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2019 Speakers and Abstracts
2019 Speakers and Abstracts

Interlligent UK’s 2019 RF & Microwave Design Seminar

Presentation Abstracts and Presenter Biographies

Beam steering challenges and advances at mmWave frequencies

Presenter: Tudor Williams, CSA Catapult

The ever increasing demands of RF systems has led to a dramatic rise in the use of Beam Steering techniques in a range of applications from RADAR, Autonomous vehicles, Satellite Communications to 5G mobile systems. In this presentation we will identify some of the key challenges for beam steering at mmWave frequencies and cover the state of the art advances looking to provide solutions including:

  • Device technology selection and the drive for compound semiconductors
  • Topologies to improve power amplifier efficiency
  • Novel phase shifting technologies
  • Advanced packaging and integration

The presentation will conclude by reviewing the Catapults current project looking to create a demonstrators for beams-steering at mmWave frequencies, to allow the industry to evaluate this technology.

About the presenter:
Dr Tudor Williams  (Head of RF and Microwave for CSA Catapult) – Is an experienced manager and technical lead, he holds a Master of Engineering degree from Swansea University and completed his PhD in non-linear measurement system development under the supervision of Prof. Paul Tasker at Cardiff University. He has a wide range of expertise from characterization of RF devices, design of ultra wide-band MMIC’s through to full RF system design. His experience spans the full product life cycle from idea creation through to qualification and product release. He is a Reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, and IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters, holds 2 granted patents and has authored over 20 international peer reviewed publications. For more information please see: CSA Catapult

Application of mmWave technology in high altitude pseudo satellites (HAPS) and LEO constellations.

Presenter: Mike Geen, Filtronic

High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites, operating in the stratosphere, together with Low Earth Orbit satellite constellations have the potential to provide solutions to the challenge of providing ubiquitous connectivity. While there is great progress in developing ever faster mobile networks to serve major centres of population, to deliver the full promise of 5G and address the digital divide it is essential to provide coverage to low population areas where terrestrial mobile networks are not viable and where many of the IoT sensors will be located.
This presentation will give an overview of the role of HAPS and satellites in forming “networks in the sky” and the describe some of the RF challenges in designing the high data rate (10Gbps-plus) communication links needed to backhaul data, both between earth and the satellite/HAPS and between satellites/HAPS.

About the presenter:

Mike Geen is Chief Scientist at Filtronic and has over40 years’ experience in microwave, millimetre-wave and optoelectronic technology. He is a member of the Filtronic senior management team with responsibility for strategic engineering, specialising in  mmWave technology.  Mike joined Filtronic in 2007 to head teams developing microwave and millimetre-wave point to point backhaul products.  During this time, Filtronic Broadband has become established as the leading independent manufacturer of E-Band transceivers, supplying tens of thousands of E Band units to major OEMs around the world. Filtronic is currently developing high power, multichannel millimetre-wave transceivers for long range ultra-high data rate applications while continuing to evolve its E-Band products for the burgeoning 5G market.

Prior to joining Filtronic, Mike held design and management positions at Bookham (now Lumentum), GEC-Marconi and Plessey Research (Caswell). For more information please see: Filtronic

Hybrid optical beamforming for electrically steered antennas

Presenter: Jeremiah Turpin, Isotropic Systems

Currently-available satellite communications antennas do not meet the requirements of new satellites and constellations. Neither reflectors not currently-existing phased array antennas can reach both the upcoming cost and capability needs of the industry without significant improvements. Isotropic Systems is developing a solution that is a hybrid between optical (lens) and electrical (phased array) antennas that supports many new capabilities while yielding significant improvements in performance and power consumption.

About the presenter:
Jeremiah P. Turpin received the B.S. Degree in electrical engineering from Grove City College, Grove City, PA, USA, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park, PA, USA. While at Penn State, he focused on cutting-edge topics in electromagnetics, including transformation optics, metamaterials, and their application to high-efficiency, manufacturable antennas with capabilities not achievable using conventional methods. He was a co-founder and president at E x H, Inc., an electromagnetics software development firm, based on technology developed during his doctoral studies. Now the lead of technology development and innovation as the CTO and Co-Founder of Isotropic Systems, Ltd., Jeremiah Turpin is leading the technical development of a new class of phased array antennas for use in SATCOM communications and beyond. For more information please see: Isotropic Systems.

