by Sam Benzacar, President, Anatech Electronics
MPD: If your company serves the defense market, what are you working on (that you can talk about)?
Almost every type of defense system requires the use of electromagnetic energy, whether it’s avionics, communications, radar, electronic warfare, or signals intelligence. And each one of those applications inherently requires filters, without which no receiver, or transmitter for that matter, could acceptably perform. In addition, these applications also require power dividers, directional couplers, hybrid directional couplers, circulators, isolators, and attenuators. So, it should be no surprise that the requirements that DoD imposes on component manufacturers have become more stringent over the years. As Anatech manufactures all these products, we continue to work with our customers to satisfy these demands.
MPD: Technology appears to have advanced to the point where millimeter-wave deployment on a wide scale is possible. What is your perspective on this?
Only a few years ago, I would have said that the likelihood of deploying millimeter-wave systems for wireless communications was iffy, at best. But remarkable advances in semiconductor technology have occurred in the last five years that allow a complete millimeter-wave transceiver (sans baseband) to be integrated in a package the length of a stick of gum and depth measured in millimeters – including an active phased array antenna. I have no doubt that these advances will continue in the coming years, which will make operation at 60 and 70 GHz–or higher both technologically and economically feasible. So, for those like me, who watched for decades as analysts predicted that the use of millimeter-wave technology was “just around the corner, and always will be,” we’re finally peering around the corner and the possibilities are very exciting.
MPD: Please describe what you consider to be your company’s most significant technological achievements in 2022.
After more than three decades of design and development of RF and microwave filters, you’d suspect we must have run out of new ideas. But that’s not the case because customers continually ask for specifications that challenge the limits of what can be achieved with a specific type of filter. Fortunately, we can rely on our database of more than 6,000 filter designs that allow us to build on previous work while also expanding it to accommodate advanced requirements. In 2022, we solved more customer challenges than ever, and that is partially the result of 5G infrastructure deployment, which have very demanding filter requirements, and especially for high out-of-band rejection.