In This Issue - Rogers Corp

In This Issue - Rogers Corp

NT ME PLE S UP R L S IFIE CIA PL SPE AM 21st ANNIVERSARY RF TO LIGHT OCTOBER 2010 Ultra-Wideband Wilkinson Power Dividers UHF Diplexer Model 7CZS...

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Ultra-Wideband Wilkinson Power Dividers UHF Diplexer Model 7CZSP-397.5/442.5 is a UHF diplexer that has been qualified for space applications. The diplexer has been designed to minimize size and weight while maintaining a maximum 2 dB insertion loss in the TX and RX channels. The TX path has been tested for 60W of power handling in a space-level vacuum and at critical altitude in a Mars gas atmosphere. To support the low sensitivity receiver, the RX channel maintains over 100 dB of TX isolation. WWW.MPDIGEST.COM ➤ 1

Now available are ultra-wideband Wilkinson power dividers with exceptional bandwidth of up to 65:1. These in-phase power dividers provide outstanding isolation, amplitude and phase balance. Six new models are offered with frequencies ranging from 0.4 to 65 GHz. Available in SMA, 2.4 mm or 2.92 mm connector configurations. WWW.MPDIGEST.COM ➤ 2 MARKI MICROWAVE


In This Issue Wideband Low Noise Amplifiers for 3.3 Volt Operation by RFMD® High-Performance, High-Voltage Phase-Locked Loops by Analog Devices RF Application Trends in the Next Decade by Skyworks Solutions, Inc. Defining a New Methodology for Radar System Design by Agilent Technologies, EEsof EDA Miniaturize Microwave Power Amplifiers by Means of PCB Materials Selection by Rogers Corporation Microwave Transmitters Rise to Radar Systems’ High-Power Challenge by dB Control A New Concept in Frequency Synthesis by Vitaly Koslov Hittite’s New High Speed Digital Logic Family Supports 45 Gbps by Hittite Microwave In My Opinion

7 10 26

New 2-Way Combiner 31 32 36 44 58 3

Volume 39, Issue 10

Model D8682 is a high power combiner designed specifically for multi-octave, commercial and military solid state amplifier applications. This model is only one of several by the company available with full 20 to 1000 MHz bandwidth, at power levels ranging from 25 to 500W CW. Model D8682 measures 5.2 x 2.7 x 1.8", with an insertion loss of 0.6 dB (max.), VSWR of 1.35:1 and port-to-port isolation of 15 dB. WWW.MPDIGEST.COM ➤ 3 WERLATONE


PAGE 32 • OCTOBER 2010

Miniaturize Microwave Power Amplifiers by Means of PCB Materials Selection by John Coonrod, Rogers Corporation


ower amplifier specifiers continue to seek units with higher power levels in smaller packages for commercial, industrial, military, and even medical applications. Although the selection of power transistors and their matching networks is critical to the ultimate performance possible with a given amplifier design,


the printed-circuit-board (PCB) material also plays a key role in determining the overall performance and even the size of the amplifier. The dimensions of the transmission lines in a high frequency amplifier circuit are directly related to the wavelengths of the frequencies for which the amplifier is intended. As the frequen-

cies increase, the wavelengths of those frequencies decrease, along with the dimensions of the transmission lines and other circuit structures on an amplifier PCB. A critical design step in any high frequency amplifier is determining the impedances necessary to transform the typically low impedance of an RF/microwave transistor to

the characteristic impedance of the system in which the amplifier will be used, typically 50 or 75 Ω. The necessary matching impedances can be found by using a Smith Chart and scattering-parameter (S-parameter) values or performing simulation and calculations with a computer-aided-design (CAD) program. In addition to wavelength, the dielectric constant of the PCB material can also determine the size of an amplifier’s transmission lines and circuitry. Air, for example, has a dielectric constant of 1; practical PCB substrate materials have higher values. Materials with extremely low loss, such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), have values as low as 2.2. By using PCB materials with higher values, however, it is possible to design amplifier circuits for a given frequency range that are proportionally smaller than similar circuits designed on a lowerdielectric-constant material. Although using a PCB substrate material with higher dielectric constant can reduce the size of high frequency circuit features, conductor widths must also be made narrower with a higher-dielectric-constant material to maintain desired impedance values. These shorter and narrower circuit dimensions can present challenges for some circuit fabrication processes. Fabricating circuits with finer features requires precise control of circuit-feature definition as well as excellent dimensional stability of the PCB substrate during the circuit fabrication process. In addition, as amplifier circuits are miniaturized, and power transistors more closely spaced, sound thermalmanagement practices must be followed to ensure the reliability of these more compact amplifier designs. A variety of different dielectric substrate materials have been used for high frequency ampliRogers, Con’t on pg 46

