Back to Beijing - EDI CON China 2018 Event Review
After last year’s EDI CON China event taking place in Shanghai, EDI CON China returned to Beijing at the Chinese National Convention Center directly across from the Olympic Park. Close to 3,000 unique attendees participated in the conference with more than 125 companies in the exhibition.
The 5G conference sessions covering topics from device design to system testing were very well attended filling a room of more than 100 attendees in every session on the first day. Eric Bogatin of Teledyne LeCroy and Signal Integrity Journal presented a workshop on “Essential Principles of Power Integrity Measurements” to a full house of signal/power integrity engineers. The featured panel sessions including 5G Massive MIMO, 5G mmWave OTA Measurements, The State of GaN Technology in China, and RF Energy Commercial and Industrial Applications. In addition, the American Certification Body (ACB) held a two day seminar on certification training covering topics such as FCC standards, IoT, EMC, SAR, shielding, and spectrum analysis.
New this year were the product innovation awards that were given out to the new products that represented the best design innovation of releases over the past year. Companies receiving the EDI CON China Innovation awards included Focus Microwaves for the MPT-110200 Multi-Harmonic Tuner, 20 to 110 GHz; ANSYS for Discovery Live (Instantaneous 3D Simulation); Analog Devices for the AD9375 Integrated, Dual RF Transceiver with Observation Path; Pasternack for the PEM010 60 GHz WR-15 Waveguide Tx Module; and Rogers Corporation for their XtremeSpeed RO1200 Laminates for high speed designs.
The first day keynotes included “IMT-2020 (5G) Standardization Process,” by Dr. Ying Peng, Senior Standardization Expert, DaTang Telecommunication Technology & Industry Holding Co.; “Embracing Over The Air Testing—A challenge or an opportunity for 5G,” by Giampaolo Tardioli, Vice President of the Network Access, Keysight Technologies; “T&M Challenges and Current Developments for 5G Testing in a Future Networked World,” by Christoph Pointner, Vice President for Signal Generators, Audio Analyzers and Power Meters, Rohde & Schwarz; and “A Platform based Approach to 5G: Design, Prototyping and Test,” by Luke Schreier, VP of Automated Test Marketing, National Instruments. These talks filled the 300+ seat capacity of the auditorium on site. The second day keynotes included “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Wireless Communication Industry,” by Dr. Gordon GC Liang, President & CEO, Pivotone; “Solid State RF Energy is the Smart Technology Solution for 2018,” by Dr. Klaus Werner, Executive Director, RF Energy Alliance” and “The Advantages of Using Multiple Satellite Navigation Systems,” by Rainer Horn, Managing Partner, SpaceTec Partners.
The welcome reception hosted by Keysight Technologies was filled to capacity with more than 350 attendees. The night included welcoming remarks by Keysight, food and drink plus entertainment for the delegates, visitors and special guests. After some traditional Chinese musicians entertained the crowd, the team from ACB Training, lead by Mike Violette, brought many talented singers to the stage and concluded with a group song.
In the exhibition, we met with many of the companies on the show floor. Here is a summary of the products we came across that were highlighted at the event:
Ampleon’s booth included solutions for particle accelerators, Doherty broadcast transmitters, and wireless base stations. LDMOS-based products will also be on display, including high power devices for FM broadcast applications, extremely rugged solutions for laser and plasma generation, and devices for avionics and RADAR systems. Devices and pallets for use in RF Energy applications will also be on the booth. In addition to the booth exhibits, a number of Ampleon staff are involved in the event’s conference program: Amit Dixit, RF Modeling Engineer, presented a paper on “Accurate GaN modelling for RF power amplifier design enablement” and Mr Coen Centen, Senior Director of Development and Applications, participated in the RF Energy Alliance Panel workshop on the topic of “Inroads to the Industrial Market”. Ampleon is a founding member of the RF Energy Alliance and has taken a leading role in promoting energy efficient, compact and extremely reliable solid state RF power solutions. Finally, Osman Ceylan, Innovation Engineer, presented a paper on the topic of ‘Design and Optimization of Biasing Networks for Wideband High Power Amplifiers”.
