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Microwaves, Medicine and Mobility - IMS2018 Wrap Up

But the main theme was 5G

June 20, 2018

While the theme of IMS2018 was Microwaves, Medicine and Mobility, the real theme was 5G, 5G and 5G. Most companies in the exhibition were highlighting their play in the 5G market and with the one day 5G Summit, there were many talks addressing 5G applications and technologies. At the end of the day on Monday, June 11th, the IMS2018 plenary session kicked off with some background on this year’s event, with specifics on the conference and exhibition provided by Afshin Daryoush, Symposium Co-Chair, Sridhar Kanamaluru, Symposium General Chair, and Mohammed Tofighi and Al Katz, Symposium Technical Program Chairs. 

ExhibitionThis year’s event included 4 conferences, 600+ exhibitors, 75 technical sessions, and about 840 presentations over 6 days. More than 885 papers were submitted and 425 were accepted, making a 48% acceptance rate. Of the 47 workshops submitted, 33 were accepted. There were papers from 45 countries, with 70% from outside the USA. This year’s IMS included two new events, a panel of physicians and the IMBioC opening session that was held jointly with the IMS closing session.

The plenary session also took the time to pay a moment of tribute and silence for Tom Brazil, the 2018 MTT-S President who passed away suddenly in April 2018. Then, the attendees were introduced to the first female president of MTT-S, Dr.  Dominique Schreurs of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium. Schreurs noted that female membership of MTT-S is 5.5%, and she wants to improve that number as well as encourage participation of young professionals during her term. Next, Wolfgang Heinrich, 2018 EuMA President, talked about the close relationship between MTT-S and EuMA (European Microwave Association). He noted that the groups benefit from scientific exchange across borders, and said that “transnational co-operation is a key asset for our community.” The MTT-S EuMA partnership is well established, and EuMA is hosting European Microwave Week in Madrid, Spain the 23rd-28th of September 2018; he encouraged audience members to attend (registration is now open).

The plenary keynote took an interesting journey through the new technologies enabling the delivery of health care. In his talk, Steve Klasko, MD, MBA, and President & CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, noted that today’s up and coming healthcare consumers want to access their health care and health history the same way they do banking—which is not at the brick and mortar bank. Klasko shared some of the innovations being done at his facility, generally noting that tele-health leads to increased patient satisfaction. For example, with virtual rounds, doctors and patients can communicate with family members who are not in the building during doctor visits in the hospital room.

Microwave Journal visited as many companies as possible in the exhibition. Here is a summary of the ones we saw (see our photo gallery here):

Cables and Connectors

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies announced the purchase of Tenencia, Ltd., an EASA Part 21 Design and Production organization based in Coventry, United Kingdom. Tenencia specializes in the integration and certification of Electrical / Avionics systems, Cabin systems, internal and external structure, VIP interiors and commercial aerospace applications on a wide range of aircraft. In acquiring Tenencia, CarlisleIT broadens its global capabilities for design certification of commercial aircraft to both EASA and FAA design and production requirements. Paul Johnson and his current team of experts will join the Carlisle team effective June 1st, adding strength to our European capabilities and support to European and global customers.

HUBER+SUHNER made several product announcements around IMS:

  • RFEX, the first connector dedicated to RF energy applications, was designed to connect the power amplifier and antenna, handling the high power with minimal loss.
  • PSM, a low weight and high power connector series developed for high altitude, space and thermal vacuum environments.
  • Spuma RS, a low-loss RF cable encased in a flexible, flame-resistant TPU jacket, well-suited to mobile defense applications.
  • SUCOFLEX®526V/526S, a 26.5 GHz phase and amplitude stable cable for test and measurement.

At the DAS & Small Cells Congress in Las Vegas, held at the same time as IMS, HUBER+SUHNER introduced the SENCITY® Occhio antenna for small cells. The antenna covers 1.7 to 6 GHz and is configured for 4 x 4 MIMO.

JunkoshaJunkosha showcased an ultra-phase stable interconnects that endure in the field and the laboratory. With its next generation MWX051 and MWX061 interconnects, Junkusha has designed mmWave cabling solutions up to 67 GHz to meet the higher frequency demands of tomorrow’s 5G networks. Available with ruggedized NMD connector assemblies to deliver reliable and robust connections to the VNA, these new interconnect solutions have been created to withstand the most rigorous of testing environments for periods of approximately three and a half years. Featuring characteristics including high tensile strength, a low dielectric constant and high flex life due to Junkosha’s precision engineered expanded-PTFE wrapping technology, these new interconnects will test engineers’ resolve to stick with lower quality, lower cost alternatives.

Formed in 1955, San-tron is a industry veteran connector and cable assembly supplier, with about 70 percent of its products custom. The company’s customers are both military and commercial, with programs ranging from phase-matched cable assemblies for EW jammers to cables for millimeter wave fixed wireless access. At IMS, San-tron featured rugged, high performance cable assemblies for military programs: flexible, weatherproof and dust-proof pressurized assemblies; enhanced TNCs with standard/reverse polarity; high power 7/16 cables; high shock/vibration type N assemblies; and high-flex, 20 GHz eSMA cables.

Telegärtner, a family owned cable and connector company based in Germany, featured new connector products for RF/microwave: the 4.3-10 series covers applications to 16 GHz, and the 2.2-5 series provides a 53 percent size reduction and extends the bandwidth as high as 26 GHz. The series are available with various connection methods: hand screw, wrench tighten and push-pull — all with the same RF performance. With PIM of −166 dBc, Telegärtner’s connectors meet the stringent requirements of wireless infrastructure.

Times Microwave showed off their SilverLine®-VNA 110 GHz that is an armored, extremely high frequency coax cable assembly designed for use where waveguide is impractical. SilverLine®-VNA 110 GHz now offers the user working in these frequencies an alternative to the limited selection of semi-rigid solutions offered by current suppliers. Test technicians experienced in the use and handling of traditional 110 GHz products will find Times’ solution to be more than competitive for RF stability and overall product life.

Velocity Microwave highlighted two interesting products: modular VNA cables and a gage kit able to test 14 connectors. The modular VNA cable design enables the cable assembly to be repaired as elements wear out or are damaged. Velocity guarantees support for the cable assembly for 10 years. Their Galaxy gage kit includes male and female bushings for seven connector types: Type N, SMA pin and dielectric, 3.5 mm, 2.92 mm, 2.4 mm and 1.85 mm. The kit includes a gage with digital readout, for precision measurements.

GoreW. L. Gore & Associates featured several 5G and aerospace & defense testing insights. Gore introduced GORE® PHASEFLEX® Microwave/RF Test Assemblies, Type 0N – the smallest, lightest, most internally ruggedized assembly on the market today for modular, multi-port, and multi-site test applications to address 5G applications. In the area of defense and aerospace, Gore featured its GORE® PHASEFLEX® Microwave/RF Test Assemblies and their airframe assemblies, GORE-FLIGHTTM Microwave Assemblies, 6 Series. The airframe assemblies are lightweight cable solutions that deliver the lowest insertion loss before and after installation, ensuring reliable performance for the life of an aircraft system. The robust construction reduces total costs by withstanding the challenges of installation, reducing costly production delays, field service frequency, and the need for purchasing replacement assemblies.


ADIAnalog Devices expanded its RadioVerse™ technology and design ecosystem with the widest bandwidth RF transceiver (200 MHz that provides designers with a single radio platform for the deployment of 5G, sustaining 2G/3G/4G coverage, and simplifying phased array radar design. The ADRV9009 RF transceiver delivers twice the bandwidth of previous generation devices and replaces as many as 20 components, cutting power in half and package size by 60 percent. The device is tunable over a range of 75 MHz to 6 GHz to support 2G/3G/4G/5G services, which allows cellular equipment manufacturers to adopt a single, compact radio design across all band and power variants.

Just prior to the event, ADI announced a new synthesizer consisting of a PLL with fully integrated VCO as well as integrated low dropout regulators and integrated tracking filter technology. The ADF4371 is the highest frequency synthesizer and offers the widest continuous RF output range of 62 MHz to 32 GHz. It has a low PLL FOM (-234 dBc/Hz), low spurious (-100 dBc typ.), low VCO phase noise (-134 dBc/Hz @ 1 MHz offset at 8 GHz), and built-in tracking filter technology. The ADF4371 supports RF/microwave system designs across multiple markets, including aerospace and defense, test/measurement, communications infrastructure, as well as high-speed converter clocking.

Ampleon, formerly NXP’s RF power business that was sold when NXP acquired Freescale, offers LDMOS and GaN products for wireless infrastructure, RF energy, aerospace and defense and broadcast applications.

Preparing for the rollout of 5G, Ampleon is developing power amplifiers for the sub-6 GHz 5G bands, with both LDMOS and GaN devices — in some cases identical products in each technology, allowing the customer to trade performance and price. Consider, for example, a three-stage, 3.5 GHz Doherty amplifier developed for 5G massive MIMO base stations in China. The GaN amplifier provides 43 percent power-added efficiency, compared to 40 percent for the Gen 10 LDMOS version; the GaN version is currently twice as expensive.

While solid-state cooking gets all the press, Ampleon is seeing better adoption for other RF energy applications, beginning with plasma lighting — purported to make marijuana plants grow faster — plasma generation for semiconductor processing and industrial heating and drying. Rather than trying to displace the magnetron in microwave ovens, the RF energy industry has adopted a flanking strategy: develop a new appliance. A rapid defroster using LDMOS power amplifiers offers commercial kitchens and consumers a value proposition based on saving time.

While offering GaN products, Ampleon remains bullish on LDMOS. Christoph Cugge, VP of marketing, confidently stated that at next year’s IMS, we’ll see 5 GHz products in LDMOS.

Custom MMIC now offers more than 135 MMIC products, covering all the RF functions in a transceiver and up to 50 GHz, and standard products contribute some 80 percent of revenue. At IMS, the company featured a number of new products, including:

  • A 2 to 6 GHz ultra-low noise LNA with 0.6 dB maximum noise figure.
  • Three GaN LNAs covering 2.6 to 4, 5 to 7 and 8 to 12 GHz, with 1.2, 1.2 and 1.8 dB noise figure, respectively. The advantage of GaN is power handling — 5 W for these LNAs — and recovery time, enabling many applications to forgo a limiter to protect the LNA.
  • Four digital attenuators with performance to 30 and 40 GHz, in 2- and 5-bit configurations. The attenuators are available as die, with QFN-packaged versions planned.
  • A 6 W, 26 to 28 GHz power amplifier, with typical power-added efficiency between 28 and 32 percent. This amplifier was initially developed for NASA.

For many systems with long lifetimes, product obsolescence is a concern. Custom MMIC has begun developing “equivalent” products using alternate foundries, to ensure a substitute product will be available should one foundry exit the market.

Unfazed by the notion that the existing ranks of GaAs, GaN and silicon RFIC suppliers have saturated the market, Duet Microelectronics quietly entered the industry in 2016, claiming “nobody understands and solves RF challenges better and faster.” Perhaps entering a crowded field is not a foolish notion, as four of the five members of the leadership team last worked at ANADIGICS, including CEO John Van Saders and CTO Bob Bayruns. So company management arguably understands the markets and technology as well as anyone. Duet has published a catalog comprising five product families:

  • 450 to 6000 MHz LNAs for cellular and Wi-Fi.
  • Power amplifiers for the 3.5 GHz CBRS band.
  • Cable infrastructure amplifiers for DOCSIS 3.1.
  • FTTx optical receive modules for DOCSIS 3.1 and China’s SART.
  • Power amplifiers for 28 GHz 5G.

Perhaps most interesting is the use of InP for the 28 GHz power amplifiers, which Duet sees as a strategic advantage and a competitive technology for millimeter wave applications. The two InP power amplifiers cover the 27.5 to 28.35 GHz band with 24 and 27 dBm output power at 1 dB compression, greater than 38 and 40 percent power-added efficiency and a worst-case EVM of less that 2 percent RMS with a 256-QAM signal.

At ETL Systems booth, Dr Esen Bayar, Technical Director/CTO, explained the company’s expertise for “everything between antenna and baseband” for satcoms, and also talked about its offerings in fiber, handling signals from the antenna and transmitter. Based in the UK, the company’s product lines cover DC-40GHz and include L-Band routers, RF over fiber, switches, splitters/dividers, combiners and amplifiers. All of ETL Systems products are mission critical, so they have hot-swappable, redundant systems. For instance, the Enigma Matrix (consisting of 32 satellite inputs and 32 modems) was on display in the booth and is used for broadcast, intelligence gathering, and communications. (Different versions have different levels of security.) Other products in the booth included modular transmitter and receiver cards for converting RF to light, impedance conversion devices, and a waterproof transmission unit for GPS, which can be mounted on the outside of a building with one antenna and send timing data to multiple places within the building.

GFGLOBALFOUNDRIES announced a new ecosystem partner program a few months ago, 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 industry-leading radio frequency (RF) solutions, such as FD-SOI, RF CMOS (bulk and advanced CMOS nodes), RF SOI and silicon germanium (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.

