You can find below details of Plextek RFI press releases
and other press coverage.
Media advisory: Robert Smith of Plextek RFI to speak at IET seminar on RF active and passive devices
Robert Smith, Consultant Engineer at Plextek RFI, will present a paper entitled ‘Design of a Broadband L-band 160W GaN Power Amplifier using SMT Packaged Transistors’ at a seminar at the IET in Savoy Place on Monday 8th May 2017.
The IET ‘Active and Passive RF Devices’ seminar will address the design challenges for RF and microwave devices for a wide range of applications. Although RF technology is all around us, and has become a technology we very much take for granted, it is still an area of intense scientific and industrial research as mobile phones continue to evolve to 5G and transistors replace the magnetron in microwave ovens.
Robert Smith’s presentation will describe the design of a broadband 160W GaN PA using a commercially available transistor in a low cost SMT plastic package. The PA covers 1.2 and 1.8 GHz and is ideally suited to L-band radar and wideband communications applications. The presentation will describe the design of the PA, including load-pull measurements and EM simulation of input and output matching networks and present details of the measured performance of the PA. Particular consideration is given to the thermal challenges involved in using high-power GaN transistors in SMT packages.
Robert has several years of GaN power amplifier (PA) design experience. Prior to joining Plextek RFI he was with Thales Nederland, where he designed subsystems for active phased array naval radar. He obtained a PhD at Cardiff University, sponsored by Roke Manor Research, during which he investigated the design and implementation of broad bandwidth, high-efficiency RF PAs.
Wireless Design Magazine – Brainstorm: Addressing 5G Design Challenges
Liam Devlin is included in the brainstorming session on 5G design challenges.
Click here to access the article.
New Electronics Article: Is industry ready for 5G?
Ofcom, Qualcomm & Plextek RFI are interviewed by New Electronics on the subject of “Is industry ready for 5G?”
Click here to access the article.
Media Advisory: How to Design an X-band MMIC PA
Keysight Technologies will host a free webinar on How to Design an X-band MMIC PA, presented by Stuart Glynn, Senior Consultant Engineer at Plextek RFI, on Thursday 2 March at 15:00 GMT (07:00 PST/10:00 EST).
More about the Webinar:
Active phased-array radars require numerous, small, efficient and low-cost Power Amplifiers (PAs). GaN technology offers transistors with high breakdown voltages and high maximum operating temperatures make them well suited to the realization of PAs. Typical output power requirement for each transmitting element of a phased array radar are around 5 to 10W. This is a relatively modest requirement for GaN, the key with this design was to implement a PA that is efficient and compact, as die area translates directly to unit cost. This presentation goes step-by-step in describing how to design an X-band PA MMIC that covers 9 – 11.5 GHz using Keysight EEsof EDA’s ADS software. The MMIC has an output power of 7W (38.5 dBm) from a 29dBm drive with a Power Added Efficiency (PAE) of 42 percent. The design was realized on the 0.25µm gate length GaN on SiC process of UMS (GH25). The resulting die size is just 1.5 mm x 2 mm, meaning that around 2,300 PAs can be fabricated on a single 4” diameter wafer. Details of the design approach, the simulated performance, the layout, the electromagnetic simulation and optimization, as well as the measured performance will be presented during the webcast.
Click here to register for this free event
ARTICLE: RF ICs Aim for Higher Functional Densities
Plextek RFI have contributed to an article on High Density RFICs published in Microwaves & RF (January 2017).
Click here to read the full article.
FEATURED ARTICLE: View From the Top
Microwave Product Digest has an interview with Plextek RFI CEO Liam Devlin.
Click here to read Liam’s view from the top …
ARTICLE: 2017…What Lies Ahead
ECN has a discussion on what lies ahead in 2017.
Plextek RFI CEO Liam Devlin’s answer to the question “So tell us—what are your predictions for the coming year?” is as follows…
2017 will see continued growth in the development and evaluation of mm-wave 5G communications, as well as a growing interest in drone detection and jamming. The cost and performance of commercially available drones represent a potential security threat to airports, power stations, and other critical infrastructure. High-resolution radar systems are the key to detecting small, highly manoeuvrable drones, and GaN technology can provide adequate power to jam the aircraft’s control links. High-performance, low-cost GaN transistors, capable of generating adequate power across the relevant bands, are now readily available.
Many manufacturers are investing heavily in developing solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). The interest stems from the potentially huge volumes in which IoT products will ultimately be deployed, but in fact, the IoT is already with us. IoT solutions are currently being deployed and actively used today in wireless street lights, fleet management, vehicle tracking, healthcare, smart homes, and a host of other M2M and Machine Type Communications (MTC) applications. These applications currently use a range of personal-area connectivity technologies including Bluetooth, ZigBee, proprietary ISM band solutions, and local-area networks like WiFi 802.11ah (HaLow). They will also increasingly start to use Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies including LoRa, SigFox, Telensa, and LTE-based standards such as NB-IoT.
