Teledyne Electromechanical relay

The ultraminiature GRF121 relay

Electromechanical relay / temperature / SMD / RF GRF121


Type: Electromechanical

Technology: RF

Function: Temperature

Form: SMD


The ultraminiature GRF121 relay is designed to provide a practical surface-mount switching solution with RF performance and repeatability to 16GHz. The GRF121 improves on Teledyne Relays’ heritage of miniature RF relays by incorporating a precision transmission line structure in the internal construction of the contact system. GRF121 relays feature a unique ground shield to facilitate surface mounting and to extend the frequency range when compared to through-hole solutions.

The RF/GRF121 features:
• DC-16GHz
• 40Gbps
• High Repeatability
• Wide Bandwidth Performance
• Higher Isolation Between Each Signal Path
• Metal Enclosure for EMI Shielding
• High Isolation Between Control and Signal Paths
• High Resistance to ESD

Nine Key RF Filter Market Trends

The ever-increasing demand for limited frequency spectrum is creating new opportunities for filter applications. Traditional approaches to challenges such as temperature drift are no longer sufficient as frequency bands become more crowded and service providers attempt to fully utilize every bit of available bandwidth in the spectrum. Special applications for next-generation technologies, such as V2X (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication standards and carrier aggregation, require innovative new filtering designs and technologies.

So what are some of the key market trends that innovative RF filters are addressing in today’s modern LTE environment? Here are nine to remember:

    1. New frequency bands are increasingly packed closer and closer together. This can lead to a situation where the temperature drift of the filter response can be greater than the transition region between stopbands. Next-generation smartphones will demand higher performance and new technologies to support these new bands.
    2. Qorvo has developed LowDrift™ and NoDrift™ filter technologies to address these challenging temperature drift situations. NoDrift surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technologies help achieve a near-zero temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) across -20°C to 85°C.
    3. In late 2013, a leading North American carrier required stringent standards for attenuation of the public safety band that is in between Band 13. Qorvo developed its NoDrift™ SAW technology in response to this new standard.
    4. Multiplexers – such as duplexers, triplexers, and quadplexers – combine multiple frequencies into a single device, which saves board space and simplifies radio frequency (RF) design. Multiplexers have a common input and are designed to achieve low insertion loss along with high isolation between the outputs.
    5. Carrier aggregation (CA) will allow carriers to use increased bandwidth to get higher data rates. Quadplexers are one common method to support closely spaced CAs.
    6. With more smartphones simultaneously supporting 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and LTE Band 40, Band 7, Band 38, and Band 41, the need for Wi-Fi coexistence filters has skyrocketed. Qorvo’s BAW coexistence filters offer significant advantages over traditional SAW and ceramic filters used for cellular Wi-Fi applications.
    7. Today’s smartphones employ antenna diversity – using multiple antennas to receive the same signal – to support a broad range of wireless spectrum. Lower-end smartphones may use multiple discrete switches and diversity filters to maximize flexibility, while high-end devices may use integrated diversity modules to save precious board space.
RF Filter Applications
  1. Stringent space and size constraints in small cell base stations are making it necessary for systems designers to choose SAW and BAW filters over ceramic or cavity filters. Qorvo is the world leader in offering a broad range of RF filters, duplexers, and multiband filter modules to serve pico cell market requirements.
  2. Connected vehicles” are adopting all interface standards such as LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and vehicle- to- infrastructure (V2X) for a wide range of services such as safety and infotainment. Qorvo filters enable the coexistence of this tightly packed spectrum without interference.

To learn more about RF filter technology, download our e-book, RF Filter Applications For Dummies®. You’ll learn the basics of RF filters, temperature drift, acoustic filters and filter packaging technologies.

Qorvo 5G

Overcoming Wireless Infrastructure Capacity Challenges with GaN

by Sumit Tomar from Qorvo, General Manager of Wireless Infrastructure

Mobile data usage continues to soar worldwide, driven primarily by the rapid global adoption of smartphones and the rollout of LTE networks in China and other countries. Worldwide LTE subscriptions leapt 151% to 635 million in the 12 months ending in March 2015, according to the GSA mobile industry group. That growth is expected to continue, generating as many as 2.5 billion LTE subscribers by 2020.

Operators of mobile networks face the challenges of quickly expanding capacity to support this growth, while minimizing network disruption and cost. In the long term, 5G networks are expected to provide massive increases in capacity as well as much faster data rates. But, 5G specifications are still being defined and deployments are unlikely for at least five years. In addition, 5G may involve significant changes to network architecture due the very low network latency, ultra-wide bandwidth and extremely high data rates that need to be supported in 5G. That is at least 5 times more backhaul capacity than currently used today in 4G. This will force network operators to look for different front-haul and backhaul solutions as the current backhaul solutions used for 4G wouldn’t be able to scale up to support 5G.

