Microwave engineers usually mark their calendars for at least one key event each year: the IEEE's Microwave Theory & Techniques Symposium (MTT-S). Also known as the International Microwave Symposium (IMS), the high-frequency meeting is scheduled for June 8-13, 2003 in the Philadelphia Convention Center (Philadelphia, PA). As part of a full week of technical sessions, the event also includes a three-day Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuit (RF IC) Symposium (June 8-10) and a two-day Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) meeting (June 12-13) devoted to improved microwave measurement and calibration methods.

The theme of this year's event is "Liberty Through Microwaves." The IMS technical sessions run from June 10th through June 12th, with workshops and tutorial sessions scheduled for June 8th, 9th, and 13th. Tuesday's (June 10th) technical sessions include discussions on linearization techniques for high-power amplifiers, advances in high-power transistor technologies, novel modeling and computer-aided-design (CAD) techniques (including the use of neural networks and fuzzy logic), millimeter-wave monolithic IC technologies, microwave photonic devices, and the biological effects of microwaves and medical applications for RF technology.

Wednesday's (June 11th) technical sessions is strong on presentations for passive-component researchers, including discussions on planar technologies for filters and multiplexers, novel wave-guide structures, leakage effects in planar structures, and techniques for designing cavity filters and multiplexers. Additional sessions cover nonlinear device modeling techniques, power amplifiers (PAs) and devices for wireless applications, behavioral modeling for nonlinear devices and components, millimeter-wave signal generation and amplification software radios, Terahertz technologies, ICs for optical communications, and time-domain techniques.

Finally, Thursday wraps up the main technical sessions with several presentations of interest for those studying microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). For example, separate sessions explore MEMS techniques for tunable filters and resonators, future material technologies for RF MEMS, RF MEMS phase shifters and micromachined inductors, and modeling and packaging of RF MEMS components. Additional technical sessions detail microwave filter-synthesis techniques, superconducting filters, microwave and millimeter-wave sensor applications, low-noise components based on silicon (Si), gallium-arsenide (GaAs), and indium-phosphide (InP) technologies, advances in beam-steering and beam-forming arrays, spatial power-combining techniques, advanced millimeter-wave transceiver and source technology, ferroelectric and acoustic devices, and high-speed sampling circuits and techniques.

Philadelphia's MTT-S event features several workshops (on microwave filter design and microwave oscillator design) and a wide array of workshops. For example, Ferdo Ivanek has organized a Monday workshop on fixed broadband wireless applications entitled "Bridging the Last Mile: Technology Push Versus Market Pull in Fixed Broadband Wireless Access (BWA)," while that same day Sam Horowitz of Dupont (Wilmington, DE) offers views on ceramic packaging technologies with "Latest Advances in Ceramic Interconnect Technologies." Sunday workshops include an update on ultrawideband technology, "Ultrawideband: Theory and Implementation" by David Lovelace, "Recent Developments in Oscillator Design," organized by Steve Maas of Applied Wave Research (El Segundo, CA), and "Next Generation Transmitter Architecture and Design," organized by Ed Niehenke, formerly of Westinghouse (Baltimore, MD). More information on the MTT-S meeting in Philadelphia is available by visiting the IEEE's website at www.IEEE.org. In addition, what follows is a brief look at some of the new products expected to be on display from key MTT-S exhibitors.

Demodulator Enables IF-To-Baseband Conversion From 50 MHz To 1 GHz
The AD8348 high-performance broadband quadrature demodulator is designed to enable IF-to-baseband conversion from 50 MHz to 1 GHz. In addition to the demodulator, which includes a dual mixer core conversion and local-oscillator (LO) phase splitter, the AD8348 integrates a 45-dB linear-in-dB variable-gain amplifier (VGA) and single-ended to differential amplifiers for driving baseband ADCs. The AD8348 is optimized and suited for driving dual-channel, low-cost CMOS ADCs, such as ADI's AD9218.