Low-cost, high-volume IoT components and products based on these emerging IoT standards will see considerable development activity in 2017 and will begin to be launched into the market. However, there will be no single solution for IoT applications; many of the existing solutions will continue to grow alongside the newer technology standards that are joining the global M2M connectivity behemoth.
To view the full article and also read other people’s views please Click this link
PRESS RELEASE: Liam Devlin of Plextek RFI to speak in EuMIC opening session
Liam Devlin, CEO of Plextek RFI, will give an invited Plenary presentation in the opening session of EuMIC 2016, on Monday 3 October.
EuMIC (European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference) is part of European Microwave Week 2016, and is the largest technical conference in Europe devoted to RF and microwave microelectronics. The conference aims to promote the discussion of recent developments and trends in high-frequency devices, covering topics from materials and technologies to integrated circuits and applications, including theory, simulation, design and measurement.
Liam Devlin’s presentation will be entitled ‘MMICs – Custom or COTS?’. In recent years the availability of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) MMICs has increased significantly. Standard RF and microwave components addressing a wide range of functional blocks are now readily available, so it may seem unnecessary to consider developing custom MMICs. There are, however, occasions when a custom MMIC can be the best commercial option with the potential to offer cost savings, performance improvement, reduced component count, size reduction or even the means of implementing otherwise impractical functionality.
Liam will draw on his many years of experience in developing both standard product and custom MMICs to explain how to determine when a custom MMIC could be the best solution, illustrated with specific examples. He will then describe the practicalities of using a commercial foundry to fabricate custom-designed MMICs, with guidelines on estimating unit cost and on choosing the most appropriate foundry and process.
NEWS RELEASE: Plextek RFI unveils phased array GaN MMIC reference design
CAMBRIDGE, UK: 13 July 2016 —Plextek RFI, a UK design house specialising in microwave and millimetre-wave IC design, has announced a new reference design for a GaN power amplifier (PA) MMIC for use in X-band active phased array radar applications.
“Active phased arrays require numerous PAs, which need to have high efficiency, and to have a small size and relatively low cost,” said Liam Devlin, CEO of Plextek RFI. “Our new design has a die size of only 1.5mm x 2mm, which means around 2,300 PAs can be fabricated on a single 4-inch (100mm) diameter wafer. This makes the cost very competitive compared with other commercially-available MMICs offering this level of RF output power.”
The X-band GaN PA MMIC covers 9.0 – 11.5GHz and delivers 7W (+38.5dBm) of RF output power from a +29dBm input, with a Power Added Efficiency (PAE) of 42%. This means that it can be driven by readily available GaAs parts when used as the output PA stage.
Plextek RFI designed the MMIC using Keysight ADS 2015, and it was manufactured by UMS on its 0.25µm gate length GaN-on-SiC process (GH25).
“As the IC is designed and manufactured in Europe, it will have the added advantage of not being subject to US export control,” added Liam Devlin.
Editorial contact details:
Liam Devlin, CEO, Plextek RFI Ltd
Helen Duncan, MWE Media Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)7765 250610 Email: email@example.com
Plextek RFI: The Design of A 125W L-Band GaN Power Amplifier
What major trends or applications do you expect to see at IMS 2016?
Radio-electronics.com Article: Can custom-designed MMICs lead to lower costs?
CAMBRIDGE, UK, March 2016 – Radio-electronics.com has published an article by Plextek RFI on how designing custom MMICs can lead to lower costs in manufacture. Click here to read the on-line magazine in digital format.
Microwave Engineering Europe Article
CAMBRIDGE, UK 24 February 2016 – Microwave Engineering Europe has published an article by Plextek RFI on the design and evaluation of a 5W X-Band PA using a low-cost plastic-packaged GaN transistor. Click here to read the on-line magazine in digital format.
Plextek RFI expands design team
CAMBRIDGE, UK: 13 January 2016 —Plextek RFI, a UK design house specialising in the development of RFICs, MMICs and microwave and millimetre-wave modules, has announced that it has strengthened its capabilities with the addition of Robert Smith to its team of design engineers at the beginning of 2016.
Robert brings a wealth of GaN power amplifier (PA) design experience to his new role at Plextek RFI. He was previously with Thales Nederland, where he designed subsystems for active phased array naval radar. In addition to RF design skills, his role with Thales also provided experience of moving designs from development to production, and in design considerations for component reliability.
