Renaissance Wireless Edge Newsletter
Volume 6, Issue 9 November 2007

1) “No Wine Before ItsTime”
2) WiMAX (ITU) Approval
3) Latest Developments in MEMS Switch Matrices:
    18A7NF-1 MEMS Based 8X8 Switch Matrix
4) Cost vs. Performance Benefits
5) High Power Circulators

1) “No Wine Before it’s Time”

New component development is a Renaissance forte. As the planning process clarifies the expectations, we often have to set off along radically new directions to achieve them. What follows is an iterative refinement of the design and associated fixtures based on test results. Revised customer requirements sometimes have to be accommodated during the development process. Lead times are confirmed after Renaissance has arrived at an optimal design.

The engineering and production departments have a proud history of meeting commitments to customers. On rare occasions material from our suppliers may not produce the desired results and adjustments are required. Sometimes a minor circuit change can compensate for the material variation. But there are times when the design needs to be overhauled, resulting in longer lead times. On such occasions, we initiate a dialog with the customer and agree on revised delivery dates. While we will do everything possible to meet our commitments, we will ship no wine before it’s time.

2) WiMAX (ITU) Approval

WiMAX has been approved as an official International Telecommunication Union (ITU) mobile wireless standard, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 802.16e Working Group.

News that WiMAX is now officially a member of the IMT-2000 family of 3G standards should make it easier for operators to deploy networks in markets where spectrum is allocated specifically to IMT technologies.

Initially this ruling will affect the so-called "UMTS Extension Bands" i.e. frequencies from 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz. European regulators are due to start allocating this spectrum from January 2008.

The band is also the key focus for WiMAX vendors and operators.
Another benefit of the decision is that it enables WiMAX to play a fuller role in the ITU Advanced 4G program. It also paves the way for WiMAX supporters to participate on a more equal footing in the upcoming World Radio Congress 2007 which begins later this month in Switzerland.

While undoubtedly good news for WiMAX, the ITU decision should be read in context. IMT-2000 is not binding on national regulators, and some markets, such as the U.S. and the U.K., already lean towards technology-neutral spectrum allocation. So even without IMT status, WiMAX could have been deployed if market conditions warranted it.

The other snag is that the ITU, under pressure from lobbies, has identified WiMAX as a Time Division Duplex (TDD) technology and has not approved its use in the Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) bands that account for upwards of 80 percent of the world's licensed spectrum.

This has little significance in the short term. TDD is predominant now on mobile WiMAX. There is a move to do an FDD profile, but it's still work in progress.

The Renaissance 3G4NWM will acquire relevance when the FDD applications are approved. The TDD applications do not require additional isolation since the transmitter and receiver are switched at the same frequencies.

View Data Sheet

3) Latest Developments in MEMS Switch Matrices;
18A7NF-1 MEMS Based 8X8 Switch Matrix

1) Reciprocal
2) Blocking (not a fan-out/fan-in) no splitters
3) MEMS (10 dBm Hot switching) (33 dBm Cold switching)

10 Billion cycles
2 Watts CW
DC to 2.5 GHz
VSWR 1.4:1
Insertion Loss 6 dB
Isolation 40 dB
Speed ≤100 sec
Actuation: 5 vdc @ 10 ma
Size 7.85” X 7.43” X 2.8”
Ethernet Control, Drivers provided TCP/IP
SMA – Female connectors

While a number of companies have disclosed either development efforts or limited sampling of advanced prototypes, only two suppliers have MEMS switch products available in production quantities at present.

Renaissance MEMS uses a conventional silicon micromachining approach to produce a very high force cantilever switch structure, along with a wafer bonded hermetic package. Although the stiffness of this cantilever structure results in higher operating voltages (90 V), switching times are reduced to 10 ms. Electrical connection is provided by wire bonding from the top surface of the chip to a chip carrier or directly to the printed circuit board.

MEMS switch prices are currently competitive with alternative switch technologies. Prices will continue to decrease as manufacturing volumes increase, making MEMS switches a viable option for some of the most price-sensitive consumer applications. Today, most commercial applications take advantage of one or more of the unique features of these devices: small size, low (repeatable) loss, high linearity and broad bandwidth. Leading applications include high speed digital channel switching in Automated Test Equipment, antenna switching in wireless communications and filter bank switching in instrumentation, military and aerospace applications.

A number of MEMS switch development activities are still underway at leading companies and research institutions worldwide.

Three key trends will drive new applications for MEMS Switches over the next three to five years: a widening variety of product configurations, substantial improvements in reliability, and significant reductions in switch size and cost.

Despite lingering concerns about the reliability of this technology, a handful of MEMS switch manufacturers are finally delivering the first of a new family of high performance, high reliability switch products. These products are already finding high volume applications in automatic test equipment, instrumentation and communications. The list of applications is expected to swell as customers take advantage of all the benefits that MEMS Switches have to offer.

Contact the Renaissance Switch Product Group for more information:

Mike Snee, or
Gabe Romero,

View Data Sheet

4) Cost vs. Performance Benefits

Renaissance Electronics has long been known for its component expertise, but a newer development is its RF Subsystem product line. Our component capability enables us to develop smaller designs with better electrical characteristics. Moreover, the integration of these two streams of expertise reduces material cost and labor, resulting in a lower selling price.

The Renaissance Subsystem line has produced customized units integrating isolators, filters, duplexers, programmable attenuators, LNAs, switches, delay lines, phase shifters, modulators and combiners.

Please contact Shane Delmore,, for more information.

View Data Sheets

5) High Power Circulators

Over the past couple of years, Renaissance Electronics has seen a significant increase in the number of applications in the low frequency, VHF/UHF bands, at various power levels including extremely high power, (>100kW peak).

Utilizing the heritage from both Renaissance Electronics and P & H Laboratories, (whom we acquired in 2003), Renaissance Electronics has been able to develop a number of sophisticated designs for both ground and airborne applications.

An excellent example of our engineering/manufacturing expertise is our HD Radio Model series, 3A1NBV. This 1500 W (CW) Circulator is designed for the emerging HD Radio market and is available at set FM radio frequencies between 88.1 and 107.9 MHz. The circulator is capable of continuous operation and is designed to protect the digital transmitter from over-powering analog signals. Follow these links to the data sheet of our HD Radio Circulator and an overview of where and when to use it:

View Data Sheet

When & where to use the REC HD Radio Circulator


For more information about Renaissance Electronics Corporation and our diverse product line of Ferrite Circulators / Isolators; Coaxial Switches and Switched based products; Switch Matrices and Wireless Base Station Products, please visit our website at or call us at 978-772-7774.

Thank You!
Renaissance Electronics Corporation

Renaissance Electronics Corporation ∙ 12 Lancaster County Road ∙ Harvard, MA 01451        Tel: 978-772-7774