RF goes Quantum – how RF engineering is shaping the future of Quantum Computing

Presenter: Yonatan Cohen, Quantum Machines

Quantum mechanics, which was born at the beginning of the 20th century and revolutionized our understanding of nature, implies that nature is far more counter intuitive and far richer than anyone could imagine before. In the 1980’s, physicists understood that this richness of nature can be used to construct new kind of computers that can outperform any classical computer that ignores the quantum world. In the several decades that followed, physicists have made huge progress in learning how to design and control quantum systems, and have turned the once far away dream of a large scale quantum computer, into a realistic and closer than ever prospect. Interestingly, in many of today’s leading implementations of quantum computers, communicating with and controlling of quantum hardware is done using state of the art microwave and RF technologies.

What are the basic principles on which quantum computers work and how do quantum computers beat classical computers? How can quantum computers be built and how microwave and RF technology plays an essential role in the field?

About the presenter:
Dr. Yonatan Cohen is a co-founder and CTO at Quantum Machines. Prior to that, Yonatan did his PhD work on quantum electronics devices at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. For more information please see: Quantum Machines

GaN MMICs for mmWave Applications

Presenter: Jeremy Fisher, Wolfspeed

The demand for more bandwidth is driving significant growth for commercial applications at millimeter wave frequencies. Satellite communications, point-to-point communications, and the upcoming 5G rollout are all driving the need for high power, highly efficient linear circuits. In addition, phased array architectures are becoming more prevalent in these applications, and the high element count and small element spacing needed to work at Ka-Band requires excellent raw linearity, high efficiency, and reliable operation with minimal cooling. The high power density, high breakdown voltage, and excellent thermal properties of GaN-on-SiC make it of particular interest for these applications. Wolfspeed has developed a leading 150-nm, GaN-on-SiC process using an optically defined, i-line gate. This includes a fully integrated MMIC process, which supports 28V operation and provides in excess of 3 W/mm and 40% efficiency at 30 GHz under typical operating conditions.
To demonstrate the capability of the G28V5 (28V, 150 nm gate) MMIC process, Wolfspeed has designed and manufactured a 5W MMIC HPA operating from 26.5 to 30.5 GHz. This PA produces 37.6 dBm of saturated power with 39.8% associated PAE. Additionally, Wolfspeed’s G28V5 process demonstrates much improved compression characteristics compared to other available GaN processes. Where typical GaN processes are characterized by a soft compression and peak performance typically in the 4-5 dB range for a single transistor stage, the AM-to-AM characteristics of both the Wolfspeed HEMT and MMIC perform with a flatter power curve and much improved P1db. Through use of the G28V5 process and proper biasing, the above MMIC is capable of producing 37.1 dBm of power and 37.8% PAE at P1dB. This type of performance is particularly attractive to the burgeoning 5G and Sat Com markets, where the intention is to achieve good linearity without the use of pre-distortion or other off chip techniques that would add to the cost, power dissipation, and size of the system.

About the presenter:
Jeremy Fisher is manager of the MMIC Design and Test group at Wolfspeed, a leading supplier of GaN-on-SiC components and integrated circuits. He has worked for over 20 years in RF, microwave, and millimeter wave MMIC design, and in development and characterization of GaN, SiC and GaAs technologies. For the last 15 years, he has worked on the design and development of wide-bandgap devices and MMICs, including saturated and linear HPAs, Multifunction MMICs, and analog and digital control circuitry. Jeremy received his BSEE and MSEE from the University of Michigan. For more information please see: Wolfspeed

5G mmWave wireless – recent results from transport applications

Presenter: Mark Barrett, Blu Wireless Technology

This presentation will provide an update on our recent work in exploiting the large amounts of spectrum available at 5G-millimetre wave frequencies (notably 57 – 71GHz) for improved wireless connectivity for road and rail transportation. Results from two ongoing projects will be described. Firstly, how millimetre-wave communications technology is being applied to deliver gigabit-grade connectivity to trains in order to improve passenger internet-based services. Secondly, the ‘Autoair’ project, one of six DCMS funded 5G Test Bed projects, aimed at 5G connected vehicle mobility applications will be described. Here a network of millimetre-wave nodes has been deployed around the two-mile circumference high-speed bowl at the Millbrook proving ground, to support high speed gigabit level track-to-car (and train) applications.