“We are seeing increasing demand for our design skills from right across the industry, in applications ranging from defence and aerospace through wireless technology and satellite communications to test and measurement,” said Liam Devlin, CEO of Plextek RFI. “We are delighted to welcome Robert to our team, and are confident that his experience will complement and enhance our existing skills portfolio as well as helping us to continue to grow our sales.”
Prior to joining Thales Robert completed a PhD at Cardiff University, sponsored by Roke Manor Research, during which he investigated the design and implementation of broad bandwidth, high-efficiency RF PAs. His research included the development of push-pull amplifiers using GaN transistors at microwave frequencies using load-pull measurement techniques. Robert presented details of his work at the ARMMS RF and Microwave Society Conference in April 2013, for which he received the best paper award. He also published two papers on broadband balun and PA design at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS).
A View from the Top
MPD (December 2015) has published an interview with Liam Devlin, the CEO of Plextek RFI Ltd.
Please click here to view.
Plextek RFI publishes technical discussion video on custom MMICs
Plextek RFI has published a new video on its YouTube channel, entitled ‘Technical Discussion – Custom MMIC Design’ in which CEO Liam Devlin discusses the technical and commercial considerations when deciding whether to employ a custom MMIC design. Please feel free to either embed the video or publish this link, and to share on social media.
Plextek RFI has an extensive library of technical tutorial videos and technology trends discussions on its YouTube channel. You would be most welcome to embed or link to any of these videos if you wish to.
Please follow Plextek RFI on Twitter (@PlextekRFI) and LinkedIn.
Tech3DGE publishes the Plextek RFI White Paper on a 5W X-Band amplifier design based on commercial plastic-packaged transistor
Media Advisory: Plextek RFI publishes video discussion on 5G mm-wave technology challenges and trends
Plextek RFI has published a new video on its YouTube channel, entitled ‘Technology Challenges and Emerging Trends for mm-wave 5G’ in which CEO Liam Devlin discusses with me the challenges that will need to be overcome in order to deploy 5G in the millimeter-wave bands, and the possible techniques that may be used to achieve this.
Please feel free to either embed the video or publish this link, and to share on social media.
Plextek RFI has an extensive library of technical tutorial videos and technology trends discussions on its YouTube channel. You would be most welcome to embed or link to any of these videos if you wish to.
Please follow Plextek RFI on Twitter (@PlextekRFI) and LinkedIn.
Media Advisory: Plextek RFI publishes White Paper on 5W X-Band amplifier design based on commercial plastic-packaged transistor
Plextek RFI has published a new White Paper on its website entitled 5W X-Band GaN Power Amplifier using a Commercially Available Discrete Plastic Packaged SMT Transistor.
The paper describes the design of an amplifier for the 9.3 to 9.5GHz band, providing 11dB small signal gain and more than +37dBm output power at 3dB gain compression with higher than 55% drain efficiency. The design is based on a discrete 0.25?m GaN plastic-packaged transistor from Qorvo, mounted on Rogers 4003 PCB. Fast drain switching circuitry facilitates pulsed operation with a turn-on time of just 20ns.
Please feel free to either publish this link or host the white paper, or alternatively if you would be interested in a feature article on this topic please contact me to discuss this.
Plextek RFI also has a library of technical tutorial videos and technology trends discussions on its YouTube channel. You would be most welcome to embed or link to any of these videos if you wish to.
Please follow Plextek RFI on Twitter (@PlextekRFI) and LinkedIn.
Video tutorials and white papers from Plextek RFI
Plextek RFI continues to regularly add new video tutorials on RF and microwave design to its popular video library. The most popular tutorial – on microwave VCO design – has now received over 3,000 views.
The Plextek RFI YouTube Channel now includes the following video tutorials:
- Designing mm-wave integrated filters using Agilent ADS
- Simulating rms Phase Error of Integrated Phase Shifters using Agilent ADS
- Microwave VCO Design Using Agilent ADS
- RFOW calibration using a Cascade Microtech ISS
- Design and Simulation of Broadband Switch MMICs using Agilent ADS
- Broadband (2-18GHz) GaN PA MMIC Design using Agilent ADS
- MMIC Planar Spiral Balun Design using Agilent ADS
- 15GHz Point to Point GaN PA MMIC
- Simulating Distortion of QAM-256 Signals by GaN PAs
- The Design of a Broadband MMIC Frequency Doubler
- GaN PAs for Microwave Line of Sight Link Applications
- Understanding IP2
- A 28GHz, 4-channel Phase Adjustable Power Amplifier IC for 5G front-ends
A popular series of white papers, which includes technology overviews and case studies, on RF and microwave topics is also available to download free-of-charge from the Plextek RFI website at http://www.plextekrfi.com/index.php/publications.
