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Blogs

RichardMumford

Richard Mumford, MWJ International Editor

Richard applies his technical background as an engineer and journalist for various engineering magazines to his position as international editor. Serving as MWJ’s liaison to the international microwave community, Richard files his monthly international report and contributed articles from our London office.

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Microwaves & RF 2014 makes French connection

March 21, 2014

The flavour of the third Microwave & RF Show that took place at the CNIT, Paris on 19 and 20 March was as French as foie gras and crème brûlée. The focus of the event was very much on the local RF, Microwaves, Wireless and Fibre optics community.


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Europe flies the flag in its support for EDI CON 2014

February 20, 2014

The European RF and microwave industry is demonstrating its support for EDI CON 2014 at every opportunity, from the conference sessions, workshop presentations and the showcasing of the latest innovations on the show floor.


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11th Military Radar Conference, London

November 29, 2013

The 11thMilitary Radar conference in London addressed the issues facing the developers and implementers of current and future military radar systems.


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vye_tsinghua

David Vye, MWJ Editor

David Vye is responsible for Microwave Journal's editorial content, article review and special industry reporting. Prior to joining the Journal, Mr. Vye was a product-marketing manager with Ansoft Corporation, responsible for high frequency circuit/system design tools and technical marketing communications. He previously worked for Raytheon Research Division and Advanced Device Center as a Sr. Design Engineer, responsible for PHEMT, HBT and MESFET characterization and modeling as well as MMIC design and test. David also worked at M/A-COM's Advanced Semiconductor Operations developing automated test systems and active device modeling methods for GaAs FETs. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, with a concentration in microwave engineering.

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Reach for the Stars

March 12, 2014

Last night my family and I watched the updated version of Carl Sagan’s television series “Cosmos” with new host Neil Tyson. Coupled with the national excitement over the Apollo moon missions, the original show was an amazing television experience that encouraged a generation of young people in the 1960’s and 70’s to pursue careers in science and related fields.


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DesignCon 2014 Zips Along at 100 Gb/s

February 3, 2014

EDI CON 2014 Conference Schedule

January 18, 2014

Last week marked the deadline for final papers to be submitted to the peer-reviewed portion (technical sessions) of the Electronic Design Innovation conference(EDI CON)  coming this April in Beijing. This year's crop of papers is an excellent representation of the state of the industry in terms of systems being developed and the advances in technology that will support these systems. Radar, LTE-A, Navivation satellite, 802.11 and MIMO were among the recurring system topics submitted mostly by industry, while GaN, CMOS, SOI and SIW were among the popular technologies submitted for consideration. Overall, we added two specific modeling tracks (one for system-level and the other for EMC/High-Speed Digital) and an additional twelve hours of presentations to the first day in order to accommodate the increase in paper submissions over 2013.


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pathindle_forblog

Pat Hindle, MWJ Technical Editor

Pat Hindle is responsible for editorial content, article review and special industry reporting for Microwave Journal magazine and its web site in addition to social media and special digital projects. Prior to joining the Journal, Mr. Hindle held various technical and marketing positions throughout New England, including Marketing Communications Manager at M/A-COM (Tyco Electronics), Product/QA Manager at Alpha Industries (Skyworks), Program Manager at Raytheon and Project Manager/Quality Engineer at MIT. Mr. Hindle graduated from Northeastern University - Graduate School of Business Administration and holds a BS degree from Cornell University in Materials Science Engineering. Read More

Rogers & Northeastern University's Kostas Center Partner for Research

March 30, 2014
I attended the Rogers Corporation ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the company’s new Innovation Center in Burlington, Massachusetts last week. More than 125 government officials, community leaders, technology company representatives and other guests were on hand to celebrate and tour the Center located in Northeastern University’s George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.
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Crazy for Ka-Band at Satellite 2014

March 15, 2014
The SATELLITE conference and exhibition brought together about 12,000 satellite professionals across all facets of the satellite community, including the mobility, military, broadcast, maritime and enterprise markets. The event took place March 10-13 in the Washington DC convention center which is a very good location given its close ties to the Aerospace and Defense industry. There are more than 350 exhibitors ranging from the large OEMs like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Harris, SES, Intelsat, etc. to the antenna/dish manufacturers to component and test providers from the RF/microwave industry.
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Thoughts on the RFMD/TriQuint Merger

February 25, 2014
I certainly thought the biggest RF industry news of the first quarter would be the acquisition of Nitronex by Macom, but that quickly faded as RFMD and TriQuint announced their merger on Monday at Mobile World Congress. The combined company will be about $2 billion in sales and a foundry/component powerhouse in our industry. Here are some thoughts on the merger.
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rog_blog

