Positive Bias Tech Brief – Eliminating Complex Bias Sequencers and Negative Voltage Supply

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

Positive Bias Tech Brief - Eliminating Complex Bias Sequencers and Negative Voltage Supply

Custom MMIC is proud to announce a new technical brief illuminating our progress in eliminating complex bias sequencers and negative voltage supply.

Experts at Custom MMIC have been exploring the use of enhancement mode pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility-transistors (E-pHEMTs) in monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). This is a promising technique, for it may directly address a well-known design challenge. Specifically, that of sequencing in amplifier biasing.

The savings generated by removing the sequencer can be enormous. The use of E-pHEMT devices by designers of power amplifiers (PAs) and low noise amplifiers (LNAs) is in its infancy, as such devices have only recently been made available from a number of semiconductor manufacturers. However, Custom MMIC has been a pioneer in this area and currently offers dozens of standard, off-the-shelf PA and LNA components built with E-PHEMT technology. Not only can E-pHEMT amplifiers reduce cost and complexity, they can also improve performance. By definition, this is a win-win situation.

Download and read the tech brief, “Throw out complex bias sequencers along with the negative voltage supply.

Custom MMIC Included in Latest Market Report on LNAs as a Leading Innovator

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

According to the new market research report Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) Market by Frequency (<6 GHz, 6-60 GHz, and >60 GHz), Material (Silicon, Silicon Germanium, Gallium Arsenide), Vertical (Consumer, Telecom, Military, Industrial, Automotive and Medical), and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023″, published by Markets and Markets (TM), the market is expected to grow from USD 1.17 Billion in 2016 to USD 3.00 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 13.8% between 2017 and 2023.

According to the report: “The major factors driving the growth of this market include the huge demand from the smartphone market, growing bandwidth demand, and increasing usage of long-term evolution (LTE) technology. The consumer electronics vertical is expected to hold the largest share between 2017 and 2023. The growth is attributed to the growing adoption of consumer electronics devices such as wearable devices; smartphones, tablets, and laptops; portable navigation devices; portable media players; digital cameras; and gaming consoles; as well as increasing number of e-readers. The LNA market for silicon germanium is expected to grow at the highest CAGR…

Asia Pacific (APAC) held the largest share of the market in 2016 and is expected to dominate the LNA market with the largest share between 2017 and 2023. The growth in the region is attributed to significantly high rate of adoption of smartphones; dramatic shift toward higher speed mobile technologies from 3G to 4G; higher increasing range of mobile services consumed, including video, social media, e-commerce, and financial services; and high military expenditures by countries such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea.

The major players of the LNA market are NXP Semiconductors N.V. (Netherlands), Analog Devices, Inc. (US), Infineon Technologies AG (Germany), L3 Narda-MITEQ (US), Qorvo, Inc. (US), Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (US), ON Semiconductor Corp. (US), Panasonic Corp. (Japan), Texas Instruments, Inc. (US), and Teledyne Microwave Solutions (US). The key innovators of the market are Custom MMIC (US), MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. (US), SAGE Millimeter, Inc. (US), WanTcom Inc. (US), and DBWave Technologies Co., Ltd. (China). “

The report goes on to suggest that SiGe LNAs deliver better performance “in the low-power, high-frequency applications than those based on other materials such as silicon and gallium arsenide…” And that “Silicon germanium LNAs provide better linear performance and enhanced power efficiency.” To which we would argue that the latest in GaN and GaAs devices in our portfolio of LNAs might prove otherwise.

Please note: Custom MMIC is a privately held corporation.

Ultrawideband 2 GHz to 22 GHz Distributed Low Noise Amplifier Now Offered in Plastic 4×4 QFN package

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

Custom MMIC, a leading developer of performance driven monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), announces the CMD241P4, a packaged version of its popular CMD241 ultra-wideband GaAs MMIC distributed low noise amplifier. The wideband operation, low noise figure, low current consumption, excellent return loss, and compact size of this distributed amplifier device make it ideal in use in L-, S-, C-, X-, Ku-, and K-band wideband radar, broadband microwave/millimeter wave communications, SATCOM, and test and measurement instrumentation applications.

The CMD241P4 exhibits gain greater than 13 dB with a low noise figure of 2.3 dB. Both the gain and noise figure of this distributed amplifier are both extremely stable over temperature, from -55 °C to +85 °C. The CMD241P4 demonstrates a 1 dB compression point beyond +21 dBm at 11 GHz and an output IP3 of +28 dBm, operating off a positive 3 to 8 volt supply, with an extremely low current draw of only 74 mA. The input return loss is typically 13 dB, and output return loss of 15 dB.

