In case you could not make it to EDI CON USA or just want a quick review of the event, here is summary of the keynotes, conference sessions and product review. EDI CON USA, the only industry event that brings together RF/microwave and high speed digital design engineers and system integrators, took place in Santa Clara, California on October 17 and 18. EDI CON featured two full days of technical programming, including EDI CON University, the 5G Symposium, the High Speed Digital Symposium, technical papers, workshops and panels. The conference tracks covered topics such as wireless, 5G, IoT, backplane, power integrity, signal integrity, modeling, measurement, radar, autonomous vehicles, sensors, interference, shielding, spectrum control, simulation, verification, and more. The event also included a celebration of innovation in the EDI CON EXPO hall, complete with show floor networking opportunities and speed trainings.

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Keynote1On Wednesday, October 17, Ovi Jacob, director of business development at Vayyar Imaging, provided the first keynote with a fascinating glimpse at technology that is changing the world and our ability to survive in it. In his talk, “Looking Deeper: Using Radar to Save Lives and Improve the World,” Jacob addressed how radar is being used for life-saving cancer detection, as well as in everyday applications in automobiles and smart homes. In short, novel uses of radar are improving the world.

Keynote2On day two, Thursday, October 18, industry icon, author and physicist “extraordinaire” Ransom Stephens gave the second keynote talk with his humorous and slightly irreverent take on innovation and careers. In this keynote, called “Innovation, Incorporation, and Integrity,” Stephens provided a perspective-altering view of your role in the company you work for: why you should stay, when you should walk and how you can run.

In the exhibition, about 100 companies showed off the latest technology, with a reception on the last day offering pretzels and beer. In the Frequency Matters Theater, technical presentations and demonstrations were held throughout the event. One of the featured panel sessions held in the theater, “Skills Employers Will Want in 2020,” had an all-female expert panel, which provided a woman’s perspective to a male-dominated industry. The best paper awards and raffle winners were announced in the theater to conclude the event on Thursday.

Another panel session was “What is the Best RF Architecture for 5G?” The well-attended event featured component and systems experts debating digital versus analog beamforming, highly integrated Si versus III-V component module approaches and other critical decisions in the radio architecture. A panel discussion entitled “A Pit Stop for Self-Driving?” covered the state of autonomous vehicle technology and its likely implementation on the world’s streets and highways.

Below is a summary of what many exhibiting companies highlighted in their booths:

EDI CON Gold Sponsors

RFMWRFMW, a specialty distributor of RF and microwave components, displayed products for 5G MIMO applications, such as circulators, amplifiers and filters, and associated test and measurement accessories, including 40, 50 and 65 GHz products from XMA Corp. For the defense industry, products included X-Band front-end modules and GaN amplifiers from Qorvo; high-rel, temperature variable attenuators from Smiths Interconnect; and high stability oscillators from SiTime. Ampleon transistors and amplifiers were highlighted for laser and plasma generators, Doherty broadcast transmitters and RF energy applications. RFMW recently agreed to be acquired by TTI, gaining the financial flexibility to invest in new opportunities and remain a specialized RF distributor. Joel Levine, president and CEO, appeared on the EDI CON Frequency Matters episode, which was filmed in the Microwave Journal booth on Thursday.

RF LambdaRF-Lambda announced a new high power, wideband solid-state power amplifier (PA), the first of its class, with 300 W output from 6 to 18 GHz. The unit has multiple protection features such as input overdrive, over-current and over-temperature shutdown, making it well suited for EMC, VSAT, test and radar applications. Litong Li, a principle engineer who heads R&D of RF components for defense and aerospace applications, is working on digitally-controlled wideband PAs for 5G phased arrays and presented a workshop on the topic. He covered bias point drift compensation for GaN PAs; power combining and element phase adjustment; calibration; timing management; amplifier protection from over-heating, poor VSWR and overdrive; and a software interface for LabVIEW to increase production efficiency. Li outlined the many customer benefits from a stand-alone “plug and play” solution: reducing development time, improving reliability and providing more value.


