Martin Luther King Day - There’s something about waking up to single digit temperatures in the Northeast that makes a trip down to Orlando, Florida for the 2008 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (RWS) seem like a wise move. While inching the mercury up by 60 plus degrees is a welcome break for those of us hunkered down in the north, attendees to RWS from all over also benefited from a very full technical program with presentations by leading engineers in radio and wireless techniques. This year's RWS incorporated the WAMICON show. The location, pleasant temperatures, technical program and combined conferences may account for the record number of pre-show registrants, which at over 600 was 15 percent above the previous year’s show, according to General Co-Chair, Richard Abrahams of Harris GCSD. This year’s platinum sponsors were Mini-circuits and RFMD.

The IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (RWS) incorporating WAMICON conference, is organized and sponsored by the Microwave Theory and Techniques, the Communication, and the Antennas and Propagation societies all of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) and is the centerpiece of the radio and wireless week. RWS has always focused on the intersection between radio systems and wireless technology, which creates a unique forum for engineers to discuss various aspects of wireless systems and the state-of-the-art in both fields by exploring the connections between hardware design and system performance. General Chair, Aly E. Fathy, University of Tennessee offered the following invitation to those attending the conference -

“This year, we continue this tradition with an expanded program offering the latest information on our traditional subjects of wireless communications, wireless networking, and their associated enabling technologies. In addition, we have added several subjects to our technical program: radio on fiber and optical techniques for UWB communications, software defined radio/cognitive radio, and seamless mobility and all-IP mobile networks. We have received over 437 papers in our regular submission and 40 “Late News” papers discussing the latest on all aspects of radio and wireless communication. We plan to have 28 technical sessions, and only one poster session this year. To accommodate the expanded technical program, three-parallel sessions format will be followed at all three RWS symposium days with a combination of invited (30 minutes), long (20 minutes), and short (10 minutes) technical papers. A number of papers that require much longer time to discuss finer points of the presented papers are categorized under interactive poster session. No other parallel sessions are to be held during this two hours time period on Wednesday 23 January 2008.

In addition to our technical program, we have expanded the workshop offerings to include 6 workshops on Sunday and Monday and 2 short courses on Friday. The topics are reflective of those in the technical sessions, but will be presented in an informal format, offering increased opportunities for exchange between the speakers and audience. The Keynote Address, by Jerry D. Neal, RF Micro Devices, will discuss the history of wireless technology in the last 100 years with emphasis on IC, which has significantly contributed to the modern day cell-phone communication. The Wednesday night Banquet will feature an address by Charlie Jackson, and our yearly student competition awards ceremony.

Finally, our Rump Session promises an interesting talk on test tools for the characterization of complex wireless signals. One of the advantages of having our meeting in the Rosen Hotel is the close proximity of the exhibits to the technical sessions to encourage a timely interaction among attendees and commercial exhibitors and provide ample opportunity for networking and interaction with the leading professionals in the field. More than 40 booth spaces have been allocated to allow vendors to show their latest wares to the technical attendees on Tuesday and Wednesday. As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated that will help us chart the future of your symposium. In closing, we wish to thank you for your support and hope to see you shortly in Orlando.”

The RWS has technically been recognized as one of the leading international multidisciplinary forums for reporting the latest breakthrough and facilitating interaction of experts in both RF hardware and system design aspects for wireless communication. This year for the first time the RWS has incorporated the Wireless and Microwave Technology (WAMI) Conference, offering up an even stronger technical component than the years past. This multidisciplinary conference continues to grow under the joint technical sponsorship of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT-S), Communications (COM-S), and Antennas and Propagation (AP-S) societies.

This year’s technical program featured core technologies for next generation wireless networks and communication system design, as well as RF, microwave, millimeter wave, and optical technologies employed in wireless applications; particularly ultra wide band (UWB) is an exciting theme in this conference. The technical program was sub-divided into 9 technical areas including: MIMO/space-time Processing & Smart Antennas; Channel Propagation, Antennas, and Handset Packaging; Front-end Passive Components, Signal-generation Circuits, and SOC Receivers; High-power Active Components ↦ Transmitters; Software Defined and Cognitive Radios; Wireless Sensors/Ad Hoc Networks; Wireless System Architectures, Modeling, and Adaptive Signal Processing; Emerging Wireless Communication Technologies; and Optical Techniques for Wireless Communications.