Fabless MMIC start-up Guerrilla RF introduced two LNAs and a mixer at IMS and announced the company’s intent to offer AEC-Q100-certified products for the automotive market, beginning with three amplifiers. The two new LNA products, the first InGaP HBT MMICs offered by Guerrilla RF, are tunable over 100 to 3800 GHz and typically draw only 15 mA at 3.3 V bias. The mixer has single-ended inputs and outputs and requires an external image reject filter on the RF port and a bandpass filter on the IF; the RF and IF bands extend from 100 MHz to 5 GHz. The LO, with a frequency range from 100 MHz to 4 GHz, has an integrated LO buffer amplifier to reduce the external drive required.

IDT released mmWave beamformer ICs that are 4-element T/RX half-duplex silicon ICs designed using an advanced SiGe BiCMOS process for 5G phased-array applications. The IDT chips F5280 and F5390 address the three major worldwide bands of 24.25 to 27.5 GHz, 27.5 to 29.5 GHz, and 37 to 41 GHz. The core ICs have 5-bit and 6-bit phase control and more than 35 dB gain control on each channel to achieve fine beam steering and gain compensation between radiating elements. In transmit mode, the chips have 23 dB gain and 13 dBm OP1dB. In the receive mode, the receive gain is 23 dB with an NF of 5 to 7 dB and an IP1dB of -25 dBm, over the band. The core chips operate at 2.1 to 2.5 V and feature ESD protection on all pins. The core design includes standard SPI protocol that operates at up to 50 MHz with fast-beam switching, fast beam-state loading, and fast on-chip beam storage. The ICs also have four external bias pins (5-bit DACs) to control an optional external LNA/PA module and temperature reporting capability.

InfineonInfineon was showing off many solutions for 5G and smart sensors including smart home applications. They had a mmWave demo with beamforming for 5G cellular networks that was a 28 GHz demonstrator with Infineon chipsets BEA<28/BGT28UD - integrated 8x8 antenna array. There is a motherboard with digital electronics that connects to the RF module with the 8x8 antenna array on one side and the beamforming ICs on the other side. Each beamformer supports 4 antenna elements and the array has an ERIP of greater than 46 dBm. They were also showing off their smart home sensors of many types for monitoring everything in the home.

ITEQ Corporation announced last year the introduction of its new halogen free IT-8350G and IT-8338G products for use in a range of RF
applications. IT-8350G, with a nominal dielectric constant of 3.50 +/-0.04, is the next generation halogen free product for legacy base stations, power amplifiers, 24 GHz automotive radar applications, 77 GHz short-range and medium-range radar systems, 5 G base stations and mm wave applications, direct broadcast systems, and a number of antenna applications. IT-8338G, with a nominal dielectric constant of 3.38 +/- 0.04. is the next generation halogen free product for base stations, power amplifiers, LNBs for direct broadcast systems and antenna applications. These products are built using Thermoset resins. The products have a Tg around 200°C and a decomposition temperature (Td) in excess of 405°C. This year they have released low cost antenna versions of these materials aimed at base station antennas for 4G and 5G.

Integra Technologies introduced its X-Band GaN portfolio ranging from 15 to 200 W optimized to meet the high efficiency needs of next generation radar systems. These parts leverage Integra's multi-decade heritage of designing for high performance radar systems.  With an extensive die library and a 100% US based supply chain, Integra can quickly prototype a custom solution to meet your specific system requirements and get you to market faster.

Lark RF Technology showcased its custom design capabilities for RF, millimeter wave, and high-speed digital applications. Of particular note was a demonstration of the company’s IP which allows them to space 1 mil between traces, which mitigates coupling with via stitching. What’s unique is this technique creates walls instead of vias, and can operate up to 60GHz with 120dB of isolation. The company also has manufacturing facilities as well in Phoenix, where they are currently ramping up staff. They work with overseas partners for large volume production.

MacomMACOM had many announcements including a portfolio of Non-Linear Transmission Line (NLTL) comb generators optimized to meet the demanding performance requirements of radar transceiver, VSAT and microwave radio applications. The industry-leading phase noise performance delivered by MACOM’s MLPNC Series comb generators is expected to significantly improve the overall performance of RF multiplier modules, complemented by a variable low input power profile (18 - 24 dBm) that relaxes the power requirements on power amplifiers and reduces overall power consumption.  They also announced a portfolio of Ka-Band power amplifiers optimized for next-generation SATCOM and VSAT applications requiring uncompromising high-speed connectivity, efficiency and reliability. Available in 2, 2.3, 3, 4 and 6 W power output options spanning frequency ranges from 27 to 31.5 GHz, these new GaAs-based Ka-Band PAs are expected to provide industry-leading linearity and IM3, and best-in-class performance across a range of key metrics. MACOM’s Ka-Band MAAP Series PAs can deliver up to 24.5 dB of linear gain, 29% power added efficiency and saturated output power (PSAT) up to 38.5 dBm, with IM3 levels up to -25 @ 27 dBm.  Another announcement was the availability of its new MADT-011000 power detector for use in applications spanning microwave radios, test and measurement (T&M) equipment and radar systems. Operating from 5 – 44 GHz and supporting high dynamic range of 30 dB (-15 to +15 dBm), MACOM’s MADT-011000 power detector features industry-leading wide-input bandwidth and device performance to enable optimal power control. The single-ended, internally-matched MADT-011000 consumes 70 µA from a 4.5 V supply, while the matched detector and reference diodes provide temperature compensation in differential operation. Additionally, they announced the newest entries in its high-performance RF switch portfolio. Optimized for use in SATCOM, 5G wireless, test and measurement, EW and microwave radio applications, the GaAs-based SPDT MASW Series switches provide best-in-class broadband frequency coverage and high-speed switching capability. The new MASW-011105 SPDT reflective switch covers the 17.7 – 31 GHz frequency range, with low insertion loss of 1.6 dB, high isolation at 30dB and switching speed of 12 ns, offered in a lead-free 3 mm, 14-lead QFN surface mount plastic package.  The new MASW-011107 SPDT non-reflective switch, offered in bare die format, covers the DC – 26.5 GHz frequency range, with low insertion loss of 1.3 dB and high isolation at 46 dB when operating at 20 GHz. Lastly, they announced a new portfolio of wideband double-balanced mixers, covering the 8 – 43 GHz and 18 – 46 GHz frequency ranges. Delivering low conversion loss, high linearity and a wide intermediate frequency (IF) bandwidth, the new MAMX Series mixers are well suited to meet the performance requirements for next-generation Test and Measurement, Microwave Radio and Radar applications. The double-balanced circuit configuration of the new MAMX Series mixers provides excellent port isolation, while internal 50-ohm matching simplifies the application.

