Microwave Show Brings Technology To Texas

May 27, 2004
The industrys largest annual microwave conference and symposium gives attendees a chance to cowboy up amidst the history and western traditions of Fort Worth, TX.

Microwave week, as the calendar of events marking the IEEE's annual Microwave Theory & Techniques Symposium (MTT-S) conference and exhibition is known, offers a full schedule for the microwave engineer. Starting with full-day workshops on Sunday, June 6th, and carrying through the Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) conference and exhibition on Friday, June 11th, microwave week offers hundreds of technical presentations as well as hundreds of exhibitor booths for visitors to learn about the latest in microwave theory and product technology.

Scheduled for June 6-11, 2004 in the Fort Worth Convention Center (Fort Worth, TX), the MTT-S boasts a technical conference with 362 technical papers in 62 technical sessions, selected from 970 submissions for presentation. A total of 292 student papers were received for possible presentation, with 141 accepted (including for presentation in the interactive forums or "panel sessions" as they were once known), and 26 selected as finalists in a competition among student presenters. The MTT-S technical menu also boasts 35 workshops, nine panel sessions, and five tutorial sessions. In addition to the educational opportunities, the MTT-S and environs offer a full exhibition floor with much hardware, software, and test equipment on display, as well as professional opportunities for those seeking career changes (see the sidebar).

Tuesday's (June 8th) morning sessions include advances in Low-Noise Silicon Technology and Applications, with individual presentations on a 7.8-GHz BiCMOS low-noise amplifier (LNA) for ultrawideband (UWB) applications, the performance of scaled MOSFETs, a wideband SiGe BiCMOS amplifier, and a 12-GHz heterodyne receiver for satellite-based digital-video-broadcasting (DVB) applications; Nonlinear Device Modeling, with presentations on a new physics-based dynamic electro-thermal large-signal model for RF LDMOS FETs, the effects of bias and load conditions on the dynamic self-heating of bipolar transistors, and a novel charge conservation model for predicting the nonlinear distortion of pHEMT devices; Theory and Design of Power Dividers, with presentations on a three-way low-loss phase combiner for power amplifier sharing in three-sector cellular networks and multistage microstrip power dividers with broadband properties; Spatial Power Combining and Quasi-Optical Techniques, with presentations on a Ka-band grid amplifier array with over 10-W output power, power combining by means of harmonic injection loading, and an X-band spatial power combiner using a planar array of stacked patches for bandwidth enhancement; Mixed Signal Circuits from 10 to 144 Gb/s; and Microwave Superconducting Components and Circuits.

Also on Tuesday, afternoon sessions feature Advances in Low-Noise HEMT Technology, including a presentation from Northrop Grumman on InP HEMT low-noise amplifiers for phased-array applications; Frequency Conversion and Signal Control, including a presentation from Alcatel on a DC-to-100-GHz frequency doubler in InP DHBT technology; Novel Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Components; Millimeter-Wave MMIC Components and Subsystems, with a talk from Farran Technology on the design and analysis of a W-band multiplier chip set; Design and Characterization of Ferrite and Ferroelectric Devices, with a discussion on an analog tunale matching network using the unique BST material from Agile Materials and Technologies; and Microwave Generation by Optical Techniques, with individual presentations on arbitrary waveform generation by means of optical techniques, optical generation of microwave signals based on an unbalanced fiber loop mirror, and a 10-year review of the opto-electronic oscillator.

Tuesday afternoon's technical program continues with sessions on Metamaterials: Left-Handed Materials and Transmission Lines; Directional Coupler Techniques; Millimeter- and Submillimeter-Wave Components and Technology, including a joint presentation from M/A-COM and Mitre Corp. on periodic filters for performance enhancement of millimeter-wave microstrip antenna arrays and a student paper on terahertz-emitting devices based on boron-doped silicon; Microwave Acoustic Devices; and Numerical Modeling for RF/Microwave Photonic Applications.