The distributed amplifier comes in a Pb-free RoHs compliant 4×4 QFN plastic package. Also incorporated into the design of this MMIC is a 50 Ohm matched impedance at the input and output ports, which removes the need for both external DC blocks and RF matching.

Learn more about the CMD241P4 ultra-wideband distributed low noise amplifier.

New MMIC Broadband Passive Frequency Doubler from 7 GHz to 11 GHz Offers Excellent Fundamental Isolation

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

Custom MMIC announces a new edition to their growing line of high performance MMIC doublers, the CMD226N3 broadband frequency doubler. The doubler covers an input frequency of 7 GHz to 11 GHz input frequency (C-,X, input ;Ku-, and K-band output). This doubler’s low conversion loss and excellent Fo isolation make it ideal for use in military radar, SMDS, SATCOM, VSAT, and LO chains for point-to-point microwave/millimeter-wave radio in cellular backhaul applications.

The GaAs MMIC CMD226N3 is a x2 passive frequency multiplier that offers broadband performance and is housed in a QFN-style package. With a drive level of +15 dBm, this frequency doubler offers 9.0 dBm of conversion loss at 18 GHz and Fo Isolation in reference to an input level of 44 dB. The 3Fo and 4Fo isolation are at least 48 dBc and 50 dBc, respectively.

Extremely temperature stable, the conversion gain varies less than 2 dB from nominal across the entire frequency band of operation, and is also very stable under varying drive conditions. The CMD226N3’s passive design exhibits excellent phase noise performance, without the need for biasing circuitry. It also incorporates a 50 ohm matched design on chip–removing the necessity to RF port match this device.

Download a full datasheet of the CMD226N3 Frequency Doubler to learn more.

Custom MMIC’s Latest Circuits Added to X-Microwave’s Modular Design and Production System

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

Custom MMIC announces an expanded collaboration with X-Microwave LLC, developers of a modular/drop-in simulation, prototyping, and production system for solderless and reconfigurable RF/microwave circuits up to 67 GHz. The X-MWblockTM system enables efficient and expedient microwave and millimeter-wave circuit development and testing, using industry grade non-linear online simulation tools powered by Keysight’s Genesys Spectrasys engine. The expanded partnership will bring over 35 of Custom MMIC’s leading LNAs, PAs, Distributed Amplifiers, Driver Amplifiers, Low Phase Noise Amplifiers, Phase Shifters, Switches, and Mixers to the X-Microwave system. The companies have plans to add more of the 100-plus products available from Custom MMIC to the X-MWBlockTM system in the near future.

“We are excited to further expand our relationship with X-Microwave”, says John Greichen, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Custom MMIC, “Their X-MWsystemTM is a cost-effective, rapid prototyping system which saves our customers in development time and expense.”

The X-Microwave system leverages a unique grid-based modular architecture that facilitates drop-in component configuration of a complete RF, microwave, or millimeter-wave system. Initially, the X-Parameter and S-Parameter models of each X-MWblockTM can be assembled and analyzed in X-Microwave’s free online system simulation tool. Once desired performance is achieved, the necessary X-MWblockTM components can be purchased with a modular prototype platform. After testing and verification, these same components can be seamlessly integrated into a final production assembly housing. The X-MWsystem provides unprecedented ease of simulation, design, prototyping, and integration of microwave and millimeter-wave components, such as Custom MMIC’s wide range of high performance RF and Microwave MMICs.

“We are excited to announce our extended collaboration with Custom MMIC to offer their broad range of RF and Microwave products on our format”, says John Richardson, Founder and President of X-Microwave, “Custom MMIC products, such as their latest Low Phase Noise packaged amplifiers to 22 GHz and in DIE form to 40 GHz, are filling industry gaps and are exciting additions to our portfolio of Drop-In Components.”

Custom MMIC’s innovative MMICs easily work within the X-Microwave modular platform, and provide distinct features that even further reduce system design time and complexity. For example, many of Custom MMIC’s GaAs LNAs, PAs, Distributed Amplifiers, and Driver Amplifiers benefit from Custom MMIC’s design expertise with positive bias and positive gain slope features, which reduce the need for costly additional bias and gain conditioning circuitry. Furthermore, Custom MMIC’s leading ultra-low noise LNAs and low phase noise amplifiers (LPNAs) offer critical performance requirements for next-generation Electronic Warfare, SIGINT, satellite, and communications technologies.

