Friday, December 7, 2007

LTE Wikipedia entry


Monday, December 3, 2007

Verizon adopts LTE for 4G wireless platform

Verizon adopts LTE for 4G wireless platform


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ericsson sees weak 4Q sales, shares slide

NEW YORK — Telecom equipment maker Ericsson on Tuesday (Nov. 20) predicted a weak fourth quarter due to tightening U.S. and European demand and unrest in emerging markets, sending its shares down 11 percent.

After issuing a profit warning in the third quarter, the world's biggest maker of mobile-network gear said that sales and margins for the fourth quarter would be at the lower end of a forecast range it had given as recently as last month.

Analysts and investors said they were concerned about the company's ability to monitor the performance of its business and were disappointed Ericsson did not give a clear sign when it would start to see improvements.

"It's not good news," said Leo Schmidt, an equities analyst at insurer Chubb Corp, which owns Ericsson shares. He said investors were spooked by the repeatedly revised forecasts.

"That makes people wonder how much management has control of the business," he said.

Ericsson had said in October that fourth-quarter sales would be between 53 billion and 60 billion Swedish crowns ($8.4 billion to $9.6 billion) and that operating margins would be in the mid-teen percentage range.

Chief Executive Carl-Henric Svanberg told investors that it had since become clear that Ericsson would be hurt by tightening network equipment demand in the United States and Europe, a weakening U.S. dollar and political unrest in some markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand.

"We can see that the U.S. and we can see that Europe is tightening," he said. "There are operators that are clearly downgrading their investments for 2008."

Ericsson said it expected a slight decline in business from networks in Europe where operators involved in mergers and acquisitions are slowing spending on upgrades for high-speed wireless data services such as Web surfing.

"We just assume that we'll have continued disruptions from consolidation," Svanberg said. "We do not think for at least the next year that we will have any major (data) upgrades."

He said that tightening U.S. spending could relate to general economic concerns among operators.

Shares in the Sweden-based company tumbled 11 percent to close at 16 crowns in Stockholm, having fallen as low as 15.92, their lowest since February 2004. Its U.S.-listed shares finished down $3.42, or 12 percent, at $25.11.


Asked whether Ericsson's board still supported management given Tuesday's news, Svanberg said: "I must say we have in this situation very strong support and good cooperation with the board, so there's no change there."

Ericsson is focused on winning share in emerging markets, where it sees the biggest growth opportunities.

"Whatever you lose in market share you will not regain. Time is of an importance here," he said.

But the comments led at least one analyst to question whether this strategy would put pressure on future profits.

Ericsson's biggest competitors include Nokia Siemens, a venture of Nokia Oyj and Siemens, China's Huawei Technologies Co and Alcatel-Lucent, which had also issued profit warnings this year.

Chief Financial Officer Hans Vestberg told investors he expected wireless network building projects to weigh on Ericsson's margins for the next several quarters. Such projects can take six to nine months, or even up to 12 months, he said.

Svanberg said that "in a perfect world" margins could improve in the second half of next year as the company starts new projects, but his reluctance to commit to a timeframe for improvements worried some analysts.

"It raised more questions than it provided answers," said RBC Capital analyst Mark Sue. "People are still trying to figure out where things might settle."

The double-digit percentage drop in the shares on Tuesday followed a plunge of 30 percent when Ericsson shocked the market with its third-quarter warning. It said it was receiving a greater share of sales from costly network projects and less than it had expected from more lucrative network upgrades.

Within days of the warning, Ericsson replaced CFO Karl-Henrik Sundstrom with Vestberg. It also promised to improve its ability to monitor business conditions and avoid such market shocks in future. (Additional writing and reporting by Adam Cox and Jerker Hellstrom in Stockholm: Editing by David Holmes, Paul Bolding; Editing by Gary Hill)

By: Sinead Carew

Friday, November 16, 2007

Samsung Using Skyworks Products For Femtocell Applications

Woburn, MA -- Skyworks Solutions, Inc. announced that Samsung is leveraging multiple solutions from its Linear Products portfolio including transceivers, power amplifiers and LNAs for use in FEMTO cell applications. FEMTO cells, or small cellular base stations designed for residential and small business environments, help provide enhanced coverage in wireless networks and solve very real, near-term signal coverage and capacity issues. According to In-Stat, worldwide FEMTO cell subscriptions (installed devices) are expected to grow to 40 million by 2011 and surpass 100 million end-users over the next five years, representing a market opportunity for FEMTO cell devices of over $4 billion.

"Skyworks is uniquely suited to support the demanding system requirements of FEMTO cells given our technology breadth and depth," said Stan Swearingen, Skyworks' vice president and general manager of Linear Products. "In fact, the architecture being utilized for Samsung's FEMTO cell systems is an example of our ability to leverage proven and innovative technology across diverse markets."

Products entering volume production include, among others, the:

  • SKY74068: highly integrated transmitter for dual-band CDMA applications operating in cellular CDMA, AMPS, and PCS modes. The only external components needed for operation are bias resistors, bypass capacitors, and passives for the PLL loop filter.

  • SKY74092: a highly integrated CDMA/PCS LNA for dual-band and tri-mode. The device provides low noise amplification with high linearity to achieve a high dynamic range. Up to four gain steps of low noise amplification are supported through a three-wire read/write serial bus interface.

  • SKY74100: a highly integrated receiver for tri-band CDMA applications with GPS capability.

  • SKY77410: a load insensitive power amplifier (LIPA(TM)) module for WCDMA applications that meets stringent spectral linearity requirements with high power added efficiency for power output of up to 27.5 dBm, even with a load mismatch of 4:1 VSWR -- eliminating the need for an isolator.

SOURCE: Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Nokia Siemens May Lose Indian GSM Contract to Ericsson

Local reports are suggesting that Ericsson could win the entire GSM network tender from India's BSNL as Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has not yet formally agreed to the terms from the company. The company had planned to split the 22.75 million GSM lines contract 60:40 between Ericsson and NSN. Ericsson's current allocation is worth around US$1.3 billion while NSN's is worth around US$954 million.

Nokia Siemens did originally tender at a higher cost than Ericsson, hence the smaller share of the tender - but is required to match Ericsson's price if it wants to take up the contract.

An unnamed BSNL executive told The Economic Times that if NSN failed to pick up the purchase orders within the next couple of days, another option would be to float a fresh tender.

When asked if BSNL would award the entire contract to Ericsson, BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal told the newspaper "I hope they (NSN) come around. However, if they do not agree, then we will have to explore other options".

BSNL's tender has been mired in controversy ever since it was sent for RFP last year. Initially the tender was for a massive 45 million lines, but the government blocked this and it was shrunk to just under 23 million lines. Then arguments with Motorola who claimed to have bid lower than Ericsson for the tender, but was disqualified from competing on technical grounds.

Under the terms of the final award, Ericsson bid the lowest figure - reported to be about US$91 per line. Nokia - prior to the infrastructure merger with Siemens had bid around US$177, with a significantly higher figure reported from Siemens. The merged company may be having difficulty in pulling down its costs to the level offered by Ericsson.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Andrew and Nokia Siemens Networks Revamp Filter Relationship

WESTCHESTER, IL, October 24, 2007—Andrew Corporation and Nokia Siemens Networks have agreed to revise their long-standing relationship in custom filter production. The agreement provides more design and manufacturing control to Nokia Siemens Networks, supported by Andrew’s research and development expertise, as it readies to market its next generation radio frequency filter products.

Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks acquired the rights to all Andrew intellectual property related to Nokia Siemens Networks’ filter products for wireless networks. In addition, certain Andrew personnel in Italy will continue to provide engineering and technical work exclusively for the Nokia Siemens Networks products under an engineering services arrangement.

The companies also have agreed to rearrange their filter manufacturing relationship, including use of contract manufacturing partners. Nokia Siemens Networks assumes responsibility for the production of its own filter products currently done at an Andrew facility in Shenzhen, China, and by contract manufacturers in Eastern Europe. This arrangement also includes the transfer of production assets and inventories associated with Nokia Siemens Networks manufacturing operations. Andrew retains ownership of the cost-efficient, world-class Shenzhen facility and will expand filter production there on behalf of its other customers.

The transaction enables Andrew to increase its direct-to-operator channel focus while retaining a strong relationship with Nokia Siemens Networks, as well as other key original equipment manufacturers, which includes the supply of various other products and systems for wireless networks around the world.

“We are pleased that this agreement meets the needs of both companies, while continuing the strong supplier relationship we have enjoyed with Nokia Siemens Networks for many years,” said Mickey Miller, executive vice president and group president, Wireless Network Solutions, Andrew Corporation. “These moves will build a foundation for improved profitability and new opportunities for research and development services for Andrew. In addition, we are able to concentrate more resources and management time on areas of the business that offer more profitable growth opportunities.”

