EDITOR’S PICKS

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.

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RECENT ARTICLES

  • EM De-Embedding Magic – Part 4: Internal Ports
    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.

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.

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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

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.

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

Ultra Low Noise VHF Crystal Oscillators: OCXO And OCXOF Series

Ultra Low Noise VHF Crystal Oscillators: OCXO And OCXOF Series

Oven controlled crystal oscillators by Pascall are typically used in applications involving low noise frequency multipliers, phase noise test system, high performance synthesizers, radar, and electronic warfare.
Artificial Neural Network Compensated Crystal Oscillator: ANN100-1 TCXO

Artificial Neural Network Compensated Crystal Oscillator: ANN100-1 TCXO

The ANN100-1 ANNCXO (artificial neural network compensated crystal oscillator) achieves frequency stability vs. temperature performance that is significantly better than what conventional TCXOs provide, and does not require the power that typical OCXOs do.

Microwave Amplifiers (to 12 GHz)

Microwave Amplifiers (to 12 GHz)

High Performance Teledyne Microwave Solutions™ Amplifiers, Typical and Guaranteed Specifications—50 ΩSystem

Multi-Octave RF Upconverter: RF2-3000UCV1

Multi-Octave RF Upconverter: RF2-3000UCV1

This Multi-Octave RF Upconverter is ideal for applications involving test bed developments, software defined radios, waveform generators, RF signal generators from 2 MHz to 3 GHz, and in Joint Tactical Radio Systems.
Stratum 3 TCXO/VCTCXO: M615x Series

Stratum 3 TCXO/VCTCXO: M615x Series

The M615x Series TCXO/VCTCXO (temperature compensated crystal oscillator/voltage controlled temperature compensated crystal oscillator) reduces phase noise and increases stability for Stratum 3 reference clock applications.

Analyzer for the Wireless Range: NRA-6000

Analyzer for the Wireless Range: NRA-6000

The NRA-6000 is a remote controlled spectrum and signal analyzer covering the 9 kHz to 6 GHz range. It’s 1U high and weighs a little less than five kilos. This coupled with its low power consumption (less than 20 VA) make it ideal for mobile systems, or applications with limited space.

Signal Booster III Series

Signal Booster III Series

Signal Booster III Series - This product series offers a couple different models that offer programmable filter flexibility design to master the challenges of a changing RF environment. Models are available to support UHF and 700/800MHz. The 700/800 Digital Booster model is part of the RescueLine product family

Wideband Miniature Digital Tuner: AM9001A

Wideband Miniature Digital Tuner: AM9001A

Atlanta Micro’s AM9001A is a fully integrated, high dynamic range miniature digital tuner covering the 2 MHz to 6 GHz frequency range with an 80-MHz instantaneous bandwidth.

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FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Greenray Industries, Inc.

Greenray Industries, Inc.

Greenray Industries a leading designer and manufacturer of precision frequency control products designed for communications, military, aerospace, and instrumentation applications...

Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

Skyworks is the industry’s leading wireless semiconductor company focused on RF and complete semiconductor systems for mobile communications applications...

CST of America, Inc.

CST of America, Inc.

CST develops and markets high performance software for the simulation of electromagnetic (EM) fields in all frequency bands. Its success is based on the implementation of leading edge technology in a user-friendly interface.

Empower RF Systems, Inc.

Empower RF Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1999, Empower RF Systems is a global leader in power amplifier solutions that are critical to defense, commercial, and industrial market applications. With our origins in the design of broadband and band-specific solid state power amplifiers, Empower continues to advance the science of RF power amplification to produce rugged, power efficient, and cost-effective solutions in the industry.
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ELECTRONIC MILITARY & DEFENSE MAGAZINE

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.

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 INDUSTRY EVENTS

DesignCon 2015

January 27 - 30, 2015
Santa Clara, CA
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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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