AWR's Unique Program Lets Graduate-Level Students
Design, Fabricate, and Test MMICs
Article describes unique partnership between University of Colorado, AWR, and
for preparing students to face the real-world of M&RF design
President of Marketing
February 24, 2009 -- THE STORY: Most graduate-level engineering students studying
microwave theory are fortunate to virtually design and fabricate hybrid microwave circuits, but few get the chance
to not only design MMICs but transfer their designs to a foundry, obtain working devices, and evaluate their
actual performance against simulated results as well.
Thanks to an innovative program between the University of
Colorado at Boulder, AWR, and TriQuint Semiconductor, this has become a reality for students in the computer-aided
active microwave circuit design course taught by Prof. Zoya Popovic.
Prof. Popovic is the Hudson Moore Jr.
chairperson in the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado at
Boulder. She tasked students to design a MMIC in support of their respective thesis research projects, which are
funded by government agencies and private industry.
Each MMIC was designed using AWR's Microwave Ofﬁce(R)
software and veriﬁed for manufacturability using the ICED feature in Microwave Ofﬁce 2008. AWR's process design
kit (PDK) for TriQuint's TQPED 0.5-µm E/D pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (pHEMT) process was then
employed to easily transfer the design to fabrication.
TriQuint provided the University of Colorado with
one quarter of a gallium arsenide (GaAs) wafer, and the devices were fabricated in roughly a month's time. The
students then characterized them with a probe station, and in some cases packaged them for full testing.
Dr. Popovic now looks to the next course -- and a new and larger crop of 23 graduate students.
complete story about the innovative collaboration between Dr. Popavic, AWR, and TriQuint is available at
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