Europe Welcomes RF/Microwave Firms to EuMW

Aug. 26, 2013
The 2013 EuMW is the year’s top RF/microwave event in Europe.

More than 250 exhibiting RF/microwave companies will be on hand at the upcoming 43rd European Microwave Conference & Exhibition (EuMW), attracting more than 5000 attendees. Scheduled for October 6-11, 2013, the event will be held at the Nuremberg Convention Center in Nuremberg, Germany. The technical portion of the event is actually three different conferences: the European Microwave Conference (EuMC), the European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC), and the European Radar Conference (EuRAD). The exhibition runs for three days, October 8-10, with an exhibitors’ list that includes some of the top company names in the RF/microwave industry.

1. This 100-W GaN power transistor is ideal for 1800 to 2200 MHz LTE cellular applications. (Photo courtesy of Cree.)

Cree, which at mid-year had announced shipping over two million gallium nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) for cellular telecommunications applications, will offer many examples of its high-power GaN transistors. These include model CGHV22100F (Fig. 1); nominally designed for 100 W output power, this power transistor is ideal for 1800 to 2200 MHz LTE cellular applications. It can provide typical gain of 18.7 dB at 1800 MHz, 20.7 at 2 GHz, and 22 dB at 2.2 GHz. The drain efficiency at +44 dBm output power is typically 35.4% at 1.8 GHz, 31.7% at 2.0 GHz, and 30.6% at 2.2 GHz.

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The adjacent-channel leakage ratio (ACLR) is typically -35 dBc when measured at 25 W average output power. The rugged GaN power transistor, which is rated for drain-source voltage of +125 VDC, is available in a ceramic/metal flange package (model CGH22100F) or a drop-in ceramic-metal package (model CGHV22100P).

MACOM Technology Solutions will also be present on the exhibition floor with GaN power devices, although these will be the company’s “GaN in Plastic” power transistors in miniature 3 x 6 mm dual-flat-no-leads (DFN) and standard small-outline-transistor (SOT-89) plastic packages. These 50-V devices (Fig. 2) include model MAGX-000035-0900P in a 3 x 6 mm package and model MAGX-000040-5000P in an SOT-89 housing. The former achieves 95 W pulsed output power from DC to 3.5 GHz with 65% power-added efficiency (PAE) at 1 GHz and 17.5-dB gain while the latter provides 5.3 W pulsed output power from DC to 4 GHz with 65% PAE at 1 GHz and 14-dB gain.

2. These high-power, 50-V GaN transistors are supplied in rugged plastic packages. (Photo courtesy of MACOM Technology Solutions.)

Both are tested with a 1-ms pulse at 10% duty cycle. Although associated with low-cost applications, these power transistors are suitable for both military and commercial applications; the plastic housings are calculated for mean time to failure of approximately 600 years at an operating temperature of +200°C.

The Advanced Circuit Materials division of Rogers Corp. will display examples of its many printed-circuit-board (PCB) materials on the 2013 EuMC exhibition floor, including  its improved RO4700JXR™ Series antenna-grade laminates for commercial applications in cellular base stations. The low-loss dielectric materials incorporate low-profile copper foil to provide reduced passive intermodulation (PIM) distortion with low insertion loss. The thermoset resin laminate series includes materials with dielectric constant of 2.55 and 3.0 which are well suited as low-cost PCB materials for commercial communications antennas.

Rogers will also show its RO4360 laminates for power amplifier circuits (Fig. 3). These PCB materials exhibit a high dielectric constant of 6.15 which allows miniaturization of high-frequency amplifier circuits. The excellent thermal conductivity of 0.80 W/mK helps to dissipate heat from those more compact amplifier circuits. The RO4360 laminate is based on glass-reinforced thermoset dielectric material which is dimensionally stable over a wide operating temperature range.

3. High-dielectric-constant materials such as the RO4360 laminates help designers to miniaturize RF/microwave amplifier circuits. (Photo courtesy of Rogers Corp.)

