Wireless Systems Design

On The Wireless Front

Norcross, Georgia
Eagleware Corp. is shipping the latest version of its popular suite of design software for RF and microwave engineers. Known as GENESYS 2004, this release includes many features like new synthesis topologies for filters and oscillators, LDMOS models, RF-architecture simulation enhancements, and integrated component libraries. In addition, the core design environment has been enhanced with enterprise-level features including an XML library manager, Visual Basic scripting, rich text editing, graph annotations, an Agilent ADS interface, and enhanced language support of Simplified Chinese.

One new feature—the Oscillator Synthesis module—enables designers to quickly select, tune, and develop oscillators from a selection of 17 topologies. GENESYS 2004 updates the Synthesis module with two oscillator configurations. A completely new class of oscillator, the LC Hybrid, is supported. It was developed by Eagleware's founder, Randy Rhea. This oscillator features rapid startup characteristics and excellent harmonic performance. In addition, a negative conductance VCO is now available for frequencies above 200 MHz that require octave tuning.

GENESYS 2004 also adds features and a host of improvements to SPECTRASYS, Eagleware's full-spectrum simulator. They include the following: an active frequency divider; new filter models that include the effects of Q; faster calculation speeds; a new error message that identifies potential stability problems in the RF architecture; and the ability to graph any sweep of a SPECTRASYS path measurement at any node in the schematic. GENESYS 2004 also includes numerous additional improvements to make the designer's job easier, such as nonlinear elements in SPICE output, seven new complex-waveform examples, additional startup options, and more. To learn more about GENESYS 2004, visit www.eagleware.com.

Munich, Germany
SUSS MicroTec introduced a new concept in production test: the Automated Cluster Probing System (CPS). This back-end test system saves money and valuable real estate by combining multiple test configurations within one system. Its production efficiency mimics that which is found in front-end fabrication tools. SUSS' innovative CPS (patent-pending) concept consists of a family of high-throughput probe systems configured around a high-speed, robotic, material-handling unit (MHU). This unit is capable of feeding up to six probing units. This feature increases test capacity and lowers the cost of ownership compared to standalone test systems.

The CPS is extremely flexible due to its modular hardware/software (HW/SW). It can be upgraded and reconfigured in the field as test needs change. The advanced software allows multiple test protocols to be run on the same wafer without human intervention. The Cluster Probing System also is designed to minimize expensive clean-room space. It uses 40% less floor space than individual production probers. Each probe module can be operated in manual, semi-, or fully auto mode and removed from the cluster to be used as standalone probe systems. In addition, the system can be configured for double-sided probing. For more information on this test system, please visit www.suss.com.

Sunnyvale, California
Maxim Integrated Products' MAX1870A is a multi-chemistry battery-charger integrated circuit (IC). It operates with supply voltages above and below the output voltage. The MAX1870A maximizes the mobility of portable equipment by using a proprietary step-up/step-down control scheme. This aspect enables charging directly from an automobile or aircraft power supply or using an AC adapter. Analog inputs control charge current and voltage. They can either be programmed by the host microcontroller or hardwired.

The maximum current drawn from the AC adapter is programmable. This approach avoids overloading the AC adapter when supplying the load and battery charger simultaneously. It thereby reduces the cost of the AC adapter. Outputs monitor the current drawn from the AC adapter, the battery-charging current, and the presence of an AC adapter. The MAX1870A accurately charges two to four Li+-series cells at over 4-A charging current.

The MAX1870A battery-charger IC from Maxim Integrated Products is now available in a space-saving, 32-pin QFN (5-x-5-mm) package. It is specified for the extended industrial temperature range (−40° to +85°C). Prices for this IC start at $3.10 (1000-up, FOB USA). For more information, go to www.maxim-ic.com.

Milpitas, California
Linear Technology Corp. is offering a practical way to create high-quality photographs using cellular phones. It has enabled the use of a high-quality Xenon strobe flash in place of LEDs, which provide only limited illumination. Makers of cell phones can now produce compact and affordable camera phones with high-quality photo capability.