Andrew, Resilience Capital Reach Agreement On Sale Of Satellite Communications Business

1/6/2007 Westchester, IL -- Andrew Corporation has reached agreement for the sale of its Satellite Communications business to Resilience Capital Partners, a Cleveland, Ohio-based private equity firm.

Under the agreement, Andrew will receive up to $39 million in total potential cash consideration, in addition to an ownership stake in the new satellite communications company that Resilience will establish with the acquired Andrew assets. Andrew’s ownership stake will be from 17 percent to 20 percent depending on the newly-formed company’s capital structure at closing, which has not yet been finalized.

Andrew will receive $9 million in cash at closing, which is expected to occur prior to the end of calendar 2007, and $5 million in seller’s notes that will mature three years after closing. In addition, Andrew may receive up to an additional $25 million in cash after three years based upon the achievement of certain financial targets by the new company. Dependent upon the ownership stake received and the book value of the Satellite Communications assets at the date of closing, Andrew expects to record a charge against earnings of approximately $15 million to $20 million related to the sale of this underperforming Andrew business.

“We believe the Satellite Communications business and its people will have a brighter future and greater prospects for success as a standalone company with a singular focus of meeting the needs of its worldwide customers,” said Jude Panetta, group president, Satellite Communications, Andrew Corporation. “We worked extensively over the last two years to move away from unprofitable businesses and markets and, through innovative product development, to enter new and more profitable markets such as military satellite communications, electronics and mobile platforms. We are pleased with this agreement, and are optimistic that the Satellite Communications business will achieve its full potential as a standalone business under the guidance of Resilience Capital.”

”We at Resilience are confident that, when given the opportunity to be decoupled from Andrew, this business and its people will find itself to be an even more significant integrated systems supplier in its marketplace and to its customers,” said Bassem Mansour, managing partner, Resilience Capital Partners.

With sales of approximately $104 million in fiscal 2007, Satellite Communications comprises nearly five percent of Andrew’s overall revenues. The unit employs approximately 520 people in nine countries. Other than Reynosa, Mexico-based employees, who will be transitioned into other Andrew businesses over time, it is expected that all existing employees of Satellite Communications will transfer to or get offers to join the new company, named ASC Signal Corporation, upon completion of the acquisition.

Andrew also will provide certain support services to the new Satellite Communications company and Resilience during a transition period in order to ensure a seamless transfer of ownership that minimizes any risk of disruption to customers, employees and suppliers. “Both Andrew and Resilience are committed to supporting the continuation of Satellite Communications’ strong heritage of delivering innovative, high-quality products and outstanding service to its customers around the world,” Panetta said.

Andrew’s Satellite Communications Group provides a complete line of antennas from 46 centimeters to 9.4 meters and radio frequency electronics for all enterprise, government/military, and consumer satellite communications applications. Andrew-designed and -built products—which cover C, Ku, K, X, and the emerging Ka band—include approved earth station antenna hubs and gateways for broadband and broadcast, VSAT broadband antennas and transceivers for consumer and enterprise customers, direct-to-home antennas and LNBFs for home satellite broadcast systems, high frequency and air traffic control radar antennas for governments, and complete installation and testing services.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Motorola tests 3G femtocell technology in Europe

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent posts loss, deepens job cuts

Alcatel-Lucent SA, the world's largest telecommunications-equipment company, on Wednesday said it will cut a further 4,000 jobs and replace its chief financial officer as part of a turnaround plan unveiled as it posted its third straight quarterly loss.
The additional job cuts bring total workforce reductions to 16,500 and will help save an extra 400 million euros ($577 million) by the end of 2009. Jean-Pascal Beaufret, the group's CFO, is stepping down to "pursue other opportunities" and will be replaced by the current head of the enterprise division, Hubert de Pesquidoux.
The moves announced Wednesday are part of a much anticipated turnaround plan requested by the board and signal Alcatel-Lucent's determination to accelerate its restructuring. But the initiatives received mixed reviews from analysts who had called for much larger job cuts and for the sale of parts of the company's portfolio.
News of the reorganization came as the gear maker posted an adjusted net loss of 258 million euros, or 0.11 euros a share, in the third quarter. It earned 532 million euros, or 0.23 euros a share, a year earlier. An exact comparison with last year's third-quarter results can't be made as the two companies had not yet merged.
Revenue fell 11% year-over-year to 4.35 billion euros. However, it rose 2% sequentially. The average forecast of eight analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires was for a net loss of 223 million euros and sales of 4.4 billion euros. Gross margin improved to 34.2% from 33.4% in the second quarter.
Turning to the fourth quarter, the group said it expects a "solid ramp up" in revenue from the third quarter. It also said revenue would be flat this year, updating an earlier prediction that sales would be unchanged to slightly up.
The company confirmed it's on track to achieve pre-tax cost savings of 600 million euros this year.
Alcatel-Lucent shares, in New York trading, rose 22 cents to $9.61. See Europe Markets.
Some slowdown in North American spending
Alcatel-Lucent shares have lost roughly 40% so far this year. The company, created from the merger of France's Alcatel and Lucent Technologies of the U.S., has struggled to bring about the promised scale benefits and to become a more formidable competitor to Sweden's Ericsson
and aggressive Chinese vendors such as ZTE Corp.
Alcatel-Lucent has issued three profit warnings since its merger in December 2006.
But its competitors haven't been immune to operational hiccups either.
A profit warning from rival Ericsson earlier this month sent its shares down roughly 25% in a single day and cast doubt on the level of demand for mobile-network upgrades, particularly from North America. See archived story.
Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Patricia Russo on Wednesday said market conditions remain difficult, "with continued pressure on revenues and margins due to intensified competition and some slowdown in spending in North America."
Analysts fret over CFO's departure
The news of Beaufret's departure wasn't cheered by analysts.
Richard Windsor of Nomura, who has a neutral rating on Alcatel-Lucent, said the executive is widely regarded as the best CFO in the industry.
His departure, he said, "is a blow upon a bruise" and he warned that the executive's "steady hand and pragmatic approach will be sorely missed at a time when Alcatel-Lucent needs him the most."
ABN Amro analysts also expressed concern at Beaufret's departure, calling the news "a bit worrying" and saying it hurts the credibility of the new financial targets.

Beaufret is the third senior executive to leave the company since the end of the summer.
Regarding the additional 400 million euros of cost savings unveiled Wednesday, Bear Stearns analysts noted that the challenge will be to realize them rather than reinvest them, given current market conditions and the company's growing footprint. The company has been forced to reinvest most of its cost savings to date to remain competitive.
As part of its organizational revamp, Alcatel-Lucent said it has set up a seven-member management committee that will report directly to Russo and replace a group of 21 executives.
Chart of FR:013000
The committee will be charged with assuring execution and business performance, creating a "more focused and efficient operating model."
Russo said she selected "every member" of the team, which includes regional and divisional heads.
Turning to individual divisions, revenue rose 5% to 1.52 billion euros at the fixed-line carrier business. It dropped 24% to 1.28 billion euros at the wireless division. The company attributed the decline in wireless sales to strong comparisons in the year-ago quarter.
Russo said in a conference call that the company has no intention of exiting any significant parts of its portfolio of products and will remain both in wireless and wireline.
At the convergence unit, revenue fell 41% to 346 million euros. While it has gained market share in next-generation products, that business is still not big enough to offset the declines in demand for traditional equipment, the company said.
Sales at the enterprise unit rose 5% to 380 million euros.
Russo said Alcatel-Lucent has no intention of selling the division

Monday, October 22, 2007

WJ Communications Expands Family Of Second Source Frequency Mixers To Provide Broad Range Wireless Applications

WJ Communications, Inc., a leading designer and supplier of radio frequency (RF) products and solutions for the wireless infrastructure and radio frequency identification (RFID) reader markets, recently announced its expansion of the high-dynamic range, low-cost WJZ diode mixer series, a family of second source frequency mixers created as pin-for-pin drop in replacement for popular diode-based frequency mixers. Seven new products; WJZ1030H, WJZ1050H, WJZ1070H, WJZ3000, WJZ3010, WJZ3020, and WJZ3030 provide a wider selection and greater flexibilities for different needs and applications. The attractiveness of the WJZ family centers in the ability to provide a stable supply of devices, particularly during a cost reduction or redesign phase of a customer’s product lifecycle. These new low-cost mixers can be used in a wide variety of applications such as frequency up/down conversion, and modulation/demodulation for receivers and transmitters while delivering superior performance.

"Market response to our second source family of products, in particular the WJZ diode mixer family, has been tremendous. The growing customer demand for cost-sensitive and highly reliable RF mixer solutions has prompted us to develop more products in this category." said Morteza Saidi, Vice President of Engineering at WJ Communications. “Continuing the excellent performance with the current WJZ products, the new WJZ devices have extraordinary features in high linearity, and lower signal attenuation for reduced conversion loss.”

