Summertime is associated with big blockbuster movies and beach reading material. Hollywood moguls and book publishers recognize that summer is the time to kick back and let others entertain us. In that vein (and assuming that microwave engineers aren’t the only professionals who take busmen holidays), the MWJ editorial staff has prepared our own outstanding collection of summertime blockbuster reading material.

June - Semiconductors/RFICs/MMICs

June kicks off the “big theme” summer months with a look at RF/microwave semiconductors in the mobile device front-end. Editor Patrick Hindle has written a review of the GaAs foundry industry in 2010 for our cover story. Pat takes an in-depth look at the business and technology driving today’s GaAs foundries and how their innovations help keep them ahead of competing technologies from Si, SoS and GaN. The story continues online with the General Manager of MMIC Business from WIN Semiconductor, Dr. YC Wang discussing his foundry and the GaAs pure-play market, Derek Smith of OMMIC discusses the technical advantages of III-V material from his company’s foundry, Mario Rivas, President and CEO of ANADIGICS talks about his company’s success with GaAs in the handset PA markets and we look at Peregrine’s big play for high volume manufacturing (.18 um on 200 mm Silicon-on-Sapphire) of its UltraCMOSTM with new fab partner, IBM.

There is debate among integrated device manufacturers over which power amplifier, switch, or filter technology is best for any given handset. Choices must take into consideration what tier phone (low-cost no roaming phones, mid-tier feature phones, high-tier smartphones), volume, region, time-to-market, amount of front-end integration, etc. Some of these questions are discussed in our interview with ANADIGICS.

The considerations that go into component selection are dynamic and complex, an area ripe for in-depth technical and business reporting. And so our editorial coverage of microwave semiconductors for mobile devices and the mobile industry itself will continue through the rest of the year. The Journal’s audience of front-end designers, handset designers and system integrators will greatly benefit from this focused reporting and will no doubt help circulate this content among their peers. Advertisers can help (and benefit) by ensuring they are part of this discussion with informative advertising, up-to-date product announcements (see our new waves product section) and technology-based white papers (posted on MWJ).

July - RF & Microwave Software and Design

We intend to keep our readers’ engaged through July with a couple of perennial favorites. Our cover feature is a follow-up to last year’s blockbuster cover story, “How Design Software Changed the World (Part one)”. Today’s high frequency electronics could not be designed without CAD/CAE software. As a result, most of our readers use circuit, system and electromagnetic simulators, explaining the popularity of this article last year (among the top read articles online in 2009).

In part two, we look at the development of modern system and EM simulators, user interface technology (i.e. design environment) and the mergers and acquisitions that transformed the RF EDA business. Also in July, we will feature our annual MTT-S show wrap-up. Three things you can count on in this world – death, taxes and the popularity of this wrap-up. This is the article readers love to scan for information on whose products made a big impression at the show.

Also on the software theme, Agilent contributes a technical feature on software communications architecture (otherwise referred to software defined radio) and its impact on microwave hardware specifications. Related online material includes an Executive Interview with Ulrich Jakobus, Director of EM Software & Systems (makers of Feko), a look at EDA for RFIC Design for Yield and Verification from Agilent EEsof’s Paul Colestock, a look at the new iFilter synthesis tool from AWR and a review of the new oscilloscope product line from Rohde & Schwarz appears in the TestBench online.

August – Satellite and Radio Communications

One impression I got from this year’s Mobile World Congress back in February was the post-recession activity surrounding the adoption of LTE and WiMAX and how this would impact the entire microwave industry, from RF front-end ICs to backhaul equipment to supporting test and measurement instruments and techniques. While demand for mobile services is clear, the extent of the technical challenges will only be known as systems begin actual deployment. Looking at what types of challenges and business opportunities lay ahead, we have assembled several 4G gurus to discuss how these systems and the underlying hardware will be characterized. Moray Romney of Agilent will author the cover story on MIMO over-the-air testing, accompanied by related technical articles from MI Technologies, Spirent, ETS-Lindgren, and a product feature on field-to-lab drive test channel emulation from Azimuth Systems. The experience and level of knowledge from our assembled experts, should make this issue a reference guide to MIMO systems. For companies marketing components for 4G handsets or infrastructure, this August issue will be the place to be seen.

Companies focused on the defense and aerospace markets should consider placement in our August Military Microwave Supplement, which is once again shaping up to be a stellar issue, chock full of compelling theme-related editorial. Our cover story from Simon Cotton, et al. of Queens University, UK, looks at 60 GHz military radios configured into soldier-to-soldier ad-hoc communication networks. Technical features include the EM simulation of chaff field by CST, and near-field time domain analysis of a milcom antenna. Our product features also target defense applications with a new signal analyzer from Anritsu and a 500 W TWT from Thales. This supplement is among our most popular and has the added benefit of bonus distribution at both MILCOM (San Jose, 10/31-11/3) and EumW (Paris, 9/26-10-1).