ROG Blog

The Rog Blog is contributed by John Coonrod and various other experts from Rogers Corporation, providing technical advice and information about RF/microwave materials. Read More

Ring Resonators Help Characterize PCB Materials

March 19, 2014
Circuit designers often reach for a particular printed-circuit-board (PCB) material based on what they know of its essential material properties, such as dielectric constant (Dk) and dissipation factor (Df). At lower frequencies, having accurate material parameters may be helpful but not crucial whereas, at higher frequencies, knowing such circuit-material parameters as Dk and Df can be critical to the success of a circuit design. For those who need to know, fortunately, a number of different methods have been developed over the years for measuring and calculating a PCB material’s Dk at different frequencies, perhaps other than what is provided on the data sheets by a circuit-material’s manufacturer. One of the most reliable methods for determining a PCB material’s Dk and Df values is through the use of microstrip ring resonator circuit elements, due to the relationship of the resonant frequency of these circuit elements to the permittivity of the PCB material.
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Sending Circuit Materials Into Space

February 21, 2014
Satellites in outer space are vital and increasingly important parts of modern communications, as signals are constantly being bounced off orbiting spacecraft to enable everything from telephone calls to video entertainment. Printed-circuit boards (PCBs) in space and satellite-communications (satcom) applications are often taken for granted, but they are special, since they must function reliably in extremely hostile environments. The choice of PCB material for these applications should be carefully considered, since these circuits must literally last a lifetime, or at least through the life of the satellite.
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Calculators Enhance Circuit Materials

January 26, 2014
Choice of printed-circuit-board (PCB) material can be critical to the performance of an RF/microwave circuit design, since so many different circuit-material parameters must be considered. As those who follow this Blog series know, many parameters can impact the selection of a PCB material for a particular design, including dielectric constant (Dk), dissipation factor (Df), and a variety of thermal traits. To ease the process of reviewing these many circuit-material parameters, Rogers Corp. offers a number of practical calculators on their web site’s Technology Support Hub. One of the more useful of these personal-computer-based calculators is the ROG Calculator Online.
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Joe Madden

Mobile Experts - Joe Madden

Mr. Madden founded Mobile Experts in 2002 and today serves as its principal analyst, Radio Access and RF Semiconductors. He has twenty-four years of experience in wireless hardware, supplying amplifiers and filters into both base station and handset applications. Read More

The Impact of CMOS Power Amplifiers on the Handset

July 8, 2013
Qualcomm recently made a big splash, announcing their RF360 product to accompany its transceiver and baseband chipsets for mobile handsets. To old radio guys like me, this brought back memories of the first integrated CMOS transceivers for mobile handsets. Back in the early 1980s, with AMPS cellular systems, the handset used discrete components in the transceiver. By the 1990s, when 2G systems were starting to ramp up, Qualcomm and other baseband modem suppliers suggested a migration to CMOS transceivers.
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Gina Bonini

Tek Talk

Gina Bonini is a worldwide technical marketing manager for Tektronix. She has worked extensively in various test and measurement positions for over 15 years, including product planning, product marketing, and business and market development. She holds a BSChE from the University of California, Berkeley and a MSEE from Stanford University.  She along with other experts from Tektronix blog about various T&M subjects.

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Practical test needs trump instrument silos

October 29, 2012

Justin PanzerWireless communications industry veteran Justin Panzer brings his insights to this edition of the Tek Talk blog. He has more than 19 years of industry experience, including 10 years in test and measurement working on everything from commercial handset testing to mil/gov RF. He is currently business development director for the Sources & Analyzers Product Line at Tektronix. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Drexel University and an MBA from Auburn University.

Ubiquity of wireless communications is adding an RF component to electronics designs that haven’t historically been wireless enabled. More complex chip, board and embedded systems designs that incorporate communications technologies into everything from PCs to automobiles are changing the impact of RF on the world's R&D engineers. Designers today need the tools to get the most out of unfamiliar technologies.


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The Diagnostic Powers of Test

September 22, 2012

HendrenBrian Hendren, Senior RF and Microwave Applications Engineer, Tektronix Component Solutions takes over the Tek Talk blog and discusses prototyping for success:

In this day and age manufacturers are trying to drive costs out of every aspect of the production flow, and RF and microwave is no exception.  That means that every process step gets closely scrutinized. Specifically,“test” is one of the operations constantly under evaluation to understand the bare minimum needed to verify performance.  That approach is understandable because test is likely one of the most time consuming steps in the production flow, particularly when you include system set up time.  


