EDITOR’S PICKS

Laser-Radio Links Upgrade The Internet

The rise of Wi-Fi and cellular data services made Internet access more convenient and ubiquitous. Now some of the high-speed backhaul data that powers Internet services looks set to go wireless, too. By Tom Simonite

  • Attacking Tumors With Miniaturized, High-Frequency Antennas
    Attacking Tumors With Miniaturized, High-Frequency Antennas

    A team at the University of Wisconsin has figured out a way to miniaturize tumor ablation antennas by delving deep into microwave physics. These smaller scale antennas could provide surgeons with treatment options previously unavailable.

  • Developing A Millimeter-Wave Radar For An Unmanned Helicopter
    Developing A Millimeter-Wave Radar For An Unmanned Helicopter

    The Electronic Navigation Research Institute emphasizes research that contributes to increases in volume and promotes the safety of air traffic. This case study describes the challenges involved with developing a millimeter-wave radar for an unmanned helicopter. The radar had to be flexible enough to accommodate detailed functional additions and specification changes, and had to operate as part of a comprehensive obstacle detection system. The article also explains how the researchers solved those challenges by using software and hardware from National Instruments.

  • CST Introduces Significant New Features for EDA Simulation
    CST Introduces Significant New Features for EDA Simulation

    Munich, Germany, November 11, 2014: CST - Computer Simulation Technology AG (CST) will be presenting the new features for EDA simulation in CST STUDIO SUITE 2015 at Electronica 2014, booth A1.262.

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RECENT ARTICLES

  • Selecting DC-DC Step-Down Voltage Regulators For WiFi RF Power Amplifier Applications
    Selecting DC-DC Step-Down Voltage Regulators For WiFi RF Power Amplifier Applications

    Wireless local area network RF links have been integrated into almost all facets of portable and mobile products today. New 802.11ac RF PAs often pose a challenge to portable product designers, because the RF PA input supply range is no longer compatible with direct connection to a Li-Ion/poly battery supply voltage range. This means that a voltage regulator must now be employed. Performance for an 802.11ac RF PA can be affected by the voltage regulator operation, but regulator integration can be simplified if the designer knows which key performance characteristics to evaluate in a DC-DC step-down voltage regulator.

Developing A Millimeter-Wave Radar For An Unmanned Helicopter

The Electronic Navigation Research Institute emphasizes research that contributes to increases in volume and promotes the safety of air traffic. This case study describes the challenges involved with developing a millimeter-wave radar for an unmanned helicopter. The radar had to be flexible enough to accommodate detailed functional additions and specification changes, and had to operate as part of a comprehensive obstacle detection system. The article also explains how the researchers solved those challenges by using software and hardware from National Instruments.

Methods For Unambiguous Electrical Delay Measurements Using A Vector Network Analyzer

The “electrical delay” of a device may be simply defined as the time it takes an electrical signal to pass through it. It is expressed in units of time, and varies with the frequency of the signal and other factors. 

Design Overview: 25W X-Band GaN PA MMIC

Gallium Nitride (GaN) MMIC processes suitable for operation at microwave frequencies are now commercially available from a number of vendors worldwide. The high breakdown voltage of GaN transistors and their ability to operate reliably at high junction temperatures make them well suited for the realization of high-power amplifiers. This case study describes the design and performance of a 25W X-band GaN PA MMIC developed with a 0.25µm GaN on SiC process.

Reliability Of GaN-Based Solid State Power Amplifiers

GaN based solid state power amplifiers (SSPAs) have extremely attractive properties, making them ideal for use in both ground applications and space-based satellite communication systems. However, there is a limited amount of information available on the reliability of this new technology. The purpose of this paper is to describe the underlying complexities associated with GaN based SSPAs, and to present the methodology and findings of an extensive R&D program that correlated theoretical results with field data, demonstrating the reliability of GaN based SSPAs.

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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

  • 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.

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GUEST COLUMNS

  • 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.

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RF GLOBALNET WELCOMES OUR NEWEST SUPPLIER

RF Globalnet Welcomes Our Newest Supplier

Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide.

Specialties

PIC® Microcontrollers, dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers, Analog & Interface, Memory, Embedded Wireless, Wireless Audio, Embedded Security, Touch & Gesture Sensing, RF Front End, Real-Time Clocks, Development Systems, Automotive, USB & Ethernet, Computing.

