Montreal Welcomes A Week Of Microwaves

May 17, 2012
Microwave Weeks IMS conference and associated events comprise an event unlike any other in the electronics industry, giving members of the indu try a chance to catch up with products, technology, and each other.

Each year, this industry gathers its representatives in one spot and calls it a weeka Microwave Week, to be precise. This year, that place is in beautiful Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The time and place: June 17-22, 2012 at the Palais des Congres. And this year's extravaganza is extra-special, celebrating as it does the 60th year of the IEEE's Microwave Theory & Techniques Society (MTT-S). Not only does the week mark the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) conference and exhibition, but also the Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) Symposium and the Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) Conference. The theme of this year's gathering is "Microwave Without Borders," although attendees coming from the United States will have to pass one to gain entry into Canada.

The IEEE IMS conference will set new standards at least for the volume of its technical content, with 1225 technical papers submitted from 49 countries around the world. This is a strong reflection of the strength of the MTT-S globally, with over 150 active local chapters located around the world. Contributions hail from six continents, reaffirming the conference theme as being "without borders."

In spite of the Canadian location, over 329 technical paper submissions are from the US, an increase of about 20% compared to the year before. Canada, with 9 active chapters in the MTT-S, was the second largest contributor to the IMS technical program, with 137 technical paper submissions. Technical submissions were subjected to a double-blind review process introduced the year before at IMS2011. To ensure that papers would be evaluated purely on their own merits, all authors were required to remove all identifying information from the papers they submit. All submissions were reviewed by the IMS2012 Technical Paper Review Committee (TPRC), comprised of approximately 290 TPRC members. Out of the 1225 papers received, a total of 612 papers were accepted, 448 were selected for oral presentation, and 164 were selected for the Interactive Forum.

Hopefully, the end result is the best technical program ever assembled for an annual IMS event. IMS2012 will also offer 40 workshops (some jointly organized with the RFIC Conference), 7 short courses, 18 special/focus sessions, 4 panel sessions, 1 rump session, 79 MicroApps presentations, 11 student design competitions, student paper competitions, and graduate student challenge competitions.

The IMS technical proceedings will include a plenary talk by Steve Mollenkopf, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of global telecommunications company Qualcomm. Presenting a talk entitled "3G/4G chipsets and the mobile data explosion," Mollenkopf will review the growing complexity of 3G and 4G cellular chipsets and the seemingly insatiable appetite of users for wireless data. He will also detail how this increase in radio device complexity is clearing the way for significant business opportunities for the industry in the future. Mollenkopf is a published IEEE author, holding patents in areas such as power estimation and measurement, multi-standard transmitter system, and wireless communication transceiver technology. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Semiconductor Industry Association and the Global Semiconductor Alliance.

IMS technical sessions on Tuesday, June 19 (the first day of the exhibition) include coverage of diverse topics among them, waveguide structures, ferrite devices, microelectromechanical-systems (MEMS) devices, millimeter-wave power amplifiers, couplers and hybrids, carbon-based RF nanotechnology (graphene devices), metamaterials, frequency-conversion circuits, SiGe/CMOS for phased-array applications, power harvesting for communications applications, advances in oscillators and phase-locked loops (PLLs), terahertz imaging techniques, novel planar filter structures, packaging technologies, and numerous computer modeling approaches (including linear and nonlinear techniques).

Students once again play a major role in the technical program at IMS, with a spirited student paper competition that has grown steadily in recent years. In fact, IMS2012 will feature a number of different student-based events. Students can work in teams to submit designs which will be reviewed and measured at IMS2012, or submit technical papers for presentation. The student design competitions are sponsored by the MTT-S's Technical Coordination Committees as well as different industry partners. Sponsoring companies provide the students with test equipment, hardware, and computer-aided-engineering (CAE) software tools. Some of the design areas include high-efficiency power amplifiers, optical-to-microwave converters, voltage-controlled oscillators, packaged tunable filters, microwave transistor modeling, software-defined radios (SDRs) and digital signal processors (DSPs), and novel applications for EM simulators. The best designs will be recognized at a Thursday Student Awards Luncheon at IMS2012. Also, students with winning designs will be invited to submit an article to IEEE Microwave Magazine for publication.

