Is Smaller Better?Source: Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
This article is part of a series of quarterly guest columns by Rick Cory, Applications Engineering Manager, Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
RF/microwave design can be challenging, to say the least. Even with the impressive advances in computer aided design (CAD) software of the past three decades, the fact remains that CAD simulations are only just that: They are simulations and not absolutely accurate predictions of actual performance. As William Camden said in Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine, "The proof of a pudding is in the eating." What was true in 1605 is still true today — in order to accurately assess a circuit or a system design, it still must be built and its performance must be measured.
Engineers commonly refer to the initial prototype of a design as a "breadboard." In the days of vacuum tubes, axial lead, and radial lead components, breadboards were built using metal boxes as foundations. Components were hardwired to each other with most of the passive components mechanically suspended by their leads. Circuit performance could be assessed quickly and design changes were just as fast; pick up a soldering iron, sweat some solder joints to remove a component, and make new solder joints to add another. No microscopes or tweezers were required — needle-nosed pliers and diagonal side cutters ruled the day!Click here to read the complete article.