To meet the immediate requirements for much higher capacity well before 5G arrives, operators are scrambling to expand the capacity of their 4G networks without re-architecting infrastructure. They’re focusing on technologies that enable them to extract more capacity from their existing LTE spectrum allocations and to minimize the need for costly purchases of additional spectrum.

Operators are focusing on several key capacity and performance upgrades. Short-term plans center on carrier aggregation, a feature of LTE Advanced. Medium-term enhancements include a collection of enhancements variously described as 4.5G, 4G plus, LTE evolution or pre-5G, including high-order (up to 64X) multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) as well as higher-order modulation and use of unlicensed 5GHz spectrum.

These short- and medium-term capacity improvements, and ultimately 5G networks, will require a unique semiconductor process technology to manufacture base station power amplifiers (PAs) with a higher power density, more efficiency over wider bandwidth, and support higher carrier frequencies ranging from 400 MHz to 100 GHz.

The Promise of GaN on SiC

Historically, base station power amplifiers have primarily used silicon-based Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) technology. However, progressively more demanding requirements have exposed the device physics limitations of LDMOS and resulted in a growing number of BTS (Base Station) OEMs adopting Gallium Nitride (GaN on SiC) as technology of choice for next generation base station PA.

Carrier aggregation is driving the need for multi-band power amplifiers with 2X more power and 3X more video bandwidth compared to what is used in 4G Macro Cell BTS today. LDMOS has device physics limitations to support video bandwidth higher than 300 MHz as well as the ability to support wider video bandwidth of LDMOS PAs decreases even more sharply as the frequency increases beyond 2GHz. While LDMOS is effective only at frequencies up to about 3.5 GHz, GaN PAs already handle higher millimeter wave frequencies. In addition, GaN PAs support greater video bandwidth, even at higher frequencies.

The two leading GaN flavors available today are GaN on Silicon Carbide (SiC) and GaN on Silicon (Si). GaN on Si offers the advantage of a low-cost substrate that can be produced in silicon foundries, with associated economies of scale. But GaN on SiC supports much higher power density, and correspondingly higher power output. This is due to the fact that SiC provides better thermal conductivity: about three times higher than Si. Compared with LDMOS, GaN on SiC offers roughly 7X the power density, at about 5-12 W/mm. Because of this, GaN on SiC PAs can deliver about double the power output in the same footprint. As a result, GaN on SiC has become the technology of choice for high-power RF applications.

The benefits of GaN on SiC PAs directly address operators’ top three concerns, the three “Cs”: cost, coverage, and capacity.

GaN on SiC PA enables higher efficiency, reducing operators’ huge electricity cost. In order to enable higher capacity, operators use higher order QAM modulation. As the QAM order increases, the effective cell radius decreases. Higher peak power enabled by GaN on SiC overcomes the challenges of smaller cell radius and enables better cellular coverage. Higher break down voltage in GaN on SiC process enables wider video bandwidth required to enable higher network capacity.

To examine these benefits in more detail, this article will address the likely role of GaN on SiC at each stage of wireless network evolution, starting with carrier aggregation, followed by 4.5G, and finally 5G.

Near–Term: Carrier Aggregation

Operators are in the early stages of deploying carrier aggregation, a feature of LTE Advanced (3GPP Release 10). With carrier aggregation , operators can increase data capacity and throughput by combining up to 32 component carriers, each between 1.4 and 20 MHz, up to a maximum of 100 MHz total bandwidth.

A key attraction of carrier aggregation is that it lets operators make better use of fragmented spectrum allocations by combining component carriers from multiple bands (inter-band carrier aggregation). Many operators have less than 20 MHz of contiguous spectrum and they need carrier aggregation to support demand for faster data services. Initial deployments typically use carrier aggregation for downlink communications only and combine two 10 MHz component carriers for a total bandwidth of 20 MHz.

Carrier aggregation generally requires wideband PAs in order to avoid the additional cost and complexity of using a separate PA for each component carrier. Common carrier aggregation combinations, such as Band 1 (1800 MHz) with Band 3 (2100 MHz), require PAs with a bandwidth greater than 300 MHz. The ability of GaN PAs to support greater video bandwidth than LDMOS, even at higher frequencies, is a key benefit. The cost-per-die advantage of LDMOS is negated by the greater power efficiency of GaN and the fact that a single GaN PA can support bandwidth that would require multiple narrowband LDMOS PAs. Carrier aggregation also requires higher power output to enable simultaneous transmission on multiple component carriers. GaN on SiC PAs are capable of meeting today’s typical requirements for multi-band PAs delivering 100 W or more in average power output and supporting video bandwidth greater than 300 MHz.

The Impact of Power Efficiency on Operating Cost

The power efficiency of GaN also plays a major role in helping operators control their biggest cost: utility bills. PAs are responsible for a large proportion of the power consumed by base stations. If the PA operates at only 35% efficiency, as was typically the case with older LDMOS PAs, 65% of the energy is wasted as heat. The heat produced also causes reliability issues and requires large heat sinks, which increases the overall product size.
Medium–Term: “LTE-Advanced Pro”

Beyond carrier aggregation, operators are looking at a range of different technologies to improve capacity. These medium-term developments, collectively described as 4.5G or pre-5G, are expected to roll out in 2016 and beyond. 3GPP approved a new marker for LTE evolution system as “LTE-Advanced Pro” in October 2015.

Massive MIMO

MIMO enables operators to increase data rates and network capacity by transmitting multiple spatially separated data streams over the same frequency band, using multiple antennas on the base station and the user’s device. LTE–Advanced Pro defines up to 8×8 downlink MIMO, and up to 4X4 for uplink connections. It also defines Mu-MIMO, which expands capacity by enabling a base station to use each stream to communicate with a different device.
4.5G is expected to usher in much higher-order MIMO in 2.5 to 2.7 GHz, 3.4 to 3.8 GHz and 5 to 6 GHz bands to enable a further leap in network capacity, with base stations handling up to 256 simultaneous data streams. This introduces yet another set of challenges. The base station requires more power to drive 256 channels, so energy efficiency and heat dissipation become even bigger issues and the higher power efficiency of GaN becomes correspondingly more valuable.

The other major challenge with massive MIMO is managing complexity. Squeezing 256 transmit channels into a single base station will require highly integrated subsystems that package PAs, low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), switches, and filters into compact modules. To achieve the greatest performance and power efficiency, these subsystems must combine components based on different process technologies. For example, while GaN PAs provide the required power output and power efficiency, low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) based on CMOS may maximize receive sensitivity while minimizing noise. Advanced filters will be required to avoid interference with adjacent bands. Because base stations are typically mounted in locations where they are highly exposed to the elements, they experience extremes of temperature and humidity. Therefore, they will need BAW and SAW filters that exhibit a stable response to temperature variation. Highly integrated subsystems also offer base station manufacturers the benefits of reduced development and test time, because all the elements within the subsystem are already matched and tested as one.

LTE in 5GHz Spectrum (LTE-U)

LTE-U would allow global operators to boost coverage in their cellular networks, by using the unlicensed 5 GHz band already used by Wi-Fi devices. LTE-U would share space with Wi-Fi equipment already inhabiting that band. LTE-U is intended to let cellular operators boost data speeds over short distances, without requiring the user to log in to a separate Wi-Fi network.

This band is beyond the range of LDMOS PAs, which are limited to frequencies at or below 3.5 GHz. In contrast, 5 GHz is well within the range of GaN PAs, which already operate at mmWave frequencies.

Higher–Order Modulation

Moving to higher-order modulation enables further increases in data rates and network capacity.

3GPP Release 12 defines an increase in complexity from 64 QAM to 256 QAM, which provides peak data rates up to 33% faster by transmitting eight bits instead of six bits per OFDM symbol. However, using a more complex modulation scheme without increasing power output results in a reduction in cell range. To maintain coverage, operators will need higher-power PAs. This is expected to further fuel demand for GaN PAs that can provide the necessary power output.

Long–Term: 5G

5G specifications are still being defined and will not be complete for several years; the current 3GPP proposal is for submission of final specifications in 2020. However, it is widely expected that to achieve multi-gigabit data rates, 5G will utilize frequencies higher than 6 GHz, including use of millimeter-wave frequencies at 60 GHz – 90 GHz. Millimeter-wave spectrum is currently used for a number of military, satellite, and other applications. It is also used for the 802.11ad Wi-Fi standard, but is generally much less crowded than the lower-frequency bands currently used for LTE. Use of millimeter-wave spectrum for LTE will therefore make available a huge amount of additional bandwidth, while reducing concerns about congestion of lower-frequency spectrum.

Historically, the available devices in mmWave frequencies have been either too bulky or too expensive to be used in commercial grade applications. The key innovation in GaAs and GaN technologies has made it possible to transmit required power with a monolithic device. The process advancement in RF-CMOS and SiGe technologies has enabled highly integrated RF TRx up to E-band. The MCM (Multi-Chip Module) integration has enabled sophisticated antenna arrays in relatively small form factor and lower cost.

5G BTS would require massive MIMO, so size of components used in RF frontend will be very critical. GaN on SiC with significantly higher power density compared to GaAs or silicon based devices will make an ideal choice not only for RF power, but also for combining LNA, switch and PA monolithically in very small form factor.


Demand for GaN PAs is expected to increase rapidly over the next three to five years as operators push forward with new LTE capabilities to accommodate the unrelenting growth in mobile data usage. To meet this demand, a growing number of PA suppliers are expanding their portfolios to include GaN products. It is important to remember that PAs used in wireless base stations must meet high requirements for performance and efficiency, as well as high reliability under harsh conditions. Each generation of network capacity enhancements will require new levels of performance and power efficiency. Careful evaluation is required to ensure PA suppliers provide the performance, reliability, process maturity, and in-house manufacturing capacity to meet these exacting requirements.