A record total of 377 papers were submitted with acceptance rate of fewer than 54%; the distribution of accepted papers as follows: 91 papers from Americas, 49 from Asia-Pacific, 38 from Europe, and 5 from the Middle East-Africa. The accepted papers are presented over 3 days covering the complete range of RWS technical interests in either one of the 28 podium sessions as long (20 min.) and short (10 min. presentation) paper presentations or in a single large interactive discussion and poster session on Wednesday morning. During the interactive discussion and poster presentation no other technical sessions are held; allowing attendees time to visit these high quality papers that were deemed most suitable for this exciting mode of presentation. This session also featured the student paper competition among the 13 finalists and the award winners were recognized during the RWS banquet on Wednesday evening.

In addition to the regular submitted papers, leading experts from each technical sub-committee area either started or ended each session with a 30 minutes long invited paper presentation. Three sessions were dedicated to invited paper sessions, covering various hardware and system aspects of wireless communications. The distribution of 31 invited papers was as follows: 18 from the USA, 5 from Canada, 5 from Europe, and 3 from Asia-Pacific. This year RWS also showcased two joint sessions with two other technical conferences active during the Radio Wireless Week. The joint session with Power Amplifier Symposium (PAS) was held on Tuesday afternoon (TU3C). On Thursday afternoon (TH3B), RWS welcomed the attendees of the 8th Topical Meeting on Silicon Monolithic Integrated Circuits in RF Systems (SiRF).

Power Amplifier Symposium

As part of Radio and Wireless week, the seventh IEEE Topical Symposium on Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications was held on Monday and Tuesday. RF Power amplifiers are an essential component of the air interface of any wireless communications system. Improved PA performance is being driven by the demands of commercial wireless communications, which is tightly specified by the regulatory requirements for linearity and spectral re-growth. Meanwhile, customers are demanding higher data rates and more services, while systems operators require them to be more efficient. These conflicting requirements are driving significant new developments in RF power amplifier architecture and design.

The Power Amplifier Symposium provided a forum for the presentation and discussion of innovative research and development in the broad area of power amplifiers. Topics of interest included high efficiency design approaches, linearization and predistortion, linear & nonlinear characterization, device and system modeling, narrow- and broad-band amplifier architectures, base-station and handset applications and realizations.

Invited presentations from industry and academic leaders included Doherty amplifier design, broadband and microwave power amplifiers, and novel high-power HBT technology. There was also a full program of oral and poster presentations. The PA Symposium also held a joint session with the Radio & Wireless Symposium, which focused on base-station power amplifiers. On Monday evening, a symposium Reception was held, allowing attendees to mix in an informal setting.

Silicon Monolithic ICs in RF Systems

Also part of radio and wireless week was the 8th topical meeting on Silicon Monolithic Integrated Circuits in RF Systems (SiRF’08), covering the full range of topics related to Si-based RF. These Si RF topics include materials, passives, MEMS, active devices, integrated circuits at all RF frequencies, all applications and emerging Si RF technologies at all levels. Over the three days of conference, 11 technical sessions including one interactive poster session and one joint session with RWS was held, providing a forum for the latest advances in these areas. World-renowned technical leaders in their respective areas will give invited talks in each of the sessions. New to this year’s program was a joint session was be held together with RWS for broader interactions.

Plenary Session

The plenary session officially opened the 2008 RWS, with opening remarks from this year’s General Chairman, Aly Fathy. After a half hour talk, the chairman handed over the podium to the presidents of the IEEE Communication and MTT Societies, Doug Zuckerman and Jozef Modelski for their joint welcoming address. Afshin Daryoush, Technical Program Chair, provided an overview of the Technical Program listed below.