About the presenter:
Mark is a Founder and CMO for Blu Wireless, a leading supplier of millimetre wave wireless technology and products for infrastructure applications. He has over 35 years of experience in the wireless industry in applications including radar, satellite, cellular and consumer electronics. This ranges from FMCW radar at W and X bands, digital beamforming for satellite and mobile communications, SoC for automotive and telecommunications and high-volume Bluetooth and cordless telephones. In 2009 he co-founded Blu Wireless Technology and has played a key role in building the company into a recognised leader in millimetre wave wireless technology.  For more information please see: Blu Wireless Technology

Development of GaN based solid state power amplifiers up to 1kW CW

Presenter: Avtar Virdee, Microwave Technology Ltd

Gallium Nitride (GaN) power devices are now extensively used in the realisation of solid state power amplifiers that are employed in radar systems, electronic warfare systems, space systems, medical, communication systems and industrial heating. The presentation describes the design, implementation and measured results of GaN solid state power amplifiers operating across S-Band, C-Band, X-Band and Ku-Band with output power levels ranging from 20 W to 1 kW, and operating in pulse and continuous wave (CW) mode. The GaN devices constituting the S-Band, C-Band, X-Band and Ku-Band amplifier are based on commercial off-the-shelf packaged and bare die devices that are ITAR free.

About the presenter:
Avtar Virdee is a Principal Consultant at Microwave Technology Limited. He received his BSc (Hons) degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Leeds (UK), his MSc in microwave systems electronics from the University of Cranfield (UK), and was awarded a PhD from the London Metropolitan. He has extensive design and research experience, which includes low-noise amplifier and antenna for spacecraft at British Aerospace; solid-state amplifiers for radar, missile, and space systems at Plessey Microwave Electronics; low-noise amplifiers, high-power amplifiers, microwave components, and subsystems at Electtronica Ltd (UK) and Filtronic Components Ltd (UK); Team leader in charge of design and development of broadband frequency converters at SELEX GALILEO. Dr Virdee has authored and coauthored numerous research papers. He is a Fellow of IET, a senior member of the IEEE and a registered Chartered Engineer. For more information please see: Microwave Technology 

A highly-integrated CMOS front-end for mm-wave 5G

Presenter: Liam Devlin, Plextek RFI / Mark Wong, MobiPhive


The roll-out of mmWave 5G has commenced, and with it comes the promise of step changes in data rates, low latency and a wealth of novel and integrated applications. Many of the early applications for mmWave 5G are broadband access to the home, but this will soon be augmented with the introduction of mobile handsets, devices and vehicles. Such applications will require the availability of hardware in very high volumes, and must be supported by low-cost, compact, and highly-integrated mmWave components.

MobiPhive is developing innovative mmWave front-end solutions for the end consumer electronics market using low cost, high-volume CMOS technology. This presentation will describe a complete front-end SMT packaged 28GHz IC including a 4-element Antenna-in-Package (AiP) array. Each of the 4 channels includes Tx and Rx path switching, amplification, phase control and gain control. It also includes on-chip RF combining/splitting to allow a single SMT interface at RF. The resulting component will facilitate electronic beam steering and allow the realisation of high-volume 5G user terminals. Details of the IC, including measured results, the packaging approach and the antenna array performance will be presented.

About the presenters:
Liam Devlin is the CEO of Plextek RFI, a UK based design house specialising in the design and development of RFICs, MMICs and microwave/mm-wave modules. He has led the design and development of over 90 custom ICs on a range of GaAs, GaN and Si processes at frequencies from baseband to 90GHz. He has also developed microwave and mm-wave sub-systems using a variety of technologies including conventional SMT on laminate substrates, High Density Interconnect (HDI), chip and wire, thin film, thick film and LTCC. Liam is also a Non-Executive Director for Interlligent UK. Prior to joining Plextek he was Chief Designer with Marconi Caswell where he designed GaAs ICs for both the commercial product line and for customer specific applications. Before this, Liam was employed by Philips Research Laboratories. Liam has a BEng (Hons – Class 1) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Leeds, and has published over 50 technical papers. For more information please see: Plextek RFI
Mark Wong is a Co-Founder and the Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for MobiPhive.  With a BSEE and MBA from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo California, Mark has spent his entire career focused on technical sales and marketing for the wireless RF and mmWave telecommunication industries.  While working for companies such as Fujitsu Media Devices (currently Taiyo Yuden), Qorvo and Q Semiconductor, he has been supporting the wireless handset manufacturers and chipset providers with RF solutions from 3G to 4G LTE. For more information please see: MobiPhive
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