Among its many other broadband components, Krytar will show a new 180-deg., 3-dB hybrid coupler on the 2013 EuMC exhibition floor. The model 4100400 is suitable for commercial and military applications from 10 to 40 GHz. Designed for combining and dividing signals in amplifiers, switching circuits, and antenna beam-forming networks (to give a few examples), the 3-dB hybrid coupler maintains flat 3-dB coupling across the 30-GHz bandwidth. The typical amplitude imbalance is ±1.0 dB across the full frequency range with typical phase imbalance of ±12 deg.

The isolation between ports is typically better than 12 dB, while insertion loss is typically less than 1.7 dB and VSWR reaches a maximum of 1.80:1. The hybrid coupler measures just 0.86 x 1.10 x 0.50 in. and weighs 1.2 oz. with 2.4-mm female coaxial connectors (2.92-mm K-type female connectors are optional). It handles 20 W average power and 3 kW peak power and is designed for an operating temperature range of -54 to +85°C.

Tackling Test

For EuMC visitors in search of new test gear, Anritsu Co. will be on hand to show the latest members of its VectorStar family of vector network analyzers (VNAs), notably the MS4640B series (Fig. 4). The VNAs are available in frequency ranges from 70 kHz to 20, 40, 50, 70, and 125 GHz. If needed, systems can be configured for measurements to 750 GHz using additional millimeter-wave modules.

4. This series of VNAs can be specified for use through millimeter-wave frequencies. (Photo courtesy of Anritsu Co.)

Ideal for testing high-speed serial networks and radar systems, these analyzers include PulseView capability, which provides pulse profile, point-in-pulse, and pulse-to-pulse measurements of S-parameters. The PulseView functions enable 2.5-ns pulse measurement resolution across a 100-dB dynamic range. This measurement precision and accuracy makes it possible to study performance perturbations on the rising/trailing edges and within a pulse that might have been previously missed by other measurement approaches. The long 500-ms pulse capture time allows operators to make measurements across long pulse-repetition-interval conditions or make pulse-to-pulse measurements over an extended number of pulses.

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Agilent Technologies will be on the EuMC exhibition floor to demonstrate some new capabilities for its FieldFox line of portable RF/microwave analyzers, including forming a control and visual interface with the Apple iPad (Fig. 5). The Agilent FieldFox portable instruments include VNAs and spectrum analyzers with frequency ranges that extend to 26.5 GHz, such as the model N9928A VNA (30 kHz to 26.5 GHz) and the model N9938A spectrum analyzer (100 kHz to 26.5 GHz). The FieldFox analyzers include a wide range of useful features and functions, such as a built-in power meter for accurate channel power measurements.

5. The FieldFox line of portable microwave testers can now work remotely through Apple iPad devices. (Photo courtesy of Agilent Technologies.)

In addition to showing examples of its modular instrument solutions on the exhibition floor, National Instruments will offer its workshop on VNAs at the 2013 EuMC. “The Fundamentals of Vector Network Analysis” will be held Wednesday, October 9th. This workshop will review the meaning of S-parameters, the various function blocks of VNAs, calibration techniques, and even proper care of test cables and connectors.

No microwave test setup is complete without high-performance test cables, and W.L. Gore & Associates will be on hand at the 2013 EuMC exhibition to show its line of GORE PHASEFLEX® flexible RF/microwave test cable assemblies (Fig. 6). These lightweight but durable test cable assemblies boast excellent phase and amplitude stability with flexure. They promise long service lifetime for reduced operating costs in the test laboratory, in the field, and other locations.

6. These rugged test cables provide amplitude and phase stability with flexure to 18 GHz. (Photo courtesy of W.L. Gore

The cable assemblies, which are available with solid and stranded cables, are rated for operating frequencies to 18 GHz with VSWRs as low as 1.05:1 at 3 GHz and as high as 1.28:1 at 18 GHz. Insertion loss is as low as 0.75 dB at 18 GHz, while typical phase stability is as low as ±2 deg. at 18 GHz. For all cable types, amplitude stability with flexure is ±0.05 dB. The shielding effectiveness (SE) for all cables is better than 100 dB through 18 GHz while the nominal velocity of propagation for all cables is 85%. The nominal time delay for all cables is 0.04 ns/cm.

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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