How’s the Industry?
Check Out the Applications
Looking for a simple projection about the health of RF and microwave industry in the coming year? It doesn’t take a crystal ball or massive amounts of research, but simply a tally of the various RF and microwave-centric activities that are in development or being deployed. There’s a lot more going on than “4G”, “LTE”, and the rest of the hoopla surrounding the next generation of wireless personal communications. Unfortunately, it gets drowned out by the one RF and microwave-driven technology people can relate to, even though there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of other applications that if not as sexy are no less viable.
For example, RF and microwave technology is the foundation for RFID, adaptive automotive cruise control, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, radio and television broadcasting (including Mobile DTV and electronic news gathering, ENG), land mobile radio and various other flavors of public- safety oriented communications, medical devices (including magnetic resonance imaging, patient telemetry, implanted medical devices, cardiac ablation, and global availability of patent records, etc.), avionics, airport/aircraft and weather radar, air traffic control, and satellite communications. And that’s far from all of them and represents only the commercial part of the market.
None of these commercial markets are in decline, and some are growing nicely and expected to continue to. Defense RF and microwave applications are broad and deep and regardless of the outcome of the federal budget, not likely to be savagely dismembered. Put them together with new wireless deployments (including WiMAX, white spaces, and even millimeter-wave applications), and there’s your research report. The headline might be “Microwave industry growth projected to continue”.
Answers to last month's Sports Trivia Questions
1. What Native American language was Super Bowl XXX the first to be broadcast in? Navajo
2. What disorder did Muhammad Ali develop after years of catching blows? Parkinson's syndrome
3. What are the only three European countries to have won soccer's World Cup? England, Italy, West Germany
4. What position must college footballers play to receive the Davey O'Brien Award? Quarterback
Sports Trivia Questions!
1. What sport did Herve Filion top with a record of 14,084 wins?
2. What team hired the NFL's first professional cheerleading squad, in 1972?
3. What diet drink was hyped by Coca-Cola for having only only calorie, in 1963?
4. What country fielded 1996 Olympic women's teams that won gold in basketball, soccer and softball?
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THE PIM PREDICAMENT
Passive intermodulation distortion (PIM) is the type of technical problem that gives the RF and microwave industry its unique character. It can be generated by bolts and assorted other metallic objects that corrode or rust and act like diodes, spewing spurious signals -- thus it’s moniker as “the rusty bolt effect” and even a Wikipedia entry. It can also be caused by tiny scratches and other discontinuities on or in passive components or even the mating of dissimilar metals or the metals themselves. How many other technologies have such colorful technical problems?
Unfortunately, PIM is also turning out to be one of the biggest problems facing base station manufacturers as they attempt to meet the stringent requirements imposed by dense channel spacing and higher-order modulation schemes. Adjacent-channel interference caused by PIM products falling into receive bands is a major problem not just in the 700 MHz band being used for LTE “4G” but in other bands as well. Mitigating it requires the use of metals that do not generate significant amounts of PIM, greater attention to the way passive components are installed and later handled at the cell site, and fabrication steps by passive component manufacturers that have never before given PIM as much thought.
Anatech Electronics has been aware of the increasing “PIM problem” for years and has filters and other products specifically designed to meet the most challenging requirements for PIM reduction. For more information about our cavity bandpass filters, duplexers, and other products tailored for these applications, please call us at (973) 772-4242 or send us an e-mail at
Shrinking the Base Station
Recent announcements from two of the world’s major wireless infrastructure players are very intriguing:
• Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio architecture divides base station functions into their logical elements and then distributes them into both the antenna and throughout a “cloud-like” network. The company’s also has a way to combine all antennas for 2G, 3G, and LTE systems into a single multi-frequency, multi-standard wideband active-array that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection. The company thinks it can reduce a carrier’s total cost of ownership and energy consumption by up to 50% compared to current networks.
• Ericsson’s antenna-integrated radio (AIR) combines the radio unit and antenna to decrease power consumption and shrink base station size and thus more likely to be considered less intrusive into their installed environments and more likely to be approved by zoning boards, for example. Ericsson says the solution can be also installed in traditional cell sites up to 30% faster and simplified cooling and reduced feeder loss can reduce power consumption by up to 42%.
