IMS 2010 Returns To The West Coast

May 18, 2010
From in-depth technical presentations to the cutting-edge products displayed on the exhibit floor, IMS once again provides the pulse of the microwave industry.

The IEEE Microwaves Theory & Techniques Society (MTTS) International Microwave Symposium is the RF and microwave industry's key technical, business, and social event. This year, IMS is being held from May 23 to 28 at the Anaheim Convention Center (Anaheim, CA). As usual, it includes a variety of conferences with outstanding technical presentations (see sidebar, "Conferences And Events Provide Places For Microwave Minds To Meet"). In addition, the exhibition floor is teeming with new product announcements, technology innovations, and enlightening demonstrations. From component manufacturers to test and measurement and software firms, the array of companies exhibiting at IMS represents every aspect of microwave design.

The test and measurement firms, for example, often launch major products at IMS. Their large booths also include excellent demonstrations. For example, Giga-tronics will be showing its most recent 26.5- GHz Universal Serial Bus (USB) power sensor. The firm also will be releasing information on its new RF interface unit and switch matrix.

Although it is not known as a supplier of test equipment, Hittite Microwave Corp. will be showing a portable synthesized signal generator covering 10 MHz to 20 GHz. The HMC-T2100B delivers continuouswave (CW) signals to +27 dBm in 0.1- dB steps over a 40-dB dynamic range (Fig. 1). It provides -113 dBc/Hz phase noise at 100 kHz offset from 1 GHz.

Rohde & Schwarz will be showing examples of its vector-network-analyzer (VNA) portfolio. The firm's 67-GHz, fourport model ZVA67 VNA flaunts four independent sources and eight receivers. The company also will show options for the R&S ZVA 24/40-GHz VNAs demonstrating group delay with no local-oscillator (LO) access to the device under test (DUT) as well as pulsedradar/ EW measurements. Together with NMDG, the firm will be spotlighting the R&S ZVx Plus NM300 nonlinear VNA with S-functions. Specifically, NMDG will be showing its NM600 "fast" source and load-pull software running on the R&S ZVA24 VNA.

Broadband VNAs from Anritsu Co. promise to accurately characterize the nonlinear behavior of RF devices, such as amplifiers (Fig. 2). The new test systems combine the broadband VectorStar VNA with impedance tuners and software to create a solution for nonlinear device analysis. The software was developed with High Frequency Engineering Sagl (HFE). The hardware configuration provides optimal nonlinear load-pull data by using passive or active tuners or a combination of both.

Tektronix will be joined by various partners at this year's IMS. Mesuro, for example, debuted its active load-pull system at IMS 2009. This year, the firm will introduce the extension of active load pull to ultra-high-frequency (UHF) applications as low as 200 MHz. In addition, Mesuro will demonstrate its 150-W high-power system with a 45-W gallium-nitride (GaN) transistor from Cree.

Tektronix partner SenarioTek will be spotlighting wideband microwave up/ downconversion and system integration for radar and satellite-communications applications. In addition, X-COM Systems will be showing its surveillance and EW recording solutions. This RF capture and playback solution is integrated with the Tektronix RSA6000 series real-time spectrum analyzers. Lastly, Maxtek will be on hand with its wideband data-conversion modules and information about its microelectronic engineering and manufacturing services.

Agilent Technologies is launching the Infiniium 90000 X-series oscilloscopes at this year's IMS. The series' six new models feature true analog bandwidths from 16 to 32 GHz. (For more on the Infiniium 90000 X-series scopes)

The company also will be exhibiting its PNA-X series of microwave VNAs, which now provide source-corrected noise-figure measurements to 50 GHz. In addition, Agilent will be showing the V3500A handheld RF power meter, which covers 10 MHz to 6 GHz. The power meter comes with a built-in display and integrated power sensor. It boasts dynamic range of +20 to 63 dBm with absolute accuracy to 0.21 dB. The firm's software division, Agilent EEsof, will be on hand explaining how system- level X-parameters in SystemVue 2010 and Genesys 2010 provide architecture-to-verification closure.

At the RFMW booth, Telemakus will be demonstrating a scalar analyzer using its USBcontrolled TEG2700-6 source and USB TED6000-50 detector. This demonstration will use custom software on a personal computer (PC) to sweep 1.8 to 2.7 GHz with the test results of power versus frequency displayed on the PC's screen. A TEA4000-7 USB attenuator will be used as part of the demo to vary input power for this simple and inexpensive system.

