The Best Things In Life Are Free
By Jack Browne, MWRF Technical Director
Simulation software can be costly, especially when considering a full-featured suite of programs with S-parameter-based circuit simulators, layout editors, and three-dimensional (3D) electromagnetic (EM) simulators. But in the early days of high-frequency computer modeling, many engineers relied on free tools for analysis and design, including the collection of utilities compiled by the then Hewlett-Packard Co. (now Agilent Technologies) known as ApCAD. The ApCAD programs included such programs as cascaded noise-figure calculators for receiver front ends and simple impedance-matching tools for transistors.
In the spirit of no-cost simulations, Analog Devices has offered tools in the past for such tasks as analyzing phase-locked-loop (PLL) performance and examining direct-digital-synthesizer (DDS) characteristics. The company's latest free simulation offering is the short-range-device (SRD) Design Studio, which is based on their lines of SRD transmitters and transceivers. As someone who has spent many years in designing and developing integrated circuits, Christian Kermarrec, the firm's Vice-President for RF and Wireless Systems, notes, "Designers using SRD Design Studio can quickly and efficiently conduct real-time simulations, test various configurations, and troubleshoot potential problems when implementing short-range wireless links in their design."
This level of software support certainly makes it easier to experiment without reaching for the full-scale simulation tools. And making it easier to use a given transmitter or transceiver ultimately speeds the time to market for the final product, even if it was accomplished with a free program.
Sampling Scope Supports Bandwidths To 100 GHz
LeCroy Corp. has introduced the WaveExpert(R) 100H sampling oscilloscope featuring four measurement channels with as much as 100 GHz bandwidth. The scope, which is supplied with time-domain-reflectometry (TDR) software, can be used for measurement of electrical and optical channels and can perform reference-plane calibration and full differential two-port scattering (S) parameter measurements. The instrument achieves a 230-fs jitter noise floor for performing extremely accurate jitter analysis. The mainframe oscilloscope can be equipped with a variety of modules and options for achieving different levels of stability and display capability.
|Study Explores Need for Public Safety Inoperability|
Lack of radio interoperability is a major concern in the Public Safety sector, according to an 84-page study commissioned by the Software Defined Radio (SDR) Forum. The study, "The US Public Safety Market," was based on interviews with public safety communications officials from around the United States. It provides a comprehensive look at a market consisting of federal, state, and local agencies; city, county, and regional jurisdictions; and police, fire, and emergency medical functions. The report points out that these subsectors have traditionally maintained their own public land mobile radio (PLMR) systems but that the systems were incompatible with each other. The use of software-defined-radio (SDR) technology has the potential to meet the communications needs of each organization while providing much needed compatibility.
| More News |
WiMAX Forum Adds To Regulatory Database
Surge Protection Reaches 6 GHz
LXI Consortium Draws Crowds To Beijing
Free Software Aids Short-Range Wireless Design
|Happenings - Conferences|
2007 Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference
2008 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (with WAMICON)
2008 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC)