Bringing Microwave & Millimeter-wave Products to Market

RFE Millimeter-wave Products

New Millimeter-wave Applications Drive Demand & Generate New Challenges

Microwave and millimeter-wave applications beyond 6 GHz have garnered extensive interest in the last few years, largely due to growth in 5G cellular, micro-satellite constellations, millimeter-wave backhaul, radar, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications where increased bandwidth and reduced spectrum congestion are critical. Additional technology trends that embrace increased frequencies include active electronically steered arrays (AESA) for military radar, V-band automotive radar, and V-band/E-band backhaul.

5G and IoT wireless applications are moving to 20 ~ 60 GHz frequency bands to overcome atmospheric attenuation and enhance throughput in the millimeter-wave spectrum. Advanced active antenna systems (AAS) are being developed that incorporate beamforming, multi-input multi-output (MIMO), and carrier aggregation (CA) technologies, requiring greatly advanced and complex antenna systems than previous cellular or wireless IoT.

These new technologies come with new challenges than sub-6 GHz technologies. There is a new realm of expertise, equipment, and range of physical considerations for development of competitive technology that meets both customer and user requirements and expectations.

Manufacturing Success In the Millimeter-wave Era

Big Opportunity Means Big Stakes: Years of producing a 77GHz Frequency Converter Module, RFE’s engagement with a large OEM led to the development of new Automotive Radar Test Systems with a complete range of capabilities with > 100 fielded systems achieving 100% satisfaction and reliability.

V-band Downconverter Woes: A U.S. based Radiometer provider faced obsolescence of an essential V-band downconverter that was the core of their product. Unable to source any viable replacement after more than a year of research and testing, the provided RFE with a physical replica. RFE delivered a fully functional unit with updated synthesizers for backward compatibility, field replaceability, and enhancements to the K-band and V-band downconverters for reduced system drift.

Delivering Much-needed Expertise & Turn-key Manufacturing for Millimeter-wave Systems: RFE, formerly Spinnaker Microwave, has been offering products for challenging applications since 1991. With a complete design, manufacturing, quality control, tuning, and testing services capabilities, RFE enables companies without such capabilities to reach a growing market and bring high-demand products to awaiting customers.


  • Established product portfolio
  • Custom designs & modifications of existing technology
  • Re-engineering component or supplier obsolescence
  • Low-Volume / Turnkey Manufacturing
  • Agile and flexible second source manufacturer

Agency Compliance

  • AS9100/ISO 9001:2015 (In process)
  • ITAR Registered (M35461)
  • Small Business Concern
  • NAICS: 334419
  • CAGE Code: 7AZJ1
  • RoHS Compliant

Design & Manufacturing Capabilities

  • 5 GHz to >90 GHz
  • Frequency Converters/Receivers
  • Oscillators/Synthesizers
  • Radar Systems
  • Custom/Specialty RF Assemblies
  • Hi-Rel / Weatherproof designs

Enabling Next-generation Millimeter-wave Device Manufacture: RFE’s expertise and familiarity with a wide range of precision millimeter-wave systems results in end products that outperform industry competitors. RFE offers experience and expertise combined with turn-key manufacturing or a-la-carte manufacturing services to fill the gap in any millimeter-wave design or production cycle.

See the examples below:

77Ghz FMCW Radar Warning Receiver

77 GHz FMCW Radar Warning Receiver: Today’s automotive and transportation systems rely on high-reliability / high-performance radar. Target tracking, collision threat prediction, configurability and cost along are critical. In conjunction with Mobile Technology Solutions (MTS), RFE developed a 77 GHz frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar system that exceeds the standards in the marketplace. With over 150 meters of range, RFE’s automotive radar platform is unaffected by vehicle glass and a custom designed antenna/lens system eliminates the alignment issues common with strip-line configurations.

Broadband Fast Tuning Miniature Synthesizer

Broadband Fast Tuning Miniature Synthesizer: Microwave and millimeter-wave radar, radios, and instruments are built using frequency synthesizers. With more high frequency applications, synthesizers are now needed that exhibit wide bandwidth in smaller form factors than previous technologies. Predicting this emerging need, RFE has developed a broadband fast tuning miniature synthesizer that operates from 0.1 ~ 20 GHz with < 50µs tuning speed in a tiny 3 x 3 x 0.7” package with spurious content down to -60 dBc, phase noise below -65 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz and rugged operating temperature range of -45 to +85 deg C.