ACE is a high-tech, quick-turn manufacturer of high speed, hybrid and high layer-count commercial and military certified printed circuit boards. ACE specializes in prototypes with “super quick” delivery.

ADIAnalog Devices (ADI) featured the ADRV9009 200 MHz bandwidth transceiver. Tunable from 75 MHz to 6 GHz, this single-chip transceiver provides a common radio platform supporting all 2G, 3G and 4G standards and meeting the antenna density and network capacity requirements of 5G NR infrastructure. The transceiver architecture also supports aerospace and defense applications, with fast frequency hopping for enhanced link security and spectrum efficiency. ADI also exhibited the new AD9208 dual analog-to-digital converter, with 14-bit, 3 GSPS performance.

ANSYSANSYS mechanical reliability and thermal integrity are critical design considerations for RF components, packages and PCBs that affect reliability and product lifecycle. ANSYS HFSS is integrated with thermal and mechanical analysis to determine the thermal impact and evaluate stress, shock and vibration effects on surface-mount devices, connectors, MMICs/RFICs, antennas and more. They were featuring their new regions tool in the SI/PI simulation tool where the user can define the region of analysis with full HFSS to speed up the processing time and realize designs faster.

ARAR RF/Microwave introduced its new 20S6G18-L and 40S6G18-L that are self-contained broadband, Class A solid-state amplifiers with a new internal liquid cooling design. The 20S6G18-L, when used with a sweep generator provides a minimum output power of 20 watts instantaneously from 6 to 18 GHz, while the 40S6G18-L version delivers 40 W. Typical applications include radiated and conducted immunity testing, TWTA replacements and EW.

Berkeley Nucleonics was showing off its Model 865 is a 40 GHz signal generator with 20 μS switching speeds and high power options. The 7000 Series Phase Noise Test System can measure down to -190 dBc/Hz, auto-lock on noisy DUTs and provides measurement functions in a compact, portable unit.

Cadence showcased its new Virtuoso® RF Solution which increases productivity and eliminates design failures caused by poorly integrated tools. The solution streamlines the RF design flow by using a single “golden” schematic to drive layout implementation, simulation, and physical verification of the RF module while enabling simultaneous editing of multiple RFIC on the complex RF module. The environment also includes smart integration of electromagnetic (EM) analysis tools that automates hours of manual work required to run EM simulations.

Carmel PXIe synthesizers ranging from 50 MHz to 32 GHz can replace expensive RF generators. The NK430 has the lowest phase noise in the industry and 50 µs switching and the NK420 has great value. Add high performance signal sources to your system for local oscillators, reference clocks and frequency extension.

CMTCopper Mountain Technologies has developed an IoTest™ Antenna Testing Kit helps IoT device designers select and test the right antenna. The Kit includes Antenna Analyzer, testing software, sample antennas and cable assembly to connect antennas to the Analyzer. IoTest software walks you step-by-step through calibrating the Antenna Analyzer and testing sample antennas and your antenna. PulseLARSEN backs the IoTest kit with years of antenna design expertise.

Cuming Microwave has a full line of microwave absorber, radar absorber, anechoic chamber and dielectric materials. Their absorbers have been used in many demanding applications from suppression of unwanted resonances in electronic housings to radar cross section reduction on military platforms. We have a wide variety of microwave absorbers and radar absorbers suited for aircraft, shipboard, electronics or RF testing. Their new RF Problem Solver Kit provides several of the most common materials used to attenuate RF energy. Since every application is unique, this kit allows you to experiment on your bench, and quickly find the optimum solution.

ETS-Lindgren was featuring their AMS-5700 Compact 5G Antenna Measurement System that enables 2-dimensional radiated performance measurements of 5G millimeter wave wireless devices from 24 to 50 GHz. This RF shielded test environment features a 1 meter range length, dual polarized antenna, single axis positioner, laser alignment and the capability to test fully-modulated signals. Ideal usage includes design validation and pre-certification testing, performance measurement and production sample testing.

