dB Or Not db? Everything You Need To Know About Decibels But Were Afraid To Ask

What is a decibel and how should we use it in our calculations? Decibels are found everywhere, including power levels, voltages, reflection coefficients, noise figures, field strengths, and more. Yet, many calculations using decibels leave even experienced engineers scratching their heads. This application note is intended as a refresher on the subject of decibels.

  • Power Amplifier with Unrivaled Size and Power Advantages: Model 2170
    Power Amplifier with Unrivaled Size and Power Advantages: Model 2170

    This amplifier covers the 1 to 3 GHz frequency range while delivering 1 kW of broadband output power in a 5U, air-cooled chassis. Its performance and size make it an ideal solution for test and measurement, electronic warfare, and communications applications. More specifically, it’s designed for octave bandwidth high power CW, modulated, and pulse applications.

  • Thin-Film Hybrid Oxide-Organic Microprocessor
    Thin-Film Hybrid Oxide-Organic Microprocessor

    Holst Centre, imec and their partner Evonik have realized a general-purpose 8-bit microprocessor, manufactured using complementary thin-film transistors (TFTs) processed at temperatures compatible with plastic foil substrates (250°C).

  • Wireless Brain Sensor Could Pave Way For Improved Neuroprosthetics
    Wireless Brain Sensor Could Pave Way For Improved Neuroprosthetics

    A wireless system for brain studies now enables the remote acquisition of high-fidelity neural data from animal models. Previously, wires and cables constrained these types of experiments to artificial scenarios. With the new system, neural data can be obtained during normal, unrehearsed activities.

More Editor’s Picks


  • Leveraging Semi-Solid Metal Casting For Manufacturing Complex Parts
    Leveraging Semi-Solid Metal Casting For Manufacturing Complex Parts

    Brisbane, California startup Fighting Walrus recently developed its Fighting Walrus Radio – a 900 MHz telemetry radio used in conjunction with iPhones or iPads in order to effectively control the flight of commercially available drones. This case study explains how Proto Labs helped them determine that a magnesium thixomolding process was the most ideal solution in developing the radio’s antenna housing and clamps.

Noise Considerations In High Speed Converter Signal Chains

Designing in high speed analog signal chains can be challenging because there are so many noise sources to consider. In this article, the most common outside noise sources are described, along with how they influence the total dynamic system performance of a high speed signal chain. The article also provides some analog and digital tricks that can be employed to further increase the signal-to-noise ratio in your next design.

EM De-Embedding Magic – Part 4: Internal Ports

To get useful results during EM analysis, answers must be accurate. Errors in impedances of even a few tenths of an Ohm will be disastrous. Those who use an EM port calibration that is dependent on the traditional definitions of Z0 will have that magnitude of error before they even start. In the final article of his four-part series, James Rautio of Sonnet Software addresses the problems that arise during EM port calibration and discusses a powerful technique for tuning filters in just a few minutes with nearly full EM accuracy.

The Advantages Of Millimeter Wave Transmission Systems Over Fiber Optics

Traditionally, wireless communication has been limited in its capacity to transport gigabit quantities of data due to bandwidth limitations set by the FCC, making fiber-optics a relevant alternative for communication systems. That all changed, however, with the opening of the 71 to 76 and the 81 the 86 GHz bands — referred to as the “E-Band” range of millimeter wave (MMW) frequencies. This article discusses the advantages that MMW communication systems have over their fiber-optic counterparts.

The Motherhood And Apple Pie Of Managing ECAD Design Data Throughout Its Lifecycle

Printed circuit board (PCB) design tools continue to evolve to support the growing challenges faced by technology companies. Most companies add tools to the basic PCB design flow, from the standard schematic capture and layout tools to the more advanced simulation and analysis tools. As more tools are added to the overall design flow, however, the data management challenges become greater. In this paper, we delve into the ‘motherhood and apple pie’ truths of design data management, and the quintessential challenges of work-in-progress data management.

More Articles


  • Amazon’s New Smartphone Boasts High-End RF And Imaging Components
    Amazon’s New Smartphone Boasts High-End RF And Imaging Components

    On July 25, Amazon released its first smartphone, and it didn’t take long for the internal components of the device to get leaked.

  • 4 Electronic Design Requirements Of The System-Integrated Soldier
    4 Electronic Design Requirements Of The System-Integrated Soldier

    Perhaps most famously portrayed in Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (1959), the idea of the “future soldier” has been around for decades. As rehashed in countless science fiction films and video games, the stereotypical future soldier is equipped with a protective exoskeleton, enhanced sensory equipment, seamless communication systems, and advanced weaponry. While the concept once seemed implausible, there are many real-world projects under way focused on realizing those seemingly fictitious warfighter capabilities — by integrating a plethora of diverse electronic subsystems into a cohesively operational suit.