In addition to the student competition, IMS2012 will be the site of the second Graduate Student Competition, open to all PhD and MS students who are registered at IMS. In contrast to the student competition, with much effort performed prior to IMS2012, all activities related to the Graduate Student Challenge competition will take place only during the IMS2012. A meeting will take place on Monday to establish teams and working design ideas. Graduate students are encouraged to form teams, to present posters with new ideas based on at least two of the papers presented at IMS2012, and then have them judged by industrial and academic professionals on the last day of the IMS (Thursday). The winning team, which will be presented a $2000 cash award, will be announced on Thursday evening during the IMS2012 closing ceremonies. In addition, all participants in the Graduate Student Competition will receive a gift from the conference organizers.

Talking Shop

The 2012 IEEE RFIC Symposium is scheduled for June 17-19 in conjunction with the 2012IMS, beginning with half-day and full-day workshops on a variety of topics. These include fast-switching frequency synthesizers, silicon power amplifiers, RF spectrum sensing and signal detector, ICs for biomedical applications, SDRs, front-end transceivers, and millimeter-wave ICs.

The 2012 IEEE RFIC conference will also hold a plenary session on Sunday evening (June 17th) with two keynote addresses. The first is by Professor Thomas Lee of Stanford University, who will present "Terahertz Electronics: The Last Frontier." His talk, which roughly addresses frequencies from 300 GHz to 3 THz, will describe compelling uses of this spectrum, such as spectroscopy and extremely wideband (XWB) wireless communications. The talk will also detail how transistor technology limitations might be overcome by architectural innovations and new device structures.

The second speaker, Robert Gilmore, Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm, will offer his talk "Towards the 5G Smartphone: Greater System Capacity, More Bands, Faster Data Rates, Advanced Applications, and Longer Battery Life." A key, as Gilmore sees it, is to achieve the levels of performance needed for future smartphones while minimizing power consumption. An important part of making the whole system work will be an increasing use of femtocells for closer-to-the-user operation, and perhaps the use of frequencies exceeding 5 GHz. As with the IMS, the RFIC Conference holds a student paper competition, with awards for the three best student papers to be presented during the plenary session.

For RF/microwave engineers involved in automatic measurements, one of the highlights of each IMS is the ARFTG Conference. This year's is scheduled for Friday, June 22 in the Montreal Convention Center, chaired by Dominique Schreurs of KU Leuven (University of Leuven). With a conference theme of "Nonlinear Measurement Systems, this 79th running of ARFTG will feature technical presentations, an interactive forum, and a small-scale exhibition. Invited talks include Dr. Jacques Sombrin on "Future test benches for the optimization of spectrum and energy efficiency in telecom nonlinear RF components and amplifiers," along with Dr. Thibault Reveyrand on "New sampling paradigm dedicated to RF ultra-wideband receivers." Contributed ARFTG papers focus on nonlinear measurement systems, calibration issues, on-wafer measurements, measurement uncertainty, broadband measurements, and millimeter-wave measurements.

In addition, joint IMS/ARFTG workshops on Monday, June 18th, include "Overview of advanced dielectric measurement techniques," and "Device model extraction based on vectorial large-signal measurements." And a nonlinear vector network analyzer (NVNA) Users' Forum is held the day before the ARFTG Conference, to share experiences on nonlinear measurements.

The IMS2012 conference concludes with a closing talk entitled "The Fourth Age of Wireless and the Internet of Everything," by Stanford University Professor Thomas H. Lee. This prolific writer and educator will share his vision on the future of key aspects of microwave and Internet technologies, and the importance of establishing a wireless infrastructure that can support ever-increasing data rates. In his talk, he will trace the evolution of wireless technology, from something that started as station to station, then station to a number of people, to the present people to people, to something in the fourth generation that must also include things in the communications.