Analog Devices was featuring the AD9172 meets the demands of gigahertz bandwidth applications and delivers the increased spectral efficiency needed for 4G/5G multi-band wireless communications base stations and 2 GHz E-band microwave point-to-point backhaul platforms. Its design also benefits production instrumentation targeting multi-standard direct-to-RF signal synthesis. Engineered for gigahertz-bandwidth applications, the AD9208 A/D converter meets the increased spectral efficiency demands of 4G/5G multi-band wireless communications base stations. It also meets the reduced run-time targets of multi-standard production instrumentation and provides greater detection range and sensitivity for defense electronics. They also featured the AD9375, a wideband RF transceiver with integrated Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD), targeting 3G/4G small cell and massive MIMO with the following functions: RF transceiver operating from 300 MHz to 6 GHz, dual channel transmitters (Tx) and receivers (Rx) supporting Rx bandwidths up to 100 MHz, and Tx bandwidths up to 250 MHz. It also has a fully integrated, ultra-low power DPD actuator and adaptation engine, supporting up to 40 MHz linearization bandwidths. Additional observation receiver (ORx) and sniffer receiver JESD204B data interface with integrated synthesizers and digital signal processing function is also included. All of these devices were finalists in the EDI CON China Product Innovation Awards.
Highlighting its multiple locations in China, ANSYS was a proud finalist and winner in the first EDI CON CHINA Innovation Product Awards with its ANSYS Discovery Live. This EDA product provides instantaneous 3D simulation, tightly coupled with direct geometry modeling, to enable interactive design exploration.
While Anokiwave has released chip sets and partnered with Ball Aerospace for full beam steering arrays at 28 and 39 GHz, but for China and Europe, the AWMF-0135 is a highly integrated silicon quad core IC intended for 5G phased array applications at 26 GHz. The device supports four Tx/Rx radiating elements, includes 5 bit phase and 5 bit gain control for analog RF beam steering, and operates in half duplex fashion to enable a single antenna to support both Tx and Rx operation. The device provides 23 dB gain and +10 dBm output power during transmit mode and 26 dB coherent gain, 5.0 dB NF, and -28 dBm IIP3 during receive mode. Additional features include gain compensation over temperature, temperature reporting, Tx power telemetry, and fast beam switching. The device features ESD protection on all pins, operates from +1.8 V, and is packaged in a 48 lead 6x6 mm QFN for easy installation in planar phased array antennas. Anokiwave/Ball Aerospace arrays were in the NI booth for active demonstrations of 5G mmWave technology.
Beijing Xutec Technology Company Ltd. was featuring power amplifiers and EMC test solutions in its booth; Beijing Xutec is the distributor for Ophir (USA) and Narda Italy. The booth featured Ophir power amplifiers that ranged from 10 kHz to 40 GHz with output power up to 24,000 W.
The CETC 41 booth featured a number of test and measurement products, including the Ceyear 4456D digital 4-channel oscilloscope with an integrated protocol analyzer and digital voltmeter. The booth also featured the 3656D vector network analyzer, (300 kHz~20 GHz) with up to 64 independent measuring channels and 1-Hz frequency resolution. Data analysis functions include ripple test, bandwidth test, and limit tests.
Dynax Semiconductor customers produce high-efficiency and high-gain wide-band signals using Dynax GaN power amplifiers that are simple to use and suitable for applications such as LTE, 4G, and 5G ultra-wideband power amplifiers for mobile communications. They also supply GaN HEMT dies that can support ultra-wideband applications within DC-6 GHz for customers with industry-leading power density, efficiency and reliability. These are suitable for use in compact RF amplification modules, general purpose or personal communication subsystems.
Farran specializes in test and measurement systems, such as VNA extenders and noise figure analyzers, as well as waveguide-based components, such as amplifiers, detectors, frequency converters, and mixers. One item showcased in its booth was the Cobalt Fx Series of millimeter wave VNA products, with target applications in 5 GHz and automotive radar. The product features three frequency bands in one unit. With an operating frequency range of 50 to 75 GHz, the minimum dynamic range is 110 dB (120 dB typical). Other frequency ranges include 60 to 90 GHz and 75 to 110 GHz.
Focus Microwaves introduced the first wideband coaxial 110 GHz Multi-Purpose-Tuner (MPT) that is an impedance tuning solution with the flexibility to perform source- or load-pull on-wafer and in-fixture measurements. The internal three independent probes enable separate changing of impedances at fundamental and harmonic frequencies at literally millions of impedance points. The versatile electromechanical tuner can create impedances using three independently adjustable wideband probes at three harmonic frequencies continuously from 20 to 110 GHz. Focus won the EDI CON China Product Innovation Award in the test and measurement category for this product.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES announced during the event a new ecosystem partner program, called RFwave™, designed to simplify RF design and help customers reduce time-to-market for a new era of wireless devices and networks. The last few years there has been an increasing demand for connected devices and systems that will require innovations in radio technologies to support the new modes of operation and higher capabilities. The RFwave Partner Program builds upon GF’s 5G vision and roadmap, with a focus on the company’s RF solutions, such as FD-SOI, RF CMOS (bulk and advanced CMOS nodes), RF SOI and SiGe technologies. The program provides a low-risk, cost-effective path for designers seeking to build highly optimized RF solutions for a range of wireless applications such as IoT across various wireless connectivity and cellular standards, standalone or transceiver integrated 5G front end modules, mmWave backhaul, automotive radar, small cell and fixed wireless and satellite broadband. RFwave enables customers to build innovative RF solutions as well as packaging and test solutions.