Product Overview

The WJZ mixer products are passive double-balanced diode-ring mixers that provide high dynamic range performance in a RoHS-compliant surface mount package that require no matching. The family include models with a wide-range of RF, LO, and IF ranges, optimized for LO levels from +7 to +17dBm.

Value proposition

Utilizing WJ's RF expertise and leadership in wireless infrastructure, WJ developed the WJZ diode mixer family. The key product features include:

  • Broadband performance – requires no matching
  • High linearity: Improved IIP3 performance
  • Reduced Conversion Loss: lower signal attenuation
  • Lower CL also means lower NF: critical for receiver sensitivity
  • High LO-RF isolation
  • No internal solder connections
  • Lower cost than competition
  • No external bias circuitry – consists of all passive components
  • Surface mount RoHS-complaint Package

Positive Market Feedback
WJ has shipped over 1.5 million of the current diode mixers to a wide range of customers targeting an array of applications. The new WJZ diode mixers are presently sampling with key strategic customers; customer feedback has been very positive with special emphasis to the high performance and cost-saving benefit. In addition, numerous customers appreciate that the WJZ family is pin-to-pin compatible with Mini-Circuits’ SYM, RMS and ADE series mixers, providing an alternative resource with a steady flow of product.

Target Applications

  • Ideally for broad range of wireless applications
  • Up/down frequency conversion
  • Modulation and demodulation for receivers and transmitters for 2.5G and 3G GSM/CDMA/W-CDMA
  • Test/Medical Instruments
  • Phase Detection
  • Image Rejection
  • Current Controlled Attenuator
  • Radar, Satellite, Avionics, and Navigation markets

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent and Sagem to Jointly Develop 3G Femto Cell Base Stations

Alcatel-Lucent and France's Sagem say that they are collaborating on the commercial development of a3G femto cell base station platform. Based on Alcatel-Lucent's "flat IP (Internet Protocol)" architecture, the UMTS/HSPA BSR Femto flattens the mobile network by integrating and collapsing the UMTS/HSPA radio access network elements, including the base station and radio network controller (RNC), into a single, small unit about the size of a TV set-top box.

"The UMTS/HSPA BSR Femto offers significant advantages over competing solutions due to the fact that it combines all radio access functions into a single, compact device, eliminating the need to deploy additional RNCs," said Alain Biston, president of Alcatel-Lucent's W-CDMA activities.

"By taking advantage of Sagem Communications' expertise in the development of consumer electronics products to help package and manufacture the BSR Femto for mass market consumption, we will realize significant time to market and cost benefits," Biston added.

Through this collaboration, Alcatel-Lucent and Sagem Communications have already achieved significant milestones in the BSR Femto development effort, including the completion of voice and data calls, lab demonstrations with key customers and the establishment of a program of field trials (to be conducted in the fourth quarter of this year).

Under the collaboration agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its flat IP and UMTS/HSPA expertise, networking equipment and software and end-to-end integration and support for the development of the BSR Femto. Sagem Communications will lend its enhanced home networking capabilities and expertise in developing IP, VoIP and DSL solutions for the mass market. The BSR Femto uses a DSL connection in a home or office building to backhaul voice and data traffic onto an operator's existing UMTS/HSPA network, enabling operators to offload traffic from the macro-network. It supports circuit-switched voice and data applications, packet-switched data applications, HSPA and IP-Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based networks. It also works with all 3GPP-compliant UMTS/HSPA handsets.

Two versions of the BSR Femto are planned for UMTS/HSPA networks -- a standalone 3G unit with Ethernet connectivity to a DSL modem and an integrated unit that supports UMTS/HSPA, DSL and WiFi. Alcatel-Lucent is also developing a CDMA/EV-DO based BSR Femto.

Posted to the site on 9th October 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent Losing 3G Business to Ericsson

Alcatel-Lucent shares fell by more than 2% in early trading this morning after a report in the Financial Times said the telecom networking company is losing business to rival Ericsson. The paper reported that AT&T was doing more business with Ericsson.

In 2004, AT&T awarded a $2 billion infrastructure contract to Ericsson, Lucent and Siemens to upgrade its U.S wireless network. Under the original terms of the deal, Ericsson was to get about $900 million, Lucent $700 million and Siemens $400 million, but according to the paper, Alcatel-Lucent delayed delivering the 3G technology and Ericsson "stepped in." Ericsson's portion of the contract now exceeds 50%.

The report also said that AT&T had considered dropping Altactel-Lucent from the contract entirely, but so far has kept the network supplier.

In the report, Alcatel-Lucent responded by saying "We continue to be a critical WCDMA supplier to AT&T."

Z-Communications Launches Wideband Fractional-N PLL Synthesizer

an Diego -- Z-Communications, Inc. announced the release of PSA1450FLF, the first of a new series of state-of-the-art, fast switching and wide band Fractional-N PLL Synthesizers in a small surface mount package (0.8”x0.6”). These new high performance synthesizers from Z-Communications use the latest technology. This design scheme enables the achievement of very low spurious levels as low as 80 dBc.

The PSA1450FLF provides a phase noise with 90dBc/Hz @ 1 kHz offset and 100dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset when operated with a low phase noise reference of 32 MHz. Above all, it has a switching speed of <>

Thursday, October 4, 2007

JMD Awarded European Patent For Organic Passive Components

Jacket Micro Devices, Inc. (JMD) has received notification of issuance of a European patent for “liquid crystalline polymer (LCP) and multilayer polymer-based passive signal processing components for multi-band applications.”

The patent covers fabrication of organic passive components, including bandpass filters, baluns, diplexers, multiplexers, couplers and combinations of these devices made using LCP and other multilayer polymer substrates. Modules are manufactured using one or more LCP layers with integrated passive components formed directly on the substrate, allowing for better density and performance.

“This technology is key to enabling the design and fabrication of multi-function, multi-band devices, such as mobile phones with cellular, WiFi and WiMAX capabilities,” said George White, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, JMD. “This patent further strengthens JMD’s intellectual property position related to the passive components needed to empower the next generation of communication devices. As consumers demand more from their mobile devices, this technology will offer new solutions and better meet the challenges of this fast-growing market segment.”

The patent, listed under European patent number 1 731 006, is JMD’s sixth patent related to Multi-Layer Organic (MLO) design and technology. It will be validated in Germany and the UK.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

IBM promotes open standards in RFID sphere

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

RFMD Announces Expansion To Accommodate Rising Demand For Compound Semiconductors

Greensboro, NC -- RF Micro Devices announced plans to expand its compound semiconductor manufacturing capacity to support growth expectations in the Company's Cellular and Multi-Market product groups.

RFMD anticipates increased demand for its compound semiconductor process technologies as a result of favorable market trends in the Company's primary markets. In the cellular handset market, the increasing adoption of highly integrated, multi-chip transmit modules and the migration to 3G multimode devices are expected to drive increased demand for RFMD's GaAs pHEMT and RFMD's GaAs HBT (both AlGaAs HBT and InGaP HBT). These market trends require greater quantities of compound semiconductor content and are expected to underpin a five-year compound annual growth rate of greater than 20% from 2007-2012 in the market for cellular front ends.

Additionally, in markets served by RFMD's Multi-Market products group, it is anticipated the migration to 802.11n (GaAs HBT and GaAs pHEMT) and the increasing adoption of WiMAX (GaAs HBT and GaN) will be among the primary drivers of increased compound semiconductor content and accelerated market growth. RFMD's GaN process technology is quickly being recognized as a superior process technology for applications that require high power, linearity and bandwidth, as compared to existing technologies, such as silicon LDMOS.

Asif Anwar, Director of Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies (GaAs) service, said, "RFMD has consistently been the world's largest supplier of GaAs devices for several years as a result of its leadership in the cellular handset PA space. The Company continues to move in line with the requirements of the cellular handset market, and this will continue to drive the volume at RFMD. RFMD has also developed a coherent multiple market strategy to target higher value segments with the rollout of its GaN and GaAs pHEMT technologies as well as the expansion of its IP and product portfolios through the proposed Sirenza acquisition. This dual 'high volume-high value' strategy will help the Company remain at the forefront of the compound semiconductor industry."

Bob Bruggeworth, president and CEO of RFMD, said, "The markets served by RFMD are growing, and RFMD is growing its compound semiconductor content within these markets. The addition of our third fab will enable us to capture a greater percentage of this growth while also reducing manufacturing costs and driving continued improvement in operating profitability. Once complete, our third fab, in conjunction with our second fab, will focus on high volume cellular and WLAN front end products that utilize GaAs HBT and GaAs pHEMT. The new fab will also provide capacity for the production of wafer-level packaged SAW filters and the development of new, next-generation process technologies that provide highly integrated front end functionality. Our first fab will focus on high value multi-market products that utilize specialty GaN, GaAs pHEMT and GaAs HBT technologies."

