The IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium (IMS) returns to Honolulu, Hawaii this year taking place June 4-9 at the Hawaii Convention Center. It last visited the city in 2007 and celebrates its 60th year in 2017. It is the largest annual gathering of the RF and microwave industry consisting of a full week of events, including technical paper presentations, workshops, tutorials and commercial exhibition as well as numerous social events and networking opportunities. IMS is part of the larger Microwave Week, which includes the Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit Symposium (RFIC) and the Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group Conference (ARFTG) and new this year, the IEEE 5G Summit. Microwave Journal has gathered a complete preview of the week’s events from conference overviews to special events to products featured in the exhibition from many of the major exhibitors.

Honolulu is Hawaii’s largest city and is similar to any major metropolitan area but add to that nearby rainforests, canyons, waterfalls, mountains and beautiful beaches; then you have a unique city. Waikiki is an urban beach with over 170 high-rise hotels, hundreds of bars and restaurants, crowded streets and constant action. Ala Moana is known for its famous shopping mall and beach. The mall has over 290 stores, 70 dining options and attracts over 42 million visitors a year. Manoa Valley was one of the first areas inhabited by non-native settlers. It contains vintage houses, botanical gardens, Manoa Falls and the University of Hawaii at Manoa where more than 18,000 students attend the main campus. Of course, there is Pearl Harbor with its famous memorial and visitor’s center.

Dr. Wayne Shiroma, IMS2017 General Chair

IMS2017 Preview
Dr. Wayne Shiroma,
IMS2017 General Chair

Aloha! IMS2017 has six consecutive days of the latest developments in RF/microwave technology and applications in the form of workshops, short courses, plenary session, technical sessions, interactive forums, panel sessions and other formats. Plus it has various receptions, awards ceremonies and company-sponsored events where attendees can interact and network outside of the exhibition or technical program. The exhibition will feature more than 400 companies covering a wide variety of products from devices to components to software and test equipment.

The IMS2017 Steering Committee has added several new initiatives to enhance the experience during Microwave Week:

  • A joint MTT-S/ComSoc-sponsored IEEE 5G Summit featuring two half-day programs beginning on Monday, followed by a 5G Executive Forum on Tuesday.
  • Dedicated Exhibit Hours on Wednesday to ensure that even the most die-hard technical attendees have an opportunity to visit the show floor.
  • Exhibitor Workshops that offer exhibitors an opportunity to provide hands-on, practical training in areas.
  • The first-ever IMS Hackathon–a fast-paced competition where participants use basic microwave theory and design techniques to build a simple device on the fly, without using any CAD software or tools other than a calculator and internet references.
  • The inaugural Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®), in which student and young professional finalists who have had a paper accepted to IMS give a non-specialist, three-minute presentation aided only by a single static slide. 

In addition to these new initiatives, there is an array of activities highlighting several focus groups.

Young Professionals in Microwaves aims to encourage and engage the next generation of microwave professionals in the IEEE. This year they are hosting an interactive panel and networking event. Enjoy drinks, food and lively conversation between attendees and panelists who will be sharing some of their personal experiences and tips for being a microwave professional.

Women in Microwaves (WIM) is coordinating three events this year: a panel session, a special technical session and a networking event. The WIM panel session will be open for the first time to our STEM participants, to encourage young women interested in engineering. A social and networking event will occur after the panel session and offers a chance to meet with the panelists as well as other WIM. IMS2017 also debuts a special technical session called “Women in Defense,” showcasing the work of leading women microwave engineers in the defense field.

The STEM program introduces a diverse and highly motivated group of middle and high school students and teachers to the world of professional microwave engineering. Students participate in a structured agenda of STEM experiences with members of the microwave community designed to further encourage interest and engagement in STEM subjects and careers.

The Project Connect program provides outreach to underrepresented minority groups in the microwave field. Approximately 30 undergraduate and graduate student applicants attend IMS2017 through a travel grant and participate in a three-day agenda designed to expose them to the microwave engineering community and current research and industry.

For newcomers, try the RF Boot Camp, a one day course ideal for beginners in the microwave world and the workshop, “From Bits to Waves: Building a Modern Digital Radio in 1 Day,” a fun and interactive short course where participants learn the basic theory of modern digital radios as well as the RF circuits and systems used to build them.

Whether you are an IMS veteran or a first-time attendee, IMS2017 invites you to Catch the Wave and experience what’s new at IMS2017!

Kevin W. Kobayashi, General Chair; Walid Ali-Ahmad and Stefano Pellerano, Technical Program Co-Chairs

2017 RFIC Symposium
Kevin W. Kobayashi, General Chair;
Walid Ali-Ahmad and Stefano Pellerano,
Technical Program Co-Chairs

The 2017 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC 2017) is the premier integrated circuit (IC) design conference focused exclusively on the latest advances in RF, microwave and millimeter-wave IC technologies and designs, as well as innovations in high-frequency analog/mixed-signal ICs and will be held on June 4-6. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with world experts, expand their network and leave invigorated with new ideas and a drive to innovate.