MPD Article – The Design of Microwave GaN PA ICs
Liam, Stuart and Andy present a featured article on the design of GaN-based power amplifiers. Click here to view the full article.
EW Viewpoint Article – GaN power amps start with the transistor
Liam Devlin, CEO of Plextek RFI, presents his viewpoint on GaN transistors used in Power Amplifiers in the 23rd June 2015 issue of Electronics Weekly.
MEDIA ADVISORY – Plextek RFI to present at microwave design seminar in Manchester, UK, on 17 June
Liam Devlin, CEO of Plextek RFI, will present a paper at the Microwave, RF and Millimetre Wave Modelling & Circuit Design Seminar, which is taking place at the University of Manchester in the UK on 17 June 2015 and is sponsored by Keysight Technologies. Delegates will be able to hear the experiences of industry experts engaged in the key stages of RF, microwave and millimetre wave design flow, from semiconductor device measurement and model extraction, through to circuit design and packaging.
Liam’s presentation is entitled ‘Designing GaN PA MMICs’. The high breakdown voltage and operating temperature capability of GaN HEMTs make the technology well suited to the realization of PAs. Many commercial GaN foundry processes are now available and the realisation of custom GaN PA MMICs is now a practical option for many applications. This presentation will start with an overview of the structure and operation of a GaN HEMT and will then explain how to design a GaN PA MMIC. Design examples will then be presented for a range of applications using several different commercially available GaN processes.
Other speakers at the seminar will include: Rob Sloan (University of Manchester); Cedric Pujol and Dave Morris (Keysight); Philippe Michel (UMS); Peter King (IDEAL Networks); and Christopher Buck (Filtronic)
If you would be interested in an article from Plextek RFI on GaN MMIC design or a related topic, please contact us to discuss this further.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Plextek RFI video on design of a 4-channel 28GHz power amplifier for 5G applications
Plextek RFI has uploaded a new video tutorial in which Liam Devlin describes the design of a 4-channel 28GHz power amplifier with in-built phase control for applications in future 5G transmitters. Keysight’s ADS simulator is used to develop the design. 5G communications will require a step change in data rates, and will be facilitated by a move to higher transmission frequencies where wider bandwidths are more readily available, with new innovative components being required. The 4-channel power amplifier (PA) IC design offers a compact means of providing beam steering as an integral part of the PA. Each channel of the IC includes a PA with an output power capability of +30dBm at 1dB compression and an IP3 of +38dBm, and includes an integral 4-bit, digitally controlled phase shifter having an rms phase error of 2.3°.
You would be most welcome to link to or embed the video in your Website.
Link to video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/VFomKmpetjo
Code to embed video:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/VFomKmpetjo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
A White Paper summarizing the performance of the IC is also available for free download: please click here.
Plextek RFI is exhibiting at next week’s International Microwave Symposium in Phoenix. Please come along and visit them on Booth 323.
Media Advisory: Plextek RFI presents at International Microwave Symposium MicroApps seminar
Andy Dearn of Plextek RFI will be giving a presentation on “The Design of a 25W X-band GaN PA MMIC” in the Microwave Application Seminars (MicroApps) at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Pheonix, on Wednesday 20 May at 3:15pm. The presentation will take place in the MicroApps Theatre, located in Booth 3147 in the exhibition hall.
MicroApps is a series of 15-minute technical seminars presented by exhibitors at IMS, addressing state-of-the-art products, processes, and applications of interest to the microwave community. The full MicroApps schedule is available at http://www.ims2015.org/images/MicroApps_Schedule_WEB1.pdf
MPD has a featured article on ‘Communications Systems – A Design Primer’
CAMBRIDGE, UK, April 23 2015:- Microwave Product Digest has published an article written by Plextek RFI entitled “Communications Systems – A Design Primer” . Click here to read the full article.
INSIDE 5G Publishes Article on mm-Wave Beam Steering For 5G Radio
Plextek RFI Publishes Details of 28GHz 4-Channel PA IC With Digital Phase Control for 5G
CAMBRIDGE, England, March 18, 2015:- /PRNewswire/ — Plextek RFI presented details of ‘A 4-Channel 28GHz Power Amplifier with 4-Bit Digital Phase Control for 5G RF Front Ends’ at yesterday’s prestigious 5G Radio Technology Seminar organised by The IET. A White Paper summarizing the performance of the IC is available for free download from the Plextek RFI website.
5G communications technology promises the user the perception of near infinite capacity. This requires a step change in data rates, and will be facilitated by a move to higher transmission frequencies where wider bandwidths are more readily available. New innovative components will be required to meet this demand. The 4-channel power amplifier (PA) IC design that is described offers a compact means of providing beam steering as an integral part of the PA. Each channel of the IC includes a PA with an output power capability of +30dBm at 1dB compression and an IP3 of +38dBm, and includes an integral 4-bit, digitally controlled phase shifter having an rms phase error of 2.3.