PAGE 46 • OCTOBER 2010 Rogers, Con’t from pg 32 fier circuits, from low-cost FR-4 materials to higher-cost, higherperformance PTFE-based PCB substrates. One material that has delivered proven performance in a wide range of microwave power amplifier designs is RO4350B™ laminate from Rogers Corporation (www. The low-loss copper-clad thermoset material exhibits a dielectric constant of 3.48, with low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) for good dimensional stability with

FEATURE ARTICLE temperature. Because it is not based on PTFE, it can be processed with the simple, low cost methods used for FR-4 substrates. A PTFE laminate, with its lower dielectric constant (typically 2.2) and lower dissipation factor (loss) than RO4350B material, can ensure maximum gain from an amplifier with minimal generation of heat. But PTFE materials are also more expensive than RO4350B laminates, with a higher cost of circuit fabrication. To support tighter

cost and loss budget requirements, additional PCB materials were developed to complement RO4350B laminates, using the same non-PTFE dielectric system but with a special copper laminate to minimize conductor losses. With dielectric constants ranging from 3.0 to 3.8, these newer RO4350B LoPro™ laminates feature a low-profile copper foil with low loss and excellent thermal characteristics for use in power amplifiers at microwave frequencies. Figure 1 offers a comparison


Phone (201) 569-5870 [email protected]

Northeast/Midwest Jerry Bleich

Phone (603) 929-1541 [email protected]

Southeast Doug Markhouse

Phone (561) 278-3348 [email protected]

Western Don Harway

Phone (916) 451-8799 [email protected]

Europe Alastair Swift

Phone +44 (0) 1727-765542 [email protected]

You can always count on MPD to bring the goods, especially in December, when we publish our annual “round table” with industry executives, VIEW FROM THE TOP, along with the yearround ready reference, SUCCESS STORIES & BUSINESS PROFILES! Invaluable words of wisdom from our industry’s VIPs make up our VIEW FROM THE TOP feature…informative, sometimes controversial, but always intriguing! Then there’s the standard-sized “13th Issue,” SUCCESS STORIES & BUSINESS PROFILES, a guide to the key companies in the wireless communications arena, including products, company history, contacts, and more! Find out how you can be included in this bounty... Contact your nearest sales representative today! of the RO4350B and RO4350B LoPro PCB materials along with performance curves for low-cost FR-4. All three of these substrates are thermoset materials. The fourth curve is for a PTFEbased material, RO3035™ substrate from Rogers, a ceramicfilled PTFE system that supports ease of circuit fabrication compared to traditional PTFE substrates while maintaining the low-loss advantages of standard PTFE substrates. All four PCB materials have been used in power amplifier designs for a variety of different frequency bands and applications. Designers seeking to miniaturize high frequency circuits have traditionally been limited to PTFE-based laminates when seeking materials with high dielectric constants. PTFE laminates have been available with dielectric constants of 10 and higher, allowing designers to achieve significant reductions in the size of their amplifier circuits. Typically, the PTFE materials used to design reducedform-factor amplifiers have a dielectric constant around 6. Unfortunately, PTFE is a soft material subject to dimensional changes over temperature, a problem that can cause unwanted changes in performance when the substrate materials are used in high power amplifier circuits. Because circuit features shrink when using higher-dielectricconstant PCB materials, the dimensional instabilities of PTFE substrates can pose problems for many high frequency designs, especially amplifiers. The low thermal conductivity of PTFE materials can also place limits on amplifier power levels as circuit size is reduced and heat-generating power transistors are more closely spaced. For designers seeking to miniaturize their amplifier circuits, a practical alternative to highdielectric-constant PTFE PCB materials is RO4360™ laminate recently introduced by Rogers. Its dielectric constant of 6.15 is comparable to that of the PTFE substrates used to design miniature power amplifier circuits. This non-PTFE, Rogers, Con’t on pg 70