Courtesy of


MACOM Acquires Aeroflex’s Diode Business from Cobham

Strengthens MACOM’s Leading Position in High-Performance RF and Microwave Diodes

LOWELL, Mass., December 14, 2015 – M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSI) (MACOM), a leading supplier of high-performance analog RF, microwave, millimeterwave and photonic semiconductor products, today announced that it has acquired 100% of Aeroflex’s diode business for $38 million in cash.  The business had approximately $37 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.

Expected highlights of the transaction include:

  • Extending MACOM’s leadership position in RF and microwave diodes;
  • Complementing existing product portfolio with addition of JAN-certified diodes and transistors;
  • Increasing scale and opportunity to drive COGS efficiencies; and
  • Accretion to MACOM’s earnings per share once fully integrated.

Commenting on the transaction, John Croteau, President and Chief Executive Officer of MACOM, stated, “We expect that Areoflex’s business will be extremely complementary to our existing product portfolio and further extend MACOM’s leading position in high-performance diodes. We believe that the transaction will provide meaningful scale advantages for our diode business, and that once their facilities are fully integrated, MACOM will be able to drive beneficial COGS efficiencies that will make the transaction accretive to MACOM’s non-GAAP operating margins and earnings per share.”

MACOM funded the purchase price of the acquisition with available cash.

Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal counsel to MACOM.  Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP acted as legal advisor to Cobham.

A presentation with further information on the transaction is available on MACOM’s investor relations website at:

About MACOM:

M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. ( is a leading supplier of high-performance analog RF, microwave, millimeterwave and photonic semiconductor products that enable next-generation Internet and modern battlefield applications. Recognized for its broad catalog portfolio of technologies and products, MACOM serves diverse markets, including high speed optical, satellite, radar, wired and wireless networks, automotive, industrial, medical and mobile devices. A pillar of the semiconductor industry, we thrive on more than 60 years of solving our customers’ most complex problems, serving as a true partner for applications ranging from RF to Light.

Headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts, MACOM is certified to the ISO9001 international quality standard and ISO14001 environmental management standard. MACOM has design centers and sales offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

MACOM, M/A-COM, M/A-COM Technology Solutions, M/A-COM Tech, Partners in RF & Microwave, Partners from RF to Light, The First Name in Microwave and related logos are trademarks of MACOM. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on MACOM management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements concerning the Metelics transaction, including those regarding any potential benefits and synergies, efficiencies, future operating results, perceived customer feedback, market position, strategic plans, and financial and business expectations associated with the acquisition, as well as any other statements regarding MACOM’s plans, beliefs or expectations regarding the transaction or its future business or financial results. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and generally may be identified by terms such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “will,” “would” or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms.

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect MACOM’s current views about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause those events or our actual activities or results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Although MACOM believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot and does not guarantee future events, results, actions, levels of activity, performance or achievements, including the successful integration of the Metelics business or realization of any of the projected benefits of the transaction. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements, including, among others, costs associated with the acquisition, failure to achieve expected synergies, accretion and other anticipated benefits of the transaction or to successfully integrate the Metelics business, adverse reactions to the acquisition by employees, customers, suppliers or competitors of either MACOM or Metelics, greater than expected dilutive effect on earnings from the transaction or failure to comply with applicable covenants related to MACOM’s outstanding indebtedness, lower than expected demand in any or all of our primary end markets or from any of our large OEM customers based on the acquisition, macro-economic weakness or otherwise, failures or delays by any customer in winning business or to make purchases from us in support of such business, lack of adoption or delayed adoption by customers and industries we serve of GaN, Indium Phosphide lasers, or other solutions offered by us, failures or delays in porting and qualifying GaN or Indium Phosphide laser process technology to our Lowell, MA fabrication facility or third party facilities, lower than expected utilization and absorption in our manufacturing facilities, lack of success or slower than expected success in our new product development efforts, loss of business due to competitive factors, product or technology obsolescence, customer program shifts or otherwise, lower than anticipated or slower than expected customer acceptance of our new product introductions, the potential for increased pricing pressure based on competitive factors, technology shifts or otherwise, the impact of any executed or abandoned acquisition, divestiture or restructuring activity, the impact of supply shortages or other disruptions in our internal or outsourced supply chain, the relative success of our cost-savings initiatives, the potential for inventory obsolescence and related write-offs, the expense, business disruption or other impact of any current or future investigations, administrative actions, litigation or enforcement proceedings we may be involved in, and the impact of any claims of intellectual property infringement or misappropriation, which could require us to pay substantial damages for infringement, expend significant resources in prosecuting or defending such matters or developing non-infringing technology, incur material liability for royalty or license payments or prevent us from selling certain of our products, as well as those factors described in “Risk Factors” in MACOM’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 2, 2015 as filed with the SEC on November 24, 2015. MACOM undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Company Contact:
M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc.
Bob McMullan
Chief Financial Officer
P: 978-656-2753