Exploring The Exhibition

On the IMS exhibition floor, more than 550 companies will be unveiling show booths, offering visitors a sampling of hardware, software, services, and test equipment for RF/microwave applications. Exhibition hours for the three days are 9 AM to 5 PM on Tuesday, June 19th, 9 AM to 6 PM on Wednesday, June 20th, and 9 AM to 3 PM Thursday, June 21st. For those perhaps not so familiar with this industry (or even for those who know it well), the exhibition floor provides a wonderful opportunity to learn more about random or selected companies and their products and services.

There is no better place to compare notes on different products than on the show floor of the IMS Exhibition. For instance, those in need of a new digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) or microwave vector network analyzer (VNA) will find some of the newest models on a show floor containing most of the leading test instrument suppliers in the industry. Within an hour, a visitor could stop for data sheets from Agilent Technologies, Anritsu Co., and Rohde & Schwarz, also coming away with price quotes on competitive microwave VNAs. (And for those who might be curious about current trends in microwave VNAs, don't miss the special "Product Trends" report beginning on p. 142 of this issue.) The IMS exhibition floor is a "specifier's paradise" since many samples of the products that a specifier might need are on the show floor, along with knowledgable booth personnel to shed some additional light on each product.

A long-time IMS exhibitor, Analog Devices, will have representatives at Booth No. 1725 to educate visitors on their many RF ICs, data converters, and reference designs for radio-based electronic systems. One of their latest products is the model ADL5324 0.5-W driver amplifier for applications from 400 MHz to 4 GHz. Supplied in an SOT-89 package (Fig. 1), the amplifier does not require the addition of a bias resistor. It provides 14.6 dB gain at 2140 MHz with +29.1 dBm output power at 1-dB compression at the same frequency and a noise figure of 3.8 dB.

This driver amplifier features a dynamically adjustable biasing circuit that allows for the customization of output power at 1-dB compression as well as linearity (third-order intercept point). In effect, the amplifier could be set to run at full bias under large-signal conditions, and then at a lesser supply with lower-level signals to conserve power. The amplifier can be used with bias supplies from +3.3 to +5.0 VDC at operating temperatures from -40 to +105C. It has a 3 kV Class 2 ESD rating.

Analog Devices will also be showing its ADRF660x series of mixers and ADRF670x series of modulators at IMS2012, ideally suited for fourth-generation (4G) Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) cellular communications applications. One of the mixers, model ADRF661, is designed for use from 300 to 2500 MHz. It is an RF mixer with an integrated fractional-N PLL and integrated VCO. The internal LO range is 750 to 1160 MHz. The mixer has +14.5-dBm input 1-dB compression point and achieves an input third-order intercept point of +31 dBm. It provides a 3-dB IF bandwidth of 500 MHz and is supplied in a 40-lead, 6 x 6 mm LFCSP package. The ADRF6701 similarly is a quadrature modulator with integrated fractional-N PLL and integrated VCO. It has an internal LO frequency range of 750 to 1150 MHz and an output frequency range of 400 to 1250 MHz.

These highly integrated devices promise a significant savings in printed-circuit-board (PCB) space as well as a savings in the total bill of materials (BoM) for cellular base-station manufacturers. In addition to its ICs and components, the firm will also display a wide range of free design tools, evaluation boards, and other design resources for RF/microwave design engineers visiting the booth at IMS2012.

Appearing with a slightly larger amplifier, EMPower RF Systems will be exhibiting at IMS2012 with its model 2135-BBS3G6QHM (SKU 2135) linear high-power amplifier (Fig. 2). With 50 W of solid-state output power from 300 to 3800 MHz, the air-cooled amplifier is suitable for electromagnetic-compatibility (EMC) and radio-frequency-interference (RFI) immunity and susceptibility testing. The unit actually consists of two amplifiers in one compact housing. Silicon laterally diffused metal-oxide-semiconductor (LDMOS) technology is applied for frequencies from 20 to 1000 MHz, while gallium arsenide (GaAs) field-effect-transistor (FET) technology is used for the frequency range from about 800 to 3800 MHz.

