Funding Helps Semiconductor Testing Reach 100 W CW

To improve the chances of a design’s first-pass success, test and measurement and software solutions have become more closely linked. An example is the Open Loop, Active Harmonic Load Pull solutions from Mesuro (—a Cardiff University spinout. This integrated software/hardware approach has resulted in sales beyond £800,000 for the first half of this year as well as the firm’s first Japanese customer. With the completion of a £700,000 funding round, the firm is now planning to expand its overseas sales, consultancy services, and device-characterization capabilities.

Mesuro’s technology has been developed as a result of over a decade’s worth of research at Cardiff University’s Institute of High Frequency and Communication Engineering. The resulting measurement solution integrates patented hardware with the WaveForm Engineering software suite to aid the design and manufacture of RF and microwave devices and amplifiers (see figure). With this funding, the firm plans to expand its measurement-services laboratory systems to offer a more comprehensive service to its device-characterization customers. Specifically, the system expansion will allow the company to provide device testing at continuous-wave (CW) power levels to 100 W for fundamental frequencies to 4 GHz with harmonic control to 12 GHz.

To help customers obtain the data required to improve amplifier designs, the enhanced load-pull facilities will utilize the company’s open-loop active harmonic and WaveForm Engineering technology. The systems also will be able to extract the "Cardiff Behavioural Model" formulations, which are suitable for use within a number of computer-aided-design (CAD) environments. The solution will now cover the major wireless communications bands [including Long Term Evolution (LTE)] while providing on-wafer capability to 50 GHz. It also will be able to better serve aerospace and defense customers.

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