Wednesday morning's technical sessions offer presentations on MEMS Filters, including a tunable end-coupled filter, evanescent-mode filters, and a 60-GHz branchline coupler fabricated with integrated rectangular coaxial lines by the Air Force Research Lab; two sessions on Novel Packaging Techniques, including presentations on 120-GHz interconnects and a wafer-level package for bulk-acoustic-wave (BAW) devices; Filter Synthesis Techniques; Guided-Wave Structures and Effects; High-Power Amplifiers, including a 240-W Doherty GaAs FET amplifier from NEC Compound Semiconductor Devices; Advances in Wireless Communications Technologies, including an integrated multiband WLAN module fabricated on low-temperature cofired ceramic (LTCC); MEMS Switches; Filter Realizations; Remote Sensing and Measurement Systems; New Developments in Linear Amplifier Linearization; and Linear Device Modeling.

Reconfigurable Networks
Wednesday afternoon's sessions feature Reconfigurable Networks, with a presentation by Rockwell Scientific on a MEMS-based LTCC switch matrix as well as a band-switchable high-efficiency power amplifier using RF MEMS switches from NTT DoCoMo; Innovations in Broadband Communications and Radar, including a presentation on a single planar integrated self-heterodyne receiver with built-in steerable antenna array for 60-GHz video transmission systems from the Adaptive Communications Research Lab of ATR International; Numerical Modeling for RF/Microwave Photonic Applications, including presentations on numerical methods for microwave photonics and numerical modeling of segmented traveling-wave electroabsorption modulators; Nonlinear System and Device Modeling, including a talk from the University of Sydney on the contribution of self-heating effects to intermodulation distortion in FET devices; GaAs and GaN HEMTs and Monolithic ICs, including a presentation from Nitronex on GaN power transistors for wireless infrastructure applications; and Power Amplifier Enhancement Techniques.

Additional sessions on Wednesday afternoon are RF Varactors and Inductors, including a presentation from the University of Michigan on analog MEMS varactors; VHF and UHF Technology Advances, with a presentation from the University of Zaragoza on the output-power capabilities of Class E power amplifiers and a talk from Oregon State University on high-efficiency Doherty amplifiers for GSM handsets; Microwave Acoustic Filters and Their Wireless Applications, including presentations on wideband BAW filters by TFR Technologies, coupled BAW resonator filters by Infineon Technologies, and film-bulk-acoustic-resonator (FBAR) filters and diplexers by Agilent Technologies; Advances in Nonlinear CAD Techniques, with a presentation from Villanova University on the distortion modeling of PIN diode switches and attenuators; Silicon Devices, ICs, and Emerging Technologies, with lecturers from the University of Stuttgart discussing a wideband, low-power CMOS transimpedance amplifier; and finally Ultra-High-Power Microwave Systems and Components, chaired by Barak Levush of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL, Washington, DC), and including presentations on photonic bandgap (PBG) structures for high-power microwave applications, high-power microwave sources, active RF pulse compression for accelerator applications, and a half-gigawatt dual-moded X-band transmission and RF pulse compression system.

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Panel Sessions
Panel sessions scheduled for June 9-11 include various views on MEMS technology in "Challenges and Solutions for Deploying New Microcomponent-Based Functions in Multiband Mobile Devices," organized by Didier Lecroix and Tom Breunig of Discera, Inc. (Campbell, CA); an examination of truly high-frequency devices in "Terahertz Technology Implications to Biological Sensing and Defense" organized by Dwight Woolard of the Army Research Lab (Adelphi, MD) and James Wiltse of Georgia Tech Research Institute (Atlanta, GA); and a review of printed-circuit-board (PCB) options for microwave circuits in "Should I Choose a Ceramic or Organic Board" organized by Rick Sturdivant of the fabless semiconductor company MMICMAN LLC (Orange, CA) and George Ponchak of NASA Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH).