RFMD is currently increasing its manufacturing levels of both GaAs HBT and GaAs pHEMT in order to satisfy immediate forecasted demand.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent, Kyocera work on WiMAX mobile broadband

PARIS – Alcatel-Lucent and wireless handset manufacturer Kyocera Wireless Corp. (San Diego, California) have extended their collaboration with the signature of an agreement on the development of end-to-end WiMAX mobile broadband solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties said they aim to accelerate the development of WiMAX devices with enhanced mobility features, as well as multi-mode terminals that can enable seamless interoperability between WiMAX networks and cellular or Wi-Fi networks.

Their collaboration includes the establishment of specifications, the development and integration of WiMAX solutions and the creation of an interoperability testing (IOT) program to make sure that Kyocera's WiMAX devices "can operate smoothly" on Alcatel-Lucent’s infrastructure, the two partners agreed.

Intel, Nokia, Nokia Siemens cooperate on WiMax

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WiMAX bids to cover world with broadband

Chicago/San Francisco (dpa) - From the remotest villages of Vietnam to Silicon Valley offices and Chicago's cavernous convention centre, a new mobile telecommunications technology is set to take the world a lot closer to the age of the ubiquitous internet.

WiMAX technology has long been tipped to transform the way people communicate with computers and hand-held devices. But some key developments in the run up to the WiMAX world convention that began Tuesday in Chicago indicate that the technology is set to take off into the mainstream.

If it all works out as planned, WiMAX will allow users to tap into wireless broadband internet services at the speed of DSL or cable. Because WiMAX has a range of 8 kilometres up to 50 kilometres, the technology has the capability of blanketing entire cities with a broadband cloud.

With base stations linked via satellite, WiMAX can also be used to link remote regions to a state-of-the-art communications systems - even in places where simple telephone access had been impossible until now.

US technology giant Intel proved the feasibility of such projects earlier this month when it hooked up the remote Vietnamese village of Ta Van with a WiMAX hotspot that blanketed the village with broadband. Users in Ta Van now enjoy free internet access.

Intel reckons that on a commercial basis, the service could be offered for about 25 dollars a month per end user, still a fortune in many developing countries.

However, costs will fall as the technology is rolled out in the developed world. Users in remote regions will also find huge economic benefits to their internet connections, which should help them defray the costs.

The US will be the first to enjoy the WiMax experience, which its backers call 4G to differentiate it from the 3G wireless networks currently available. Mobile phone company Sprint has spent 5 billion dollars building out WiMAX networks in some 30 US cities with combined populations of 100 million, which it expects to hook up in 2008.

Sprint could have faced the old chicken-and-egg problem, if not for an initiative announced last week by Intel.

The world's dominant maker of chips that power PC's announced that starting in November, it will roll out a new line of chips named Penryn that will be Intel's first using 45-nanometre technology.

They are expected to quickly become the industry standard for laptops and desktops and will be the smallest, most powerful and most efficient chips the company has ever made. Penryn chips will also all include built-in WiMAX receivers.

"Mobile users have an insatiable appetite for and want even more mobility, connectivity and a full internet on their smaller devices," said Intel executive David Perlmutter. "Intel will satisfy those needs and also use some of these technologies to bring an affordable computing and Internet experience to emerging communities and economies around the world."

Motorola, the world's second-largest cellphone manufacturer, is also betting on the new technology, announcing a new WiMAX chipset Tuesday and calling the technology "the most cost-effective, fastest and easiest-to-deploy option in the market today, often providing an economical way to provide telecom service where previously there was none."

Intel sees the technology spreading around the world within five years, and technology consultant Carmi Levy has little doubt that Intel's stance will make WiMAX the broadband technology of the future.

"Intel's Centrino chips legitimized Wi-Fi," said Levy. "This will do the same for WiMAX - it will become a basic feature of any computer you will buy."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tyco and OATSystems Announce Agreement

Tyco Electronics and OATSystems announced an alliance to offer a RFID solution targeted for industrial manufacturers to quickly realize the business benefits of RFID by automating asset management processes. Asset management across multiple facilities and trading partners has never been more complex. RFID is an obvious solution to automate these processes, but technology adoption has often been hampered due to a lack of proven solutions and by the cost and time of developing, testing and deploying custom applications.

Combining Tyco Electronics tag solutions with OATSystems Asset Tracking software will enable businesses to realize an ROI much more quickly. By providing integrated software and hardware solutions, proven at real customers, Tyco Electronics and OATSystems can quickly give industrial manufacturers tangible business benefits such as better control and less loss of reusable assets (shipping containers, for example) and improved supply chain visibility, which allows for better planning and improved customer service. Customers can be up and running in weeks, instead of months, enabling them to respond immediately to mis-shipments and delivery errors, increasing both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

“Clients want hardware and software solutions with the added value experience to bring scalable, low-risk RFID capabilities to their operations,” said Eric Freid, director RFID Solutions at Tyco Electronics. “By working with OATSystems, Tyco Electronics can now offer its customers the best of both worlds: applications from the leader in RFID enabled software and a selection of active, passive and semi-passive tags combined with our extensive Services and hardware.”

“Tyco Electronics and OATSystems are committed to providing integrated RFID solutions, reducing the time-to-value from the shop floor to the corner office,” said OATSystems’ CEO Michael George. “We are focused on delivering proven solutions that provide benefits out-of-the box, without requiring significant investments in testing, Training and infrastructure. Our staff looks forward to our continued alliance with Tyco Electronics and to continue building on its success.”

UK Regulator to Reclaim Radio Spectrum - Allow 3G at 900Mhz

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The UK's telecommunications regulator Thursday unveiled plans to liberalize parts of the country's mobile phone radio spectrum to accelerate mobile broadband usage, and in the process generate an additional UK£6 billion (US$12 billion) for the economy.

Ofcom is proposing that two of the UK's mobile phone operators, Vodafone Group and Telefonica's O2, give up part of the radio spectrum they currently use, which it will auction to other phone companies.

02 and Vodafone were given sole rights to use the 900 megahertz frequency in 1985.

In return, Ofcom says that the two operators will be able to use the freqency - over which they currently provide voice calls and text messaging - for other services, including high-speed mobile broadband that the regulator currently restricts them from offering over the 900 MHz spectrum.

Until now, Ofcom has only allowed the 900MHz spectrum to be used for second generation, or 2G, voice and text messaging services. In lifting this restriction, the regulator will give Vodafone, O2, and other potential bidders the right to use this prime piece of radio spectrum to improve mobile reception in rural areas and inside buildings. Operators will also be able to use the spectrum to offer third generation, or 3G, data services, such as Internet browsing, and music and video downloading.

Significantly, operators can roll out 3G services in rural areas on the 900 MHz frequency much more cheaply than using existing 3G technology, as fewer radio masts are required because the 900MHz spectrum can carry signals across greater distances than the current 3G services operating at 2100 MHz that are offered by Vodafone, 02, the U.K. arms of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and France Telecom's Orange, and Hutchison Whampoa's operator 3.

The European Commission in July issued a directive proposing that operators across Europe should be allowed to "refarm" the 900MHz band for other uses. EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding argued that by doing so operators will be able to cut the costs of running a wireless network by 40% over five years.

"We estimate that each existing 3G operator in the U.K. could stand to save GBP1.25 billion each in the cost of rolling out a mobile broadband network by using the 900MHz spectrum," said an Ofcom spokesman Thursday.

E-Plus, the mobile arm of Dutch KPN in Germany, has previously estimated that it could save up to EUR300 million in operating costs by running its 3G network on the 900MHz frequency. ...continued

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

STMicroelectronics Announces RF Synthesizer With Integrated VCOs

/17/2007 Geneva, Switzerland -- STMicroelectronics recently unveiled its new RF synthesizer with integrated voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs). ST claims its STW81103 is the first single-chip device that operates up to 5 GHz, meeting the increasing demand of equipment manufacturers for space and cost-efficient solutions in radio applications with frequencies in the microwave range. Among the applications in which these devices may find application are wireless network infrastructures, CATV systems, instrumentation, and test equipment.

Frequency synthesizers form the basis of most radio designs, and their performance largely affects the operation of the overall system. The leading requirements for signal-generating components in today’s communications equipment include minimized phase noise and broadband frequency coverage.

To address these requirements, ST’s STW81103 exhibits strong phase-noise performance for single-chip RF synthesizers, with measured values of 0.27 degrees RMS (Root Mean Square) at 1.16 GHz, 0.6 degrees RMS at 2.33 GHz, and 1.5 degrees RMS at 4.67 GHz with a frequency step of 200 kHz. Outstanding suppression of random frequency fluctuations in a signal provides more design margin, and the low phase noise also satisfies the stringent requirements of system manufacturers for minimized bit-error rates in voice and data transmission.

