Microwave Technology Reaches Hawaiian Shores

May 12, 2007
The MTT-S, the industrys leading microwave conference and exhibition, held for the first time outside the continental US, offers updates on new technologies and products.

Honolulu, Hawaii is almost synonymous with the terms "vacation" and "rest and relaxation." But for one week in June, it will be the place where thousands of microwave engineers come to work, learn, and perhaps sneak off to one of those sandy beaches for a short break. For on June 3-8, 2007, Honolulu is the site of the 2007 International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2007). Sponsored by the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), it is the largest annual gathering of RF and microwave engineers and is part of a Microwave Week that also includes the Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) Symposium and the 69th running of the Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) Conference.

The conference features diverse technical presentations from both industry and leading educational institutions from around the world. The event will draw from the IEEE, with more than 367,000 members (including 73,000 student members) in more than 130 countries worldwide, and the MTT-S, with more than 9000 members and 80 chapters worldwide. This marks the first time that the IEEE MTTS conference (www.ims2007.org) will not be held on the North American continent. In addition to the conference, the MTT-S Exhibition, with more than 400 companies showing their latest products and technologies, will be open from Tuesday, June 5th through Thursday, June 7th. Scheduled for the Hawaii Convention Center, the 2007 MTT-S Symposium and Exhibition is actually one of three IEEE events to be held in Hawaii this year, along with the IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation (June 1015, 2007) and the IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (July 8-13, 2007).

The 2007 IEEE MTT-S IMS features workshops and plenary sessions on Sunday, June 3rd, and Monday, June 4th, followed by RFIC and IMS technical sessions on Tuesday, June 5th, through Thursday, June 7th. Plenary Sessions include "The Future of Mobile Broadband" by Anil Kripalani, senior vice president for Global Technology Affairs, QUALCOMM, Inc. (San Diego, CA) and "The Next Direction of Advanced Wireless Communication Technology—Medical ICT!" by Dr. Ryuji Kohno, professor and director, Center of Medical Information and Communication Technology, Yokohama National University (Yokohama, Japan). The former addresses emerging wireless communications technologies, such as CDMA2000, WCDMA/HSPA, OFDMA/UMB, and LTE. It also reviews how WiMAX is expected to perform in comparison with other wireless-wide-area-network (WWAN) technologies. The latter explains how info-communication technology (ICT), which is based on UWB, SDR, MIMO, and other wireless technologies, can be used to address the serious medical problems of an aging population. Dr. Kohno will report how ICT is currently being used to innovate Japan's medical/health-care system.

Workshops and Short Courses are held on Sunday, June 3rd, and Monday, June 4th, and cover a wide range of topics. They include "Wireless Reconfigurable Terminals: Adaptive Analog Circuits or Digital RF Processing?" "Nanoscale RFIC Design Challenges and Foundry Solutions," "System-In-Package Technologies for Cost, Size, and Performance," "Optimum CMOS Integrated LNA Design Techniques for Handsets," "Advances in WiMAX RF Technology," "Solid-State Power Invades the Tube Realm," "UWB Radio: From Building Block to SoC," "Advances in Mixer Design for UWB Transceivers," "Emerging RFID and Wireless Sensors: Technologies and Applications," "Software-Defined Radio to Cognitive Radio," "24-GHz ISM-Band Communications," "Integrated Broadband Tuners for Satellite and Terrestrial Applications," "RFIC Circuit and System Design Tutorial," "Analog and High-Speed Circuit Design Solutions for Nano RF CMOS," and "SDR and Cognitive Radio—The Need for Reconfigurable RF Front-Ends." In addition, attendees can learn about Europe's first satellite-navigation system, at present in the in-orbit validation phase in "Galileo—Europe's Share for a Global Navigation Satellite Service." They also can discover how rectangular coaxial lines (RCLs) built using surface micromachining techniques can serve millimeter-wave applications in "Micro Coaxial Lines."

The MTT-S technical sessions on Tuesday, June 5, include Advances in RF Power Amplifier Technology, several sessions on Hybrids and Couplers, Microwave Photonic Links, Digital Microwave Architectures (with several papers on delta-sigma modulators and digitizers), Advances in CAD Techniques (with several papers focused on EM optimization techniques), Advanced Techniques for Wireless Power Amplifier Efficiency and Linearity Enhancement, Multi-GHz Circuits and Systems for Communication and Instrumentation, Microwave Photonic Devices, Advanced Components for Wireless Systems (including several broadband antennas and front-end modules), and Applied Frequency Domain Techniques. Several Special Sessions are being held that day, including "A Tribute to Dr. Leo Young," who was a pioneer in microwave filter design and, along with George Matthaei and E.M.T. Jones, author of Microwave Filters, Impedance Matching Networks, and Coupling Structures, considered by many the definitive text on microwave filter design. Another Special Session explores "Microwave/Millimeter-Wave Activities in the Pacific Rim" (with focuses on Japan and Taiwan).

