IMS to see innovations spanning 5G to materials science

May 24, 2018

The International Microwave Symposium will take place June 10-15 in Philadelphia, with more than 500 companies expected to exhibit materials, devices, components, subsystems, design and simulation software, and test and measurement equipment. 5G will be a topic of considerable interest, and several of the companies mentioned in our 5G cover story in this issue will be on hand to highlight their approach to 5G design, manufacturing, and deployment. These and other companies can be expected to highlight additional application areas as well.

For example, Adnan Khan, senior business development manager at Anritsu Co., said the company will, for the first time, present a new differential noise-figure capability for the 4-port 70-GHz VectorStar vector network analyzer. “Among the other high-frequency solutions at the show will be the ShockLine MS46500B 2- and 4-port performance 60-GHz to 90-GHz VNAs,” he said. “With the E-band option installed, the MS46500B Series can reduce production costs and more efficiently verify the performance of high-frequency passive components, such as antennas, filters, and duplexers, during manufacturing.”

Keysight Technologies will highlight technologies related to 5G, WLAN, radar/EW, and satellite applications, according to Will Sitch, director of industry and solutions marketing. Specific products on display will include PathWave software; the 5G NR Design Validation Testbed, featuring a Ball Aerospace phased array; the WLAN 802.11ay Testbed, including a 110-GHz spectrum analyzer; a 110-GHz network analyzer for mmWave receiver characterization; and a nonlinear vector network analyzer (PNA-X) for making
X-parameter measurements to characterize beamforming ICs, GaN amplifiers, and other devices, he said.

Figure 1. Pickering Interfaces’ PXI and LXI products for RF/microwave applications

MathWorks will highlight a range of products and technologies, according to Ken Karnofsky, senior strategist, signal processing and communications. Specific highlights include the design of standard-compliant 5G, LTE, and wireless LAN systems; beamforming for massive MIMO and multiuser-MIMO designs; multifunction RF systems for radar and communications; antenna design and RF propagation modeling; RF power-amplifier modeling and linearization; and over-the-air testing with RF instruments and commercial software-defined radios.

Guzik Technical Enterprises is planning to showcase the ADP7000 digitizer and its patented real-time advanced downconversion capabilities using an FPGA-based digital processor at the Virginia Diodes booth, according to Lauri Viitas, VP of product and business development. He said Guzik partners with VDI to supply external mixers for downconverting mmWave signals to a frequency where they can be directly sampled. “The VDI Compact Converters (CC) may be deployed in banks for block downconversion of multichannel signals,” he said. “After this one-step downconversion, all further signal analysis is digital.” At IMS the companies will demonstrate 5G mmWave signal analysis.

NI will showcase a range of technologies at IMS with a specific focus on 5G technology. “Specific demonstrations include the test of a 5G integrated RF front-end module and 5G prototyping applications using software-defined radios,” said Sarah Yost, senior product manager, adding that NI will also exhibit its latest software for instrument automation and interactive measurements.

Rohde & Schwarz plans to display the latest in RF and microwave signal generation and analysis products, according to Andreas Roessler, 5G technology manager. “Featured demos include instruments for semiconductor test, 5G device characterization, wideband signal analysis, phase noise, radar, satellite, and transmit-receive measurement setups,” he said. “Our focus will be on ultimate precision in mmWave and microwave analysis featuring instruments such as the R&S FSWP phase-noise analyzer, R&S SMA100B analog signal generator, R&S ZNBT20 multiport VNA, and several new-product introductions.”

Copper Mountain Technologies, in addition to highlighting its FET1854 frequency extenders and RVNAX16 software, with applicability to 5G, will also exhibit its new 18-GHz Compact S5180, integrated into a system for tabletop materials measurements, according to CEO Irena Goloschokin. Compass Technology Group will cooperate in a demonstration of dielectric properties measurements, she said.

And finally, Pickering Interfaces announced it will showcase its catalog of PXI and Ethernet LXI RF and microwave switching solutions, which can be used to increase the flexibility of test and measurement systems with signal bandwidths to 65 GHz. Configurations available within the company’s PXI and LXI platforms include multiplexers, matrices, and transfer and SPDT changeover switches. Pickering’s microwave switch modules include LEDs that indicate when a normally open path has been closed, to aid the user with visual checking of routing during the debug phase of test-system development. EE

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