2015 RF & Microwave Design Seminar

Welcome and Opening Remarks; Oren Hagai, CTO & President, Interlligent RF & Microwave Solutions
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RFPA design flow: the Great Debate; Prof. Steve Cripps, Distinguished Research Professor, University of Cardiff
For many years, PA design has followed two alternative paths: physical and behavioural. Both are quite old and have advantages and disadvantages. The current commercial pressure on designers to adopt the behavioural approach, through new developments such as X-parameters, has met with substantial resistance. This talk will chart the history of both approaches. Watch video

Millimetre waves finally fulfilling their promise – key technologies and applications; Prof Ian Robertson, Head of the School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds
millimetre-wave frequency range is especially important for communications and sensing and will feature strongly in future generations of mobile communications standards. They are finding new applications in machine-to-machine (m2m), wearables, BANs and the Internet of Things (IoT). After the long-since forgotten GaAs vs. silicon debate in the 1990s, silicon has emerged stronger than ever, challenging the III-Vs even in the millimetre-wave range. SiP/SoS technology increasingly underpins the global electronics industry and provides a multi-technology platform by which integrated circuits, devices and components from any technology (Si/SiGe, GaAs, GaN, InP, graphene, ferroelectrics, microfluidic, bionanoelectronic, etc.) can be integrated to form a system. There remain significant challenges to address: On the one hand, there is an urgent need to push down the cost of millimetre-wave systems – for example, as this frequency range is exploited for 5G+ systems, where sophisticated steerable antenna arrays are required. On the other, there is a significant technical challenge to be overcome in order to push the performance envelope so that SiP solutions can be employed for systems beyond 100 GHz, including terahertz systems – as and when the necessary devices become commercially available. SiP/SoS technology will finally deliver the explosion in applications of the millimetre-wave and terahertz bands for applications such as 5G+, IoT, m2m communications, biosensing, imaging, security screening, etc. Watch video

Field-programmable digital and RF technologies driving innovation in wireless networks;  Danny Webster, Principal RF Engineer, Lime Microsystems
Wireless communication networks are going through a major change for providing high data rates, coverage and capacity.  The wide spread use of programmable digital technology has enabled a vast array of new wireless applications to be created.  In fact, much of the innovation in wireless networks that has supported such a growth in recent years could be attributed to ever increasing levels of functionality within the digital chipsets. On the other hand, RF technology has been providing fixed function for a given design with very little in the way of programmability and flexibility. As we move from one generation of wireless technology to another, this issue has become more prevalent to the extent that today’s RF technology has become a bottleneck, hampering innovation in the design and implementation of future networks. This talk presents the concept of Field programmable RF technology where flexibility is extended from digital to RF domain. Use cases and application areas where such technology is making a significant impact is also presented where the Open Source community are getting behind the technology  and driving a Significant level of innovation in the field. Watch video

Harmonic load pull investigations of high-efficiency GaN power transistors;  Mauro Marchetti, CEO, Anteverta (a Maury Microwave company)
A review of the 60GHz communications market – and the difficulties of developing test equipment suitable for the systems. Watch video

Making RF designs work; Chris Potter, Consultant, Cambridge RF
A light-hearted view of the possible pitfalls that can occur if RF design is not approached with best practice in mind. Watch video

The search for bandwidth – 60GHz communications;  Michael Crowley, Principal Engineer, Farran Technology
A review of the 60GHz communications market – and the difficulties of developing test equipment suitable for the systems. Watch video

Designing GaN PA MMICs; Liam Devlin, CEO, Plextek RFI
GaN transistors are well suited to the realization of RF and microwave Power Amplifiers (PAs); this is facilitated by their high breakdown voltage and their ability to operate reliably at high junction temperatures. There is an increasing number of commercially available GaN foundry processes and the realization of custom GaN PA MMICs is now a practical option for many applications. This presentation will start with an overview of the structure and operation of a GaN HEMT and will then explain how to design a GaN PA MMIC. Design examples will be presented for several applications each using a different commercially available GaN foundry processes. Watch video