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CHANGE
THAT WILL
THE
THE
MOBILE
INDUSTRY
Wireless GaN Technology
Basics of FTT
Interview with
Prof. Joel Dawson,
CTO & Founder
of Eta Devices
Eta Devices
founder on how
their state-of-the-art
technology
will enhance
LTE-enabled
devices
May 2014 May 2014
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READY TO LAUNCH
For the launch of the Tiva C Series Connected
LaunchPad, TI has partnered with Exosite,
mentioned briefy above, to provide easy
access to the LaunchPad from the Internet. The
LaunchPad takes about 10 minutes to set up
and you can immediately interact with it across
the Internet and do things like turn an LED on
and off remotely from the website and see the
reported temperature as well. It can also display
approximate geographic location based on
the assigned IP address and display a map of all
other connected LaunchPad owners if they are
active and plugged-in to Exosite. In addition, it
supports a basic game by enabling someone to
interface to the Connected LaunchPad through
a serial port from a terminal while someone
else is playing with them through their browser.
It is basically showing how you can interact
remotely with this product and a user even if
you are across the globe, Folkens explained.
START DEVELOPING
The Tiva C Series Connected LaunchPad
is shipping now and the price is right; at
$19.99 USD, it is less than half the price of
other Ethernet-ready kits. The LaunchPad
comes complete with quick start and
user guides, and ample online support
to ensure developers of all backgrounds
are well equipped to begin creating
cloud-based applications. We have
assembled an online support team to
monitor the Engineering-to-Engineering (or E2E)
Community, Folkens said. Along with this, you
also got a free Code Composer Studio Integrated
Development Environment, which allows
developers to use the full capability. We also
support other tool chains like Keil, IAR and
Mentor Embedded.
Affordable, versatile, and easy to use, the Tiva
Series Connected LaunchPad is well suited for
a broad audience and promises to facilitate
the expansion of ingenious IoT applications in
the cloud. As Folkens concluded, The target
audiences actually are the hobbyists, students
and professional engineers. A better way of
looking at it is that we are targeting people with
innovative ideas and trying to help them get
those ideas launched into the cloud.
CONTENTS
4
TECH ARTICLE
Back to Basics: Going from FFTs to
Spectrum Analysis
3
6
COVER INTERVIEW
Interview with Joel Dawson
CTO & Founder of Eta Devices 12
18
TECH ARTICLE
Wearable Technology:
The Hidden Pitfall in Your Design
BACK TO BASICS:
The theory behind FFTs makes an assumption, which
is that the time-domain signal being transformed into
a frequency-domain spectrum is of infnite duration.
Obviously this is not achievable, so the compromise
between theory and practice is to view the time-
domain signal as consisting of an infnite series of
replicas of itself.
In using FFT on a time-domain signal, whats really
happeningis that thesignal is beingseparatedout intoits
constituent frequency components, essentially diluting
its spectral energy in some number of frequency bins
corresponding to multiples of the frequency resolution
f. The capture time, T, determines the frequency
resolution of the FFT (f = 1/T). Meanwhile, the sampling
period and record length set the maximumfrequency
span that can be obtained (fNyq = f*N/2).
All of the above could, of course, be worked out
mathematically as a discrete Fourier transform. But to
do so even on an eight-sample signal would involve
64 complex multiplications. Asignal with 1024 samples
balloons out to over 1 million multiplications.
Thus, an FFT operation on an N-point time-domain
signal is comparable to passing the signal through
a comb flter consisting of a bank of N/2 flters. All
of these flters have the same shape and width and
are centered at N/2 discrete frequencies, meaning
that there are N/2 frequency bins. The distance in
hertz between the centering frequency of any two
neighboring bins is always f.
The way your FFT turns out is dictated to a large extent
by the window chosen for the operation (Table 1).
The windowtype defnes the bandwidth and shape of
the bank of flters applied to the time-domain signal.
The weighting functions imposed by these windows
control not only the flter response shape, but also noise
bandwidth and side-lobe levels. Ideally, the main lobe
should be as narrowand fat as possible to effectively
discriminate all spectral components; meanwhile, all
side lobes should be infnitely attenuated.
You can think of choosing a window type along the
lines of choosing a camera lens for a given photo.
Some experimentation might be in order. As shown by
the table, some windows will lend themselves better to
certain signal types than others, with tradeoffs between
leakage and frequency resolution.
In an , we discussed the basics of setting up a fast-Fourier transform (FFT) on an oscilloscope,
andwhy youdwant touseanFFTtoget afrequency-domainviewof atime-domainsignal inthefirst place.
It might be a good idea to take a step back and dig into just what an FFT is (Figure 1).
Rectangular
Figure 1: An FFT of a 300-kHz square wave.
Table 1: FFT window types and their characteristics.
WindowType Applications & Limitations
Normally used when the signal is transient completely
contained in the time-domain window or known to have a
fundamental frequency component that is an integer multiple
of the fundamental frequency of the window. Signals other than
these types will show varying amounts of spectral leakage and
scallop loss, corrected by selecting another type of window.
Reduce leakage and improve amplitude accuracy. However,
frequency resolution is also reduced.
Reduce leakage and improve amplitude accuracy. However,
frequency resolution is also reduced.
The window provides excellent amplitude accuracy with
moderate reduction of leakage, but also at the loss of
frequency resolution.
It reduces the leakage to a minimum, but again along with
reduced frequency resolution.
Hanning (Von Hann)
Hamming
Flat Top
BlackmanHarris
David Maliniak
Technical Marketing Communication Specialist
Teledyne LeCroy
G
alliumnitride (GaN) RFtransistors
have traditionally beendepletion
mode, makingthemdifcult to
bias. Highfrequency enhancement mode
transistors, suchas the EPC8000series
eGaNFETs fromEPC, have beenwidely
available since September 2013 andenable
simplieddesigns at RFfrequencies.
Surprisingly, these commercial eGaN
FETs are lower cost than LDMOS
transistors today, and are in many ways
superior in performance. eGaN FETs
ofer higher voltage capability, which
leads to increased power density, higher
thermal conductivity, higher drain
efciency, and lower noise gure. This
allows these FETs to be designed as
broadband RF devices enabling the same
transistor to be used for many diferent
frequencies and applications.
In this installment of Wi GaN, we
present the RF characteristics of the
EPC8000 series devices and show
their implementation in a pulsed class
A amplier. The amplier is pulsed to
allow operation within the thermal
operating limits of the device, since RF
device power dissipation is typically
on the same order of magnitude
as the RF power delivered, unlike
switching devices, such as the EPC8000
series, that operate well above 95 %
efciency. The EPC8000 series FETs,
designed originally for switching power
conversion applications, otherwise
exhibit excellent RF characteristics and
in conclusion will be compared with
similar specied LDMOS.
Wi GaN:
eGaN

