The New Year has gotten off to a fast (and snowy) start for the MWJ staff. Believe it or not, we are beginning to work on the final issue (and supplement) of the first quarter and so far, the contributed editorial in 2011 has been quite impressive. Granted, our content for January, February and March was largely determined back in 2010, but the momentum of a resurging economy seems to be carrying well into this year as I look ahead. The holiday was a blip on the radar as many of you briefly caught your breath and then continued your surge of product releases, article proposals and trade show promotions (DesignCon, Mobile World Congress, Satellite, CTIA Wireless…). This hyper-activity is no doubt a good sign for the industry.

Before I discuss the details of our upcoming issues, I’d like to draw your attention to some changes we have made to our electronic products for the New Year as well as some upcoming live events that the Journal will be organizing. I suspect many of you have noticed the new look and feel of our e-newsletters, the Microwave Flash: Weekly Update and Microwave Advisor: Product Update. In addition to the new header, we have changed the format and content of the Weekly Flash to reflect a faster paced global economy.

To start, we are presenting microwave-related news as clearly as possible - front and center with descriptive headlines. In addition, the Flash offers e-learning opportunities for our technical audience with listings of the latest white papers and application notes, tech focus (components, T&M, software, etc.) and upcoming webinars. We are covering the business side of our business with the MarketWatch column and the human side of our business with our People, Places and Interactive sections. We hope our audience and advertisers appreciate this new organization of content and that it helps everyone find exactly the information they care about, with less hassle.

These new sections of the Flash newsletter echo similar changes we have made to the MWJ home page of our website. Site visitors will now find a greater turnover rate of Market information (wireless infrastructure, defense/aerospace, international, etc.); Tech Focus, People, Events, Products, etc. This presents marketers with more opportunities to promote a product or technology with greater emphasis, and public relation firms to broadcast a new executive appointment or contract win from their clients. Our editors will keep an eye on your press releases for items suitable for these sections of our website and Flash newsletters, but feel free to contact us directly with your proposals and requests. In addition, our expanding coverage of “interactive” media is ensuring that we will be hosting more videos and multi-media demonstrations as many of you are starting to use these mediums to convey your product information.

On the live front, MWJ will be organizing several expert forums this year, beginning with the MIMO Over-the-Air Testing Forum at CTIA. This live panel session at CTIA in Orlando, FL this March will feature experts from Agilent, ETS-Lindgren, Elektrobit and Spirent and will also be featured in a simultaneous global webcast. This topic was the subject of our cover story last August and represents a considerable challenge to 4G network providers and certain military communication systems as high data rate networks deploy. The Journal will also be hosting a keynote expert panel session at this year’s IMS MicroApps, details to be announced next month. These live events and their global webcasts, along with our webinar series and white papers are an extension of the Journal’s role as a source of professional training for engineers. We are taking advantage of new technologies to enhance the delivery of this information and we look to our advertisers for their support with the latest in technical content and creative use of webinars, videos, blogs and technical articles/white papers.

Now onto our upcoming issues:

March: The March issue is dedicated to RF/microwave measurement techniques and equipment. This past year saw the introduction of many new test instruments, and so we will look at the capabilities of several including the new breed of microwave frequency oscilloscopes. These new scopes help traditional RF engineers debug circuits and systems in new ways, address the technical gray zone between digital and RF found in today’s wireless applications and also address the needs of high speed digital engineers who are now dealing with unwanted RF effects. In short, this cover story has broad appeal among our traditional audience and beyond, featuring contributions from Agilent, Rohde & Schwarz, Tektronix and LeCroy. The March issue will also feature a special report on the state of PXI modular instruments and their benefits for speed, small form factor and scalability. This article targets microwave production testing, wireless testing, and custom test solutions, both commercial and defense related.

March Supplement: This is our annual look at cables and connectors. We have solicited a number of technical and product features from leading manufacturers. The latest developments in cable/connector technology will be presented from the perspective of mechanical and electrical performance. We will also take a look at the true costs of competing interconnect technologies and the impact of low-cost cables manufactured in developing countries. This issue will be of interest to all cable/connector manufacturers and system integrators, i.e. anyone who connects RF parts together with cable interconnects.

April: Amplifiers and Oscillators are the theme of this issue and they are at the heart of any RF front-end system, commercial or military. This year we will feature a cover story on the state of power amplifiers at millimeter-wave frequency where a lot of Microwave Backhaul is taking place. Liam Devlin of Plextek takes a look at the evolving technology and the markets that are driving innovation. We are expecting technical articles from RFMD and Peregrine on RFICs for mobile device front-ends, more measurement techniques from Agilent and Rohde & Schwarz as well as several RF power amplifier design papers. Judging from the number of RF semiconductor product announcements we receive on a regular basis and the volume of web traffic to view this material or attend related webinars, this month’s theme is among our most popular technical topics.

May: This is the big one: our annual IEEE MTT-S IMS Show issue. We publish this issue the month preceding the biggest microwave event of the year so that our readers have plenty of time to review the pre-show promotions of all advertising exhibitors. The MWJ May issue is the only trade pub distributed in the delegate bag. For the past several years, we have been evolving the editorial content of this issue with a greater emphasis on the products and applied engineering that is reflected by the exhibiting companies. Last year, Chuck Swift and Les Besser co-authored our cover story on the history of the microwave industry in California, each conference chair authored a welcome article and we featured a special Exhibitor Profile section. This year we will take a close look at microwave filter technology and the companies that are synonymous with this year’s IMS host city (Baltimore) and its mid-Atlantic surroundings. Additional pre-show coverage will look at the new products and applications that exhibition attendees can expect to see for the first time. IMS is a coming out party for many new products. We have already heard from many of you who are lining up your scheduled IMS product releases with this editorial opportunity. The sooner we hear from you, the better our ability to ensure that your product debut gets some ink in this very important issue. We also have some surprises and innovative marketing plans to tie into this issue, so stay tuned.