MCV was featuring LTE 600 MHz duplexers with ultra-low PIM of -173 dBc. They are making these ultra-low PIM cavity filters from 350 MHz to 3.5 GHz which are in high demand for UHF, VHF, TETRA, 4G, LTE, X-Band, Ku-Band, Ka-Band, and 5G applications. They make cavity filters that solve difficult problems such as co-location band mitigation, very narrow band bandpass and reject, ultra-wide band duplexer and absorptive filters applications.

Mercury Systems has announced a bunch of contract wins over the last month or so including a $2.1M Electronic warfare module order for airborne application, $2.4M order for radar subsystems for a missile defense application and $3.8M millimeter wave microelectronics an order for a homeland security application. Their OpenRF modular system continues to benefit the company with faster design cycles and more reliable products.

Exhibiting at IMS for the first time, Micro Harmonics, a small firm based in Fincastle, Virginia, develops ferrite circulators and isolators for millimeter wave and sub-millimeter wave bands, i.e., 50 to 325 GHz. With technology and capabilities developed through SBIR funding, the company is now using the technology to develop circulator and isolator products for the scientific, medical, security and communications markets.

Microsemi is being acquired by MicroChip but had already acquired Vectron so now has access to SAW and timing products. They were featuring a 1030-1090 2200 GaN pallet with 30 micro sec pulse width and 2% duty cycle for avionics applications. They were also featuring VCXO to 3.2 GHz with jitter below 10 fsec and VCSO with less than 180 dBc/Hz noise figure. They have been expanding their MMIC products and offer a full line of DC to 65 GHz products from amplifiers to switches to attenuators.

M/CMini-Circuits announced in April an expansion of their product line into the millimeter wave bands to give customers more options and more capabilities for high frequency applications. Recent additions to our portfolio include a growing variety of MMIC mixers, multipliers, couplers and attenuators to 40 GHz and higher, connectorized active and passive products, coaxial cables, and adapters up to 50 GHz, and now coaxial terminations up to 65 GHz. Highlights included were:

  • Coaxial RF Termination, DC to 65 GHz
  • Flat-Gain Distributed Amplifier, 50 kHz to 40 GHz
  • 40 GHz HandFlex™ Interconnect Cables
  • 40 GHz MMIC Double Balanced Mixer
  • 40 GHz MMIC Frequency Doubler

They were also featuring their modular test systems which can be configured in many custom combinations. Their partner Vayyar was also on site showing off their VNA kit where you can build a VNA from the SDR chip and Mini-Circuits passive components.

Morion recently published Precise Frequency Sources Meeting the 5G Holdover Time Interval Error Requirements with MWJ. Synchronization is an essential prerequisite for all mobile networks to operate. It is fundamental to data integrity; without it, data will suffer errors and networks can suffer outages. Radio base stations rely on having access to reliable and accurate reference timing signals in order to generate radio signals and maintain frame alignment. Effective synchronization also permits hitless handover of subscriber connections between adjacent radio base stations. The measurement of time interval error (TIE) is a method for evaluating reference timing signals and this article describes the process.

NXPNXP introduced new RF GaN wideband power transistors and expanded its Airfast third-generation Si-LDMOS portfolio of macro and outdoor small cell solutions. The new offerings include:

• A3G22H400-04S: Ideally suited for 40 W base stations, this GaN product yields up to 56.5 percent efficiency and 15.4 dB of gain and covers cellular bands from 1800 MHz to 2200 MHz.

• A3G35H100-04S: Providing 43.8 percent efficiency and 14 dB of gain, this GaN product enables 16 TX MIMO solutions at 3.5 GHz.

• A3T18H400W23S: This Si-LDMOS product is leading the way to 5G at 1.8 GHz with Doherty efficiency up to 53.4 percent and gain of 17.1 dB.

• A3T21H456W23S: Covering the full 90 MHz band from 2.11 GHz to 2.2 GHz, this solution exemplifies NXP’s best-in-class Si-LDMOS performance for efficiency, RF power and signal bandwidth.

• A3I20D040WN: Within NXP’s family of integrated ultra-wideband LDMOS products, this solution offers peak power of 46.5 dBm with 365 MHz wideband class AB performance of 32 dB of gain, 18 percent efficiency at 10 dB OBO.

• A2I09VD030N: This offering boasts peak power of 46 dBm with class AB performance of 34.5 dB gain, 20 percent efficiency at 10 dB OBO. The RF bandwidth for this product is 575 MHz to 960 MHz.

The NXP front-end solutions covering the frequency range most critical for early 5G cellular network development, from 2.3 GHz to 5 GHz.  These included high efficiency power amplifier modules that are fully matched to 50 Ohm at their inputs and outputs, and footprint and pin-compatible to cover a wide range of power levels and frequency bands with the same board design; pre-driver amplifier modules with ultralow power consumption address the whole frequency range from 2.3 GHz to 5 GHz, and feature full footprint and pin-compatibility within the family of devices;  and receiver front-end modules that feature integrated time division duplex (TDD) switching and low noise amplification (LNA) for signal reception.

Pentek announced the newest member of its popular Jade® family of high-speed data converter XMC FPGA modules: the 2-channel Jade Model 71865, a 200 MHz 16-bit A/D channelizer with 762 narrowband digital down converters (DDCs) and 4 wideband DDCs, based on the Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGA. The Model 71865 is an economical and energy efficient, complete software radio receiver solution for commercial, military and government high-channel count applications. The Model 71865 functions include two A/D acquisition IP modules for simplifying data capture and transfer. Each acquisition IP module contains a powerful controller for all data clocking, triggering and synchronization functions. From each of the two acquisition modules, A/D sample data flows into identical IP modules consisting of banks of wideband and narrowband DDCs. Finally, data is delivered to four DMA controllers linked to the PCIe Gen.3 x8 interface for transfer to a signal processor.

Although its focus is supporting Murata’s semiconductor needs, pSemi (formerly Peregrine Semiconductor) announced several new catalog products, for the first time tapping into semiconductor processes other than their historic allegiance to the UltraCMOS® SOI process.

For 5G massive MIMO base stations, pSemi introduced four switch+LNA modules integrating UltraCMOS switches with GaAs and silicon LNAs. Covering the 2.3 to 2.7 GHz and 3.3 to 3.8 GHz bands, the switch+LNA modules are offered in single- and dual-channel configurations. The designs comprise an input receive protection switch followed by a two-stage LNA — first stage GaAs and second stage UltraCMOS — with a bypass switch around the second stage. pSemi says the modules use 25 percent lower power and are 60 percent smaller than competitive GaAs solutions.

