Uni-Guide™ Product Feature
Waveguide Connector Innovates the Millimeter Wave Package
Design for a Waveguide Port Simplified
Microwave and millimeter wave packaging can turn from mostly routine to highly challenging when wavegide ports are required. Integrated waveguide ports typically require a costly process that is difficult to model and build. Moreover, an extensive collection of package designs may be needed to accommodate different waveguide bands and numerous port configurations. A common alternative is to employ external coax-to-waveguide transitions. Unfortunately, such transitions can be mechanically cumbersome, and they may result in excessive insertion loss or marginal signal integrity in complex systems.
The patent pending Uni-Guide™ waveguide connectors from SAGE Millimeter can lower many of these design and manufacturing hurdles (Fig. 1). They provide compact, reliable, and cost-effective waveguide flanges that are simply added to standard coaxial ports. Easily swapped with coaxial connectors, they enable greater flexibility for component manufacturers as well as end-users.
Figure 1 Uni-Guide™ connectors offer drop-in replacements for a range of coaxial versions that include SMA, 2.92 mm (K), 2.4 mm, and 1.85 mm (V).
Hermetical Waveguide Solution
A common type of signal port used in hermetic packages employs a glass bead positioned mid-way between a pair of threaded mounting holes (Fig. 2). The threaded holes support a coaxial connector that is easily attached or replaced. This common configuration is used by several connector families including SMA, 2.92 mm (K), 2.4 mm, 1.85 mm (V), 1.35 mm (E), and 1 mm. A new series of easy-to-use waveguide connectors now joins this group.
If the package is designed and manufactured as hermetically sealed for coaxial connectors, it will retain its hermeticity when using the Uni-Guide™ waveguide connectors. This will automatically eliminate the previously very expensive hermetically sealed waveguide process.
Figure 2 - A common RF port configuration features a glass bead positioned mid-way between two mounting holes that support a coaxial connector.
A trio of Uni-Guide™ connectors is designed for coaxial ports that have a 12-mil center pin and two mounting holes spaced 0.48 inches apart. This arrangement is widely used with 2.92-mm (K) and 2.4-mm connectors. Model SUF-2812-480-S1 is a WR-28 connector that covers 26.5 to 40 GHz while exhibiting 0.5 dB typical insertion loss. Model SUF-2212-480-S1, spanning 33 to 50 GHz, is a WR-22 connector that features 0.6 dB nominal insertion loss. A WR-19 connector, model SUF-2812-480-S1, yields 0.7 dB insertion loss from 40 to 60 GHz. All three connectors boast 20 dB typical return loss while handling 100 Watts of RF power. The typical measured insertion loss and return loss of the Ka Band Uni-Guide™ is shown in the Figure 3.
Figure 3 – Typical measured insertion loss and return loss of the Ka Band Uni-Guide™ Connector
Additional Uni-Guide™ models accommodating glass beads with pin diameters of 9, 15, 20, and 50 mils with various mounting configurations are under development. They will cover all standard waveguide bands from 8.2 to 110 GHz.
Port Type & Orientation Changes
While they provide an easy way to implement waveguide ports, Uni-Guide™ connectors have additional benefits. Simply rotating them yields a 90-degree change in their port orientation to form various integration options. A polarity inversion is realized when a connector is rotated 180 degrees.
In many situations, Uni-Guide™ connectors allow component manufacturers to offer various port configurations so that either coaxial or waveguide test equipment can be implemented. This can reduce the number of costly test systems required to support a flexible production environment.
Two Uni-Guides™ is a Compact Twist
Additionally, pairs of Uni-Guide™ connectors can be teamed up to function as common waveguide components such as band-to-band waveguide adapters or 90-degree twists (Fig. 4). A center pin bridges the signal path between back-to-back connectors. The result is a compact component that rivals the performance of larger and more costly alternatives.
Figure 4 - Pairs of Uni-Guide™ connectors can be combined to function as common components such as band-to-band waveguide adapters or 90-degree twists.
Reduced Product Development Cycle Time and Cost
A custom package design takes the following steps: EM Simulation, Mechanical Modelling, Design, Machining and Validation. The cycle time is easily 12 to 16 weeks. If a second iteration is required, it would take up to 20 to 26 weeks to complete. Now the Uni-Guide™ waveguide connector and a standard coaxial housing can be used to form any waveguide ports as needed, instantaneously without any design and prototyping efforts.
Improve Inventory Efficiency
Thinking about different waveguide sizes and different port interface requirements, any manufacturer could easily end up with tens to hundreds of various package sizes and styles. The inventory management and cost easily becomes large and wasteful. Now, there may only be a need for a few standard housings with optimized dimensions and the Uni-Guide™ connectors to form various coaxial or waveguide or mixed interfaced products.
Offers more Compact Sub-assemblies and Systems
Thanks to the flexibility of the Uni-Guide™ waveguide connector, many adapters, transitions and waveguide twists can be eliminated.