Plenary Keynote Address

The Keynote address by Jerry Neal, RFMD co-founder and author of “Fire in the Belly” and “Built on a Rock – a memoir of Family, Faith and Place”. Jerry’s book – “Fire in the Belly” chronicles the unique story of RFMD - its inception and explosive growth throughout the past decade. Jerry has over 30 years experience in the RF and wireless communications industry, receiving his ASEE degree from Gaston Technical Institute and North Carolina State University. In 2001 he was awarded the Doctor of Business Management Degree from Southern Wesleyan University.

Before co-founding RFMD, he broadened his knowledge of sales and technical business with 10 years experience in various marketing positions at Analog Devices, Inc. As a co-founder of RFMD, Mr. Neal took primary responsibility for securing the initial funding for the new venture. Mr. Neal established the image of RFMD in the marketplace and was primarily responsible for many of the key relationships.

The address was both informative and highly engaging. Virtually everyone who had the opportunity to hear his talk enjoyed it thoroughly. He discussed 100 years of communication technology going back to Marconi, his early experiences with the transistor, the start of RFMD, developing business relationships and the state of the company today as they ship over two million power amplifiers per day.

Rump Session

Pieter Seidel of Tektronix was the speaker for the rump session held between 7 and 8 pm on Tuesday night. His talk was entitled - “Test Tools For the Development& Characterization of Wireless Power Amplifiers”. With spectral RF distortions from power amplifiers now being controlled in real-time using digital control loops with much higher spectrum performance and efficiency compared to analog techniques, the speaker discussed how cost advantages and manufacturing efficiency have been gained by pushing digital circuitry as far up the RF chain as technology will allow. The talk showed how yesterday’s narrow band, single-carrier, triple conversion systems are being replaced with wide band, multi-carrier transmitters enabled by digital signal processing (DSP) and DACs that produce direct IF, or even direct RF outputs to the RF amplifier. Waveforms are now digitally pre-distorted for maximum efficiency and tight spectrum control.

These innovative RF systems and techniques create new challenges for the design engineers and system operators who must troubleshoot and characterize them. Troubleshooting an RF design now requires the ability to trace a signal from a DSP-generated base-band to a wide-band digitally modulated RF output. This session discussed how digitally generated RF signals create new, transient faults that are difficult to discover, trigger on and measure.

This presentation examines the characteristics of modern RF systems and demonstrated the use of the Tektronix RSA6100A Series of Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers (RTSAs) for troubleshooting and characterizing performance. Basic vector and spectrum measurements, characterizing wide band Digital Pre-Distortion systems and troubleshooting high-bandwidth systems was also demonstrated.


Thirty exhibitors were on hand to show off their latest products and services (see below). While the exhibition floor had light traffic during the technical sessions and workshops, meals and drinks were served in the exhibition space to ensure that attendees and vendors had the opportunity to mingle, give product demonstrations and exchange contact information.

Agilent Technologies
Ansoft Corp.
Applied Wave Research
Dielectric Laboratories
Electro Rent
High Frequency Electronics Magazine
IEEE Microwave Magazine
Keithley Instruments
Maury Microwave
Microwave Journal
Microwave Product Digest Magazine
Modelithics, Inc.
Photonic Systems, Inc.
Reactel Incorporated
Rogers Corporation
Rohde ↦ Schwarz
Sigma Systems Corporation
Sonnet Software
Sources East
SUSS Microtec Inc.
Tyco Electronics
University of Central Florida
University of South Florida

RWS Technical Sessions

Wireless Communications Technology Chair: Afshin Daryoush, Drexel University Co-Chair: Abbas Jamalipour, University of Sydney

OFDM Chair: Narayan Prasad, NEC Laboratories America Co-Chair: Husheng Li, Qualcomm Inc.

Advances in RF Front-End Technologies Chair: Xiangdong Zhang, Qualcomm Inc. Co-Chair: Xinwei Wang, Qualcomm Inc.

Advances in Basestation Power Amplifier Techniques Chair: Hiroshi Kondoh, Hitachi, Ltd. Co-Chair: Simon Wood, Cree Inc.

