When you get up in the morning, you may decide to heat up a cup of water to make some tea or maybe you would like to cook some bacon and eggs in just a few minutes time without the usual mess. Your microwave oven is there to heat and cook foods and can make life very convenient. For example, in about 5 or 6 minutes time you can enjoy a tasty baked potato or heat up last night’s leftovers in less than one minute. However, today’s microwave circuits are providing innovative solutions to many businesses and this has little to do with ovens. Let’s take a closer look to discover some of the amazing things this technology can do now and in the future.
It’s All about High Frequency
One of the main differences between standard circuits and microwave circuits, is the frequency. Microwaves operate at a much higher frequency because the waves are much shorter. This unique characteristic comes with several advantages.
In communications, microwave transmitters are capable of sending more information at faster rates. Plus, control is easier and it is more efficient because it takes less power to operate. Because this technology is so efficient, it has been instrumental in creating smaller devices capable of the same function as much larger devices in the past. For example, there is no need for large antennas and thanks to microwave integrated circuitry, entire circuits can be as small as the size of a postage stamp.
Although there are several advantages with this technology, it also presents problems which are not encountered with standard lower frequency applications. This is due to the fact that microwaves operate on electromagnetism as opposed to voltage and current. This creates the need for different types of circuitry with different types of components. Many of these problems are being solved with semiconductor technology.
There are three basic kinds of microwave circuits used today. For example:
MIC – integrated circuits with all components mounted on a single chip. They are a one-piece setup.
Discreet – this refers to transistors, resistors and diodes installed separately. This is opposed to modern circuitry created in microchips. Although much larger than chips, individual components can be replaced when needed and this is an advantage over semiconductor chip technology.
Hybrid – blends both discreet and MIC technology. Once assembled, discreet circuits are mounted onto micro strips and can be connected with special bonding techniques.
Thanks to microwave circuits an entire generation of smaller and more powerful devices is possible. This includes cell phones, GPS systems, medical devices and many more.