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WaveGuide

5G IoT

I just returned from Mobile World Congress and the hot topics were 5G and IoT which mirrors what we have seen lately on the technology front. There is some controversy in discussing 5G these days as it is not defined yet, but we will cover the developments as the technology works itself out in the industry and standards organizations. IoT topics at MWC ranged from smart cities to the connected homes to vehicle-to-vehicle communications to wearable devices and were demonstrated in many of the booths at the exhibition.


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Showtime

With springtime just around the corner (thankfully), showtime for our industry begins to kick into high gear. Next week finds MWJ at the Satellite show in Washington, DC, IWCE in Las Vegas and IEEE EMC & SI in Santa Clara, CA. Next month brings us to the Microwaves & RF event in Paris, WAMICON in Florida and EDI CON in Beijing. In May, the annual IEEE MTT-S IMS takes place in Phoenix. That’s quite the run of events.


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Warming Up

The microwave industry kicks into high gear in February with a full tradeshow schedule for the next few months. In February, we have events such as the International Solid State Circuits Conference, Military Radar Summit and National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE). March features Mobile World Congress, Electromagnetic Compatibility and Signal Integrity (EMCSI), Satellite, International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) and GOMACTech. Then April goes around the world featuring EDI CON China, Microwave & RF in France, Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON) and AUVSI Unmanned Systems.


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A Blizzard of Activity

It has been a cold and snowy week in New England, but I have had the good fortune to be in warmer climates, missing the blizzard of 2015 and enjoying the mild weather of Phoenix, Ariz. and Santa Clara, Calif. While I was not fortunate enough to get tickets to the Super Bowl, I did have the opportunity to visit the good folks at Rogers Corp. and to do some reconnaissance in Phoenix as the annual IEEE MTT-S IMS event rapidly approaches. The city has added a lot of attractions to the area around the convention center since the last time the event was here and should prove to be an excellent venue for our annual Big Game. Hopefully it will be a little cooler this time around as well. I travelled from Phoenix to Santa Clara for DesignCon, which drew a good crowd and presented some impressive new products and technologies. More on that show later.  


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Be Seen in 2015

Looking back at 2014, a few key technologies were prevalent in the news. 5G research and prototyping took off as investment in this area has quickly expanded with support from industry and academia. This happened at the same time as the 4G rollout gathered steam, especially in the Chinese market where demand for components has been strong. CMOS continued to advance in the RF marketplace by showing off single chip RF fronts ends for 4G handsets and integrated mmWave AESA chips with up to 16 elements. Although CMOS has taken more market share in the RF marketplace along with GaN, GaAs still has a major presence in our industry due to its flexibility and already established manufacturing infrastructure. As the focus for more efficient amplifiers continued, envelope tracking came into the mainstream as a MIPI standard.


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Looking Ahead…

I recently had the pleasure of presenting at a Media Day event for a major client. It is a welcome opportunity for any person involved in sales: being able to be face-to-face with a client to present your brand and to discuss ways that your products can help the client to meet their needs.


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Show Time!

 The busiest month of the year for RF/microwave industry trade shows has just started. First up is European Microwave Week (EuMW) taking place Oct 5-10 in Rome. This is the largest microwave trade show outside of North America with an exhibition, MicroApps, Workshops, Defense Forum and more. While traffic varies some depending on the country it is held in, it attracts most of key decision makers in the industry and has a very high quality conference. 


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No Summer Vacation for the RF/Microwave Industry

Summer came in like a lion for the RF/microwave industry and it’s going out with a loud roar. The merger of RFMD and TriQuint and the acquisitions of Hittite Microwave by Analog Devices and Aeroflex by Cobham made for big headlines back in June. The recent announcements of Murata’s purchase of Peregrine Semiconductor and Infineon’s purchase of International Rectifier wrap-up an action-packed season of M&A activity. How all of this will play out remains to be seen.


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