With high linearity, good amplitude/phase balance, and 60-MHz demodulation bandwidth, the AD8348 enables most high-order modulation formats, including QAM, QPSK, and 8-PSK. This combination of performance, broadband operating frequency, and flexible device architecture makes the AD8348 suitable for a variety of wireless networking applications, including cellular infrastructure CDMA/WCDMA/GSM EDGE and high-capacity, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio links, WLAN, and wireless-local-loop equipment.

P&A: The AD8348 is available in a 28-lead TSSOP and is fully specified for use over the 40°C to +85°C temperature range. Samples are pre-production quantities are available for immediate shipment. The AD8348 is priced at $4.95 per unit in 10,000-piece quantities.

Analog Devices, Inc., 804 Woburn St., Wilmington, MA 01887; (800) 262-5643, FAX: (781) 937-1021, Internet: www.analog.com.

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MMIC Amplifier Die Cover DC To 10.0 GHz
A family of four InGaP HBT Gain Block MMIC amplifiers covers DC to 10.0 GHz. These amplifier die can be used as either cascadable 50-Ω gain stages or to drive the LO of HMC mixers with up to 17-dBm output power, making them a suitable choice for Microwave P2P/VSAT, test-equipment, Military EW/ECM/C31, and space-telecommunications applications.

Both the HMC395 and HMC405 offer 16 dB of gain with output IP3s of +31 dBm and +32 dBm, respectively. The HMC396 provides 12 dBm of gain, has output IP3 of +30 dBm, and covers applications in the DC-to-8.0-GHz band. The HMC397, with 15 dB of gain and output IP3 of +32 dBm, covers the DC to 10.0-GHz market. All products require only 50 to 56 mA from a +5-V supply.

The family of Gain Blocks utilizes a Darlington feedback pair which results in reduced sensitivity to normal process variations and yields excellent gain stability over temperature while requiring a minimal number of external components. All of these MMICs can be easily integrated into Multi-Chip-Modules (MCMs) due to their small size.

P&A: Sample and production quantities are available.

Hittite Microwave Corp., 12 Elizabeth Dr., Chelmsford, MA 01824; (978) 250-3343, FAX: (978) 250-3373, Internet: www.hittite.com.

Snap-On Connector Is Easier And Faster To Mate
The QN Quick-Lock N Size connector requires only a very low mating force of about 30 N and is up to 10 times faster to mate than N type connectors, as the locking mechanism snaps closed in a single step. Polling back the de-coupling sleeve opens the snap ring of the mating mechanism, allowing for quick de-mating with a force of merely 30 N.

The quick mating cycle of the QN connector leads to a much reduced cost of ownership compared with series N connectors, yet it delivers the same performance. The device can be used in a wide variety of applications such as radio base stations, antenna systems, and test and measurement, primarily all applications where medium or high power has to be transmitted with low loss.

The QN connector is rugged and water tight and features good intermodulation characteristics, low return loss, and suitable RF leakage. Due to the reduced flange size (like TNC) of the panel connectors, a higher packing density is achieved. QN angle connectors may also be aligned to the desired position after having coupled them with the counterpart. Customized solutions for the QN Quick-Lock connector are also available.

HUBER+SUHNER AG, Mobile Communications + Electronics, 9100 Herisau, Switzerland; +41 (0)71 353 41 11, FAX: +41 (0)71 353 44 44, Internet: www.hubersuhner.com

Radio Transceiver Integrates Rx And Tx
A single-chip radio transceiver in a compact package provides the radio receive and transmit functions for radio-communications systems in the unlicensed 2.4-GHz ISM frequency band. Designated TB32301AFL, the low-cost monolithic device also incorporates a low-noise amplifier (LNA), frequency-modulation (FM) detector, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), power amplifier (PA), and received strength signal indicator (RSSI). It is targeted at a wide range of RF communication applications, including remote control, office, and building security and wireless home networks.

Specifications include power supply voltage of 2.7 to 3.3 V (with an operating temperature range of 20°C to 70°C), clock frequency of 4 to 20 MHz, and operating frequency of 2400 to 2500 MHz.

