Sensor-to-cloud platform accelerates IoT applications

2016-11-29T16:26:22-04:00May 17th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Farnell element14 and Sierra Wireless have jointly launched the mangOH Green Open Hardware IoT Platform and the mangOH kit, allowing developers to test and prototype their IoT ideas to market within weeks.

The sensor-to-cloud platform provides an all-in-one hardware, software and cloud-based solution for industrial IoT applications. At the heart of the board are two industrial-grade CF3 connectors to enable the use of either an AirPrime HL Series module or an AirPrime WP Series applications processor module from Sierra Wireless. The AirPrime WP Series cellular modem provides the device-to-cloud architecture enabling IoT developers to build a Linux-based product on a single module. The battery-powered board integrates an ARM-based application processor with cellular modem and GPS, and an Arduino and IoT connector to add wireless, wired, and sensor technologies. It runs on the Legato open source Linux platform with robust connectivity APIs for accessing cloud and mobile network services and is pre-integrated with the IoT Acceleration Platform from Sierra Wireless.

The mangOH Green IoT Platform is also compatible with other open source initiatives to allow for easy and fast prototyping; including NXP thread module, Linear Technology Dust Networks and Texas Instruments ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module.

The mangOH kit contains a mangOH Green Base board, as well as a WP8548 module with Cortex A5 application processor, GNSS receiver and 3G modem, socket cover and release tool, two Breakout Board IoT Connectors, a power supply unit, antennas and USB cable.

Sierra Wireless is running a one hour webinar entitled ‘Using open source technologies to rapidly build secure IoT devices’ on 24th May 2016 at 5pm GMT.  The event is sponsored by element14.  To register please use the following link:

Visit Farnell element14 at

Microwave Development Laboratories to show waveguides at MTT-S 2016

2016-11-29T16:26:22-04:00May 16th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Microwave Development Laboratories, Inc., will showcase a sampling of its extensive expertise and product lines based on high-performance waveguide technology at the upcoming 2016 IEEE International Microwave Symposium – offering details and advice on the use of its comprehensive waveguide-based product lines, and how to match different sizes of waveguide products to different frequency bands and applications.

Products on display will include waveguide bends and twists, waveguide-to-coax adapters, power dividers, phase shifters, rotary joints, variable attenuators, and rotary switches. For applications requiring higher frequencies and higher power-handling capabilities, waveguide is still a preferred format over various other component formats, including surface-mount and coaxial components.

Rotary joints based on rigid waveguide can provide high-performance and dependable connections in many commercial and military RF/microwave systems. As long-time, highly experienced developers of waveguide and coaxial rotary joints, MDL can provide standard models of both waveguide and coaxial rotary joints, and provide guidance on performance differences in between the two types in terms of insertion loss, VSWR and power-handling capabilities.

In addition, the company will demonstrate its handy online tools, including their new Reflectometer Calculator, Rigid Waveguide Sliderule app and Rigid Waveguide Tool. These free-of-charge, downloadable programs help simplify and speed the process of finding the right performance for a particular size waveguide or waveguide component. Also online are a CAD database for MDL Cast 90 degree Bends and the company’s full product catalog.

Silicon switch cuts size and power in cellular radio front ends

2016-11-29T16:26:24-04:00May 16th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

A high power single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) silicon switch from Analog Devices, Inc., (ADI) enables designers to reduce hardware size and bias power consumption in cellular radio systems, while handling 44-W peak power.

Addressing the next generation of communications infrastructure trends toward higher data capacity, the switch enables cellular radio front ends to scale down in size and provide faster speeds to meet the demands of increased data usage. The ADRF5130 meets these requirements through a high level of integration that eliminates the need for external components. The switch also reduces power consumption to more efficient levels by operating on a single low-voltage supply with extremely low current consumption compared to existing pin-diode-based products. The ADRF5130 is manufactured using silicon technology, and is housed in a small 4 mm × 4 mm LFCSP SMT package.

The ADRF5130 is specified at 0.7-GHz to 3.5-GHz frequency band with typical 0.6-dB insertion-loss, high isolation of 50 dB, high linearity of +68 dBm and peak power handling of 44-W during continuous operation mode. The device features robust 2000-V electro-static-discharge (ESD) protection on all device pins. It also incorporates a fast CMOS-compatible control interface with switching time less than 1 μs. Additionally, a symmetrical circuit architecture allows the RF inputs to be used interchangeably in high power applications.

First wireless satellite ditches cables

2016-11-29T16:26:24-04:00May 16th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Professor Sergio Montenegro and his fellow researcher Tobias Mikschl from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany have developed technology for the first wireless satellite, designated Skith.

Previously, all single components of a satellite had to be interconnected using electric cables. Skith has changed that by using miniaturised high-speed real-time radio modules with short ranges. This reduces design effort and costs while boosting the satellite’s technical reliability and flexibility. Skith stands for “skip the harness”.

For this achievement, the researchers were the overall winners of the recent INNOspace Masters competition as well as winners of the category “DLR Space Administration Challenge”. DLR is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany.

