Here’s the news that caught my attention last week:
Companies and Products
Altair released Hyperworks 2017, enhancing their EM simulation, propagation modeling and radio network planning tools.
Custom MMIC published a white paper on how phase noise limits the performance of radar and communications systems.
GigPeak announced a quad-channel, 64 GBd linear modulator driver for 400G/600G optical networks. It supports the CFP2-ACO (analog coherent optics) pluggable optical transceiver form factor.
Guerrilla RF raised $2.8 million in a Series D funding round, representing both equity and debt. The company will use the investment to add staff and expand their facility.
To gain a stronger position in the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) market, Intel is paying $15 billion to acquire Mobileye, a leader in ADAS vision sensors.
Nokia announced the mobile networks group will split into separate products and services groups, triggering various management changes. The new organization becomes effective April 1.
In a move to strengthen its position in ADAS, ON Semiconductor is acquiring IBM's millimeter wave technology and R&D team based in Haifa, Israel. The technology and group will focus on automotive radar, which will complement ON Semi’s imaging technologies.
Pasternack released an off-the-shelf 60 GHz transmit module comprising a SiGe-based frequency synthesizer and power amplifier. It covers the unlicensed 57.0 to 64.8 GHz band and supports the IEEE 802.11ad and 802.11aj protocols, with +12 dBm output at 1 dB compression, 38 dB gain, −111 dBc/Hz phase noise at 10 MHz offset and 34 dB image rejection.
Peregrine Semiconductor recruited Stefan Wolff to be CEO and promoted Dylan Kelly to the role of COO. Jim Cable, former CEO, moved to the role of chairman, CTO and R&D director of parent Murata. Previously, Wolff was VP and GM of Intel’s mobile communications business in Munich, and Kelly led Peregrine’s mobile wireless segment.
Targeting the growing data center market, Qorvo announced three drivers and two TIAs designed for the PAM4 optical networking standard. The drivers are in production, and the TIAs will be available for sampling in April.
Rohde & Schwarz released a family of entry-level oscilloscopes, the RTB2000 series, with 70, 100, 200 and 300 MHz bandwidth options. R&S says these are the first low-cost oscilloscope that have touchscreen operation and 10-bit vertical resolution.
SpaceX launched the Echostar XXIII Ku-Band broadcast communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit. Adding to the momentum, the U.S. Air Force awarded SpaceX a $96.5 million contract to launch a GPS satellite into orbit, the second GPS contract for SpaceX. SpaceX beat United Launch Alliance, a Boeing and Lockheed Martin partnership.
Combined January-February revenue for WIN Semiconductors was NT$2089 million — approximately $68.4 million — which was 3.9 percent below the prior year’s start.
Markets and Technology
Cellular and 5G — ABI Research forecasts that the number of LTE subscribers will grow from approximately 2 billion today to greater than 4 billion in 2022, over half of the world's population.
Backed by 47 companies, the 3GPP voted to accelerate 5G development by adding a milestone for a non-standalone (NSA) new radio (NR) mode for the enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) use case. An intermediate version of the standard that can be fielded will be ready by March 2018.
Broadband — AT&T is evaluating five approaches for providing “last mile” broadband access, according to John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer.
Farhad Manjoo and Cecilia Kang, tech reporters for “The New York Times,” discussed signs of change at the FCC under new chairman Ajit Pai.
Autonomous Vehicles — California released a draft regulation for autonomous vehicles that will allow car manufacturers to “self-certify” that their vehicles are safe for autonomous operation. Finalizing the regulation will follow a 45-day public comment period that began March 10 and a public hearing in late April.
Defense — As North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile technology advances, the U.S. is positioning anti-missile systems to protect South Korea, Japan and, ultimately, the U.S. However, these anti-missile systems may start an arms race with China and Russia. Read a thorough analysis by Patrick Tucker, published in Defense One.
Bryan Goldstein of Analog Devices writes how semiconductor companies can enable the next generation of defense systems.
Last Word — Is the microwave spying on you? Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, says “that is just a fact of modern life” that microwaves can turn into cameras.