by Mike Winterling, Chief Operating Officer, Junkosha USA
MPD: Please describe what you consider to be your company’s most significant technological achievements in 2023..
Junkosha has made significant technological achievements in the last 18 months with the launch of its millimeter-wave cabling solutions. In particular, the new ePTFE tape-wrapped phase stable MWX7 Series has been developed to tackle the next generation of millimeter-wave large-scale phased array radars and MIMO systems that require stringent phase and amplitude stability. Characterization and deployment of these systems relies on RF interconnects for synchronization and to minimize drift over time. To meet these requirements, the cables offer excellent stability versus temperature fluctuations, reduced phase and amplitude drift due to mechanical fluctuations, and deliver consistent performance in both inter and intra batch quality.
We have also launched two new (26.5 GHz and 50 GHz) metrology grade microwave and millimeter-wave vector network analyzer cable assemblies for applications including calibration tests. Cabling assemblies deployed in a test environment are often used with VNAs for characterizing components to ensure systems function together efficiently. With millimeter-wave’s miniaturized wavelengths, flexure and movement have a significant impact on the accuracy of results, which is accentuated as frequencies increase.
Accuracy is crucial in any test setting, but particularly so for metrology grade cabling, which offers ultimate precision and demands the highest reliability for testing and calibration. These coaxial cable assemblies have excellent phase (within +/-4.5 deg. at 50 GHz) and amplitude (within +/- 0.08 dB at 50 GHz) stability in flexure and temperature and can perform even when bent 180 deg. on a 2.25-in. radius mandrel. With various sized connectors 40,000 tick-tock cycles are typical.
Overall, Junkosha has made great strides in meeting the demands of next-generation wireless communication systems and our latest solutions provide VNA manufacturers with the capability to evaluate the high-frequency networks that are at the heart of tomorrow’s highly sophisticated systems.
MPD: An increasing number of applications rely on RF and microwave technology. What application is most likely to significantly contribute to the industry by the end of the decade?
We are looking at a future centered around connected devices that demand reduced latency to fulfill real-time applications. Qualcomm-commissioned ABI Research anticipates that 5G represents about a ten times decrease in latency compared to previous cellular generations, along with higher data rates. The global high-frequency probe station market, for example, is forecasted to be worth $11 billion by 2025, primarily driven by the accelerating 5G deployment. As 5G continues to be rolled out, applications requiring high-quality microchips increase along with probe stations to evaluate chips packaged together. In wafer probe testing, chips are mounted together and tested for functionality as a complete solution. Using high-end cabling in a probe station is crucial: cables must have low loss, be lightweight, and stable in phase and amplitude, stable against temperature, flexure, and vibration.
With chips operating at higher frequencies, cables must transfer the signals onto and out of the chips at a faster rate. To meet this requirement, the highest quality cables are essential. The benefit of Junkosha’s cabling is the ePTFE tape wrapped dielectric layer, which can be controlled for tension, thickness, mechanical ability, and flexibility. Our focus lies in creating solutions that operate efficiently in environments with high flexure and temperature change. What truly sets Junkosha apart is phase/amplitude stability over temperature changes. This stability, especially in a room temperature of 19° C (the PTFE knee), is a key differentiator for our products.