Exodus Communications was featuring their AMP2065A is a Solid-state, 6-18 GHz, 200 W CW, 53 dB System. This Class AB linear state-of-the-art CW PA features an instantaneous wideband GaN design with built-in protection circuits for high reliability and ruggedness. It is suitable for all single channel modulation standards, TWT replacements, EMI/RFI, EW, SATCOM and Lab use.

JFW Industries featured their 50BA-024-62 2.9 MM is a single channel bench-top attenuator system specifically developed for testing millimeter wave and 5G radios in a laboratory environment. A 100 MHz to 40 GHz bandwidth and 0-62 dB in 1-dB steps make it ideal for network emulation of fixed 5G and mobile 5G wireless networks. Other configurations and custom variations are also available.

HolzworthHolzworth was showing off their HA7000 Series Real Time Phase Noise Analyzer products resolve the historical speed and accuracy issues in both R&D and high throughput (ATE) manufacturing test environments. These versatile phase noise analyzers offer ease of test setup and high speed acquisition times without compromising on data accuracy or limitations in the measurement floor.

MACOM introduced a wideband distributed amplifier die, MAAM-011275-DIE. The MMIC is an easy-to-use, wideband amplifier operating from 100 kHz to 40 GHz, with 16 dB gain, 22 dBm output power and 4.5 dB noise figure. It is matched to 50 Ω with the typical return loss better than 13 dB. The MAAM-011275-DIE is suitable for a wide range of applications in instrumentation and communication systems.

Marki Microwave introduced the latest addition to their GaAs MMIC IQ Mixer family with the MMIQ-4067LU module. This V-band mixer spans 40 to 67 GHz with an IF bandwidth of DC to 20 GHz. Due to the excellent phase and amplitude balance of its on-chip LO quadrature hybrid, the MMIQ-4067LU provides an exceptional 33 dB of LO-RF isolation and 35 dB of image rejection. It is available today in a connectorized module. Marki also introduced the only triple-balanced MMIC mixer covering X/Ku/K bands in a small QFN package. The MM2-0530HSM and MM2-0530LSM feature massive overlapping bands with RF/LO from 5 to 30 GHz and IF from 2 to 20 GHz and provide superior linearity, spur suppression and isolations. These mixers are available in QFN, bare die or connectorized modules.

Maury Microwave now offers commercial off-the-shelf instrument amplifiers for the most challenged test and measurement lab applications. Based on state-of-the-art GaN PA modules, our amplifiers have high continuous power across the band and high linearity for wideband communication testing. In addition, our amplifiers include integrated protection circuitry to ensure safe operation and reliable measurements. Available models cover 700 MHz to 26.5 GHz with powers between 1 and 50 W CW.

MCV was featuring LTE 600 MHz duplexers with ultra-low PIM of -173 dBc. They are making these ultra-low PIM cavity filters from 350 MHz to 3.5 GHz which are in high demand for UHF, VHF, TETRA, 4G, LTE, X-Band, Ku-Band, Ka-Band, and 5G applications. They make cavity filters that solve difficult problems such as co-location band mitigation, very narrow band bandpass and reject, ultra-wide band duplexer and absorptive filters applications. 

M/CMini-Circuits displayed their broad range of RF/microwave components, highlighting several new millimeter wave products. The ZN2PD-E653+ is a two-way, in-phase power splitter/combiner with 10 to 65 GHz frequency coverage. In a package with 1.85 mm female connectors, it has 1.2 dB insertion loss with 0.1 dB amplitude imbalance and 22 dB isolation and handles 10 W power. A smaller, surface-mount MMIC splitter/combiner, the EP2KA+, covers 10 to 43.5 GHz with 1.5 dB insertion loss and 0.18 dB amplitude imbalance in a 3.5 mm x 2.5 mm footprint. The ZCDC10-K5R44W+ wideband directional coupler covers 0.5 to 40 GHz with 22 dB directivity, ±0.9  dB coupling flatness, 15 dB or better return loss and 15 W power handling. The coupler uses 2.92 mm female connectors on all ports.

