2020 Sessions

Go to 5G/IoT/Automotive Sessions

Go to PCB/Interconnect Design


New Generations of Wireless and Their Impact on Measurement

With years of 5G deployment still to go and the vision for 5G still far from being realized, we are now engaged in serious dialogue for 6G. This may appear premature to many, but the time required to develop a new generation of mobile communications drives the discussion to start fifteen years before the vision can coalesce into its first practical manifestations. 5G set the stage for building a user-centric vision of what mobile communications could be. The early discussions of 6G have a similar ring: how will it appear to the user or the business or the government who will be putting this technology to use. Niels Bohr said that “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it is about the future.” But that will not stop us from anticipating the future. My prediction is that the new technologies, much like their predecessors, will have to be tested and validated. The last two generations have taught us that this goes well beyond measuring bit error rates, RF power levels, modulation accuracy, and even data throughput. A system that is designed to accommodate ever more complex and demanding use-models needs not only for its technologies to be tested, but also its end-to-end functionality and performance to be validated. Our industries and society will move from seeing mobile communications as a novelty and luxury to seeing it and using it as integral part of society, government, and business. This will drive the requirements for measurable service assurance and performance to evolve from adherence to a standard to adherence to SLA and to policy. What demands will standards and policy-makers place on things like “Holographic Type Communications”, “Multi-sense Networking”, and “Time-Engineered Applications”? How will we know if these behave as expected, or as promised, especially as mobile communications migrates to “Critical Infrastructure”? This presentation is an exploration of how such validation has evolved over the past five generations, what is in store for 5G, and how this will have to change for 6G.

View Session

The Latest Trends in 5G: Market Update and Forecast, Deployment Status and Technology Advances

The continued rise of 5G commercial networks in 2020 is seeing some impressive results. With the impact of Coronavirus now manageable, network densification with small cell deployments, spectrum availability, and 5G device launches are driving the commercial landscape. The move to 5G standalone network deployments continues to march ahead, as new radio access and core network technologies transform the wireless network landscape. Enterprise 5G solutions begin to emerge with new developments in specific use cases across a variety of different industry verticals.

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, will cover a broad range of topics including the overall market impact for network operators and equipment manufacturers, growth in 5G network deployments and subscribers, opportunities in new industry sectors, and advances in technologies like dynamic spectrum sharing, open RAN, massive MIMO and beamforming. In addition, he will cover in detail the low, mid and high band spectrum challenges and opportunities across the Americas. What’s next for 5G and beyond?

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, will cover a broad range of topics including the overall market impact for network operators and equipment manufacturers, growth in 5G network deployments and subscribers, opportunities in new industry sectors, and advances in technologies like dynamic spectrum sharing, open RAN, massive MIMO and beamforming. In addition, he will cover in detail the low, mid and high band spectrum challenges and opportunities across the Americas. What’s next for 5G and beyond?

View Session

WiFi 6E Chipset Characterization

The session will include an overview of the Doherty topology and its underlying principles of operation. It will describe the design of a fully integrated Doherty MMIC for the 3.5 GHz frequency band using the 0.4 µm GaN-on-SiC device. Details of the MMIC design, layout and packaging will be described. The measured performance shows good agreement with simulated and clearly demonstrates the advantage of the Doherty architecture.

The packaged MMIC was assembled onto a representative PCB for evaluation and achieved a PSAT of 45 dBm with a peak PAE of 50%. The PAE at 8 dB power back-off was 31.5%. Using a 100 MHz 5G NR signal with 11.5 dB PAPR the EVM was 3.5% and ACLR was less than -33 dBc at 36 dBm (4W) average power.

View Session

The Next Generation of EM Analysis, Beowulf, from Sonnet

Since 2014, Sonnet has been hard at work on a commercial implementation of the Unified-FFT algorithm. The result is an upcoming product named Beowulf, after for the Old English Poem. Like the titular character of the poem, the Beowulf solver has a knack for solving monstrously large problems. Scaling as O(N log N), Beowulf uses a complex and unique FFT solution to calculate full-numerical precision solutions for large problems, all with a fraction of the time and memory requirements of conventional solvers. Sonnet is proud to perform a live demonstration with a pre-release version of the solver.