The MTT-S technical sessions on Wednesday, June 6th, feature Power Characteristics and Performance Enhancement Techniques for II-V and Silicon Based Devices and Innovative Active Circuits Operating above 100 GHz . Also featured are Microwave Sensors for Object and Presence Detection (including a 24-GHz intruder-detection radar and a Ka-band correlation radiometer for human presence detection from a moving platform), Power Dividers and Combiners, Transmission Line Elements, Passive Circuit Elements, Active and Integrated Filters, HF/VHF/UHF Technologies and Applications, Power-Amplifier Devices and Integrated Circuits, High-Power Amplifiers, Low-Noise CMOS and Low-Power HEMT Technologies, Modules and Chipsets for Millimeter-Wave Commercial Applications (including several modules for line-of-sight links and 77-GHz automotive radar systems), RF MEMS Tunable Circuits, Design and Synthesis of Planar Filters, Sensor and Sensor Systems, and Nonlinear Transistor Modeling.

Special Sessions that day include "A Tribute to K.C. Gupta." Dr. Gupta, who passed away in February, was a teacher, author of numerous microwave textbooks, and IEEE MTT-S President in 2005, but perhaps best known as the founding editor of the International Journal of RF and Microwave Computer-Aided Engineering. Focused Sessions include Advances in GaN Technology, Microwaves in Support of Societal Security (including presentations on radar-based concealed threat detectors, security imaging technologies, and through-the-wall radar life-detection and monitoring techniques), Advances in Microwave Systems for Deep-Space Missions, and Nonlinear Circuit Analysis and System Simulation. In addition, Wednesday Panel Sessions cover two favorite topics: "Is GaN Ready for Prime Time?" and "Will RFMEMS Make the Commercial Leap?"

Additional Wednesday MTT-S Sessions include Advances in Microwave and Millimeter-Wave VCOs (including several low-noise VCOs from the renowned German Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid-State Physics), Ferrite and Ferroelectric Components, Accuracy Evaluation and Enhancement in Time-Domain Electromagnetic Modeling, Wideband Planar Filters, Millimeter-Wave and Terahertz Components and Technologies (including integrated 585-GHz hot-electron mixers and a pulsed terahertz imaging system with 1-mm spatial resolution), Smart Antennas, Spatial Power Combining, and Phased Arrays, Radars and Broadband Communications Systems, Wireless and Cellular Communications Systems, Sensors and Sensor Systems, X-Band and Millimeter-Wave Devices and Power Amplifiers, Novel SignalGeneration Techniques and Applications, SAW and FBAR RF Filters and Modules, Problems of Scale and Hybrid Modeling in Time-Domain Electromagnetics, and Planar Dual-Mode and Dual Bandpass Filters.

Of special interest on Wednesday is the Third Student High-Efficiency-Amplifier Design Competition. It is open to all students registered at an educational institution. Competitors are required to design a high-efficiency power amplifier above 1 GHz and less than 20 GHz and having an output power level of at least 5 W but less than 100 W into a 50Ω load. The winner will be judged in terms of achieving the highest power-added efficiency (PAE). The winner will receive a $1000 prize and will be invited to submit a paper describing the design to the IEEE Microwave Magazine.

Panel Session: "Your GaAs Foundry and the Future: Anyone Have Issues? Of Course!" This session invites attendees to ask several leading GaAs foundries how they plan to solve your problems and how they will address key issues facing GaAs foundries and their customers today and in the future.