Specializing in GaN and GaAs foundry service, HiWafer Semiconductor was showcasing its ability to supply MMICs, AD/DA, MCU, and DC-DC products. Highlighted processes included the HW-PPA25 GaAs 0.25 um power pHemt process that features a 0.25 um optical T-gate, ion-implant isolation, and a high-Q passivation layer. The HW-HBT02 2um foundry technology supports frequencies up to 10 GHz with wafer thickness from 100 um.
IDT offers high performance millimeter wave RF and timing products for 5G wireless basestations and fixed wireless access at 26/28/39 GHz, roof-top backhaul in E-Band (71 to 86 GHz), and 5G small cell LTE backhaul and fixed wireless access in V-band (51 to 71 GHz). IDT was featuring products such as RF beamformers, power amplifiers and power detectors, RapidWave™ baseband modem ICs, and advanced timing solutions for these markets along with other devices such as their amplifiers, mixers, attenuators, switches, modulators/demodulators, synthesizers/PLLs and VGAs.
Keysight participated in the plenary session presenting on “Embracing Over-The-Air (OTA) Testing—A challenge or an opportunity for 5G” delivered by Giampaolo Tardioli, VP of Network Access, Keysight Technologies. The talk discussed how engineers can respond to the challenges they are facing in over-the-air testing as it relates to 5G. As the host sponsor, Keysight lead the technical sessions with more than 20 presentations plus presented several workshops and participated on several panels.
Keysight performed demonstrations in a record 9 booths with test solutions such as 5G NR, 802.11ax, Multi Port Antennas, Drones, High-Speed Digital, Optical Communications, Automotive Radar, IoT, Software, IC Design, and its key products: 110 GHz Signal analyzer and VNA. Their partner area spread across the floor with their signature red border including companies such as Maury Microwave, RF Flight, HiSun Test, GBIT, Electro Rent and others.
Maury Microwave was featuring a comprehensive line of coaxial and waveguide VNA calibration kits, which consist of accurate, stable, and precise calibration standards for a broad range of VNA models. When properly used, these kits ensure a true evaluation of VNA performance. Maury kits offer a range of performance and cost options which provide users with choices that are both technically and economically suitable for a variety of intended application. They were also featuring calibration-grade metrology, precision, and lab interconnect solutions including cable assemblies, adapters and more. Maury Microwave's Stability™ series sets the standard for high-performance ruggedized microwave/RF cable assemblies. Designed specifically for phase-stable and amplitude-stable applications, Stability™ offers excellent measurement repeatability even after cable flexure. Maury was also featuring their various characterization systems such as device characterization for power amplifier design. The ideal form of the amplifier device data is a large signal model from which the performance can be analyzed for varying drive and impedance conditions, so complex or multi-stage circuits can be designed. A method of formulating a large signal model is to use a measurement-based behavioral approach, as with the X-Parameter model. This is based on measurements of X-parameters, which are a superset of S-parameters for nonlinear components, and are measured using a Non-linear Vector Network Analyzer. Maury supplies various systems to characterize and models all types of devices.
Mini Circuits/Mitron highlighted its expansive selection of RF/microwave components, including its ZVBP line of bandpass filters, MNA line of monolithic amplifiers, as well as its range of MMICs. Mini-Circuits was a finalist in the EDI CON China Product Innovation Awards with a 100 W surface mount dual directional coupler with 36 dB nominal coupling covering 225 to 2500 MHz. The coupler offers high power handling in a miniature, printed laminate form factor (1.0 x 1.0 x 0.128”). While coupler selection typically involves a tradeoff between flat coupling (core and wire construction) and low loss (stripline construction), Mini-Circuits DDCH-35-252+ utilizes proprietary design with stripline construction to achieve 0.15 dB insertion loss and ±0.6 dB flatness across a bandwidth of greater than 1 decade. Mitron, Mini Circuits’ strategic partner and representative, featured a wideband high resolution multi-channel phase & amplitude control matrix that can realize the control of phase & amplitude of the signal. It can be used to do simulation and test of the electromagnetic signal environment, over-the-air (OTA) beamforming algorithms, antenna arrays and the entire 5G system. Also it can be used to work with vector network analyzer of signal generator to configure multi-channel phase & amplitude separately but synchronized controlled, coherent vector signal generator, which will be the important test instrument for 5G and antenna array.