View Session

Characterizing, Troubleshooting & Mitigating Wireless and IoT Self-Generated EMI

It is fairly common to find multiple on-board sources of energy causing EMI on today’s portable, mobile, and IoT devices. The EMI from these energy sources can couple and often interferes with the receiver performance of cellular, GPS and other wireless modules. This presentation describes methods for identifying, characterizing and reducing the coupling from these energy sources.

View Session

Doherty Power Amplifiers – Moving to mmWave

Doherty power amplifiers are widely used below 6 GHz to improve Power Added Efficiency (PAE) for communications applications. Designing Doherty PAs incurs many challenges, which increase as the frequency of operation moves towards mmWave. LDMOS, which is commonly used below 6GHz, cannot be used, and more integrated approaches need to be utilised to minimise parasitic inductances and capacitances. Recently, short gate-length GaN-on-SiC MMIC processes have become commercially available, opening up the possibility of realising medium power, high-efficiency Doherty power amplifiers at mmWave frequencies.

The design of a Doherty MMIC for the 28GHz 5G frequency band will be described. First pass design success was achieved using an asymmetrical topology designed on the commercially available 0.15µm G28v5 GaN-on-SiC process from Wolfspeed. The MMIC was packaged in a cost-effective, compact 4x4mm QFN package. Details of the design, simulation, layout, and packaging will be described.

View Session

Resourceful RF Testing of Wi-Fi Devices using an AP/STA Simulator

Certain test instrument features can make testing more efficient than ever before. In this workshop, learn how to simulate an actual Wi-Fi Access Point or Station to conduct RF transmitter and receiver tests on devices that support Wi-Fi 1 up to version 6. Benchmark RF performance of your Wi-Fi device, or a competitor’s, under real, live network connection and mitigate problems such as USB noise, dropped connections and more.

View Session

Digital Transformation with 5G, Edge Compute and AI

As we transition from 5G buzz to 5G reality, it is getting unequivocally certain that 5G is not just the next generation wireless connectivity, but it is much more than that. Per ABI research, by 2035, the 5G industry value chain will be worth $3.5 trillion. With its distinguishing characteristics like Enhanced Mobile Broad Band (EMBB), Machine-to-Machine Communication (MMTC), and Ultra reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC), 5G will create opportunities we have never thought possible, especially in time-sensitive and mission-critical operations. Based on the recent Gartner research, more than 40% of the data will be created and analyzed at the edge of the network by 2025. 5G, when coupled with edge compute and artificial intelligence, brings value across variety of enterprise/IoT use cases, specifically in the areas with low latency and real-time applications need such as autonomous driving, smart manufacturing, digital security and surveillance, real-time gaming, high frequency financial transactions, etc. COVID-19 impact to world economy and day-to-day life is further emphasizing the importance of 5G and Edge compute with the rise of requirements in areas such as remote medicine/diagnosis, remote education, social distancing monitoring, etc. and will make 5G an ubiquitous reality sooner than everyone predicted.

View Session

How 5G Is Expanding Into Manufacturing and Automotive to Bring Increased Efficiencies and Safety

This session will cover how new capabilities in 5G such as ultra- reliability, direct communication and overall enhanced performance will expand 5G into new verticals including industrial manufacturing and automotive. For example, with 5G’s capabilities, manufacturers can create smart factories where the wired industrial Ethernet is replaced with wireless 5G communication to make it possible to quickly reconfigure the production line and ultimately increase efficiency. These new use cases can be served with so called 5G private networks, which is a local 5G network that is dedicated and optimized for a specific purpose, which provide the owner full control over both the performance as well as the data. Meanwhile, the capabilities of automotive vehicles will change forever with 5G’s enabling of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X), which also includes the capability of two vehicles to communicate directly with each other independent of a cellular network. This new capability called the C-V2X sidelink effectively brings a new sensor to automotive safety, for example for collision avoidance. With C-V2X, automotive manufacturers will be able to offer superior communication range, reliability, cost-efficiency, and safety.

View Session

Getting to the Source: Integrated Circuits (ICs) and Component EMC Testing

Failures in EMC testing often result in treating the symptoms of the issue rather than attacking the source. If we know the source of the issue rather than chase the symptoms, we will save time, cost, and frustrations. In this discussion, we will attack EMC testing from a component standpoint so that when issues arise, we can pinpoint the solution, saving time, cost, and frustrations.

