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RF/Microwave Components & Systems:  RF/microwave components is a general classification referring to passive and active devices and equipment operating in the RF/microwave frequency band. Major product areas include amplifiers, attenuators, mixers, oscillators, switches, etc.

Bias Tees: Used to supply DC currents or voltages to RF devices. Found in FETs used in amplifiers, input to network analyzer, etc. Important properties are RF bandwidth, insertion loss/mismatch at RF ports, maximum DC current and video bandwidth of DC port.

Directional Couplers, RF/Microwave, Hybrid Junction:  Directional couplers are similar to power dividers. Some hybrid junctions are four-port devices in which energy is transferred but the output may be 90° out of phase with the input (quadrature) or 180° out of phase.

Down Converters/Up Converters:  A down converter is a module where the output signal frequency is lower than the input signal frequency. Found in satellite downlink reception. An up converter is where the output frequency is higher than input. Found in microwave signal transmissions.

Ferrite Circulators:  RF/microwave coupling device having number of ports arranged so that power entering one port is coupled to next adjacent port in particular direction. Typical 3-port circulator used to isolate transmitter and receiver when both connected to same antenna.

Frequency Multipliers: A device for delivering an output signal whose frequency is a multiple of the input frequency. Design may be based on using an internal/external reference lower frequency signal. Used in radar, electronic warfare, instrumentation applications, etc.

Frequency/Phase Comparators: Frequency or phase comparators are circuits or instruments providing a DC output voltage proportional to the difference in frequency or phase between two RF signals.

GaAs Amplifiers: Gallium arsenide devices operate at higher levels of performance than silicon devices. GaAs amplifiers have higher output power and operate at greater voltages. Used often in amplifiers for microwave satcom, telecommunications, etc. applications.

Isolators: Two-port devices that permit RF/microwave power to pass through in one direction with very little loss, and absorb power in the reverse. Usually constructed of a ferrite-based material.

Limiting Amplifiers:  Amplifiers which are designed with amplitude compression processing. Useful for protecting subsequent components from input overdrive; also removing AM from FM signals and restricting the amplitude of a signal so that interfering noise can minimized.

 Low-Noise Amplifiers (LNAs):  High frequency amplifiers which are commonly used in the front end of systems to amplify weak signals without introducing significant noise into the path.

Microwave Absorbers: Material or device that absorbs radiated energy. May be used for shielding, to prevent reflection, or to selectively transmit one or more radiation components. Used extensively in design of microwave anechoic chambers to prevent RF/microwave reflections.

Microwave Analyzers: An instrument designed to examine characteristics of RF/microwave input signals, both on spectral and temporal energy content.

Microwave Filters: Microwave filters may be low pass, band pass, high pass filters, etc. but for use at microwave frequencies (above 1 GHz).

 Microwave Generators: A test instrument used as a source of microwave signals. Generator output usually has provisions for changing frequency, amplitude, etc. and may be programmable; also equipped for providing output signal with modulation to simulate complex waveforms.

Microwave Integrated Circuits (MICs): An entire microwave circuit on a single planar dielectric substrate with various components connected to each other in a continuous integrated fashion.

Microwave Limiters: A device that eliminates all signals above and below a specified level. In some limiters the levels can be adjusted by varying the bias voltage.

Microwave Stripline Components:  Type of construction of microwave components consisting of narrow, flat conductor sandwiched between, and insulated from, wider flat grounded conductors. Often used in construction of microwave filters and couplers, as useful bandwidth may be very high.

Microwave/Dielectric Resonators & Cavities: A resonant cavity forms a means of storing electromagnetic energy at a particular frequency within a small bandwidth. Shape of the cavity related to frequency at which it resonates. Microwave tubes and waveguide filters are examples of resonant cavities.

Millimeter-Wave Components:  Designed for millimeter waves where the wavelength is in the order of a few millimeters. Also referred to as extremely high frequency, with frequencies from 30 to 300 GHz, above which electromagnetic radiation is considered to be low infrared light.

Phase-Locked Loop Amplifiers (PLL): Amplifiers that are used for PLL systems (to create an output frequency based on a clock signal having a specified frequency).

Power Dividers: Power dividers, or directional couplers, are passive devices which couple part of the transmission power by a known amount out through another port. The coupling factor is the ratio of the fraction of the output signal to the input signal.

Power Splitters & Combiners: Passive devices that are used to “split” or divide incoming power into two or more ports.

RF Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO): Oscillators designed to be controlled in frequency by a varying DC voltage input. Modulating signals may also be applied to generate FM, or PM. A VCO with digital pulse output may have its repetition rate varied (FSK, PSK), or pulse width modulated (PWM).