PAGE 70 • SEPTEMBER 2010 Rogers, Con’t from pg 46

glass-reinforced thermoset material builds on the legacy of RO4350B laminates, although with increased thermal conductivity for handling higher output-power levels in amplifier circuits. Standard RO4350B materials have thermal conductivity that is considered quite respectable, at 0.62 W/mK. The newer RO4360 laminates improve A STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION (Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) 1. Publication Title: Microwave Product Digest 2. Publication Number: 0007-889 3. Date of Filing: October 2010 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly

5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 12

6. Annual Subscription Price: Controlled circulation publication (NONE)

7. Complete Mailing Address of the Known Office of Publication: 167 South Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

8. Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters of General Business Offices of the Publisher:

385 Sylvan Avenue, Suite 16, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Address of Publisher: Douglas Markhouse,

167 S. Broadway, Hastings-on- Hudson, NY 10706

Editor & Managing Editor: Karen Hoppe & Erin Almaleh, 385 Sylvan Avenue, Suite 16, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632


167 S. Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706, Rosalind & Douglas Markhouse, 167 S.Broadway, Hastings-on- Hudson, NY 10706

11. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities are: None

12. Issue Date for Circulation Data: SEPTEMBER 2010

13.Extent and Nature of Circulation

Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months a. Total Number of Copies (Net Press Run) 28994 b. Paid and/or Request Circulation 1.  Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors None 2. Mail Subscriptions 23172 c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation 23172 d. Free DIstribution by Mail, Carrier or Other Means, Samples, Complimentary, and Other Free Copies 5730 e. Free Distribution Outside the Mail 92 f. Total Free Distribution 5822 g. Total Distribution 28994 h. Copies Not Distributed: 1. Office use, left over unaccounted, spoiled after printing - 2.  Returns from news agents None i. Total 28994 I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. Signed: Douglas Markhouse, Publisher

Actual No.

Copies of

Single Issue Published

Nearest to

Filing Date 32777


29346 29346

3281 150





upon this value by about 22%, with thermal conductivity of 0.80 W/m-K. Since the RO4360 laminate is based on glass-reinforced thermoset dielectric rather than PTFE, its dimensional stability is quite good, and the material is well suited to standard, FR-4-type circuit fabrication processes. How much miniaturization is possible by designing an amplifier with a higher-dielectric-constant PCB material? As an examFigure 1: Microstrip insertion loss of different circuit ple, Figure 2 shows the materials used in power amplifiers difference in fabricating a microstrip edge-coupled filter using a laminate with dielectric constant of 3.48 (top) versus one with a dielectric constant of 6.15 (bottom). For the operating frequency of 2.4 GHz, a size reduction of about 29 percent was achieved with the higher-dielectricconstant material. In selecting a PCB material for a power amplifier, laminates with minimal variations in thickness and dielectric constant generally deliver circuits also Figure 2: The same 2.4-GHz filter was fabricated on capable of minimal deviaa laminate with dielectric constant of 3.48 (top) and tions in expected perfordielectric of 6.15, with the higher-dielectric-material mance. As an example, yielding a considerable saving in physical size. Doherty amplifier configurations have become widely adopted in microwave amplifiers for wire- circuits are based on microstrip technolless communications systems. The Doherty ogy, although some newer designers are amplifier is capable of high efficiency also using stripline. Each technology has with generous gain and output power. To its benefits and limitations in terms of achieve that efficiency, however, the ampli- bandwidth and dispersion, although circuit fier requires quarter-wavelength impedance fabrication approaches differ for the two matching sections between several portions technologies. A microstrip PCB can be fabof the amplifier circuitry. The quarter- ricated as a simple nonplated-through-hole wavelength transformers are formed by (PTH) board, which requires a simple and printed conductors on the PCB. To achieve inexpensive process. Stripline requires a proper phase response, it is essential that multilayer construction in which PTHs are the laminate material chosen for the trans- fabricated to connect different circuit layformer offers tightly controlled thickness ers. Fabrication of stripline circuits is more and dielectric constant. When the multiple complex and costly than that of microstrip impedance matching sections of a high circuits. frequency power amplifier can be tightly Stripline circuits are typically formed controlled, with minimal reflected energy, using laminate and bonding layers of a the amplifier’s efficiency can be optimized. substrate. Since the materials are different, The RO4360 laminates achieve a dielec- a traditional problem has been in constructtric constant tolerance within ±2.4% of ing a homogeneous stripline structure withthe nominal value (6.15), with a thickness out involving complex fabrication processtolerance that is within ±7.5% for a 20-mil- es. Fortunately, along with the release of the thick laminate, to ensure tight control of high-dielectric-constant RO4360 laminate impedance transformation circuits. material, Rogers also recently introduced Many high frequency power amplifier its RO4460 prepreg bonding layer mate-