NEW FILTER CALCULATOR!
It can be infuriating to find the answer to common conversion problems, even though some are available on the Web. For that reason, we have just added an updated Technical Reference Workbook to both our custom solutions site, anatechelectronics.com, and our Web store, AMRrf.com.
Here are some of the functions this handy tool performs:
• Shows lowpass, bandpass, and highpass filter responses, graphically and numerically, with changes in values
• Converts VSWR to return loss and vice versa
• Calculates values for directional couplers given several parameters
• Given a single value, supplies values for resistive attenuators
• Calculates mixer conversion
• Converts noise figure to noise temperature and vice versa
There’s a lot more here too, so just click here and check it out!
If you have any questions regarding our products, or comments on our newsletter, please email us at:
IEEE 802.11ac is Coming
IEEE 802.11ac is a new Wi-Fi standard developed to provide speeds of 1 Gb/s, and research organization In-Stat forecasts that shipments of 802.11ac-enabled devices will rise from nothing today to nearly 1 billion by 2015. The goal of 802.11ac is to provide data speeds much faster than 802.11n with the first products available by the end of 2012.
InStat also projects that shipments of mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi are projected to approach 800 million by 2015, that all mobile hotspot shipments will be 802.11ac-enabled by then, E-reader Wi-Fi attach rates will increase from 3% in 2009 to 90% by 2015, and in 2012 Wi-Fi automotive shipments will reach nearly 20 million. The information is part of an InStat report entitled “Wireless LAN Market Estimates and Forecast by Device and by Technology 2009–2015 (#IN1105001WS), which covers the worldwide market for WLAN by device and technology.
Weatherized 902 to 923 MHz Cavity Bandpass Filter
The AB912B485 is a cavity bandpass filter with a passband of 902 to 923 MHz, insertion loss in the passband of 1.5 dB, out-of-band rejection of 45 dB from 850 to 894 MHz and 931 to 950 MHz, and measures 80 x 140 x 53 mm. It has passband ripple of less than 0.2 dB, return loss greater than 16 dB, and is weatherized for use in outdoor applications.
1850 to 1910 MHz/1930 to 1990 MHz Cavity Duplexer
The AD1880-1960D274 cavity duplexer has a first passband of 1850 to 1910 MHz and second passband of 1930 to 1990 MHz. Insertion loss in both passbands is 0.6 dB, and isolation between the two passbands is at least 40 dB. The duplexer has passband ripple of 0.5 dB, return loss greater than 15 dB, an operating temperature range of -40 to +85 C, and measures 7.10 x 3.25 x 2.40 in.
5.8 GHz Bandstop (Notch) Filter
The AS5800N322 bandstop filter has a notch center frequency of 5.8 GHz, notch bandwidth of 60 MHz, rejection at the notch bandwidth of at least 40 dB, low-side passband of 3 to 5 GHz, and high-side passband of 6 to 7 GHz. It measures 55 x 55 x 25 mm and uses SMA female connectors.
2 to 18 GHz Directional Coupler
The AM10000DC862 is a directional coupler that operates from 2 to 18 GHz with 30 dB of coupling, directivity of at least 10 dB, insertion loss of 0.5 dB, coupling flatness of 1.4 dB, maximum VSW R of 1.5:1 and handles 400 W average and 3 kW peak power. It measures 4 x 1.2 x 0.93 in. and uses TNC (male or female) and Type-N female connectors.
All four products are available on our Web store, AMCrf.com range of 10 kHz to 30 GHz and include cavity, ceramic, crystal, LC, and surface acoustic wave (SAW), as well as power combiners/dividers, duplexers and diplexers, directional couplers, terminations, attenuators, circulators, EMI filters, and lightning arrestors. The company’s custom products and capabilities are available tat www.anatechelectronics.com and standard products are available for purchase at the Anatech Electronics Web store, AMCrf.com.