RFIC 2017 will continue to offer a number of initiatives: The 2-page industry brief format, allowing the latest state-of-the-art RF IC design results to be presented without requiring die photos and detailed schematics, will continue in 2017. The popular Industry Showcase Session, featuring poster presentations (and optional demos) of the most innovative and highly-rated industrial papers (both 2- and 4-page), will be the highlight during the RFIC Reception on the evening of Sunday, June 4, 2017. The Interactive Forum (IF) Session will continue to be held jointly with the Industry Showcase during the RFIC Reception, and will offer the attendees an enhanced interactive technical experience in a relaxed environment. Short 1-minute video highlights of each industry showcase and interactive forum poster presentation will be featured on and posted on the RFIC website after the conference, providing authors and their affiliations publicity for their work.

The 2017 RFIC Symposium will begin on Sunday with 16 RFIC focused workshops (10 full-day and six half-day) held at the Convention Center. In addition, there will be several joint RFIC/IMS workshops on Sunday and Monday. These workshops cover a wide range of advanced topics in RFIC technology and IC design, including 5G systems and beyond.

The Plenary Session will be held on Sunday evening at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel, the IMS headquarters, after a full day of workshops that take place at the Hawaii Convention Center.  Shuttle buses will be ready to promptly take RFIC workshop participants from the Convention Center to the RFIC Plenary session at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel.  The Plenary Session will begin with conference highlights, followed by presentation of the Best Student Paper Awards sponsored by TSMC and the Industry Best Paper Award.

The plenary session will conclude with two outstanding keynote talks focused on 5G, beginning with Dr. Seizo Onoe, CTO and EVP of NTT Docomo who will enlighten us on the “Deployment Realities of 5G.“ In this talk, Dr. Seizo Onoe will discuss 5G technologies, the timelines, lessons learned from past generations and experimental trials and their latest results.

The second plenary talk will be given by the Wireless Communications Industry Chair Professor at UCSD and National Academy of Engineering member, Prof. Gabriel Rebeiz, who will share his vision on “RFIC/Silicon-based Phased Arrays and Transceivers for 5G.” Prof. Rebeiz will present the progression of phased-array systems from defense-oriented applications to becoming the cornerstone of commercial 5G systems, and the role of silicon RFICs and advanced packaging in the deployment of these 5G systems.

Immediately following the plenary session will be the RFIC “Interactive” Reception that will highlight the Industry Showcase and Interactive Forum papers in an engaging social and technical evening event supported by this year’s RFIC Symposium corporate sponsors (SMIC, MaxLinear, Qorvo, TSMC, ADI, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Qualcomm, TowerJazz, Cadence, Skyworks). 

On Monday and Tuesday, RFIC will have multiple tracks of oral technical paper sessions. Keeping with the 5G plenary theme, Monday morning will feature 5G focused technical sessions. Two entertaining panels will be featured during lunchtime on both days. The Monday panel session, moderated by Brian Floyd and Oren Eliezer, is titled “5th Generation Wireless–Where is that going and what’s in it for me?” The Tuesday panel session will be a gameshow-quiz titled “Who Wants to be a Millimeterwavionaire?” Two teams of contestants, including preselected and randomly selected contestants from the audience, will compete in answering questions on RF and microwave theory and history, including IMS/RFIC conference trivia.  Be ready to answer questions like “Who really invented the Smith Chart?” and “What is WIM?” Prizes will be awarded to the contestants, as well as to others in the audience who may be called upon for answers.

On behalf of the RFIC Steering and Executive Committees, we welcome you to join us at the 2017 RFIC Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii!

Peter H. Aaen, ARFTG Chair

2017 ARFTG Conference
Peter H. Aaen,

The theme for this year’s conference is “Advanced Technologies for Communications” and the ARFTG conference will highlight the following key topics:

  • 5G communications and beyond 
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Nanomaterials for communications

as well as contributions in other areas of RF, microwave and millimeter wave measurement techniques and technologies, such as wide bandwidth measurements, nonlinear systems and power amplifier measurements and modeling, calibration techniques, de-embedding and more.

The environment at the conference is informal and friendly. There are technical sessions and invited speakers, an exhibition of instrument and equipment vendors, a poster session and an awards luncheon. The oral technical sessions at ARFTG conferences are conducted in a single-track style, with papers on topical subjects that are both theoretical and practical, address both end-user and manufacturer and cover both modeling and measurement. Authors may present their work as poster papers in the open forum that jointly runs with the vendor exhibition.