P&A: Engineering samples of TB32301AFL are available now and are priced at $1.99 per piece in 100,000-piece quantities. Mass production is slated to begin in June 2003.

Toshiba America Electronics Components, Inc.; Internet: www.chips.toshiba.com.

Mini-SSPAs Offer Small Size Combined With Good Performance
The Sophia Wireless Mini-SSPA configurations provide a combination of compact size and linear power performance. The inline waveguide combining and modular construction provides a variety of choices to meet custom RF power requirements and mechanical configurations. Due to the high linearity of solid-state devices, minimal "back-off" from max. power is required for multi-carrier or other linear sensitive applications.

The DC power-management module can be configured to provide voltage regulation, bias sequencing, current monitoring, and thermal monitoring. These self-protection features can ensure the maximum performance in the most severe environments.

Internally, the RF power devices are eutectic soldered to thermally matched Copper Moly (CuMo) carriers which, in turn, are mounted in aluminum (Al) power-amplifier (PA) modules. The construction provides the proper thermal expansion coeffecient for GaAs MMIC's while offering an extremely lightweight solution.

Sophia Wireless, Inc., 14225-C Sullyfield Circle , Chantilly, VA 20151; (703) 961-9573, FAX: (703) 961-9576, Internet: www.sophiawireless.com.

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Range Of WLAN Antenna Feeder Cable Assemblies Is Available
A wide range of antenna cable assemblies for Cisco/Aironet WLAN bridges and access points is available. The reverse polarity TNC connectors used on these assemblies have been optimized to provide very low VSWR in both the 2.4- (802.11b) and 5.8-GHz (802.11a) band for the highest data rates. These assemblies are available in the standard LMR® construction for outdoor application as well as other cable constructions for other installation environments.

The Times Microwave cable assemblies are 100-percent tested for VSWR and insertion loss. There is Max. VSWR of 1.25:1 in the 2.4-GHz band and 1.35:1 in the 5.8-GHz band. The assemblies are available in LMR-200, 400, and 600. For longer runs and lower loss, LMR-900-DB assemblies can be provided.

Times Microwave Systems, 358 Hall Ave., Wallingford, CT 06492; (800) 867-2629, (203) 949-8400, FAX: (203) 949-8423, Internet: www.timesmicrowave.com.

Coaxial Isolator Provides Return Loss Of 25 dB Typ.
A coaxial isolator with reverse power detector is used in Private Mobile Radio (PMR) for Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) base-station applications. This model is primarily used in power combiners, duplexers, and amplifiers for base-station usage.

The model I403940C isolator has an operating frequency range of 390 to 400 MHz, while providing return loss of 25 dB typical, insertion loss at 0.5 dB maximum, and isolation at 55 dB minimum. This dual-junction unit is available in all TETRA frequencies with integrated reverse power detector, optional high reverse power detector, and optional connector types.

TRAK Microwave, 4726 Eisenhower Blvd., Tampa, FL 33634; (888) 283-8444, (813) 901-7200, FAX: (813) 901-7491, e-mail: sales@trak.com, Internet: www.trak.com.

PHEMT FET Suits Cost-Sensitive Wireless-Infrastructure Applications
A high-linearity enhancement-mode pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (E-pHEMT) field-effect transistor (FET) is a new release that is designed for low-noise, high-dynamic-range operation in cost-sensitive wireless-infrastructure applications that operate between 450 MHz and 6 GHz.

At 3 V, 30 mA, and 2 GHz, the single-voltage Agilent ATF-58143 E-pHEMT FET features 0.5-dB noise figure with +16.5-dB associated gain, combined with +30.5-dBm third-order output intercept point (OIP3) and +16.5-dBm linear output power (1-dB gain compression). It is suitable for the first and second stage of front-end low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) in cellular/PCS/WCDMA base station, wireless local loop, fixed wireless access, and other high-performance applications that operate between 450 MHz and 6 GHz. The ATF-58143 delivers high linearity of 30.5 dBm OIP3 at low power consumption of only 30 mA at 3 V, which reduces heat generation in today's compact equipment designs. Single-voltage operation also eliminates the need for voltage-inverter circuitry or dual-voltage voltage supplies.