For millimeter wave applications, pSemi introduced a 9 kHz to 50 GHz DSA. In a flip-chip die format to maximize performance, the 6-bit design provides 31.5 dB dynamic range. pSemi also introduced four “value” DSAs covering various bands from 9 kHz to 6 GHz: 50 Ω 2-, 5- and 7-bit versions and a 75 Ω 6-bit DSA. Jim Cable, CTO, said pSemi invented the single-chip DSA in 2004 and these additions provide good performance at an attractive price.

Qorvo announced seven products in conjunction with IMS: five products for sub-6 GHz 5G infrastructure and two GaN front-end modules (FEM) for X-Band phased array radar.

The infrastructure line-up includes two GaN Doherty power amplifiers that provide 5 W average power from 3.4 to 3.6 GHz and 3 W average from 4.4 to 5 GHz. A companion wideband driver amplifier, matched to 50 Ω and fabricated with Qorvo’s enhancement PHEMT process, covers 1.8 to 5 GHz and provides 22 dBm output power at 1 dB compression. Two switch-LNA FEMs for base station receivers cover 1.8 to 4.2 GHz, with 1.45 dB noise figure, and 3.8 to 5 GHz, with 1.1 dB noise figure.

The X-Band FEMs integrate a T/R switch with LNA and power amplifier, all fabricated with Qorvo’s GaN process. The two designs cover 8.5 to 10.5 GHz and 9 to 10.5 GHz. The broader bandwidth design delivers 35 dBm saturated output power with 32 percent power-added efficiency and has 2.2 dB noise figure, while the narrower bandwidth FEM delivers slightly more power and efficiency — 36 dBm saturated and 38 percent — and 2.7 dB noise figure. Both are classified as EAR99, allowing them to be exported for most international programs.

Reactel featured their ultra-low profile RF filters which exhibit equal performance to many of their larger connectorized designs. Utilizing innovative machining and material optimization techniques, these devices offer the highest Qs in frequencies up to 30 GHz. They’re ideal for portable and aerospace applications where size and weight are critical. Gull wing pins are available for lower frequency discrete component designs, and axial or radial pins in flatpack combline packages are used for higher frequency designs. Package heights are as low as 0.125” and weights are as low as 15 grams (0.5 oz.). 

RogersRogers Corporation introduced MAGTREX™ 555 Laminates, the first product in a new platform of high impedance laminates featuring a high permeability and permittivity. These high impedance laminates enable antenna designers to expand the trade-space of their antenna design enabling up to a factor of six reduction in size with minimal impact on bandwidth, up to a factor of six increase in bandwidth with similar size, or a design optimum in between.  MAGTREX 555 high impedance laminates enable antenna designers to miniaturize VHF and UHF antennas while maintaining the bandwidth achieved in a larger design. These laminates feature a closely matched X/Y axis permeability and permittivity of six and six and a half respectively, along with low magnetic and dielectric loss below 500 MHz. MAGTREX 555 high impedance laminates feature a low X, Y, Z CTE closely matched to copper for thermal reliability and are available in thicknesses from 20 to 250 mils. They are offered with or without copper cladding.

SignalCoreSignalCore was featuring the SC5318A that is a C to K broadband single-stage downconverter, converting frequencies from 6 GHz to 26.5 GHz down to 50 MHz to 3 GHz. The LO frequency range is from 6 to 26.5 GHz with an input LO range from 6 to 14 GHz. An internal frequency doubler multiplies the input LO range up to 26.5 GHz. This module also features an internal 26.5 GHz synthesized LO, RF preamplifer, and variable gain control making it a compact standalone downconverter module. With the option for an external LO signal, the SC5318A may be configured for SISO applications or paired together for MIMO applications such as ground-based satellite communications, point-to-point radio, and test instrument systems. The SC5318A can be combined with SignalCore's SC5308A to form a broadband 100 kHz to 26.5 GHz downconverter. These high-performance converter modules are compact, rugged, and built for simple integration into larger systems.

SAGE Millimeter is seeing tremendous growth, reflecting the incoming tide from wireless communications and the company’s long commitement to millimter wave technololgy. To better support customers, SAGE is adding staff, expanding space and enhancing the company’s website. The website now has the capability to create an online quote, enabling customers to obtain quotes in real time, 24 x 7. At IMS, SAGE promoted the company’s capabilities and range of millimeter wave products, including a “quick connect” system for easily connecting waveguide components.

SynergySynergy Microwave introduced the first X- and K-Band opto-electric oscillator based synthesizers. Opto-electric oscillators are used for extremely stable oscillators and clock sources up to mmWave frequencies. To accomplish this, long delay lines are used to reduce close-in to the carrier phase noise plus both self phase locking and self injection locking to reduce both close-in and far-out phase noise. Synthesizer are made by combining YIG filter tuning for course adjustments and optical transversal filter tuning for find adjustments. Phase noise performance for X-Band is -110 dBc/Hz for 1 kHz offset and -136 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset.   K-Band phase noise performance is -102 dBc/Hz for 1 kHz offset and -127 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset.

Teledyne Defense Electronics showcased their combined offerings spanning multiple product lines will be presented at the conference for the first time. Teledyne Defense Electronics and its consolidated business units offer highly engineered products and technologies to defense, space, and select commercial markets. Collectively the group has a comprehensive line of products for customers seeking RF/Microwave Systems & Components; Space and Data Com Systems & Components; Contract Manufacturing & Microelectronics; and Interconnects & Energetics products. Teledyne companies will unveil their latest innovations, including:

  • Precision microwave cables up to 110 GHz
  • InP active RF switches to 60 GHz
  • Unsurpassed PCB thermal management capabilities
  • Industry-leading portfolio of microwave components
  • K-Band capable DACs
  • The most efficient, highest bandwidth InP Power Amplifiers to 300 GHz
  • Q and Ka-Band compact TWTs

Wenzel Associates was featuring their COTS VPX frequency sources that generate fixed frequencies from 300 MHz to 18 GHz using Wenzel’s ultra-low and Golden crystal technologies. The VPX source is a 3U system derived from quartz crystals from 70 to 130 MHz with internal low noise multipliers and amplifiers.  Alternatively, with internal x10 base crystal frequencies, they can provide 10 or 20 MHz signals. Standard phase noise version provide phase noise of -130 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset at 6.8 GHz or noise floors of -142 dBc/Hz for premium Golden versions. Multiple VPX slices can be combined to generate radar precision front ends that remain coherent throughout operation.

WIN Semiconductors announced two process extensions at IMS: the NP45-11 0.45 µm GaN process for wireless infrastructure, particularly the sub-6 GHz 5G bands, and additional functionality for the PIH0-03 0.1 µm PHEMT process.

The NP45-11 is a 50 V, 100 mm wafer diameter process achieving 7 W/mm saturated power density with more than 65 percent power-added efficiency and 18 dB linear gain at 2.7 GHz.