This new generation of camera phones with Xenon flash lamps has several key advantages over current phones. The light output from Xenon flashes is hundreds of times that of point-source LEDs. The flash also is many times faster than LEDs. In addition, these new Xenon flash lamps operate at a color temperature close to that of natural light. The result of all this is a practical, easy-to-implement solution for high-quality photo-enabled phones. Such cameras deliver high-quality photos up to several meters from the subject, rather than the current 1- to 3-ft. limitation of LED-based camera phones.

The camera-phone solution pioneered by Linear Technology involves the use of Xenon strobe flash lamps—a well-established light source that has been in production for many years. The Linear Technology solution incorporates the company's patented LT3468 high-efficiency, fast photoflash capacitor charger. This device charges a high-voltage capacitor, meeting the form factor and efficiency needs of cellular phones. The small footprint and low profile of this photoflash solution allow it to be used in small-form-factor handsets, significantly improving the photo image quality.

Linear Technology's LT3468 solution provides very fast and efficient charging of the Xenon flash lamp in as little as 1 sec. This rapid charging provides a fivefold improvement over conventional solutions. In addition, this scheme supports "red-eye" reduction, whereby one or more reduced-intensity flashes immediately precede the main flash. For more information, go to www.ltc.com.

Camarillo, California
Johanson Technology is offering the latest in chip-antenna technology. Its LTCC-based chip antennas are leading the industry based on gain and size (footprint) performance in the portable wireless arena. Currently, the company offers solutions in the following frequency bands: 1.5 to 1.6 GHz (GPS), 2.45 GHz (Bluetooth and 802.11 b+g), and 5.25 to 5.75 GHz (UNII and 802.11a). These solutions are ideal for dual-band applications as well as PCS/DCS/GSM/DECT/PHS. For example, the 1575AT47A40 antenna is operational in the 1555-to-1595-MHz frequency range. It boasts a peak gain of −1.0 dBi typical with an average gain of −3.0 dBi typical. Its return loss is 9.5 dB (minimum). For more information about the Johanson antenna products, go to www.johansontechnology.com.

Richmond, Virginia
Microwave Circuits, Inc. has decided to relocate its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to the city of Lynchburg. Through a $2.1-million investment, the company will create 200 new, high-paying jobs for Lynchburg. Located in the Kemper Building in downtown Lynchburg, Microwave Circuits will manufacture its new, patent-pending technology for use in homeland-security and Department of Defense applications. By doing so, it will broaden the region's developing homeland-security and defense-technology market.

Microwave Circuits, Inc. is an industry-leading provider of high-performance radio-frequency (RF) and microwave communications devices. Such devices include filters, diplexers, and duplexers. The company's product line is divided into seven major categories: bandpass filters; lowpass filters; highpass filters; notch filters; diplexers/duplexers; multiplexers/combiners; and integrated assemblies. The company has more than 20 network-analyzer test stations and in-house vibration and environmental-test capabilities. For more information on this move, go to www.micckts.com.

South Portland, Maine
Fairchild Semiconductor's FSUSB11 is a low-power, high-bandwidth (350-MHz), dual single-pole/double-throw (SPDT) USB switch. It provides the fast-switch-time multiplex/demultiplexing of analog audio and USB 1.1 signals. Designed specifically for USB applications, Fairchild's FSUSB11 is ideal for switching applications in ultra-portable cell phones, computers and peripherals, consumer electronics, and other USB 1.1-ported devices. The device provides superior performance through low power consumption, exceptional ESD protection, and low total harmonic distortion (THD).

The switch is housed in a super-compact, 10-terminal, leadless MicroPak package that measures only 1.6 x 2.1 mm. Its key features include: ultra-low additive jitter (less than 2% UI typical); a broad VCC operating-voltage range of 1.65 to 5.5 V; and a low THD of 0.002%. In addition, its low on resistance (RON) of 0.95 Ω (typical) reduces power consumption and extends battery run time.

The FSUSB11 low-power, SPDT USB switch is now available. It sells for $0.94 each (1000 pieces). For more information on this product, go to www.fairchildsemi.com.

Denville, New Jersey
Voltronics Corp. is now a member of the Dover family of companies. It joins companies like Dielectric Laboratories, Inc. (DLI). Voltronics designs and manufactures high-Q, radio- and microwave-frequency, multi-turn variable capacitors (trimmers). The company's products are utilized in a variety of markets including instrumentation, industrial, commercial telecommunications, military, and medical imaging.