The ATF-58143 E-pHEMT FET is housed in the miniature 2.0 × 2.1-mm SOT-343 package.

P&A: The Agilent ATF-58143 is priced at $1.08 at 10,000-to-24,999-piece quantities.

Agilent Technologies, 395 Page Mill Rd., P.O. Box #10395, Palo Alto, CA 94303; (650) 752-5000, Internet: www.agilent.com.

Synthesizer Is Designed For ATE Applications
A Three-Slot VME size, ultra-high-performance, broadband synthesizer has been designed specifically for ATE applications.

The IBS series synthesizers are based on indirect PLL design technology with internal DDS for fine resolution. The series is suited for ATE as well as radar and EW system applications where broadband coverage, low phase noise, fast switching speeds, and reliability are of primary importance. The design architecture allows for switching speeds of 10 to 250 microseconds, combined with very low phase-noise levels.

The IBS series can be customized to meet special applications such as EW threat and target simulators, surveillance, radar, antenna measurements, SIGINT, COMENT, ELINT, semiconductor test markets, and flight-line ATE.

Elcom Technologies, Inc., 11 Volvo Dr., Rockleigh, NJ 07647; (201) 767-8030 ext. 230, FAX: (201) 767-0542, Internet: www.elcom-tech.com.

Ultra-Broadband Amp Features Low Noise
Model AML0126L2301 is a low-noise, ultra-broadband amplifier. Operating in the frequency range of 100 MHz to 26.5 GHz, this product provides 23 dB gain and +8 dBm output power at 1 dB gain compression. Input and output VSWR is 2.5:1 nominal. Operating with a voltage of +15 VDC, this amplifier draws a nominal 180 mA.

Internal DC regulator, reverse voltage protection and field-removable SMA (insert m/f) connector shells are standard. This product is packaged in an AML housing that measures 0.99 × 0.75 in. (2.51 × 1.91 cm). Modules are also available as carrier-mounted substrates.

AML Communications, Inc., 1000 Avienda Acaso, Camarillo, CA 93012; (805) 388-1345, Internet: www.amlj.com.

Product Provides Seamless Data Export
Ansoft Corp. has released AnsoftLinks™ v2.5 to provide seamless data export from the Mentor Graphics® Board Station® product to popular Ansoft design tools for use in high-speed printed-circuit-board (PCB) design.

With the new link between the Board Station product and Ansoft's HFSS™, SIwave™, Spicelink™, and Ansoft Designer™ interfaces, PCB designers can take advantage of the additional features and capabilities of Ansoft's products while maintaining their existing Mentor Graphics design flows. Ansoft's range of geometry-driven electromagnetic solvers allows for the complete electrical characterization/analysis of PCBs, including the effects of complex, partial, and split power and ground-plane structures.

Ansoft Corp., Four Station Square, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1119; (412) 261-3200, FAX: (412) 471-9427, e-mail: info@ansoft.com, Internet: www.ansoft.com.

Ultra-Wideband VCO Tunes From 170 To 3900 MHz
The MW500-1414 VCO tunes from 170 to 3900 MHz while providing +11 dBm ±1.5 dB output. Tuning-voltage range is 0 to 18 V to cover this 2.3:1 bandwidth. This power output and bandwidth is provided by a compact 0.5 × 0.15-in. (1.27 × 0.381-cm) package, powered by +6 V at 35 mA. Spectral purity averages 107 dBc/Hz at 100-MHz offsets, with harmonics below 190 dBc. In addition, modulation bandwidth (tuning speed) is 12 MHz. This combination of features makes this VCO suitable for a wide range of test and measurement applications that require high-speed frequency agility and precision. Another application is the emerging interest in ultra-wideband (UWB) radio systems.

Micronetics, Inc., 28 Hampshire Dr., Hudson, NH 03051; (603) 579-0900, Internet: www.micronetics.com.