December Tech Focus: Growth of wireless electronics spurs interest in RFICs

Nov. 27, 2018

Radio frequency integrated circuits permit the integration of electronic circuits on a chip to distribute antenna system functionalities. RFICs have sparked the interest of researchers, as the cost savings of moving a wireless transceiver to a single technology have obvious benefits. With the burgeoning success of wireless in the marketplace, next-generation LTEs and 5G lead wireless into new frontiers.

Arbitrary function generator

The AFG31000 series arbitrary function generators feature a 9-inch capacitive touchscreen and new user interface to solve increasingly complex test cases for debugging, troubleshooting, characterizing and validating devices under test.
The series has deep memory and programming capability needed to compose a series of test cases with complex timing—critical for optimum test efficiency. The large touchscreen allows users to see all related settings and parameters on a single screen within a shallow menu tree. The new InstaView feature on the AFG31000 series monitors and displays the waveform at the DUT without the need for additional cables or instruments. The waveform display instantly responds to changes in frequency, amplitude, waveform shape as well as the DUT’s impedance, saving time and boosting confidence. In addition to traditional AFG operation modes, the AFG31000 series offers an advanced or waveform sequencer mode. In the Advanced mode, the instrument’s up-to-128 Mpts of waveform memory can be segmented into up to 256 entries, and users can drag and drop long waveforms, or multiple waveforms in the sequencer and define how they are output. The new ArbBuilder tool built in the AFG31000 series enables users to create and edit arbitrary waveforms directly on the instrument without needing to create the waveforms on a PC and transferring them to the instrument. Prices start at $2,210 US MSRP. Tektronix

Movable over-the-air test chamber for 5G antennas
and transceivers

The new ATS1000 antenna test chamber allows developers and production engineers to perform over-the-air (OTA) measurements for 5G on their antenna modules, transceivers, chipsets and wireless devices. Antenna and transceiver
measurements are possible in the frequency range from 18 GHz to 87 GHz. The system therefore supports all millimeter-wave frequency bands currently considered for 5G. The compact test chamber makes it possible to measure mobile devices in the far field. The R&S ATS1000 consists of a rack-size shielded RF test chamber on casters, suitable mounts for test objects and sensors, and a wideband measurement antenna, which covers the whole frequency range. Using the associated test and measurement equipment and the R&S AMS32 antenna measurement software, radiation patterns of 5G antenna arrays can be measured extremely precisely in just a few minutes. A positioning laser supports precise orientation of the test object. By combining the R&S ATS1000 with an R&S TS8980 5G RF test system, users can determine relevant RF parameters (e.g. power, ACLR and EVM) from OTA measurements. The system enables comprehensive 3D characterization, verification measurements and functional testing of 5G components. Rohde & Schwarz

Low-power 1.8V Temperature Sensor Family

To help meet the functionality of Internet of Things and personal computing devices, this vendor has announced five new 1.8V temperature sensors. The EMC181x temperature sensor family also introduces system temperature rate-of-change reporting, a feature that provides advanced warning on how the
temperature of a system is fluctuating. The EMC181x temperature sensor family offers a variety of remote channels at 1.8V operation to fit different design needs, ranging from two to five channels. The family is ideal for applications migrating from 3.3V systems to lower voltage rails. Additionally, the EMC181x family is register and voltage compatible with Microchip’s popular 3.3V EMC14xx temperature sensors, making migration to 1.8V testable and achievable. With the three-channel sensor available in an 8-pin 2 x 2 mm footprint and the five-channel in a 10-pin 2 x 2.5 mm footprint, the sensors can also reduce the number of devices needed for remote temperature monitoring. With the ability to measure the system temperature rate of change, the EMC181x devices report on the regular temperature, as well as the rate of temperature change in a system. Suitable for closed control loop systems and other applications that prioritize lower voltage rails, the EMC181x family consists of five devices, all available today for sampling and volume production. Pricing begins at $0.44 USD per 10,000 units for the EMC1812T two-channel sensor. Microchip