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Prototyping for Success

August 15, 2012

HendrenBrian Hendren, Senior RF and Microwave Applications Engineer, Tektronix Component Solutions takes over the Tek Talk blog and discusses prototyping for success:

The prototype phase plays a critical role in the development of advanced RF/microwave components and assemblies.  For design and process engineers, this phase is all about learning how the part performs and gaining insight for building the final product. Like many things in life, work and business, good communication is paramount to success, and it is critical that the design and process engineering teams work cohesively to capitalize on the opportunities for learning that prototyping provides.


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JW_blog

Judy Warner

Judy Warner is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing for Transline Technology, Inc. in Anaheim, CA. Judy has been in the Printed Circuit Board industry for nearly two decades. Her career began with Details, Inc. (later to become DDi). She was a Top-Producing Sales Professional for 10 years for Electroetch Circuits (later to become Tyco, then TTM). She has also spent several years as an Independent Sales Representative including time as the owner of her own Rep firm, Outsource Solutions.

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“Less” is the New “More”

March 6, 2014
It seems like, wherever we turn, we are all wearing more hats while being expected to produce more, faster, with less money and resources. Whether a sign of the economic times or an evolving marketplace “Less” is the new “More.”
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Respect the PCB

A very belated part three!
January 6, 2014

My, how time flies! I can hardly believe my last blog post was at the end of August 2013, and now here we are in 2014! Regardless, I want to keep my word and finish up the three-part blog series I set out to complete. So, here I am hat-in-hand, to do just that. I want to explore what challenges lie ahead for the RF/MW and high performance PCB. Only one problem, I'm only partially qualified to cover this subject!


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R-E-S-P-E-C-T the PCB

Part 2
August 28, 2013
Second part of RESPECT the PCB - covering costs and pricing
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Sherry Hess

AWR Expert Blog

Sherry Hess is vice president of marketing at AWR, bringing with her more than 15 years of EDA experience in domestic and international sales, marketing, support, and managerial expertise. For the majority of her career Sherry served in various positions at Ansoft Corporation including director of European operations and later as vice president of marketing. Before joining Ansoft, Sherry spent two years with Intel Corporation, where she worked in the ASIC Group and developed relationships with companies such as Bell Northern Research and Northern Telecom. Sherry holds a BSEE and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. www.awrcorp.com.

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Microwave & RF Engineers…Communication is Key!

May 1, 2013

I recently agreed to co-chair the IEEE MTT-S Women in Engineering (WIE) / Women in Microwaves (WIM) organization. I have long been an advocate for advancing the cause of women in the world of RF and microwave engineering, actually back to my college days at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) when I was one of only eight women in my EE graduating class of 110. Things have not improved much since then with women representing only 10 percent of the engineers in the U.S. today. Asia and Europe fair far better with approximately 40 percent and 20 percent respectively.


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Shock and Ah

February 18, 2013

Khan Academy- I’m a fan

November 30, 2012

A few months ago, I heard a news program on NPR about the Khan Academyand how it was started accidentally by Mr. Khan to help his niece with her math homework. Since he lived far away from her, he captured his helpful hints via YouTube and shared via the Internet. One thing led to another and now Khan has found himself the creator of something big.


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RFLeonard_blog

RF Leonard Pelletier

Leonard Pelletier is the Application Support Manager for Freescale RF in Tempe, AZ and is in charge of providing technical assistance to the amplifier design community. He has been with the company since 1995 working in this position supporting any and all RF applications. Prior to his work with RF components, Mr. Pelletier held amplifier design engineering positions with both the Motorola Cellular Infrastructure Group in Arlington Heights, IL and the Motorola RF Products Division in Torrance, CA.

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Why would anyone bolt-down mount an RF device?

January 27, 2011
As a member of an application-support team, we regularly write and rewrite several application notes dealing with how to mount the RF transistors for maximum RF performance. Through history, application notes such as AN1040, AN1041, AN1617, AN1673, AN1674, AN1907, AN1918, AN1923, and the latest versions of AN1949, AN3263 and AN3789, all deal with recommendations for device mounting.
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The Most Common High Power RF Design Error

January 6, 2011
Here in the Freescale Application Support Department, we get lots of calls from RF design engineers, who are in a desperate, crises mode. They have created a design using the best simulation tools possible and after having just built up their first prototype units, they are having some sort RF performance issues of varying degrees. Sometimes it is poor RF performance numbers not in line with the data sheet, sometime it is spurious oscillations, or shifting RF performance numbers with temperature or maybe even, in extreme cases, total device failures.
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Three little known facts about the high-power RF products market

January 6, 2011
Most people working in the high power RF design arena think that they know a fair amount about high power RF products and the devices that comprise that market space. I am here to tell you that there are three relatively interesting and unknown facts about the high power RF product market that the consumers generally do not comprehend.
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Agilent icon

Agilent: expert to expert

A collective blog from the experts in measurement and design, discussing the latest tools for circuit-level modeling through system verification for General RF/uW, 4G Communications, and Aerospace/Defense applications. Learn about these applications and the EDA simulation software, test and measurement equipment and techniques behind state-of-the-art RF, microwave and high speed design.