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The MTT-S Sessions scheduled for Thursday, June 7th, include several sessions on High Power Amplifiers; Nonplanar Filters and Multiplexers; Advances in Radar Systems; Biological Effects and Medical Applications (including the role of microwave accelerators in cancer treatment); Components, Systems, and Applications for Millimeter-Wave and Terahertz Imaging, Frequency Conversion and Control; Periodic Structures and Applications; Field Analysis and Guided Waves; Frequency Domain Techniques; Time Domain Techniques; CAD Algorithms and Techniques; Nonlinear Circuits Analysis and System Simulations; Ferroelectric, Ferrite, and Acoustic Wave Components; MEMS Components and Technologies; LowNoise Components and Receivers; Power Amplifier Linearization; Imaging and Ultra-Wideband Radars; Nonlinear and Linear Measurement; Transmission Line and Waveguide Transitions; Reconfigurable and Active Filters; Advanced Packaging; Novel Radiation and Propagation Effects on Waveguiding Structures; New Trends in High-Frequency Signal Generator; Smart-Antenna Technologies and Applications; and Innovative Passive Components (including time-domain impedance adapters for pulse-based systems and a broadband quadrature hybrid based on meta-material transmission lines). Several Focused Sessions on Thursday include Advanced Signal Processing Techniques for Microwave Photonics; Millimeter-Wave and Submillimeter-Wave Imaging; and Submillimeter-Wave Radio Astronomy and Mauna Kea.

Additional technical sessions on Thursday include Nonplanar Passive Filters and Multiplexers; Semiconductor Devices and Monolithic IC Technologies; Signal Generation; Frequency Conversion and Control; Microwave Photonics; Digital Circuits and Systems at GHz Speeds; Biological Effects and Medical Applications; Low-Noise Devices, Amplifiers, and Receivers; High-Reliability RF MEMS Switches; Novel Metamaterial Elements: Their Characteristics and Applications; PhasedArray Systems and Enabling Technologies; and New Developments in Transformers and Inductors.

Some additional sessions of note on Thursday are the panel session, THz Electronics for the 21st Century, a professional session, "Career Development: Giving Your Career A Never-Ending Boost," which explores how to develop a career plan and how to manage it through a dynamic professional climate, "RF Techniques for Signal Integrity Engineering" (which is moderated by Ashok Bindra, editor of RF Design magazine and including panelists from Cadence Design Systems, Agilent Technologies, and The MathWorks).

The 2007 RFIC Symposium starts on Sunday, June 3rd, and includes a Monday Panel Session on "RFID: New Revolution or Remarketing of Existing Technologies in a New Package?" and a Tuesday Panel Session on "CMOS Millimeter-Wave MMIC: Real or Bubble?" The RFIC Symposium Monday Technical Sessions include Pulsed USB Transceivers; Broadband and Reconfigurable CMOS LNAs; Cellular Transceivers; 3G and SDR; Techniques for WiMedia UWB; Advanced Frequency Synthesis Techniques; Transmitter Linearization Techniques; and Millimeter-Wave Front Ends.

Last, but certainly not least, technical attendees are invited to join in Friday's (June 8th) 69th Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) Microwave Measurement Conference. It is scheduled for the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The conference theme is "Addressing Metrology Needs for Future High-Speed Information and Communication Systems."

In addition to the hundreds of technical sessions, hundreds of exhibitors will showcase their wares in Hawaii as part of the 2007 MTT-S Exhibition. For example, test fixture and probe-station supplier J microTechnology (www.jmicrotechnology.com) will announce their LMS-2709(S) Laboratory Microprobe Station in Hawaii. Designed as a basic tester for prototype and research projects, it can also be used for educational purposes. The versatile probe station (Fig. 1) features RF and DC test capabilities and has a vacuum chuck that accommodates semiconductor and thin-film or thick-film substrates to 2 in. (5.08 cm) square. The stage provides 1 X 1-in. (2.54 X 2.54-cm) movement and better than 0.0003-in. (0.01-mm) positioning repeatability. A nickel-plated steel plate on the station permits placement of up to seven magnetic mount positioners to manipulate either the standard needle or optional coaxial or triaxial probe tips. Standard optics are a switched 10 X/30X magnification binocular or trinocular stereo microscope on a swing mount for probe alignment and device inspection. The LMS-2709(S) is about 12.5 X 12.5 in. (31.75 X 31.75 cm) and less than 20 in. (50.8 cm) high. It weighs 32 lbs. (14.51 kg) including its protective case.

Synergy Microwave Corp. (www.synergymwave.com) will unveil its model MTS3000-3501050 frequency synthesizer (Fig. 2), which is designed for rack-mount applications. The compact source provides frequency coverage as wide as 5.5 to 1050 MHz (depending upon options) with 1-Hz step size and 8-ms frequency switching speed. Supplied in a housing that occupies only 3U in a 19-in. rack cassette enclosure, the synthesizer provides at least +10 dBm output power with phase noise of –115 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 350-MHz carrier.