FETs for
Class A RF Amplier
By Alex Lidow, CEO
Efcient Power Conversion (EPC)
Q

What led you to co-found ETA Devices?
The seeds were probably planted during my PhD program
at Stanford. I remember being in my student cubicle when
some friends I knewfromcollege were in a venture that got
acquired. For the next fewmonths, at least on paper anyway,
they were very wealthy. Being in Silicon Valley at that time
(in the mid 90s) really got your mind going in terms of thinking
about entrepreneurship.
A
After I was ofered a faculty position at MIT, someone
approached me to join the founding teamof a startup
company. I postponed my start at MIT for a year to be
with that startup company, and I nowconsider this as one of my
formative experiences. With a lot of doctoral processes, you are
by yourself, you do everything by yourself, and thats
just howit is supposed to be. At work, you have a
team, and you could sit down and at the beginning
hour, no one knows the answer to the question that
youre discussing, but in the end, everybody knows
the answer. Its not really clear howthat happened, or
who to assign credit to, but it was very eye opening. I
learned that, froma creative engineering standpoint,
its better to be in a team, even allowing for all the
personal frictions that are inevitable. That inuenced howI ran
my research group at MIT. With this startup experience in my
background, I was really looking for a way to take something
that I found in research and have an impact with it in the formof
a startup company.
Q
Tell us about your companys agship
product and what you ofer to customers.
A
We are developing two things. It turns out that for both
base stations and for handsets like cellular phones, the
dominant power consumer today is found in the radio
transmitter that sends radio waves out over the antennathe
power amplier. On the base station, we have demonstrated a
power amplier that is the most efcient in the world. We are a
fabless semiconductor company, so we sell chips that allowbase
station manufacturers to get that same result. On the
handset side, were also actually developing a microchip that
would allowpeople to use our concept in an in any of
the leading smart phones.

In terms of efciency improvement, our product ofers a
signicant advancement. The average state-of-the-art efciency
in a base station right nowis around 48%. We are able to exceed
70%efciency today. Thats a huge jump. With digital
circuits, microprocessors, and computers, people
are used to the idea that the IC performance is going
to double every eighteen months based on Moores
Law. But with radio and analog design, that is far
fromtrue; things do get better over time, but a jump
of more than twenty percentage points in terms of
efciency is something that you just dont see. Its a
big technological shift, and it is why we talk about
our innovation being disruptive.
Taking care of efciency in the base stations
is the single biggest thing that a major carrier
can do to reduce their carbon footprint.
Thats where ETAdvanced comes in.

