RF designs impose many challenges on design engineers

A number of new application areas in 5G, radar, satellite communication and RF energy require high-end RF devices. When designing these devices smart design methodologies to increase energy efficiency combined with smart antenna designs and smart packaging need to be taken into account.

by DSP Valley

That is the key message at the Benelux RF Conference on 28 November, 2018. A must to attend in order to stay up to date in the RF domain. This already third annual Benelux RF Conference is hosted by the Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen. The organization of the event is in the hands of Techwatch, the Dutch publisher of the popular Bits&Chips magazine. The conference brought together Belgian and Dutch high tech professionals and companies involved in the development and application of high-end RF techniques. With almost 200 registered attendees, 2 very interesting keynotes, 14 presentations and 17 exhibitors the conference exceeded the expectations set in previous years.

Circuit nonlinearity results in energy efficiency

The first keynote speaker was Earl McCune of Eridan Communications/TU Delft. He explained how the traditional way of thinking in linear circuit design for high frequency power amplifiers for 5G will result in unacceptably high power consumption. This will prevent a large scale introduction into the market. Therefore he made a strong plea for circuit nonlinearity. If designers embrace this kind of circuitry we obtain transmitter ‘linearity’ and energy efficiency.

By choosing circuit nonlinearity we obtain transmitter ‘linearity’ and energy efficiency

RF signals propagate nicely through plastic fibers

Patrick Reynaert of KU Leuven presented the second keynote. He talked about RF waveguides in plastic fibers. High frequency (>50GHz) RF signals propagate nicely through plastic fibers over short distances (<10 meters). There is no need to first transform the electrical signal into an optical signal at the transmitter and then back again to an electrical signal at the receiver side. Just small transmit and receipt antennas are all that is required. This opens up great perspective for example for the future wiring in cars, where high speed data communication will be required over short distances.

RF waveguides in plastic fibers open up great perspective for high speed communication over short distances

During the remainder of the day many other interesting topics on 5G, Smart (mimo) Antennas, Radar, Advanced technologies for mm-wave systems and RF-Energy were covered in the various presentation, organized in two parallel tracks.

At the end of the day lively discussions amongst the attendees continued during the network drink and closing dinner session. It goes without saying we already eagerly look forward to attend next years’ conference.