MWRF UPDATE
Microwaves & RF UPDATE | December 7, 2007

Jack Browne, Technical Director

Know About The Latest In Military Electronics?

Military electronics play a vital role in aerospace and defense systems, and represents a major market segment for many high-frequency electronics firms. If your company is working with military customers, can you afford to be without the latest information on military electronics technologies? The easiest way to keep up each month is by reading Penton's Military Electronics. In just 16 computer screens, it brings you the latest news on contracts, systems, design notes, applications, and technologies. Don't be without it. A link will be sent to your e-mail address each month with a new edition.

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Viewpoint

Remembering A Master Of Time-Domain Measurements
By Jack Browne, MWRF Technical Director

In writing the short feature on Picosecond Pulse Labs' marvelous little pickoff tee (see below), I was reminded of numerous lessons in time-domain testing from a man who, over the course of time, became my friend. On the day that we met, he was a veritable bundle of energy. Nestled away in a combination office and laboratory in Santa Monica, CA, Siegfried Knorr split his time between his services as an Adjunct Engineering Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and his then new company, Colby Instruments. At the time, he was building pulse generators for Motorola, among other customers, and had developed machines that could produce extremely short, clean pulses for testing radars and high-speed digital systems.

Always generous with his time, Siegfried explained the layout of his invention and then pointed to a bank of high-speed oscilloscopes from the likes of Tektronix and Hewlett- Packard (now Agilent). He offered a great deal of insights into how to interpret information from a time- domain measurement and how, back then, this understanding of the time domain was becoming a lost art. Much of what I learned about the time domain came from dinners with Siegfried over the years until his death a few years ago.

In seeing a data sheet for the new pickoff tee, I am reminded that some, such as Jim Andrews who founded Picosecond Pulse Labs, are still engaged in the creative art of time-domain testing. Such testing can often shed light on the inductive and capacitive effects of a circuit on a high- speed signal, and provides a "second view" to traditional frequency-domain measurements.

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News

Ethertronics' Antennas Cut Driving Risks

Antenna innovator Ethertronics, Inc. is supplying antennas to DriveCam, Inc., a firm involved in Drive Risk Management. DriveCam's risk-mitigation solution is used by distribution fleets worldwide to predict and prevent risky driving behavior. It is also being used by parents' to monitor their childrens' driving behaviors.

A DriveCam video event recorder is mounted on the vehicle's windshield behind the rearview mirror. It captures sights and sounds inside and outside the vehicle, including exceptional forces such as hard braking and swerving. The antenna is used to transmit captured digital video information from these events to a center for analysis. The DriveCam systems incorporate both a cellular main and diversity antenna from Ethertronics. The main quad-band antenna covers the GSM 850, GSM 900, DCS, and PCS bands while the diversity antenna operates on GPS and CDMA bands.

As Peter Ellegaard, Vice-President of hardware and firmware engineering at DriveCam points out, "With DriveCam's user base, it is critical that our Driver Risk Management solutions work along thousands of roads and highways without coverage holes, which is why we charged Ethertronics with providing a universal antenna solution that could also provide GPS capabilities while operating across a variety of cellular frequency bands." He added, "In addition, by incorporating Ethertronics' embedded antennas into our product, we were able to improve the overall device performance and design a unit that is robust, secure and most importantly, unobtrusive to the driver."

DriveCam, Inc.

Ethertronics, Inc.



Readying For Wi-Fi Growth In Handsets

Market analysts at IMS Research have explored the potential growth for Wi-Fi in mobile telephone handsets. Although the number of mobile phones offering Wi-Fi capabilities is currently at 25, driven by operators of both mobile and fixed networks, many customers of these handsets never use the Wi-Fi functionality. These analysts feel that there are many barriers to the adoption of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). For example, according to Bill Morelli, Mobile Technologies analyst at IMS Research, "From very few shipments in 2006 (1.6 percent of the global total), shipments of Wi-Fi equipped handsets are forecast to reach nearly one in five of annual shipments by 2012. While this is respectable growth, it is far more moderate than what many ardent FMC supporters are projecting."

At present, FMC voice and data services are targeted mainly at high-usage enterprise and consumer companies, with a feeling that operators will stay away from lower- spending users. Wi-Fi equipped handset shipments are expected to be limited to high-end feature- rich phones and smartphones, and will be priced out of the reach of the majority of users. The Wi-Fi equipped handset market is expected to be limited to subscribers with access to Wi-Fi access points for voice and data services. But emerging services from providers such as T-Mobile and Orange may boost the market. For more, contact IMS Research.

IMS Research



More News

Agilent Unveils LTE Test Solution
Picosecond Pulse Labs Launches Pickoff Tee
Ansoft's CFO Miller Announces Retirement
Idaho Turns To Iridium For Communications




Looking For A Specific Product?

Whether it's an amplifier, attenuator, filter, mixer, or switch, or any other RF/microwave component, or printed-circuit board (PCB), or transistor, or software, or test equipment, you'll find a source in the Microwaves & RF Product Data Directory. Whether in print, or online, the Microwaves & RF Product Data Directory will help you find the best products and suppliers for your application.

Start your search online at http://www.mwrfpdd.com/
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Happenings - Conferences

2007 Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference
December 11-14, 2007
Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel
Bangkok, Thailand
http://www.apmc2007.org

2008 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (with WAMICON)
January 22-24, 2008
Rosen Centre Hotel
Orlando, FL
http://www.radiowireless.org

2008 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC)
February 3-7, 2008
San Francisco Marriot Hotel
San Francisco, CA
http://www.isscc.org

2008 IEEE Sarnoff Symposium
April 28-30, 2008
Nassau Inn
Princeton, NJ
http://www.sarnoffsymposium.org