Investor Relations Contact:
Shelton Group
Leanne K. Sievers, EVP
P: 949-224-3874
Brett L. Perry, Managing Director
P: 214-272-0070

Nordic Semiconductor Virtuix Omni

Bluetooth Smart-based wearable sensors provide wireless 360° freedom of movement on ‘active virtual reality’ gaming platform

Bluetooth Smart-based wearable sensors provide wireless 360° freedom of movement on ‘active virtual reality’ gaming platform

Bluetooth Smart-based wearable sensors provide wireless 360° freedom of movement on ‘active virtual reality’ gaming platform


Nordic’s multiprotocol nRF51822 SoC enables Virtuix Omni platform to simultaneously support Bluetooth Smart and proprietary 2.4GHz wireless connectivity while addressing latency challenge

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Austin, Texas-based Virtuix has selected Nordic’s multiple award-winning nRF51822 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) for its new Virtuix Omni virtual reality (VR) motion gaming platform. The nRF51822 SoC provides wireless connectivity between up to 16 wearable sensor modules and a sensor hub, as well as to Bluetooth® Smart Ready smartphones, tablets, or personal computers.

The omnidirectional motion platform allows for ‘active virtual reality’ in which a player uses their whole body to control their actions―running, walking, sitting and “strafing”―with 360° freedom of movement.

The base of the platform is a smooth, concave disc, allowing the user to walk, run, and change direction freely when wearing a pair of Virtuix Omni shoes with a proprietary low friction shoe sole. After each stride the user’s feet slide back to the center of the concave platform allowing the action to be repeated to simulate walking or running in the game. The user is also strapped into a lower body harness to keep them centered above the unit while still retaining complete freedom of movement.

The movement of the user’s feet is captured by Virtuix Omni Tracking Pod wireless sensors mounted to the top of the Omni shoes. The Omni Pods are Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)-based tracking devices employing the Nordic SoC, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to accurately track the movement of each foot in any direction, even when jumping.

In its maximal configuration Omni uses 18 nRF51822 SoCs. Up to 16 wearable sensor modules, each powered by an nRF51822 SoC communicate wirelessly with the unit’s sensor hub. Because each nRF51822 SoC is able to connect on up to 8 channels, the sensor hub’s SoCs communicate with eight wearable sensors each. From there the data is transferred to a wireless headset and to a host application running on a Bluetooth Smart Ready device or via USB cable to a PC.

Nordic’s nRF51822 is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth Smart and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver is fully compliant with Bluetooth v4.2, the latest Bluetooth Smart specification.

A key advantage of the nRF51822 SoC is its multiprotocol capability that enables the Virtuix Omni to simultaneously support both proprietary 2.4GHz and Bluetooth Smart wireless connectivity. The product uses a proprietary 2.4GHz protocol based on Nordic’s Gazell software to communicate between sensors and hub while the hub communicates with the mobile device-powered host application using the Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth Classic protocol.

The nRF51822 SoC’s high level of integration allowed Virtuix to reduce the size of the PCB and the powerful ARM processor allowed the company to preprocess raw sensor data before wireless transfer, compressing the data stream from the sensor to the hub, boosting effective bandwidth.

“Low latency was our main challenge. In a man/machine system like a VR motion sensor, the system’s latency needs to be low enough that it isn’t perceptible to an average human user,” says David Allan, President of Virtuix. “In our case, we figured our system needed to react in 150 milliseconds or less.

“Bluetooth Smart had the low power we needed, but it didn’t support the latency requirement. So we designed our own 2.4GHz protocol based on Nordic’s Gazell software with low latency yet with a power consumption comparable to Bluetooth Smart.

“Working with Nordic has been great. We got excellent advice on customizing the Gazell protocol for our purposes. And when our board was ready, Nordic’s lab tuned the antenna circuit for us, boosting the signal strength and allowing us to reduce power consumption while holding transmission range constant.”

“The gaming market is undergoing a transformation thanks to VR technology,” says Geir Langeland, Director of Sales & Marketing, Nordic Semiconductor. “Virtuix has employed Nordic’s wireless technology to make its VR gaming experience stand out by taking full advantage of the multiprotocol capability of the nRF51822 SoC. The result is rapid response during gaming combined with the interoperability of Bluetooth Smart for seamless connectivity with smartphones, tablets and PCs.”

Knowles Dielectric Laboratories

Higher temperature rated MLCCs from Knowles brand DLI

Knowles brand, Dielectric Laboratories (DLI), has announced a number of specification extensions to their Ultra-low ESR and High Q MLC capacitors.  In both cases DLI have taken the temperature performance to a higher level of 175oc giving engineers more scope in their designs.  