  • 7 Noteworthy Technologies From IMS2014
    7 Noteworthy Technologies From IMS2014

    At the 2014 IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak with the event’s general chair, Dr. Larry Dunleavy, about the state of the RF and microwave design industry. While he acknowledged that it is a time of relative uncertainty — due in large part to constrained military budgets and conservative fiscal forecasts for 2014 — he also pointed out that there are plenty of emerging markets where RF and microwave technology is making a significant impact. With the Internet of Things (IoT) driving innovation in burgeoning markets like automotive and healthcare  and the development of 5G pushing wireless technology to further heights, there was good reason for nearly 600 companies to flock to the IMS2014 exhibition in Tampa, Fla.

More From The Editor


  • GaAs And GaN Capabilities On Display At Farnborough
    GaAs And GaN Capabilities On Display At Farnborough

    The UK was host to air shows recently with the annual Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and the biennial Farnborough International AirShow (FIA) 2014. I had the opportunity to attend a Lockheed Martin F-35/F-16 preview day held at RAF Fairford, the venue for RIAT, as well as taking a few days to attend FIA 2014.

  • Lockheed Martin Previews F-35 Lightning II "Fighter Of The Future"
    Lockheed Martin Previews F-35 Lightning II "Fighter Of The Future"

    The U.K. was host to air shows recently with the annual Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and the biennial Farnborough International AirShow (FIA) 2014. In this article, Asif Anwar from Strategy Analytics describes his experience at the Lockheed Martin F-35/F-16 preview day held at RAF Fairford, the venue for RIAT, and provides an overview of the new capabilities of each aircraft.

  • EM De-Embedding Magic – Part 3: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
    EM De-Embedding Magic – Part 3: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    In Part 1, I described the EM analysis port calibration algorithm that I developed almost 30 years ago and has been in use in Sonnet ever since. At first glance, it might seem like the technique can be applied only to “lonely” ports — ports that have no interaction or coupling with any other nearby ports. In Part 2, I showed how the algorithm can be easily extended to calibrate and de-embed as many tightly coupled ports as needed. Yes, a couple equations are needed, but once you get familiar with them, the process is really easy to do. Everything works so well, one might think that nothing could possibly go wrong.

More Guest Columns


RF Globalnet Welcomes Our Newest Supplier

Atlanta Micro, Inc was founded in 2011 with the purpose of designing and manufacturing high performance RF and Microwave products for demanding customer applications. The company is based in Alpharetta, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. Our executives possess over 40 years of experience designing state‑of‑the‑art components, receivers, transceivers and systems for the military, government agencies and the test equipment community. Atlanta Micro is focused on providing best‑in‑class broadband RF solutions meeting stringent specifications while offering reduced size, weight and power consumption necessary for portable and low power platforms. Our products are designed to meet customer needs that have been identified through our extensive experience.

Learn more.


The CST Webinar Series 2014 offers 12 free webinars that provide an insight into EM simulation and techniques to shorten the design cycle and reduce the number of costly prototypes required. No matter your level of experience, whichever webinar you attend, we think you'll benefit. Registrations for coming webinars are open and aired webinars are now available on demand. Learn more.


<B>XGtd®: High Frequency EM Propagation Software</B>

XGtd®: High Frequency EM Propagation Software

XGtd is a general purpose ray-based electromagnetic analysis tool for assessing the effects of a vehicle or vessel on antenna radiation, estimating radar cross section (RCS), and predicting coupling between antennas. Based on Geometric Optics and the Uniform Geometrical Theory of Diffraction (GTD/UTD), it is ideally suited to applications with higher frequencies or very large platforms where the electrical size of a computation may be too large for full physics techniques, such as Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD).

RF Cosite Modeling Software: EMIT

RF Cosite Modeling Software: EMIT

EMIT (electromagnetic interference toolkit) is a type of simulation software used to predict EMI (electromagnetic interference) in complex RF environments containing multiple transmitters and receivers, and to predict in-band and out-of-band interference effects for all Tx/Rx (transmitter/receiver) pairs in the scene.

SAS-562B - Active Shielded Loop Antenna

SAS-562B - Active Shielded Loop Antenna

A.H. Systems' designs, manufactures and delivers high performance Loop Antennas for a wide range of magnetic field testing. Whether used in a set to measure shielding effectiveness per MIL-STD 285 and NSA 65-6, or individually to satisfy specific requirements, the Loop Antenna is an efficient, low cost solution.
NEW: Ultra-Low Noise Signal Sources: XMN & XMNP Series

NEW: Ultra-Low Noise Signal Sources: XMN & XMNP Series

This series of ultra-low noise signal sources features exceptionally low phase noise, supplementary output at oscillator frequency, and a wide range of output frequencies and multiplication ratios. They provide a range of high-performance building blocks between 200 MHz and 3 GHz.