Dielectric Laboratories is a designer and manufacturer of specialty high-frequency ceramic components. These components are ideal for niche applications in fiber-optic networks, military, wireless communications networks, semiconductor, and transportation markets. While Voltronics will conduct business as an independent operating company, it also will share the joint benefits of broader product, market, and customer opportunities with other Dover companies like DLI.

For more information on Voltronics or Dielectric Laboratories, check out www.voltronics.com and www.dilabs.com, respectively.

San Jose, California
Xilinx, Inc. is now offering the QPRO Virtex-II family of radiation-tolerant, reconfigurable platform FPGAs. This family boasts densities of up to six million system gates. It also flaunts high-performance system features, such as high-performance embedded block RAM, embedded multipliers, a digital clock manager, and integrated I/O termination (XCITE). The QPRO Virtex-II family leads the industry in offering high-density, high-performance reconfigurable solutions that are specifically designed for mission-critical applications in aerospace and defense.

The QPRO Virtex-II family goes beyond increased gate density by offering high-performance I/O signaling technology. This technology supports up to 840 MBPS in both plastic and ceramic packages while offering up to 1104 user I/Os. In addition, the QPRO Virtex-II family includes up to 144 independent blocks of 18-Kb embedded memory. It is ideal for a wide range of high-performance applications ranging from system interfacing and local packet buffering to high-performance DSP applications. The QPRO Virtex-II also offers superior DSP performance through the integration of up to 144 high-performance multipliers. By combining such high-performance features with a flexible fabric, the Virtex-II QPRO devices address many of today's industry challenges.

Xilinx QPRO Virtex-II devices are available in a range of grades in plastic and ceramic packages. Space grades are guaranteed for total ionizing dose (TID) up to 200-K Rad (si) and latch-up immune to Let >100 MeV-cm2/mg. The Xilinx Virtex-II QPRO devices are available now. Pricing starts at $318 and $2655 for radiation-tolerant space-grade devices in quantities of 100. Various processing options are available. For more information, visit www.xilinx.com.

Munich, Germany
With its Audio Analyzer R&S UPV, Rohde & Schwarz now offers a compact instrument for virtually all analog and digital audio measurements. To name just a few highlights, the analyzer features digital audio interfaces with sampling rates up to 192 kHz, extended measurement bandwidths, and powerful analysis functions. It is capable of performing multiple measurements with the results presented as informative graphics. The audio analyzer comes with a built-in PC. It is operated via an intuitive Windows user interface.

The R&S UPV performs all key measurements that occur in the audio world. Several measurement functions can be performed and displayed simultaneously with analyses carried out as true dual-channel measurements. Further highlights include comprehensive FFT analysis covering up to 256-k points and a measurement bandwidth of up to 250 kHz. The generator provides sinusoidal signals of up to 200 kHz as well as any other desired signals. Filters can be activated for both the generator and the analyzer. The instrument features an FFT noise floor below −140 dB for analog measurements and a dynamic range wider than 170 dB for digital measurements.

For those digital measurements, the R&S UPV features an AES/EBU interface with a sampling rate of up to 192 kHz. Additional audio interfaces (e.g., an I2S interface) can easily be installed. As a compact unit with an integrated PC and monitor, the R&S UPV is equipped with all of the important interfaces including a LAN interface and four USB connectors. The instrument is operated via an intuitive Windows user interface either from the front panel or via the keyboard and mouse. The WindowsXP operating system supports the relevant graphic display modes. For example, several measurement diagrams can be displayed simultaneously with selectable size and scaling. The Audio Analyzer R&S UPV can now be ordered from Rohde & Schwarz. For more information, go to www.rohde-schwarz.com.

San Jose, California
Altera Corp. announced the availability of the Nios II integrated development environment (IDE). It is based on the open and extensible Eclipse platform. This platform has become the preferred development framework among leading embedded tool providers, such as Wind River Systems and QNX.

The Nios II IDE provides a complete C/C++ software-development suite including a text editor; project manager and build tools; debugger; and Common Flash Interface (CFI) -compatible flash programmer. To provide the ultimate in flexible debug scenarios, the debugger connects to a wide range of targets. Among them are the FPGA hardware, the Nios II Instruction Set Simulator, and the ModelSim-Altera software.

