Gary Lerude, MWJ Technical Editor
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Gary Lerude

Gary Lerude is the Technical Editor of Microwave Journal. Previously, he spent his career as a “midwife” aiding the growth of the compound semiconductor industry, from device to application, from defense to commercial. He spent 19 years at Texas Instruments, 11 years at MACOM and six years with TriQuint. Gary holds a bachelor’s in EE, a master’s in systems engineering and an engineers degree (ABD) in EE.

Weekly Report

For the week ending December 31, 2016

January 2, 2017

Although it was fairly quiet last week, there were a few items I noted to pass along:

Companies and Products

The Nikkei Asian Review reported that Apple is cutting iPhone production 10 percent in calendar Q1. This isn’t surprising, as the post-Christmas quarter is typically a low point for smartphone sales. The production slowdown will flow to Broadcom, Qualcomm, Qorvo and Skyworks.

Through acquisition, MACOM has been transforming into an optical networking company. In fiscal Q4, over 50 percent of the company’s revenue came from the optical business, which grew 96 percent over the past year. Here’s a look at that business, given by president and CEO John Croteau at a recent analyst meeting.

Christopher Marki was appointed CEO of Marki Microwave; Ferenc Marki will remain president. In a letter to customers, employees, partners and “friends,” Chris discussed the state and direction of the company, now in its 26th year.

Mercury Systems received a $10.8 million follow-on order for digital RF memory (DRFM) jammers for the U.S. Navy. The order will be shipped over the next several quarters.

NeoPhotonics is selling its mature 10G passive optical network products to Shenzhen-based APAT Optoelectronics Components Co. for $26.4 million. According to LightReading, the products being sold contributed some $93 million in revenue in 2015 and approximately $51 million during the first nine months of 2016. 

Sue Spradley has joined Qorvo’s board, bringing her management and telecom experience from JDSU, NSN and Nortel.

ThinkRF released a real-time spectrum analyzer that covers 9 kHz to 27 GHz, with a real-time bandwidth up to 100 MHz. ThinkRF says the new R5500 analyzer “provides the power of traditional lab spectrum analyzers at a fraction of the cost or size.”

Markets and Technology

5G — U.S. Cellular and Ericsson demonstrated 1.5 Gbps data rates across a 1 mi link at 15 GHz. Dropping the link distance to 787 ft improved the data rate to 9 Gbps.

IoT — Working with China Mobile, Ericsson and Qualcomm completed China's first IoT “data call” using the eMTC/Cat-M1 standard. eMTC is short for enhanced machine type communication. The Cat-M1 standard is defined in LTE Release 13 and offers up/downlink data rates to 1 Mbps using 1.4 MHz bandwidth.

Autonomous Vehicles — Ford unveiled their second-generation autonomous car, which will be featured at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The self-driving car integrates four cameras, two LiDAR sensors and short- and long-range radar.  Read Ford’s description of the new vehicle.

An amazing dashcam video captured the response of Tesla’s Autopilot system, stopping the car after “seeing” a collision ahead. Note that the system warns the driver before any visual indication of a problem.

Defense — After ragging on Boeing for the supposed cost of the new Air Force One, President-elect Trump asked Boeing to “price-out” an upgrade to the F-18 to compete with the costly F-35. Seems we’ll see an aggressive bully pulpit that will keep many companies on the defensive.

2016 Reflections and 2017 Predictions — Bloomberg rated Massachusetts as the most innovative state in 2016, followed by California, Washington and New Jersey.

The Wall Street Journal published the technology trends they think may well change your life this year.

And IEEE Spectrum compiled their own list of trends to watch.  

I’ve begun many new years hoping to find the secret decoder ring that will help me be more organized and productive. I've tried many approaches without the hoped-for success. Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek seems totally ludicrous; I’d settle for a 40-hour workweek. So this article in The Guardian caught my eye: has the quest for personal productivity gone too far?

Welcome to 2017.

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