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The "intrinsic" speed/frequency performance of electronic circuits
and ICs has increased dramatically in the last fifteen years. For instance,
a variety of state-of-the-art integrated circuits operate at clock rates
of well over 100 MHz, with digital edge transition times well under 1 nsec.
Similarly, today you can buy for approximately $100 (actually, I think its
even less now!) a MMIC (monolithic millimeter / microwave integrated circuit)
amp with 10 dB of gain and about 1 dB noise figure which operates at 94
GHz; ten years ago such performance at even 5 GHz probably cost at least
ten times more. But can these improvements continue unabated? Even if intrinsic
performance continues to improve, will extrinsic effects
limit system performance? What connection (pardon the pun) is there between
how the "components" are packaged and system performance? What
electromagnetic effects must we understand and model to design high speed/frequency
Our current DARPA sponsored project on mixed signal packaging: