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Meet Our Keysight Certified Experts
Our Keysight Certified Experts are real people working in this exciting industry and using electronic design automation (EDA) tools in innovative ways. These members have set a track record of sharing their knowledge in ways that help advance the industry. They have gained expertise through courses, practice, experimentation, product development, publication, teaching and coaching others. Some have started their own companies, published industry-changing papers, and given workshops in their communities. Check back monthly as we continue to highlight our Keysight Certified Experts from around the world.
Liam Devlin is the CEO of Plextek RF Integration (Plextek RFI), a UK based design house specializing in the design and development of RFICs, MMICs, and microwave/mm-wave modules. He has led the design and development of over 70 custom ICs on a range of GaAs, GaN and Si processes at frequencies up to 90GHz. Mr. Devlin was previously Chief Designer with Marconi Caswell where he designed GaAs ICs. He graduated from Leeds University in 1988 with a first class honours degree in electrical and electronic engineering and has published 40 technical papers.
Given the depth of his design experience, dedication to technical research, and his ability to lead a team of engineers, Mr. Devlin is very deserving of our Keysight Certified Expert honor.
Kaelly Farnham, Keysight Certified Expert member relations manager, got to ask Liam a few questions about his new video tutorial series on YouTube and what he’s excited about for the future.
Kaelly: Why did you begin creating video tutorials?
Liam: In the past we have primarily relied on white papers and peer reviewed papers to share technical content with our customers. We are still doing this (they are available for download at https://www.plextekrfi.com), but on-line videos covering almost every imaginable subject are now widely available. We consider videos to be another form of media for conveying information to our customers. We have produced 8 videos to date and have more planned. Our most popular video so far is Broadband (2-18GHz) GaN PA MMIC Design Using Keysight ADS.
Kaelly: Where do you see RF & Microwave design in the next few years?
Liam: I anticipate widespread availability of short range devices at 60GHz, increased exploitation of light licensed spectrum at E-band for point to point links, and innovative approaches to associated component and product developments. The public’s desire for wireless data is insatiable. There was a time when people asked what the “killer app” would be for 3G to use up all that data capacity. Nobody asks that now! If there is wireless data capacity available somebody will come up with a way to use it. This all points to an increase in the use of higher operating frequencies where more bandwidth is available.
Kaelly: What is your most useful technology gadget?
Liam: I’m not really an early adopter of new technology gadgets. I have a flip-phone and a netbook rather than a smart phone and a tablet. My favorite technology application is probably internet shopping – a huge time saver.
Kaelly: What technology gadget do you wish was invented soon?
Liam: There are a lot of things that I don’t want - I have no desire for my fridge to be connected to the internet and to be able to order food for me automatically. I’d settle for truly ubiquitous and reliable WiFi.
Kaelly: We know you are a Keysight Certified Expert, what else are you an “Expert” in?
Liam: My kids would say that I’m an Expert at Fixing Broken Toys! They have a “fixing pile” where they place broken toys for repair.
"I like to explain things to people with the help of examples, visualization or associations. You could also call it 'making a model to assist with understanding things better'. This can be quite challenging, but it's a pleasure to see when it worked well".
Franz embodies the spirit of a Keysight Certified Expert with his desire to teach and share his industry knowledge.
He has enjoyed a very prolific career and has reached many people with his expertise. After studying communication engineering at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, where he where he received his Diplom-Ingenieur and Dr.Ing. (Ph.D) degrees in 1979 and 1984, he joined Hewlett-Packard in Boeblingen/Germany, he worked for 5 years in R&D in the fiber optics group of the Boeblingen Instruments Division.
Then he worked for 23 years as an application engineer for Agilent-EEsof's device modeling software IC-CAP in Europe. During that time, he developed modeling strategies for diodes, bipolar and GaAs transistors, as well as for passive components like spiral inductors, varactors and also methods to verify the measurement quality before doing device modeling.
He has organized over 10 IC-CAP User Meetings in Europe, and is the owner of a big part of the examples directory in the Keysight IC-CAP software. He also developed and lectured the IC-CAP Learning Week workshops in Europe, and is the author of Keysight’s IC-CAP Modeling Reference book.
You would think after such a prolific career, he would relax in his retirement. But after retiring in 2013, he has started an engineering office, focusing on electronic device measurements, verification of the measurement data quality and data consistence, modeling of active and passive electronic devices, seminars and trainings for new device modeling engineers, and best-practice workshops for modeling teams.
He also just recently created a video explaining How To Model Bipolar Junction Transistors, that has been a big hit on YouTube.
Watch Franz Sischka in action as he covers the basics of of bipolar junction transistor (BJT) modeling and illustrates an easy step-by-step procedure to extract the model parameters of the popular Gummel-Poon (GP) model.
Along with his drive to continue to help people understand things in his retirement, he also enjoys riding his bicycle, singing in a choir, and traveling.
Congratulations to Keysight Certified Expert, Steve Sandler, for being recognized in this year’s Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards, presented by EDN and EE Times. Steve was awarded the prestigious Jim Williams Contributor of the Year Award.