The model 2135-BBS3G6QHM solid-state power amplifier delivers 80 W minimum saturated CW output power and 50 W minimum output power at 1-dB compression in its low frequency band (to 1000 MHz), with 50 W minimum saturated CW output power and 50 W typical output power at 1-dB compression in its high band (to 3800 MHz). It achieves 46-dB minimum gain at 1-dB compression in the low band and 48-dB typical gain at 1-dB compression in the high band. A nominal input power level of 0 dBm is required to achieve the amplifier's rated output power levels in both bands. It is designed to operate with both an open-loop gain adjustment mode or in an automatic-level-control (ALC) mode, enabling flexibility in different test and system environments.

The amplifier features worst-case gain flatness of 2 dB across its full frequency range. It includes a voltage-variable-attenuation (VVA) range of at least 25 dB to modify the gain, with typical noise figure of 10 dB across the full frequency range. The amplifier hits a typical third-order intercept point of +56 dBm. Second harmonics are typically -40 dBc in the low band and -20 dBc in the high band, while maximum spurious levels are -73 dBc. The maximum input return loss is 10 dB.

The amplifier's operational status is available along numerous standard interfaces, including GPIB/IEEE-488, RS-422, and TCP/IP Ethernet, which also support remote control via a personal computer (PC) for use in automatic-test-equipment (ATE) setups. It is supplied in a single R3U-high rack-mount chassis.

Micro Lambda Wireless will also be at IMS2012 with its variety of YIG-based signal sources, including broadband tunable oscillators and stabilized frequency synthesizers. For instance, the company's MLSP Series of YIG-based frequency synthesizers includes models through 20 GHz measuring just 5 x 3 x 1 in. and fitting into a two-slot PXI chassis. Model MLSP-0625 delivers +13 dBm output power from 0.6 to 2.5 GHz; model MLSP-2080 drives +13 dBm output power from 2 to 8 GHz. Model MLSP-6018 offers +10 dBm output power from 6 to 18 GHz, and model MLSP-8020 delivers at least +8 dBm output power from 8 to 20 GHz, all tunable with minimum resolution of 1 kHz. All of the synthesizers yield nonharmonic spurious performance of -60 dBc or better. All tune a 100-MHz frequency step in 1 ms or less, a 1000-MHz frequency step in 2 ms or less, and a full-band frequency step in 3 ms or less. Full-band output power is controlled within a 4-dB window over frequency and with operating temperatures from 0 to +50C.

TRM Microwave will display numerous examples of its skill in fabricating and miniaturizing passive components, including power dividers such as the model DL 162030. This broadband unit is a 16-way power divider (Fig. 3) that spans 20 to 3000 MHz with insertion loss of less than 4.5 dB. At the same time, it achieves better than 18 dB isolation between ports with worst-case input and output VSWR of 1.60:1. The rugged power divider maintains amplitude balance of 0.8 dB or better between channels and is designed for use at operating temperatures from -15 to +55C. It is just one example of the many different forms of dividers on display at the TRM Microwave booth.

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Southwest Microwave will be at booth No. 2910 at IMS2012 to show, among other coaxial products, their new 1.85-mm end-launch connector (Fig. 4), now available with a 5-mil-diameter launch pin. Suitable for applications through 67 GHz in single-layer or multilayer high-frequency circuit boards where the microwave circuit layer is on top, these high-performance connectors are ideal for evaluation boards and test fixtures where low VSWR is critical. It provides optimum performance when board launch geometry is grounded coplanar (CPWG) or top ground microstrip. The connector requires no soldering, and is both repairable and reusable.

CTS Corp. will be at IMS2012 to show a sampling of its crystal resonators, including its new model 445 in a ceramic, two-pad 5.0 x 3.2 mm surface-mount package with glass seal cover. The low-cost packaging approach is suitable for a wide range of commercial applications, including in computers and automotive electronics. The resonators are available over a frequency range from 10 to 50 MHz with standard frequency tolerance of 20 ppm. Standard frequency stability is 30 ppm for an operating temperature range of -40 to +85C. Model 445 products are RoHS 5/6 compliant with lead-free terminations. It is shipped in standard tape and reel packaging.

