RF & Microwave Electronics

Six Axes of Calibration

In a system or on a lab bench, proper instrument calibration reduces the chances of false test results. Not all calibrations are equal, and six key factors affect quality, usefulness and cost. In Six Axes of Calibration, we highlight the importance and value of each factor. Download application note.

Posted in: White Papers, RF & Microwave Electronics, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement
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Low Cost Doesn't Have to be Low Quality

Keysight's new InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series oscilloscopes feature 50- to 100-MHz models with up to 6-in-1 instrument integration and industry-leading software analysis. They have the unbelievably low starting price of $449* and deliver professional-level functionality you'd expect from oscilloscopes 3x's the cost.

Posted in: White Papers, RF & Microwave Electronics, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement
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Radar Signal Generation with a High-Performance AWG

Radar ensures the safety and security of the skies, and lives depend on it. That’s why radar design measurements call for high frequency, realistic stimulus signals. You need to create these complex radar test signals at high frequencies, but what’s the best solution?

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Remote Tuner Architecture Reduces Wiring Weight and Cost While Improving Noise Immunity

Wiring four antennas to the radio head unit in a traditional radio architecture requires up to 60 feet of copper cables. A new architecture detaches the tuners from the radio head unit, placing them near the antennas and serializing their outputs. This reduces the length of the wiring by roughly a factor of four. The overall effect is significantly lower weight and cost, improved noise immunity, reduced heat generation, and less complexity in the radio head unit.

Posted in: White Papers, Automotive, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Conductive Coatings Protect Circuitry from EM/RF and ESD

With the trend toward smaller and smaller electronic devices, unintentional EMI/RFI interference has become more of an issue. Shielding of these interferences is critical and coatings can be successfully applied as protection on the materials used. In this paper, the different sources of interference are explored, as well as how coatings can play a critical role in protecting these sensitive components and boards.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Tiny Graphene Radios May Lead to Internet of Nano-Things

This image shows graphene-based nanoantennas (blue and red dots) on a chip. (Credit: University at Buffalo)

For wireless communication, we’re all stuck on the same traffic-clogged highway — it’s a section of the electromagnetic spectrum known as radio waves. Advancements have made the highway more efficient, but bandwidth issues persist as wireless devices proliferate and the demand for data grows. The solution may be a nearby, mostly untapped area of the electromagnetic spectrum known as the terahertz band.

Posted in: News, RF & Microwave Electronics
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dB or not dB? Everything you ever wanted to know about decibels but were afraid to ask...

True or false: 30 dBm + 30 dBm = 60 dBm? Why does 1% work out to be -40 dB one time but then 0.1 dB or 0.05 dB the next time? These questions sometimes leave even experienced engineers scratching their heads. Decibels are found everywhere, including power levels, voltages, reflection coefficients, noise figures, field strengths and more. What is a decibel and how should we use it in our calculations? This Application Note is intended as a refresher on the subject of decibels.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Chalcogenide Nanoionic-Based Radio Frequency Switch

The electrochemical switch is non-volatile, lacks moving parts that can fail, and is easy to fabricate.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed nanoionic-based radio frequency (RF) switches for use in devices that rely on low-power RF transmissions, such as automotive systems, RFID technology, and smartphones. These groundbreaking nanoionic switches operate at speeds of semiconductor switches, and are more reliable than microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches while retaining the superior RF performance and low power consumption found in MEMS, all without the need for higher electrical voltages. In this new process, metals are photo-dissolved into a chalcogenide glass and packaged with electrodes and a substrate to form a switch. Since the nanoionic-based switch is electrochemical in nature, it has certain advantages over switches that are mechanically based, including nonvolatility, lack of moving parts that can fail, ease and efficiency of activation, and ease of fabrication. This innovative device has the potential to replace MEMS and semiconductors in a wide range of switching systems, including rectifying antennas (rectennas) and other RF antenna arrays.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics, Radio equipment, Switches, Radio-frequency identification, Nanotechnology
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Frequency Synthesizer

The THOR-16000-XA multi-output frequency synthesizer from EM Research, Reno, NV, features a single 800-MHz and dual 16-GHz RF outputs. The unit locks to an external 50-MHz reference and exhibits low phase noise at both RF output frequencies. At 100-KHz offset, phase noise is ≤118 dBc/Hz @ 800 MHz and ≤94 dBc/Hz @ 16 GHz. All three outputs have output power of +10 dBm, harmonics ≤30 dBc, spurs ≤70 dBc, and draw 570 mA current while supplied to +5V.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Antenna Basics

The antenna is the most intrinsic component of all RF systems, yet the principles of antenna design and wave propagation are rarely discussed outside the entry level engineering classes. Rohde & Schwarz has developed an educational white paper on Antenna Basics to reteach the basic principles in a simplified manner.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics
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