Wearable
Technology
Design
By Richard Walters Director of
Industrial Design, LS Research
T
he Wearable Technology industry, incorporating
embedded electronics with clothing and other body-worn
accessories, is producing arguably the biggest buzz this
year in the consumer electronic, health, and wellness industries.
Bluetooth-based accessories are once again on a dramatic rise,
with applications broadening far beyond simply transferring
phone audio to an ear bud. Designers are dreaming up new ways
to harness the power of the consumers smartphone to transmit
information to and fromlocations on the human body, seeking
to expand the usefulness of the smartphone beyond
the inherent constraints caused by its formfactor.
The Hidden Pitfall
in your Design
RICH WALTERS
Rich has over 23 years of Industrial Design
experience, covering a wide spectrum of product
development including design research, interaction
design, CAD, and prototyping. Rich has accumulated
over 30 design patents and several utility and
international patents. Learn more about the full
breadth of LSRs wireless product development
capabilities at www.lsr.com.
FEATURED ARTICLE
Wi GaN? eGaN FETs for Class-A RF Amplifiers
5 4
TECH ARTICLE
5 4
BACK TO BASICS:
When you take an oscilloscope such as Teledyne
LeCroys HDO Series and add an optional
Spectrum Analyzer software package, it yields
an oscilloscope with a spectrum-analyzer-like
interface (Figure 1). Youre presented with a user
interface that is not unlike that of a stand-alone
spectrum analyzer. Provided youre familiar
with spectrum analyzers, the Spectrum Analyzer
interface lets you bypass the intricacies of the FFT
itself and set it up on the oscilloscope using familiar
parameters such as center frequency, span, and
resolution bandwidth. Under the hood, the software
takes care of the sampling rate and time-domain
acquisition length. Theres other settings as well,
such as normal or averaged FFTs and choices of
reference levels and scales.
In the case of the HDO oscilloscopes, entering
Spectrum Analyzer mode is a simple matter of
pushing the Spectrum Analyzer button, which
brings up the Spectrum Analyzer dialog box (Figure
2). From there, you can select a source trace from
any input channel, math operation, memory trace,
or zoom trace.
Just as with an RF spectrum analyzer, the main
controls are center frequency and span, which
serve the purpose of positioning the FFT trace. The
user interface reports the maximum frequency
that can be observed, which is one half of the
oscilloscopes sampling rate.
The software offers three operating modes: Normal,
Average, and Max Hold. Averaging is useful in
reducing signal noise so you can see more carrier
or harmonic detail. Max Hold helps with swept
frequency measurements and in fnding rare spurs.
Shown at top right is the Spectrogram display; at
top left is a table of detected peaks
An important option is selection of weighting
windows for the FFT. The software provides choices
of Von Hann (Hanning), Hamming, Flat Top, and
Blackman Harris.
The Peaks/Markers tab in the Spectrum Analyzer
dialog box allows fnding and labeling of up to 100
peaks and the setting of up to 20 markers. Peak
detection is automatic; a table of peaks can be
displayed (Figure 3).
Finally, the Spectrogram display shows a history
of spectral changes in a separate display grid.
Up to 256 spectra are shown in vertically stacked
fashion (Figure 3, again).
Whats clear is that the addition of Spectrum
Analyzer software to an instrument such as the
HDO results in an easy-to-use interface that makes
spectrum analysis a quick task.
In , we looked at a) the basics of fast-Fourier transforms (FFTs) and b) how to set up an FFT on
a modern digital oscilloscope. In this post, well take a brief look at what that modern scope can do with an
FFT, provided that scope is outfitted with software that will let it take full advantage. After all, the object of
an FFT is to transform a time-domain waveform into the frequency domain. Sounds kind of like a spectrum
analyzer, no?
Figure 1: Spectrum
Analyzer software
for the HDO series
oscilloscopes
provides an intuitive
user interface
Figure 3: Shown
at top right is the
Spectrogram display;
shown at top left and in
the spectrum analyzer
display is a number of
selected peaks.
Figure 2: A closer look at the Spectrum Analyzer dialog box.
David Maliniak
Technical Marketing Communication Specialist
Teledyne LeCroy
7 6
TECH ARTICLE
7 6
G
allium nitride (GaN) RF transistors
have traditionally been depletion
mode, making them difcult to
bias. High frequency enhancement mode
transistors, such as the EPC8000 series
eGaN FETs from EPC, have been widely
available since September 2013 and enable
simplied designs at RF frequencies.
Surprisingly, these commercial eGaN
FETs are lower cost than LDMOS
transistors today, and are in many ways
superior in performance. eGaN FETs
ofer higher voltage capability, which
leads to increased power density, higher
thermal conductivity, higher drain
efciency, and lower noise gure. This
allows these FETs to be designed as
broadband RF devices enabling the same
transistor to be used for many diferent
frequencies and applications.
In this installment of Wi GaN, we
present the RF characteristics of the
EPC8000 series devices and show
their implementation in a pulsed class
A amplier. The amplier is pulsed to
allow operation within the thermal
operating limits of the device, since RF
device power dissipation is typically
on the same order of magnitude
as the RF power delivered, unlike
switching devices, such as the EPC8000
series, that operate well above 95 %
efciency. The EPC8000 series FETs,
designed originally for switching power
conversion applications, otherwise
exhibit excellent RF characteristics and
in conclusion will be compared with
similar specied LDMOS.
Wi GaN:
eGaN

