Interlligent UK’s RF & Microwave Design Seminar

1 November 2018 | Møller Centre, Cambridge

Interlligent UK’s fourth annual RF & Microwave Design Seminar, took place at the Møller Centre, Cambridge, on Thursday, 1 November 2018.

Programme speakers included:

  • Helen Duncan, MWE Media
    Introduction: The Evolving RF & Microwave Landscape
  • 5G is still one of the major applications driving innovation in the industry. We begin with a reminder from last year of the four main use cases for 5G – at that time only a few people were talking about fixed wireless access as being one of the use cases, but in the past year Verizon in the US has actually launched this as its first 5G service. Full 5G mobile services are still on track to be launched during 2019. This year we have broadened the horizon of this event, to include applications right across the spectrum. The agenda touches on the latest technologies for all of the fastest-growing sectors – 5G is again prominent, but we also have presentations on automotive, satcomms and the IoT, so we hope that there will be something here to interest everyone. (Download pdf)
  • Konstantinos MimisSony Europe-SES
    5G mmWave UE requirements and implementation options
  • This talk reviewed the latest specifications and requirements based on 3GPP status and discussed the range of proposed implementation options. (Contact Interlligent for information on presentation slides or video of presentation: info@interlligent.co.uk)

The 3GPP NB-IoT standard was presented. The narrow band nature of this standard gives several opportunities to design a highly integrated and power efficient solution. The RF challenges that arise from the integration of a power amplifier on chip were discussed. The presentation also described how these challenges could be addressed. (Contact Interlligent for information on presentation slides or video of presentation: info@interlligent.co.uk)

  • Eric Leclerc ,UMS
    Packaged mm-wave GaN, GaAs and Si ICs for 5G and automotive radar

The global trend of heterogeneous integration is clearly emerging in RF and millimeter wave solutions in very different domains of applications. Continuous trend for integration requires at a certain level the use of different technologies like GaN, GaAs or Si based for many reasons: multi-functionality, optimized performance, low cost packaging, time to market, volume flexibility. This presentation presented some examples of such multi-technology integration in high volume domains such as radar sensors used in automotive or other applications, 5G FE solutions for 24 to 30 GHz bands integrating LNA and PA with improved drain efficiency or linearity, or eventually also for defense products at lower frequencies. The different challenges induced by this increasing complexity were also discussed, from the technologies selection and design phases, up to evaluation by customers and test in volume optimization. (Download pdf or watch video of presentation)

  • Liam Devlin, Plextek RFI
    Power amplifier MMICs for mmWave 5G

The roll-out of 5G promises a step change in wireless data-rates; one of the main strategies to facilitate this will be a move to mm-wave frequencies where large bands of contiguous spectrum are available. This presentation described the design, realisation and evaluation of PAs for a number of the key candidate 5G bands: The European 26GHz Pioneer band (24.25 to 27.5GHz), the FCC licensed band at 28GHz (27.5 to 28.35GHz) and the FCC licensed band at 39GHz (38.6 – 40GHz). Details of the selected process, the key design goals, the topology, the design methodology and the packaging technology used were presented together with both simulated and measured performance. All parts were SMT packaged with the performance optimised for the packaged PA assembled onto a representative PCB. (Download pdf or watch video of presentation)

  • Dominic FitzPatrickPoweRFul Microwave
    Understanding GaN device trade-offs through advanced load pull simulations

This paper looked at how the key device performance characteristics could be evaluated at the start of a project through source, fundamental and harmonic load pull, to determine the optimum device choice and amplifier topology (Download pdf or watch video of presentation)

Very high capacity telecommunications satellites (vHTS) need to use relatively broad bandwidth microwave technology payloads. This presentation provided an overview of the challenges associated with producing communication payload products for today’s Satellite Communications markets to meet the required performance and price. The presentation addressed design and implementation aspects of the Microwave Technologies for large Geostationary Platforms down to Smaller Sized Medium and Low Earth Orbit Satellite constellations. (Download pdf)

  • Moche CohenSatixfy UK Ltd
    Integrated solutions for SatCom on the Move ( and 5G )

The recent advances in IC and PCB design technologies have enabled embracing cellular and connectivity technologies and techniques into SatCom solutions. Efficient solutions, in terms of power and cost, require a holistic approach to designing a terminal.
Satixfy is designing a terminal for COM, adapting a vertical approach while addressing the engineering challenges. By bringing both chip design as well as system design capability under one roof, the technical implementation decisions can be truly optimized.
This presentation addressed some of the challenges and proposed design approaches, like system partitioning, feasibility as a tool for identifying and reducing risk, and the use of modern simulation tools to deliver a more deterministic and high-quality end performance.
A typical terminal will require the integration of many different technologies and disciplines. To name a few: System, Algorithms, Software, real time Firmware, Mechanics, PCB , Electromagnetic , Antenna design.  By embracing integrated silicon technologies for the core functionalities, in conjunction with modern simulation tools, the development cycle can be made very efficient, modular and re-usable across multiple frequency bands and terminal types.
Starting from the architecture definition, all the way through commercial field trials, a holistic view and understanding of the product allows good decision making and sound engineering, ultimately resulting into a competitive product. (Contact Interlligent for information on presentation slides or video of presentation: info@interlligent.co.uk)

The role of an RF & Microwave Design Engineer has always been challenging, quite often needing to perform near miracles to ensure connectivity and performance is achieved. Typically, projects need to be completed within challenging deadlines, quite often without too much say in the aesthetics, but taking into account manufacturing challenges. The pace of technology is now dictating faster design times, with ever increasingly complex scenarios and therefore companies are needing to adapt. This talk looked at some of the additional RF & microwave design considerations posed in the Automotive and Hi-Tech industry including a suggested workflow for an Antenna Engineer, and how the RF & Microwave workload is changing in light of an Industrial Renaissance. (Download pdf or watch video of presentation)

The seminar included a table top display area hosting companies from the RF and microwave industry: CSA Catapult; Filtronic; .Intelliconnect; Phase2 Microwave; Aspen Electronics; RN Electronics; Benetel;  Dassault Systemes; Albatron Science; Keysight Technologies; Arralis

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