Manchester, UK will see its population surge for a week, as European Microwave Week (EuMW 2011) unfolds in Manchester central from October 9-14. Now in its 14th year, this event has become more than just a trade show, with a full exhibition hall (more than 250 exhibitors are expected), a trio of technical conferences, and a variety of application- and product-based presentations.

In addition to the European Microwave Conference (EuMC), Manchester will also be hosting the European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC) and the European Radar Conference (EuRAD). In addition, the Microapps auditorium, located on the exhibit floor, will offer more than 30 exhibitor-hosted applications sessions focused on specific products. For example, National Instruments will detail making pulsed S-parameter measurements with PXI-based modular instruments, while Agilent Technologies will describe different methods for generating low-phase-noise RF and microwave signals. In addition, software giant AWR Corp. will team with leading test-equipment supplier Rohde & Schwarz on designing and testing radar systems. Rogers Corp. will explore the differences in a printed-circuit-board (PCB) material's data-sheet dielectric value versus a value for dielectric constant that might make more sense when used in a computer-aided-engineering (CAE) microwave simulation program.

The exhibition hall will provide visitors with a sampling of some of the latest RF/microwave hardware, software, and test equipment. In the test and measurement area, for example, Anritsu will be on hand with the newest member of its VectorStar family of vector network analyzers (VNAs), the broadband ME7838A. spotlighted in this month's Cover Feature, the VNA system boasts a swept-frequency range of 70 kHz to 110 GHz and usable frequency range from 40 kHz to 125 GHz, along with impressive dynamic range, measurement stability, and measurement speed.

Agilent Technologies will loom large on the exhibition floor with a variety of its high-performance RF/microwave test instrumentsincluding a recent addition, the model 8990B peak power analyzer (Fig. 1). Well suited for pulsed-signal and peak-power analysis in aerospace, defense, and wireless applications, the analyzer works with the new models N1923A and N1924A power sensors to make power measurements from 50 MHz to 18 GHz and 50 MHz to 40 GHz, respectively. the analyzer achieves 5-ns rise/fall time with either sensor. With fast sampling rate of 100 MSamples/s, the analyzer sports a 15-in. XGA color touchscreen display for ease of use and viewing short-duration events.

National Instruments will show a 14-GHz version of their model NI PXIe-5665 vector signal analyzer (VSA), with a frequency range of 20 Hz through 14 GHz. the VSA consists of the new NI PXIe-5605 downconverter, the NI PXIe-5653 local oscillator synthesizer, and the NI PXIe-5622, a 150 MS/s intermediate frequency (IF) digitizer. the combination delivers analysis bandwidths to 50 MHz from 20 Hz to 14 GHz. The system can achieve a third-order intercept point of +24 dBm with absolute amplitude accuracy of 0.10 dB. the error-vector-magnitude (EVM) performance is 0.33% for a 256- state quadrature-amplitude-modulated (256QAM) signal. the analyzer exhibits low phase noise of -129 dBc/Hz at a 10 kHz offset at 800 MHz and an average noise level of -165 dBm/Hz. The analyzer's compact PXI form factor allows for flexibility while maintaining low cost.

2. The PXI 3000 Series of PXI-based instruments include signal generators, frequency synthesizers, and high-resolution digitizers for measurements through 6 GHz. (Photo courtesy of Aeroflex)

Rohde & Schwarz will offer advice on the use of their new R&S SGS100A signal generator, for measurements through 12.75 GHz. The compact instrument is one-half the width of a standard 19-in. signal generator, and comes in two models: The CW version generates frequencies to 12.75 GHz and is ideal for use as a radio local oscillator (LO). The vector signal generator (VSG) version operates to 6 GHz with an integrated in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) modulator.

Aeroflex recently announced an addition to its PXI 3000 Series of RF modular instruments. The initial release supports analysis of broadcast FM as well as phaseshift- keying (PSK) modulation such as binary- phase-shift-keying (BPSK), quadrature- phase-shift-keying (QPSK), and offset QPSK (OQPSK). The PXI 3000 Series of PXI-based instruments (Fig. 2) includes the 3020 signal generators (to 6 GHz), the 3010 synthesizer (1.5 to 3.0 GHz), and the 3030 Series of RF digitizers with 36- or 90-MHz analysis bandwidths to 6 GHz. The firm will also show its S-Series SGA signal generators, with SGA-3 covering 100 kHz to 3 GHz and SGA-6 spanning 100 kHz to 6 GHz. Both have phase noise of -135 dBc/ Hz 20 kHz from a 1-GHz carrier.

On the software side, Ansys will highlight version 6.0 Ansoft Designer simulation software with Solver on Demand technology. The software can analyze signal-integrity (SI), power-integrity, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems from a single schematic- and layout-based environment. Solver on Demand technology integrates Ansys' HFSS EM simulation software within the Ansoft Designer 6.0 environment.

AWR Corp. will showcase the latest release of its design suite, AWR 2011. The suite includes new versions of Microwave Office design software, AXIEM 3D planar EM software, Visual System Simulator (VSS) system design and optimization software, and Analog Office RFIC design software. Computer Simulation Technology is also an exhibitor on the software side, detailing version 2011 SP3 of its CST MICROWAVE STUDIO simulation software for high-performance-computing (HPC) applications.