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


November 2012

For Better SWaP, Choose GaN
By David Silvius, Director, Strategic Marketing
Richardson RFPD

Today’s GaN-based products are rising to the challenge of rapidly evolving demands for size, reliability, linearity, power density and energy efficiency, by providing RF system engineers with the flexibility to achieve significantly higher power and efficiency, with lower part count, board space and resultant cost.

GaN technology is suited to meet today’s size, weight and power (“SWaP”) demands better than older technologies like GaAs because GaN offers:

• Higher power densities leading to reduced combining losses for a given power target
• Increased efficiency over frequency
• Ability to maintain high performance over wide bandwidths
• Higher thermal conductivity / lower thermal resistance (GaN on SiC)

And GaN is branching out to encompass more than power amplification. For example, TriQuint Semiconductor’s new GaN-based switches are capable of achieving up to five-times the power handling as GaAs. And GaN has better thermal properties than competing GaAs technologies. Thermal conductivity for SiC is roughly 4x that of GaAs. An added benefit is that GaN can support the million hour MTTF reliability benchmark at a junction temperature of 200°C or higher versus 150°C for GaAs. These thermal advantages do not solve the thermal problem at the system level; however, they bring the thermal management concern down to a reasonable design trade-off for the system engineer.

GaN switches achieve high levels of power handling in a small form factor, particularly versus insertion loss. For example, a 3 Watt GaAs switch at 6 GHz may have about 2 dB insertion loss, whereas a 40 Watt GaN switch at 6 GHz may have less than 1 dB insertion loss for the same amount of isolation. Additionally, GaN switches require very low current — measured in micro-amps (μA) as opposed to milliamps or even amps for pin switches. And because GaN essentially brings more power per mm2 to the table, small but higher power-handling components are needed to switch that level of power. TriQuint’s TGS2351-SM, for example, can switch 40W, as compared to GaAs FET-based switches which can typically switch between 3 and 10 Watts in a similar board space.

To date, the defense industry has benefitted most from advances in GaN technology, primarily due to the pulse and continuous wave GaN power devices from sup­pliers like M/A-COM Tech, Microsemi, Nitronex, TriQuint, and UMS.Applications include radar, EW and communications all of which require the output power versus size advantage that is only available through GaN. There is also plenty of GaN development in the works for commercial markets like weather and marine radar, CATV, and cellular infrastructure. For these applications, cost is a bigger driver than it is for defense applications; but as the cost of GaN is coming down, it is certainly more of an option today than it was just two years ago. Even today, GaN offers cost benefits over other technologies when viewed in terms of dollars-per-watt, as opposed to the standard dollars-per-square-millimeter comparison. As the frequency increases from S-band and X-band to Ku-band, GaN’s dollars-per-watt cost offers a markedly better value than GaAs and other existing technologies, both now and in the years ahead.

Richardson RFPD
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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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