Microwave Journal
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Weekly Report

For the week ending November 11

November 14, 2016

Here’s a roundup of news from the past week that is worth noting:

Companies and Products

Analog Devices (ADI) announced a MEMS switch covering DC to 14 GHz. ADI aims to make electromechanical relay switches obsolete, as the RF MEMS switches are 95 percent smaller, 30 times faster, 10 times more reliable and use 10 times less power than typical relay switches.

BAE Systems received a $13.3 million add-on to DARPA’s Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) program. The program’s goal is to enable airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter new, unknown and adaptive radars in real time.

Facebook achieved nearly 20 Gbps over a 13.2 km point-to-point link between Malibu and Woodland Hills, Calif. Using 2 GHz bandwidth at E-Band, the system demonstrated 9.8 bps/Hz.  

Fairview announced a family of waveguide twists, available from stock. The family covers seven bands from 18 to 110 GHz and includes 45 and 90 degree twists. The 45 degree twists are available in both right- and left-hand versions.

MaxLinear reported fiscal Q3 revenue of $96 million, 1 percent above the prior year’s quarter and down 5 percent sequentially. The wireless infrastructure segment partially offset seasonal softness in cable and satellite.

Maxlinear Q3 revenue and gross margin.
Maxlinear Q3 revenue and gross margin.

As part of their smart home strategy, Qorvo demonstrated their GP712 radio chip can be integrated with voice assistants like Amazon Echo to more easily control smart-home devices.

Filter start-up Resonant added one new customer and three duplexers and a quadplexer to their growing design backlog, now at 20 designs with five customers.

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) introduced four broadband antennas for in-building wireless systems. The passive designs cover 698 to 960 and 1710 to 2700 MHz.

Skyworks announced a new CATV infrastructure portfolio, including two power doublers for DOCSIS 3.1 and EuroDOCSIS 3.1.  These appear to be legacy ANADIGICS products, which Skyworks may have acquired. During the Q4 earnings call, an analyst asked about the company’s bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filter roadmap for mobile. CEO Liam Griffin responded:

Markets and Technology

5G — During 2017, Ericsson and Intel will work with NTT DOCOMO to build a trial 5G network in parts of Tokyo. The trial will test use cases and radio performance, using the 28 GHz band. 28 GHz is one of the candidates for 5G that is being considered by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

AT&T's Glenn Lurie spoke with Mobile World Live about the company's strategy to get video to the mobile — the Time Warner acquisition — and the status of their 5G developments.  Watch the interview.

Read a behind-the-scenes look at Ted Rappaport's team testing 73 GHz propagation in rural Virginia. Gabriel Rebeiza, who teaches electrical and computer engineering at UCSD, questions whether 73 GHz is viable, considering rain fade.

CellularEricsson projects that the mobile infrastructure market will decline 10 to 15 percent this year and another 2 to 6 percent in 2017. 75 percent of Ericsson’s revenue comes from this market, one reason the company is struggling and cutting costs.

Broadband — The FCC is siding with the the city of Louisville and Google Fiber, arguing against a lawsuit filed by AT&T and Comcast. AT&T and Comcast are trying to block the “one touch make ready" rules passed by the city, intended to streamline the process of installing new fiber optic cables on utility poles.

Can you imagine having 10 Gbps directly into your living room? This radiologist does and uses it for reading X-rays, playing Call of Duty and streaming 4K video.  

U.S. Election — We’re slowing moving from the surprise of the presidential election to conjecturing what a Trump administration will do. Donald Trump may have promised to drain the swamp; however the lobbyists and consultants on K Street will being doing a banner business until that unlikely outcome happens — too many interests to protect and positions to advocate. So here begin the assessments:


Your feedback about content is always welcome. If you have a topic that you’d like to see in the weekly report, please send it to me at glerude@mwjournal.com.

Have a good week. Make some news.