View Session

Filtering mmW Frequencies with LTCC Technology

As more commercial applications gravitate toward mmWave frequency bands (30 to 300 GHz), an increasingly crowded RF spectrum will require some adaptation of legacy technologies. In particular, the approaching rollout of fifth generation (5G) wireless up to 40 GHz and beyond, as well as a growing number of Satcom systems in the Ka band (26 GHz to 40 GHz) means that these industries will face similar challenges: Legacy technologies using lumped elements or waveguides have not yet provided a high performance, low cost and physically compact solution for mmWave frequencies.

In recent years, Mini-Circuits has invested heavily in developing its product lines to support wider bandwidths at higher frequencies in response to growing demand for solutions in the mmWave range. New development in the LTCC product line has been one area of notable progress. Using an iterative, multi-physics simulation approach, combined with feedback from extensive prototype manufacturing of test samples, Mini-Circuits has developed a high-confidence design approach for first spin success of new LTCC products up to 50 GHz.

With an LTCC portfolio of over 700 commercially available products, including filters, couplers, splitters and baluns, Mini-Circuits has now developed a family of products to address the 5G FR2 mmWave and SatCom opportunities.

This workshop will explore how Mini-Circuits’ latest LTCC filter products address the challenges faced by the industry for applications in the mmWave bands. New catalog releases will be discussed along with compelling test results for products in development.

View Session

Material Measurements with VNAs

The increasing popularity of mobile communications, wireless data transfers, and instant access technologies is giving rise to the need for faster data rates and more data channels to support an ever-increasing number of users and their devices. To meet these demands, circuits must be made smaller and perform faster than ever before. One way manufacturers accomplish this is by leveraging materials that have good dielectric properties (complex permittivity) in the components and devices used to build these circuits (e.g., FR 4 and RF Duroid among others). Another way is to design these components and devices at higher frequency ranges where more bandwidth is available to transfer data more efficiently. However, while manufacturers are quoting good permittivity of the existing materials at low frequencies, these same solutions may not be adequate for designing high-frequency RF and microwave applications. This workshop will examine the issues component and device manufacturers and their engineers will face when designing their solutions in higher frequencies.

View Session

PCB/Interconnect Design

Stretching the Limits of PCB Design

Expanding markets, such as automotive, IoT, wearables, and healthcare, continue to drive innovation in printed circuit board and interconnect design. While new materials and technologies are being stretched to their limits, some fascinating new design and manufacturing methods are offering completely new ways to create PCBs, eliminating some of the old trade offs and revealing new ones. In this keynote, the editors of Microwave Journal and Signal Integrity Journal take a closer look at some of the market drivers, creative new products, and new ways of manufacturing PCBs. The keynote includes interviews with leaders from two companies developing new capabilities: Dr. Jaim Nulman, Nano Dimension CTO, discussing 3D printed PCBs and Philip Johnston, CEO of Trackwise Designs plc. discussing infinitely long, flexible PCBs. Join us in this keynote for a fascinating and engaging journey into what’s possible.

View Session

Bridging the Gap to 112 Gbps PAM4 – The Benefits of TwinAx Cabling

As data rates scale to 112 Gbps and beyond, twin-axial cabling is becoming a vital part of system architecture and design. This session explores the numerous twin-ax construction options available and their signal integrity advantages and challenges.

View Session

How to Characterize PCB Materials to 50 GHz

Characterizing PCB materials for Dk and Df of the dielectric materials, as well as the surface roughness can be challenging. A typical build will often have core and pre-preg materials with Dks that can vary by 10-15%. For low loss materials with Dfs less than 0.005, extraction of Df can be difficult. Further, separating the dielectric loss from the surface roughness loss adds to the complexity of characterizing the losses. This presentation will give examples of different behaviors in the S-parameters and single-bit response of materials for loss, and multiple Dks. Then an approach for characterizing the materials will be presented.

View Session

RF Millimeter-Wave PCB Design Considerations for High Speed Digital

As High Speed Digital (HSD) rates are increasing, there are more electrical performance properties related to RF technology which need to be considered by the HSD designer. As a basic comparison, RF technology is focused on frequency domain and HSD technology is focused on time domain. Some electrical performance concerns in frequency domain can impact the time domain performance of HSD signals and some of these concerns will not. However the larger concern for the potential impact is likely related to the increase in channel speeds of 56Gbps and above

The clock signal used in HSD to generate a digital pulse train, is basically a composite of multiple RF waves which include some signal processing. The lowest frequency wave is the Nyquist frequency and the other waves that make up the building blocks for the clock signal are 3rd, 5th and 7th harmonics. The actual HSD processing nowadays is more complicated, but these basic relationships will be explored in this paper when comparing electrical performance of RF circuits and HSD circuits at high frequencies and rates. Comparisons will be made with single ended and differential pair circuits at frequencies up to 110 GHz and HSD rates up to 112 Gbps.