For millimeter wave applications, the PIH0-03 0.1 µm PHEMT process adds monolithic PIN and vertical Schottky diodes, enabling the on-chip integration of mixers, limiters and power detectors. The PHEMT process supports applications through 100 GHz.

David Danzilio, WIN’s senior VP for technology and strategic business development, makes a compelling argument that WIN’s 0.1 µm PHEMT process is fully capable of meeting the system and component performance and cost requirements for 5G millimeter wave front-end modules.

Wolfspeed, having acquired Infineon's RF power business, has added LDMOS to its historic GaN portfolio and featured new products in both technologies at IMS.

Using Infineon’s LD12 LDMOS process, Wolfspeed introduced a 28 V asymmetric Doherty transistor for the 2620 to 2690 MHz cellular band. For avionics and radar applications, the company announced two packaged GaN on SiC power transistors:

  • 1.4 kW, 50 V device covering 960 to 1215 MHz. Typical performance is 1.6 kW with better than 70 percent drain efficiency with a 128 µs, 10 percent duty cycle pulse.
  • 50 W, 28 V two-stage MMIC covering 5.2 to 5.0 GHz. The MMIC, scheduled for production release mid-summer, achieves more than 50 percent efficiency with 22 dB power gain.

X-MicrowaveX-Microwave showcased their modular RF and Microwave design system with examples from each stage of the design process - design, prototyping, and production. Judging from the continuous crowd at their booth, the new design approach is catching on. The latest additions to their library of over 2,000 X-MWblocks included a new Analog Devices MEMS 4-way Switch (ADGM1004), the full line of AVX Multilayer Organic filters, a new IDT SATCOM Phased Array IC (F6101), the new MACOM 20 GHz 4-Way Switch (MASW-004103-1365), and more. A Keysight FieldFox was also setup showing the low-loss performance of the solderless interconnect to 50 GHz with live measurements. Multiple production IMAs on display demonstrated how modular designs rapidly prototyped and tested ‘On the Grid’ could easily be combined to create high performance production quality modules with no additional engineering, with lowering risk, and at lower cost when compared to the conventional design process. X-Microwave also introduced enhancements to their free online Layout and Cascade Tool improving the design flow and component selection process. The drag-and-drop tool uniquely enables cascade analysis of custom designs that include multiple component types across multiple manufactures. We expect great things from the X-Microwave team for years to come as they accelerate wireless design with their novel modular design system.


AMCADAMCAD was featuring IQSTAR, an advanced measurement software developed for efficient and accurate RF and Microwave Circuit Test Flow. It allows verification, analysis and RF Circuit tuning (LNA, MPA, HPA, Filters) . IQSTAR does not require any  programming skills. It offers the conviviality and the flexibility of a turn-key professional measurement software. Independently of the hardware obsolescence, IQSTAR is a cost effective solution which offers a sustainable software platform which leverage your existing laboratory equipment. It creates a virtual datasheet where customers can drill down into the detailed measured data for a complete data set of the actual device performance. Key features:

  • Turn-Key software for agnostic measurement hardware
  • Adaptive Calibration wizards for configurable test benches
  • Automated Test Flow with drag & drop customized measurement sequences
  • Advanced an customizable visualization tools using the white boards
  • Speed up Design works and generate measurement reports.

AnritsuAnritsu introduced the first solution capable of conducting characterization of the differential noise figure of differential devices used in high-speed wireless communication systems. The solution, which integrates a new differential noise figure option into the Anritsu VectorStar™ VNAs, allows engineers to verify the receiver performance of LNAs and other devices used in the front-end of 5G and microwave back haul systems. The option is available on VectorStar models operating from 70 kHz and up to 20, 40, 70, and 110 GHz. The new differential noise figure option enhances the 2-port single-ended noise figure measurement capability of the VectorStar and allows the VNAs to measure 3- and 4-port devices in single-ended, differential and common mode operation with a variety of processing options. The Anritsu differential noise figure option incorporates the similar cold-source measurement technique as its 2-port method, which minimizes mismatch errors for improved accuracy compared to the conventional Y-factor noise source method. The new enhanced noise figure option adds the ability to perform levels of vector correction in 2- and multi-port devices for greater accuracy particularly, when mismatch is significant. The MS4640B VectorStar VNAs have the broadest coverage in a single instrument, 70 kHz to 70 GHz. Coverage can be extended to 145 GHz and 1.1 THz in broadband configurations. VectorStar is the only VNA platform capable of measuring noise figure according to Anritsu, both single-ended and differential, from 70 kHz to 125 GHz.

ANSYS announced just prior to the event its new partnership with SAP to drive the Intelligent Enterprise by linking engineering and operations. The partnership embeds ANSYS’ pervasive simulation solutions for digital twins into SAP’s market-leading digital supply chain, manufacturing and asset management portfolio. The partnership’s first solution, SAP Predictive Engineering Insights enabled by ANSYS, will run on SAP Cloud Platform and empower industrial asset operators to optimize operations and maintenance through real-time engineering insights, to reduce product cycle times and increase profitability. ANSYS is seeing great industry adoption of their 3D secure models that can be transferred among companies without disclosing any of the design details. They also have made their ICE Pak thermal solver available in the same interface as HFSS in V 19.1.

ARAR introduced solid-state field-generating systems for numerous applications. The AA-series consists of an amplifier/antenna combination in a single housing which can generate field strengths up to 50 V/m with two band-specific models covering 18 to 40 GHz. A separate rack-mounted unit contains the power supply and control circuitry for these products. AR’s new family of “U” (Universal) Series RF solid state Class A power amplifiers includes a 100 W amplifier that covers the 100 kHz to 1000 MHz frequency range with a 250 W model coming soon. These amplifiers are ideal for EMC, laboratory use, antenna & component testing, watt meter calibration, medical/physics research, and more. This compact, high performance amplifier joins a family of products available in 1, 2.5, 10, 25, and 50 W output levels that cover 10 kHz to 1000 MHz.

CMTCopper Mountain introduced the S5180 Vector Network Analyzer that delivers lab grade performance in a compact package, with all the features engineers have come to expect included standard in our software. This portable 3.8 kg/134 oz. vector network analyzer can be battery powered and used in the field, in the laboratory, and in production testing. The VNA can be integrated into a production test system via Manufacturing Test plug-in. The S5180 VNA includes an RF measurement module and S2 software application which runs on a Windows PC, laptop, or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. S2 software can be installed on multiple computers, making it easy to share the use of the analyzer measurement module. The frequency range is 20 kHz to 18 GHz with dynamic range of 135 dB. With measurement systems being very expensive, Cooper Mountain was showing how low cost reflectometers to 18 GHz could be used to test up to 16 antennas for basic measurements made in production.

CST’s complete Technology approach means that all solvers are available within a single graphical user interface, with strong links between different solvers. The 2018 release of CST STUDIO SUITE earlier this year builds on previous success with a range of new features for simulating entire systems with hybrid methods. A key strength of CST STUDIO SUITE is the ability to link multiple simulations with different solvers into a single workflow with System Assembly and Modeling (SAM). The improved Assembly Modeler offers users a more efficient way to combine multiple components into a system employing a 3D environment optimized for complex models. This is complemented by new features for EM/circuit co-simulation and the Hybrid Solver Task providing bidirectional solver coupling between the Time Domain and Integral Equation Solvers – a major step forward for hybrid simulation. Filter Designer 3D, CST’s tool for designing cross-coupled filters and calculating coupling matrices, is now connected directly to the powerful optimizers in CST STUDIO SUITE. This means that the optimizers have access to the coupling matrix calculation, allowing faster and more intelligent filter tuning.

Exodus Advanced Communications develops and manufactures high power solid-state power amplifiers and LNAs. At IMS, the company was exhibiting a self-contained, rack mounted, water cooled system for EMC testing, capable of supporting 200 V/m. The rack contains mutliple GaN-based power amplifiers covering various frequency bands to 40 GHz. The company states solid-state power amplifiers provide a three-year return on investment compared to tube-based amplifiers, due to the poorer reliability of tubes.

Focus Microwaves’ has released the new OMEGA series of electro-mechanical tuners are designed for 5G test applications in mind. It’s small footprint makes it ideal for on wafer testing. Its reduced weight and size not only allows to get the tuner closer to the device but makes its easy to integrate with off the shelf positioners. The user can now connect the tuner directly to the RF probe and get optimum tuning range. These operate from 25 to 60 GHz with a maximum power of 14 W CW. They also released the new DELTA series of electro-mechanical tuners is designed specifically for high frequency on wafer measurements. The tuner’s low profile allows it to be placed within the wafer perimeter and allows for a direct connection between the probe tip and the tuner, eliminating all possible insertion loss between the DUT and the tuner. This new tuner design enables the engineer to achieve optimum tuning range, with a tuner whose footprint and weight has been dramatically reduced. They operate from 10 to 67 GHz with a maximum power of 14 W CW.

FormFactor introduced its new Summit 200 wafer probing system for for DC, RF, mmW and THz applications, which is available in semi-automated, fully-automated, and/or shielded configurations. This new probing system offers 2X stage speed and a 5X faster loading over previous models. The Summit 200 system also offers the company’s contact intelligence technology, which helps customers get high quality contact. The version on display at IMS2018 had the autonomous RF measurement assistant, but the system is also available with DC or silicon photonics assists. It can be configured with one to 4 positioners, and, since it is modular in design, can be upgraded for increased functionality after purchase.

HolzworthHolzworth HSX Series provides industry leading channel-channel stability, due to the unique phase coherent channel-channel relationship provided by a proprietary architecture. The 1U platform offers best in class phase noise performance, spectral purity and output power dynamic range via 1, 2, 3 or 4 independently tunable channels. This series is now available to 40 GHz so has options for 3, 6, 12, 24 or 40 GHz versions. Holzworth's revised HA7062C Phase Noise Analyzer and HA7402C Phase Noise Analyzer Engine are each designed to give fast, accurate results. There is no guess work as to whether results are valid to the DUT or if there are unwanted variations or contributions coming from the measurement system itself. Holzworth applies an ANSI z540 calibration to every analyzer built, creating data traceability to the industry standards set forth by NIST which is not the case with most systems.

KeysightKeysight Technologies showcased solutions related to 5G Communications, Internet of Things, and Aerospace & Defense including:

• 5G NR – Enabling the entire ecosystem to characterize and validate new 5G products across the workflow by leveraging common development tools. End-to-end solutions allow 5G modem chipset and device manufacturers to address new technical requirements related to wider signal bandwidths, mmWave frequencies, and Massive MIMO in Over-the-Air (OTA) test environments.

• Next Generation WLAN – Delivering the industry’s most extensive offering of WLAN simulation and test solutions to bring insights in R&D, validation, and manufacturing.

• Component Characterization - Measuring high-power devices which incorporates couplers, switches, amplifiers, isolators, and other components needed for complete device test and design with transmit and receive paths, like beam-forming ICs with integrated GaN amplifiers used in upcoming 5G wireless-communications devices.

• Radar and Electronic Warfare – Displaying leading-edge technology innovations in A&D within the RF/uW environment to open new areas of innovation back into A&D.

• Automotive Radar - Providing solutions from early design simulation through Research & Development (R&D) and manufacturing to solve current and future automotive radar design and test challenges.

• PathWave - Managers and leaders of design, test, and manufacturing teams can improve handoff time, integrate new equipment faster, and scale resources.

• Calibration, Repair, and other Services - Industry-leading array of people, processes, and tools focused to assist with the implementation of new technologies and engineer improved processes to lower costs.

Keysight also displayed Noise Figure measurements to its FieldFox Handheld Analyzers. Transforming the Keysight FieldFox handheld microwave analyzer into noise figure (NF) mode provides portable one-button noise figure and gain measurements to characterize devices including low noise amplifiers (LNAs), frequency converters, and receivers using the industry proven Y-factor technique.

NINational Instruments is addressing the increased bandwidth and efficiency requirements of 5G that engineers require with sophisticated linearization techniques. NanoSemi has developed advanced linearization software that complements NI’s existing solutions for PA and RF FEM test. Using these solutions, engineers can test PA and FEM designs using a wide range of DPD techniques in conjunction with 802.11ax, 4G and 5G waveforms. Typical NI system configurations include the NI PXI platform, PXIVector Signal Transceiver technology that offers up to 1 GHz of instantaneous signal generation and measurement bandwidth, and NI-RFmx 5G measurement algorithms. The new NanoSemi Linearizer software adds advanced digital predistortion (DPD) algorithms using machine learning techniques.

NI AWR was featuring the new capabilities of V14 of Microwave Office that focuses on expediting all stages of design from initial starts using powerful network synthesis to circuit/system and EM simulation technology for performance analysis, optimization and verification. Coupled with further enhancements to design flow automation, NI AWR Design Environment V14 offers an unmatched user experience to accelerate RF/microwave designs from concept to product. Also announced was that 3D Glass Solutions released of an industry-first, glass-based RF integrated passive devices (IPDs) process design kit (PDK) specifically for NI AWR Design Environment customers. Developed in collaboration with NI AWR software experts, the 3D Glass Solutions IPD PDK enables the design of high performance components for internet of things, LTE, 5G and satellite communications. NI AWR previously announced integration with ANSYS HFSS and Wolfspeed stated that the ability to quickly add a full ANSYS HFSS package transistor model in Microwave Office software, along with a full AXIEM EM simulation of the printed circuit board, enabled the team to analyze the circuit in detail and achieve industry-leading performance in a short period of time. This is a trend we are seeing with software companies connecting with each other to help designers speed up time to market. NI AWR again was leading the way in this department as they announced AWR Connected™ – integration with high-frequency design software from AWR with Cadence's leading IC/PCB software to provide a more seamless and complete software-to-software RFIC / RF PCB design environment.