Liam Devlin of Plextek RFI will be presenting more detailed information on the IC design at the next ARMMS RF and Microwave Conference on 20 – 21 April.
Media Advisory: Plextek RFI to present at IET 5G Radio Technology Seminar
Plextek RFI will be presenting a poster paper at a prestigious 5G conference in London on 17 March 2015. The 5G Radio Technology Seminar is organised by The IET, and will address technical challenges in the emerging 5G ecosystem in such areas as architecture, standards, spectrum, air interface, mmWave band and massive MIMO antenna techniques.
5G communications technology promises the user the perception of near infinite capacity. This requires a step change in data rates, and will be facilitated by a move to higher transmission frequencies where wider bandwidths are more readily available. New innovative components will be required to meet this demand. The Plextek RFI poster will describe the design of a 4-channel 28GHz phase adjustable Power Amplifier (PA) IC, which will offer a compact means of providing beam steering as an integral part of the PA. Each channel of the IC includes a PA with an output power capability of +30dBm at 1dB compression and an IP3 of +38dBm, and includes an integral 4-bit, digitally controlled phase shifter having an rms phase error of 2.3°.
Media Advisory: Plextek RFI White Paper on Communications Systems Design
CAMBRIDGE, UK: Jan., 2015:- Plextek RFI has published a new White Paper on Communications System Design. The white paper presents an overview of system level design for wireless communications equipment. It will be useful not just to those involved in the development of new communications systems, but also to designers of new products using existing systems, or anybody seeking to develop new architectures and/or components to reduce product cost and/or size. It also describes the benefits and implications of developing highly integrated System on a Chip (SoC) solutions, which dominate in today’s high volume communications products. Please click here to download the White Paper.
MPD: Featured Article, “A view from the top”
Plextek RFI’s CEO, Liam Devlin, is interviewed in the December edition of Microwave Product Digest. Click here to read the online article.
Media Advisory: Plextek RFI video tutorial on understanding of IP2 in amplifiers
CAMBRIDGE, UK: Dec., 2014:- Plextek RFI has just uploaded a new video tutorial showing how to simulate single-tone and two-tone intermodulation products in Keysight’s ADS simulator. The talk begins with a recap of two-tone IP3, which most engineers are familiar with. The tutorial then moves onto two-tone IP2, and compares simulations to single-tone second harmonic intercept point. The general technique for simulating intermodulation products of any order is explained. This video can be viewed from our Technical Tutorial Video page.
Radio Electronics covers paper on GaN for Line of sight links
CAMBRIDGE, UK: Nov 18, 2014:- Radio-electronics.com article – Stuart Glynn, Tony Richards, Liam Devlin of Plextek RF Integration investigate the design of gallium arsenide MMICs at 15 GHz for line of sight link applications.
MPD covers a guide to the design of Laminate PCBs at microwave frequencies
CAMBRIDGE, UK: Nov., 2014:- Microwave Product Digest covers Liam Devlin’s and Graham Pearson’s A Guide to the Design of Laminate PCBs at Microwave Frequencies”
Plextek RFI publishes White Paper on design and performance of a 25W X-band GaN PA MMIC
CAMBRIDGE, UK: Oct 22, 2014:- Plextek RFI has published a new White Paper on the design of a 25W X-band GaN PA MMIC. This case study describes the design and performance of a 25W X-band GaN PA MMIC designed on WIN’s 0.25?m GaN on SiC process. The design has a small signal gain of over 25dB from 10 to 12GHz with a gentle positive gain slope. The saturated output power is over 25W from 10 to 11.5GHz and PAE is over 33%.
Please go to http://www.plextekrfi.com/wp-content/uploads/Xband_25W_GaN_MMIC_PA.pdf to download the White Paper. We would be very grateful if you would be able to either host it on your Website or create a link to the download. Alternatively if you may be interested in a feature article based on this White Paper, please contact me to discuss this further.
Plextek RF Integration is a UK-based design house specialising in the design and development of RFICs, MMICs and microwave/mm-wave modules, and is a third party design house for Cree, GCS, Qorvo (formerly TriQuint) and WIN. For further information please see www.plextekrfi.com. Helen Duncan, MWE Media Ltd.
Wireless Design Online covers the white paper on the 25W X-band GaN PA MMIC design
CAMBRIDGE, UK: Oct., 2014:- Wireless Design Online covers Andy Dearn’s and Liam Devlin’s paper on the design of a 25W X-band GaN PA MMIC using WIN’s GaN on SiC process.