RF/Microwave Amplifiers: Type of electronic amplifier used to convert low power RF/microwave signals into larger signals of significant power. Usually optimized to have good efficiency, high compression point, low VSWR, high gain, and low heat dissipation.

RF/Microwave Antennas: Antennas used in 3 MHz–30 GHz band. At higher frequencies antennas may be shaped for directional properties; i.e. parabolic dishes, horns, etc. Other designs may be electronically steered e.g. phased arrays. Used in communications, radar, avionics, etc.

RF/Microwave Attenuators: A passive device that reduces the amplitude or power of a RF/microwave signal without introducing appreciable frequency or phase distortion.

RF/Microwave Cable Assemblies: Cable assemblies which are designed to work within the RF/microwave band. Generally the transmission line is a coaxial or triaxial type and the connectors are specially constructed to reduce loss, VSWR, etc.

RF/Microwave Capacitors: Used in RF/microwave applications for their very high Qs, low ESR/ESL, and other low impedance features. Applications might be as tuning elements, filter components, coupling, etc. Capacitor types may be multi-layer ceramic, porcelain, etc.

RF/Microwave Coaxial Components: Designed to work at RF/microwave frequencies. Used with coaxial cables to maintain shielding that a coaxial design offers. Mechanically provide a fastening mechanism (thread, bayonet, etc.) and springs for low RF loss and reduction in insertion force.

RF/Microwave Detectors: Used to recover AM, FM, PM, etc. or other types of information of interest from modulated RF/microwave signals to baseband (or video) for further processing.

RF/Microwave Dummy Loads: Device used to simulate an electrical load at RF/microwave frequencies. Usually used for testing and troubleshooting purposes where the load dissipates applied power in the form of heat. Loads for high power often water cooled or placed in an oil bath. RF/Microwave

Duplexers/Diplexers: A diplexer allows two different devices to share a common channel (e.g. two receivers to two antennas a distance away using a single cable). A diplexer is called a duplexer when it connects a receiver and transmitter to the same antenna simultaneously.

RF/Microwave Mixers: Three-port RF/microwave devices that generate output frequencies equal to the sum and difference of the two input frequencies.

RF/Microwave Modulators/De-modulators: Modulators/de-modulators in which the transmitted/received carrier wave is at RF/microwave frequencies. RF/Microwave Oscillators (95 Companies) Commonly refers to oscillators that generate signal frequencies from 3 MHz–30 GHz. Common applications of these types of oscillators are in communications, telecommunications, RF/microwave devices, frequency/timing references, etc.

RF/Microwave Receivers/Transmitters (Incl. Transceivers, Transponders): Units that receive or transmit at RF/microwave frequencies. Transceivers combine RF/microwave transmit and receive functions in a common assembly, while transponders transmit ID signals automatically when the proper interrogation signal is received.

RF/Microwave Switches: General term for switches that are used in the RF/microwave band. Construction of switches may be mechanical, solid-state, reed-type, ferrite, or waveguide (for microwave band). Switches may use coaxial connectors for interface to external components.

RF/Microwave Terminations: Used to absorb energy and prevent RF signals from reflecting back from open-ended or unused circuit ports. Three main types of terminators are coaxial, waveguide, and chip. Important specifications are frequency range, power rating, and VSWR. RF/Microwave,

Phase Shifters: Used to change phase angle of a network. Ideal phase shifters provide low insertion loss, and equal amplitude (or loss) in all phase states. Can be controlled electrically, magnetically or mechanically. One application is in phased array antenna system.

Transfer Switches: A form of switch arranged so that a connector connection can be transferred from one circuit to another without interrupting the current or power flow.

Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs): An electronic assembly used to amplify RF/microwave signals to high power. The bandwidth of a broadband TWT may be as wide as three octaves and operating frequencies range from 300 MHz to 50 GHz. The voltage gain of the tube can be of the order of 70 dB.

VHF/UHF Oscillators: Commonly refers to oscillators that generate signal frequencies from 50–800 MHz. Common applications of these types of oscillators are in communications, television, utility broadcasting, VHF/UHF devices, avionics, etc.

Video Amplifiers: A linear amplifier which is designed to provide wide band operation for passing picture or image signals, processing video signals, etc.

Waveguides (Incl. Adapters, Tubing, Seals, Chokes, etc.): A waveguide is a form of transmission line comprising a hollow conducting tube-usually rectangular or circular cross section-where electromagnetic waves propagate in air or dielectric-filled conductor. Use limited from UHF through millimeter frequencies.

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