About X-Microwave
X-Microwave, LLC, is the founder of the innovative modular building block system called X-MWsystemTM. X-Microwave’s modular drop-in components and online tools address every phase of the RF and microwave development process from concept to prototype to production hardware. To “Get on the Grid” and realize the full potential of X-Microwave’s modular system, visit

Custom MMIC introduces Two New Broadband GaAs MMIC Mixers With Ultra Low Conversion Loss

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

Custom MMIC has added two new low loss, high linearity and high isolation MMIC mixers to their growing family of fundamental, IQ, and IRM mixers. The CMD181 and CMD261 are both general purpose double balanced mixers that can be used for upconversion and downconversion, or as image rejection mixers or single sideband modulators with the appropriate external hybrids and power splitters.

The CMD181 fundamental mixer’s RF and LO operates from 26 GHz to 45 GHz with a wide IF bandwidth of DC to 12 GHz. With a low conversion loss of -6.5 dB, the CMD181 MMIC mixer also features high LO to RF isolation of -37 dB and LO to IF isolation of -29 dB. This mixer is also highly linear, with an input IP3 of +22 dBm.

The CMD261 mixer enables frequency band translation, with an RF from 30 GHz to 46 GHz, a LO frequency range of 16 GHz to 31 GHz and an IF frequency range from 5 GHz to 20 GHz. With only -8 dB conversion loss the CMD261 MMIC mixer also features high LO to RF isolation of -30 dB and LO to IF isolation of -20 dB. These new GaAs mixers are available in compact die form and can operate reliably from -55 °C to +85 °C.

Download the full data sheet for CMD181 and CMD261.

DC to 20 GHz Wideband GaAs MMIC Distributed Power Amplifier Provides High Linearity

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

Custom MMIC has added a new packaged distributed amplifier, CMD201P5, to its growing portfolio of Broad Range Distributed Amplifier MMICs. Beyond ultra-wideband performance of DC to 20 GHz, this new distributed power amplifier also features high linearity with high output power and very low return loss.

The CMD201P5 distributed power amplifier provides 11 dB of gain with an output 1 dB compression point of over 28 dBm and output IP3 of +38 dBm at 10 GHz. The input return loss and output return loss are excellent at -16 dB and -17 dB, respectively. This GaAs amplifier also delivers excellent temperature behavior with highly stable output power, noise figure, OIP3, and P1dB over temperature.

The CMD201P5 is offered in a compact 5×5 mm plastic QFN package, and also features built 50 ohm matched design, which eliminates the need for additional RF port matching circuitry external to the MMIC.

For more information visit the Custom MMIC product library to download datasheet of the CMD201p5 Distributed Power Amplifier.

Mil/aero system designers offered more solutions and design tips from Custom MMIC at IMS 2017

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

IMS 2017 attendees whose core business or interests involve high performance MMICs are encouraged to visit with the Custom MMIC team and learn of their new GaAs and GaN MMIC innovations. Custom MMIC is exhibiting at the International Microwave Symposium 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii in booth #1355.

Custom MMIC’s latest ultra-high linearity and ultra-wide IF bandwidth mixers, CMD181 and CMD261, have IF bandwidths of DC to 12 GHz and 5 GHz to 20 GHz, as well as RF frequencies from 26 GHz to 45 GHz and 30 GHz to 46 GHz, respectively. These passive double balanced mixers can operate with extremely low conversion loss, as low as 6.5 dB, and can be used as image reject mixers or single sideband modulators with a few external components.

Also featured is their newest wideband gallium arsenide (GaAs) distributed power amplifier MMICs (Pas), the CMD249 and CMD201P5, which operate from DC to 20 GHz and have an output P1dB of 30 dBm. An exciting topic of discussion will also be their new low phase noise amplifiers (LPNAs). Released earlier this year, these unique MMICs deliver additive phase noise as low as -165 dBc/Hz, low noise, and wideband performance in microwave and millimeter-wave frequency bands from 6 GHz to 40 GHz.

Moreover, Paul Blount, Custom MMIC President and CTO, will be giving an IMS Micro-Apps presentation on practical approaches to combating phase noise and jitter in RF systems. For those interested, this will be held Tuesday June 6 at 2:40pm HST in the IMS Exhibit Hall (Booth #1946).

In terms of industry collaborations, a large number of Custom MMIC components have been incorporated into the X-Microwave prototyping and manufacturing system. Custom MMIC engineers will be available to discuss the benefits of this innovative rapid prototyping technology, previously unavailable for high performance RF and microwave systems.

View more here:

Passive GaN Mixers Hit a new Benchmark of Linearity

Courtesy of Custom MMIC

Custom MMIC is proud to announce a new technical brief illuminating their progress with reaching incredible limits of linearity with passive MMIC mixers using GaN Technology.

