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Pat Hindle, MWJ Editor

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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.

Microwaves Could Enable Solar Energy Harvesting in Space

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has announced they're expanding their solar interest far beyond California and into outer space. The San Francisco based utility plans on purchasing 200 MW of electricity from Solaren Corp., a start-up that is trying to produce solar power in space. Solaren plans to deploy solar panels in space that would collect the sun's energy and transfer it via microwaves back to a collecting station on Earth. Then the energy would be converted to electricity and feed into the grid. The microwave frequency would be one that is least absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere. People...
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Handset Market Not Hit As Hard As Expected

According to ABI Research, consumers did not cut back too much in purchasing handsets during the first quarter of 2009 which is good news. Handset vendors shipped 258 million handsets by the end of the quarter which represents an 11% year-over-year decline. This significantly exceeded the previous forecast of 253.5 million. ABI has introduced a note of mild optimism in its handset forecasts for YE-2009, revising them from -8.4% to -8%. Samsung and LG demonstrated healthy gains to take their market shares to 17.8% and 8.8%, respectively. Another star performer was RIM which raised its share to 3.0% due largely...
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MWJ April Issue is Out - Let the Battle Begin

Our April issue themed "Amplifiers and Oscillators" just came out with the lead story about the advantages and disadvantages of Si versus GaAs based semiconductor technologies for power amplifier applications (the discussion is contained to lower power levels, There is no doubt that GaAs is usually better suited for higher power applications but in the high power realm, LDMOS (at lower frequencies) and GaN have made significant inroads into the market. So it seems GaAs is always getting squeezed in the market with competition on both ends. We will address this high power market in our June issue lead story...
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GaAs Downturn Predicted to Not Be as Severe as 2001

Strategy Analytics issued a report “ GaAs Industry Downturns 2001 vs. 2009," where the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Technologies service reiterated previous projections of a 5% - 6% drop in GaAs industry revenues for 2009, and explains why the current downturn will not be as extreme for the GaAs industry as in 2001. As SA said previously, the GaAs industry hit a wall in the last quarter of 2008. The effects of a global economic slowdown finally caught up with the handset market—and other end markets—in which GaAs technology is used. However, Strategy Analytics believes that the expanding demand...
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Broadband Stimulus Funds

One hot topic at CTIA and certainly in the broadband market is the pending stimulus money that will become available from the federal government by Sept 2010. The amount to be allocated to broadband projects is $7.2 billion which is a large sum but after it is broken down in projects, it might not look so large. There has to be at least one grant per state (plus DC and some territories) and 75% must go to rural projects so that is where the emphasis will be for providers. They are encouraging people to team up to take a more...
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CTIA Keynote Close Out

Steve Largent kicked off the final keynote with some highlights of the show such as Blackberry launching their apps store, the merging of wireless and medical applications and a few new product launches from the big carriers. He showed a video of how the industry is recycling and leading in "green" efforts. Largent then introduced the final speaker, the honorable Al Gore. Gore reviewed the history of information distribution and how it has affected the balance of power from the few to the many. He stated there were only 50 web sites online about the time Clinton and he...
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Having Some Fun at CTIA

The PowerWave booth is always huge stretching across the middle of the main exhibition hall. This year they have a formula one race car simulator that is very realistic. You provide them with a little information and then get your ride. I have not come across any other interactive displays yet other than presentations and music. After a long day at the show, we decided to stay in the Mirage and have a "little" sandwich at Carnegie's. Then came the turkey club that was about a foot high and the pastrami that has a full 2 pounds of meat....
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A-GPS Big at CTIA

GPS is being commonly added to smart phones for location based information and services. However, GPS in these phones is not always that accurate and can have slow response times. Assisted GPS (A-GPS) will solve these problems with help from the cell towers to complement the internal GPS information being gathered by the phone. It is a hot topic at CTIA and companies are releasing test solutions to meet the needs of deploying them. Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced GS-9000 A-GPS Design Verification Test systems designed around the 8960 wireless communications test set's new A-GPS assistance data messaging test capabilities. The...
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CTIA Central Hall

So each year I like to give out my own best booth award to the glamorous handset companies that go all out for CTIA . I think it usually comes down to LG and Samsung . Last year I liked the LG booth the best and although it was great this year, Samsung gets the award for the intriguing display pictured here. It is made up of individual cell phone images which constantly change. The central hall was very busy in the afternoon and I enjoy going to the Asian country pavilions which each have several microwave component companies....
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RF/Microwave Pavilion Opens at CTIA

The RF and Microwave Pavilion opened at CTIA today and the reception was strong. The Pavilion is located in the South hall toward the front on the main isle so traffic was good. I visited all of the booths today in the pavilion and will have a complete wrap up in a few days after I return. But the most interesting product so far is the Peregrine UltraCMOS products. They are making products that are solving many of the high power, high linearity and fast switching times needed for multi-throw switches, digital attenuators and tunable circuits. Included is a...
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