At Knowles Precision Devices, we purposely avoid commodity components. What we thrive on is doing the hard things. We handle the specialty components that go in systems that cannot fail and that operate at extremely high voltages, temperatures, or frequencies. Do you have a complex technical challenge with hard-to-meet performance, size, or other requirements? Bring it to us. It’s what we do.
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.
With more than 2,000 satellites currently orbiting the Earth, and that number expected to quintuple in the next 10 years, the demand for space-ready components is exponentially increasing (Figure 1). At the same time, the technology needed to control and transmit satellite data has changed from mechanically controlled parabolic or dish technology to active electronically steered arrays (AESAs).
At Knowles Precision Devices, our expertise in capacitor technology helps developers working on some of the world’s most demanding applications across the medical device, military and aerospace, telecommunications, and automotive industries.
The US MIL-STD-461 specification manages electromagnetic interference emissions by setting limits on the levels that can be emitted from electrical equipment. This specification also sets regulation to control equipment susceptibility to external noise sources and establishes guidelines for properly measuring the relevant equipment features.
As aerospace and defense technology advances, manufacturers need to find ways to incorporate more features without simply making planes larger, heavier, and increasingly more expensive. This is why the size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) is often a driving factor for aerospace and defense companies when awarding contracts to component manufacturers.
In mission-critical applications, additional screening and testing is required to ensure that only the most robust parts make it to the finished product. Preventative measures, like high quality standards, lessen the possibility of failure in the field and minimize the likelihood of astronomical downstream costs.
As mobile wireless technology moves from LTE to 5G, a common question we hear is “How is filtering going to be handled in the unfamiliar territory of millimeter wavelengths?” There is a lot of uncertainty around what filters will be required, where they need to be placed in the base station, how good they need to be, and so forth.
Innovating essential high technology systems with demanding specifications is always challenging; making any sort of difference requires extensive resources and deep subject matter knowledge.
But that’s what keeps it interesting.
Compared to other applications, a medical implant is a rather benign environment for a capacitor; it’s temperature-controlled with a relatively low voltage. That being said, the success of a capacitor in a medical implant relies heavily on manufacturing components to avoid failures and the know-how to screen for any production discrepancies. As the reliability grade of a component progresses, more screening and testing is required to ensure that only the most robust parts make it to the finished product.