FETs for
Class A RF Amplier
By Alex Lidow, CEO
Efcient Power Conversion (EPC)
9 8
TECH ARTICLE
9 8
Figure 1: Photographof anEPC8000 series eGaN FET.
Figure 2: Reference plane design for RF
connection to the EPC8000 series FET.
Figure 3: Basic Class A Amplier schematic showing
transmission lines, bias Tees and matching networks.
RF Characteristic Measurement
The EPC8000 series come in chip-scale
packages (shown in Figure 1) which was not
designed with RF type connections. This means
an RF connection must be constructed which
can be used in subsequent amplier designs.
For the EPC8000 series devices, the design of
the RF interface is based on micro strip lines [1]
that taper towards the device and measurement
is taken from reference planes that interface
to a 50 transmission line as shown in Figure 2.

Due to thermal limitations, and since the
device needs to be biased, pulse based testing
was implemented to keep the average power
dissipation of the device well below the thermal
limit. In this case a 240 s pulse was applied at
a repetition rate of 10 Hz and was implemented
using a specially designed controller [4] that
ensured that the device remained stable and
correctly biased under all test conditions. The
design of the bias Tees for the amplier must
also accommodate pulse testing to ensure
stable operation [5].
Class A Amplier Design
The s-parameters for all the EPC8000series
devices weremeasuredandanalyzed[6,7,8, and9].
The EPC8009[10] was chosentodesigna
500 MHz class A amplier because it yielded
the highest gain for a realizable design and
is rated at 65 V for wide dynamic range. The
analysis revealed that this device at 500 MHz is
bi-lateral and conditionally stable. To design a
stable amplier the available gain method [11]
was used as it yields a matched output thereby
reducing reected energy from the output that
can de-stabilize the gate.
Againof 200=23dBwas chosenbasedonthe
s-parameters andstabilitycriteria[12] andyielded
thefollowingdesignreectioncoefcients that
wereusedtocompletethedesign:
S = -0.604 -0.167i
L = -0.557 +0.458i
To accommodate a small heat-sink, short
50 transmission lines were added to the
gate and drain connections. The impact of
the transmission lines and bias Tees were
compensated for in the design of the matching
networks. High pass lter matching networks
were chosen due to the high gain of the device
at lower frequencies that can cause stability
issues and have the added benet of inherent
DC blocking for the bias circuit. The complete
class A amplier schematic is shown in Figure 3.
Figure 4: Photograph of the class A
amplier based on the EPC8009 device.
11 10
TECH ARTICLE
11 10
Experimental Results
An experimental class A amplier was built, as
shown in Figure 4, and connected to a pulse
controller for testing. The amplier was tested
to determine the 1 dB compression point
which is shown in Figure 5 for two current
bias conditions.

With500mAdrainbias current, the amplier has a
1 dBcompressionpoint at 40.6dBm(11.6W) output
power, where the power gainis 20.6dBwithdrain
efciency of 57.4%as showninFigure 6. At a drain
bias current of 250mA, the amplier has a 1 dB
compressionat 38.4dBm(6.96W) output power,
where the power gainis 19.3 dBwithdrain
efciency of 45.9%.