View Session

Demystifying PCB Transmission Line Interconnect Modeling for High-level Design

During the high-level design stages for new a project, board designers are often overwhelmed when trying to choose appropriate diff pair geometry, board material, and stackup to meet high-speed serial link loss budgets. Part of the printed circuit board (PCB) interconnect challenge is modeling transmission lines accurately. Although many EDA tools include the latest and greatest models for conductor surface roughness and wide-band dielectric properties, obtaining the right parameters to feed the models is always a challenge. So how do we get these parameters? Often the only sources are from data sheets. In most cases the numbers do not translate directly into parameters needed for these tools. By using dielectric material properties, copper foil and oxide alternative roughness parameters from data sheets, a practical method of modeling high-speed PCB interconnect is presented.

View Session

PC Board and Interconnect Design for Low EMI

As a consultant for over 10 years, I’ve realized the root cause of many design issues revolves around the circuit board design and how the I/O and power connectors are arranged and filtered. Poor board designs and poor interconnect placement and filtering can result in radiated emissions, radiated immunity, and electrostatic discharge (ESD) compliance failures, among others. Bad designs often result in endless cycles of trial and error mitigation, compliance testing and board spins. This drags out the schedule and is very costly. In the presentation, I’ll explain how digital signals propagate in boards as electromagnetic fields. I’ll also explain how interconnect placement and poor filtering design and layout can affect the EMI performance. Once you understand this, then board stack-up, trace routing, filter design and interconnect placement should become very clear and you should be able to design a low-EMI board the first time!

View Session

Exploring Power Dissipation Thermal Ratings for Fixed Attenuators

A number of thermal/power design challenges are found when PCB Designers evaluate the use of fixed attenuators.

It is helpful to explore and understand relationships of applied power, dissipated power and the factors involved across multiple dB values of attenuators whether fixed in a component network or created using discrete individual resistors on a PCB.

Understanding all factors involved with properly rating attenuators offers a useful insight into practical challenges. Further, understanding the best practices on how to self-evaluate applications and apply them to the components required to realize designs becomes even more beneficial to designers. Some factors explored here include, termination style, pad and via sizing, operating temperature, component substrate, resistor size, trim style and tolerance as they relate to power/thermal performance. Some insights into balancing RF and power performance will also be explored.

View Session

High Performance Laminates for Multigigabit Applications

This short talk will look at the requirements of multigigabit signaling as related to the PCB materials available with which to fabricate these PCBs. It will draw on the more than a dozen test PCBs fabricated for the purpose of evaluating these laminates. Included will be some comparisons of laminates currently used to fabricate these PCBs.

View Session

Principles of Designing the Board Stackup for Electronics and Manufacturability

The designer MUST be involved in the decision making for a board stackup, as the fabricator only knows his own needs, not the needs of the signals. The stack affects the way the signals flow and so can affect many electronic aspects of the functioning circuit like layer count, field spread/interference, return current, impedance control, and layer paired routing. Likewise, if the stack is not set up correctly, it will affect whether the board might warp, have a higher cost, or whether it will meet standards. In today’s higher speed designs it is critical to do this step well, so we will discuss the issues that are needed for a good stackup, both from an electronic and a manufacturability perspective.

View Session

Developing Wireless PCB Applications with EM Verification and an RF Design Flow

Today’s PCB designers face multiple challenges incorporating RF/microwave, analog, and digital design elements together on the same PCB. To successfully integrate RF/microwave content and mixed-signal designs, PCB layout tools and RF circuit design software must exchange design data efficiently.

This workshop will address two aspects to successful RF PCB design, namely EM verification as well as RF/microwave IP creation. The Cadence® software platforms of Allegro® and AWR® will be showcases through several practical, real-world examples that demonstrate the need for a close link between RF circuit/EM co-design and enterprise-level manufacturing layout tools.

View Session