Seattle, WA has long been a center of international trading, with its bustling seaport and large, multilingual city. In 2013, it is also home to the International Microwave Symposium (IMS), to be held June 2-7 in the Washington State Convention Center. The event is sure to be a launching pad for many new RF/microwave products, as RF/microwave manufacturers try to time the introduction of major new hardware, software, and test-equipment lines with the large expected crowds on the IMS 2013 exhibition floor.

 More than 500 companies are expected to participate in the 2013 IMS exhibition, showing their wares to what should amount to more than 10,000 attendees on the exhibition floor. Of course, many visitors are first attracted to the test-and-measurement equipment suppliers to see what is available in the way of new gear, and how it might help their own research or production facilities.

For example, at Booth No. 1230 Agilent Technologies will show both signal-generation and analysis equipment for measurements at RF through millimeter-wave frequencies, along with some software tools for performing electromagnetic (EM) circuit simulations. In addition to its many products being displayed on the show floor, Agilent will be involved in numerous workshops, short courses, and better than a dozen MicroApp presentations on different RF/microwave test techniques.

In fact, the large section of Agilent product booths will be surrounded by a section of the exhibit floor marked as “Agilent Avenue,” featuring a large number of partner companies—including ATE Systems, Inc., ETS-Lindgren, In-Phase Technologies, Inc., Modelithics, and Maury Microwave. The latter company, appearing at Booth No. 1139, will display some of its many calibration and load-pull measurement subsystems for improved measurements with Agilent’s vector network analyzers (VNAs), as well as for use with VNAs from other major suppliers.

Anritsu Co. (Booth No. 938) will also show examples of its wide range of RF/microwave test instruments, including power meters, frequency sources, spectrum analyzers, and broadband RF/microwave VNA systems that are available for measurements well into the millimeter-wave frequency range. One example is the firm’s model MT8820C RF Tester (Fig. 1), now available with Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) Advanced Carrier Aggregation (CA) measurement software. The tester and software equip LTE device designers and manufacturers with a tester capable of wireless device calibration for a wide range of cellular formats, from second-generation (2G) through fourth-generation (4G) cellular devices.

1. The model MT8820C RF Tester is suitable for testing wireless components and systems through the fourth generation (4G). (Photo courtesy of Anritsu Co.)

Among the variety of test equipment at its booth (No. 820), Tektronix will be showing its recently introduced AWG70000 Series of arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs; see the April 2013 edition of our Defense Electronics supplement for more information). Capable of generating complex waveforms through 20 GHz, these AWGs feature sample rates to 50 GSamples/s—including the single-channel model AWG700001A and the dual-channel model AWG700002A (Fig. 2). Both provide 16 GSamples memory, with the sampling speed divided across the two channels in the model AWG700002A.

2. The dual-channel model AWG700002A AWG can deliver complex waveforms to 20 GHz. (Photo courtesy of Tektronix, Inc.)

Among its variety of test instruments, Rohde & Schwarz (Booth No. 440) will display its new model R&S SMW200A vector signal generator in versions covering 100 kHz to 3 GHz and 100 kHz to 6 GHz. The vector signal generators, which combine a baseband generator, RF generator, and MIMO fading simulator in one box, offers an I/Q modulation bandwidth of 160 MHz for testing wideband digitally modulated communications components and systems such as LTE-Advanced wireless systems. The R&S SMW200A can be equipped with an optional second RF path for frequencies to 6 GHz and with a maximum of two baseband and four fading simulator modules; this provides the equivalent of two vector signal generators in one box.