RFE’s customers include commercial and industrial OEMs, as well as DoD contractors. If you require a design or manufacturing service that performs as designed, RFE can be your go-to manufacturing services provider.


Originally published in Microwave Journal, February 2020 Issue.

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Executive Interview with Microwave Journal: Michael Maslana, RFE Founder and CEO

Microwave Journal Logo

How did RFE become RFE?

We are the result of a management acquisition in 2014 of the former Spinnaker Microwave. Since our formation, we have worked in purposeful anonymity updating our entire product line. Recently we launched our website and engaged Microwave Journal to introduce RFE.


What products and markets are you focusing on?

Our expertise and focus lie primarily in converters and synthesizers spanning frequencies ranging from 0.5 to 80 GHz. We also provide support to legacy products such as voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO), as well as offering manufacturing services where we have expertise — chip and wire assembly, for example.

While our market historically has been predominately military, we also serve and actively seek to identify and grow commercial applications, namely automotive and industrial controls.


Will you offer a broad catalog of products or seek customers looking for custom solutions — or some of both?

Both. We bill ourselves as an original design manufacturer (ODM).

We promote an array of products to attract customers to our technical experience and acumen. The nature of our engagements demands the capabilities and flexibility to customize to achieve our customers’ specifications and meet their performance requirements.


What’s your geographic coverage, and how are you structuring your sales channel to reach potential customers?

We sell direct in the U.S., employing a network of regional manufacturer’s representative firms. Their technical understanding, complementary supplier line-cards and deep, long-standing relationships with the tier one defense contractors are critical to our success.

Internationally, we engage resellers whose experience with export regulations is invaluable.


What trends in defense and commercial systems are creating your best opportunities?

Frankly, the increase in the U.S. defense budget coupled with the ongoing advances in electronic warfare (EW) systems forecast tremendous growth in this sector.

As for commercial, we see exciting needs for RF/microwave innovation in automotive technology and the expansion of the internet.


In the crowded field of companies supplying similar products, what differentiates RFE?

We are nimble. This makes RFE attractive from several vantages:

Unlike our larger competitors, we respond quickly and deliver custom, high-value design solutions at very attractive rates. We also provide products from a unique technical platform, which separates RFE from the pack.


Describe your background and experience.

I have 30 years with diverse entrepreneurial endeavors. Among the businesses I have founded, acquired, led and sold are sales representative, project management, electronic manufacturing services and original design and equipment manufacturers for products ranging from automotive to RF/microwave.


From your “past life” at other companies, what lessons did you learn that shape your philosophy leading RFE?

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated.
  • Trust and delegate to your team.
  • People are generous with their knowledge when asked.
  • Have a plan, but be flexible to seize upon opportunities.

Originally published in Microwave Journal, June 2018.

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RFE Introduces its Product Portfolio on its New Website


Fremont/Silicon Valley, California (4-5-2018) – Michael Maslana, CEO is pleased to announce the launch of RFE’s new website:  RFE is the current generation of its founding company Spinnaker Microwave.  Dating back to 1991, its reputation was earned in the design and manufacture of a broad and diverse offering of voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO’s), which it continues to support to this day.

Joining Mr. Maslana to lead RFE is industry veteran Mike England as President and CTO.  Most recently Mr. England served as the GM for Teledyne Microwave Solutions.  Previously he was instrumental in the VCO product architecture for Cougar Components, and led its successful growth which resulted in its acquisition by Teledyne.  Mr. England earned his MSEE degree from Santa Clara University.

RFE is an original design manufacturer (ODM) serving military, industrial and commercial markets with a product line of small profile, high performance converter and synthesizer sources.  RFE also offers replacement alternatives to an array of legacy IMA and mmW products.

Mr. England will manage RFE’s design and engineering activities while working closely with Mr. Maslana to introduce RFE and fulfill its commitment to be a world-class supplier of RF and microwave components.  Please visit for more information.

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