J&R Microwave Solutions

J&R Microwave Solutions Successfully Designs Complex Active Power Splitter MMIC with AWR Software

 

Customer Background

Based in Toulouse, France, J&R Microwave Solutions Ltd. (J&R Microwave) is a design house specializing in the metallic module modeling and GaAs MMIC design. Founded in 2006, J&R Microwave provides design and modeling services to industry-leading companies to help them reduce their time to market window.

J&R Microwave has designed MMICs from S-band through Ka-band for both receiver and transmit chains. With the success of its DC to 40 GHz traveling wave MMIC, J&R Microwave is the premier design house for wide bandwidth MMICs. The company has also developed high performance wideband designs from C- to Ku-band and Ku- to Ka-band.

The Design Challenge

An active power divider has been designed to ease the extended dynamic range of the detector log video amplifier (EDLVA) system's complexity by replacing the low noise amplifier (LNA) and the passive power divider with a single component. For extra-wide bandwidth, high gain and post-fabrication gain control, the selection of a cascade configuration was made. Therefore key challenges of the design have been accommodating a pair of 10 FETs in a cascade configuration along with presenting the RF/DC networks in a compact layout, and yet achieving the targeted performances.

The Solution

Thanks to AWR for its accuracy of the models, Microwave Office™ and AXIEM® software deliver a high level of confidence in the simulation of such a complex MMIC device. Since the schematic and the layout use the same database, Microwave Office provides an incredible advantage by speeding up the layout since any changes made in the layout are automatically updated in the schematic and thus, the simulation results. In addition, AXIEM enables the ability to EM simulate the entire structure and to optimize the EM structure to avoid unwanted cross-couplings.

J&R Microwave's value proposition is to offer GaAs design know-how to industry-leading companies, first-pass design success and time-to-market advantage. All of these are very important factors for J&R Microwave to attract new customers and so we selected AWR tools for the following reasons:

  • The user-friendly interface of the software makes it easy to learn and fast to handle.
  • The schematic and the layout are two different views that use the same database. This Microwave Office software feature scores highest with respect to benefits, since the MMIC designer can easily manipulate the layout and then directly see how it affects simulated results.
  • AXIEM quickly and easily EM simulates significant portion of the MMIC and then directly optimizes it from the layout.
  • The accuracy of circuit and EM-based models.