Mitsubishi Electric was showing off their Ka-band (26-40 GHz) 8 W GaN MMIC amplifiers for satellite earth stations. The new MGFG5H3001, which offers industry top-level low distortion and output power rating of 8 W, boasts a small footprint that will help to downsize power transmitters.

NI AWR was demonstrating the recently released version 14 of NI AWR Design Environment, including the suite of capabilities integrated in the environment: Microwave Office, Visual System Simulator™, and the AXIEM and Analyst™ EM analyzers. NI AWR also featured AntSyn™, cloud-based software for antenna design, synthesis and optimization and AXIEM 3D’s integration with the Cadence Virtuoso RF solution.

OnScale is helping to drive a new level of innovation in the SAW/BAW filter design market with its cloud-enabled simulation platform optimized for Multiphysics analysis of piezoelectric devices such as SAWs and BAWs. This approach is being used to reduce cost, risk and time to market for these products. OnScale takes a highly efficient Finite Element Analysis approach and seamlessly deploys this on the cloud. A complicated model can be run in a matter of hours which is a feat even the most powerful legacy solvers on the market are typically incapable of doing. Optimization of this design is achieved using cloud computing, where hundreds of these models can be simulated simultaneously to allow exploration of a design space defined by the variation of specific parameters to find an optimized design.

Passive Plus Inc. now offers the 0708N series capacitor. Specifications include vertical electrodes to increase bandwidth; Low ESR/ESL; High Self-Resonance; excellent heat transfer in High RF applications and 100 percent RoHS compliant. With more than 30 years industry experience, PPI manufactures high quality, high power passive components for the Military, Medical, Semiconductor, Broadcast and Telecommunications Industries.

Piconics Inc. recently introduced a new line of broadband conical inductors utilizing ultra-fine 1 mil (50 Awg) diameter wire. This Inductor Series offers increased inductance in a smaller size than traditional conical inductors while maintaining broadband performance past 40 GHz. The ultra-fine wire reduces capacitance build up at the terminations and along the coil to minimize loss across the frequency band. Typical applications: Bias Tees, Broadband Amplifiers, High Speed Switches, Optical Linear Drivers and Isolation circuits on Semiconductor Test Boards.

ReactelReactel highlighted their series of ultra-low profile RF filters, which exhibit equal performance to many of our larger connectorized designs. Utilizing innovative machining and material optimization techniques, these devices offer the highest Qs in frequencies up to 30 GHz. Ideal for portable and aerospace applications where size and weight are critical with package heights as low as 0.125 in., weights as low as 0.5 ounces and a choice of gull wing pins or axial/radial pin configurations. They also worked with NI/AWR to develop a 28 GHz filter example for 5G mmWave applications that was presented in the technical sessions.

Remcom showed how their device design workflow can ensure that your devices meet 5G throughput requirements. Learn more about Wireless InSite’s new features for 5G mmWave and MIMO simulations and receive their supporting whitepaper, “Ten Cues You Need a 5G MIMO Channel Modeler." They also presented a technical session on their simulation software for 5G applications.

RogersRogers Corporation next generation products meet existing and emerging needs of advanced millimeter wave multilayer designs. The RO4835T™ laminates are 3.3 Dk, low-loss, spread glass reinforced, ceramic filled thermoset materials designed for inner-layer use in multilayer board designs. The RO4450T Bonding Materials are 3.2-3.3 Dk, low-loss, spread glass reinforced, ceramic filled bonding materials for RO4835T and RO4000® laminate families. They recently introduced a new high impedance, balanced permeability material MAGTREX aimed at antenna applications to reduce the board size without sacrificing bandwidth.

SAGE Millimeter featured their model STA-60-12-D8 is an instrumentation grade, high precision and high attenuation range direct reading, rotary vane attenuator for use in millimeter wave test sets across the standard E-band frequency range of 60 to 90 GHz. The attenuator has a large scale calibrated dial which indicates the attenuation value directly. The attenuator is an ideal piece of equipment in waveguide systems where a broad direct reading of attenuation is required. The attenuator exhibits exceptional repeatability during frequent attenuation setting operations. The attenuator exhibits 1.0 dB typical insertion loss and up to maximum 70 dB attenuation.