Comparison with LDMOS
We can now compare the RF performance of the
eGaN FET against state-of-the-art LDMOS FETs
with similar characteristics. Since the eGaN FET
is not an RF device, the comparison will focus
on the diferences with respect to RF designs.
The characteristics that will be compared are
power gain, linearity (1 dB compression) and drain
efciency. The LDMOS devices selected are STs
PD55015-E and Freescales MRF1518N, both of
which have comparable power capability at 500
MHz. The comparison data between the GaN FET
and LDMOS FETs is given in Table 1:
Table 1 shows that the EPC8009 has higher gain
than either LDMOS device while operating at a
higher voltage with comparable drain efciency
despite having a higher bias power and not being
internally tuned for operation at 500 MHz. The
capacitances of the EPC8009 are also much
lower than either LDMOS FET ensuring
reduced matching impedance
transformation.
Summary
A pulsed class A RF amplier design was presented using the EPC8009 eGaN FET. An amplier was
constructed, tested and various measurements made to conrm RF power performance. The EPC8009
eGaN FET was originally designed to be a high frequency switching device, but it also exhibits excellent
RF characteristics with stable gain in excess of 20 dB and a drain efciency approaching 60% at the 1dB
compression point. The EPC8009 compares favorably to commercially available LDMOS devices despite
not being internally tuned for operation at 500 MHz and even allows reduced impedance matching
transformation due to its lower capacitances. The higher voltage rating of the eGaN FET has also
increased its 1dB compression point over the LDMOS devices.
Figure 5: Measured 1 dB compression point for the EPC8009
based RF amplier with 30 V drain bias voltage and 250 mA
and 500 mA drain bias currents while operating at 500 MHz.
Figure 6: Measured Gain and Drain efciency for the EPC8009
based RF amplier with 30 V drain bias voltage and 250 mA
and 500 mA drain bias currents while operating at 500 MHz.
Table1
eGaN FET is a registered trademark of Efcient Power Conversion Corporation.
Parameter EPC8009 (500 mA) EPC8009 (250 mA) PD55015-E MRF1518N
Output Power 11.6 W 6.96 W 15 W 8 W
1 dB Gain 20.6 dB 19.3 dB 14 dB 13 dB
Drain Efciency 57.4 % 45.9 % 55 % 60 %
Rated Voltage 65 V 65 V 40 V 40 V
Bias Voltage 30 V 30 V 12.5 V 12.5 V
Bias Current 500 mA 250 mA 150 mA 150 mA
Input Capacitance C
ISS
47 pF at 32.5 V 47 pF at 32.5 V 89 pF at 32.5 V 66 pF at 12.5 V
Reverse Capacitance C
RSS
0.4 pF at 32.5 V 0.4 pF at 32.5 V 6.5 pF at 12.5 V 4.5 pF at 12.5 V
Output Capacitance C
OSS
17 pF at 32.5 V 17 pF at 32.5 V 60 pF at 12.5 V 33 pF at 12.5 V
References
[1] I. J. Bahl, D. K. Trivedi, A Designers Guide to Microstrip Line,
Microwaves, May 1977, pg. 174 182.
[2] G.F. Engen, C.A. Hoer,Thru-Reect-Line: An Improved Technique
for Calibrating the Dual Six-Port Automatic Network Analyzer,
IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Techniques, December 1979.
[3] J. Fleury, O. Bernard, Designing and Characterizing TRL Fixture
Calibration Standards for Device Modeling, Applied Microwave
&Wireless Technical Note 13, 2001, ISSN 1075-0207, pg 26 55.
[4] M.A. de Rooij, J.T. Strydom, Method for Bias Control of a
Class A Power RF Amplier, patent pending, September 2013.
[5] C. Baylis, L. Dunleavy, W. Clausen, Design of Bias Tees for a
Pulsed-Bias, Pulsed-RF Test System using Accurate Component
Models, Microwave Journal, Volume 49, Issue 10, October 2006,
pg. 68 75.
[6] M.D. Hodge, R. Vetury, J. Shealy, R. Adams, A Robust AlGaN/GaN
HEMT Technology for RF Switching Applications, IEEE Symposium
on Compound Semiconductor Integrated Circuit (CSICS), October
2011, pg 1 - 4
[7] D. M. Pozar, Microwave Engineering, Third Edition 2005, J. Wiley
ISBN 0-471-44878-8
[8] G. Gonzales, Microwave Transistor Ampliers, Second Edition 1997,
Prentice Hall ISBN 0-13-254335-4
[9] R. C. Hejhall, RF Small Signal Design Using Two-Port Parameters,
Motorola application note AN215A, 1993.
[10] Efcient Power Conversion, EPC8009 datasheet, http://epc-co.com/
epc/Products/eGaNFETs.aspx
[11] K. Payne, Practical RF Amplier Design Using the Available Gain
Procedure and the Advanced Design System EM/Circuit Co-Simulation
Capability, Agilent Technologies White Paper 5990-3356EN, 2008,
www.agilent.com
[12] J. M. Rollett, Stability and Power-Gain Invariants of Linear Twoports,
IRE Transactions on Circuit Theory, Vol. 9, Issue 1, March 1962, pp 29 32
[13] S. J. Orfanidis, Electromagnetic Waves and Antennas, http://www.ece.
rutgers.edu/~orfanidi/ewa/
COVER INTERVIEW
13 12
ETA
Devices is a fabless semiconductor company
based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The
company's breakthrough ETAdvanced power management
technology enables mobile devices to be extremely power
efcient with signicant reductions in base station cabinets
and breakdown rates. The technology ofers handset
manufacturers substantial benets in power saving and
multi-band communication for LTE-enabled devices. The
impact this has will not only benet the mobile market, but
will contribute to reducing the harmful impact of carbon
emissions on our planet by enabling wireless communication
that will be the equivalent of removing 7 million cars of
the road.
We spoke with Professor Joel Dawson, Founder and CTO
of Eta Devices, about the company's successful agship
product, the unique ways in which they are pushing the
envelope in the mobile market, and about the benecial
environmental side-efects their new product ofers.
Interview with Prof. Joel Dawson,
CTO & Founder of Eta Devices
THE CHIP
THE MOBILE
THAT WILL
CHANGE
MARKET
COVER INTERVIEW
15 14
Q