Free seminar kicks off RF specialist’s UK push
CAMBRIDGE, UK: May 17, 2014:- Interlligent RF & Microwave Solutions, a specialist in RF services, has announced that it will formally launch its UK RF Test and Solutions business by hosting a free-to-attend RF and microwave design seminar in Cambridge on June 25, 2014. The seminar, to be held at Cambridge City Hotel, will cover diverse topics including power amplifier design, field-programmable RF transceivers, on-wafer probing, and the status of the global microwave market.
It will feature presentations from a number of technical and market intelligence experts, including: Prof. Steve Cripps of the University of Cardiff; Dr. Robin Sloan of the University of Manchester; Dr. Ebrahim Bushehri of Lime Microsystems; Liam Devlin of Plextek RF Integration; Dror Regev of Terra Freedom; and Terry Edwards of Engalco Research. More details can be seen at http://www.interlligent-rfseminar.co.uk/. “Interlligent is a leading international provider of RF test equipment rentals and support services,” said Oren Hagai, Founder and CEO of Interlligent.
“This seminar will give us an ideal opportunity to introduce British engineers to the services we can offer them from our newly-opened UK sales and distribution facility. With an extensive inventory of test equipment and accessories, backed by first-class RF engineering support and flexible business plans to suit our customers’ needs, we believe our complete test equipment offering will prove very popular with the UK market.”
Headquartered in Israel, Interlligent RF & Microwave Solutions offers four complementary RF and microwave services: test equipment rental; technical training in RF, microwave and millimetre-wave technology; components sales as a manufacturers’ representative; and RF design and consulting services.
Webcast: The Design of a 100W, X-Band GaN PA Module
CAMBRIDGE, UK: May 7, 2014:- Liam Devlin, CEO of Plextek RFI, will be presenting a webcast on ‘The Design of a 100W, X-Band GaN PA Module’ on Wednesday 7 May 2014 at 18:00 BST (13:00 EST/12:00 CDT/10:00 EDT), co-sponsored by Agilent Technologies/Keysight and Cree. Registration is free of charge.
More about the webcast: GaN transistors have proven capability for the realization of high power Solid State Power Amplifiers (SSPAs). At lower RF frequencies unmatched packaged transistors can be used but as operating frequency and output power increases pre-matched transistors or MMIC amplifiers are a more practical solution.
This webcast presents the design of a 100W X-band PA using bare die discrete GaN transistors from Cree. This approach is a useful alternative to using pre-matched transistors or MMICs. It allows the implementation of a compact, high power design using Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) transistors. The webcast will cover the following:
- Modeling the individual power transistor
- Top level topology for the 100W design
- Detailed design of matching structures
- Design of the gate and drain bias feeds
- Ensuring amplifier stability
- Optimising for output power
- Design of driver stage
- Simulation of the complete amplifier
Cree Selects Plextek RF Integration as a Preferred European Design Resource
CAMBRIDGE, UK: March 6, 2014:- Plextek RF Integration (Plextek RFI), a UK design house specialising in microwave and millimetre-wave IC design, has announced that it has been selected by Cree, one of the world’s leading innovators in GaN technology, as a preferred design resource to provide third party design services to Cree’s European foundry customers.
The commercial availability of GaN transistors has provided a sea change in achievable performance for Solid-State Power Amplifiers (SSPAs). Cree boasts a growing portfolio of discrete transistors, microwave monolithic integrated circuits (MMIC), and GaN foundry services that allow customers to design their own transistors and MMICs for fabrication on Cree’s processes.
The arrangement with Plextek RFI will give Cree’s European customers access to Plextek RFI’s proven design capabilities to develop their own custom GaN MMICs. In addition to providing design and layout services, Plextek RFI has sophisticated in-house test facilities that allow evaluation of MMICs both in bare die form (directly on wafer) and as packaged parts.
“We see huge growth potential for GaN in Europe. Plextek RFI’s experienced design and development team will provide a significant advantage to our European customers. We look forward to working with Plextek RFI to grow this market,” said Jeff Barner, Cree foundry services program manager.
“We’re delighted to have forged this relationship with a world leader in GaN technology such as Cree,” said Liam Devlin, CEO of Plextek RFI. “We have been seeing a steady increase in the amount of GaN MMIC design work we are taking on, and being able to provide our clients with access to one of the world’s best foundry processes will significantly enhance the service we are able to offer.”
Microwave Journal Microview: Executive Interview
Plextek RFI’s CEO, Liam Devlin, is interviewed in the February edition of Microwave Journal. Click here to read the online article.
Is GaN’s star still rising?
Electronics Components World, February 2014:- Plextek RFI’s CEO, Liam Devlin, discusses the rise of Gallium Nitride in this month’s e-zine. Click here to read the full article.