10-kHz to 1,000-MHz amplifiers

A family of RF solid-state Class A power amplifiers is suitable for EMC testing,
laboratory testing, antenna and component testing, wattmeter calibration, medical/physics research, and more. Each of the “U” Universal Series instruments will instantaneously cover its full frequency range with a single-band amplifier. Models in the family covering 10 kHz to 1,000 MHz offer CW power levels of 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25, and 50 W. A recently added 100-W model covers 100 kHz to 1,000 MHz. AR/RF Microwave Instrumentation

Synchronous converters

The highly integrated 5-A and 6-A LM73605/6 and 2.5-A and 3.5-A LM76002/3 step-down voltage converters feature an optimized pinout and thermal coefficient to simplify the process of achieving EMI compliance and higher reliability for rugged industrial and automotive power supplies, the vendor reports. The 5-A and 6-A LM73605/6 and 2.5-A and 3.5-A LM76002/3 DC/DC step-down buck converters simplify the process of achieving EMI compliance and high reliability for rugged industrial and automotive applications. The 3.5-V to 36-V LM73605/6 and 3.5-V to 60-V LM76002/3 buck regulators meet and exceed CISPR 25 Class 5 automotive EMC requirements. These regulators’ programmable output switching frequencies can be set either above the AM band, which eliminates AM-band interference and reduces output filter size and cost, or below the AM band to optimize efficiency. The small QFN package with wettable flanks delivers a low thermal coefficient of 7.1°C/W to improve reliability and enables post-solder optical inspection to simplify manufacturing. Optimized package pin placement allows flexibility in board design to improve heat sinking, which minimizes radiated and conducted emissions. Texas Instruments

TDK offers multilayer chip beads with high rated currents

This vendor’s MPZ0603-H Series multilayer chip beads for power lines in an IEC 0603 package (EIA 0201) feature twice the rated current and about half the DC resistance of the existing MPZ0603-C Series. Because of a newly developed
technology for the internal electrodes, the vendor says it was able to reduce the DC resistance to as low as 36 mΩ, thus increasing the rated current to as high as 1,900 mA. The MPZ0603-H Series offers high impedance values ranging from 22 Ω to 120 Ω at 100 MHz. The new chip beads measure in with a miniature footprint of 0.6 mm x 0.3 mm and a low insertion height of just 0.3 mm. With their compact dimensions and electrical specifications, the ferrite beads are suited for a wide spectrum of noise-suppression measures in the IC power-supply lines of smartphones, audio players, PCs, and other devices. As the multifunctionality of portable devices such as smartphones continues to grow, high current ratings are becoming an increasingly important factor for components in the IC power-supply lines. Thanks to their low DC resistance, the MPZ0603-H chip beads not only offer a high rated current, but they also help lower the power consumption of devices. TDK Corp.

4-channel PXI SMU

The new GX3104 4-channel PXI source measure unit (SMU) is a precision 3U PXI module that forces and senses both voltage and current over a range of
±20 V and up to ±1 A. The module’s unique flex-power architecture offers users the option to configure the SMU as a 4-channel, 250-mA/channel SMU or as a single-channel, 1-A SMU—providing test engineers the flexibility to support both high-current or multichannel SMU applications with one module. The four channels are electrically isolated from the PXI power supply and share a common, isolated ground. In addition, all module power is provided by the PXI bus, eliminating the need for bulky, external DC power supplies. The GX3104 is supplied with a full-featured API and UI, as well as full documentation, online help files, and GtLinux, a software package that provides support for Linux 32/64 operating systems. Marvin Test Solutions

PXI SMU for semiconductor test

The PXIe-4163 high-density source-measure unit (SMU) provides more DC channel density than the vendor’s previous PXI SMUs for testing RF, MEMS, and mixed-signal and other analog semiconductor components. The vendor says chipmakers have rapidly adopted its Semiconductor Test System (STS) for its throughput, performance at cost, and footprint on the production floor. The new PXIe-4163 SMU further complements these capabilities. It delivers increased DC channel density for higher parallelism in multisite applications and lab-grade measurement quality in a production-ready form factor. Engineers can use the new PXIe-4163 SMU in either STS configurations or stand-alone PXI systems. Key product features include up to 24 channels in a single PXI Express slot; ±24 V per channel, up to 100mA current sensitivity, interactive configuration and debug software, and up to 408 high-precision SMU channels in a single PXI chassis. National Instruments

Sponsored Recommendations


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!