In addition to broad spectrum coverage of up to 5GHz, the STW81103’s embedded VCOs with automatic center-frequency calibration provide outstanding multi-band functionality. A single device spans frequency bands from 625 to 762.5 MHz, 1087.5 to 1525 MHz, 2175 to 3050 MHz, and 4350 to 5000 MHz, allowing wireless system suppliers to use the device in wideband and multi-band applications. Among competing solutions, ST’s family of integrated RF synthesizers has three devices (STW81101, STW81102, and STW81103) to cover the largest frequency range, from 625 MHz to 5 GHz.

“ST’s unparalleled combination of a world-class RF technology, solid design skills, and leading-edge components results in dramatic savings in material costs and board space, which are the key concerns of wireless equipment manufacturers today,” said Guillaume Pertinant, RF technical marketing manager at ST’s Communication Infrastructure Division. “With the broadest band-coverage in the market, our single-chip synthesizers are set to spearhead the development of cost-efficient applications in the microwave range.”

Pin-to-pin compatible with other members of ST’s STW8110x family, the STW81103 is supplied in VFQFN-28 lead-free packages. Samples are available now, with volume production slated for early Q1 2008.

Customers can order evaluation kits that include the STWPLLSim software.

Monday, September 17, 2007

ANADIGICS Expands R&D Through Acquisition of Fairchild’s RF Design Group

ANADIGICS Inc., a provider of semiconductor solutions in the rapidly growing broadband wireless and wireline communications markets, has announced that it has acquired from Fairchild Semiconductor, for $2.3 M, the RF team, fixed assets, certain leases, software and licenses to intellectual property in connection with Fairchild’s exiting of its RF Group business in Tyngsboro, MA.

The acquisition, which included the hiring of 23 highly experienced RF design and engineering professionals, will further accelerate the company’s design and development of RF active semiconductor devices for the 3G cellular, WiFi and WiMAX markets.

“Highly specialized RF talent is rare in the semiconductor industry and is a differentiating factor in our fast growing markets,” said Bami Bastani, president and CEO of ANADIGICS Inc. “The establishment of the Massachusetts design center not only fulfills our planned 2008 resource requirements, but further consolidates the industry and provides ANADIGICS with a knowledgeable and exceptionally experienced RF team, which will accelerate our new revenue growth opportunities for our 3G Wireless, WiFi and WiMAX product lines.”

“While this transaction will increase our anticipated R&D expenses for the fourth quarter of 2007, customer demand forecasts and fourth quarter momentum for our products remain robust, which is expected to partially offset the incremental expenses,” said Tom Shields, executive vice president and CFO of ANADIGICS Inc. “Additionally, for fiscal year 2008, our business model had already planned comparable R&D expenses and, consequently, does not need to be further adjusted for this acquisition.”

As a part of the agreement, ANADIGICS will provide business and technical transitional support Services to assist Fairchild as it exits the RF business.

Nokia Siemens and Airvana to Cooperate on 3g Femto Home Access

Airvana and Nokia Siemens Networks say that they plan to work together to provide an end-to-end 3G femto-cell solution for mobile operators worldwide. Femto cells are small cellular access points that utilize a broadband Internet connection to provide consumers with enhanced mobile voice, video and data services, especially in the home. They enable operators to provide mobile broadband services in-building by leveraging existing broadband connectivity.

In a recent report, ABI Research forecasts the market for femto cell equipment will grow 95% per year, to more than $4 billion by 2012.

Airvana's UMTS Home Base Station femto cell leverages software-based functionality and off-the-shelf silicon to accelerate feature development and reduce product cost. The product is being certified to interoperate with Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway. As the first milestone in this effort, the companies have successfully completed simultaneous end-to-end calls utilizing Airvana's femto cell and Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway to connect to a 3GPP core network.

The two companies will cooperate in the marketing and sales of the joint solution to mobile operators worldwide. Each company will independently supply its respective products to the operator. Initial trials of the joint solution are expected by the end of 2007, with deployments starting in 2008.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ericsson Continues to Gain Market Share

Ericsson shares rose early Tuesday after Chief Executive Carl-Henric Svanberg said the company continues to gain market share and to outperform the competition.

"We will continue to drive profitability growth and gain further market share. We are in a good market position and we continue to gain market share and outperform the competition," Svanberg said at a strategy day for investors and analysts.

Svanberg said Ericsson was benefitting from integration issues at rivals Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens.

Ericsson has well over 40% market share in the GSM/WCDMA third-generation wireless technology sector, Svanberg said, while he said new reports from analysts say it may be as much as 45%.

At 0940 GMT, Ericsson shares were up 3%, or SEK0.74, at 25.22.

Commenting on the strategy presentation, Enskilda Bank said there was little new in the presentation, describing it as largely a reiteration of previous comments. But given that Ericsson has been under pressure recently, analysts said, management's confident tone could account for the share strength.

Ericsson's scale and operational excellence plans would help it continue to grow, Svanberg said.

"We can live with fairly limited cost advantage that the Chinese (manufacturers) have, but not if they work smarter than us. This is why we're working with operational excellence," Svanberg said.

Cash-flow conversion is also expected to improve slightly in 2007, as the company improved how it managed large infrastructure projects in Asia and the Middle East, chief financial officer Karl-Hendrik Sundstrom said.

Ericsson, the world's largest wireless infrastructure company by revenue, earlier reaffirmed it expects the GSM and WCDMA market to show mid-single-digit growth in 2007.

It also earlier said, in material prepared ahead of the strategy day, that it expects the professional services market to continue to show good growth.

Sony Ericsson's outgoing President Miles Flint also told Dow Jones Newswires that he expects the global mobile phone market to reach 1.1 billion handsets by the end of 2007.

Sony Ericsson is a joint venture between Ericsson and Sony Corp. (SNE)

Foxconn expands Vietnam investments

Hanoi (dpa) - Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn said Wednesday it will built a 1.1-billon-dollar industrial centre in northern Vietnam as part of a plan to invest a massive 5 billion dollars into the country, local media reported.

The bold move into Vietnam by Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer for such brands as Nokia, Apple and Sony, is the latest sign that low-wage Vietnam has become a new magnet for manufacturing investment.

The company, officially titled Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., has said it will eventually employ 300,000 workers at its planned Vietnamese factories.

Currently, Foxconn makes 80 per cent of its products in China, where it employs 450,000 people. Foxconn's 1.1-billion-dollar industrial zone in Vietnam's Vinh Phuc province, 60 kilometers north of Hanoi, is to house two factories making mobile phones, expected to produce 84 million units per year, according to Thanh Nien newspaper online.

The manufacturing giant also is building a plant in nearby Bac Ninh province to produce camera modules, computer main boards and connects, the paper said.

Vietnam's low labour costs and its youthful, highly literate population have made it a popular new manufacturing magnet, drawing from its proximity to China and even lower wages of around 55 dollars per month vs. more than 100 dollars for parts of China.

Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip-maker, is building a billion-dollar chip-assembly factory in Saigon's High-Tech Park and other

Canon and Panasonic have established printer factories in Vietnam, with Canon projecting 1 billion dollars in export revenue this year. dpa kj jh

9/12/2007 Scottsdale, AZ -- The cellular M2M market will be impacted by the growing momentum behind the deployment of WiMAX as a next-generation WWAN communications technology. WiMAX is even more spectrally efficient and cost-effective to operate in carrier networks when compared with W-CDMA and CDMA EV-DO, making WiMAX very suitable for low data rate, low ARPU M2M applications — when and where WiMAX connectivity is available.

Sam Lucero, ABI Research senior analyst, states, “Sprint and Clearwire are the two most significant service providers deploying WiMAX in the United States. Sprint, a CDMA-based operator, has selected WiMAX as its path to 4G service offerings. Sprint will work with Clearwire — a Craig McCaw startup that has received $600 million in venture backing from Intel and $300 million from Motorola — to provide joint coverage to each other’s respective customers on the nationwide WiMAX networks deployed by the two companies.

“Sprint is rapidly deploying WiMAX infrastructure in North America, and believes WiMAX is well-suited to deliver cost-effective, wide area M2M services: a viewpoint borne out by ABI Research analysis.”

There is also growing interest in Europe in the deployment of WiMAX. Furthermore, there are indications suggesting an interest in employing WiMAX for M2M applications such as AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure). ABI Research continuously monitors and evaluates these trends.

Sprint and Clearwire are only two among a number of interested parties. Lucero adds, “Intel is a key member of a developing WiMAX ecosystem that includes network infrastructure equipment vendors, Motorola and Samsung, as well as CPE vendors such as ZyXEL and Accton. Intel expects nearly a few dozen operators to have deployed WiMAX by 2012.”

Additionally, municipal Wi-Fi can be deployed at a very low cost and is well-suited for select M2M applications, such as AMI, public safety telematics, and video surveillance.

The recent ABI Research study, “3G Machine-To-Machine (M2M) Communications,” examines the market for cellular 3G M2M from the perspective of cellular embedded module vendors, and analyzes the impact that WiMAX and municipal Wi-Fi will have on market development. It forms part of three annual ABI Research Services: M2M, Mobile Operators, and Mobile Devices.

SOURCE: ABI Research

Fairchild Announces Sale Of RF Business Assets To Anadigics

9/7/2007 San Jose, CA -- Fairchild Semiconductor announced that it has closed a transaction to sell selected assets of its RF Group to Anadigics, Inc., for cash.

The RF Group assets include licenses to intellectual property, customer and vendor lists, equipment and selected leases. Anadigics has hired 23 RF design and engineering professionals from the RF Group and will maintain the design center in Massachusetts. As part of the transaction, Anadigics has agreed to assist Fairchild transition out of the RF business by providing both business and technical support for a period of time.

The divestiture of the RF Group and assets allows Fairchild to more sharply focus its resources on the design and manufacturing of power semiconductor products that drive energy efficiency in the communications, computing, industrial, ultra portable and automotive market segments, and analog and mixed-signal products for signal path applications in ultra portable segments. Fairchild expects the hiring by Anadigics of the RF employees will provide the employees and Aanadigics with new growth opportunities. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Fairchild’s financial statements.

SOURCE: Fairchild Semiconductor

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Growing use of millimeter waves for communications, imaging, and automotive radars are providing increasing opportunities for component and test-equip

Millimeter-wave frequencies offer a “new frontier” for communications. Realizing the overcrowding taking place at RF and microwave frequencies, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other regulatory agencies have looked to higher frequencies as a way to add bandwidth and services. All that is missing is low-cost millimeter-wave components to assemble affordable communications infrastructure and user devices to take advantage of the “wide-open” bandwidth.

Millimeter-wave frequencies are so named for the wavelengths of the signals, ranging from about 10 to 1 mm and covering frequencies from about 30 to 300 GHz. They have traditionally seen use in military radar and missile seeker and guidance systems. But in 2003, the United States FCC, seeking to open millimeter-wave frequencies to commercial communications use, adopted a Report and Order establishing service rules or non-Federal development of certain portions of the millimeter-wave spectrum, notably 71 to 76 GHz, 81 to 86 GHz, 91 to 94 GHz, and 94.1 to 95.0 GHz. Frequency bands were made available in 1.25-GHz blocks on a non-exclusive basis. Coordination of the spectrum use would be performed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

As a followup, the Wireless Communications Association International (WCA) filed a Petition for the FCC to reconsider certain aspects of the Report and Order but only for the 70- and 80-GHz bands. Among these considerations, all new 70- and 80-GHz users would have to verify in advance that their systems would not cause harmful interference to any existing link and meet a series of requirements related to antenna and power specifications.

Given the tremendous crowding of bandwidth taking place at lower frequencies (consider the number of communications and heating applications in the 2.4-GHz band alone), the bandwidth represented by millimeter-wave links is attractive for secure data links, video links, backhaul connections between cellular communications stations, and more. One of the companies taking note of the available bandwidth was GigaBeam (, driven by the shared vision of Lou Slaughter (CEO and chairman) and long-time microwave-industry visionary Doug Lockie (CTO and president). The company’s WiFiber® Wireless Fiber product lines employ millimeter-wave transceivers capable of providing high-speed (to 10 Gb/s) and reliable communications links at distances to 1 mile for secure campus-to-campus and building-to-building wireless connections.

Endwave ( produces compact E-band transceivers at frequencies from 71 through 86 GHz with receiver noise figures to3 dB and transmit output power to 2 W. The company’s designs are available with options for waveguide and coaxial connections as well as with hermetic packaging.

The GigaLink Series of millimeter-wave transceivers from Proxim Wireless ( operate at unlicensed frequencies from 57 to 64 GHz and in the licensed band from 71 to 76 GHz. Designed as a high-speed alternative to fiber-optic links, the E-band transceivers feature an integrated parabolic antenna with 44-dBi gain, Gigabit Ethernet data rate of 1.25 Gb/s, and extended range in excess of 8 km. Similarly, the WiFiber™ Wireless Fiber solution from GigaBeam Corp. ( is a millimeter-wave alternative to fiber using the FCC-approved 71- to 76-GHz, 81- to 86-GHz, and 92- to 95-GHz bands.

Of course, establishing short-range millimeter-wave links that can be competitive with fiber optics and other technologies requires cost-effective components, a long-time stumbling block for widespread use of millimeter-wave technology. Bringing the technology to “the masses” requires a combination of intelligent design and skillful machining processes. Millitech (, for example, carries those capabilities in two different divisions to provide both standard and custom components from 18 to 300 GHz. The firm produces a variety of building-block components, which can be used for subsystems or complete systems, including antennas, oscillators, amplifiers, control components and various passive waveguide components. Balanced mixers can be specified from 18 to 100 GHz while subharmonic mixers are available from 50 to 200 GHz. Cassegrain reflector antennas range from 18 to 220 GHz, while standard feed horns are available from 18 to 220 GHz. Gunn oscillators can be ordered with electrical or mechanical tuning from 26.5 to 100 GHz, while LNAs provide high gain from 18 to 110 GHz.

Spacek Labs ( provides most of the building-block components needed to assemble a millimeter-wave system, including the new model AW-8X, an eight-times multiplier for generating W-band signals. The multiplier accepts input signals from 9.35 to 13.75 GHz at levels from +5 to +10 dBm and provides output signals from 75 to 110 GHz at typically +3 dBm output power. Spurious levels are typically controlled to –20 dBc.

Merrimac Industries ( has applied its innovative Multi-Mix® multilayer circuit technology to the fabrication of high-performance filters and other components for millimeter-wave applications. For example, the firm's model FBMM-42.0G Multi-Mix bandpass filter offers a 3-GHz passband centered at 42 GHz with typical passband insertion loss of 3.5 dB. The typical input/output return loss is 15 dB, while minimum rejection is 60 dB at 38.5 GHz and 30 dB at 46 GHz. In spite of measuring just 0.620 3 0.296 3 0.020 in. and weighing just 0.2 g, the filter handles power levels to typically 1 W.

Channel Microwave ( developed the model WR28 three-way power divider for use from 34 to 36 GHz. Designed to handle 10 W average power and 500-W peak power in military systems, it exhibits better than 60 dB reverse isolation. To minimize lost energy due to heating effects, insertion loss is help to typically 1 dB.

Farran Technology Ltd. ( offers the PLO Series of phase-locked Gunn oscillators for generating signals from 60 to 325 GHz. The sources operate with an external 100-MHz reference for stability and provide as much as 50 mW output power from 60 to 90 GHz and 2 mW output power from 250 to 325 GHz.

Insight Product Co. ( offers a broad line of millimeter-wave and submillimeter-wave components, including amplifiers with as much as 30 W output power at frequencies through 140 GHz, monolithic balanced mixers for applications through 178 GHz, and solid-state and tube-based signal sources through 370 GHz. The firm’s recently developed line of Terahertz frequency synthesizers includes frequency coverage from 120 to 180 GHz with more than 30 mW output power and options for frequency modulation (FM) and amplitude modulation (AM).

The Millimeter Wave Division of ELVA-1 Ltd. ( provides components and subsystems through 180 GHz frequency range, as well as semiconductor devices at frequencies to 1200 GHz. The company’s line of zero-biased detectors includes models from 26.5 to 170 GHz with typical video sensitivity of 3500 mV/mW at 26.5 GHz and 500 mV/mW at 170 GHz.

Dorado International ( supplies a wide range of millimeter-wave components from international sources, including attenuators, directional couplers, phase shifters, switches, and waveguide sections. The waveguide components are constructed of copper with gold plating on electrically active surfaces. For example, the company’s W-band directional couplers provide full-band coverage from 75 to 110 GHz with coupling of 3, 6, 10, or 20 dB and directivity from 15 to 40 dB.

In the active-device area, Mimix Broadband ( recently introduced the model XU1004-BD GaAs MMIC transmitter for applications from 32 to 45 GHz. Based on PHEMT device technology, the transmitter delivers an output third-order intercept point of +14 dBm with 5 dB conversion gain when operating with +4 dBm local oscillator (LO) drive power. According to Product Manager Paul Beasly, “The high level of integration in the XU1004-BD allows our customers to reduce the number of components on their board, facilitating a smaller design area and fewer interconnects.” The transmitter is ideal for point-to-point radios and satellite communications.