Steve writes numerous articles for EDN and is committed to engineering education. He carries on in the same spirit as Williams’ legacy—enthusiasm and energy, and giving back to the community through engineering education. He has written books, volunteers at conferences, and gives seminars to share his knowledge with others.
Recently he published a video with Keysight to help designers understand how the voltage regulator module (VRM) interacts with the printed circuit board plans and decoupling capacitors with a power distribution network (PDN).
Watch “How to Design for Power Integrity: Finding Power Delivery Noise Problems” by Steven Sandler.
Steve says, “I want to be certain that I give back more to the engineering community than I took.” Read more about why he was recognized for this year’s Jim Williams Contributor of the Year Award. Keysight gives Steve it’s warmest congratulations!
Steve Sandler is founder and managing director of Picotest. You can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I'm an independent consultant specializing in EM software, RFIC EM workflow and EM modelling of on-chip passive devices. My interest in electronics awoke in school, when preparing for the amateur radio operator exam at the age of 15. Homebrew radios-- that was exciting! I really wanted to learn more about it.”
After receiving a PhD degree in RF & Microwaves from Bochum University in 1994, Volker Muehlhaus started his own company. Originally beginning as an RF design house, the company quickly transformed into a software company taking care of "missing links" in the RF EDA workflow.
“We developed automated netlist-to-layout translators for the ancient circuit simulators we all used back then, EEsof Touchstone and Super-Compact. What started as in-house software to aid our own design work quickly turned into a successful software business.”
In the late 1990s, when EM was getting more practical and popular, his company became the local software reseller for Sonnet Software. Again, they took care of the missing links and developed software add-ons that complete the workflow for specific applications, e.g. LTCC module design or RFIC inductor simulation. In 2013, after 14 years of Sonnet reseller business, it was time for a new challenge. Volker switched from EDA reselling to the EDA consulting business and never looked back.
“There are so many topics in RFIC EM that can be automated so very well with Keysight ADS Momentum. I guess EDA workflow automation topics will keep me busy for a long time.”
You can find him now online at Dr. Muehlhaus Consulting & Software GmbH.
Olivier Tesson received his PhD from the University of Nantes in 2000. He joined NXP Semiconductors (formally Philips Semiconductors) in 2001in France as a CAD engineer. From 2005 until today, he is a device modeling engineer within the RF Small Signal department. He is currently Principal engineer, expert in passive integration and modeling of passive devices for RF and mm-Wave applications holding more than 20 publications and 16 patents. He is involved in package modeling and design for WLAN applications.
As a Pioneer
He was an early adopter of Advanced Design System (ADS) 2011 and has extensively used EMPro, Keysight's EM simulation software to analyze 3D EM effects, in many of recent papers. He likes being creative and is always looking outside the box to try new ideas. His latest inspiration for his last 2 patents came from looking at a specific pattern lying on church ground close to Caen, Normandy. He enjoys heading a group of 150 Boy Scouts; where he enjoys playing with them and behaving like pioneers!
Work and Play Hard
Dr. Tesson has built a very successful career at NXP Semiconductor and stays busy writing papers. He believes that writing papers and sharing ideas is key for every scientist. He likes being a team player and using cooperation to find answers, especially to new technical challenges. He loves a good challenge! He and his two sons are very involved in Geocashing, a modern real-world treasure hunt outdoor adventure game. He also is an avid mountain biker and competes in marathon running races.
Hermann Ruckerbauer, Owner of EKH - EyeKnowHow, has over twenty years of experience in high-speed measurement and simulation. After receiving his B.S. in Microsystem Technology from the University of Applied Science in Regensburg, Hermann did design analysis and application testing for several memory generations at Siemens/Infineon. He also worked on the definition of the DDR4 signaling standard within JEDEC for Qimonda. He is now the owner of EKY-EyeKnowHow, supporting all kinds of high-speed interface implementations (e.g. for 10G Ethernet, PCIe, SATA, USB, …) with a focus on memory standards. In 2005, at Infineon, he won “Outstanding Single Patent” for his “Temperature dependent Self Refresh” in DDR Memory devices, one of his more than 50 patents.
Hermann is a Keysight ADS Power User
“I’ve been using ADS in the area of high speed digital signaling since 2000. I was working on the implementation of the DDR2 OnDie termination and the DDR3 FlyBy command/address bus, and was using ADS for all pre and post layout simulations. In 2009 I expanded my scope from the commodity memory development to LowPower DRAMs (e.g. LPDDR2), Graphic DRAMs (e.g. GDDR5) and to high speed serial interfaces (e.g. PCIe). At EyeKnowHow, I’m working with ADS for Pre- and Post layout simulations and also using Keysight Test Equipment (e.g. Scope, Logic Analyzer or VNA) for correlation of my simulations to measurements.”
Hermann enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, who are growing up much too fast; and in his spare time, he enjoys Origami (folding paper). He says it helps him relax and stay calm. Even if something seems impossible to implement; with enough patience each model eventually realizes. This is his mantra for his Origami and his high-speed digital work.
Meet Han-Chee Yen, a Keysight ADS power user during the week, and an avid cyclist on the weekends. He currently works for Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) Group as the department manager/ staff engineer in RF SiP design, electrical analysis and package modeling for the R&D team.