View From The Top
Microwave Product Digest, December 2013:- This issue of MPD includes an interview with Plextek RFI’s CEO Liam Devlin.
Microwave Journal ARMMS Coverage
Microwave Journal, December 2013:- Plextek RFI’s recent presentation of two papers at the November UK ARMMS conference is included in the latest online edition of Microwave Journal.
Can custom designed MMICs reduce microwave systems costs?
Electronics Weekly, October 2013:- Every design engineer wants to achieve the best possible results for the lowest cost, and using a standard product IC seems the obvious route. But can you save money by using custom designed MMICs? – Plextek CEO Liam Devlin believes you can! Read on to find out how in this Electronics Weekly article.
In My Opinion – Is GaAs Dying?
Microwave Product Digest (MPD), August 2013:- “The Death of GaAs?” – This was the title of a panel session at the June IMS2013 meeting in Seattle. In this article Liam Devlin weighs the evidence and discusses his thoughts. Read more …
The Death of GaAs?
London, UK, 10th June 2013: – The Death of GaAs? This was the title of a panel session at last week’s IMS2013 meeting. The answer, according to Liam Devlin, CEO of MMIC design specialists Plextek RFI, was “Not any time soon but the competition is increasing”.
The panel presentations largely focused on GaAs in cellular communications products as this is the largest application currently accounting for over 50% of all GaAs sales revenue. It is clear that the front-end switch function, which until recently was dominated by GaAs PHEMT devices, has now switched to Si on Insulator (SoI) technology. The reasons for this are comparable, or in some cases superior, performance combined with the fact that all control logic can be included on the switch IC rather than requiring a separate CMOS control IC as in the case of the PHEMT switches.
The PA function is still dominated by GaAs HBT, even in low cost handsets, despite the fact that CMOS PAs have been available for a number of years and are now used in some commercially available products. The panel provided data to show that although the cost per square mm of CMOS is cheaper than that of GaAs, the CMOS PAs occupy more area and the resulting PAs are similar in cost. As GaAs HBT PAs also tend to offer superior efficiency, this has left them in pole position for this function. The view that CMOS would become the technology of preference for entry level handsets with GaAs HBT being preferred for higher-end products was also expressed.
Although the panel focused on the challenge of Si technologies to key applications for GaAs, the challenge from GaN was also covered. GaN technology is particularly well suited to the implementation of RF and microwave High Power Amplifiers (HPAs), an area of dominance for GaAs technologies. GaN is currently considerably more expensive than GaAs but is capable of realizing HPAs with higher output powers and efficiency. The level of interest in GaN was clear across the conference and exhibition as a whole but at the moment the higher costs mean that it is only used when GaAs capability runs out of steam.
Ultimately end users purchase products based on a trade off of price and performance rather than the elements used in the manufacture of the ICs. It is the market that will decide on the fate of GaAs but the GaAs manufacturers and suppliers are still performing well and this doesn’t look set to end in the immediate future.
Plextek RFI Commissioned to Provide MMIC Design Course
London, UK, 30th April 2013: – The Technology Academy, specialists in the development of advanced technology training courses, has commissioned Plextek RF Integration to supply a two-day training course on MMIC Design aimed at RF and microwave design engineers. The course will provide an overview of the major aspects of the design process and will review and compare the various available technologies including pHEMT, SiGe and GaN.
By providing attendees with a fundamental understanding on MMIC technology and analysis of the key design processes, the course aims to deliver business benefits such as reduced design and development times and costs, improved design and development efficiency and better design quality and system performance.
“We selected Plextek RFI to provide this course because of its wealth of practical experience in successful MMIC design,” said Dr. John Crute, Programme Director, Technology Academy. “We were also impressed by the presentation skills and teaching experience of the designers who will be leading the course.”
“This is a great opportunity for the team to share its wealth of experience in the MMIC design space to help those attending understand and implement best practices within their own organisations to achieve first-pass design success,” added Liam Devlin, CEO, Plextek RF Integration. “The course also provides a platform for attendees to share challenges that are specific to their organisation and understand those faced by others in their field.”
The course will take place on 19th and 20th September at Plextek RFI’s offices in Great Chesterford. Further information, including detailed course content and online booking, is available following this link.
Plextek RF Integration part of the inaugural Agilent Certified Expert program
Highest formal professional recognition for Plextek RF Integration team’s expertise
Cambridge, UK 12th March 2013: – Liam Devlin and Andy Dearn of Plextek RF Integration, a part of the Plextek Group, have become two of the industry’s first professionals to be recognised by the new Agilent Certified Expert (ACE) program. The ACE program recognises the most technically advanced professionals in the Agilent EEsof EDA user community and certifies that they hold the highest level of practical expertise and theoretical knowledge in the application of Agilent EEsof EDA design tools for successful product design and modeling.