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Adapting for Success with Firm-Fixed-Price Contracts

August 22, 2013

DuaneWith over 25 years of new product introduction, manufacturing and support experience, Duane Lowenstein, Business Development Manager, Americas
Agilent Technologies, has assisted many Fortune 500 companies in improving their business results by assisting in the implementation of leading-edge operations theory and processes improvements using Agilent’s hardware, software and solutions. 

Currently Duane is engaging with customers to deliver Manufacturing Process Consulting (MPC), Test Process Consulting (TPA), Instrument Migration Planning Services (IMPS), Cost of Test solutions (COT) and, Test simulation and Diagnostic Software (FD). His experience has spanned many industries including computer, wireless, automotive, aerospace and defense, as well as commercial electronics. His focus on measurable results has led customers to dramatic reductions in the cost of test, test time, reduction in work- in-progress and increasing yields while growing the Agilent presence in the account.


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Bucking Conventional Wisdom to Boost Quality and Reliability

March 12, 2013

eric_taylor_agilentEric Taylor is Vice President of Customer Experience and Quality at Agilent Technologies. He joined the company in 1992 at the former Colorado Springs Division. He held a variety of positions before being promoted to product support manager in the Electronic Measurements Division in 1997, where he worked on several cross-EMG processes, such as out-of-box defects. Over the next four years, he held several division marketing positions, including sales and business development manager for the Measurement Products Unit, and division marketing manager for the former Basic, Emerging, System Test (BEST) Division.


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A Few Thoughts While Traveling in China

October 10, 2012

Todd CutlerTodd Cutler is General Manager at Agilent Technologies’ EEsof  organization, responsible for worldwide Marketing, Services, and the ESL Business. Agilent’s  EEsof EDA is the industry leader in high-frequency design software. The division’s revenue places it in the top 5 EDA companies. 

During Todd’s 30-year career, he helped found the EDA division, which began in 1986 as the computer aided engineering group within Hewlett Packard’s Test and Measurement group. In 1998, Cutler later left H-P to be CEO of Eagleware Corporation, the EDA company that pioneered the affordable Genesys RF and microwave design software. In 2005, he joined Agilent Technologies following its acquisition of Eagleware. Todd earned a BEE from Georgia Tech and an MSEE from Stanford University.

 

Todd gives us a few of his thoughts as he travels in China.


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Chris Marki

Chris Marki

While at Marki Microwave, Christopher has served as Director of Research and has been responsible for the design and commercialization of many of Marki's fastest growing product lines including filters, couplers and power dividers.

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Into the wild blog yonder…

December 2, 2010
Ever since I began learning science and engineering at Duke, I was always struck with the sullen reminder that engineers are generally viewed by laymen as outcasts who know strange things and behave in even stranger ways. I’ve always hated this mischaracterization because I find, almost invariably, that scientifically minded people tend to be some of the most amazingly well rounded and talented people I know. I began writing this blog to dispel some of this bad press and to provide some “engineering-centric” content along the way. Ultimately, my goal was to provide a forum where real engineers could express their thoughts about both absurd and important scientific issues, free of the pressures of selling products and services.
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Who’s better: Tom Brady or Steve Jobs?

September 16, 2010
During the World Cup, I wrote a blog entry about technology in football (i.e. soccer). Owing to the popularity of that light-hearted techno-babble and the excitement surrounding the start of the NFL regular season, I have decided to write another (silly) article about another (fruitless) pastime of mine: fantasy football. I have done a lot of thinking about fantasy football (for those of you unfamiliar, fantasy football is detailed here), and my conclusion is that it is a superior waste of time.
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A Case Against Patents

August 25, 2010
People often ask me how many patents Marki Microwave owns. The answer: zero. “What? But you’re a technology company, how can this be? Aren’t you worried that someone is going to steal your idea?” Well, not really, and I will try to explain the logic behind this position. Some will read this and disagree, I have no doubt. I actually think patents do have important benefits given the right set of circumstances, but I think for small tech companies like Marki Microwave, patents do not provide as many benefits as is often assumed. I believe it is false to assume that a good idea should always be patented, here’s why…
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