Welcome to the 2012 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium, which will take place in Montréal, Canada (www.RFIC2012.org) on June 17-19, 2012. Our symposium, held in conjunction with the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, opens Microwave Week 2012 with three days focused exclusively on RFIC technology and innovation.

This year’s venue is the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. Montréal, a 3.6 million metropolis, is the second largest French-speaking city in the world – located on an island at the junction of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. Montréal is a very walkable, dense city with a well-preserved historic center besides a modern downtown, plenty of public spaces and parks, a quick and clean transit system, beautiful architecture and neighborhoods, and of course lots of sidewalk cafés for people watching. We hope that you take full advantage of these opportunities on your visit.

Some of the prevalent themes in this year’s conference include the emergence of Terahertz technology and applications, and the continuing expansion of smartphones, multi-band and re-configurable RF, and silicon millimeter-wave design. As usual, the latest advances in RFIC design from the device level to the system level will be covered in various formats including a complete workshop program taught by RFIC experts, panel sessions featuring respected industrial and academic voices in the RFIC community, and an exciting two-day technical program.

The 2012 RFIC Symposium will kick-off on Sunday, June 17 with a full lineup of half-day and full-day workshops covering a wide array of topics. Workshop topics will include mm-Wave Silicon PAs, Fast-Settling RF Frequency Synthesis, RF at the Nanoscale, RF Spectrum Sensing and Signal Detection, ICs for Biomedical Applications, Digital Transmitters, Short-Range Near-Field Communications, RF Front-End and Transceiver Techniques, Multi-Standard Radio Coexistence, 3D Integrated Circuits, recent developments in active/passive mixer design and high-speed wireline transceivers, and advances in noise analysis of RF circuits and front-end modules for mobile applications.

The Plenary Session will then be held on Sunday evening with keynote addresses given by two renowned industry leaders. They will share their views and insights on the direction and challenges that the RFIC design community is facing. The first speaker is Professor Thomas Lee of Stanford University, one of the pioneers of CMOS RF research for wireless communications. He will present a talk titled “Terahertz Electronics: The Last Frontier.” The second speaker is Robert Gilmore, VP of Engineering at Qualcomm. He will bring perspective and knowledge from one of the leading wireless suppliers in the industry. The title of his talk will be “Towards the 5G Smartphone: Greater System Capacity, More Bands, Faster Data Rates, Advanced Applications and Longer Battery Life.”

Immediately following the Plenary Session, conference attendees can gather at the RFIC Reception, to be held outdoors this year, which provides a relaxing time for all to mingle with old friends and catch up on the latest news.

The technical program will then commence on Monday and Tuesday with 23 technical sessions featuring a total of 126 papers. The RFIC technical sub-committees were re-organized this year to align with the growing trends in industry and academia. Sub-committees were formed in the areas of low-power transceivers (RFID, NFC, ZigBee, Sensor Nodes, WPAN, WBAN, and biomedical) and reconfigurable front-ends (SDR/Cognitive radio, Wideband/Multi-band Front-ends, Digital RF circuits/architectures). Technical sessions will feature papers on advances in LNA design and SDR front-end techniques, millimeter-wave power amplifiers and phase noise reduction techniques, advanced transmitters including multi-band reconfigurable power amplifiers, terahertz technology, low-power circuits, advanced frequency synthesis, baseband circuits and modulators for wideband transceivers, 60 GHz transceiver circuits, and advanced mobile and wireless transceivers and SoCs.

The technical program features a strong set of industry papers from leading wireless RFIC companies such as Mediatek, Skyworks, NXP, ST Micro, Infineon, IBM, Broadcom, Anadigics, Marvell, Renesas and Analog Devices. There will also be an invited paper from Qualcomm titled “The Path Towards Gb/s Wireless LANs.” On Tuesday afternoon, the technical program will conclude with the Interactive Forum which features 24 poster presentations. The poster session gives attendees the chance to speak directly with authors regarding their work in an informal setting.

The conference will also hold lunch-time panel sessions on Monday and Tuesday on several interesting topics relevant to the present and future of RFIC development. The Monday panel session is entitled “THz Integrated Circuits: Do Future Markets Support Highly Integrated Silicon-based IC Development?” and will explore the applications and markets that may drive the development of terahertz technology in silicon. The Tuesday panel session is entitled “RF Scaling: Can It Keep Up With Digital CMOS? Should It?” and will see panelists debate the pros and cons of scaling RF circuits in deep sub-micron CMOS technology. Be sure to attend these lively and entertaining events.

On behalf of the RFIC Steering Committee, I would like to extend a warm welcome to attend this year’s 2012 RFIC Symposium. We are looking forward to an exciting program and seeing all of you this June in Montréal!