Over the past year, mixer experts at Custom MMIC have been exploring the use of gallium nitride (GaN) processes as the basis for extremely linear RF mixers. Deducing that the high linearity performance of GaN power amplifiers may cross-over to other critical microwave components, Custom MMIC engineers have gone through several iterations of GaN mixer technologies and typologies with several of their key foundry partners.

Ultimately, the fruits of their efforts have led to passive GaN mixer designs that surpass all gallium arsenide (GaAs) passive mixer designs in terms of the ratio of input third-order intercept point (IIP3) to local oscillator (LO) drive — a figure-of-merit Custom MMIC is coining as Linear Efficiency. From S-band to K-band (2 GHz to 19 GHz) these new passive GaN mixers are demonstrating IIP3 figures well above 30 dBm, LO drive levels around 20 dBm, and linear efficiencies above 10 dB.

Download and read the tech brief, “Reach New Levels of Linearity in Passive Mixers with GaN Technology.”

Visit Custom MMIC website here:

Ultra-low Noise Amplifier (LNA) MMICs Designed with the RF / Microwave Engineer in Mind

Custom MMIC has developed high performance, GaAs and GaN RF / Microwave ultra-low noise amplifiers (LNAs) to meet stringent design requirements for low bias current, low bias voltage, extremely low noise figure, high gain and broadband operation. They’re available from 2 to 45 GHz (L through Q band), and come in ultra-small die and small QFN packages. With noise figures as low as 1 dB in microwave frequencies, our GaAs and GaN MMIC LNAs are fit for highly sensitive SATCOM and radar applications, and are built for high survivability rated RF / Microwave military and aerospace radio design. Additional LNA features include single positive bias voltage supply and input power handling of 20 dBm. Visit Custom MMIC website here

Low Noise Amplifiers
Phase Noise
2 – 6 30 1.2 12 14 23 3 – 5 45 DIE
2 – 6 28 1.5 13 14 25 3 – 5 45 4×4 mm QFN
4 – 8 15.5 1.9 15 17 29 2 – 5 75 3×3 mm QFN
CMD219 (GaN)
4 – 8 23 1.0 18 26 28 5 – 28 / -2.3 75 DIE
4 – 8 22.5 1.0 17 25.5 28 5 – 28 / -2.3 75 4×4 mm QFN
5 – 9 22 1.2 11 13 21 1 2 – 4.5 30 3×3 mm QFN
CMD218 (GaN)
5 – 9 22 1.1 21.5 26 30 5 – 28 / -2.7 80 DIE
5 – 11 27 1.4 13 15 25 3 – 5 45 DIE
5 – 11 26 1.5 13 15 24 3 – 5 45 4×4 mm QFN
5 – 11 23 1.4 10 13 22 2 – 4.5 30 DIE
5 – 11 21 1.4 10 13 22 2 – 4.5 30 3×3 mm QFN
5 – 11 22 1.2 11 14 23 2 – 5 107 DIE
6 – 11 18.5 2.1 17 20 28 2 – 5 78 3×3 mm QFN
10 – 14 19 1.05 5 12 2 – 4 / 1.5 20 DIE
10 – 14 19 1.4 4 7 13 1 – 4 / 1.5 20 3×3 mm QFN
8 – 16 16 1.8 11 13 23 2 – 4 50 3×3 mm QFN
10 – 17 26 1.1 4 10 14 2 – 4 / 1.5 29 DIE
10 – 17 15 2.0 11 13 24 2 – 4 55 DIE
6 – 18 26 1.5 11 13.5 23 2 – 4.5 52 DIE
6 – 18 26 1.5 11 13.5 23 2 – 4.5 52 3×3 mm QFN
9 – 18 22 1.5 13.5 16 22.5 3 – 5 93 DIE
2 – 18 9 4.5 20.5 22 24 3 – 6 120 4×4 QFN
6 – 20 20 2.0 15.5 16.5 26 2 – 5 120 3×3 mm QFN
6-20 20 2.0 15.5 16.5 26 2 – 5 120 DIE & 3×3 mm
17 – 25 26.5 1.4 8 11 16 2 – 4 1.5 26 DIE
16 – 26 23 2.2 7 13 18 2 – 5 110 DIE
17 – 27 24 1.3 19 20 26 2 – 4 / 3 120 DIE
17 – 27 23 1.7 18 19 25 2 – 4 / 3 120 4×4 mm QFN
26 – 34 22 1.7 7 9 14 1 – 4 25 DIE
26 – 34 20 1.4  6 8  15 1 – 4 / 2  20 DIE
33 – 45 19 2.1 4 7 13 1 – 4 / 2 25 DIE