Power Amps Week: Power Amplifier Technology Comparison

by Allison Goss 19. January 2016 09:34

API utilizes several different semiconductor technologies like GaN, GaAs, MESFET and LDMOS in its power amplifier modules, drivers, and subsystems. With this expertise, coupled with competencies in chip & wire technology, thin and thick film fabrication, and SMT manufacturing. our engineers are able to create a reliable, compact, and lightweight power amplifier solution that is unique and specific to customer requirements. 

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Infographics | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

How Do Vehicle Collision Avoidance Systems Work?

by Jaymie Murray 11. January 2016 14:32

Imagine that you’re slowly making your way down a dark highway as your wipers struggle to keep up with the downpour that is assaulting your windshield. As you squint to make out the yellow lines painted on the road, a car traveling next to you suddenly changes into your lane and cuts you off. Before you have time to react and hit the brakes, your car automatically slows down, avoiding a serious accident.

This is a common scenario with newer cars fitted with pre-collision avoidance systems. These active safety systems use Doppler radar to detect objects that come into a vehicle’s path, triggering the brakes before impact. Typically, a radar detector is placed towards the front of a vehicle, such as within the grill. This detector sends out high frequency waves and then interprets the signals that bounce back, which would indicate object location, speed, and the direction it is traveling.

In order for the system to process all of this information and take action in a matter of milliseconds, a delay needs to be introduced. Linear Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) delay lines are typically used in collision avoidance systems because they are smaller and less expensive than other delay line options. SAW delay lines used in collision avoidance systems operate across public frequency bands, and system designers would typically down mix the radar frequencies in order to process them through one channel with a constant delay.

This gives the system all of the information it needs to determine if a collision is imminent, and allows it to respond by automatically deploying the brakes, tensing seatbelts, or taking other safety precautions rapidly enough to avoid impact. 

A version of this post first appeared on Wireless Design & Development

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Infographics | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

INFOGRAPHIC: What is TEMPEST?

by Jaymie Murray 6. January 2016 08:17

In commemoration of the upcoming Data Privacy & Protection Day on January 28th, the API blog will be highlighting our Secure Systems & Information Assurance products and capabilities. First we will explore TEMPEST... its history, how it impacts secure government and military data, and how the SST range of TEMPEST products can mitigate threats. To learn more about TEMPEST products and solutions, including thin clientsnotebooks, plugin filters, affordable monitors and computers, and more, visit sst.ws.

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Infographics | Secure Systems & Information Assurance

Ceramics Week: API's Ceramic Capabilities

by Jaymie Murray 17. November 2015 09:24

API Technologies has been making ceramic capacitors in the USA for nearly 50 years. During those five decades, API has established itself as a leading designer and manufacturer of high reliability advanced ceramics, producing over 20 million pieces per year. Our engineering team, comprised of ceramics manufacturing industry experts, combine with sophisticated research and development practices to create high quality advanced ceramics

Ceramic Capabilities High-reliability ceramics, made in America Capacitance Body profiles Materials Range NPO, X7R, Z5U, Y5V (BX, BR, and BQ Ratings) Planar Tube (Solid Wall and Embedded Electrodes) SMPS Capacitors Discoidal 0pF – 30uF API's ceramics are made in a 275,000 sq. ft. facility located in State College, PA Did you know? API Technologies has been making ceramic capacitors in the USA since 1968? Did you know? API Technologies produces 20 MILLION ceramic pieces each year? Did you know? State College facility is in close proximity to Penn State University, world renown for materials research and development Engineering Team with well-rounded knowledge gained through direct industry experience, both internally and externally, in ceramic manufacturing Electron Microscopes Variable pressure scanning electron microscope for structural analysis X-Ray Energy dispersive xray spectroscopy for elemental analysis Metallographic Microscopes Low and high optical metallographic microscopes for product examination Thermal Gravimetric analysis for material development Particle Size distribution and surface area analysis equipment for dispersion and milling development Contact Us: For more information on our State College facility and our ceramics capabilities, visit: eisSales@apitech.com +1 (814) 474-1571 eis.apitech.com/ceramics_capabilities.asp

Explore our ceramic capabilities, then contact us to learn more. 

