A DIFFERENT APPROACH: Designing with Modular Filters

A DIFFERENT APPROACH: Designing with Modular Filters

By: Ray Page and John Richardson via X-Microwave

Filter selection and integration is often the most difficult risk to manage when realizing a new RF design. Some of the risks include:

  • Over specifying
  • Underspecifying
  • Late system specification changes
  • Long lead times
  • Layout is specific to filter part number
  • Must commit to layout and assembly to validate filter selection
  • Unintended consequences of filter technology choice
  • May have to start over if the design doesn’t meet performance goals

Modular filters afford a different approach to RF design that addresses these issues. This paper discusses what modular filters are, why their time has come, and how to design with them. Modular Filters Modular filters are designed with compatible RF launch geometries on a common mechanical grid and enjoy the ease of “bolt-in” assembly (Figure 1). Standardization is further extended to the extraction of simulation models by moving the reference planes to the RF launches (Figure 2). This lays the foundation for a better way to use filters.

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