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


September 2013

Innovation, The Silver Bullet
By Harvey Kaylie, President, Mini-Circuits

Liam Devlin, CEO, Plextek RF Integration

I believe American technology and competitive spirit has reawakened and is alive and kicking. Americans have always responded to challenges; the “can do” spirit is ingrained within our culture. Although we are still recovering from the “Economic Tsunami” of 2009, we are making progress and helping to lead the world back to economic growth.

Albert Einstein once said, “Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been.” Engineering is leading the way to prosperity as it has from the time of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, to the Wright brothers’ first flight of the Kitty Hawk, to Henry Ford’s model T automobile, to the introduction of the internet, and today with Elon Musk’s electric car, commercial satellites, and to fracking technology for getting oil from shale rock. In fact, the U.S. may even become an exporter of oil!

The head of the U.S. Patent office in 1906 made the statement, “I guess we have invented all there is to invent.” Some people may think that statement is valid today. I don’t think so. Far from it, we are continuing the surge to introduce new products and services. Consider the potentials and opportunities of utilizing white space, 3D printing, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc.

So what are the seeds that stimulate our creative juices and provide new products and services to advance mankind? At Mini-Circuits, as in many top tier technology companies, innovation, creativity, and multi-discipline team-building is being encouraged and supported. A company cannot simply say “I want creativity and innovation,” but rather management must clearly define the company’s vision and values, provide resources, a supportive environment, focus the team and establish metrics to measure the results of its innovation investment.

There are many areas in our industry where opportunities for growth can be powered by innovation. In general, these areas should focus on increasing value to the customer. So how do we increase value? It can be through technical innovation, manufacturing innovation, design for long life reliability, along with the ‘soft’ attributes that make one’s life easier including, design robustness, user-friendly software, process simplification, and product support for the entire lifetime of customer need.

One well-known product that exemplifies the economic prosperity resulting from innovation is Apple’s iPhone. It has had a powerful influence on our everyday living habits and created a new paradigm in the market for mobile computing and communications technology. At Mini-Circuits, we have embraced similar innovative concepts that change the way people in our industry work. Just recently, we were awarded a patent for a simple, easy to use Harmonic Calculator. This calculator can be a great tool for a receiver-system designer. It enables the selection of the LO frequency that would minimize the effects of unwanted harmonics providing more economical receiver design solutions as well as higher levels of receiver performance. This tool will even predict the levels of unwanted harmonic signals within the IF pass band of a receiver using real data from our Yoni search engine.

Another example of Mini-Circuits’ innovative solutions that provide value to our customers is through the introduction of our programmable mechanical switch matrices. These products are based upon our “nearly ideal” switches covering DC to 18 GHz with almost no insertion loss and very high isolation and enable long life reliability of more than 10 to 100 times better than others in the marketplace. The technology for these switches was invented by replacing mechanical springs, the major cause of failure, with magnetic controls and has been part of Mini-Circuits product offering for some time. However, the recent innovation of integrating these switches with USB and/or Ethernet control has enabled customers to realize and implement quick, easy to configure automated tests solutions. This new and unique adaptation of an existing technology was born out of our company’s vision and values; our engineering team captured the spirit of this vision and developed a product that is quickly becoming a universal enabler in automating complicated test applications.

It is often said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Look for areas of improvement in your sphere of living, working, playing, or relaxing. Then ask yourself “what if?” and you’ll be on the road to innovation.

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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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