The Opportunities and Challenges of LTE Unlicensed in 5 GHz
David Witkowski, Executive Director, Wireless Communications Initiative
In 1998, the Federal Communications Commission established the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure or U-NII 5 GHz bands. These are used primarily for Wi-Fi networks in homes, offices, hotels, airports, and other public spaces and also consumer devices. U-NII is also used by wireless Internet Service Providers, linking public safety radio sites, and for monitoring and critical infrastructure such as gas/oil pipelines.

MMD March 2014

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Band Reject Filter Series
Higher frequency band reject (notch) filters are designed to operate over the frequency range of .01 to 28 GHz. These filters are characterized by having the reverse properties of band pass filters and are offered in multiple topologies. Available in compact sizes.
RLC Electronics

SP6T RF Switch
JSW6-33DR+ is a medium power reflective SP6T RF switch, with reflective short on output ports in the off condition. Made using Silicon-on-Insulator process, it has very high IP3, a built-in CMOS driver and negative voltage generator.

Group Delay Equalized Bandpass Filter
Part number 2903 is a group delayed equalized elliptic type bandpass filter that has a typical 1 dB bandwidth of 94 MHz and a typical 60 dB bandwidth of 171 MHz. Insertion loss is <2 dB and group delay variation from 110 to 170 MHz is <3nsec.
KR Electronics

Absorptive Low Pass Filter
Model AF9350 is a UHF, low pass filter that covers the 10 to 500 MHz band and has an average power rating of 400W CW. It incurs a rejection of 45 dB minimum at the 750 to 3000 MHz band, and power rating of 25W CW from 501 to 5000 MHz.

LTE Band 14 Ceramic Duplexer
This high performance LTE ceramic duplexer was designed and built for use in public safety communication and commercial cellular applications. It operates in Band 14 and offers low insertion loss and high isolation to enable clear communications in the LTE network.
Networks International

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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 DefenseOpen’s Systems and Changes in DoD Procurement: This Time It’s Real
By Barry Manz

The U.S. Department of Defense has a well-earned reputation for inertia. Many proposals for change are made – but nothing happens. The COTS initiative, which promised cost savings through the use of off-the-shelf commercial parts, sounded terrific at the time. It heralded a major departure from standard DoD procurement that more or less guaranteed that every system would be different in part because it used parts that were developed from scratch, leading to “one-off” systems that were very expensive. Read More...

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