As a fundamental component of circuit design, equivalent series resistance (ESR) is the measurement of all the non-ideal electrical resistances in series with a capacitor. When current flows through a multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) due to application of alternating voltage, heat is generated in the MLCC due to the losses, specifically ESR. As a result, this self-heating can cause various performance and reliability issues in the circuits of today’s more complex and smaller electronic systems.
DC link capacitors are commonly used in power converters as an intermediary buffer between an input source to an output load that have different instantaneous power, voltages, and frequencies. In electric vehicle (EV) applications, DC link capacitors help offset the effects of inductance in inverters, motor controllers, and battery systems. They also serve as filters that protect EV subsystems from voltage spikes, surges, and electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Recently, Microwave Journal editors Pat Hindle and Gary Lerude sat down with Knowles Precision Devices product line manager Tim Brauner to discuss how our innovative high-performance components are helping RF engineers improve the size, weight, and performance (SWaP) of mmWave designs.
To meet consumer demand for longer driving ranges and faster charging, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are redesigning vehicles to move from 400V to 800V battery systems. As a result of using higher operating voltages, EV designers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need components, such as multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), that can withstand voltages well beyond those expected under normal operating conditions. For example, a drivetrain running off an 800V battery system may be subjected to a withstand test of up to 4kV DC for 60 seconds, which is a standard safety test in high voltage systems.
As the demand for more network capacity, improved network performance, and more reliable coverage are all growing, operating in the mmWave spectrum is becoming an increasing more attractive option. To address this demand, the use of 28-GHz small cells, which are compact, lightweight devices mounted on outdoor equipment such as lampposts or telephone poles, is becoming a practical and affordable way to deploy 5G in the mmWave spectrum.
Trimmer capacitors are variable components used to calibrate RF circuits during manufacturing or servicing. These components allow for variable tuning--think oscillator frequency values or rise and fall times. Should values drift over the life of the device, trimmer capacitors can be recalibrated as needed. For sensitive applications like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), these components help to optimize performance where any instability in time or temperature could impact the image output.
When selecting a filter implementation, one factor that is common across all frequencies is optimizing the size of the filter given the application and the required performance. At mmWave frequencies this can be prove to be a particularly interesting problem, given the change in the physical dimensions of the system as one moves from say 600MHz to 38GHz.
As 5G innovation forges on, radio systems continue to emerge. Each system has a range of requirements, including specific RF filter performance needs, and it’s up to the 5G FR2 Ecosystem of suppliers to meet that demand. In response, Knowles Precision Devices (KPD) supports a wide variety of 5G radio applications.
Over time, the telephone replaced the telegraph, and now cellular and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology are replacing the landline. However, as more communication is done wirelessly and over the Internet, we are becoming more interested in increased bandwidth. This is because bandwidth places a limit on how quickly we can send information through a channel such as an optical fiber or a section of the radio spectrum.
Healthcare professionals and patients rely on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to examine soft tissues and organs in the body to detect a variety of issues, from degenerative diseases to tumors, in a non-invasive manner. To do this, the MRI machine uses a strong magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to produce cross-sectional images. Thus, the quality of the MRI depends on the uniformity of the magnetic field – even the smallest trace of magnetism inside an MRI scanner can disrupt the field and degrade the quality of an MRI image.