Wireless Communication Systems Chair: Alexi Ashikhmin, Alcatel-Lucent Co-Chair: Devereux Palmer, US Army Research Office

Software Defined and Cognitive Radios Chair: Gamal Hegazi, Rockwell Collins Co-Chair: Robert Walters, Defence Academy of UK

Optical Techniques for Wireless Communications Chair: Yves Baeyens, Alcatel-Lucent Co-Chair: Thas A Nirmalathas, University of Melbourne

Wireless System Architectures and Components Chair: Murat Uysal, University of Waterloo Co-Chair: Husheng Li, Qualcomm Inc.

Session: WE1B Novel Signal Generation Techniques and Applications Chair: Herbert Zirath, Chalmers Univ. of Technology Co-Chair: Emery Chen, National Taiwan University

Recent Technologies for Terminal Power Amplifiers Chair: Jan-Erik Mueller, Infineon Technologies Co-Chair: Fadhel Ghannouchi, University of Calgary

Iterative Receivers and Adaptive Systems Chair: Xingang Guo, Intel Corp. Co-Chair: Gianfranco Manes, UNIFI, Italy

Hardware Challenges in the Wireless Communications Chair: Afshin S. Daryoush, Drexel University Co-Chair: Aly Fathy, University of Tennesse, Knoxville

MIMO/Space-Time Transceiver Design and Analysis Chair: Qinghua Li, Intel Corp. Co-Chair: Vijay Nair, Intel Corp.

Wireless Local Area Networks Chair: Cyril Iskander, The MathWorks Inc. Co-Chair: Narayan Prasad, NEC America

Fading, Diversity, and Channel Modeling Chair: Xun Gong, Univ. of Central Florida Co-Chair: Hiroshi Shirai, CHUO University, Tokyo

Implementation and Evaluation of Smart Antenna Chair: David Love, Purdue University Co-Chair: Christopher C. Yu, Draper Corp.

Signal Processing for Wireless Systems Chair: Husheng Li, Qualcom, Inc Co-Chair: Huseyin Arslan, University of South Florida

mm-Wave Antennas and Design of Frequency Selective Surfaces Chair: S. Safavi-Naeini, Univ. of Waterloo, Canada Co-Chair: T. M. Weller, Univ. of South Florida

RF Design and Development Chair: Brian Sadler, US Army Research Laboratories Co-Chair: Harris “Chip” Moyer, HRL Laboratories

System Challenges in the Wireless Communications Chair: Peter Hill, Cranfield University Co-Chair: Abbas Jamalipour, University of Sydney

Compact Miniaturized Wireless Antennas Chair: J. Schaffner, HRL Laboratories Co-Chair: Ahmed Kishk, Univ. of Olemiss

Progress in Efficiency and Linearity Enhancement for Power Amplifiers Chair: Kevin Gard, North Carolina State University Co-Chair: Ray Pengelly, Cree Inc.

Ad-hoc Networks Chair: Mehdi Shadaram, University of Texas at San Antonio Co-Chair: Jeff Frolik, Univeristy of Vermont

Highly-integrated Si Transceiver ICs for Wireless Systems Chair: Kenjiro Nisikawa, NTT Lab, Japan Co-Chair: Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

Highly-integrated Si Transceiver ICs for Wireless Systems Chair: Kenjiro Nisikawa, NTT Lab, Japan Co-Chair: Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

Satellite Communications Chair: Victor Manuel Lubecke, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa Co-Chair: Debabani Choudhury, Intel Corp.

Wireless Sensors Chair: Clemens Ruppel, EPCOS Co-Chair: Mohammad Khojastehpour, NEC America

Innovative Components and RF Modules Chair: Norman Chiang, Teledyne Microwave Co-Chair: Walter De Raedt, IMEC, Belgium

Ultra-wide Band Systems Chair: Faranak Nekoogar, Lawrence Livermore Natnl. Lab. Co-Chair: Masoomeh Nasiri Kenari, Sharif Univ.of Tech.