Aeroflex (www.aeroflex.com) will be showing its 3280 Series spectrum analyzers (Fig. 3) with digital demodulation for analyzing IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless local-area networks (WLANs). The instruments boast frequency coverage of 3 Hz to 26.5 GHz. Digital demodulation is available by linking the intermediate-frequency (IF) output at 421.4 MHz to the demodulator input for full-range coverage, or by creating a dual-channel instrument in dual-channel mode for direct demodulation from 300 MHz to 3 GHz. The local-oscillator (LO) phase noise of the 3280 Series spectrum analyzers is better than –115 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 1-GHz carrier with a third-order intercept point of +18 dBm. Digital IF filters provide resolution bandwidths from 1 Hz to 5 MHz. The instruments feature an operating system based on Windows XP. They show results on a 10.4-in. thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal-display (LCD) screen.

Florida RF Labs (www.rflabs.com) plans on introducing a new flange termination capable of dissipating 500-W power from DC to 2.5 GHz. The termination has been tuned to achieve a maximum VSWR of 1.30:1 DC to 2.0 GHz and 1.50:1 from 2.0 to 2.5 GHz. The termination is available in tin/lead (model 32-1209) and RoHs-compliant (model 32A1209F) versions.

Computer-modeling specialist Modelithics (www.modelithics.com) will be introducing a new class of models for The Modelithics Library™ of high-accuracy RF and microwave simulation models. The firm's System Component Library (SCL™) will provide linear and nonlinear models for functional system blocks, such as filters, switches, attenuators, transformers, amplifiers, and mixers. The models can be used with commercial simulation tools, such as the Advanced Design Simulator (ADS) from Agilent Technologies (www.agilent.com). The library will feature models from a wide range of suppliers, including Mini-Circuits, Toko, Murata, Sirenza, MAXIM Integrated Products, and WJ Communications.

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Sirenza Microdevices (www.sirenza.com) will be demonstrating samples of its WLAN and WiMAX devices including the new model SZM-2166Z high-linearity power amplifier. Based on InGaP HBT technology, it operates from 2400 to 2700 MHz with 34.5 dB gain and +33.5 dBm output power at 1-dB compression. The output power is +27 dBm for an error vector magnitude (EVM) of 2.5 percent. The robust amplifier draws 655 mA from a +6-VDC supply.

Pendulum Instruments (www.pendulum-instruments.com) will be showing the model CNT-90XL frequency counter and GPS-12R disciplined rubidium frequency standard. The counter (Fig. 4), with 25-ms acquisition time and 14-digit display, features –33 dBm signal sensitivity. It is available in 27-, 40-, 46-, and 60-GHz models. The battery-powered model GPS-12R offers near-Cesium-reference stability for precise timebase applications. It does not require warm-up time.

Taconic's Advanced Dielectric Division (www.taconic-add.com) will debut various products with its new multilayer capability. The TacPreg prepregs are constructed with BT epoxy/woven fiberglass/polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) components. These dimensionally stable laminates are available with a dielectric constant of 3.00 to 3.5. They enable production of 20+ layer boards at FR4 laminating temperatures and pressures. The multilayer capability also will be shown through the HyRelex interconnect materials, TSM-30, and heavy-metal-clad laminates.

Vectron International (www.vectron.com) will be showcasing its VS720 surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) -based oscillator family, which is now available with output frequency up to 1.2 GHz and an absolute pull range (APR) to ±100 ppm. At 5.0 X 7.5 X 2.0 mm, these miniature devices promise to enable small clock sources with low phase noise, wide output frequency capability, crystal-like frequency stability, and jitter that is consistently low over the full operating temperature, control voltage, and power-supply range.

MITEQ (www.miteq.com) will be showing products like the 3-GHz LBL fiber-optic link. This small device covers a bandwidth of 50 kHz to 3 GHz. It features an uncooled DFB laser and a transimpedance amplifier in both the transmitter and receiver. In addition, the company will spotlight oscillator offerings like the ultra-low-noise, phaselocked dielectric resonator oscillator (PLDRO). This dual-loop design has a reference input anywhere from 5 to 200 MHz. Its minimum output power is +13 dBm. DC voltage is +5 VDC at 300 mA. The oscillator is packaged in a 2.25 X 2.25 X 0.8-in. housing.

B&Z Technologies (www.bnztech.com), which spun out of MITEQ, Inc., will be introducing itself and the BZ Amplifier product line at this year's MTT-S. Together, the engineers at B&Z Technologies have over 70 years of amplifier design and manufacturing experience. The company's president, Javed Siddiqui, created MITEQ's well-known AFS, AFD, and JS product lines. Impressively, B&Z's microwave and millimeterwave amplifiers fit into one standard housing. Customized power, gain, and noise-figure combinations are available within the 30-kHz to 70GHz range. With noise temperature of 10°K at cryogenic temperatures, the units' group delay and high dynamic range may be optimized to achieve up to +30 dBm output power.