The new EEsof capabilities are just one example of the multitude of software innovations that will be seen at IMS. Mentor Graphics will be showing the IE3D electromagnetic (EM) design and verification platform, which it acquired from Zeland Software. In addition, Mentor will feature its printed-circuit-board (PCB) design solution, which allows engineers to co-design RF/analog/digital and ensure optimal performance without requiring data translation between the RF and PCB environments.

Sonnet Software will be previewing Sonnet Suites Release 13, which is planned for later this year. This release will include new model extraction techniques and enhanced modeling capabilities. Like last year, Sonnet also is bringing an EM classroom to the show floor. The firm will educate IMS exhibition attendees with 20-minute training sessions in Sonnet's booth. All class attendees will gain hands-on experience on its 3D planar EM tool and receive a free copy of Sonnet LitePlus ($495 value). There are 19 separate classes offered during the three-day tradeshow exposition. For a complete class schedule, visit Another hot software announcement is the addition of HFSS to Ansoft Designer, part of the ANSYS, Inc. product portfolio. Essentially, the firm has created a planar layout-based interface (optional to the traditional 3D interface) for HFSS (Fig. 3). It allows the user to drive HFSS from a schematic diagrama bonus for non-specialist RF engineers, for whom three-dimensional (3D) drawing has always been a drawback. In addition, new integration with Synopsys' HSPICE allows users to drive both HFSS and HSPICE from the same schematic interface. The firm also will be highlighting HFSS-IE, which is the new Method of Moments (MoM) solver for EM radiation and scattering studies. Finally, information will be available on the continued creation of multi-physics links with the ANSYS portfolio.

Among the wares from Synopsys is Galaxy Custom Designer, which now offers productivity innovations in the schematic editor, simulation, and analysis environment as well as enhanced schematic-driven layout applications. Synopsys also is known for the HSPICE circuit-simulation tool, which includes foundry-certified MOS device models with simulation and analysis algorithms. This year's HSPICE demonstration will highlight the phase noise and jitter analysis of voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) and phase-locked loops (PLLs).

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Among the integrated-circuit (IC) innovations being shown at IMS are Analog Devices' ADRF6655 active mixer and ADRF6510 dual programmable filter and variable gain amplifier (VGA). These two new RF ICs integrate multiple functions and discrete devices into a single monolithic chip. The ADRF6655 active mixer covers 100 to 2500 MHz. This single-chip, broadband active mixer also houses a fully integrated fractional-N PLL synthesizer, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), and associated low-dropout (LDO) regulator circuits. The ADRF6655 active mixer operates on a single +5-V supply. It features +29 dBm third-order intercept performance with +14 dBm input power at 1-dB compression. The mixer provides 6 dB conversion gain with a noise figure of 12 dB and LO phase noise of -111 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset.

For its part, the ADRF6510 provides third-order intermodulation distortion above -60 dBc. It is well suited for highorder quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) communications systems supporting high-bandwidth signals to 56 MHz. The ADRF6510 integrates a matched pair of fully differential low-noise and low-distortion programmable filters and VGAs onto a single chip. The ADRF6510 VGA provides an adaptable multi-stage, adjustable gain control range of 50 dB. A pre-amplifier prior to the filters provides a 6-dB step while the VGAs that follow the filter networks provide gain range of -5 to +45 dB.

Toshiba America Electronic Components is making four announcements that merit notice. A 4-W GaAs monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) dubbed the TMD0608-4 covers 5.65 to 8.50 GHz. With high gain of 30 dB throughout the operating range and 50- internal matching, the device is well suited for use as a pre-amplifier in C-band satellite communications (satcom). The 50-W TGI7785-50L is another commercial C-band GaN HEMT targeting satcom applications. From 7.7 to 8.5 GHz, it delivers typical output power of +47.0 dBm with +40 dBm input power, linear gain of 11.0 dB, and drain current of 5.0 A.

The firm also has expanded its Ku-band GaAs FET lineup with two higher-power devices rated for 18 and 30 Wthe models TIM1213-18L and TIM1213-30L, respectively. Both span 12.7 to 13.2 GHz. They target microwave links and satellite communications. In addition, a new "EL" series of C-band device GaAs FETs is optimized for both high gain and power efficiency in microwave radios and solid-state power amplifiers (PAs). The first three devices in the "EL" series are 16-W GaAs FETs targeted for three different C-band frequency ranges: 6.4 to 7.0, 7.1 to 7.9, and 7.7 to 8.5 GHz.