Analog Detectors (DAQ6103)

Analog Detectors (DAQ6103)

Model DAQ6103 operates from 0.1-6.0 GHz, and comes standard in the 0.250-in.sq. hermetic surface mount package...

GPS Passive MIL-Spec Splitter 1X3

GPS Passive MIL-Spec Splitter 1X3

The MIL-NLDCBS1X3 GPS antenna splitter is a one input three output power divider designed specifically for the GPS L1 & L2 carrier frequencies. The three output legs (J2-J4) are DC-Blocked to prevent antenna damage

R&S TSMW Universal Radio Network Analyzer

R&S TSMW Universal Radio Network Analyzer

The R&S®TSMW universal radio network analyzer is a high-end platform for optimizing all conventional mobile radio networks. Two highly sensitive 20 MHz frontends for any input frequency from 30 MHz to 6 GHz, a dual-channel preselection and an FPGA-based software-defined architecture offer unsurpassed performance while providing maximum flexibility and operational readiness.

OCXO for IEEE 1588v2 Applications

OCXO for IEEE 1588v2 Applications

To handle the increase in mobile traffic driven by smart phones, tablets and increasing video streams, carriers are switching to Synchronous Ethernet. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and IEEE created Sync E and IEEE 1588v2  timing standards to insure interoperability in this new packet-based network. MtronPTI’s XO5x84-1588-R Series OCXO (Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator) is specifically designed and tested for Sync E and 1588v2, has very low wander generation and is available in 10 MHz, 12.8 MHz and 20 MHz versions.

More Products




AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation manufacturers and distributes: | RF Amplifiers, 1 to 50,000 Watts, dc to 1 GHz| Microwave Amplifiers, 1 to 10,000 Watts, 0.8 to 45 GHz| Antennas, 1 to 15,000 Watts, 10 kHz to 50 GHz| Accessories and Software| Precompliance Test Systems| Transient Generators|AR Modular RF manufacturers and distributes: | RF Amplifier Modules with single dc supply| Broadband and sub band RF amplifier systems, rack and case mounted units| Modules and systems are available from slight modifications to full custom designs|AR Receiver Systems manufacturers and sold by AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation: | EMI Receivers | Impulse Generators| Leak Detectors
Arlon Materials for Electronics

Arlon Materials for Electronics

Arlon Materials for Electronics Division develops and manufactures copper clad laminates and prepreg bonding materials for the fabrication of high performance and frequency dependent printed circuit boards.

Mini-Systems, Inc.

Mini-Systems, Inc.

Mini-Systems, Inc. (MSI), since 1968 has manufactured high reliability, precision components for the Hybrid and Microelectronic industries
Newsletter Signup
Newsletter Signup
Get the latest RF/microwave industry news, insights, and analysis delivered to your inbox.
Join your peers
By clicking Sign Me Up, you agree to our Terms and that you have read our Privacy Policy.


Electronic Military & Defense was developed as a resource for engineers, program managers, project managers, and other professionals involved in the design and development of electronic and electro-optic systems for a wide range of defense and aerospace applications. Check out the digital edition of our latest issue for exclusive editorial on wearable antennas for military applications, countering EMI threats, biological and chemical threat detection, advances in optical sensing, and more.

Sign up to receive a free copy of the 2014 edition!


More News


DesignCon 2015

January 27 - 30, 2015
Santa Clara, CA
More Events





"RF Globalnet has been a trusted partner and has served as our main source for qualified sales leads for many years. They have a proven track record for connecting us with the right contacts, resulting in increased sales opportunities year after year." -Doug Hagan, President

Learn more


RF Globalnet is the Internet's leading source of cutting-edge technical information for the RF/microwave design community. If you are an RF/microwave design engineer or engineering manager involved in the design and development of wireless subsystems and components, or military and other radio-based communication systems at all levels, you now have access to a comprehensive web community delivering the latest updates on RF technology to give you the competitive advantage in your industry.

To provide this technical information, the site offers detailed coverage of the design and development of RF/microwave subsystems and components such as amplifiers, oscillators, modulators, attenuators, mixers, resonators, frequency synthesizers, filters, coaxial cables, connectors, switches, antennas, intergrated circuits (ICs), modules, transmitters, receivers, and transceivers. The site also includes information on discrete components such as diodes, inductors, capacitors, transistors, and resistors. We also examine the technology that creates and verifies the design, namely test and measurement equipment, computer-aided-design (CAD) tools and electronic design automation (EDA) software, among others.

RF Globalnet's database is structured to serve the needs of RF/microwave design engineers, engineering managers, system integrators, product specifiers, business executives, consultants, and others involved in the design and development of commercial wireless systems, military devices, and other commercial communication systems. Reflecting the dynamic and interactive character of the Internet, RF Globalnet is the most accurate and convenient technical source of design, product, and news information available for the rapidly changing and growing RF/microwave design industry.

Please take a moment to join our community and discover all the benefits of your FREE membership.