For even higher-frequency applications, Virginia Diodes, Inc. ( produces lines of detectors, mixers, and frequency multipliers for applications from 18 GHz through 2 THz. Based on in-house-fabricated GaAs Schottky diodes and advanced filter structures, the firm makes devices, components, and systems for commercial and military customers. Because of their products’ high operating frequencies, the company developed a revised extension of the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) waveguide designations, for example, using the WR-1.2 designation for frequencies from 600 to 900 GHz, and other designations for products that don’t exactly match the EIA frequency bands.

Once millimeter-wave components have been manufactured, they must also be tested. The 65th Automative RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) conference, held June 17, 2005 in Long Beach, CA, addressed measurements for millimeter-wave applications, including the use of vector network analyzers (VNAs) and active-device measurements. In support of major VNA suppliers, OML, Inc. ( offers modules for extending the frequency range of a customer's VNA to cover 50 to 325 GHz in waveguide bands. Modules are available with a multiplier source, dual directional coupler, reference downconverter, and test downconverter to generate and receive test signals. Additional modules are designed with a downconverter to receive signals only. Combining modules allows all four S-parameters to be measured at millimeter-wave frequencies.

The company has also posted a useful application note on its website, “Using a Millimeter Wave Harmonic Mixer to Extend the Frequency Coverage of a Spectrum Analyzer.” The literature details the use of harmonic mixing to translate millimeter-wave frequencies to the range of commercial RF and microwave spectrum analyzers for testing. OML has also manufactured several frequency block downconverters through 40 GHz for test equipment original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Damaskos, Inc. ( offers a variety of testing services, for antennas, RCS targets, dielectric materials, absorbers, and printed-circuit boards (PCBs) through millimeter-wave frequencies.

Of course, all millimeter-wave applications are not in communications systems, as automotive manufacturers have embraced the technology for adaptive-cruise-control (ACC) applications. A number of different frequencies are currently in use, including narrowband (200-MHz bandwidth) and ultrawideband (UWB with 3-GHz bandwidth) versions at 24 GHz in Europe and the United States, narrowband use at 47 GHz in the US, and UWB use from 77 to 81 GHz in Europe. Because of potential interference with radio astronomy, 24 GHz is a temporary allocation (until 2013) for automotive radar use. Roke Manor Research ( has been an innovator in low-cost MMIC-based 77-GHz radar modules as part of the European RadarNet project ( to develop a low-cost radar network for automotive applications. Additional partners in the project include Volvo, DaimlerChrysler, Jaguar, BMW, and Siemens VDO Automotive Technology. As part of developing a practical 77-GHz MMIC radar module, Roke Manor employed commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) MMICs and low-cost PTFE substrate materials.

For evaluating the performance of automotive radar systems, Anritsu Co. ( developed the ME7220A Radar Test System (RTS) for characterizing radar modules from 76 to 77 GHz. Ideal for checking ACC and collision-warning/avoidance radar components, the test system provides a simulated radar target response at set target ranges and an adjustable radar cross section (RCS). Doppler shifts can be introduced to simulate the speed of a moving target. The system can measure the effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) of a transmitter as well as its bandwidth, spurious content, and other spectral characteristics.

In pursuit of a less traditional application for millimeter-wave technology, the Harmonix Division of Terabeam Corp. ( and Walleye™ Technologies ( formed an alliance to develop a hand-held portable imaging device capable of looking through solid objects. The design uses millimeter-wave energy to see into and through objects and capture digital images. The “camera” being developed by Walleye employs a millimeter-wave transmitter and receiver from Terabeam. Potential uses include Homeland Security, inspection of construction integrity, and medical applications.

For a complete listing of millimeter-wave component and test suppliers, please consult the online version of the Microwaves & RF Product Data Directory at

The Next Wireless Wave is a Millimeter Wave

The Next Wireless Wave is a Millimeter Wave

The past few years has witnessed the emergence of CMOS-based circuits operating at millimeter-wave frequencies. Integrated on a low cost organic packaging, this is the promise for high volume fabrication, lowering the cost and opening huge commercial impact opportunities. As standardization efforts catalyze the interest and investment of the industry, one can count on the spreading of millimeter-wave technology in the consumer electronic market place in the near future.

In the past few years, the interest in the millimeter-wave spectrum at 30 to 300 GHz has drastically increased. The emergence of low cost high performance CMOS technology and low loss, low cost organic packaging material has opened a new perspective for system designers and service providers because it enables the development of millimeter-wave radio at the same cost structure of radios operating in the gigahertz range or less.

In combination with available ultra-wide bandwidths, this makes the millimeter-wave spectrum more attractive than ever before for supporting a new class of systems and applications ranging from ultra-high speed data transmission, video distribution, portable radar, sensing, detection and imaging of all kinds.

While at a lower frequency the signal can propagate easily for dozens of kilometers, penetrate through construction materials or benefit from advantageous reflection and refraction properties, one must consider carefully the characteristics (in particular strong attenuation and weak diffraction) of the millimeter-wave propagation, and exploit them advantageously. The free-space loss (FSL) (after converting to units of frequency and putting them in decibel form) between two isotropic antennas can be expressed as1

Fig. 1 Average atmospheric gaseous attenuation of millimeter-wave propagation at sea level.

FSL = 92.4 + 20 log F + 20 log D


F = frequency in gigahertz and
D = line-of-sight distance in kilometers

As an example, at 60 GHz the free-space loss is much more severe than at the frequencies usually used for cell phone and wireless applications. The link budget at 60 GHz is 21 dB less than the one at 5 GHz under equal conditions.2 In addition, other loss and fading factors increasingly affect the millimeter-wave transmission, such as gaseous (see Figure 1), rain, foliage, scattering and diffraction losses.

Fig. 2 Average storage capacity trends.

Beside the huge and unexploited bandwidth availability and the perspective of multi-gigabit to terabit networks, the potential of the millimeter-wave spectrum has many others attributes: enabling densely packed communication link networks, from very short range to medium range; leveraging frequency reuse to its paroxysm while increasing the security level of each link; integrating high efficiency radiating elements at the millimeter scale, leading to compact, adaptive and portable integrated systems; exploiting quasi-unlimited and unique electromagnetic signatures for detection, diagnostic or imaging.

Recently, the availability of standard CMOS technology enabling the design of MMIC circuits operating efficiently up to 100 GHz has revived the interest and investment in the 7 GHz of bandwidth unlicensed band in the 60 GHz spectrum. The specificity of the 60 GHz spectrum is the attenuation characteristics due to atmospheric oxygen absorption in the order of 10 to 15 dB/km over a bandwidth of about 8 GHz.

This attenuation precludes long-range communications, but provides an extra spatial isolation that is beneficial for frequency re-use in an indoor dense local network, reduces co-channel interference and provides extra safety for secure short-range point-to-point links. In addition to supporting multi-gigabit networks, this makes the 60 GHz spectrum a great opportunity for indoor ultra-high speed short-range wireless communications, targeting multimedia applications and others.

Fig. 3 Uncompressed video data rates.

Similarly, extremely fast growing opportunities for low cost commercial millimeter-wave systems are exploited at even higher frequencies, such as 77 GHz for automotive radar, 71 to 76 and 81 to 86 GHz for outdoor 10 Gbps networks, and 94 GHz for medical and security imaging. This just preludes terabits systems operating beyond 120 GHz and above.

The Multimedia Trend

The emergence of a multitude of “bandwidth hungry” multimedia applications has definitely had a leading role in the renewal of interest in the millimeter-wave spectrum. The conventional WLAN systems (802.11a, b and g) are limited to a data rate of, at best, 54 Mb/s. Alternative solutions such as UWB and MIMO systems will start becoming available to extend the speed up to 600 Mb/s, targeting 1 Gb/s and above in the near future. It is noteworthy that wireless networks tend to lag at least one generation behind wired LAN interconnect technology.3-4

Fig. 4 Uncompressed video data rates.

Two primary types of applications are driving the requirement for even higher data rates: ultra-fast file sharing and uncompressed high definition video streaming. Figure 2 illustrates the projected average storage capacity of PCs (desktop and laptop), reaching nearly 300 Gbytes in 2010, as well as the average storage capacity of embedded hard-drives and flash products. In the case of portable devices, especially in the case of smart cell phones, one can note a clear migration from micro-hard-drive toward high speed flash memory technology, exhibiting capacity up to 100 Gbytes and access speed exceeding the Gb/s in the horizon of 2010. It is obvious that today high speed wireless systems will lead to prohibitive synchronization time.

Fig. 5 4G seamless connectivity including millimeter-wave systems.

Figure 3 illustrates the data throughput requirement for uncompressed video streaming. It appears again that the data throughput requirement is well in excess of 1 or 2 Gbps, following a progression from 5 to 10 Gb/s and above.

