT process, enabling power amplifier, low noise amplifier and switching to be integrated on a single MMIC. The process also supports linear Schottky diodes, for mixers and detectors, and enhancement and depletion transistors, for logic and bias control. With the RF isolated through-wafer vias and humidity resistance, the PIH1-10 platform provides wafer-level packaging, enabling MMICs to be surface-mounted to a printed circuit board without additional packaging. WIN has continued to optimize its 100 mm, 0.25 µm, 28 V GaN on SiC process (NP25) to enhance device performance. With improved DC and RF IV characteristics, the NP25 process provides 2 dB higher maximum stable gain. At 10 GHz, the GaN devices achieve a saturated power density of 5 W/mm, more than 65 percent power-added efficiency and 19 dB of linear gain.
United Monolithic Semiconductors (UMS) outlined its products and services across a range of applications, which includes GaN RF solutions from power bars to packaged MMICs that utilize GaN on SiC proprietary technology to provide high power, high PAE and high reliability up to Ku-Band. The company also offers innovative product solutions including GaN high power amplifiers up to 50 W in a hermetic package that utilizes 0.25 µm GaN on SiC that offers a high level of performance in short pulsed mode: 50 W in X-Band/35% PAE and 30 W in Ku-Band/25% PAE. For ISM applications UMS offers 24 GHz integrated RF front-end sensor solutions that provide low consumption, low phase noise and high output power. Additionally, it offers space evaluated processes from DC to 100 GHz. These Class S Hi-Rel MMICs are certified and qualified as Flight Models according to ESA specifications and MIL-PRF-38354.
Wolfspeed was featuring their recently announced CG2H family of GaN HEMT power transistors with 0.25 µm gate length. The shorter gate length extends the operating frequency to 8 GHz and provides higher gain (1.5 to 2.0 dB) and better efficiency (5 to 10 points) compared to Wolfspeed’s prior generation. The CG2H devices are available as die (CG2H800 series) or in packages (CG2H400 series). As an example of device performance, the CG2H40025 provides 25 W output power with 65 percent efficiency at PSAT , with 17 dB small-signal gain at 2 GHz (17 dB at 4 GHz), operating at 28 V. They also extended their family of 50 V unmatched GaN HEMT RF power devices by adding a 250 W part with a frequency range up to 3 GHz and the highest efficiency of any comparably-rated GaN device available, enabling RF design engineers to use fewer components to design smaller and lighter linear amplifier circuits for commercial and military wireless communications and S-band radar applications.Due to recent market demand for SiC wafers and power devices for electric vehicle and battery storage applications, Wolfspeed is adding a 150 mm line to increase SiC capacity, which will free 100 mm capacity for RF applications.