Articles by Patrick Hindle

MTTS 2010 IMS Exhibition Opens

The MTTS 2010 IMS exhibition was very lively as it opened yesterday in Anaheim. The traffic was robust and the was mood upbeat as the industry seems to have shaken off the recession. There seemed to be a wide variety of new amplifiers available with very high linearity and efficiency. The improvements in modeling and matching have resulted in some really nice designs. There were also several suppliers with cellular band LNAs that have less than .5 dB noise figures. The larger component manufacturers seem to be filling out their portfolios to meet a wider variety of needs to...
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Raytheon Microwave System to Prevent Frost in Vineyards

Although this news item is a few weeks old, I thought it was interesting enough to cover here since I have never seen microwave technology used in the type of application. Raytheon is planning to install a prototype microwave frost protection system at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, a Canadian horticulture research center located in Ontario, Canada. Raytheon will install a prototype Tempwave system in the center’s vineyard, prepare it for operation and support initial testing over a four-month period. Raytheon ’s Tempwave radiant heating system offers a more efficient way to warm crops and avoid the adverse effects...
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Big M&A Activity as MTTS 2010 IMS Nears

The past week has included several big announcements in the microwave industry for Mergers & Acquisitions which I will extend to also include some significant partnerships that were formed. On the mergers front, Aeroflex officially acquired Willtek from Wireless Telecom Group which was previously announced but is now complete. They paid $2.75 M plus assumed some liabilities. Next Comtech Telecommunications acquired CPI International for about $475 M. Fred Kornberg, President and CEO of Comtech said the acquisition is a significant step in their strategy of developing a one-stop shopping approach for RF microwave products. The transition is expected to be...
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ABI Handset Market Estimates for 1Q-2010

According to ABI Research, handset shipments globally for 1Q-2010 powered ahead to 303 million, up 19% Year-on-Year. This bodes well for 2010 as a whole as shipments could reach 1.3 billion. It is also notable that 3G handset shipments eclipsed 2G handset shipments. The strongest handset shipment growth was seen in the Middle East and Africa (20% YoY ) followed by the Americas, particularly the US (11%). Europe, on the other hand, is languishing with single-digit growth. Nokia ’s market-share stood at 34%. New smartphones such as the N8 are helping the manufacturer to shore up its handset portfolio,...
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M/A-COM Merges with Mimix

M/A-COM Technology Solutions and Mimix announced yesterday that they had agreed to merge and all products in the Mimix portfolio would reside within the M/A-COM family of products. This is not too surprising as they are both owned by the GaAs Labs/John Ocampo group after they purchased M/A-COM from Cobham in March of 2009. I think this will strengthen both companies as Mimix brings some very good pt. to pt. radio and other MMIC products into the M/A-COM family that complement M/A- COM's existing portfolio. After Tyco Electronics divided M/A-COM up and sold them off several years ago, this gives...
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Satellite LTE Network Planned by PE Firm

Harbinger Capital Partners plans to deploy a LTE network over spectrum owned by a few satellite companies which would create an open wholesale wireless network available to anyone who wants to offer mobile broadband. The new network will rely initially on 23 MHz spectrum owned by SkyTerra (which is owned by Harbinger) and could later include spectrum from Terrestar Networks, another satellite firm in which Harbinger holds a stake. The network could help ensure competition among the major wireless carriers because of the conditions the FCC has placed on the spectrum that the private equity firm plans to use as...
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Wireless Wee Wee

I recently came across Simavita that makes wireless monitoring devices for assisted living residents to monitor when they go to the bathroom and logs the events for analysis to improve their comfort level and coordinate scheduling of changes, etc. The main component is a remotely monitored disposable continence aid – the SIMpad®. It is fitted with a sensor strip (SIM™strip) that is completely safe for the wearer. A reusable SIM™box fitted to the front of the SIMpad transmits sensor readings wirelessly to a central monitoring station (SIM™server). A key component of the system is the SIMsystem™ Manager, software running on...
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Capacity Constraints and LTE - Hot Topics at CTIA 2010

The keynote session kicked off the CTIA 2010 show with Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, presenting the case that the US is the world leader in mobile broadband no matter how you measure it. The US has the most 3G subscribers (117 million), most WiFi hotspots (70,000), spends the most of wireless capital expenditures on mobile broadband (80%), the highest investment in LTE (30% in 2009), the most smart phones (53 million according to Strategy Analytics) and estimated 412 million M2M devices deployed by 2014. But he emphasized that the US must...
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Satellite 2010 - Brighter Days Ahead

The opening session on Tues with the CEOs from the big four (Romain Bausch, SES; Daniel Goldberg, Telsat; David McGlade, Intelsat; and Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat) showed that the companies are more optimistic about the market than they were last year. The needs to expand bandwidth and provide communication services to less populated areas are opportunities for satellite providers. The desire for countries to provide Internet access to more of those without access today is another area where satellite can be a solution. While satellite does not have data rates as high as fiber, it can provide coverage much...
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Hybrid Car EM Radiation Concerns

There have been various reports over the last few years about possible electromagnetic (EM) radiation generated by the high current in hybrid cars being harmful. The EM radiation is due to the high AC current running from the batteries to the electric motors. Some older hybrid models were reported to have relatively high fields measured in them some exceeding what was recommended by government. This seems to have hit the news again as Israel has recently stated that they will issue a safety radiation scale for hybrids as they found some current models exceed what they recommend as the maximum...
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