In part one of our two-part RF filter trends series, we discussed several emerging trends effecting the “jobs” RF filters need to perform. In this second part, we expand on these trends by digging into more of the technical trends and providing an overview of the filtering solutions that can help RF filter designers stay on top of those trends.
As an RF engineer, whether you are building a 5G antenna to mount on top of a street light or a satellite that will be launched into space, you are likely being asked to reduce three key factors – size, weight, and power (SWaP). The need to reduce SWaP is becoming increasingly common, but also increasingly tricky, because even though wavelength and the corresponding critical dimensions decrease as frequency goes up, RF circuits generally scale in size and complexity with the wavelengths supported. Thus, it can be really difficult to find companies who are up for the challenge of providing components that are designed to help reduce SWaP
When designing an RF or microwave application, you will always need some level of filtering to attenuate or remove unwanted signals from the desired channel. Since the end goal of what a filter must accomplish is quite broad, it may seem daunting to know what qualities to look for in a filter to get there.