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Electromagnetic Integrated Solutions (EIS) | Infographics

Signal Jamming is the New Black: How LDMOS Technology Blocks Prisoners from Using Cell Phones

by Jaymie Murray 7. October 2015 09:25

Prisons and other correctional facilities are facing an increasingly daunting technological challenge. Contraband cell phones smuggled in by prisoners pose a tremendous security threat to the safety of both staff and inmates alike. While security screenings are designed to identify and dispose of such contraband before it enters a secure facility, at times these phones can slip through the cracks and end up in a cell along with an inmate. Correctional facilities are in need of a solution that prevents contraband cell phones from being used from within the prison walls. The Communications Band Signal Jamming Power Amplifier from API Technologies is that solution. The amplifier operates on the standard communication band frequencies, jamming cell phone signals and rendering the phones inoperable.

Cell phone smuggling has become an increasingly unmanageable problem for prisons and other correctional facilities. These phones pose a significant security threat and can be used to endanger the welfare of correctional workers as well as other inmates, or to coordinate escape attempts. While the first line of defense against this threat is to prevent the phones from entering correctional facilities in the first place, many often slip past security screenings and wind up in the hands of inmates. It has become increasingly apparent security screenings aren't sufficiently mitigating this threat, and there is a significant need for technology that prevents prisoners from making cell phone calls. There is a solution available to rectify this significant problem. API Technologies' signal jamming power amplifiers utilizing LDMOS technology are designed to operate in a band of 1930 to 1990 MHz to jam typical communication band frequencies. These power amps can offer a minimum output power of 100 watts with a gain of 50dB, with multiple carrier inputs. Typical current draw from a nominal +28 VDC supply at rated output power is 8 A. API's designs offer an isolator-protected output to guard against transistor failure due to infinite VSWR mismatch. This jamming renders cell phones inoperable and prevents calls or texts from being sent, rendering the phones essentially useless and mitigating any potential security threats posed by them. Other Applications for Signal Jamming Prisons aren't the only place where cell phone signal jamming is necessary. There are many instances where having access to a cell phone signal could pose a security risk, such as in government buildings, or violate policies, such as in a test taking facility.   Airport Immigration Casinos Examination Rooms Government Buildings

Learn more about the Signal Jamming Power Amplifier or request a quote

An alternate version of this post originally appeared on Wireless Design & Development

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Infographics | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

8 Advantages of API Technologies' EMI Filter Arrays

by Jaymie Murray 10. July 2015 10:32

The elimination of EMI/RFI interference is essential to successful EMC performance in an electronic system. For systems operating at frequencies above 50 MHz, shielding alone often cannot shunt unwanted harmonics, conducted or radiated, on power/control lines that run through compartments of an electronic enclosure. EMI filtered arrays that incorporate filter plates that facilitate entering or exiting sensitive compartments in an assembly are excellent methods to bring electronic interdependent functions/systems into compliance.

Filter plates allow a means of interfacing voltage and/or data to distant areas of a system without compromising its performance. Filter plates provide several advantages, including excellent isolation from 5 MHz to 18 GHz and beyond, reduced labor involved for installation, and reduced risk of damaging filter elements during installation. Connecting to these filter plates is easily accomplished through several methods, including ribbon style connectors, harnesses, hard wiring or directly soldering leads at a 90° angle to the printed circuit board.

Learn more about API Technologies' range of Filter Plates, contact us, or request a quote.

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Electromagnetic Integrated Solutions (EIS) | Infographics

SAW vs. BAW: How the Delay Line Technologies Stack Up

by Jaymie Murray 8. June 2015 08:11

SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) and BAW (Bulk Acoustic Wave) technologies are widely used in a variety of applications, including filters, oscillators, transformers, and delay lines. SAW and BAW delay lines in particular offer several advantages over other signal wave technologies and are used in a variety of applications, from Electronic Warfare (EW) target generation to communications systems for television and video. While they are used in somewhat similar applications, SAW and BAW technologies are each unique and have distinctive characteristics. Factors such as required signal delay, frequency, footprint, and cost all must be considered when choosing the best delay line solution for a project. 

