This isn’t just hump day, the middle of the week or even the middle of the show: It’s Nonlinear Wednesday. This is the free day and anyone can register and wander the show floor. Add to that the Nonlinear Characterization Expert Forum in the MicroAps theater – simulcast over the web – where we’re discussing “solutions and trends in nonlinear device characterization from the perspective of new measurement equipment, techniques and device representation in EDA tools.” It promises to be a large-signal, nonlinear type of day.
If you’re new to X-parameters, here’s a quick definition: They’re the mathematically correct superset of S-parameters. X-parameters are used for characterizing the amplitude and relative phase of harmonics generated by nonlinear components under large input power levels at all ports. They are applicable to both large-signal and small-signal conditions, and for linear and nonlinear components.
X-parameters were developed to help R&D engineers and system designers deal with increasing bandwidth and data requirements in smaller, more power-efficient packages. These trends push devices to operate in the nonlinear range, going far beyond linear S-parameters. These new models give engineers capabilities that accurately and efficiently model, simulate and improve the design flow of new products.
During the forum, four different T&M suppliers, including our own Dr. Loren Betts, talked about the state of nonlinear modeling and measurement, the readiness of the technology for devices from power amplifiers, to mixers, to passive components discussing what the future would hold. My conclusion – the world is inherently nonlinear – this technology is here to stay.
After the Nonlinear Characterization Expert Forum we returned to a crowded booth: The nonlinear vector network analyzer (NVNA) teamed with ADS EDA software always draws a huge crowd, especially with the 67 GHz NVNA in the booth. Partners like Maury are along Agilent Avenue, showing ways to extend this exciting technology.
As the day draws to a close and the crowds disperse I wonder how to finish off this nonlinear day. A beer, some seafood on the inner-harbor.... small signal or large signal - it’s been a good day.