His specialties are RF embedded passive designs by LTCC/ thin-film/ laminates, package and passives modeling, and RF SiP designs and integrations. With an industry trend towards greater miniaturization and integration, he recently has been designing compact and package-integrated antennas into RF SiPs for NFC (13.56MHz), BT/WLAN (2.4GHz), and WiGig (57~66GHz array). He and his team have several US patents pending. He also won the “The Best Inventor Award” in ASE in 2012.
Before joining ASE in 2010, he was a co-founder of a RF SiP design company (2006-2010), a RF engineer in a module maker with LTCC foundry (2002-2006) and an engineer in UMC (2000-2001). Han-Chee Yen received B.S and M.S. degrees in engineering from National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, ROC. in 1998 and 2000, respectively.
Keysight Certified Expert member Brett Broughton and 2 fellow engineers from RFMD visited Keysight employees in Santa Rosa, CA. They gave a technical presentation to Keysight EDA’s worldwide team of Application Engineers sharing how they use Keysight’s software design tools, ADS and EMPro, at RFMD. They also got to voice their opinions to the Keysight EDA R&D team as well. It was a great opportunity for collaboration on both sides.
Brett Broughton receives the first Keysight Certified Expert engraved plaque from Kaelly Farnham, Member Relations Manager, and Todd Cutler, Keysight EEsof EDA General Manager.
We took this opportunity to present Brett Broughton with the first Keysight Certified Expert engraved plaque. Brett is an exceptional Keysight Certified Expert, with years of advanced experience using Keysight EDA tools. Brett is a lead contributor and manager of RFMD’s world-class PDK development team, developing models and design flow customization for a broad array of die and laminate technologies, in addition to full software support for every aspect of the engineering community’s usage of these tools.
Even though he is largely influencing the development and shipment of billions of multi-chip module products in the worldwide RFMD design community, Brett would say he’s just a family man who is happy to be spending time with his wife and 4 girls near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. He enjoys getting out on a boat and spends lots of time fishing, and trying to look for ways to convince his girls to spend more time near bodies of water that just happen to produce good quantities of decent-sized game fish. He is also a life-long Cubs fan and enjoys a good Iowan pork tenderloin sandwich every now and then.
Norm Swanberg is an RF/Microwave engineer with roots going all the way back to the early days of Microwave Associates in the greater Boston Area. He studied Physics at Brown University, but was drawn to the practical world of engineering. He got his M.S.E.E. at Northeastern, and never looked back. His successful career has taken him to diverse sets of RF areas from fundamental research to production, from military electronics to commercial wireless designs, from simple hardware like couplers and filters to quasi optical down converters at 200 GHz. Along the way he has worn the hats of section head, principle investigator, management, and technical lead. He is currently dedicating his time to his consulting business, Dome Resonators. In his free time, he is an avid jazz aficionado and host of a weekly radio program on KSDS-FM in San Diego on Tuesday nights.
Mr. Swanberg is a great example of a Keysight Certified Expert because of his breadth of experience and thorough knowledge of design tools. Read what he has to say about working for so many years in the RF & Microwave industry.
I started working for Microwave Associates (later to become MA/Com and ultimately Tyco) and Alpha Industries (a progenitor of Skyworks) in Boston, but after finishing my degree decided to explore the West Coast where I worked on the early frontiers of GaAs IC design and millimeter wave circuit development. It was during this period I first began taking advantage of the early EDA tools to work RF technical problems, beginning with Les Besser’s Compact and Super Compact. These early programs were run on large mainframes remotely and generally well after hours due to access and run time issues. The interface was largely text based and relied on realizing circuits by building netlists. I can remember when Touchstone and EEsof were the next trend in the thread as the advent of the personal computer and their use in the engineering world began to blossom. I can still hear those dot matrix printers chattering out the simulation plots! And soon ADS began consolidating these tools, moving to higher and higher levels of simulation capabilities. The GUI and the inkjet or laser printers were welcome additions along the way.
Early on I adopted the Eagleware package, Randy Rhea’s brainchild, and a welcomed lower cost approach to sophisticated RF engineering software. I remember when Randy himself would answer the phone to field support line questions. Randy introduced significant innovations in the software capabilities in those days since he was considered one of the RF gurus in Synthesizers and PLLs. In addition, the filter synthesis programs he introduced were revolutionary and are still some of the best available. Eagleware has now become Genesys and the program still offers innovative solutions like WhatIF for frequency planning and Spectrasys, which offers true end to end RF signal chain analysis which far exceeds the old spreadsheet approach to solving link budgets. I’m still using Genesys today and the incorporation of Momentum allows true EM co-simulation for early, high frequency design convergence. Recently I designed a military receiver, for which the hardware is now in evaluation testing, and it was developed exclusively through the Genesys tool. RF for fun and profit!!!.... and besides… Silver Backs Rule!!!
For a complete list of all our Keysight Certified Experts, please visit Keysight Certified Expert-EDA Software. For more information about how to become a Keysight Certified Expert, please visit our Keysight Certified Expert FAQs.