A front-end module (FEM) from RFMD targets handset/handheld wireless-local-areanetworking systems IEEE 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth. The RF5755 integrates a 2.5-GHz PA, single-pole, three-throw (SP3T) switch, low-noise amplifier (LNA), single-pole, single-throw (SPST) switch, and power-detector coupler. It delivers +20 dBm linear output power. It provides the ability to switch between WLAN transmit, WLAN receive, or Bluetooth (transmit or receive).

Cutting-edge chip announcements often are made possible by materials, manufacturing, and assembly innovations. Progress has been made in the design and manufacture of integrated microwave assemblies (IMAs). Narda, for example, has replaced classic microwave-integratedcircuit (MIC) approaches with its new multilayer-microwave-circuitry (MMC) technology. MMC uses multilayered printed-circuit boards (PCBs) to interconnect microwave devices (MIC, SMT, or MMIC configurations) with bias circuits and digital-processing components. Narda produces IMA products that operate from 500 MHz to 50 GHz and can integrate two or more microwave component functions into a compact assembly. In contrast, the firm's compact microwave subsystems (CMSs) are higher-level multifunctional assemblies that incorporate combinations of IMA modules with related processing, power sources, and cooling functionality.

Synthesizers play a role in many microwave systemswhether commercial or military. For example, Phase Matrix's QuickSyn microwave-frequency synthesizers are now available to 20 GHz. These synthesizers employ a phase-refining technology that provides a unique combination of fast-switching speed and low phase-noise characteristics. Models FSW-0010 and FSW-0020 provide 0.5 to 10 GHz and 0.5 to 20 GHz coverage, respectively. An extension to as low as 100 MHz is available as well.

In addition, ITT Corporation's Microwave Systems will be on hand to showcase directdigital- synthesis (DDS) local-oscillator (LO) synthesizers as well as the firm's wideband waveform signal generation and chirp capabilities. ITT's DDS technology flaunts 20-ns switching speed, better than -70 dBc spurious, sub-hertz tuning resolution, and phase noise of -140 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset. The technology yields custom products with spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of 80 dB and linear and nonlinear FM, AM, PM, QAM, and pulsed-RF modulation formats. Form factors include VME, VPX, and custom solutions.

Following tradition, amplifier announcements will undoubtedly be plentiful at this year's show. For example, Mimix Broadband, Inc. is spotlighting a 3-W PA module covering 3.5 to 6.0 GHz. This two-stage amplifier delivers 18.5 dB gain and +34 dBm output power at 1-dB compression. Dubbed the XP1044-QL, it achieves error vector magnitude (EVM) of 2.5 percent or better at +26 dBm output power with IEEE 802.16 OFDM signal and peak-to-average ratio of 9.17 dB. The XP1044-QL is designed for WiMAX applications between 4.9 and 5.9 GHz. The performance can be shifted to cover applications between 3.5 and 5.0 GHz by adding external matching components. The firm also will debut a 5.6-to-10.5-GHz QFN-packaged upconverter. The XU1012-QH offers an output third-order intercept point of +25 dBm, conversion gain of 8 dB, and typical image rejection of -15 dBc.

Avago Technologies will be showcasing PAs for high-power WiMAX, WLAN, and LTE customer-premise-equipment (CPE) applications from 2300 to 2700 MHz. The MGA-43228 and MGA-43328 vow to provide impressive linearity by leveraging the firm's 0.25-m GaAs enhancement-mode pHEMT process. The MGA-43228, which spans 2300 to 2500 MHz, provides +29.1 dBm linear output power at 2.5 percent EVM. It provides 38.5 dB gain with close to 16 percent power-added efficiency (PAE) at 2400 MHz. Its sibling, the MGA- 43328, exhibits +29.3 dBm linear output power at 2.5 percent EVM from 2500 to 2700 MHz. It delivers 37.3 dB gain and roughly 16 percent PAE at 2600 MHz. Both devices include an integrated bypass-switch-controlled attenuator, which provides roughly 23.6 dB attenuation, as well as a built-in power detector.

Skyworks is debuting two active-bias low-noise amplifiers (LNAs). The SKY67100- 396LF spans 1.7 to 2.0 GHz while the SKY67101-396LF covers 0.7 to 1.0 GHz. These gallium-arsenide (GaAs) enhancement-mode pseudomorphic (pHEMT) LNAs are designed for GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, and LTE cellular infrastructure as well as ultra-low-noise applications.

