The International Microwave Symposium (IMS), June 7-12 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA, will feature 430 technical presentations in over 90 sessions, representing the latest research in the field from around the world and organized in four technical tracks: Microwave Systems; Active Components; Passive Components; and Microwave Modeling.

“The topics of the program’s diverse technical presentations range from components to systems and feature emerging components and modeling techniques at the research level to state-of-the-art systems ready to be deployed today,” said IMS 2009 Technical Program Co-chair, Mark Gouker, Leader of the Analog Device Technology Group, MIT Lincoln Laboratory. “Once again, IMS is the essential gathering place for all of us in the industry to learn about the latest developments in research and applications.”

Many significant research breakthroughs will be discussed in this year’s technical sessions at IMS. Below is a sampling of some of the important work being presented this year, organized by technical track. More information is available at

Microwave Systems

• Single chip Si CMOS transceivers have been developed for ultra-wideband (UWB) communication systems that operate in the worldwide-approved 7.2 to 8.5 GHz operating band. A transceiver will be detailed, fabricated in 90 nm CMOS, which has the lowest energy per bit, 33pJ/bit, ever reported to date [TU1D-1].

• A communication system has been demonstrated to support transcutaneous wireless telemetry within the cardiovascular system. An implantable stent-based transmitter has been developed using an integrated 2.4 GHz wireless transmitter, battery, and two FDA approved stents configured as a dipole radiator [TH3D-1].

• A major milestone will be reported in the development of microwave technology positioning systems using UWB radar. A system with operating frequency centered at 8 GHz can determine the location of objects with an accuracy of 2 mm for static objects and 6 mm for moving objects [TH4C-2]. The IMS will feature the first report of a direct digital synthesizer (DDS) with output frequency in the GHz range (2.9 GHz) with both phase and amplitude control. The integrated circuit is fabricated in a SiGe process with more than 8,000 transistors and has 9 bits of phase resolution and 7 bits of amplitude resolution [TH1D-1].

Active Components

• The symposium program shows that Gallium Nitride (GaN) amplifiers continue to push the frontiers of amplifier performance. Power-added efficiency of 70 percent for linear amplification at UHF will be reported [WE4A-4]. There is an entire session devoted to Application of Gallium Nitride Technology from L- to V-band that includes a report on an L-band 10 W amplifier with 60 to 70 percent drain efficiencies across a 50 percent bandwidth [WE3A-1] and a 75 to 81 GHz power amplifier with over 12 dBm output power [WE3A-4].

• Silicon CMOS amplifiers continue to make more inroads to rivaling SiGe technology. WE2A-1 will discuss 0.28 micron technology silicon-on-insulator CMOS amplifiers at 1.9 GHz that provides 33 dBm output power with a 6.5 V supply voltage. And WE2A-2 will focus on a 90 nm technology CMOS amplifier at 60 GHz that provides 20 dB small-signal gain and saturated output power of 12 dBm. A digital controlled artificial dielectric (DiCAD) differential transmission line is embedded in 90nm CMOS to digitally tune a 58 to 64 GHz DCO [WE3C-1]. A single-pole, four-throw (SP4T) switch has been constructed in 130 nm CMOS with measured insertion loss less than 3.5 db and port-to-port isolation greater than 25 dB up to 67 GHz [TH1B-2]. Finally, the feasibility of CMOS circuits operating at frequencies in the upper millimeter-wave and low sub-millimeter frequency regions will be presented. TU4C-1 will discuss 140 GHz fundamental mode VCO and a 324 GHz quadruple pushed VCO in 90 nm CMOS, a 410 GHz push-push VCO in 45 nm CMOS, and 180 GHz Schottky diode and 780 GHz plasma wave detectors in 130 nm CMOS, which have been demonstrated.

Passive Components

• Metamaterials continue to attract considerable attention with several IMS 2009 papers highlighting novel composite right/left-handed engineered substrates. These materials demonstrate components smaller than those by conventional design. Further indicating the potential of this emerging technology, presentations will report on a 3 dB, backward-wave coupler [TU1F-3] and diplexers [TU2F-2 and TU1G-3]. Further broadening of the application of RF MEMS devices is evident in a paper presenting MEMS-based tuning of an evanescent-mode cavity filter at 5 GHz with Qs greater than 500 and switch matrices up to 4-by-4 based on switch elements with less than 2 dB of insertion loss up to 40 GHz [TH2E-3]. Two new design methodologies for widely tunable filters in the microwave region will also be presented. The first is a new class of parallel-coupled switch-delay-line reconfigurable filters is shown with constant 50 MHz bandwidth tuning across 45 percent tuning range [WE1F-5]. The second is an evanescent-mode cavity bandpass filter with adjustable pass band and tuning range ~50 percent [WE2F-1].

Microwave Modeling

• A new formulation of neural network EM modeling that learns the behavior at the internal interface between decomposed 3D structures will be presented [WE1G-1].

• Significant improvements in modeling long-term memory effects of microwave components will be shown in several presentations. Advances include: extension to the Poly-Harmonic Distortion (PHD) Model to include dynamics revealed through pulsed measurements [WE3G-2]; a reformulation of the long-term memory model that incorporates intermodulation distortion asymmetry [TH3G-1]; and a more general Volterra series expansion-based model [TH3G-2].