TriQuint Semiconductor will show some of its many high-performance ICs, including the firm's new model TQM829007 digital variable-gain amplifier (DVGA) for applications from 600 to 1000 MHz. The 0.25-W amplifier has a serial digital step attenuator (DSA) controlled with a 6-b serial peripheral interface (SPI) and has 0.5-dB step size with 31.5-dB total attenuation range. The amplifier features variable gain from 0 to 31.5 dB at 900 MHz, with third-order intercept point of +40 dBm and +24.3-dBm output power at 1-dB gain compression. The amplifier also features a low noise figure of 2.1 dB at the maximum gain setting, allowing it to be used for both receiver and transmitter applications. The amplifier is powered by a single +5-VDC supply and is housed in a compact 28-pin 6 x 6 mm leadless SMT RoHS-compliant package.

For higher-frequency applications, TriQuint's model TQM879008 (Fig. 5) is a DVGA that can deliver 0.5-W output power from 1.5 to 2.7 GHz, making it suitable for 3G/4G wireless infrastructure equipment and wireless repeaters. It is also supplied in a 28-pin, 6 x 6 mm leadless surface-mount package, covering a 31.5-dB gain control range in 0.5-dB steps. It provides 41.1-dB maximum gain at 2.5 GHz with an output third-order intercept point of +47.5 dBm and +27.3 dBm output power at 1-dB gain compression. The amplifier is also controlled by means of a three-wire SPI connection.

Ciao Wireless will be at IMS2012 with a line of new low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) for applications from 1.0 to 2.9 GHz and with noise figures as low as 0.30 dB. All models include internal voltage regulation and reverse polarity protection. All models offer gain flatness of 1 dB. Model CA12-3901 operates from 1.0 to 1.3 GHz with 0.5 dB maximum noise figure and 0.38 dB typical noise figure. It delivers minimum gain of 30 dB across its frequency range with typical gain of 32 dB. Model CA23-3901 delivers 30 dB minimum gain and 32 dB typical gain from 2.0 to 2.2 GHz. It achieves maximum noise figure of 0.5 dB and typical noise figure of 0.38 dB. Model CA23-4905 is designed for use from 2.7 to 2.9 GHz. It has maximum noise figure of 0.4 dB across that range, with typical noise figure of 0.3 dB. It achieves minimum gain of 40 dB from 2.7 to 2.9 GHz with typical gain of 42 dB.

Centellax and its representatives will be at IMS2012 booth No. 2822 to discuss their many different amplifiers with visitors. As an example, Centellax model UA0L30VM is a broadband general-purpose amplifier with connectors capable of covering 100 kHz to 30 GHz. It provides 30-dB gain over that frequency range, with 2 dB gain flatness and 5.5-dB noise figure. It delivers +19 dBm output power at 1-dB gain compression with +23 dBm saturated output power. The amplifier module, which is supplied with 2.92 mm K-connectors, draws 475 mA at +7 VDC.

Synergy Microwave Corp. will show a variety of its different signal sources and other components, including its low-noise oscillators and frequency synthesizers. Among the frequency synthesizers, model LFSW35105-100 tunes from 350 to 1050 MHz in 1000-kHz steps and achieves phase noise of typically -100 dBc/Hz offset 1 kHz from the carrier and -132 dBc/Hz offset 100 kHz from the carrier. It operates with a 10-MHz reference frequency and delivers typical output power of +10 dBm over operating temperatures from -30 to +75C. The synthesizer, which has frequency settling time of 10 ms, exhibits spurious levels of just -85 dBc with harmonic levels of -20 dBc or better. The compact frequency synthesizer is supplied in a surface-mount housing measuring just 1.950 x 1.250 x 0.047 in.

Z-Communications will display some of its many voltage-controlled-oscillator (VCO) designs at IMS2012, as well as its newer dielectric-resonator-oscillator (DRO) sources. The firm's DRO Series of high-frequency oscillators (Fig. 6) use high-Q dielectric resonators and are currently available from 8 to 12 GHz. As an option, electrical tuning is available at 10 GHz with a control range of 0 to 12 VDC for 3 MHz of frequency tuning control. These DROs exhibit phase noise as good as -110 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from the carrier. Second-harmonic levels are -25 dBc or better. These oscillators minimize power consumption, drawing only 20 mA typical current from a +5-VDC supply. The DROs are available in compact surface-mount housings measuring 0.91 x 0.91 x 0.40 in. or in rugged metal enclosures with coaxial connectors measuring 1.25 x 1.25 x 0.85 in. The DROs are designed to operate over the industrial temperature range of -40 to 85C.

