Software Suite Helps Groom Future RF Engineers
Among the many simulation software suppliers on the 2017 EuMW exhibition floor, CST—Computer Simulation Technology was engaged not only in showing the latest version of its CST Studio Suite of simulation tools, but in having a design competition, with students using free versions of the software to develop a prize-winning design—and perhaps become part of this industry’s next generation.
Passive Multipliers Generate 220 GHz
For EuMW visitors in need of millimeter-wave frequency converters, Farran Technology Ltd. displayed a line of passive converters for systems and test applications to 220 GHz, including the FT-05 with an output frequency range of 140 to 220 GHz. The passive tripler covers the full WR-05 ridged waveguide band, accepting input power levels to +13 dBm and providing multiplied output signals at typically -6 dBm.
Sponsored: Custom MMIC Welcomes EuMW Attendees to Booth
John Greichen, VP of Sales and Marketing (left) and Nick Novaris, Design Engineer (right) of Custom MMIC greeted dozens of attendees who were anxiously looking for more details about their exciting and growing lineup of high performance GaAs and GaN MMICs.
Impedance Tuners Match to 110 GHz
With the growing interest in millimeter-wave frequencies for automotive and 5G applications, visitors to the EuMW exhibition came to see the MPT-110200 harmonic impedance tuner from Focus Microwaves, with a frequency range to 110 GHz. Designed for impedance matching transistors and amplifiers, it provides automotive radar system designers the means of developing the amplifiers they need for practical advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
Coaxial Cables Do Not Vary in Phase
For system and test engineers, lines of phase-invariant, 0.086-in.-diameter coaxial cable assembles provide the characteristics needed for applications where the phase of each cable must be precise, such in phased-array antennas and in phase-sensitive radar systems. The cables can be supplied with semi-rigid, flexible, and hand-formable cables.
System Fashions Rapid Prototype PCBs
EuMW visitors interested in rapid in-house prototyping found the help they needed from LPKF with several of their automated PCB prototyping machines including their ProtoLaser S4 system, which operates without masks or tools to create prototype PCBs.
GaN Transistor Fires 500 W from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz
EuMW exhibition visitors in need of generous solid-state RF power needed to look no further than the MACOM and its new MAGX-101214-500 GaN-on-SiC power transistor for airport surveillance radar (ASR) applications from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz. It provides pulsed output levels to 500 W when operating on a +50-V dc supply as a replacement for silicon LDMOS transistors.
System Speeds Noise Figure Measurements
Also at EuMW, another leading supplier of source- and load-pull impedance tuners, Maury Microwave, displayed its breadth of tuners along with a fast and effective measurement system solution for noise parameter measurements on low-noise amplifiers. The system, which builds around test instruments from Keysight Technologies, performs noise measurements in a fraction of the time of existing test solutions.
Sponsored: New Products from Custom MMIC
Custom MMIC also released a bulletin just ahead of the show announcing several new MMIC products, including an update on their capabilities to fully screen their devices for space. It also offers a preview of some new Tech Briefs for RF designers looking for tips and insights on best ways to deploy them. The MMIC bulletin can be downloaded here.
Cross-Guide Couplers Reach Ka-Band Frequencies
Pasternack also showed its waveguide components, with a wide range of adapters to coaxial connectors as well as a new line of cross-guide couplers for C- to K-band frequencies. Designed for military applications, they feature coupling factors from 20 to 50 dB across those frequency bands, some with coaxial connectors included.
Single-Chip Transceiver Handles 81 to 86 GHz
In addition to its host of integrated circuits (ICs) for automotive radar and safety applications, Infineon Technologies showed its BGT80 single-chip E-band transceiver for wireless network backhaul applications from 81 to 86 GHz, providing the available bandwidth to wireless systems designers.
Search for Interference While On the Move
EuMW 2017 exhibition visitors requiring additional test capability found a fine assortment at the show, such as the RSA500 Series real-time spectrum analyzers from Tektronix. These USB-driven instruments are available with 40-MHz acquisition bandwidths in versions to 3.0 and 7.5 GHz for interference hunting in many popular wireless frequencies.
Stable Oscillators Run to 160 MHz
Frequency reference oscillators were available at the 2017 EuMW, including Wenzel Associates and its ONYX line of rugged oven-controlled crystal oscillators (OCXOs) with fixed-output frequencies from 10 to 160 MHz. Suited for military and test applications, they achieve phase-noise floors as low as -176 dBc/Hz in a 1 × 1 × 0.5 in. package.
Sponsored: MACOM’s RF Energy Toolkit Now Available
MACOM’s RF Energy Toolkit, available to order now, streamlines development cycles and costs for GaN-on-Si-based RF systems, equipping engineers to overcome the limitations of magnetron power sources while achieving significantly higher efficiency than LDMOS-based systems, at comparable cost. Targeted for use in commercial markets ranging from cooking, lighting and industrial heating to medical, automotive ignition systems and beyond, the Toolkit enables designers to fine-tune RF energy output for any application, with push-button ease and an intuitive display interface.
Latest Software Aids Load-Pull Analysis
Visitors to Amcad Engineering at EuMW 2017 were greeted with news about the joint development of the IVCAD 3.6 software after teaming with Maury Microwave Corp. on the new version’s enhancements. These include extended active-device bias control, automated thermal chuck sweep support, and intrinsic de-embedding for load-pull nonlinear VNA measurements.
Radars Make Highways Safer
Silicon Radar may not be among the biggest of chip suppliers, but what they offer is far reaching, with single-chip front-end devices for automotive radar applications from 10 to 200 GHz. They came to EuMW with examples of their many radar devices, in chip and QFN packaged formats, including receivers, transceivers, and LNAs for long-range 24-GHz automotive radar systems.
Waveguide Still Rules the Skies (and Orbits)
Apollo Microwaves Ltd. offered examples of its broad lines of standard and custom waveguide components for use from RF through millimeter-wave frequencies, including antennas and antenna feeds for systems covering C-, X-, Ku-, and Ka-band frequencies for satellite communications (satcom) applications.
Delay Lines Tune to 18 GHz
Amidst the many major test-equipment suppliers at the 2017 EuMW exhibition, Colby Instruments came with its niche products—programmable delay lines with resolution as good as 0.5 ps—and with details on how they can be put to use in precision evaluation of both communications and radar systems. The company uses both electronic (diodes) and mechanical (trombone tuners) means to achieve the delays.
Low-Cost VNAs Make S-Parameters Affordable
Bringing VNAs and other instruments to the masses, Copper Mountain Technologies, showed a sample of its low-cost, USB VNAs at the 2017 EuMW, including their Cobalt C1220. It challenges the “benchtop models,” with a 145-dB dynamic range over a frequency range of 100 kHz to 20 GHz and less than 10 μs measurement time per point for true production-line speed.
Gaining RF Power to 2.5 GHz
Wolfspeed, a Cree Company, brought many examples of its solid-state power devices to the 2017 EuMW exhibition, including its CGH40120F, an unmatched, gallium-nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) designed for +28 V dc supply. It is usable to 2.5 GHz with as much as 120 W typical saturated output power.
Boosting Signals without the Noise
Engineers visiting EuMW exhibition for low-phase-noise products saw some stable oscillators, but also some amplifiers from Custom MMIC with outstanding phase-noise characteristics. For example, the CMD245 operates from 6 to 18 GHz with 3-dB noise figure and low -165 dBc/Hz phase noise.