Articles by Dr. James C. Rautio

EM DeEmbedding Magic – Part 4: Internal Ports
12/12/2014
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 Z_{0} will have that magnitude of error before they even start. In the final article of his fourpart 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.

EM DeEmbedding Magic – Part 3: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
9/3/2014
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 deembed 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.

EM DeEmbedding Magic – Part 2: Lots Of Ports, All Talking To Each Other!
7/30/2014
In Part I, I described how I came up with the EM port calibration theory that we have been using very successfully for nearly 30 years. It is so simple. To deembed a single, lonely port, just EM analyze a 2port through line of length L, and a second one of length 2L, do some magic math (described in Part I and in [1] and [2]), and we have beautiful, fully deembedded EM analysis data for that lonely port. (If we have additional lonely ports, just repeat the process for those ports, one at a time, as well.)

EM DeEmbedding Magic – Part I: What's the Problem, Anyway?
4/9/2014
Way, way back in 1986, when I was developing the Method of Moments software that we are selling today [1], [2], I encountered (and overcame) many problems. One problem first became apparent when I was demonstrating prototype software at HP (now Agilent, soon to be Keysight Technologies) in Santa Rosa, one of my research sponsors. The results did not look so good. When we compared the results to measurement, the differences steadily increased as we went up in frequency. My funding from HP could be in jeopardy. Not good.

Patterned Ground Shields For Silicon RFICs – Part 4: How Does the Ground Shield Work?
1/8/2014
You might have noticed, in spite of the title of this series, we have discussed the current induced in the RFIC silicon ground rather than the patterned ground shield that designers add to reduce the current in silicon. As I mentioned in Part 1, we must understand our enemy before we can deal with our enemy. We now understand our enemy.

Patterned Ground Shields For Silicon RFICs – Part 3: Which Way Does The Current Really Go?
11/18/2013
Everything is so confusing. In Part I of this series, we found that there is something really strange about the current flowing in an Si substrate underneath a spiral inductor. It is flowing perpendicular to the direction of the spiral turns, when we thought it should be flowing parallel to the turns.

Patterned Ground Shields For Silicon RFICs – Part 2: What Universe Are We In?
5/29/2013
In Part 1, we used Sonnet® to investigate the current in the surface of the silicon substrate that is induced by a spiral inductor. Since it is an inductor, we were expecting the substrate current to be induced magnetically. After all, inductors are just little magnets, and we would expect inductively induced current in any nearby conductor. The silicon substrate is a conductor, kind of, right? In addition, the magnetically induced current should flow parallel to (and in the opposite direction of) the current in the spiral inductor. This behavior obeys a special case of Clerk Maxwell’s equations known as Lenz’s Law. This is all, to use American slang, a “slamdunk”^{1}, hardly even worth checking.

Patterned Ground Shields For Silicon RFICs – Part 1: What Happens In The Silicon?
3/26/2013
Spiral inductors and silicon … from an RF point of view it seems silly. After all, we have all that lossy silicon just microns away from our losssensitive inductor. We need low loss or our VCO won’t start, or our LNA will have a high noise figure. Put that inductor anywhere but on the silicon!

How To Get Your Paper Published At IMS – Part III
9/17/2012
Last time, I went over how to make life easy for the IMS reviewer so that we can increase the chances of getting a paper accepted. It is important to devote conscious effort to making it easy for the reviewer to give high scores in the originality, clarity, quantitative, and interest categories. In this column, I concentrate on the part that I feel is most important, quantitative. Note that all four parts are formally assigned equal weights when assigning scores and other reviewers might have different opinions, so this represents only my personal views on the matter.

How To Get Your Paper Published At IMS – Part II
7/10/2012
Last time, we talked about the rationale behind the IMS doubleblind review system, where not only are the reviewers not known to the authors, but the authors are not (nominally) known to the reviewers. This reduces the chance of any bias on the part of the reviewer for or against any particular author. However, it also makes it harder for the reviewer to catch double publication. Now, we look at what you can do to increase chances of acceptance.