Full-day tutorial sessions on the last day of Microwave Week include RF and Microwave Power Amplifier Design, with coverage of impedance matching, the use of power combiners and directional couplers, and designing for high efficiency. This session focuses on active device modeling, including nonlinear models for MOSFETs, MESFETs, HEMTs, and HBT devices, and highlights typical circuit implementations of power amplifiers for a variety of frequencies using different transistors. A second tutorial session is Fundamentals and Trends in Modeling and Simulation of High-Frequency Microwave Circuits, Interconnects, and Systems, which explains simulation of distributed interconnects and measured S-parameters, extraction of interconnect parameters, high-frequency interconnect models, and managing model complexity via model-reduction algorithms. This session deals with the difficulties of modeling high-speed interconnects and transmission lines in ways that traditional SPICE modeling techniques fall short. It will cover various interconnect models, including RC/RLC lumped models, distributed models, full-wave models, and EMI-based models.

Workshops during the final day include Microwave and Millimeter-Wave organic System-on-a-Package Module Technologies, with coverage of RF system-in-package (SiP) devices, achieving cost and size requirements in laminate package solutions, quasi-hermetic packaging approaches, advanced design techniques for three-dimensional (3D) organic system-on-package (SOP) modules, current manufacturing techniques for 3D organic packages, demonstrations of organic SOP modules for communications applications, trends in high-speed integrated packaging, liquid crystal polymers for RF and millimeter-wave packaging, and 3D laser-based processing for high-Q embedded microwave components. The workshop will explore multilayer board techniques for applications through W-band (75 to 110 GHz).

Additional Workshops
Additional workshops include Microwave Filter Synthesis and Realization (with coverage of asymmetric coupled resonator filters, cascaded triplets and quartets, evanescent-mode filters, and planar bandpass filters), Model Order Reduction Methods and Applications , Advances and New Directions in Device Modeling and Design Optimization for Microwave CAD (covering measurement-based frequency-domain nonlinear component modeling, integration of EM circuit and system design tools, modeling high-speed interconnects, accurate analysis of large spiral inductors, EM design through inverse spacing mapping techniques, coarse EM modeling of LTCC RF circuits and its applications to optimization design, and neural network based device modeling and design optimization), Tunability for Highly Selective Microwave Systems (with examinations of tunable dielectric and superconducting materials); Reliability Testing and Reliability Enhancement of RF MEMS Switches (with presentations on reliability testing of an RF MEMS Ohmic switch, reliability testing of RF capacitive switches, reliability testing of MEMS switches at Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, and RF power measurements of MEMS Ohmic switches); Signal Processing Receivers for Optical Fiber Communications (covering adaptive equalization for 10-Gb/s systems, 10-Gb/s adaptive electronic dispersion compensation, and adaptive sampling and filtering single-mode and multimode fiber links); Active Antennas (with presentations on packaging for active quasi-optics, active antennas based on SiGe MMICs, and RFID antenna integration), and Ultrafast Analog-to-Digital Converters (highlighting low-jitter clocks at 10 GHz, correlation ADCs for wideband digitization, superconducting ADCs, and photonic ADCs).

63rd ARFTG Conference
Microwave Week also offers a special event for test and measurement professionals, in the form of the 63rd ARFTG Conference. Held twice each year, the summer ARFTG meeting is traditionally held toward the end of MTT-S week. The theme for this 63rd ARFTG meeting is "On Wafer Characterization" with the obvious focus on measuring devices and ICs while still in wafer format by means of precision test probes and associated microwave test equipment, such as vector network analyzers, noise measurement receivers, and power meters. Technical presentations at the Fort Worth ARFTG, which is scheduled for the Radisson Hotel, Friday, June 11th, will include measurements for RF and satellite communications systems operating through 70 GHz, measurements on (balanced) differential components and devices, traceability to national standards laboratories, models for measurement verification, calibration and measurement procedures for vector network analyzers, and power and noise measurements. Note that ARFTG has its own website at www.arftg.org for more information about the group in general or the 63rd meeting in particular.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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