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CST WEBINAR SERIES 2014 – EXPLORING EM SIMULATION

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.

FEATURED PRODUCTS

Maximum Accuracy Digital Temperature Sensor: MCP9808

Maximum Accuracy Digital Temperature Sensor: MCP9808

The MCP9808 digital temperature sensor converts temperatures between -20°C and +100°C to a digital word with ±0.5°C (max.) accuracy. The MCP9808 comes with user-programmable registers that provide flexibility for temperature sensing applications. The registers allow user-selectable settings such as Shutdown or low-power modes and the specification of temperature Event and Critical output boundaries. When the temperature changes beyond the specified boundary limits, the MCP9808 outputs an Event signal. The user has the option of setting the event output signal polarity as an active-low or active-high comparator output for thermostat operation, or as temperature event interrupt output for microprocessor-based systems. The event output can also be configured as a Critical temperature output. This sensor has an industry standard 2-wire, SMBus and Standard I2C™Compatible compatible (100kHz/400kHz bus clock) serial interface, allowing up to eight sensors to be controlled in a single serial bus. These features make the MCP9808 ideal for sophisticated multi-zone temperature- monitoring applications.

7-Way Switched Filter: SA0068-7

7-Way Switched Filter: SA0068-7

MtronPTI’s SA0068 7-way Switched Filter Bank provides transmitter harmonic management with at least 30 dB of 2nd harmonic rejection in seven selectable frequency bands from 30 MHz to 512 MHz. With a low insertion loss of less than 1.3 dB, 30 Watts of power handling and a small, 65 mA current drain max, the SA0068 is ideal for applications such as multiband tactical radios and portable radio power amplifiers.

Repair Depot Services

Repair Depot Services

dB Control offers repair, replacement, and refurbishing services for high- and low-voltage power supplies and TWT Amplifiers. Additional capabilities include modern encapsulation and potting, troubleshooting/repair of PCB assemblies and potted modules, incoming inspection and evaluation reports, and more.

SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) Oscillators

SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) Oscillators

SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) Oscillators by Phonon are essentially specialty microcircuits that process analog signals in radar, communications, electronic warfare (EW), and other defense and space applications. SAW Oscillators are different from other oscillator types in that they use acoustic waves on a material's surface for signal processing.

GaAs Flip Chip Schottky Diodes

GaAs Flip Chip Schottky Diodes

This series of Skyworks GaAs Schottky barrier flip chip diodes produces excellent high frequency performance up to millimeter wave range in a mechanically robust, small form factor.
Low-Noise Amplifier

Low-Noise Amplifier

A low noise amplifier is primarily used to amplify signals that have been captured by an antenna and are too weak to read making them unreliable when used in electronic communication systems. Because they are used in conjunction with antennas, a low noise amplifier will typically need to be mounted close to the antenna to minimize losses in the feed line.
Multi-Solver Passive Device Modeling Software: Blink

Multi-Solver Passive Device Modeling Software: Blink

Blink is the industry’s first modeling software to offer two different EM (electromagnetic) solvers for the design of passive devices. It allows IC designers to model new passive devices within a normal Cadence Virtuoso based integrated circuit design flow. It quickly characterizes spiral inductors, baluns, transformers, MIM caps, interdigitated capacitors, and transmission lines for RFIC and mixed signal IC design.

OCXOs

OCXOs

Available in low power and conventional power consumption, CTS Electronic Components OCXOs operate in temperature ranges to -40ºC to +85ºC with stabilities down to 5x109.

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FEATURED SUPPLIERS

MtronPTI

MtronPTI

Worldwide manufacturer of frequency control products such as high precision oscillators, crystal and LC filters, precision resonators
CTS Electronic Components

CTS Electronic Components

CTS Electronic Components is a pioneer in the design and manufacturing of precision crystal oscillators for over 75 years. Today, CTS Electronic Components is expanding into higher frequency, lower phase noise timing solutions, high performance RF/Microwave components, integrated modules and ultrasonic transducers.

Remcom

Remcom

Remcom provides innovative electromagnetic simulation software and consulting services. Our products simplify the analysis of complex EM problems and lead the market in FDTD-based modeling and simulation.

Pascall Electronics Ltd.

Pascall Electronics Ltd.

RF and Microwave Components|Subsystems and Systems

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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.

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