Industry News

Focus on ECWT and an Overview of the Wireless Technologies Market

Like European Microwave Week the ECWT is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Over that period it has established itself as the premier European forum for wireless technology. The conference encompasses all aspects of technology for wireless systems, including applications and standards, systems and signal processing, antennas and propagation, and key technologies and subsystems for base stations and terminals.

Co-sponsored by EuMA and the IEEE MTT Society, ECWT is primarily focused on wireless technology, which was once synonymous with mobile phone systems but has developed much further in recent years, with advances in technology being the enabling force behind many innovations in communications using microwave and mm-wave signals.

This year’s conference has grown to accommodate these new concepts within the framework of a top class technical program. Importantly, joint sessions with the European Microwave Conference and the European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference will give delegates an intensive update on all of the new developments in the wireless industry.

The complete ECWT Conference Session Timetable can be viewed at:

Technology Perspective
Robert Weigel’s overview of the European wireless technologies sector

Submission to the ECWT technical programme committee closely mirrors industrial and academic research and development efforts in the wireless technology arena, including emerging mobile radio techniques and technologies such as HSPA, 3GPP LTE, MIMO LTE and MIMO WiMAX. In the future we will have to cover up to 25 frequency bands with a mixture of narrow and wide bandwidths. Thus, highly flexible and reconfigurable hardware architectures are greatly needed, both in the baseband, where the research trends are moving from ASICS towards superprogrammable baseband processors (SBP), and in the RF front end, where frequency agile (tuneable, switchable) solutions are becoming indispensable.

Besides reconfigurability of architectures and circuit blocks, higher modulation formats such as 64/1287 QAM have to be implemented on the system level. At the signal path level, the growing trade-off between selectivity and sensitivity (linearity) has to be addressed. Here, high dynamic range RF signal processing incorporating mixed-signal systems and calibration loops is needed.

At the technology level, new RF and analogue circuit architectures fabricated from 65 nm and 45 nm CMOS technologies and RF capable CMOS and Si-based integrated technologies are required for the terminal side. With regards to base stations, RF power and its transmission is the main topic. Here, the research trends are towards new power amplifier semiconductor technologies such as GaN for Class S PAs and new smart passive technologies based on functional materials such as metamaterials, ferroelectrics and piezoelectrics.

The whole range of wireless communication is in the ECWT’s focus, from the antenna and reconfigurable front end devices, through signal processing architectures for wireless applications, to modelling or coding techniques. UWB is a major topic as are subject areas related to antennas, UWB antennas, patch antennas, beam steering concepts, size reduction, and special design and construction technologies.

Systems-on-chip, radio architectures and channel investigations are subjects of development, while other growing areas of interest include indoor and outdoor positioning technologies and cognitive or software-defined radio.

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