MVG was featuring their StarLab 50 GHz that is a compact and portable measurement system that frees up space in laboratories and production environments, plus saves costs. Delivering ultra-fast and accurate test results using near-field, spherical technology, StarLab 50 GHz provides a future-proof turnkey solution for 5G system development and validation. MVG also highlighted its expertise and achievement through their workshop and panel participation. MVG delivered an IoT Testing Workshop: " Mastering IoT testing challenges: protocol choices and OTA test solutions to successfully implement wireless connectivity in IoT devices " and were part of the expert panel on 5G mmWave OTA Testing the same day.
National Instruments’ booth boasted two EDI CON Innovation Awards finalists: the MIMO Prototyping System, a modular testing system for MIMO research that can scale from 4 to 128 channels and the mmWave Transcevier System, another modular platform that is well suited for prototyping real-time two-way communications systems. The NI/AWR booth presentations included Microwave Office for MMIC, RF PCB and module design, Visual System Simulator (VSS) for wireless Communications and radar systems, analyst and AXIEM Electromagnetic (EM) technology for interconnect analysis, and AntSyn for antenna synthesis and optimization. They also participated in the plenary session giving a keynote talk on “A Platform based Approach to 5G: Design, Prototyping and Test” delivered by Luke Schreier, VP of Automated Test Marketing, National Instruments. The presentation addressed test challenges, how tests are matched to standards, and how we can look to the past and apply systems-thinking to a connected world from beam steering, synchronization, to lowering the cost of millimeter wave measurement. As the corporate sponsor, NI presented many technical sessions plus presented a couple of workshops and participated on several panels.
Pasternack won an EDI CON China Product Innovation Award for the PEM010, a complete millimeter wave transmitter module that is well-suited for use in the development of multi-gigabit, high-speed, point-to-point wireless communication links. These communication links provide low-cost, gigabit wireless throughput for a variety of applications involving telecommunications “last kilometer” distribution, telecommunications cellular backhaul, millimeter wave wireless gigabit Ethernet data communications, building-to-building high speed networks and mesh-based LAN infrastructures. They were also featuring. Pasternack also unveiled a new series of new series of low insertion loss, repeatability electromechanical switches. Test and measurement applications require signal processing component performance to be highly accurate and repeatable over long periods and under extreme conditions. In automated test systems where, electromechanical switches are used for signal monitoring and routing applications, every switch will add repeatability error. Electromechanical switches which exhibit low insertion loss repeatability over millions of switching cycles help to ensure overall system measurement accuracy is maintained. Typical applications for these switches include test instrumentation, electronic warfare, electronic countermeasures, microwave radio, VSWT, radar, space systems and research and development. Pasternack’s also featured four new high-performance, flexible VNA test cables that operate at up to 110 GHz and deliver precise results for testing using a coaxial cable and 1.0mm stainless steel connector interfaces. The coaxial test cable is covered by a non-conductive Nomex® outer sleeve. This light-duty armoring protects the small, 0.27-inch diameter VNA cable and improves stability during flexure. These cables feature 50 Ohm impedance with a maximum VSWR of 1.5:1 and excellent phase/amplitude stability under flexure. The new flexible 1.0 mm VNA test cables operate over a wide range of temperatures from -65°C to +125°C. The vector network analyzer cables are RoHS and REACH compliant, plus the cable assembly is fully tested and comes with serialized test data. These network analyzer cables are available in standard 6-inch and 12-inch lengths with male-to-male or male-to-female configurations.
In addition to the products from the companies it represents, such as amplifiers, couplers, MMICs, power supplies, and RFICs, Richardson RFPD was highlighting its ability to help customers get to market faster, including evaluation tools, demonstration platforms, value-added testing, modules, chipsets, and a full RF-signal chain solution. The company was also highlighting an outdoor microcell development tool, including an FPGA, transceiver, and RF front end. Available technologies include GaAs, GaN, LDMOS, SiC, and SOI.
Rogers was featuring their new XtremeSpeed™ RO1200™ laminates with extremely low loss for high speed, high layer count PCB’s. The low dielectric constant of 3.05, and a maximum dissipation factor of 0.0017 @10 GHz, RO1200 laminates provide good signal integrity, reduced signal skew, and reduced cross-talk. The excellent thermal/mechanical performance, low CTE, and a halogen free UL 94 V-0 rating make XtremeSpeed™ RO1200™ laminates well suited for the most demanding high layer count applications. Rogers won the EDI CON China Product Innovation Award in the Materials/PCB category with this product.