“The system is ready and waiting in our labs to be tested in space under real conditions,” says Mikschl. In 2018 already, Skith could hitch a ride on a satellite to be launched into space, allowing the system to prove how well it functions under real conditions.

JMU Professor Sergio Montenegro (centre) and Tobias Mikschl with Wolfgang Scheremet from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs (right) and Gerd Gruppe and Franziska Zeitler, both from the DLR Space Administration. Image courtesy of DLR / Simone Leuschner.

The DLR has organised the competition for the first time. Under the motto “Satellite 4.0”, participants were invited to submit suggestions and concepts for the future of aeronautics. Fifty companies, universities and research institutions from eight European countries participated.

The competition is organised by DLR Space Administration on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The competition is part of the INNOspace initiative that has promoted innovations and technology transfers between astronautics and other industry sectors since 2013.

Prototype dual screen smartwatch

2016-11-29T16:26:25-04:00May 16th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

At the recent CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, a Dartmouth researcher and his collaborators have unveiled a prototype of a smartwatch with dual touchscreens called Doppio.

To create a larger screen space, Doppio is a reconfigurable smartwatch with two touch-sensitive display faces, one of which detaches from the wrist-bound screen and can be stuck above or to the side.

“The orientation of the top relative to the base and how the top is attached to the base create a very large interaction space,” says Xing-Dong Yang, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth.

In their presentation, the researchers discussed possible configurations, transitions and manipulations in this space. Using a passive prototype, they conducted an exploratory study to probe how people might use this style of smartwatch interaction. And with an instrumented prototype, they conducted a controlled experiment to evaluate the transition times between configurations and subjective preferences. They used the combined results of these two studies to generate a set of characteristics and design considerations for applying this interaction space to smartwatch applications.

“Our proof-of-concept hardware prototype demonstrates how Doppio interactions can be used for notifications, private viewing, task switching, temporary information access, application launching, application modes, input and sharing the top,” Yang says.

Metrigraphics shows advanced flexible circuits at IMS 2016

2016-11-29T16:26:25-04:00May 15th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Metrigraphics will show its latest micron-scale flexible circuits and thin film devices at IMS 2016 in San Francisco.

Micron-scale flexible circuits can be achieved with six or more layers high with traces (circuit lines) as narrow as 3 microns (11.81 x 10-5 inches). Circuits are flexible and thin enough to wrap around objects with diameters as small as a pencil.

Typical microcircuit applications include mobile antennas and high performance bio sensors and electrodes. Any combination of coils, resistors, inductors, conductors, and bridges can be achieved.  

To manufacture flexible circuits with such high-trace resolution, Metrigraphics employs a mix of proprietary and industry-standard processes. These include high-resolution photolithography as well as sputtered thin-film and plated metal deposition. Multilayer flexible circuits are constructed of several independently stacked, aligned and interconnected layers composed of very thin sputtered metal or thicker-plated metal, such as gold or copper, on polyimide substrates. Plated conductive vias connect the different layers as required. Metrigraphics offers via sizes down to a 25-micron diameter.

Air cavity packaged RF transistors boost performance and cut costs

2016-11-29T16:26:27-04:00May 13th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Ampleon has announced a package platform that will be rolled out across the entire LDMOS and GaN product portfolio. Over a dozen variants of the SOT502 and SOT539 platforms are in development.

The ACP3, a copper flanged air cavity package will initially be available for GEN9 and GEN10 high power RF transistors. The first products to use the ACP3 package are the BLC9G20XS-400AVT, BLC9G20XS-550AVT and the BLC9G22XS-400AVT devices, which are now in production. Several more products covering different power levels and frequency bands are currently sampling.

Offering double-digit cost savings compared to previous packaging platforms and a 25 percent typical lower thermal resistance, the ACP3 format enables higher power capability along with improved reliability, gain and efficiency characteristics. It makes possible, for example, a single-transistor Doherty of up to 80 W average (at the antenna).

Key applications for ACP3 devices include use in power amplifiers for LTE radio access networks where the commercial pressures of cost, size and power consumption are paramount, as is the need to increase data rates and quality of service.

Getting serial devices ready for the Industrial IoT

2016-11-29T16:26:42-04:00May 13th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Moxas serial device servers, Ethernet gateways, and modern network management software enable engineers to prepare the dinosaurs of automation, serial devices, for the IIoT.

As a trusted serial partner, Moxa offers serial product availability until 2025, along with continuous driver and OS support for the industry.

The Internet of Things (IoT) enables data visibility from afar. In other words, connecting all of your “Things” to the Internet allows you to monitor, analyze, and act on data collected from many different devices — wherever the devices are located. However, before you can embrace the opportunities the Industrial IoT has to offer, you first need to identify a reliable solution for connecting your existing legacy serial devices to a network. Connecting serial devices to an Ethernet network is easier than ever with Moxa’s NPort brand of serial-to-Ethernet device servers. So – what has already been there for years, now also proves to be absolutely future-proof and supports important functions, such as preventive maintenance.
Moxa’s NPort serial device servers and MGate industrial Ethernet gateways feature the MXview industrial network management software and the MXview ToGo mobile app, which allows mobile phone access to network status to free up manpower from the control center. With MXview and MXview ToGo, users are able to reduce the decision-making time and optimize operational efficiency and productivity by monitoring serial device networks in real time – anytime, anywhere. Network administrators receive event notification pushed directly to their mobile phones, allowing them to instantly check the health of the network from their phone, including whether the network is operating normally, warnings have been issued, or a critical situation requires immediate attention.