Rogers Corp. and its Advanced Circuit Materials division will be at IMS2012 with a full array of high-performance circuit-board materials, including its RO3000 series laminates, RO4000 series laminates, and its RT/duroid laminates. As an example, RO4000 hydrocarbon ceramic laminates combine excellent high-frequency performance with low-cost circuit processing. Suitable for cellular base-station antenna, automotive radar systems, and low-noise amplifiers for satellite-communications (satcom) systems, RO4000 circuit materials include RO4003C with a relative dielectric constant of 3.38 and RO4350B with a relative dielectric constant of 3.48, both measured at 10 GHz. Both are low-loss materials that remain stable with temperature.

CAP Wireless will be in attendance at IMS2012 with their model CHPA0618-1 broadband power amplifier, utilizing their innovative SpatiumTM spatial power combining technology. Based on combining GaAs monolithic-microwave-integrated-circuit (MMIC) devices, this 6-to-18-GHz amplifier rivals the output power of traveling-wave-tube amplifiers (TWTAs) over its frequency range. It delivers 30 W output power at 1-dB compression and 35 W saturated output power across its frequency range. The solid-state amplifier offers 23-dB gain with only 3-dB gain variation from 6 to 18 GHz, with an input VSWR of 2.0:1 and output VSWR of 2.5:1. The amplifier draws 25 A at +10 VDC. The amplifier is suitable for electronic counter measures (ECM), laboratory instrumentation, and electromagnetic compatibility/electromagnetic interference (EMC/EMI) test, as well as narrower band applications like radar, microwave imaging, and satellite communications.

Polyflon Co., a Crane Co., will offer examples of circuits formed with its CuFlon PTFE-based circuit-board substrates. The firm can fabricate any circuit at sizes as large as 24 x 60 in. on this low-loss circuit-board material, from the smallest millimeter-wave circuit to the largest antenna array. Circuit etching is not restricted to just planar shapes, but can be completed on the outer or inner surfaces of cylinders and other shapes.

Flann Microwave at IMS booth No. 3104 will offer a wide range of passive components, including its series WRD 093 waveguide-to-coax adapters. These components feature 1.25:1 fullband VSWR with various models available over frequency ranges to 40 GHz. The adapters are available with female and male coaxial connectors. Adapters can be fitted with SMA, APC7, and Type N connectors for use to 18 GHz, while K connectors are fitted to the WRD 180 adapters for use from 18 to 40 GHz.

Astrolab, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will be out in force at the IMS2012 exhibition with its popular Minibend flexible cable assemblies, usable to 24 GHz. These reliable cable assemblies, with guaranteed pull force of 15 lbs, are manufactured with precision stainless-steel SMA plug connectors, triple shielded for high isolation and 99.9% lead free. The use of these flexible cable assemblies eliminates the need for costly right-angle connectors. The cable assemblies, which are direct replacements for 0.086-in. semirigid cables, can handle operating temperatures from -45 to +85C.

M/A-COM Technology Solutions will show some of its many GaAs-based products at IMS2012, including its new MAPS-010146 GaAs pHEMT digital phase shifter for applications from 8 to 12 GHz. Its 4-b control provides a least-significant bit (LSB) of 22.5 deg. phase shift per bit for a full 360-deg. Coverage, featuring only 5-deg. phase error. The digital phase shifter has insertion loss of 6.5 dB across its frequency range and can be used with serial or parallel control. It is supplied in a 4 x 4 mm 24-lead PQFN package with CMOS driver. With slightly more control resolution, model MAPS-010166 is a digital phase shifter, also for use from 8 to 12 GHz, with 6-b control. It has an LSB of 5.6 deg. for a full 360-deg. phase-shift control. It is also supplied in a 24-lead PQFN package (Fig. 7).

