Interconnect Advances Fuel Technology Growth
By Orwill Hawkins, Vice President of Marketing, LadyBug Technologies

With increased frequencies, higher data rates, and lower noise levels, the microwave industry serves as a leader in technological capability. Demand for quality interconnects has increased right along with other higher-performance areas in the industry.


MMD March 2014
New Military Microwave Digest


E-Band Active X5 Multiplier
Model SFA-743843516-12SF-N1 is an E-band X5 active multiplier with center frequency at 79 GHz with minimum +/-5 GHz operational bandwidth. It converts 14.8 to 16.8 GHz/+5 dBm input signal to deliver 74 to 84 GHz frequency band with more than +16 dBm power.
Sage Millimeter

Hand-Flex™ Coaxial Cable
Covering DC to 12.5 GHz, this 8” coaxial cable, 141-8SMNB+, has a bulkhead Female Type-N connector at one end and SMA-Male at the other. Features include low loss, excellent return loss, hand formable, and an 8mm bend radius for tight installations.

Phase Trimmer Series
This new phase trimmer series is designed for RF applications where phase match between two cables is needed for proper system performance. Phase trimmers, offered from DC to 50 GHz, will give an accurate phase adjustment over a specified frequency range.
RLC Electronics

Planar Monolithics Industries
Model PTRAN-100M18G-SFB-3UVPX-MAH is a transceiver covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The transceiver fits into a 3U Open VPX form factor utilizing the high speed VITA 67 RF connector.
Planar Monolithics Industries

SMT High-Power Attenuators
Now available with full design support capabilities are three new SMT high-power attenuators from Anaren. These 30 to 50W devices are high-performance, high-power chip attenuators covering DC to 3.0 GHz and feature high return loss and small footprints.
Richardson RFPD

See all products in this issue

December 2012

Jim Cable
CEO, Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation

Q: The importance of sustaining and developing technology has reached a point where states and cities are more actively building relationships with universities and recruiting high-tech companies. Good examples are New York State’s “East Coast Silicon Valley” and several cities in Ohio. However, there continues to be a shortage of engineering graduates, especially those focusing on RF and microwave technology. What would your company do (or is doing) to help promote careers in microwave engineering?

A: We are committed to the development of engineering graduates focusing on RF and microwave technology, and promoting careers in microwave engineering. We have internship programs in place at many of our facilities, including our corporate headquarters in San Diego, CA, and our satellite design center in Chicago, IL. In the summer of 2012, we had approximately 18 interns. We assign one intern to one engineering mentor, so the students get the one-on-one attention and guidance. Many of these interns return to work with Peregrine Semiconductor after college and become full-time employees.

Additionally, we have several active University Research and Development (R&D) programs in place with schools such as Purdue, Ohio State, Kansas State, and UCSD in the United States; the University of Bristol in the UK; and Victoria University in Australia. These R&D programs often span several years. Through these programs, Peregrine Semiconductor works with professors and students looking at advanced research that could potentially be used in the wireless market.

At the pre-college level, several Peregrine employees participate in FIRST® Lego® League. Short for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” FIRST is dedicated to getting youth interested in Science, Technology and Math (STEM) education, with the ultimate goal of fostering interest in careers in engineering. Peregrine employees manage the annual FIRST Lego League regional competition in the Chicago area, and mentor the students—ages 9 to 14—who participate. The students and their mentors from the community and industry build and test a robot that is capable of accomplishing various tasks. The students learn about technology and other life skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, and professionalism.

Q: If your company serves the commercial markets, are you encouraged by any particular emerging application or technology?

A: We are encouraged by the introduction of tunable components into the RF front end of cellular handsets. This has been driven by market demand, as well as advancements in the capabilities of tunable components. For example, the transition to 4G LTE networks has required higher-linearity RF components in smartphones, a smaller physical antenna area, and an extension of bandwidth down to 700 MHz—factors that have strained the handset’s ability to efficiently operate at the band edges. Tunable components solve this problem—specifically, the tuner’s linearity, insertion loss, tuning range, and accuracy now meet the ranges needed for today’s antenna-tuning requirements. Moreover, products that are deployed into the mainstream 4G LTE platform use a range of different technologies, such as UltraCMOS®, an advanced form of SOI, and other RF CMOS processes, GaAs, MEMS, and Barium Strontium (BST). This trend seems to be accelerating, and the opportunities for tunable components in the latest top-tier smartphones are increasing. Additionally, while 2012 marked the introduction of simple tunable capacitors, the need for more complex tuning networks is quickly becoming apparent. In order to implement these tuning networks, designers must think of the antenna as part of the RF signal chain. It is expected that this system-design approach will be needed in order to enable tunable networks, moving forward.

Q: Last year, we asked what impact the global economic crisis was having on the markets you serve and on how you run your business. What is your current perspective?

A: Peregrine Semiconductor targets the large and growing application segments with global reach. Specifically, we have a good position in 4G LTE applications, including the cellular infrastructure and handset markets, which are growing at a faster rate than the total cellular market. Our growth is fueled by new products and technologies that are displacing incumbent technologies. Additionally, the content in the RFFE section of 4G LTE equipment is expanding, resulting in more opportunities for Peregrine’s products per application. Finally, more devices are now incorporating wireless connectivity, which fuels new vertical market opportunities for our products. All of these avenues provide opportunities for Peregrine to grow, despite the economic crisis.

Q: What countries or regions do you believe will provide the greatest growth potential for the wireless industry in 2013?

A: The leading OEMs that serve the global wireless industry each have regional strategies, niche positions, and strengths. Peregrine’s goal is to focus on these leading global OEMs as opposed to focusing on regional economics. Having a significant product position in each of these top OEMs and supplying them with products that support any regional or country specialization provides us with global diversification. ♦


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Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
By Barry Manz

A federal agency like DARPA is a sitting duck for politicians and assorted other critics. It has come up with some truly bizarre programs over years that ultimately either delivered no tangible results, were canceled before they could cause any damage, or attempted to answer questions that nobody was asking or needed answers to. Read More...

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