One of the most stimulating parts of the ARFTG experience is the opportunity to directly interact on a one-to-one basis with colleagues, experts and vendors in the RF/microwave test and measurement community. Networking is a key feature of ARFTG’s conference, with ample breaks to allow attendees to view the posters, meet the vendors and discuss their new products and measurement solutions, as well as meet up with old friends and new colleagues.  Attendees will always come away with something—maybe some new ideas to help with current projects, some new technical contacts to use in the future or some answers to your tough questions.

What is ARFTG?

ARFTG is the “Automated RF Techniques Group.” It is a technical organization interested in all aspects of RF and microwave test and measurement. ARFTG was originally set up in 1972 to help end-users get the most from the latest generation of test and measurement equipment; at the time, this was predominantly the vector network analyzer or VNA: a completely new instrument class. As the high frequency measurement industry has continued to evolve, so has ARFTG, and it now covers the measurement space from kHz to THz, nonlinear or large signal network analyzers, signal analyzers, mixed-signal domains, signal integrity and much more. ARFTG now has more than 900 members worldwide.

ARFTG’s core mission is education, and it achieves this by hosting conferences, workshops and training courses covering a wide range of topics in RF, microwave and millimeter wave measurement, and by awarding research fellowships for graduate students and sponsorships to enable students to attend.

5G Summit

The IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) in partnership with the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) have joined forces to offer a special 5G Summit this year on June 5-6 at IMS2017. The summit will feature industry experts representing both the hardware/systems and networking/services aspects for the upcoming 5G standard.

The 5G Summit will feature a keynote presentation from Flavio Bonomi, founder and CEO of Nebbiolo Technologies, and Professor (Emeritus) Arogyaswami Paulraj of Stanford University. Bonomi will provide an overview of 5G and show the relationship between fog computing and networking as a key enabler of the technology, whereas Prof. Arogyaswami will focus on the latest research in massive MIMO. 

For an insider’s view of 5G, the Summit includes the 5G Executive Forum, a two-hour session with executive leaders in the field that will be open to all conference attendees—concluding with a networking reception. Speakers include:

  • Dr. Sanyogita Shamsunder, Exec Director 5G Strategy/EcoSystem, Verizon
  • Dr. Vida Ilderem, Vice President of Intel Labs and Director of Wireless Communication Research
  • Dr. Bami Bastani, Senior Vice President for the RF Business Unit at GLOBALFOUNDRIES
  • Dr. Michael Stewart, CEO and a Co-Founder of Escape Communications Inc.
  • Dr. Khurram P. Sheikh, CEO of Kwikbit 
  • Dr. Mark Pierpoint, Vice President and General Manager of the Internet Infrastructure Solutions Group at Keysight Technologies Inc.

IMS2017 MicroApps

The Microwave Applications Seminars (MicroApps) will take center stage at the 2017 International Microwave Symposium (IMS) Exhibition on Tuesday, June 6 through Thursday, June 9 during the IMS Exhibition. MicroApps seminars are 20 minute technical presentations presented by IMS exhibitors, addressing commercial microwave technologies that are of interest to the microwave community.

The program will include more than 42 presentations from categories that include components, materials, CAD/simulation, design and test and measurement.  In addition, MicroApps will feature three keynote talks and a panel discussion session, by microwave industry leaders.  One of the feature panel sessions is organized by Microwave Journal on “The Future of RF Semiconductor Test,” taking place on Wednesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m. This panel will be made up of test and measurement and semiconductor experts covering topics like on-wafer mmWave testing, low power/low cost approaches for IoT testing, RFFE module testing challenges and OTA testing; and how they will play in the future of semiconductor testing. The panelists include:

  • Steve Reyes, VNA Product Manager, Anritsu
  •  Jason White, Director of Marketing, RF & Wireless Test, National Instruments 
  • Chris Scholz, North American Product Manager for VNAs, R&S
  • Greg Peters, VP and GM, Aerospace/Defense/Government Solutions, Keysight
  • Brad Nelson, Director of Engineering RF Components and Sources, Qorvo
  • Rene Rodriguez, Senior Antenna Engineer, Skyworks

The complete, up-to-date MicroApps schedule is available in the IMS Program Book or online. In addition, posters placed near the MicroApps Theater will display the complete schedule during the Exhibition.  MicroApps give IMS Exhibition attendees an ideal opportunity to see the latest products, services and technologies at the world’s largest microwave exhibition.  The MicroApps Theater will be in a prominent and very easy to find location at booth 1946 in the Exhibition Hall.

We invite you to visit the MicroApps Theater during IMS2017 to see the latest in microwave products and technology, in a dynamic live setting, right on the exhibition floor and “Catch the 5G Wave at IMS2017.”