What led you to co-found ETA Devices?
The seeds were probably planted during my PhD program
at Stanford. I remember being in my student cubicle when
some friends I knew from college were in a venture that got
acquired. For the next few months, at least on paper anyway,
they were very wealthy. Being in Silicon Valley at that time
(in the mid 90s) really got your mind going in terms of thinking
about entrepreneurship.
A
After I was ofered a faculty position at MIT, someone
approached me to join the founding team of a startup
company. I postponed my start at MIT for a year to be
with that startup company, and I now consider this as one of my
formative experiences. With a lot of doctoral processes, you are
by yourself, you do everything by yourself, and thats
just how it is supposed to be. At work, you have a
team, and you could sit down and at the beginning
hour, no one knows the answer to the question that
youre discussing, but in the end, everybody knows
the answer. Its not really clear how that happened, or
who to assign credit to, but it was very eye opening. I
learned that, from a creative engineering standpoint,
its better to be in a team, even allowing for all the
personal frictions that are inevitable. That inuenced how I ran
my research group at MIT. With this startup experience in my
background, I was really looking for a way to take something
that I found in research and have an impact with it in the form of
a startup company.
Q

Tell us about your companys agship
product and what you ofer to customers.
A
We are developing two things. It turns out that for both
base stations and for handsets like cellular phones, the
dominant power consumer today is found in the radio
transmitter that sends radio waves out over the antennathe
power amplier. On the base station, we have demonstrated a
power amplier that is the most efcient in the world. We are a
fabless semiconductor company, so we sell chips that allow base
station manufacturers to get that same result. On the
handset side, were also actually developing a microchip that
would allow people to use our concept in an in any of
the leading smart phones.

In terms of efciency improvement, our product ofers a
signicant advancement. The average state-of-the-art efciency
in a base station right now is around 48%. We are able to exceed
70% efciency today. Thats a huge jump. With digital
circuits, microprocessors, and computers, people
are used to the idea that the IC performance is going
to double every eighteen months based on Moores
Law. But with radio and analog design, that is far
from true; things do get better over time, but a jump
of more than twenty percentage points in terms of
efciency is something that you just dont see. Its a
big technological shift, and it is why we talk about
our innovation being disruptive.
Taking care of efciency in the base stations
is the single biggest thing that a major carrier
can do to reduce their carbon footprint.
Thats where ETAdvanced comes in.
COVER INTERVIEW
17 16
Q
What is the next step for your company in terms
of how far you have pushed the envelope? How
much room is there left for improvement?
A
We are a new company and a new player on the scene.
We came on board, and were ghting our way into
the ecosystem. Just to give you an idea, if you buy a
transistor from a company, they dont actually give you a full
datasheet; what they give you is, if you take this transistor and
use it in our reference design, this is the kind of performance that
youre going to get. The point I am making is that many of the
components and parts that we have used have been optimized
for the incumbent technologies.

So in terms of where we go from here, things really take of
when we get industry acceptance for ETAdvanced. Today we
have to ght our way into the ecosystem. But once
your technology is accepted, the ecosystem starts to
come to you. If you are a PA module manufacturer,
why wouldnt you optimize your part to work
with the best technology? Of course you would.
Q
Tell us about the energy savings and what this means
for all the power that is being consumed by mobile
devices. How much savings are we looking at?
In terms of efciency improvement, our
product ofers a signicant advancement.
The average state-of-the-art efciency in a
base station right now is around 48%.
We are able to exceed 70% efciency today.
A
Deployed throughout the mobile network, were talking
about forty percent reduction in energy. To put this in
perspective, if you go on the websites of big telecom
companies, what you notice is that they all have some sort of
environmental statement: heres what were doing to reduce
our carbon footprint. The protocol is to have a big, gaudy goal
of reducing emissions by, say, twenty percent, and then list of
all the things that are being done. Some common examples are
we use teleconferencing instead of ying our executives to
meetings, or weve got a eet of ten thousand vehicles and we
commit to making half of those hybrids. According to their own
math, steps such as these reduce the carbon footprint of a major
carrier by a fraction of a percent. Taking care of efciency in the
base stations is the single biggest thing that a major carrier can
do to reduce their carbon footprint. Thats where ET comes in.
Q