R&SRohde & Schwarz had a demonstration of its new RTP line of performance oscilloscopes that are available in 4, 6, or 8GHz models. This product line is designed for higher memory depth and higher sample rates. What’s unique about this 8 GHz scope is that it performs its real-time processing in hardware rather than software, which improves speed. In standard acquisition mode, it can measure a million waveforms per second. R&S also demonstrated its NRQ6 frequency-selective power sensor that can zero in on a single signal (rather than just measuring all power). The company designed this for engineers who need to measure power below the -70 dBm noise floor (which in the past required a signal analyzer). The NRQ6 power sensor features a -130 dBm noise floor. Operating across 50 MHz to 6 GHz, it also captures I/Q data, and users can take data offline and process. The unit can perform band-limited continuous average power measurements (measurements on a selected transmission channel) up to a signal bandwidth of 100 MHz. Another highlight in the booth was the R&S SMB100B IoT signal generator (and companion SMBV100B vector signal generator) as part of the company’s mid-range class of instruments designed for the bench. With frequency ranges from 8 kHz to 1, 3, and 6 GHz, the newly released signal generators are available in various configurations. For instance, customers can choose among three different RF output power stages to scale the maximum output power to their specific needs. The generators can deliver up to +34 dBm output power (at 1 GHz carrier frequency) without an external amplifier.

Other instruments on display included: ZVA24 network analyzer: features upgraded output power for millimeter wave applications and can do power sweeps to examine amplifiers. It automatically configures to the converter chosen, handling converters up to 500 GHz (compatible with non R&S converters). Integrated converters for MPI probe station: Since much work on millimeter wave applications is on wafer, R&S’s customers were buying probe stations and it took a long time to get the converters configured correctly. So, the company created an integrated converter on an MPI probe station. ZNB VNA: Introduced three years ago, the ZNB VNA was enhanced last week for pulsed phase noise measurements that need stability from pulse to pulse, such as radar applications. The instrument is also used in high speed digital applications, such as in making a phase noise measurement of the reference clock for PCI Express.

Signal Hound released the SM200A 20 GHz headless RF spectrum analyzer and monitoring receiver for applications ranging from IoT and 5G cellular, to military, aerospace, spectrum management, automotive, and radar. Optimized for performance, flexibility, space, and cost, the SM200A lowers the cost of entry to high-end spectrum analysis while delivering precisely what’s required for the most demanding production-line and spectrum monitoring RF analysis applications. The SM200A tunes from 100 kHz to 20 GHz, has an instantaneous bandwidth of 160 MHz, a high dynamic range of 110 dB, a sustained sweep speed of 1 THz/s, a built-in sub-octave preselector from 20 MHz to 20 GHz, and ultra-low phase noise -- introducing no more than 0.1% error to EVM measurements. Its system noise ranges between 13 and 19 dB between 700 MHz and 15.2 GHz. The unit measures 10.2 x 7.2 x 2.15 inches (259 x 183 x 55 mm) and weighs 8.67 lbs. (with passive cooling, AC desktop adapter, and power cord). Architecturally, the SM200A distributes its digital signal processing requirements for high-speed RF signal analysis across an on-board Altera Arria-10 FPGA and an external PC with an Intel Core i7 processor. This provides users with the flexibility to scale to any current or future configuration. The analyzer can be accessed remotely over a network via the PC to which it’s connected, and it also includes a built-in GPS for automatic time and geolocation stamping of the received signals. The SM200A offers a fully-documented API supporting features such as spectrum sweeping, setting record-on-event triggers, real-time analysis, and streaming of calibrated I/Q data.

Vaunix was promoting their Lab Brick™ line of low-cost, USB-programmable attenuators for wireless system testing and simulation. The most recent product, the LDA-906V, has a 90 dB control range in 0.1 dB steps from 200 to 6000 MHz, with a typical accuracy less than 0.25 dB. The attenuator is bidirectional and matched to 50 Ω. In addition to developing additional programmable attenuator products, Vaunix plans to release a 1 MHz to 15 GHz signal generator in the fall.

VDIVirginia Diodes was showing many of their mmWave and Terahertz solution including VNA Extenders that deliver high performance network analyzer frequency extension into the THz range. Models cover 50 to 1,100 GHz with additional bands in development. In addition to our full Transceiver modules, VDI also offers Transmit-Reference modules and Receive only modules that deliver optimized performance for specific applications. These modules combine high test port power and exceptional dynamic range to deliver industry leading performance. They are compatible with most network analyzers and can be integrated into probe stations and antenna chambers. Power leveling and sweeping is also supported when used with our PM5 Power Meter. They are featured in our June issue Fabs and Labs. Also in their booth was Guzik showing Digital Equalization of mmWave Analog Frequency Up and Down-converters which is published in detail in a MWJ article.

Wireless Telecom Group showcased demonstrations covering the company’s development of technology for 5G and millimeter wave applications as well as radar and electronic warfare, private LTE networks, in-building wireless and over the air testing. Boonton USB power sensors provide an industry leading 195 MHz of video bandwidth, and capability into the millimeter wave range up to 40 GHz. With Real-Time Power Processing, Boonton sensors have virtually zero measurement latency (5 ns rise time) minimizing the chance of missing any waveform dropouts our anomalies. These capabilities are well suited for verifying new radio signals in development, for ensuring proper operation during production, and for troubleshooting issues in the field. Boonton demonstrated these Real Time Power sensors alongside its two newest products, the CPS2000 Connected Power Sensor for low cost, high volume manufacturing test of wireless devices and the 4500C Peak Power Analyzer for high performance radar and pulsed RF test.

CommAgility showcased its modular hardware used for eNodeB and UE simulation and testing, radar and electronic warfare applications and private LTE networks. Microlab introduced a digital GPS repeater to ensure wireless networks are 5G ready, providing network time and phase synchronization below 100 ns accuracy which is critical for low latency requirements of 5G networks. Noisecom featured broadband noise sources for over the air testing and chamber calibration, critical aspects of 5G device testing where conducted testing and physical connection to a device under test is impossible due to highly integrated components and high bandwidth signals. Watch WTG on Frequency Matters: