At this year’s IMS2014 event in Tampa Bay, FL, Wireless Design and Development saw a lot of cool and innovative new products, and we’re excited to provide you with our Top Ten list from the show:

Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer/RF Recorder

First up is Signal Hound. Signal Hound was this year’s ECN Impact Award winner in the test and measurement category for its popular Signal Hound BB60A. At IMS, they announced its successor, the Signal Hound BB60C, which is a real-time spectrum analyzer and RF recorder.

What’s new with this version is the improved spurious-free dynamic range of 20 decibels, an extended operating temperature range from -40 degrees to 65 degrees Celsius, and a selectable bandwidth from 250 kilohertz to 27 megahertz.

It also comes with a compiled API and an open source spectrum analyzer applications, features a selectable color persistence display mode, 2D color waterfall, and color spectrogram views.

Thermally & Electrically Conductive Adhesive

Rogers Corporation kicked off the event with their COOLSPAN thermally and electrically conductive adhesive (TECA) film.

This particular substrate is a thermosetting, epoxy based, silver filled adhesive film used to bond circuit boards to heavy clad metal backplanes, heat sink coins, and RF module housings.

COOLSPAN TECA can be used as an alternative to fusion bonding, sweat soldering, mechanical, or press fit metal attachment. It provides both a thermal and electrical conductive bond interface, and is supplied in sheet from on a PET carrier, which is easy to handle when converting into preforms and when peeling from the carrier.

Ultra-Low Noise Amplifiers

Skyworks unveiled its suite of ultra-low noise amplifiers (LNAs) for cellular infrastructure, wireless connectivity, and broadcast communication applications.

The new LNAs provide high gain and linearity, improving receiver sensitivity and dynamic range. They also help reduce performance variation over process and temperature changes, provide high flexible direct current biasing, in addition to fast on/off functionality with minimal switching – improving overall system power efficiency.

Radar Target Scenario Generator

Eastern Optx introduced its series 10000 Radar Scenario Generator, which features:

Scenario generation that includes speed of the target, opening or closing Doppler frequency addition; a dynamic Doppler radar addition that is imposed directly onto the radar system’s transmit signal; scenario creation, which is done from the front panel touch screen or via Ethernet remote programming; programmable radar target creation, which is possible from close (five feet) to over 200 miles, in steps as small as five feet; and optional software that allows entry of scenarios by segment via either latitude/longitude or Google Maps enabling complex flight simulations.


Peregrine Semiconductor came to IMS2014 with its new line of UltraCMOS monolithic phase and amplitude controllers (MPAC).

Through a digital interface, MPAC enables alignment of the phase and amplitude between the Doherty amplifier’s carrier and peaking paths. Designed for wireless infrastructure applications, MPAC improves system performance, lowers manufacturing costs, improves transmitter stability, and provides maximum tuning flexibility.

RF/Microwave Design and Measurement Solutions

Agilent Technologies showcased several of its new design and measurement solutions. A few examples include the RF power amplifier (PA) test solution with envelope tracking and digital pre-distortion capability available in 2 platforms.

The modular source and analyzer platform is geared towards the speed needed for manufacturing and the instrument platform is optimized for the accuracy and analysis needed for R&D. Its common measurement science and analysis tools ensure consistency across the life cycle of the amplifier.

The 89600 VSA software from Agilent can analyze a variety of wideband millimeter-wave signals used on the road to 5G, including 802.11ad and backhaul, based on a flexible suite of converters, wideband signal analyzers, and high-frequency oscilloscopes.

Ultra-Low Jitter/Dual Clock Synthesizer

Noise XT brought its 2 megahertz to 7 gigahertz SLC ultra-low jitter/dual clock synthesizer. The SLC is a single or dual clock USB synthesizer with a noise floor of -170 decibel per hertz at 10 megahertz.

The SLC serves R&D and production engineers working in the semiconductor industry where accurate timing matters, and is used in wireless applications, particle colliders, digital semiconductor testing, and network time synchronization. Products that will benefit most from using the SLC are digital transceivers used in Software Defined Radio (SDR) applications and high-speed semiconductor testers.

Dynamic vs. Static Phase Noise

Taitien showcased their new NA-100 MK2800 series of ovenized crystal oscillators, which features a standard frequency of 100 megahertz with other frequencies available.

With low phase noise being a key requirement for high quality voice and high-speed data communication, the K2800 series provides excellent phase noise with tight frequency stability in a small, hermetically sealed package.

USB Lab Bricks

Vaunix demonstrated several of their new USB labs bricks at IMS. Their latest product line of LSW switches offers 10 watts of power handling capability, and features high isolation, low power solid-state switching in both single pole double-throw and single-pole four-throw configurations. All Lab Bricks are powered and controlled by connection to a PC or self-powered USB hub, and are programmable from the included graphical user interface (GUI) software.

RF Power Tools System

Freescale's RF Power Tool system reduces the size and complexity of RF lab equipment needed for application development by integrating multiple RF bench tool capability into a single box. The system reduces the need for a full bench of RF evaluation equipment and simplifies application development for differentiated RF power solutions.

Features include: 1 MHz to 3 GHz frequency generator; pulse or continuous wave operation; 1 milliWatt to 2 kiloWatts measurement range; real-time RF measurements such as VSWR, efficiency, temperature, power, voltage, current and forward/reflected power; optional safety or expert modes; PC or local front panel user interface; allows customer to choose external DC power supply and load based on application needs; application specific evaluation boards with integrated default settings and calibration; and lightweight and transportable in hard carry case.