The Plextek RF Integration team’s expertise was recognised following the successful design of more than 70 custom Microwave Monolithic Integrated Circuits (MMICs) using Agilent’s Advanced Design System (ADS), the world’s leading electronic design automation software for RF, microwave, and high speed digital applications. These ICs are used in a wide range of applications, from test instrumentation to microwave point-to-point links.
As a member the Agilent EEsof EDA advanced user community, Plextek RF Integration will be a part of Agilent’s network for potential consulting prospects and have the exclusive opportunity to help influence the development of Agilent’s next generation EDA tools.
Liam Devlin, CEO at Plextek RF Integration commented: “It is privilege to become inaugural members of Agilent’s ACE program and receive professional recognition and appreciation for Plextek RF Integration’s dedication and commitment to the microwave and RF design process. Participation in the ACE program will help us to push the boundaries of our professional expertise, ensuring that we stay at the leading edge and continue accelerating the development of better products for our customers, using design flows built on Agilent’s device modeling, electro-thermal, electromagnetic, circuit and system design and simulation tools.”
TRADE NEWS: Agilent Technologies Simulation Software Selected by Plextek RF Integration
Momentum Product Will Be Used for Advanced, High Frequency IC and MMIC Design
SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 27, 2013: – Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that Plextek RF Integration, a UK-based company that designs and develops RFICs, MMICs and microwave/millimeter-wave modules, has selected Agilent software to simulate its new high-frequency circuit and MMIC designs.
After a thorough evaluation of available 3-D planar electromagnetic software tools, Plextek RF Integration chose Agilent’s Momentum simulator for its performance and flexibility. Accurate EM simulation enables designers to improve the performance of their designs, while increasing confidence that the manufactured product will meet specifications. Momentum is integrated with Agilent’s Advanced Design System and Genesys RF and microwave design software.
In its evaluation, Plextek RFI used Momentum to simulate the performance of a 57- to 64-GHz amplifier IC. The company also used Momentum to develop a number of Ka-band ICs. In all cases, the software provided excellent agreement between measured and modeled data. Additionally, Momentum’s tight integration with ADS provided Plextek RFI with greater ease of use, making its EM simulation of RFICs and MMICs quick and straightforward.
“Designing advanced, high-frequency circuits and MMICs requires access to the industry’s most advanced modeling and simulation tools,” said Liam Devlin, chief executive officer at Plextek RFI. “The performance and flexible features of Agilent’s Momentum software provides us the functionality we need to maintain a leading edge in the highly competitive wireless, microwave and millimeter-wave markets in which we compete. Because of this, we plan to leverage this solution on future design projects, including our current development of an LNA covering the full 71- to 86-GHz range of E-band.”
“We are pleased Plextek RFI selected Momentum for its amplifier IC and MMIC development,” said Joe Civello, ADS product planner at Agilent EEsof EDA. “The accuracy, speed and capacity of our software are enabling Plextek RFI to produce high-quality designs that can stand apart from their competition.”
Plextek rebrands for innovation and growth
28/1/2013: – Plextek Ltd, the product innovation and design consultancy, has announced a restructuring of its business to separate the consultancy from several lines of business including Plextek RF Integration, Telensa, Blighter, and Redtail Telematics. The move is intended to catalyse the growth of the business by giving each a greater focus, whilst particularly fostering a culture dedicated to innovation within the consultancy business.
As of 1st January 2013, the Plextek Group is chaired by co-founder Dr Colin Smithers. Simon Cassia has become CEO of the rebranded Plextek Consulting business, while Paul Martin and Henk Koopmans become CTO and CMO respectively. The restructuring is expected to enable the consultancy business to provide a clearer, dedicated design service for its customers, underpinned by a new ‘innovation centre’ to promote the cross-pollination of ideas using Plextek’s expertise in a broad range of industry sectors.
Smithers commented, “The restructuring of the group will allow us to provide a much more focused service to customers of each business line, and the consultancy business is especially adapting to meet the increasing market appetite for innovation. This is a significant move for us as we’re setting ourselves up for significant growth, and we’re excited about the results we expect this will deliver for both the business and our customers. It also recognises the portfolio nature of the present Plextek Group business.”
Meanwhile, group co-founders Tim Jackson and Ian Murphy are concentrating respectively on Telensa, (the already spun-out street lighting control system company) and RedCloud Technology and Iceni Mobile Technology (cashless money transfer organisations). Blighter Surveillance Systems (previously Plextek Radar Group) continues to be led by Mark Radford, now as CEO, and Liam Devlin will become CEO of Plextek RF Integration, separating out the RF IC design business. Sister company Redtail Telematics continues as the branded outlet for Plextek’s telematics activities.