Both SAW and BAW devices exploit the piezoelectric effect of certain substrate materials such as quartz and lanthanum gallium silicate by using interdigital transducers (IDTs) to convert acoustic waves to electrical signals and vice versa. Delay lines that utilize SAW and BAW are designed to introduce a calculated delay into the transmission of a wave signal. This signal delay could be needed for a variety of reasons. For example, in weather Doppler systems, weather radars emit pulses which track the movement and location of objects such as hailstones and raindrops. BAW delay lines are used to control the timing of these pulses. SAW delay lines provide required delays to synchronize data in communications systems such as television broadcasting. 

In each of these examples, one technology is the best choice over another because of their respective characteristics. SAW delay lines are usually smaller and lighter than BAW delay lines, which gives them a smaller footprint and therefore can make them less expensive. SAW delay lines also typically offer a wide frequency range from 30 to 2000 MHz. However, SAW delay lines can only provide a fairly small delay range of 0.1 to 10 µsec. If a larger delay range is needed, then BAW delay lines, with a typical range of 0.15 to 3000 µsec, are the best option. This can translate into a larger footprint and raise costs somewhat, but the wider delay range allows for increased adaptability and flexibility.  BAW can also be safely used in a wider temperature range than devices that use SAW, making it a more appropriate choice for harsh or extreme conditions. 

While they are both equally reliable and can offer the delays needed for effective wave signal processing, SAW and BAW each have their own distinct advantages. Ultimately, the best delay line option will be the one that most closely meets important project requirements, such as footprint, frequency, cost, and delay time. 

Learn more about API's delay lines, contact us, or request a quote.

This post originally appeared in Wireless Design & Development

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Infographics | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

INFOGRAPHIC: Custom VoIP Phone Modification Capabilities

by Jaymie Murray 8. April 2015 09:10

The SST line of security products includes customisable VoIP telephones that are made to meet the security needs of today's commercial or government workplace. Standard VoIP phones can be easily customised to meet the level of security necessary, including disabling webcams and requiring smart cards or CAC cards for phone access. TEMPEST phones that meet SDIP-27 and NSTISSAM/1-92 standards are also available and can be customised. 

Customisable VoIP Telephones SST offers a standard, COTS VoIP telephone that can be modified to suit the security needs of individual users and their environments. Customisations include enhanced TEMPEST security, access control via a smart or CAC card, visible positive disconnect, and more. Custom VoIP Telephone Capabilities Push to Talk / Push to Mute Handsets Enhance the security of telephones when used in sensitive areas, physical disconnection of handset microphone, plug and use functionality directly replaces OEM handset. Positive Disconnect Positive assured physical disconnection of all microphones and speakers within the telephone, also available with optional visible confirmation LED. TEMPEST TEMPEST VoIP telephones f or deployment into sensitive areas to ensure security (SDIP-27 and NSTISSAM/1-92) Bezel Modification Access Control Identif y separate security classification LANs or areas with easily distinguished bezel colours, logos or Biometric, smartcard, CAC card or token access to VoIP services, combined with centralised identity/profile with easily distinguished bezel colours, logos or department-specific information. services, combined with centralised identity/profile lookup. Custom Developments SST has demonstrated expertise in telephone modification with in-house 3D CAD modelling and rapid prototyping in a Government secure site with security cleared personnel, crypto integration and test facilities. Fibre Ethernet Connectivity Easily deploy VoIP telephones into areas which only have a fibre network. Dual fibre enables deployment without re-cabling , simply connect the telephone to the fibre network and the PC to the telephone. Easy Disable Microphone Webcam Speakerphone Applications Ministry of Defence Commercial Government sst.ws/voip-capabilities.php sst.ws/voip-capabilities.php

Learn more about our VoIP capabilities, contact us, or request a quote

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Infographics | Secure Systems & Information Assurance

Delay Lines Week: Where Can You Find API's Delay Lines?

by Allison Goss 11. March 2015 09:20

Weather radar. Electronic warfare (EW) target generation. Clock synchronization. What do all of these systems have in common? API's delay lines can be found in all of them, plus many others.

