The April ARMMS RF and Microwave Society conference, sponsored by Plextek and held at Milton Hill House, near Oxford, UK, was particularly significant — for the introduction of a new panel session and also for the fact that for the first time it was oversubscribed, with all of the overnight places taken and late booking delegates having to suffice with day places. When asked what prompted such a good response, Roger Hopper, the chairman, replied, “If you give the industry what it wants then it responds accordingly; we aim to provide a forum to share technical knowledge and to put buyers and suppliers together to stimulate business.”

The newly introduced panel session was hosted by Simon Day and titled: Short Range Wireless Technologies – Do We Need Multiple Standards? The panel included Robin Heydon (CSR), Tony Lucido (Jennic), Gordon Lindsay (Broadcom) and Brian Back from the Low Power Radio Association (LPRA). Forthright views were expressed, offering an interesting perspective on what makes a successful standard; is it success in the market place and ubiquity or is it a well thought out standard that finds application beyond its original remit? There were more questions than answers, but at least the questions were asked.

The technical program, put together by Matthew Harper, consisted of many interesting papers, representing a mix from all areas of industry, major UK prime contractors, academia, UK Government R&D, standards institutes, test gear manufacturers and EDA tool suppliers. Reflecting the international focus that ARMMS now strives for, there was also a strong representation from Dutch R&D organization, TNO.

The delegates voted for the winner of the Steve Evans-Pugh Memorial prize for best paper, which was presented to Mark Oxborrow of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) for a paper that began with a high Q resonant cavity filter, familiar to most RF and microwave engineers, and ended with a passive pumped Microwave Amplification of Stimulated Emission of Radiation (MASER) at 12 GHz, but which was the same cavity filter.

Complementary to the conference was a well supported table-top exhibition organized by John Kitchen. Demonstrations of spectrum analyzers and receiver systems were made along with EDA tools and displays of microwave and RF components.

All the papers presented at the conference and previous events will be available on the ARMMS web site at The next ARMMS conference will be held on 24 and 25 November, 2008, at Hotel Elizabeth at Rockingham, UK. Those wishing to present a paper may contact the program coordinator, Dominic Fitzpatrick of Cardiff University, at