These new improved TCC (temperature coefficient of capacitance) figures apply to DLI’s highly successful UL ceramic dielectric capacitors in case size C07 (0711) and AH porcelain dielectric capacitors in case size C17 (1111) – both with SMD Compatibility.  Applications range from Impedance Matching, Power Handling, DC Blocking, Bypass, Coupling, Tuning and Feedback in circuit designs covering Oscillators, Timing, Filters, RF Power Amplifiers and Delay Lines. 

UL is an EIA Class I Stable TC, NP0, Ceramic dielectric, with Ultra Low ESR; High Q, and Low Noise.  Parts can now be operated up to +175°C with TCC of 0 ± 60 ppm/ºC (limited to +125°C at 0 ± 30 ppm/°C).  They find use in any application where heat generation or signal loss are concerns.  They are considered High Voltage in that case size C07 and can be operated at up to 500Vdc over the capacitance range of 0.3pF to 47pF, extending to 100pF if de-rated to 200Vdc.  

The AH EIA Class I Positive TC, P90 Porcelain dielectric now achieves the +175°C rating with a TCC of 0 ± 20 ppm/ºC.  Applications are where High Q, coupled with Low ESR, is a priority. They have a dielectric constant that increases with temperature (90ppm/°C) giving Established Reliability; Low Noise and High Self-resonance.  Useful for temperature compensation where other board components may be losing capacitance with temperature.  Capacitance range starts at 0.3pF and climbs to 1000pF over the voltage range 50V, to a high working voltage of 1kV.

LoRa IoT Antenna Range

Taoglas Launches LPWA Antenna Range

Taoglas Launches Low Power Wide-Area (LPWA) Antenna Category for M2M and IoT Markets

New antennas support demand for low-cost, low-power devices

Enniscorthy, Ireland – Within the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market certain lower data rate applications depend on low-cost, battery-operated, long-life sensors. To meet the antenna needs of such applications innovative antenna leader Taoglas is rolling out a new Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) antenna category. The antennas directly address the need for IoT devices that use less power, cost less to run and do not need the speeds on bandwidths offered by 4G LTE networks. Taoglas’ series of LoRa-LPWA antennas includes flagship antennas such as the external Barracuda OMB.868 (Worldwide) or OMB.915 (North America) – large high gain omni-directional outdoor antennas which are ideal for the base station side of atypical LPWA network. For the devices themselves there are new direct mount FW.95, FW.86 and FW.43 monopole whip antennas and miniature embedded ILA.02 and ILA.01 solutions.

“LPWA technologies such as LoRa and SigFox open up the possibility of connecting a huge amount of new devices and sensors that would not have been possible for a business perspective with the costs of cellular hardware and data plans” said Dermot O’Shea, Taoglas Joint CEO.”We have many customers that have designed LTE devices even though they are only sending few kilobits of data once a month. Also these devices are perfect for LPWA as the battery life is greatly extended in comparison to cellular. Many applications in Industrial IoT only need to know things like “tell me if your are open, what does your gauge read?, what is the temperature? etc”

According to analyst firm Strategy Analytics, LPWA connections are forecast to have a high growth rate as part of IoT, growing from 11 million in 2014 to just over 5 billion by 2022.* In contrast, LTE and cellular networks support markets that need higher-power systems for delivering large volumes of data but these systems require significant battery power. For products such as M2M sensor devices sending low amounts of data, LPWA networks are ideal because they are one-tenth the price to run and have one-tenth the power drain. Batteries in these scenarios last 20 to 30 years instead of the three or four years of M2M products in cellular networks.

Taoglas LPWA antennas use the unlicensed Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands of 433/868MHz in Europe and 915MHz in the United States, so devices don’t need costly carrier certification. These antennas can be used in all sub GHz players in the IoT LPWA market such as LoRa®, LoRaWAN™, SIGFOX™, Weightless™, Nwave™ and Telensa™.

Working in the unlicensed bands, Taoglas antennas are ideal for manufacturers in healthcare and utilities as well as for asset tracking, which is one of the fastest-growing applications along with metering and industrial/environmental monitoring. Taoglas’ LPWA flagship antennas include:


The “Barracuda” 868MHz & 915MHz outdoor antennas utilize a high performance high gain collinear design to achieve long distance coverage for LoRa base stations.

The FW.95 (915MHz), FW.86 (868MHz) and FW.43 (433MHz) are flexible whip antennas with efficiencies of between 60% to 70%.


The ILA.02 and ILA.01 are low profile, highly efficient antennas ideal for devices that have space restrictions. The ILA.02 works on the 868MHz band with the ILA.01 being used in 915MHz range.

These antennas are used in automated meter reading (AMR), radio frequency identification (RFID), remote monitoring, healthcare, sensing, parking systems, weather and pollutant monitoring or motion and vibration sensors.

