NXP Announces Grand Prize Winner of First-Ever High Performance RF Design Challenge

June 13, 2011

“A 2-kW Amplifier for Portable 449-MHz Spaced Antenna Wind Profile Radar” takes home winning prize

Eindhoven and Nijmegen, Netherlands, June 13, 2011 – In an awards ceremony held at IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium for 2011 (IMS2011), NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) announced the much-anticipated grand prize winner of its first-ever High Performance RF (HPRF) Design Challenge. After an intense final round of judging, “A 2-kW Amplifier for a Portable 449-MHz Spaced Antenna Wind Profiler Radar” by Brad Lindseth was selected as the overall winner. The High Performance RF Design Challenge was created to encourage the RF power community worldwide to build, test and display innovative designs in new application areas using LDMOS technology, which has become increasingly powerful, rugged and cost-effective in recent years.

Facts / Highlights:

  • Brad Lindseth, a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado, works in the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the US. Lindseth’s winning design, which took first place in the NXP High Performance RF Design Challenge, was “A 2-kW Amplifier for a Portable 449-MHz Space Antenna Wind Profiler Radar.” In his project, Lindseth used 1200-W BLF578 LDMOS transistors to build a radar transmitter, demonstrating how RF radiation can be used to profile wind speed, temperature and direction from ground level to 4 km in the atmosphere.
  • The second place winner was a project on “Microwave Heating in a Microfluidic Reactor,” by a team consisting of Matthew Ayres, Robert Friedhoff, Michael Gray and Owain Jones, from Cardiff University, UK. The students designed a precision microwave heating system for microfluidic chips – miniature chemical reactors for applications such as pharmaceutical synthesis and organic chemistry research.
  • The third place winner was “A Broadcasting System Doherty Power Amplifier with Analog Predistortion” by Lei Wang of Southeast University in Nanjing, and Jingxian Zhang of Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China. They developed an efficient, 100-W broadcast amplifier.
  • Each of the regional winners for Europe, North America and Asia Pacific were invited to attend IMS2011 to demonstrate their designs. The Grand Prize included a $3,000 Apple Store® voucher.
  • Over 400 entries were received in the initial “Conceptual Design” phase of the Design Challenge. During the second “Hardware Design” phase, each contestant developed and provided proof of concept of a prototype. In the third and final phase, the leading teams from EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas were given the opportunity to polish their designs in an NXP High Performance RF design lab, with transportation and accommodation costs covered by NXP.
  • Design entries were rated and evaluated by registered community members, alongside a panel of jurors from NXP and universities, based on creativity, efficiency, usefulness, and realization.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Klaus Werner of NXP Semiconductors, one of the lead organizers of the High Performance RF Design Challenge, commented on the winning project: “The Wind Profiler Radar is a perfect example of an alternate use of RF power in a novel sensing application – much in line with what we wanted to achieve with the Design Challenge in the first place. It was a very nicely executed project with impressive results, which showed what you could do with 1200 W of RF power at your fingertips in an exemplary way. We congratulate Brad Lindseth on this achievement.”
  • Commenting on the second and third place winners, Klaus Werner added: “The panel of judges, including jurors from NXP and leading university professors, was also very impressed by the second and third place winners. ‘Microwave Heating in a Microfluidic Reactor’ was a great example of a heating application using RF power, whereas ‘A Broadcasting System Doherty Power Amplifier with Analog Predistortion’ was a sophisticated implementation of RF power in a communications application. We extend our congratulations to all the top winners, and thank all 400 entrants in the High Performance RF Design Challenge, who submitted entries which truly demonstrated the breadth of what can be achieved with RF power.”
  • Grand prize winner Brad Lindseth originally heard about the High Performance RF Design Challenge from one of his Ph.D. advisors at the University of Colorado, who encouraged him to enter. After being awarded first place, he said: “The Design Challenge was a great experience. I’m honored to be included in the competition. All the teams did a great job. I enjoyed the interaction with the NXP engineers, who were very knowledgeable and helped significantly with my design. The contacts I’ve made during the process are invaluable. I hope that the Design Challenge will continue in the future.”

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About NXP High Performance RF

Shipping more than 4 billion RF products annually, NXP is a clear industry leader in High Performance RF. From satellite receivers, cellular base stations and broadcast transmitters to ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) and aerospace and defense applications, NXP is a leader in High Performance Mixed Signal IC products and the recognized leader in SERDES-based serial interfaces for high speed converters. NXP offers a broad selection of high-speed data converters, with digital interfaces including JESD204A compliant CGV, CMOS LVCMOS and LVDS DDR interfaces. These high speed converters are suitable for wireless infrastructure, industrial, scientific, medical, aerospace and defense applications.

About NXP

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.4 billion in 2010.

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