Figure 3: Measurements of microstrip fabricated on 20-milthick laminate and prepreg materials show extremely low loss with frequency of both materials. The materials are also suitable for multilayer stripline circuits. rial with dielectric constant of 6.15 matched to that of the RO4360 laminate. The prepreg is a thermoset material with electrical and mechanical characteristics that are nearly identical to the RO4360 laminate, allowing the fabrication of homogeneous stripline. In addition, since neither the laminate nor the prepreg contains PTFE, standard, low cost fabrication processes can be used in forming stripline amplifier circuits. Typically, prepregs developed for use with a particular substrate material will exhibit different dielectric properties. But the RO4460 prepregs were engineered to match the dielectric constant and loss characteristics of the RO4360 laminates; in fact, the prepreg’s dissipation

factor is the same or better than that of the laminate to ensure low-loss microstrip and stripline circuits fabricated with the laminate/ prepreg system. As evidence, Figure 3 shows the results of microstrip circuits formed on the laminate and prepreg materials and tested for insertion loss. Although the loss characteristics track with increasing frequency, the prepreg shows consistently lower loss than the laminate material, even at higher frequencies. For amplifier designers concerned with meeting environmental compliance or Underwriters’

Southern Microwave MADE IN U.S.A.

Laboratories (UL) requirements for safety, the 6.15 dielectric constant laminate and prepreg materials are RoHS-compliant and certified to UL 94 V-0 specifications. The materials have also been proven to be quite robust when used in lead-free soldering processes. When miniaturization of a power amplifier circuit is an issue, the simplest solution is the use of a higher-dielectric-constant PCB material. A number of materials have been available for some time, although most of these are based on PTFE. While the material provides excellent low-loss performance, it offers limited dimensional stability as a function of temperature— a true concern for designers of high frequency, high-power amplifiers. As an alternative,

recently developed non-PTFE laminates and prepreg materials, both with a dielectric constant of 6.15, feature excellent dimensional stability with temperature with low loss, consistent thickness, and consistent dielectric constant. This higherdielectric-constant materials system supports smaller amplifiers using both microstrip and stripline technologies, and without the complex processing steps needed when using PTFE. RO4350B, LoPro, RO4360, RO4460 and RO3035 are licensed trademarks of Rogers Corporation.

Rogers Corporation WWW.MPDIGEST.COM ➤ 85


Features: Fixed-frequency or serially-programmable lab sources to 12 GHz Phase-Locked DRO replacements, outputs up to 26 GHz Portable broadband signal generators (up to 4 octaves)

Flange Mount Circulator

Extremely fast-switching available (<1 µSec) Optionally hermetically-sealed per MIL-STD-883 * Frequency: 1.50 GHz - 4.20 GHz (100 MHZ increments) * Insertion loss: .25 dB Max. * Isolation: -22 dB * VSWR: 1.18:1 Max. * Power: 50 Watts * Temperature: -40C to +85C * Size: .750 X .750 x .185 * PRICE: 25k AND UP STARTING AT $8.95 Per unit.

High vibration tolerance, low power consumption Internal references available In Exceptionally low phase noise


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