Twenty-fourteen: Big Systems, Here and Abroad
As we enter December, the MWJ editorial staff is currently busy preparing for next year’s first quarter with contributions from the industry’s leading engineers and scientists. Thanks to their research (and writing), we will be able to keep our readers updated on the latest microwave technologies being introduced. Communication and defense systems continue to proliferate and grow in capability. Thanks to the hard work and creativity of engineers throughout the industry, 2014 should be another banner year for component development and the systems they support.
Our first issue of the New Year addresses radar and antenna technology, featuring our cover story on the “Next Generation of Affordable Smart Antennas” by Dr. J. Guerci and his colleagues. Dr. Guerci was the author of our 2011 January cover feature on Cognitive Radar. He is also a featured speaker at the IDGA conference and a renowned expert in the field of cognitive radars and smart antennas, both of which are finding their way into commercial and defense systems. Dr. Geurci’s 2011 feature was extremely popular among readers and we expect the same interest (and long shelf life) with this report. In addition, look for other radar component technologies such as a feature on diamond heat sinking for GaN transistors from Element Six Technologies, generating radar signals with an arbitrary waveform generator from Tektronix, programmable attenuators from Aeroflex, a hybrid rotary joint from Spinner, prototyping a massive MIMO antenna from National Instruments and several antenna design features.
Our February issue looks at the technology behind off-chip RF/microwave design. From surface mount components, package and PCBs to multi-chip and hybrid modules, considerable engineering effort is focused on getting the most performance out of the design and materials that interconnects integrated circuits and discrete devices. This is especially true at millimeter-wave frequencies where parasitic losses can have a substantial impact on the overall device performance. Design expert, Liam Devlin of Plextek looks at some of the advances in packaging technology for multi-chip modules at millimeter-wave frequencies and the advanced interconnect technology that should help inspire designers at all frequencies seeking to pack more functionality and devices within a densely populated package or PCB substrate. With regard to PCB substrates, Rogers Corporation offers a look at temperature effects on PCB design. Millimeter-wave radio design concerns are also presented in a technical feature on E-Band mixers from Spacek Labs. Improving power amplifier performance through digital pre-distortion techniques is the subject of another technical feature from National Instruments.
The month of March focuses on test and measurement equipment, techniques and solutions. March also offers our bonus cable and connector supplement. Testing is a critical part of design and verification. Test systems need to be accurate, reliable, and capable of acquiring and displaying the required data as quickly as possible. The modern test system is a complex arrangement of precision test instruments and sophisticated software designed to automate the process of ascertaining complex device performance over an increasingly wide range of operating conditions. How test systems bridge the gap from R&D test to production test will be the topic of our cover feature. Test equipment manufacturers are often on the leading edge of technology, providing solutions to chip, component and system designers also operating on the cutting edge. March will also provide a look at recent advances in individual test equipment and peripheral cables and test fixtures.