Delay Lines APPLICATIONS API Technologies Where Can You Find API's Delay Lines? API's Delay Lines, featuring BAW (Bulk Acoustic Wave), SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave), Coaxial ­ High Frequency, LC (Lumped Constant), & Steel ­ Pulse Compression topologies, are used in a number of applications. Maritime Radar Doppler Processing Weather radars emit pulses which track the movement and location of objects like raindrops, hailstones, etc. Delay lines are used to control the timing of these pulses. On-board radar scanners provide bearing and distance of ships and land targets in the vicinity for collision avoidance and navigation at sea.EW Target Generation Communications Systems Clock Synchronization A radar target generator passes a radar signal through delay lines to a receiver to simulate a fixed target in time, which may be used to range calibrate the system. In many telecommunications networks, delay lines are used to synchronize information to set clock timing. Delay lines provide required delays to synchronize data for video or communication systems such as those used in TV broadcasting. micro.apitech.com/delay_lines

 Learn more about API's delay lines applications, request a quote, or contact us.

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Infographics | RF/Microwave & Microelectronics

Introducing Delay Lines Week

by Jaymie Murray 9. March 2015 09:36

API’s extensive catalogue of delay lines offer a range of semi-standard and customizable topologies that feature wide bandwidths and low insertion loss. Our BAW (Bulk Acoustic Wave), SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave), Lumped Constant, Steel Dispersive, and Coaxial - High Frequency delay lines are available in a variety of package sizes and interface options, ensuring that our customers will get the best solution for their individual needs. All this week, we will be exploring the many features and applications of our delay lines and what they can offer to customers that require both high performance as well as high reliability. 

Delay Lines API TECHNOLOGIES BAW Topologies SAW Low frequency Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) Delay Lines offer a wide range of semi-standard or custom delay solutions designed to meet unique specifications. Many interface options are offered including SMA (Female and Male), N-Type (Female), TNC (Female), Leaded and SMD. Packaging options include low cost, plastic encapsulated or hermetically welded. BAW delay lines are available in both connectorized or pin and surface mount. Frequency Range: 20MHz - 2000MHz Delay: 0.1µsec – 10µsec InsertionLoss: Starts at 3dB, increase withdelay and bandwidth Frequency Range: 10MHz - 120MHz Delay: 0.15µsec – 3,000µsec InsertionLoss: 6dB – 65dBSteel Dispersive Lumped Constant Coaxial Non-dispersive and dispersive SAW Delay Lines offer semi-standard or custom designs with various delay and bandwidth options. SAW Delay Lines are available in several packaging options such as ceramic leadless chip carriers, which provide small size and weight, and platform packages, which are suited for harsh applications. API Technologies has experience with delay lines on various substrates including quartz, lithium tantalate and lithium niobate. All SAW Delay Lines are hermetically sealed to ensure robust performance. Lumped Constant Delay Lines offer excellent frequency stability in semi-standard or custom designs to meet unique specifications. Active buffered, passive fixed and variable designs are available. Many interface options are offered including DIP, SIP Leaded and SMD. Packaging options include low cost, plastic encapsulated or hermetically welded. Pulse compression Dispersive Steel Delay Lines are offered in semi-standard or custom designs and available in many interface options including SMA (Female and Male), N-Type (Female), TNC (Female), Leaded and SMD. Our dispersive Steel delay lines can be ovenized for high stability center frequencies. Non- or hermetically welded packaging options are available. Frequency Range: DC- 6GHz Delay:1nsec -250nsec InsertionLoss:0.2dB-50dB Frequency Range: 5MHz - 65MHz Delay: 10µsec - 350µsec InsertionLoss: 20-45dB Frequency Range: DC - 150MHz Delay: 10nsec – 5000nsec InsertionLoss: 5% bandwidthHigh frequency Coaxial Delay Lines utilize semi-rigid cable, from small diameters, such as .041” up to diameters of .250”. API’s coaxial delay lines can be easily adjusted by changing the length of the cable and can be heated to improve temperature stability. Many interface options are offered including SMA (Female and Male), N-Type (Female), TNC (Female), Leaded and SMD. API offers a wide range of semi-standard and custom coaxial delay solutions designed to meet customer specifications for a wide range of applications. InsertionLoss:0.2dB-50dB Applications Signal Processing Circuits Radar Systems Electronic Warfare Clock Synchronization micro.apitech.com/delay_lines

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