Microwave amplifier design: Unilateral figure of merit

In the design of microwave linear amplifiers , s parameters are used extensively. It is assumed that the amplifier will be bilateral. i.e. the s parameter, s12 will be non – zero. However, if the effect of s12 on gain is relatively low, then we can accept this and assume that s12 is zero. The reverse transmission from the output to the input of the amplifier is negligible. Under this condition, the design of the amplifier can be done under a unilateral assumption. This type of design is much simpler than a full bilateral amplifier design. A way to quantify the conditions under which we can, indeed, use the unilateral assumption is to use the unilateral figure of merit U. This predicts the amount of error in the gain in dB, if the unilateral assumption is used. If the error in gain is small enough, then the designer can revert to a unilateral design. This saves time and effort. This factor is simply calculated from the s parameters of the device. A simple javascript has been written by the design team at Signal Processing Group Inc. It allows engineers to calculate U quickly. The script can be accessed from the website by visiting complementary items in the menu and selecting the calculator item in the list.

Technical predictions for 2016

Predictions are always risky. It is not a science. However, for what it is worth, here are our predictions for 2016, a 9 year.There will be some endings for market spaces. However, there will be new beginnings in others. Cell phones may saturate. Semiconductors are poised for a rebound but await a really killer app as usual. Expect more mergers in the semi industry.New Space is opening up with a few companies targeting opportunities in Space. SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Oneweb etc. Automotive is opening up with serious opportunities in Hybrids and EV. Medical electronics will grow significantly. The 3-D printing business will grow at a healthy rate.Online business will be strong as usual. More and more Online business. This is because of convenience and large catalogs of items. We see Amazon, AliBaba, EBAY keep going as usual. In  short there will be a lot of opportunity for those who can take advantage of them. Having said all that we expect some serious argument  from differing opinions!!! 

Baluns: a fascinating world of magnetics for analog and RF.

Baluns or balanced to unbalanced are magnetic components used to convert balanced and unbalanced signals ( from common) to provide the correct phasing for amplifiers and other electronics that operate in the differential mode. A popular connection is to use a balun to connect a single ended, unbalanced input to a balanced differential input for an amplifier. There are also UNUNs. Baluns can be implemented in discrete and integrated form. There are RF transformers that act as baluns and there are transmission line baluns. Generally the transmission line baluns are wider band.The two do not operate the same way.Some big names in this world are Guanella, Ruthroff and Sevick. Check out our balun post by going to our website and selecting the “complementary: link and selecting the post from the list. Please contact us at spg@signalpro.biz for other questions.Other interesting technical articles are also available free of charge.