A full range of Taoglas LoRa LPWA antennas are available to purchase from Taoglas, check out the category on our website for the full list of available antennas and talk to us today if there are specific requirements you would like to discuss. Source: Strategy Analytics


OMB.915 datasheet

OMB.868 datasheet

FW.43: datasheet

FW.86: datasheet

FW.95: datasheet

ILA.02  datasheet

ILA.01 datasheet

Taoglas Raptor

Launch of Raptor Series Shark Fin Antennas

Raptor Series of Innovative Shark Fin Automotive Antennas include V2V and LTE MIMO

Next generation shark fins for connected car, safety and autonomous driving applications

Taoglas, a leading provider of IoT and M2M antenna solutions, announce a next generation line of shark fin antennas, for the First Tier Automotive/ITS markets at Mobile World Congress 2016 (Hall 1 Stand 1A11). The streamline, slick design of the Raptor, single fin antenna and the Raptor II dual fin version has been engineered to accommodate current and future antenna requirements for high speed broadband, safety and connected car applications.

“Traditionally a shark fin type antenna has been used by car manufacturers to house GPS, 3G and AM/FM antennas for car radios, but with the need for in-vehicle high speed Wi-Fi hotspots, automatic safety systems, and Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V/DSRC) communication, a new more complex level of antenna design is needed. The Raptor was designed from the ground-up to provide best in class performance for all these applications, while maintaining isolation between all these antenna systems to benefit from real MIMO performance.” said Ronan Quinlan, Joint CEO Taoglas. He added, “Besides this range of leading products, we are also working with our global automotive partners on delivering 5G smart adaptive beam forming antennas and centimeter level positioning accuracy for these antenna solutions for the autonomous cars and vehicles currently in development worldwide.”

The streamline single fin Raptor MA1060, is a 4in1 permanent mount antenna that incorporates a GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou, 4G LTE, Dual-Band Wi-Fi and an AM/FM antenna in one compact design. Taoglas has packed four high efficiency, high gain antennas in an IP67 waterproofed single fin housing. The Raptor delivers powerful antenna technology for the next generation of vehicular wireless systems, such as multimedia infotainment, safety, navigation and connected car applications.

The MA1130 is a dual-fin 6in1 antenna, supporting frequency bands inGPS/GLONASS/BeiDou, Wi-Fi, 4G and AM/FM radio. This outstanding antenna delivers powerful MIMO antenna technology for LTE and Wi-Fi 802.11n and emerging 802.11ac.

Manufactured and tested in a TS16949 first tier automotive-approved facility, the Raptor antennas are highly adaptable and can be customized to meet customer requirements with the Raptor being available in up to 4in1 combinations, and the dual-fin Raptor II being available in different combinations up to 7 antennas in 1 housing. The antennas are ground plane independent. They are available with combinations of 2G/3G/4G LTE MIMO, GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Radio(AM/FM/D-R), V2X 802.11p, DSRC and DAB antennas for V2V and V2X for Autonomous driving and communication with other vehicles.

Nordic nRF52Series

Nordic nRF52832, the most advanced Bluetooth Smart single chip on the market today, goes into mass production with new previously unannounced features

Nordic nRF52832

The Bluetooth v4.2 certified nRF52832 is the first of Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52 Series Systems-on-Chip and is supported by a full range of development kits, software, and documentation, now fully finalized from the previous Beta versions and immediately available for download from the Nordic website

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that the first nRF52832 member of its latest nRF52 Series Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) – the most advanced Bluetooth® Smart single-chip available on the market today – is now entering mass production and includes a range of new, previously unannounced features.

The mass production version of the nRF52832 is certified to the latest Bluetooth v4.2 version of the Bluetooth specification and the Bluetooth software stack includes a new ‘LE secure connection’ capability that supports encrypted wireless communications. Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) security has also been further enhanced. In addition, there is a new flexible RAM scheme that allows developers to optimize how much memory is used by the software stack for any given configuration, and also concurrent multi Master-Slave network support. The latter feature allows, for example, a device such as smartwatch to act as both a hub to other wireless sensors and as a wireless peripheral to a smartphone at the same time.

As previously announced, no competing solution comes near to offering the nRF52832’s combination of features and performance that marry barrier-breaking performance to power efficiency, offer new levels of design flexibility, and include a unique on-chip NFC™ tag for consumer-friendly Touch-to-Pair.

In summary, the nRF52832 features a category-first 64MHz ARM Cortex-M4F processor, a best-in-class ultra high performance, low power 2.4GHz multi-protocol radio, and fully automatic power optimization. Achieving a EEMBC 215 CoreMark the nRF52832 delivers up to 60% more generic processing power than competing solutions and thanks to its ARM Cortex-M4F up to an additional 10X the Floating Point and 2X the DSP performance. And at 58 CoreMark/mA the nRF52832 is up to 2X as power efficient as competing solutions as well.

The nRF52832 also includes a full range of on-chip analog and digital peripherals for glueless interfacing to external components such as sensors, displays, touch controllers, LEDs, keypads, motors, digital microphones, and audio Codecs. This makes it an ideal single-chip solution for wearables, human interface devices such as remote controllers, toys, smart home devices and appliances, and wireless charging.