LPKF Laser & Electronics (www.lpkfusa.com) will be unveiling their new ProtoLaser 200 laser system for prototyping and on-demand production of printed-circuit boards (PCBs). The fully enclosed laser-based system works directly off of computer-aided-design (CAD) data to produce circuits on a variety of materials, including ceramic and PTFE-based substrates. The protective cabinet allows for a Class 1 laser safety rating and prevents any particles or evaporation from leaving the work area. The ProtoLaser 200 combines advanced laser technology, optics, and x/y table mechanisms, resulting in enhanced quality, speed, and accuracy. The performance and speed of this system make it an ideal component in any RF and microwave engineering environment including antennas, filters, and other single-layer components.

Endwave Corp. (www.endwave.com) is bringing a new transmit-receive module pair to the show. This millimeter-wave pair operates over E-band frequencies from 71 to 86 GHz (Fig. 5). These modules enable broadband point-to-point radios to carry voice and data traffic at multigigabit-per-second rates. The transmit module features conversion gain of 15 dB and output power of +16 dBm. It has an integrated power detector. The Eband receiver module offers a noise figure of 9 dB, more than 25-dB RF-to-IF conversion gain, and 1-dB compression point of –25 dBm. Separate models are used for coverage of 71 to 76 GHz and 81 to 86 GHz.

Agilent EEsof (www.agilent.com) will be demonstrating GENESYS 2007 at this year's show. The latest release of its integrated design software features a new data display capability, dubbed LiveReport, which increases productivity by automating design documentation. Essentially, it captures living views of schematics, layouts, graphs, and equations onto a single interactive document. Clicking on any image on a LiveReport page allows a designer to modify schematics, change markers and plots, and zoom layouts from a dashboard-like interface. When the design is complete, the LiveReport page can be printed at high resolution or cut and pasted into Microsoft Windows applications. The company also will demonstrate the capability of integrating its full three-dimensional (3D) electromagnetic (EM) simulation tools inside the Advanced Design System (ADS) suite of simulation software tools.

Also in the software area, Sonnet Software (www.sonnetsoftware.com) will be on hand to demonstrate their latest SONNET® Suites Professional™ Release 11 software. The software offers a feature called co-calibrated™ ports that allows perfect calibration of internal port groups in a design based on a new de-embedding technology. Release 11 also includes a 64-b EM solver capable of full-wave EM analysis with no limit on the computer's physical memory. The solver's performance has been improved by as much as 40 percent over previous versions of the software for computers using Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) microprocessors. The software's Sonnet Cluster capability also allows the processing speed benefits of distributed computing.

Tensolite (www.tensolite.com) will be displaying its 1-3636-416-52XX line of coaxial cable assemblies with SMA male connectors at either end. The assemblies are available in standard products with lengths from 2 to 180 in. Usable to 18 GHz, the assemblies feature maximum VSWR of 1.35:1 at 18 GHz for a 3-ft. cable assembly. In addition, the firm will show the new HFF-1111 and HFF-1130 low-loss, phase-stable flexible coaxial cables for applications to 40 GHz (Fig. 6). These cables were designed to terminate with the company's high-performance RF connectors for optimized performance. They are ideal for applications in military and aerospace systems as well as military and commercial test systems.

Mini-Systems, Inc. (MSI), The Thin Film Division of Mini-Systems (www.minisystemsinc.com), will offer the WAMT and MSMW lines of 40-GHz resistor terminators. The chip terminators feature low parasitic capacitance and inductance. These designs were developed primarily for use in applications where the resistor terminator is placed in the same plane as the associated circuitry, thus reducing parasitic inductance and capacitance. The chip resistors are available in resistor values from 3 to 400 Ω and measuring 0.020 0.010 in. Other standard sizes are available from 2 to 5000 Ω and tolerances as low as ±0.02 percent and temperature-coefficient-of-resistance (TCR) values to ±0 PPM/°C. Resistor noise characteristics are better than –30 dB with stray capacitance less than 0.02 pF.

For more information on the 2007 IEEE MTT-S IMS, visit the website at www.ims2007.org. For more on the 2007 RFIC Symposium, visit the website at www.rfic2007.org. And for additional information on ARFTG and the 69th ARFTG Microwave Measurements Conference, go to www.arftg.org. Also, view the exclusive coverage from Microwaves & RF.

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