This demand has since pushed the development of technologies and systems operating at millimeter-wave frequencies, while maintaining a cost structure similar to the one of conventional WLAN systems. These throughput requirements of multimedia systems are dictated by interconnect and interface technologies such as PCI-express, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), Display Port (DP) or Unified Display Interface (UDI), as shown in Figure 4.

Two major standardization bodies, IEEE 802.15.3c and Ecma International TC32-TG20,5-6 are specifically considering these requirements, in the particular case of the 60 GHz spectrum, for applications ranging from very low cost peer-to-peer interface up to high performance Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN), including high definition uncompressed video streaming. Back-compatibility should also be considered to provide seamless connectivity across the technologies that will support the coming 4G communications infrastructure (see Figure 5).

Fig. 6 Module, CMOS MMIC, signal processing and high efficiency PHY-MAC technologies convergence toward low cost high performance millimeter-wave systems.

CMOS-FR4: A Low Cost Millimeter-wave Radio Platform

Since the mid-90s, many examples of MMIC chipsets have been reported for millimeter-wave radio applications using GaAs FET and InP PHEMT technologies.7 More recently, SiGe BiCMOS technology has also been demonstrated to be a viable alternative.8 Despite their commercial availability and their performance, however, these technologies struggle to enter the market because of their prohibitive cost and their limited capability to integrate advanced baseband processing.

The steadily increasing frequency range of CMOS process technologies has now made the design of low cost, highly integrated 24 and 60 GHz millimeter-wave radio possible in silicon.9-10 Proof of concept has been validated using CMOS 130 nm technology; however, CMOS 90 nm is the first technology node that enables high performance and power efficient implementation of 60 GHz transceivers suitable for high volume products.

Fig. 7 Millimeter-wave optimized transistor test structure, passive and active (S-parameters) modeling.

In addition, the optimum combination and co-design of CMOS technology with low cost FR4-based packaging technology is a requisite to ensure the minimal cost structure possible, the key for the successful deployment of ultra-high speed, high capacity, 60 GHz WPAN and video streaming applications.

Finally, innovative PHY, MAC, ADC and signal processing approaches are required to provide simultaneously ultra-high bandwidth, very high PHY-MAC efficiency at an affordable price and an acceptable power budget. As depicted in Figure 6, the convergence of module, CMOS MMIC, signal processing and high efficiency PHY-MAC technologies are the necessary key enablers of the coming generation of low cost, high performance millimeter-wave systems.

Fig. 8 V-band CMOS 90 nm chipset for multi-gigabit short-range multimedia applications.

Millimeter-wave CMOS Technology

The CMOS technology has advanced to a point that a complete chipset for millimeter-wave applications can be implemented using silicon. In a standard 90 nm CMOS technology it is now possible to achieve an Ft and Fmax beyond 150 GHz. Proper transistor geometry and layout, as well as complete and accurate modeling and optimized parasitic extraction methods up to the millimeter-wave frequency of interest are the entry point for such designs (see Figure 7).

The use of millimeter-wave low loss micro-strip line and micro-inductors for matching purposes are very characteristic of this new generation of millimeter-wave designs leading to more compact area and higher performance than its co-planar waveguide (CPW) counterpart. Power gain is in excess of 8 dB at 60 GHz and at a current density of 0.2 mA/mm enables reliable and low power circuit design. In addition, noise figures of 5.5 dB are achievable for similar biasing conditions, which make the optimization of low noise amplifiers easier. P1dB compression points of 4 to 7 dBm are reachable with fairly straightforward power amplifier designs. Fundamental frequency cross-coupled VCOs exhibiting phase noise better than –95 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset guaranties proper transmission and demodulation of multi-gigabit/s modulated signals. Figure 8 shows an example of a V-band CMOS 90 nm chipset developed for multi-gigabit short-range multimedia applications.

Fig. 9 A large panel area FR4-LCP multi-layer substrate, compact IWG filters and a wideband millimeter-wave feed-through transition.

Comparable figures of merit are also achievable at higher frequencies with the introduction of high volume production 65 and 45 nm CMOS technology, enabling now the design of low power E-band transceiver and targeting a high level of integration for systems such as 77 GHz automotive radar, 71 to 76 and 81 to 86 GHz 10 Gbps outdoor links, and 94 GHz imaging.

The research efforts at the Georgia Electronic Design Center have been focused on the development of a millimeter-wave CMOS fully integrated single chip radio suitable for multi-Gb/s applications. A super-heterodyne architecture using high IF frequency has been chosen and optimized to support wideband modulated signals. In addition, low power mixed-signal circuit techniques and innovative high speed analog-to-digital conversion are used to enable the integration of very low power PHY operating at multi-gigabit and multi-giga samples/s.

FR4-LCP-Based Module and Antenna Technology

Liquid Crystal Polymer has emerged as a promising low cost alternative for millimeter-wave module implementation. It combines uniquely outstanding microwave performances at low cost and large area FR4 PWB processing capability. It appears as a platform of choice for the packaging of the future 60 GHz gigabit radio. 24 x 18 inch FR4-LCP multi-layer substrates are fabricated using high volume standard PWB production lines. An example of a large panel area FR4-LCP multi-layer substrate is shown in Figure 9.

Fig. 10 LCP planar antenna array example for broad beam short-range and narrow beam medium range applications.

Compact filter designs using planar and integrated waveguide (IWG) techniques have been validated and measured, exhibiting less than 2 dB minimum insertion for a relative bandwidth of 8 percent at 61.5 GHz, and a rejection greater than 20 dB at 6 GHz offset.6-11 A wideband millimeter-wave feed-through transition exhibiting less than 0.2 dB insertion loss has also been implemented.

One of the obvious attractiveness of the millimeter-wave is the small wavelength, allowing the integration of multiple radiating elements in an array configuration while occupying a minimum space (see Figure 10). Numerous antenna array solutions have been developed to address various application scenarios ranging from VSR (very short reach) omni-directional to point-to-point link.12-13

Such generic packaging platforms provide a path of choice toward the low cost integration of scalable SISO-MIMO radio systems (SM radio) using compact multi-sector phased-array architecture that overcomes simultaneously the fundamental limitations of millimeter-wave signal propagation and CMOS technology. The multi-sector architecture can either be integrated on a single large panel or in a compact 3D integrated millimeter-wave module, including an embedded filter and antenna phased array, as shown in Figure 11. Extended azimuth and elevation coverage, provided by conformal multi-sector configuration, and extended range (including non-LOS scenario) provided by high gain adaptive phased-array technology, are the breakthrough attributes of future commercial millimeter-wave systems.

Fig. 11 Compact 3D integrated millimeter-wave modules, including embedded filter and antenna phased arrays, to be integrated into a multi-sector phased-array architecture.

15 Gbps and HD-Video Millimeter-wave Test-bed

The GEDC has established an experimental millimeter-wave wireless test-bed, using 60 GHz as a demonstrator vehicle to study the channel characteristic of a real indoor environment. Researchers recently established a new world record for the highest data rate transmitted wirelessly at 60 GHz, achieving a peak data transfer rate of 15 gigabit/s at a distance of 1 meter, 10 Gigabit/s at a distance of 2 meters and 5 gigabit/s at a distance of 5 meters. In addition, high definition video streaming running at 1.485 Gb/s has been demonstrated through a one-inch thick wood table. Special efforts have been dedicated to the complete transceiver module implementation operating at a power budget well below the one hundred pico-joules range. Figure 12 shows the demodulated transmission of the multi-gigabit signal and the experimental set-up of the video transmission through a one-inch thick wood table.


Fig. 12 The demodulated transmission of a multi-gigabit signal and experimental set-up of the video transmission through a one- inch thick wood table.

The development of millimeter-wave radios at the same cost structure of radios operating in the microwave region opens a new field of innovation for system designers. The convergence of a FR4-based module, CMOS MMIC, signal processing and high efficiency PHY-MAC technologies becomes today’s reality, enabling the coming generation of low cost high performance millimeter-wave systems. The feasibility of ultra high speed wireless transmission beyond 10 Gbps has been demonstrated on a low power, low cost platform. A power budget well below the one hundred pico-joules/bit range has been achieved, already looking at the next level of innovation targeting 100 Gbps transmission and the femto-joule/bit power budget.

The spreading of millimeter-wave technology in the consumer electronic market place is on its way, leveraging bandwidth availability at various frequencies, ranges and levels of system complexity. Peer-to-peer ultra fast synchronization and adaptive WPAN, for data and video distribution, will drive the cost down and further eases the adoption of low cost CMOS-based millimeter-wave platforms for automotive radar, outdoor point-to-point/point-to-multi-point links, portable radar, security, sensing and imaging systems, including numerous medical applications.