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RFIC 2013 General Chair's Message

May 9, 2013
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Welcome to the 2013 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium, which will take place in Seattle, WA, on June 2-4, 2013. Our Symposium is held in conjunction with the IEEE Microwave Theory and Technology Society’s (MTT-S) International Microwave Symposium (IMS) and opens Microwave Week 2013, the largest worldwide RF/microwave meeting of the year, with three days focused exclusively on RFIC technology and innovation.

As in past years, the focus of the 2013 RFIC Symposium will be on emerging technologies and applications of Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits. This year, several forums will feature multiband reconfigurable, software-defined and cognitive radios and the use of system-on-chips (SoC) to realize high-data rate RF solutions for smartphone, notepad and notebook applications. The continued exploitation of frequencies above 60 Hz in the realization of silicon millimeter wave circuits and systems will be presented throughout the conference. Lastly, the emergence of RF for bio-medical applications and the reintroduction of wireline transceivers for high-speed I/O to our conference reflect some of the exciting developments in the radio IC community. As in previous years, the latest advances in RF IC design from the device to the system level will be covered in various forums including workshops, panel sessions and two exciting days of technical paper presentations.

The 2013 RFIC Symposium will open in grand style on Sunday, June 2 with a full lineup of 13 half-day and full-day workshops covering a wide array of topics with presentations from experts in their respective fields. This year’s workshops will have a combination of tutorial and advanced presentations on some of the hottest topics in our community, including high-efficiency supply modulated PAs and signal generation at THz frequencies. A special full-day interactive Doherty tutorial workshop includes lab exercises where attendees will get hands-on experience by simulating (using ADS) designs using concepts covered in lecture, culminating in a complete high power Doherty amplifier design. One of the workshops, “Interference Robust Radio Receiver Techniques,” focuses on the performance needs of modern integrated radios in an increasingly crowded spectrum. More advanced topics include SDR transmitters, the influence of MEMs on RF architectures, RF assisted medicine, self-healing circuits and compensation, near field communication and VCO design in modern silicon processes. Other workshops will focus on the design of inductorless front ends and how to push the RF performance limits in modern CMOS technologies.

The plenary session will be held on Sunday evening with keynote addresses given by two renowned industry leaders from the Pacific Northwest. They will share their insight on the direction of, and challenges faced by, the RF IC design community. The first speaker is Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile, who will explore some of the exciting system developments from the cellular carrier perspective in his talk, “Wireless Spectrum Challenges & Opportunities: Maximizing Assets for Growth.” The second speaker is Barrie Gilbert, who will share his insight on the history of RF and wireless transceivers and present his vision of the future of RF IC design. The title of his talk will be “Microwave Technology: The First Century.” During the plenary session, students with outstanding contributions to the conference will be recognized with the three best paper awards. Immediately following the plenary session, conference attendees can gather at the RFIC Reception, which provides a relaxing environment for all to mingle with old friends and catch up on the latest news.

The RFIC technical sub-committees were further re-organized this year to align with the dynamic trends in industry and academia. Technical papers will be presented during oral sessions throughout Monday and Tuesday morning, followed by an interactive poster forum in the afternoon. This session features papers presented in poster format, giving the attendee a chance to speak directly with authors regarding their work.

On both Monday and Tuesday, the conference will feature lunchtime panel sessions that traditionally draw lively debate among the panelists and stimulating interaction with the attendees. The Monday panel session is titled “WiFi vs. Cellular, Future Convergence or Utter Divergence” and will debate how much future high-speed data will be shared between WiFi and cellular networks and the implication on IC design. The Tuesday panel session, titled “Universities are from Venus, Industries are from Mars,” explores the diverging aspects of university including industry research, resource, and educational needs. A panel of leading academics and industrialists will explore the shared needs and differences between the university and corporate world, as well as discuss improved interactive models to better serve both industry and academics.

Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in North America with countless activities both within the city and the immediate surrounding area. The conference will be held at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle, just a few minutes’ walk from several local attractions. Conference attendees can enjoy a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks, watch flying fish at the world-renowned Pike Place Market, or take a ride to the top of the city’s iconic Space Needle. For the outdoor enthusiasts, several spectacular hiking trails can be found within an hour’s drive of the downtown area.

On behalf of the RFIC Steering Committee, I would like to extend to all of you a warm welcome to this year’s 2013 RFIC Symposium. We look forward to an exciting program and ask all of you to “come as you are,” this June in Seattle!

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