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IMS 2018 Prologue: Prepping for the mmWave Era (.PDF Download)

Aug. 8, 2018
IMS 2018 Prologue: Prepping for the mmWave Era (.PDF Download)

Heightened interest in millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies was in evidence throughout the exhibit floor of the recent 2018 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS). Thousands of visitors came to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Philadelphia, Pa.) to visit display booths and representatives from hundreds of RF/microwave companies, with more companies than ever before showing products at frequencies of 28 GHz and beyond.

The companies worked under the shadows of large signs showing the now familiar “5G,” in anticipation of the fifth generation of wireless-network communications technology. 5G wireless networks will work at frequencies below 6 GHz, but will also use mmWave frequency bands at 28 GHz, 39 GHz, and higher for short-haul, high-speed data links. In addition, almost all commercial (and many military) autonomous “self-driving” vehicles will be loaded with mmWave components, devices, and circuits in the form of front- and rear-looking radar systems as part of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)

The 2018 IMS Conference and Exhibition was relatively upbeat, despite the industry’s earlier loss of one of its great leaders and innovators, Harvey Kaylie, the founder of Mini-Circuits. The RF/microwave industry is very much a close-knit community, and its members honored the life and many accomplishments of Harvey Kaylie by remembering him in their thoughts and pushing ahead in pursuit of advances and progress as he would have wished. The strong foundation established at Mini-Circuits was apparent by the large number of visitors to the company’s exhibition booth in search of good-quality products at low prices.

As with many companies at the 2018 IMS exhibition, Mini-Circuits has been seeking to push the upper-frequency limits of some of its components into the millimeter-wave range. Examples of these higher-frequency components were available at the booth, such as coaxial fixed attenuators and terminations operating well into the mmWave range. For example, precision fixed coaxial attenuators in the BW-E Series (Fig. 1) are available with attenuation values of 3, 6, 10, and 20 dB and attenuation accuracy of ±1.5 dB or better over a continuous frequency range of dc to 65 GHz. The RoHS-compliant attenuators are equipped with 1.85-mm connectors.

1. The BW-E Series fixed attenuators are available with attenuation values of 3, 6, 10, and 20 dB from dc to 65 GHz. (Courtesy of Mini-Circuits)