Marki Microwave Combines Microwave Office with Microlithic Manufacturing for Successful Custom Mixer Designs
Marki Microwave has a multi-decade legacy developing industry-leading, high performance components, including broadband, low conversion loss, and highly linear mixers, high directivity, low return loss couplers and directional bridges, well balanced power dividers and hybrid couplers, and many other quality products. The company’s goal is to invent technologies that empower the RF and microwave industry to design faster, simplify production, eliminate complexity, and shatter performance barriers. This goal is achieved through intensive research, product development, and advanced and carefully controlled production.
The Design Challenge
Marki Microwave was using a very time-consuming, empirical design process to produce the highest quality mixers for customers who expect the best performance available in the smallest footprint. As with all labor-intensive manufacturing, scaling towards higher volumes was a challenge, and, in addition, it was difficult to develop next-generation mixer designs that were compact enough to fit into shrinking footprints. Despite the industry-leading performance of their mixers, Marki had reached the fundamental limit on how small a mixer could be built by hand, but knew that it must overcome these challenges in order to continue to innovate and advance the technology of its mixers for the future.
Marki developed a revolutionary new mixer design and manufacturing flow that leverages AWR’s Microwave Office circuit simulation software combined with Marki’s patent-pending Microlithic mixer manufacturing process in order to achieve more compact mixers with the same top quality and performance as their current hand-crafted ones.
Marki Microwave implemented a complex design cycle. First, passive structure models were created using conventional techniques. Next, these structures were integrated with nonlinear diode models and simulated using the Microwave Office® APLAC® harmonic balance simulator. Through careful control of the model parameters, these models were refined until the targeted results were produced, which were used to refine the passive structures. When units were finally fabricated, the simulation results were accurate enough to pinpoint and troubleshoot test problems. Lastly, measurement data was used to refine the model parameters before release of the models to Marki’s customers.
Thanks to the Microlithic/Microwave Office process, Marki has achieved a 14x reduction in size and a 5x reduction in design time while at the same time delivering the highest performance in the industry and scalable manufacturing. An additional benefit of the new Marki design process is the ability to provide its customers with an AWR behavioral model. This enables customers to design Marki Microwave world-class mixers into their end circuits, systems, and subassemblies and harness the same power and advantages of a simulation-driven design methodology that Marki has found so enabling.
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