Hittite Microwave Corp. will demonstrate some of its new surface-mount-packaged clock generators, including models HMC1032LP6GE and HMC1034LP6GE (Fig. 8), which offer programmable frequency synthesis from 125 MHz to 3 GHz in both integer- and fractional-N relationships to their reference clocks. The model HMC1032LP6GE operates from 125 to 350 MHz while model HMC1034LP6GE runs from 125 MHz to 3 GHz. The devices integrate PLL and VCO circuits and an advanced delta-sigma modulator with 24-b step range for frequency resolution of 3 Hz and better.

Ideal for clocking digital signal processors (DSPs) and high-performance microprocessors, these clock generators use an SPI connection and easy-to-use software to program frequencies as needed. Model HMC1034LP6GE achieves 78-fs typical phase-jitter performance for integration bandwidths of 12 kHz to 20 MHz when operating at 800 MHz. The clocks have a phase-noise floor or under -165 dBc/Hz. They are supplied in 6 x 6 mm plastic leadless surface-mount packages for use at temperatures from -40 to +85C.

Hittite will also show its new model HMC6000 transmitter IC and model HMC6001 receiver IC for high-data-rate communications at 60 GHz (Fig. 9). The HMC6000 transmitter IC translates baseband in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) signals to a selected channel in the 60-GHz band, requiring only an external crystal oscillator. The SiGe IC includes a low-phase-noise frequency synthesizer for tuning across the frequency range from 57 to 64 GHz in 500- or 540-MHz steps. It provides as much as 38-dB gain (with a 17-dB gain-control range) and as much as +12-dBm linear (and +17-dBm saturated) output power.

The HMC6001 IC operates with single-ended input signals from a selected channel in the 60-GHz band and downconverts them to differential analog I and Q baseband signals. The IC includes all necessary frequency generation, gain control, and filtering to support RF signal bandwidths to 1.8 GHz. It includes programmable filters to remove DC offset and LO feedthrough signals. The HMC6001 exhibits a 6-dB noise figure at the maximum gain setting and provides a 65-dB gain-control range in 1-dB steps.

Herotek Microwave will be at IMS2012 with many examples of its product linessuch as switches and amplifiersbut also with a new line of low-leakage limiters, the LL Series. These limiters, which are rated for power levels to 1 W from 0.01 to 18.00 GHz, can be specified for leakage levels of -10, -5, 0, or +5 dBm. They feature low power consumption of a mere 5 mA at +5 VDC. The limiters, which are ideal for protecting amplifiers and receivers, are supplied in hermetic modules. They have an operating temperature range of -55 to +125C.

Crystek Corp. will display its wealth of crystal oscillator designs at IMS2012, including its new model CCHD-957 (Fig. 10) low-phase-noise HCMOS clock oscillator with standby mode. Ideal for use with digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), this oscillator is available with output frequencies from 10 to 50 MHz. It achieves low phase noise of -100 dBc/Hz offset 10 Hz from the carrier and a typical noise floor of -170 dBc/Hz offset 100 kHz from the carrier. It also features a "Standby Function" which, when placed in disable mode, completely shuts down the internal oscillator and its output buffer is placed in tri-state mode. The oscillator is supplied in a 9 x 14 mm surface-mount package and draws 15 mA from a +3.3-VDC supply. Its stability is rated at 20 to 50 ppm for temperatures from 0 to +70C and 25 to 50 ppm for temperatures from -40 to +85C.

Farran Technology Ltd. will be displaying samples of their millimeter-wave expertise, such as their WHMB series harmonic mixers (Fig. 11) for use with spectrum analyzers from Agilent Technologies and Rohde & Schwarz. These harmonic mixers are available for bands of 50 to 75 GHz, 60 to 90 GHz, 75 to 110 GHz, and 110 to 170 GHz. The Agilent models provide an IF range of DC to 1000 MHz for all models while the Rohde & Schwarz models have an IF range of 400 to 800 MHz for all mixers. For example, a model WHMB-15 for an Agilent Technologies spectrum analyzer is designed for V-band frequencies from 50 to 75 GHz and provides an IF of DC to 1000 MHz with 35-dB typical conversion loss.