Whats the culture like in ETA Devices?
A
We work very hard to cultivate group creativity. Theres
not a lot of concern for who came up with what idea, or
who gets credit more. Whenever I try to recruit someone,
a big part of my pitch is, We are trying to go to the moon. The
types of people that are in our team now really are very good
at what they do and they are attracted to applying their skills
in the service of a shared vision. Its what sustains us during the
inevitable ups and down of the startup lifeits quite a ride.
Eta Devices has a
rm commitment
to producing
environmentally
friendly products.
ETAdvanced is made
exclusively from
non-toxic silicon,
which is able to
achieve the same
efciencies without
the harmful impact
on the environment.
19 18
TECH ARTICLE
19 18

Wearable
Technology
Design
By Richard Walters Director of
Industrial Design, LS Research
T
he Wearable Technology industry, incorporating
embedded electronics with clothing and other body-worn
accessories, is producing arguably the biggest buzz this
year in the consumer electronic, health, and wellness industries.
Bluetooth-based accessories are once again on a dramatic rise,
with applications broadening far beyond simply transferring
phone audio to an ear bud. Designers are dreaming up new ways
to harness the power of the consumers smartphone to transmit
information to and from locations on the human body, seeking
to expand the usefulness of the smartphone beyond
the inherent constraints caused by its form factor.
The Hidden Pitfall
in your Design
RICH WALTERS
Rich has over 23 years of Industrial Design
experience, covering a wide spectrum of product
development including design research, interaction
design, CAD, and prototyping. Rich has accumulated
over 30 design patents and several utility and
international patents. Learn more about the full
breadth of LSRs wireless product development
capabilities at www.lsr.com.
21 20
TECH ARTICLE
21 20
C
ONSUMERS ARE LEFT
WANTING MORE
Whether you realize it or not, that
beautiful new Samsung or iPhones sexy
shape is actually keeping you from doing
more. It is becoming a pocket computer
that may someday stay in your pocket
or eventually disappear altogether, as
it is integrated onto our bodies or into
the things we wear. This trend towards
a better, more natural user experience
has been slow in coming to fruition; after
all, mobile phones have been around for
over 20 years and we still primarily grip
them in our hands and hold them to our
faces. That being said, this trend will keep
marching forward as consumers crave
better solutions in terms of usability.
So the market is opening before your eyes!
Your company may be looking to leverage
this trend and add a unique diferentiator
to your products or to improve your
products performance. Sounds simple
enough, right? Reality is, the product-
to-market roadside is quickly becoming
littered with failed or abandoned
Wearable Tech products. These products
may perform technically but are housed in
a design that you wouldnt be caught dead
walking out of the house wearing. On the
other hand, other awed concepts may
look and sound good in theory, but simply
dont have the performance or reliability
the user expects. I can have the sleekest
looking tip calculator on the planet, but if
it doesnt correctly multiply my dinner bill
by 20%, I wont be carrying it around for
very long.
In a nutshell, products such as these have
only ensured their hammock is securely
tied to one tree, not both.
TYING YOUR WEARABLE TECH
HAMMOCK TO TWO TREES
So what ultimately makes a successful
product concept for the Wearable
Technology space? We nd it easiest to
think of a Wearable Tech product as a
hammock which must be secured to two
strong, sturdy trees. After all, a hammock
tied up on only one end wont ofer a very
enjoyable nap!

To ensure your Wearable Tech is
something the end user will ultimately
value, purchase, and use, its helpful to
think of two Must Haves for product
success. These are the trees that you
must be securely tied to:
Makes the consumer react with, That
looks like something I would wear, it
looks useful and makes my life easier!
Intuitively and reliably performs the
function(s) I expect it to. In other words,
the technology works!
It sounds straight-forward enough. So
why are so many products destined to
end up joining the ranks of Wearable
Tech products that missed the mark?
Commonly, the development team
either fails to realize, or realizes too late,
that when bringing the person and their
technology closer and closer together,
the two key design elements, namely
Industrial Design and Wireless Design, are
interdependent and must be approached
holistically. The following example will
hopefully shed more light on this point.

HOLISTIC APPROACH TO
INDUSTRIAL AND WIRELESS DESIGN
At the heart of the performance of
nearly every product that incorporates
wireless communication is the antenna.
A well-designed antenna ensures the
best possible range and data throughput
possible for the system. However, the
antenna does not exist in a vacuum, it lives
right here in the real world. And everything
from the composition, shape, and size
of the enclosure its placed inside of, to
the proximity it has to the human body
dramatically impacts the efectiveness of
that antenna. In other words, if the form
factor and design of the physical product
are decided independently of your wireless
design, you may have painted your RF/
Antenna designer into a corner and the
only way out is a complete re-design.
The key for
success in designing
Wearable Tech is
to approach both
the Industrial
and Wireless
Technology Design
methodologies
holistically.
WHATS AT RISK IF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND WIRELESS DESIGN
ARE NOT ADDRESSED COLLECTIVELY?
Multiple design and prototype iterations
Product development deadlines broken and budgets overrun
A product that your customers simply dont want
23 22
TECH ARTICLE
23 22