At Renaissance Electronics Corp., subsidiary HXI, the HMPA and HHPA series of PAs will be among the products in the spotlight. These PAs cover 18 to 100 GHz while offering a variety of gain and bandwidth combinations. The HHPAA-300, for example, spans 28 to 32 GHz with typical output power at 1-dB compression of +25 dBm and 17 dB gain. The amplifiers can be used in transmitters for communication and radar systems and also as gain blocks in LO chains and test equipment. Multiple devices can be combined to increase output power where necessary. The firm also is showing an HDTV radio and a new family of broadband frequency multipliers.

For its part, Renaissance will debut the 3G2NDM 700-MHz drop-in circulator for Long Term Evolution (LTE) requirements. This device has better than -100 dBc intermodulation distortion (IMD) when tested with two 0.25-W tones. In addition, Renaissance is offering this circulator with a 13-percent bandwidth in a 1.25-x-1.25-in.package. A multiband combiner and redundant switch matrices are among the other products being shown at IMS by the firm.

In the oscillator arena, Bliley Technologies, Inc. will showcase its T107A temperature-compensated, voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (TCVCXO) in a 2.5-x-2.0-mm package. The T107A flaunts superior temperature versus frequency stability performance with stabilities as tight as 0.5 ppm. It is ideally suited for GPS, mobile communications, WiMAX, base station, networking, and industrial electronic applications.

Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co. Ltd. (NDK) will be emphasizing the availability of its militaryapproved M55310/30-B series, type 1 crystal clock oscillators (XOs). The oscillators cover 450 kHz to 100 MHz. Typically, they provide frequency stability of better than 5 ppm at +23C and better than 30 ppm from -55 to +125C. The oscillators feature aging characteristics of typically better than 1 ppm/yr. They operate on a supply voltage of +3.3 VDC. The lower-frequency XOs draw 8 mA while the higher-frequency versions draw 30 mA current. They deliver a CMOS square-wave output with a load of 15 pF 5 percent/10 k 5 percent.

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Among the power components being announced this year are Barry Industries, Inc.'s resistors and terminations. These devices range in power from 400 to 1500 W and are specifically designed for the industrialequipment market. They have been developed on copper flanges.

In the cable and connector segment, RF Connections will be hosting its suppliers with engineers on hand to discuss applications. Intelliconnect offers a complete line of Triax and Twinax connectors, Type N, BNC, TNC, SMA, and BMA as well as the Pisces line of NEMA-rated waterproof connectors. In addition, Duplex CSA offers Mini-BNC, highend F connectors, and a full range of commercial coaxial products as well as custom metal work and RF shielding. Precision Connectors offers highfrequency microwave connectors: 1.85 mm, 2.4 mm, 2.9 mm, SMA, Type N, and TNC interfaces for high-frequency, low-loss cables. Finally, Response Microwave offers a full line of passive components for commercial and military applications.

With the patented HDRFI product line from Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, up to 34 coaxial lines can be accommodated in a standard 38999 shell (Fig. 4). The result is broadband performance to 40 GHz. Other connector options include D-sub, ARINC, and custom blocks.

Crystek will be showing a line of lowloss RF coaxial cable assemblies featuring rugged stainless-steel solder-clamp construction and attenuation of 0.36 dB/ft. at 18 GHz. The LL142 series cable offers shielding effectiveness of greater than -110 dB with an operating temperature range of -55 to +85C. The LL142 series cable offers a minimum bend radius of 0.8 in.

Rounding out the showings on the exhibition floor will be specialists like A.T. Wall Co. This firm will feature a range of precisiondrawn, high-quality waveguide tubing. Highlighted products include Invar waveguide, thin-wall aluminum waveguide, seamless flexible waveguide, flexible twistable waveguide, flexible waveguide, semi-flexible waveguide, and components from all types of flexible waveguide (Fig. 5). Invar waveguide features low expansion characteristics that allow minimal expansion in extreme cold and heat. Microwave filters made from Invar can withstand extreme temperature shifts while maintaining the physical characteristics that control the RF signal.

A.T. Wall also will feature sidewall frames for the hybrid microelectronic circuit packages used in defense, commercial electronics, and medical applications worldwide. These tubular frames serve as sidewalls for hermetically sealed flat packs that demand restrictive dimensional tolerance and precise metallurgical qualities. For this market, A.T. Wall also will feature stamped covers and bases. Stop by to see the base for a universal sensor, which was originally produced as a machined part. Depending upon the quantity, the firm asserts that a customer can achieve up to 65 percent cost savings using the stamped part in place of the machined part.