R&S participated in the plenary session giving a presentation on “T&M Challenges and Current Developments for 5G Testing in a Future Networked World” delivered by Christoph Pointner, VP Signal Generators, Audio Analyzers, and Power Meters, Rohde & Schwarz. The presentation showed available T&M capabilities as well as different approaches to overcome challenges. It also provides an overview of measurement results for different DUTs, like a sub 6-GHz massive MIMO base-station antenna, and a flexible design of an antenna array that can be used across different applications. As the diamond sponsor, R&S delivered many technical presentations plus presented several workshops and participated on several panels. With 5G being a hot topic, R&S demonstrated test solutions for 5GNR mmWave (up to 43 GHz) signal generation and analysis, 5G mmWave coverage testing, and NB-IoT & eMTC testing. R&S teamed up with several companies to demonstrated T&M solutions. With ADI and TI, R&S demonstrated a data converter test technology; with MPI they displayed a probe station solution; and with Focus Microwave they demonstrated a component nonlinear test technology. Also on display was their ADAS solution to show their new automotive radar target simulator which was recently featured in the March issue of Microwave Journal. Another unique solution is there up to 20 port multi-port test solution which can avoid switch matrices in many cases improving accuracy and speed. R&S is
Of particular interest in the Sample booth was the SAS series of high-speed signal acquisition and storage analyzers which use a software-defined radio platform designed for high-speed signal acquisition and storage. There are 16 models in this series, with up to four input channels. The highest sampling rate is 5GS / s, and the input bandwidth ranges up to 1.5GHz. Also on display was the NIS100 series interference source that can realize a 0.1~6GHz band upconverter and a band-limited Gaussian white noise source separately in two channels. The noise bandwidth can be freely switched between 10MHz, 20MHz and 50MHz. with noise power accurate to ±0.5dB.
Sichuan YiFeng representing OMMIC was featuring their GaAs and GaN products but of significant note was their 10 W power amplifier, 3 W transmit/receive module with 3 dB noise figure operating at Ka-Band processed on 100 mm GaN on Si wafers. This is a complete MMIC on GaN technology demonstrating the excellent multipurpose capability of this process. The amplifier produces 10 W of pulsed power, 8 W of CW at 29-33 GHz. The other product is a 26-34 GHz transmit/receive device including PA, LNA and SPDT all on the same chip. In the 28-34 GHz range, this chip produces 35-36 dBm output power with a noise figure of 2.7 dB and 18 dB of associated gain.
Sytech is a manufacturer of RF/microwave and high-speed digital PCB materials that is based in South China. On display in the booth was the company’s SCGA-500 PTFE mateirls for industrial control, medical, and aerospace, as well as the AeroWave hydrocarbon glass-reinforced ceramic materials for automotive radar.
The Teledyne/e2V booth was home to another EDI CON Innovation Award finalist, the EV12AD550A dual-channel, S-band capable, space-grade ADC. The booth also featured the ADQ7, which is the first digitizer the first digitizer to offer the combination of 14-bits vertical resolution and a sampling rate of up to 10 GS/s. It is available in multiple form factors, including MTCA.4, USB3, PCIe, PXIe, and 10 Gbit Ethernet and it supports sustained data transfer rates of up to 5 GB/s.
WIN Semiconductors recently released an optimized version of its 0.25 μm GaN on SiC technology, NP25, that provides excellent DC and RF transistor performance. It offers users the flexibility to produce both fully integrated amplifier products as well as custom discrete transistors. In production since 2015, the optimized 0.25μm process offers enhanced RF performance with fast switching time, higher gain and increased power added efficiency for demanding applications through 12 GHz. The WIN NP25 technology is fabricated on 4-inch SiC substrates and operates at a drain bias of 28 volts. At 10 GHz, NP25 provides saturated output power of 5 watts/mm with 19 dB linear gain and over 65% power added efficiency. WIN is also enabling fully integrated single chip solutions for 5G front end modules with its PIH1-10 advanced GaAs platform. The PIH1-10 process integrates monolithic PIN diodes, capable of power switching through 50 GHz, into an advanced 100GHz ft pHEMT platform. This technology provides excellent transmit power performance and lower receiver noise figure, which are requirements for 5G systems.
Xiamen Sanan Integrated Circuit qualified their HBT process in the beginning of 2017 and released their PDK for 4G HBTs. They also delivered sample 4G high band GaN devices produced on 6 inch wafers. In August of 2017 they shipped 802.11ac FEMs and plan to release GaN devices. They are a full service IC manufacturer in China with one of the broadest offerings in the country.