“As such the nRF52832 re-defined the Bluetooth Smart single-chip category when it was announced in June last year and no competitor has launched anything to match it since,” comments Nordic Product Marketing Manager, Pär Håkansson.

“Demand for the nRF52832 has also outstripped all previous new product launch records for Nordic Semiconductor. This was helped by the successful completion of our biggest and most well-attended Global Tech Tour to date [where Nordic takes its top internal engineers on the road to meet customers new and old, introduce the latest developments in Nordic’s ULP wireless technology, and train customers hands-on in how to use it]. This reached over 4000 engineers and developers around the world. As such production of the nRF52832 will ramp from sampling volumes to millions of units over the next quarter to ensure there is ample allocation for all customers who are now encouraged to place their first orders via their local Nordic distributor.”

“Current single-chip Bluetooth Smart solutions are struggling to keep up with the rate of innovation in Bluetooth Smart – the fastest growing wireless market in history – particularly in applications such as wearables and IoT,” adds Kjetil Holstad, Product Manager for Bluetooth Smart at Nordic Semiconductor. “The main reason being that until now greater performance could only be achieved at the expense of power efficiency.”

Holstad continues: “The nRF52 Series uniquely merges barrier-breaking performance and power efficiency together on a Bluetooth Smart single chip for the first time and is the single chip the Bluetooth Smart market is crying out for. We hope it will free and inspire developers to be even more creative when developing Bluetooth Smart products and applications and to in-turn re-define what’s possible to do with Bluetooth Smart wireless technology.”

-Packaging optionsPackaging options include a 48-pin 6 x 6mm QFN and a 3.0 x 3.2mm CSP that will be available later in 2016.

-AvailabilityThe nRF52832 is available for volume ordering now.

u-blox NINA B1

Bluetooth low energy 4.2 module brings state-of-the-art performance and power efficiency to IoT designs

Sensing and control applications can be embedded on top of the NINA‑B1 module stack

Thalwil, Switzerland – February 22, 2016 – u‑blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, today announced the NINA‑B1 Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth Smart) stand‑alone module. Compliant to the latest Bluetooth 4.2 specification and certified to global radio type approvals, the module is key to bringing Bluetooth low energy‑based Internet of Things (IoT) designs to market in the shortest possible time.

Comprising an antenna, radio transceiver, an embedded ARM Cortex® M4F microcontroller and a Bluetooth low energy stack, NINA‑B1 is ready for design‑in for many applications. It is ideal for a wide range of IoT solutions, such as IoT connected sensors, building automation, medical devices, telematics applications, as well as monitoring and control systems. Supporting ARM® mbed™, the module and its evaluation kit (EVK) are open for designers who wish to embed their own application on top of the Bluetooth low energy stack.

The latest Bluetooth 4.2 specification offers an enhanced connection security capability, IPv6 and faster throughput compared to previous versions. The module is ready to support the future Bluetooth 5.0 specification by means of a firmware upgrade. The application memory – 512 kB Flash and 64 kB RAM – allows for firmware upgrades to be performed over‑the‑air (OTA).

With the u‑blox Serial Port service pre‑loaded, NINA‑B1 enables fast integration into devices running serial protocols. AT commands, compatible with other u‑blox modules, keep configuration efforts to a minimum.

NINA‑B1 has advanced power management features to keep the power consumption down to 400 nA with wake up on an external event, 2 µA during idle state, and 5 mA (at 0 dBm) at 3.0 VDC, during transmission.

With integrated NFC (Near Field Communication) capability, the module may be used to support Touch‑and‑Pair use cases for simplified Bluetooth pairing.

“NINA‑B1 is a fully certified Bluetooth low energy module with excellent RF capabilities. The open architecture approach to software development from ARM® mbed™ speeds up the IoT application development, thus greatly reducing the time to market and the related costs,” explains Pelle Svensson, Product Marketing Short Range Radio at u‑blox.

u-blox NINA B1

The module is a complete stand‑alone Bluetooth low energy product and does not require any additional hardware. Sensors, accelerometers, LEDs along with other sensing and control devices can be connected directly to the module via GPIO, ADC, I2C, SPI and UART interfaces. It is available in two versions, NINA‑B112 (10 x 14 mm) with integrated antenna, and NINA‑B111 (10 x 10 mm) with an antenna pin designed for customer‑specific antenna solutions.

To watch the video:

NINA‑B1 will be displayed at the u‑blox booth (Hall 5: 5‑158) of Embedded World on 23‑25 February 2016.
About u‑blox

Swiss u‑blox (SIX:UBXN) is a global leader in wireless and positioning semiconductors and modules for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Our solutions enable people, vehicles and machines to locate their exact position and communicate wirelessly over cellular and short range networks. With a broad portfolio of chips, modules and software solutions, u‑blox is uniquely positioned to empower OEMs to develop innovative solutions for the Internet of Things, quickly and cost‑effectively. With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, u‑blox is globally present with offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.