Low-Distortion Microwave Active Filters

Period of Performance: 03/21/2000 - 10/31/2000


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Hittite Microwave Corp.
20 Alpha Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Principal Investigator


In multi-function RF systems combining functions of radar, communications, electronic surveillance and others, frequency agility and frequency selection are critical parameters. In terms of components needs, fast switching frequency synthesizers and low-distortion variable bandwidth, tunable filters represent critical items. Realization of multi-function systems concepts will depend on size/cost of those critical components. Hittite Microwave Corporation has pioneered in the development of active filter concepts and demonstrated active microwave filters built into MMIC chips. This proposal extends Hittite's active filter concept and describes Hittite's approach to higher dynamic range, broader tuning range, bandwidth adjustment, noise reduction, and other pertinent filter properties. MMIC filters will remove one of the main obstacles to the higher scale of integration of the microwave front-end in nearly all microwave systems, and therefore, will have a significant impact on ultimate size/cost of both military and commercial microwave systems, including portable terminals for commercial wireless systems. MMIC filters will allow complete integration of RF front-end functions into a chip in commercial communications terminals, such as cellular handsets. The market for handsets alone amount to 200 million per year world wide. Filters are used in nearly all commercial (as well as military) microwave systems, and MMIC versions may also be marketed individually as low-cost commercial products.