Another unique offering hails from Omron. This firm's RF microelectromechanical-systems (MEMS) switch is rated to 100 million operations with a supply of only 0.5 mA at +0.5 VDC. It has been tested over 1 billion cycles without failure. The 2SMES-01 highfrequency mechanical relay boasts 30-dB isolation. It exhibits 1-dB insertion loss and 10-dB return loss while consuming a maximum of just 10 W. The switch was developed to meet the needs of the communications and automated test-equipment markets. The relay is comprised of two SPST-NO silicon chips that are packaged together for SPDT or DPST-NO operation in 5.2-x-3.0-x-1.8- mm enclosure.

One of the larger component lines at the IMS will be displayed by Mini-Circuits , which offers everything from low-noise and power amplifiers to USB power sensors for displaying power levels at frequencies through 6 GHz on a laptop computer (software comes with the power sensor). The company will also show its various surface-mount oscillator and filter solutions and be on hand to discuss its custom frequency synthesizer design services.

In terms of innovation, Synergy Microwave will show its lines of miniature oscillators, reference clocks, and frequency synthesizers as well as its variable-inductor technology.

These products are just a small representation of the developments that will be seen on the IMS exhibition floor. The show will be teeming with products, datasheets, and information on new developments. No product area will be without its exciting announcements whether it be the latest in test and measurement equipment or design software or the more traditional passive component and IC-based products. History has shown that interesting developments can be found at almost any location on the show floor, from the smallest booths to the largest displays.

Conferences And Events Provide Places For Microwave Minds To Meet
THE INTERNATIONAL MICROWAVE SYMPOSIUM (IMS) is one of those rare gems among trade shows, heralded for its excellent conference as well as exciting exhibition. This year's exhibition will feature over 875 booths from more than 542 exhibitors. According to IMS Chairman JK McKinney, 41 companies were confirmed to make their first exhibition appearance at IMS 2010 (at the time of this writing). McKinney also reports strong pre-registration and exhibitor attendance. Technical attendance is running well ahead of last year. In addition, worldwide attendance continues to be strong with 41 different countries claiming at least one representative at the show.

This year's conference highlights include 250 technical papers in over 60 sessions. In addition, 122 papers will be presented in interactive forums that allow one-on-one discussions with presenters. Conference-goers will be able to see the latest research findings from around the world, which are organized into the following technical tracks: Microwave Field and Circuit Techniques, Passive RF and Microwave Components, Active RF, Microwave Components, and Microwave Systems and Applications.

When asked about the 2010 conference's more interesting topics, McKinney reports, "Gallium-nitride (GaN) material technology has been progressing rapidly over recent years. These advances have opened the feasibility window of solid-state systems that were previously considered un-realizable. IMS2010 is seeing a large number of system and amplifier results presented. These solutions will soon be making their way into production. An interesting corollary of these device advances is that they are requiring associated advances in traditional structures, processes, and modeling to realize the benefits."

McKinney also notes, "Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Madhu Gupta, the Technical Program Committee Chairman, the Technical Program Committee had a large number of papers submitted in technical areas of interest that historically have not been associated with the IMS. For example, this year there are multiple sessions addressing RFID and Power Scavenging Technologies. One of the more interesting sessions at IMS2010 is Metamaterial Structures, Phenomena, and Applications. We have some of the world's leading researchers presenting their recent findings. This is a field with the potential to embark on a revolutionary paradigm of applications."

Of course, Microwave Week is not simply the 2010 IMS exhibition and corresponding technical program. It also includes the 75th Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) meeting and the IEEE 2010 Radio-Frequency Integrated-Circuits (RFIC) Symposium. In addition, the MicroApps Seminars will be presented Tuesday, May 25 through Thursday, May 27. MicroApps cover new products, state-of-theart components, emerging technologies, and novel manufacturing and design techniques that incorporate the exhibitor's products and technologies in an application-centric setting. The MicroApps Seminars are located on the exhibit floor at Booth 524 and attendance is free. A MicroApps CD of all the presentations will be available for free to all.

This year's plenary session, which takes place on May 25, features Zachery Lemnios, Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the US Department of Defense. Hailed as the "Pentagon's geek-in-chief" by Wired Magazine, Lemnios is a distinguished technologist, leader, and long-time advocate for the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S). In his plenary session talk, "A Strategic View of Defense Research and Engineering," Lemnios will address both defense-related technology opportunities and challenges facing the electronics industry today.

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