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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.

MILCOM 2011 Preview

As MILCOM 2011 celebrates the 30th anniversary of their premier international conference for military communications, Microwave Journal will be on site visiting with the RF and microwave companies that are exhibiting in Baltimore this week. MILCOM gathers the leading minds of government, military, industry and academia in an interactive forum to further explore, define and leverage the benefits networks bring to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. We will see how solutions are being developed for increasing capacity, enabling mobile comms and low cost, secure comms for every soldier. Last year we saw smartphones being quickly adapted to operate as rugged, secure...
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Nokia/Samsung Lead Handset Market - ZTE/LG Fight for 3rd

ABI reports that 3Q-2011 smartphone shipments grew 33% year-on-year to reach 28.8% shipment penetration of total handsets (381 M) shipped. Mediocre smartphone shipments from Apple, RIM and Nokia have stopped the hyper growth of the smartphone market according to Mike Morgan, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. Manufacturers are either getting rid of feature phones or re-inventing them for the emerging markets. Nokia achieved a remarkable turn-around through tactical pricing cuts that bounced its market share back up 24.6% to 28% in 2Q-2011. While it cleared out Nokia’s excess inventory and distribution channels, it also resulted in its average selling price...
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RF Module Winners in iPhone 4S

There are already teardowns of the iPhone 4S online, so let's look at the winners in the RF frontend section. Skyworks, TriQuint and Avago all have RF modules in the handset. All of the companies stock prices were up on the news last week. Below is a breakdown of the modules with a picture of the board containing the RF section. Qualcomm RTR8605 Multi-band/mode RF Transceiver. Chipworks has provided a die photo (orange) Skyworks 77464-20 Load-Insensitive Power Amplifier (LIPA®) module developed for WCDMA applications (yellow) Avago ACPM-7181 Power Amplifier (green) TriQuint TQM9M9030 SAW filter (blue) TriQuint TQM66052 (possibly a PA-Duplexer...
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Microwaves in Manchester - EuMW 2011

Most of the MWJ editors and staff arrived in Manchester, UK on Sunday for the largest Microwave Conference and Exhibition in Europe, European Microwave Week. There are about 1400 delegates registered for the technical sessions this year and the content appears to be very good. I sat in on a few sessions ranging from emerging technology such as graphene FETs to more mature high efficiency GaN amplifiers. The exhibition started on Tues and were well attended even through Wed. The Manchester Central facility has a nice layout where all the sessions are very close to the exhibition floor and entrance...
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Tattoo Electronics Open Up Many Possibilities

It was recently announced that researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed “tattoo electronics”. These are wireless electronics so flexible and thin they can be applied to the skin and forgotten. According to the release, the high-performance epidermal electronic system mounts directly onto the skin with the ease, flexibility and comfort of a temporary tattoo. The system could be used for monitoring brain, heart and muscle tissue activity; wound measurement and treatment; biological and chemical sensing; computer gaming and covert communications. The challenge for Huang and his colleagues was to make the thickness...
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Avago and Skyworks Modules Show Up in Droid Bionic

I like to see the smartphone teardowns for the major new phone introductions to see who the RF/microwave winners are for the high visibility products that will represent significant volume. The latest (long anticipated) smartphone is the Motorola Droid Bionic with market leading specs in many areas. ABI Research (and a few others) have done teardowns and found some interesting findings. According to ABI Research vice president of engineering James Mielke , “Motorola has mixed some of the latest technology with quite a few components now considered the norm and a few that have not been seen in phones for...
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IBM to Publish 2 GHz Graphene IC at Upcoming Conference

IBM is set to publish a paper on a 2 GHz frequency doubler RF circuit in a CMOS-compatible manufacturing process technology at the upcoming International Electron Device Meeting, due to be held in Washington DC, Dec. 5 to 7 . IBM researchers will deliver a paper that is a significant step toward moving graphene from the lab into a manufacturable technology. It will detail how using a 200 mm wafer-scale CMOS-compatible fabrication process can be used to make high-performance graphene FETs and RF passives. A major obstacle with graphene is the difficulty of building a gate dielectric (insulating layer)...
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New RFIC Greatly Mitigates LightSquared LTE Interference with GPS

There has been a lot in the news the last few months about LightSquared's proposed new broadband LTE network which is close in frequency to the GPS band and could cause interference in critical areas of navigation systems. LightSquared is seeking FCC approval for 40,000 basestations to support 260 million users across the country establishing a new LTE network. They were approved in Jan 2011 but recent tests have indicated that signals from the network could interfere (jam) nearby GPS receivers so the FCC has said they cannot launch their network until the problems are resolved. LightSquared has indicated they...
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How I developed the Sixth (or Twelfth) Wavelength Transformer

The following article was sent to us by Peter (B) Bramham, inventor of the sixth wavelength transformer (I never knew that in his first publication he was mistakenly listed as B. Bramaham so it has taken many years for people to realize it). There have been various references in the last few years to a method of matching transmission lines, variously called the “alternated-line” and “twelfth-wave” and “Bramham’s” transformer. This is shown in the Figure below. It is usually compared with the quarter-wave stepped matching section and the half-wave taper, over which it has several advantages. It is shorter...
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RFID Enables Self Serve Draft Beer

My new favorite wireless product - self serve draft beer enabled by RFID technology. Coming soon to a bar near you, self service drafts using an RFID card, computer screen or maybe even your smartphone. According to their website , DraftMagik™ is the first hosted service of its kind to manage and deliver draft beer to the Point-of-Pour™ while also providing an interactive patron experience. The beer can be poured in full-service fashion by the bartender (behind the bar) or in a “pour your own beer” mode by age-verified patrons (in front of the bar at a table or...
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