Rogers to showcase high performance circuit materials at IMS2016

2016-11-29T16:26:42-04:00May 13th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Rogers Corporation will be showcasing their high frequency circuit materials at the 2016 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in San Francisco, CA with an emphasis on the path to the next generation network technology, 5G.

Rogers offers a variety of material options that are specifically engineered to help manage the thermal challenges that today’s RF engineers face. From PTFE based RT/duroid® 6035HTC, TC350™, and TC600™ laminates to thermoset materials 92ML™ laminates and 92ML StaCool™ laminates, Rogers provides a large toolbox that offers many viable options.

RT/duroid 6035HTC laminates offer the highest performance available with a thermal conductivity of 1.44 W/mK in combination with a super low loss of 0.0013 at 10 GHz. TC350 and TC600 laminates offer an excellent combination of thermal conductivity (1.0-1.1 W/mK), low loss (0.0020 at 10 GHz), and cost effectiveness.

The 92ML Series™ materials offer extreme thermal management in a lower cost modified epoxy based thermoset system with a high thermal conductivity (2.0 W/mK), high Tg (160°C), and halogen free flame retardancy. The 92ML StaCool laminates are an Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS) version of the 92ML series laminate to enable the highest heat dissipation configuration available.

Rogers also offers COOLSPAN® TECA adhesive as an option for designers to use when bonding heat sinks to board materials. COOLSPAN TECA modified epoxy assembly adhesive has a thermal conductivity of 6 W/mK in a lead free capable, thermally stable system.

RO4835™ laminates, with a dielectric loss tangent of 0.0037 at 10 GHz, are now available with Rogers proprietary LoPro® reverse treat copper foil. These materials are ideal for applications requiring low insertion loss characteristics. LoPro foil provides reduced electrical variability due to its smoother copper surface, maintaining consistent performance for reliable broadband signal delivery from Digital through RF and microwave frequencies. In addition, RO4835 laminates provide ten times improved oxidation resistance compared to RO4350B™ laminates.

Further, as part of the MicroApps Session, John Coonrod, Technical Marketing Manager at Rogers, will lead two presentations on the proper selection of circuit materials for microwave frequencies and beyond.

The first presentation, “High Frequency Circuits Which Bend and Flex” will cover incorporating flexible circuit materials into next generation RF/microwave. The second presentation, “Circuit Material Selection for Millimeter-Wave Applications” targets attendees interested in serving the growing demand for millimeter-wave circuits in such applications as automotive safety systems and Fifth Generation (5G) wireless systems.

As a founding member of the RF Energy Alliance, Rogers Corporation joined with a group of like-minded companies dedicated to realizing solid-state RF energy’s true potential as a clean, highly efficient and controllable heat and power source. Learn how The Alliance aims to reduce system cost and increase market adoption and growth through standardization of solid-state RF energy components, modules and application interfaces. Dr. Klaus Werner, Executive Director of RF Energy Alliance, will be available at the Rogers booth on Wednesday, May 25th, at 1PM to discuss this technology.

Richardson RFPD to demo live DFE and SDR systems at IMS2016

2016-11-29T16:26:42-04:00May 13th, 2016|Microwave Engineering Europe|

Richardson RFPD has collaborated with Analog Devices (ADI) and New Edge Signal Solutions to develop digital front-end (DFE) radio solutions, including new wideband (6 to 24 GHz) SiGe up/down converters (ADRF6780, ADRF6880) and transceivers.

The ADRF6780 and ADRF6880 enable simpler system architecture, especially for customers seeking to cover multiple bands from 6 to 24 GHz, by replacing narrow-band devices, using fewer components, offering higher system reliability, and using less board space.
The reference platform combines baseband processing with RF circuitry to realize a digital microwave radio that enables a wide variety of applications covering 6 to 24 GHz. The initial system demonstrates an ADI agile RF transceiver in image rejection mode to up-convert the transceiver output to 6 to 9 GHz, while an FPGA board generates digital I/Q and waveforms.
These SiGe up/down converters and transceivers will be demonstrated at IMS2016, along with:

  • A new wideband (1.8 to 2.7 GHz) Software Defined Radio (SDR) microcell featuring an envelope tracking RF power amplifier. The digital radio demonstrates the AD9361 RF transceiver with a 7 W, wideband GaN on SiC RF power amplifier. High linearity and efficiency is achieved through the use of envelope tracking (ET), while signal generation and control of the ET modulator are handled by the field-programmable gate array FPGA.
  • A 5 W Doherty small cell 700 MHz evaluation board  featuring wideband LDMOS ICs from NXP and universal duplexers from CTS.