Samtec was featuring a new high performance, Microwave Cable with Copper Foil Shielding: The RF23C series, with performance to 50 GHz, is available in two end options: 2.92 mm and 2.40 mm. This is a 50Ω, 23 AWG solid dielectric low-loss microwave cable. Samtec was also demonstrating 28 Gb/s Solutions using their product demonstrator showing various way to use their flyover technology on boards where very low loss is need over long board distances.

SemiGen discussed the firm’s broad range of contract manufacturing and supply chain services, including the new capabilities acquired with the purchase of Ion Beam Milling of Manchester, New Hampshire. SemiGen has long been a customer of Ion Beam Milling, so the combination was natural. SemiGen now offers a full suite of thin film circuits, specialized foundry services and microwave assembly and test services. SemiGen’s thin film capabilities include custom and standard attenuators, Lange couplers, filters, diode sub-mounts, planar inductors, standoffs and transmission lines.

Signal CoreSignalCore presented a high performance 26.5 GHz RF Downconverter. This rugged and compact module is built for simple integration into satellite communications, point-to-point radio, test instrument systems and academic research. Visit our booth to find out the best way to integrate it into your system.

Signal Microwave has developed solderless 1.0 mm edge launch connectors that operate mode free through 125 GHz. Test boards that operate mode free through 125 GHz are also available. The test boards were developed in cooperation with Isola and based on their Astra MT-77 material.

Southwest Microwave introduced a 1.85 mm (67 GHz) PCB Compression Mount Connector requires no solder, is designed for microstrip or grounded coplanar designs and provides the superior performance only a Southwest Microwave connector can offer. This connector can be vertically attached anywhere on the PCB surface and has no PCB thickness limitations. As with all Southwest Microwave PCB mount connectors, board layout assistance is available upon request.

StratEdge Corporation featured two options for packaging GaN and high power semiconductor devices--the LL family of leaded laminate copper-moly-copper base packages and now its off-the-shelf line of molded ceramic packages that can be configured to meet the requirements for chips with frequencies up to 18 GHz. These packages dissipate heat and come in fully-hermetic versions in over 200 standard outlines. StratEdge offers complete automated assembly and test services in San Diego, CA for these packages, including gold-tin solder die attach.

LeCroyTeledyne LeCroy featured their WavePro HD High-Definition oscilloscopes employ unique Teledyne LeCroy HD4096 technology to achieve 12-bit resolution at up to 8 GHz bandwidth, for the lowest noise and unmatched signal fidelity. Up to 5 GB of highly responsive acquisition memory gives more visibility into system behavior, and the exceptional analysis toolbox enables deep insight.

Times Microwave Systems introduced its new Clarity™ Series of 18, 26.5 and 40 GHz coax test cables. Clarity boasts steel torque, crush and overbend protection with abrasion resistance – while not compromising flexibility. The cable is ultra-stable through 40 GHz with exceptionally low attenuation. The design includes an ergonomic, injection molded strain relief and Times’ new, SureGrip™ coupling nut to significantly improve the user’s everyday experience.

TTE Filters was showing bias tees that are offered from 10 MHz to 40 GHz, to 7 A DC, and typically ship from stock. They offer superior broadband performance, low insertion loss, minimal return loss, desirable VSWR, extremely flat gain response and RoHS compliant options. As affiliates of GGC (, TTE Filters and Microwave Circuits also offer a variety of RF and Microwave filters from 400 Hz to 40 GHz.

WenzelWenzel showed off their slow transition PLO crystal oscillator provides smooth frequency transition on loss and reacquisition of external reference. This innovative design features a low PLL BW (≤0.1 Hz), guaranteed maximum slew rate, automatic aging correction and frequency holdover upon loss of reference, while maintaining excellent close-in noise of -145 dBc at 10 Hz offset.