Microwave Journal

Weekly Report

For the week ending October 6, 2017

October 8, 2017

Here's the latest edition of this weekly report summarizing interesting industry and technology news from the past week.

Companies and Products

Keysight’s FieldFox analyzers now offer an option to connect to Keysight’s 89600 vector signal analysis software, enabling the analysis of complex signals such as cellular, IoT formats, 802.11p, APCO-25 and TETRA.

Declaring their intent to become the third-largest GaN supplier in 2020, OMMIC announced Europe’s first 6-inch GaN wafer line. Full process qualification will be complete by March 2018. OMMIC is targeting the 5G and satellite communications markets.

The U.S. Navy awarded Orbital ATK a $350 million contract to continue full-rate production of the AGM-88E anti-radar guided missile (AAGM). Northrop Grumman is acquiring Orbital ATK for $7.8 billion, plus assuming Orbital’s debt.

Xilinx announced an expanded family of highly integrated, 16 nm RF SoCs. The Zynq® UltraScale+™ devices are customized for wireless infrastructure, cable remote PHY and radar. The devices in the family integrate multiple 12-bit ADCs operating at 2 or 4 GSPS and multiple 14-bit DACs operating at 6.4 GSPS.

Markets and Technology

GaN — Strategy Analytics reports that the RF GaN market grew some 23 percent in 2016, almost reaching $750 million. They forecast the market will grow to more than $730 million in 2021, a 14 percent compound annual growth rate.

Cellular/5G — Huawei published an informative white paper discussing LTE for internet access, similar to the FCC's Connect America program. Download it here.

Skyworks CTO Peter Gammel explains 5G, with an understandable analogy comparing the approaches to increasing data rates to a highway.

Ericsson's new CTO, Erik Ekudden, sees 5G ramping in 2019–2020, yet he expects no spike in operator CapEx spending, unfortunate for the network equipment manufacturers. LTE will coexist with 5G: “Going forward, there’s a natural combination of the LTE capabilities and the [5G] new radio capabilities. So they will go hand in hand for the foreseeable future. Basically, for a very long time.” Read and watch the interview.

If you’re into 5G architecture, do you know the difference between dual connectivity and carrier aggregation? Zahid Ghadialy writes about this and 5G architectures in a post on The 3G4G Blog.

Intelsat and Intel are proposing a scheme to share the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz spectrum between satellite and 5G services. In regions where 5G won’t interfere with satellite transmissions (i.e., largely in metro areas), satellite companies would willingly “share” their C-Band spectrum. The idea requires FCC approval.

The European Parliament’s recent vote on 5G, intended to accelerate 5G development on the continent, is being criticized. Lisa Fuhr, director general of European operator lobby group ETNO, said the vote “misses the point” and risks slowing down broadband deployment.

Broadband — In a video interview with Mobile World Live, Boingo's CTO Derrick Peterson talks about the role of Wi-Fi in a 5G world: the more bandwidth, the better.

A research group in the Netherlands has adandoned Wi-Fi for Li-Fi, a proposed infrared system that is claimed to provide up to 112 Gbps download speeds! With funding to develop the concept, Li-Fi could be commercialized within five years. Read more.

Unlike their earlier deployments, Google Fiber will not offer TV service in Louisville and San Antonio — just high speed internet access. DSLReports predicts this is a sign that Google will move all subscribers to over-the-top (OTT) video services, certainly the trend for accessing video programming.

Autonomous Vehicles — The U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously approved a self-driving car bill, moving it to a vote by the full Senate. The proposed bill will allow each automaker to sell up to 80,000 self-driving cars within three years, if they demonstrate the cars are as safe as people-driven vehicles. The House passed similar legislation last month.

Defense — The Pentagon is adding $440 million to missile defense. The funding will invest more in cyber operations and add 20 more interceptors to the 44 installed at Fort Greely, Alaska.

DARPA completed flight tests of ViSAR (Video Synthetic Aperture Radar), so named because it can take real-time video through the clouds. The radar operates at 233 GHz.

Listen to the fascinating story of the CIA's audacious plan to recover a sunken Soviet submarine from three miles deep in the Pacific.

People — In a 52 to 41 Senate vote, the Senate reappointed Ajit Pai to a five year term on the FCC, ensuring he will stay at the helm to oversee the net neutrality debate.

Elon Musk is one of today's most creative entrepreneurs, which makes his work habits and philosophy fascinating. Yet, these are not necessarily traits we should encourage our kids to follow.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below.