Microwave Journal

Seattle, Semiconductors and Software

April 9, 2013

The next three months of editorial feature the innovation that defines our industry - from our preview of new products to be unveiled at IMS to our annual look at today’s evolving RFIC/MMIC/Semiconductor devices and the design technology supporting advance component and system development - it's springtime for new RF/microwave products and technologies. As Spring takes hold and outside temperatures rise, we look forward to presenting hot new products and technologies from around the world.


This year’s annual IMS show issue goes international with a look at new technologies being presented in the Pacific Northwest as well as from the Far East. Special reports highlight Seattle as we move toward the International Microwave Symposium, plus a review of EDI CON 2013 - the first ever industry-driven show in Beijing, China and our cover feature on the state of RF/microwave sources from Russia. The increasingly international face of our industry offers expanded business opportunities for companies in our vertical as well as competition. May’s editorial (and advertising support) helps our readers understand how globalization is impacting technology and business in 2013. As IMS is one of the larger gatherings of RF/microwave component vendors, our annual show pre-view features an expanded new product section featuring advertisers who will be showing off their products to Microwave Week attendees. The new product showcase helps exhibition visitors sort through new offerings from 500+ exhibitors before heading to Seattle. For engineers who will not make the trip, this section is the most comprehensive listing of products being released this Summer.  


Mobile World Congress in Barcelona usually provides big news for wireless chip sets and RF front-end technology. This year was no exception as Qualcomm introduced some potential game changing technology. The company claims that recent breakthroughs in its CMOS RF power amplifier technology puts it in striking distance of replacing GaAs based components in many mobile devices. In June, our cover feature looks at this development with a point/counterpoint discussion from leading technologist on both sides of the GaAs vs. CMOS debate. We are also featuring a special report on RF CMOS capabilities from the world’s fastest growing pure-play CMOS foundry. RFICs and MMICs are the components at the heart of all RF/microwave systems, commercial and aerospace/defense related, making the technology discussed in June among our most popular technology themes.


Following up our look at the state of semiconductor technology, we turn our attention to the products helping engineers with the challenges of RF design and in particular the state of RF/microwave design tools, EDA software and integration/workflows across various design stages and diverse software products from a host of vendors. We are anticipating content from software/measurement equipment vendors such as Agilent, AWR, ANSYS, CST, NI, Cadence, Mentor Graphics and more. As engineering problems grow more complex and expensive to develop, designer are increasingly relying on the abilities of simulation to provide engineering answers before fabricating and testing expensive prototypes, especially for larger circuits and systems. Chip/package/board co-design, mixed RF/microwave and high-speed digital signals and a host of other design challenges require increasing computational power and design automation. In our cover story we survey the leading companies for a glimpse of where these tools are at in 2013.