A measure of true innovation is refusing to accept “the way it’s always been done” and search for better ways to accomplish the goals, even if the technology involved isn’t considered high technology or trendy. Such is the case with so called “RF passive” circuits such as combiners, splitters and filters. While the traditional approaches used by many companies work, Elenos engineers have found ways to dramatically improve designs by sophisticated modelling and analysis tools and new state of the art materials.
When “good enough” isn’t good enough
Traditional designs, often scaled from old textbooks, lack performance in several key areas that are of increased importance these days. The older designs are often physically large, while many applications today place a premium on compactness. Further, the older designs tend to be less efficient, and contribute to heating issues, particularly in smaller equipment.
Fortunately, Elenos has invested in engineers with specific experience in modern RF passive design and acquired several three-dimensional electromagnetic design packages which allow precise computer modelling of combiners, splitters and filters, making possible many alternative approaches to be examined both accurately and quickly.
Elenos currently applies these design efforts in two key areas: FM broadcast (88-108 MHz) and the scientific market around 80 MHz. Both of these industries typically use high efficiency solid state amplifiers in the 1 to 2 kW range which are then combined to get to power levels in some cases of over 500kW. Obviously, small improvements in required size and efficiency can result in large potential savings in the size of the equipment, cooling required and ultimately in power consumption, and overall reliability. Advanced manufacturing techniques such as laser cutting and chemical etching also contribute to manufacturing accuracy and improved tolerances.
An important additional benefit of these design efforts is cost. These optimized designs can be quickly scaled and utilized in a wide range of products, and allow the economies of scale keep costs down.
Investments in true innovation aren’t always glamorous, but they can provide long-term benefits for manufacturers and customers alike.