REAL WORLD EXAMPLE:

MEMI PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
PROGRAM AT LSR
Most companies gaining traction in
the Wearable Tech space are doing
so by focusing on specic problems,
deeply understanding the needs and
preferences of their target customer,
and by being careful not to overload the
individual with extra features that could
complicate and dilute the real value
of the product. LSR has had the
exciting opportunity
to partner with the
dynamic team at MEMI
(www.hellomemi.com)
to bring an innovative
wearable product concept
to reality. MEMI is creating
a solution that helps women
be connected without looking
connected. Their fashionable, jewelry-
like bracelet device stays wirelessly
connected to a smartphone in order to
alert the user through vibration when
she receives a text or call from an
important contact.
Due to the MEMIs proximity to the
body and the materials used, both the
industrial design of the piece and the
design of the antenna were looked at
collectively by the team to ensure a
winning design. The combination of
collaboration and expertise here at LSR
has enabled the development of MEMI to
move forward quickly
and clearly.
For this project, the requirement that
the design incorporates metal in order
to be jewelry-like in appearance strongly
impacted the antenna design. Early on in
the development process, the Industrial
Designers and Antenna Designers sat down
to collaborate on potential viable options.
The team developed multiple concepts
using diferent antenna topologies. The
one that rose to the top was the external
antenna. With this design, two of the outer
metal bracelet parts actually function as
part of the antenna, and design changes
to minimize the metal on the inside of the
bracelet further improved the antenna
performance. If the team had not worked
collaboratively to nd an optimal solution,
there may have been unnecessary
sacrices made in the aesthetics or the
antenna performance, or both. In the end,
MEMI had a product they feel will hit the
mark with their customers because the
team ensured the hammock was tied
securely on both ends!

AWearable Techproduct that truly exceeds
your customers expectations not only
requires a strongformfactor, but at its core
it is a product that must performits function
well. Soas youset out todevelopsucha
product, youwill discover there are a lot of
technical challenges tosolve indoingso,
as well. Soif your organizationis looking
toembark oncapitalizingonthe Wearable
Techtrend, it is critical toask andanswer
the followingquestion: Dowe have strong
technical competence under our roof inboth
Industrial DesignandAntenna/RFDesignto
ensure a collaborative product development
approach? If not, the recipe for success
likely will leadyoupartneringwith
specialists whocandeliver that approach.
Hopefully, this example of an integrated
design process where Industrial and
Wireless Design were approached
holistically has given you some food
for thought. Although the product
development of a wearable product can
be deceptively complex, we encourage
you to be courageous in creating your
solutions and taking advantage of
the many benets wearable wireless
products can deliver if done well. The
following list of Dos and Donts may be
helpful in your eforts.
IN ADDITION TO HAVING THE RIGHT EXPERTISE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION, YOU MUST ALSO ASSESS
THE TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING:
3D CAD, Modeling and Rendering software
(such as SolidWorks)
3D Antenna design software (such as CST Microwave Studio)
An Anechoic Chamber and Network Analyzer for antenna testing & certication
DOs: DONTs
Use an integrated teamwith expertise in both
wearables and antenna design.
Dont be everything to everybody. Knowyour end user
and stay focused on the key value your solution ofers.
Have a plan for the antenna as soon as possible. Explore
more than one option, as rst ideas are not always the best.
Remember, the performance of the antenna is directly
related to other design decisions in the product, such as
materials used.
Dont just copy what others have done. There may be better
solutions, and will go a long way in creating diferentiation in
the marketplace by ofering a unique design.
Prototype and test often and as accurately as possible,
to ensure best possible technical performance.Remeber
the body is soft and curvy, and location and poximity
to the body can make huge performance diferences.
Ex- plore exible PCBs, formable antennas, and sewn
goods if appropriate.
Dont keep your Industrial designers isolated from the RF/
antenna designers. If so, there will be missed opportunities,
budgets spent and corners to design yourself out of.
Wearable Tech Product Design | DOs & DONTs
Want to learn more
about successful product
development approaches
for Wearable Tech?
LSR is a global leader in enabling
advanced wireless technology
platforms including Wi-Fi

,
Bluetooth

, BLE, Cellular, RFID,


NFC, 802.15.4, DECT, and ZigBee

.
LSR is the only wireless product
development company providing
turnkey M2M System Solutions
with Design Services, on- site FCC
/ IC / CE Testing and Certication
and a broad line of RF modules.
Learn more at www.lsr.com.
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