The dust has settled on the final rush for turning in materials before the submission deadline for the peer-reviewed technical program at EDI CON 2014, to be held this April in Beijing, China. With an emphasis on high frequency and high-speed electronic design, this year’s crop of papers reflects many industry trends that define the state-of-the-art in RF, microwave and high-speed digital design, measurement, simulation and components. The focus of this industry-driven event is to educate attendees on the latest techniques, tools and devices available to help engineers achieve their goals, whether that is to optimize their amplifier’s linearity and efficiency, improve the dynamic range of their receiver chain or address any number of electronic design challenges. In addition, the conference will examine evolving technology in the context of those communication systems driving development and investment.

China’s size and rapid economic growth left little doubt that it would become the world’s largest mobile market. Despite a downturn in the Chinese mobile infrastructure in the first half of 2013, Infonetics Research reported a strong overall market for hardware thanks to China Mobile’s massive TD-LTE rollout of 20,000 base stations and the Chinese government’s awarding of 4G licenses. As elsewhere, high-speed data is driving the growth of the mobile business and radio spectrum is a finite resource in great demand. As a result, several talks in the system track will consider spectrum management and radio monitoring, addressing topics such as opportunistic spectrum access, interference control and mitigation techniques, and spectrum efficiency. Experts will discuss detection, location and analysis of radio signals, signal intelligence and analysis, receivers and antenna technologies. Further LTE related topics will include carrier aggregation, CoMP, MIMO and over-the-air testing.

In addition to system level testing, papers submitted to the measurement and modeling track cover a range of topics specific to device and material characterization and design verification as well as the test and simulation techniques that ensure accurate results. Device modeling via measurement or EM simulation is a critical part of the design process and experts from leading test equipment and software vendors will cover a host of these modeling challenges from characterizing device nonlinear behavior to studying materials in the free-space mm-wave and THz-regions.

Integrated circuits and semiconductor technology are critical to the overall performance of electronic systems, whether the application is for mobile communications, radar or satellite navigation.  The design track reflects the industry’s focus on recent advances in design technology with an emphasis on specific components such as filters and power amplifiers. Doherty and class F PA architectures along with techniques such as digital pre-distortion and envelope tracking that are garnering so much industry attention at the moment will be among the hot topics presented in the field of power amplifier design.  Presentations focused on semiconductor devices from GaN, CMOS and RF SOI technologies were equally popular among submitting authors. Related papers will look at thermal heat-sinking materials and techniques in support of high-power transistors. In addition to talks on amplifier technology, submitted design papers focus on filters, antennas, sources (VCOs/PLLs), receivers and data converters.

Success as an engineer requires ongoing skill development throughout one’s career. The Journal supports this effort with our publication each month and we are pleased to once again help organize an event where working engineers can learn from experts and share their knowledge with colleagues face to face. The papers submitted to each of the four main EDI CON technical tracks (Design, Measurement/Modeling, System Engineering and Commercial Resources) are a faithful representation of the design methods, semiconductor technology and engineering tools that defines where we are in 2014 and establishes our foundation on which to build the future.