LPKF will demonstrate the use of its ProtoMat S-Series circuit board plotters for in-house PCB prototyping. The ProtoMat S-Series systems offer a host of automatic features, including automatic tool change, solder paste dispensing, and automatic milling depth adjustment. Each system is equipped with easy-to-use software. The entry-level E33 member of the LPKF ProtoMat family will also be on display. This compact system is a great introduction to PCB milling and comes with powerful software to effectively support the user during the milling process. It eliminates the need for external vendors and encourages practical uses for those with limited budgets.

Nuhertz Technologies will be at IMS2012 booth No. 3418 to educate visitors on the use of its FilterSolutions and QuickFilter filter design and synthesis programs. The software tools have been enhanced through new folded hairpin resonator filter design capabilities. In conjunction with EM simulation tools from AWR Corp. and Sonnet Software, these filter design tools employ optimized cross-coupled circuits to minimize circuit board space and narrow the passband. This technique allows the resonators to be folded inside the hairpin structure, solving for EM interaction. Hairpin resonator filter designs can meet tight geometry limits without needing viaholes between layers.

Internal circuit tuning may be used to fine-tune to the desired response. Optimization may be accomplished by exporting the Nuhertz synthesized design to transmission-line circuit optimization programs, such as AWR Corp's Microwave Office suite of software design tools. The Nuhertz programs are used to create AWR tuning equations to enforce geometry limitations. EM optimization can be achieved by means of Sonnet Software's em Port Tuning optimization technique, or AWR's Axiem extraction, or other third-party extraction optimization technique.

Anatech Electronics will bring examples of its filter expertise to IMS2012, with lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop, duplexers, and diplexer filters from 10 kHz to 40 GHz built to the most stringent military and environmental requirements. The firm has constructed bandpass filters with 2 to 15 sections and bandwidths from 1% to 100%. Typical filter response types are Chebyshev, Butterworth, and elliptic, but other responses are available. The company prides itself on achieving low passband insertion loss in small package size s. The filters are available in several package styles, as well as with SMA, Type-N, BNC, and TNC connectors.

Coleman Microwave Co. will bring an assortment of its product lines to IMS2012, including bandpass filters in coaxial and waveguide formats, diplexers, triplexers, and quadriplexers, and power combiners. As an example of its tunable bandpass filters, model 201675 in the TC series offers a tuning range from 7.1 to 8.4 GHz with a 3-dB bandwidth of 80 MHz. The maximum passband insertion loss is 0.7 dB while the minimum rejection is 35 dB within 150 MHz of the center frequency. The firm also supplies high-power waveguide components for weather-radar assemblies, in S-, C-, and X-band frequencies, as well as complete C- and X-band weather radar front-end/transmitter assemblies.

The model 7SFB-950M18G-CD-SFF from Planar Monolithics Industries (PMI) is an eight-channel switched filter bank that covers passband frequencies of 950 MHz to 18.05 GHz. The filter bank offers seven different passbands throughout the operating frequency which can be selected via a 3-b decoded TTL signal. The eighth channel serves as a bypass which will pass 950 MHz to 18.05 GHz from the input to the output. All passband channel losses are equalized to be within 2 dB of one another. The switching speed is 100 ns or less and the VSWR is better than 2.0:1. The housing measures 4.33 x 5.1 x 0.98 in.

The firm will also show its model PEC-9R510R7-100W-SFF-SPDT high-power, single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) switch (Fig. 12), with power-handling capability of 120 W CW from 9.5 to 10.7 GHz. The TTL-controlled component features switching speed of 400 ns or better with more than 40-dB port-to-port isolation. The typical insertion loss across the frequency range is 1.5 dB. The switch measures just 2.12 x 1.18 x 0.51 in. and consumes only 160 mA at +5 VDC and 15 mA at -28 VDC. The firm also offers high-speed microwave switches for other frequency ranges.

Finally, Wenzel Associates will be at booth No. 3112 at IMS2012 with their Multiplied Crystal Oscillator (MXO) Series of high-frequency signal sources. These multiplied oscillators can be readily customized to any fixed frequency between 200 MHz and 12 GHz. They can also be supplied with phase-lock circuitry for use with external frequency references, including rubidium, cesium, or Global Positioning System (GPS) frequency reference standards.

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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