Support for power features of the Nios II on-chip instrumentation core is also provided. Included with the Nios II IDE are plug-ins that support the MicroC/OS-II real-time operating system (RTOS) by Micrium as well as the Lightweight IP open-source TCP/IP stack.

First Silicon Solutions (FS2) adds support for Altera's Nios II family of processors with two product offerings. The Nios II Debug Upgrade, which is available for download from the web, gives the Nios II IDE two more hardware execution breakpoints and two more data triggers. It also increases the on-chip trace buffer from 16 to 128 frames. The FS2 JTAG-based trace probe, ISA-Nios/T, provides 128-K frames of off-chip processor trace. It connects to the developer's host PC via a parallel or USB port for debugging more complex software applications. For more information, visit www.fs2.com/isa-nios.html.

Nios II IDE will be available with each Nios II development kit. Nios developers with inactive subscriptions can receive this and 12 months of updates for only $495. For more information, visit www.altera.com.

Davis, California
Rabbit Semiconductor has released its RCM3300 microprocessor-core module. Both this product and the recently released RCM3700 support a software bundle of three modules. These modules were developed to enable rapid web-browser development, provide a secure socket layer for Ethernet data transfer, and manage on-board serial Flash data.

The RabbitWeb module is a rapid HTTP/HTML web-development extension that can read and write program variables remotely while eliminating complex CGI programming. It easily creates controls like pull-down menus or control buttons on a Web interface. At the same time, it ensures valid input values and proper user authorization. RabbitWeb elegantly indicates input errors for easy correction. Most importantly, it yields a 10X reduction in CGI programming and debugging time.

The RCM3300 and RCM3700 RabbitCores are ideal options for designers who want to rapidly develop and implement secure web-browser-enabled embedded systems. The RCM3300 is derived from industrial-client feedback. It combines traditional RabbitCore product strengths into one device. Fully loaded, it contains a Rabbit 3000 @ 44-MHz clock, 10/100Base-T Ethernet connectivity, 4 or 8 MB Serial Flash, 512-K Flash, 512-K program execution, and 512-K data SRAM. Its 49 digital I/Os, which are shared with five serial ports, operate at 3.3 V (with a 5-V-tolerant I/O).

The RCM3300 is available now and priced from $69 (quantities of 1000). The Secure Embedded Web Application Kit is priced at $499 for a limited time. It includes an RCM3700, RabbitWeb, FAT File System, SSL, and standard development-kit contents. An RCM3300 development kit without software modules is priced at $399. For more information, go to www.rabbitsemi.com.

South Portland, Maine
AVID Electronics Corp. has selected the LSI Logic ZSP400 DSP core and application software for its next-generation portable multimedia semiconductor products. By adopting the ZSP Multimedia Platform—a DSP-based, licensable, and fully certified software and hardware platform for the rapid design of its digital audio/video devices—AVID Electronics is able to reduce time to market. It also can realize an easy migration path to support future product plans with maximum technology re-use.

Addressing the increasing demand for multi-format, multimedia solutions in consumer-electronics applications, the ZSP Multimedia Platform supports popular audio and video encoding and decoding standards for use in a wide variety of consumer products. It enables the rapid design of next-generation devices. Based on the ZSP architecture, its combination of extensive software suites and multi-core, multi-processor software-development tools makes the ZSP Multimedia Platform one of the most comprehensive multimedia solutions in the market.

The ZSP Multimedia Platform software suite supports popular digital audio/video standards and required multimedia-subsystem components. To reduce time to market, the ZSP Multimedia Platform is compatible with all ZSP DSP cores. The software also is compliant with the ZOpen framework. ZOpen enables streamlined application development by providing a standardized integration environment, multi-vendor algorithm interoperability, and hardware abstraction. For more information about the ZSP DSP family, visit the web site at www.zsp.com or check out LSI Logic at www.lsilogic.com.

Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Hittite Microwave Corp. released three SiGe and InGaP HBT gain-block MMIC amplifiers. Each is ideal for infrastructure/handhelds, test-equipment, microwave-radio, and military-COTS applications from DC to 6 GHz.

The HMC479ST89 and HMC481ST89 are SOT89-packaged versions of two SiGe gain blocks that were released by Hittite in "micro-X" (MP86) plastic packages in October 2003. The HMC311ST89 is a SOT89 version of the HMC311LP3 3-×-3-mm, QFN-packaged, GaAs InGaP gain block. Like their "micro-X" (MP86) and QFN (LP3) counterparts, these 5- to 12-V gain blocks are cascadable while requiring no external matching and using a minimal number of DC components. Across the product line, the small signal gain ranges from 15 to 20 dB at 1 GHz and 13 to 17 dB at 2 GHz. The Output P1dB performance ranges from 15 to 20 dBm at frequencies of less than 2.4 GHz and 12 to 15 dBm for frequencies above 2.4 GHz with output IP3 as high as 34 dBm.

The HMC311ST89, HMC479ST89, and HMC481ST89 blocks complement Hittite's existing "micro-X" and 3-×-3-mm QFN gain-block product line. They are ideal for applications like driver amplifiers, IF gain blocks, high IP3 receive chain amplifiers, and LO buffer amplifiers to drive Hittite mixers. They are form, fit, and functional replacements for competitive SOT89-packaged, gain-block amplifier products.

Samples and evaluation PCBs for all packaged gain-block amplifiers are available from stock for sampling or sale. Released datasheets are available online at www.hittite.com.

Heilbronn, Germany
Atmel Corp. and u-blox announced that their jointly developed ANTARIS GPS technology now features an innovative 'aiding' functionality. This functionality makes time to first fix within 4 sec. a reality. The aiding parameters provide ephemeris, almanac, rough initial position, clock drift and time, satellite status, and—if available—a precise time-synchronization signal. With this information, the GPS receiver has immediate knowledge of the satellites to search and track.

The ANTARIS technology excels in robust performance in any static and dynamic environment—particularly in the most challenging metropolitan areas. It provides −50-dBm sensitivity without compromising navigation accuracy, advanced WAAS/EGNOS support, and excellent acquisition performance like 34-sec. cold start. It also boasts superior multipath suppression, a 4-Hz update rate, and low power consumption. The technology even enables system solutions with minimum bill-of-material costs.

The aiding feature comes in the u-blox ANTARIS GPS-receiver macro components: TIM-LP, TIM-LF, and TIM-LC. It also is available on the ANTARIS GPS chip set from Atmel. Samples of the GPS chip set (receiver IC ATR0600 in a 5-x-5-mm QFN28 package; baseband IC ATR0620 in a 9-x-9-mm, 100-pin BGA package; and LNA IC ATR0610 in a 1.6-x-2.0-mm PLLP6 package) are available now. A low-power reference design is also available. For more information, go to www.atmel.com.

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Greenray Industries, Inc. announced the availability of the Model YH1391 OCXO. This OCXO product, which is offered in a miniature, hermetically sealed case, is designed to provide excellent frequency stability under severe vibration. Available from 10 to 100 MHz, the Greenray YH1391 oscillator features low g-sensitivity of 5 x 10-10/g. In addition, it offers ultra-low phase noise with a floor of −170 dBc/Hz, fast warm-up, and stabilization.

Greenray Industries is a supplier of high-precision, quartz-based oscillators for use in wireless, wired-telephony, aerospace, military, satellite, and other communications applications. Information on the new YH1391 OCXO and other Greenray products can be obtained from www.greenrayindustries.com.

Boise, Idaho
Micron Technology's new MT9M111 DigitalClarity system-on-a-chip (SoC), 1.3-megapixel, CMOS image sensor is designed specifically for camera-equipped cell phones and PDAs. It features all the functions of a camera on a single silicon sensor and comes equipped with Micron's revolutionary CMOS active-pixel technology. It also has demonstrated best-in-class performance in low-light situations—a key consideration for demanding cell-phone and PDA manufacturers.

The MT9M111 is currently available for general customer sampling. It is a 1/3-in., low-power device that has been optimized using Micron's low-leakage DRAM-based process. With DigitalClarity technology, the high-performance sensor delivers brilliant color images under even the poorest lighting conditions. Distinguishing performance advantages include: lower dark current, reduced crosstalk, and lower temporal noise.

The functions performed by the MT9M111's embedded processor include everything from color recovery and correction to lens shading and programmable gamma correction. These functions are designed directly into the chip. Because it requires fewer parts, the MT9M111 minimizes board space, simplifies designs, and enables faster time to market. For more information, go to www.micron.com.

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