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 April 14, 2017

April 16, 2017

Here’s what caught my eye this past week, which was more about markets than companies and products.

Companies and Products

Analog Devices (ADI) and Renesas will collaborate on 77-79 GHz automotive radar systems, combining ADI's 28 nm CMOS radar sensor with Renesas’ RH850/V1R-M microcontroller. By working together, the companies aim to offer automakers a more complete radar solution.

Offering $1.25 billion to shareholders, AT&T reached an agreement to buy Straight Path Communications for their 28 and 39 GHz spectrum in the U.S. The deal has a total value of $1.6 billion, adding the liabilities that AT&T will assume. Bloomberg reported that another company might outbid AT&T, which Reuters indicated could be Verizon.

Charter, the second largest U.S. cable operator, plans to test fixed wireless access at 28 GHz beginning June 1. Read their FCC filing.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems demonstrated a radar warning receiver (RWR) flying on a Predator B UAV. The company said it was the first RWR demo on a UAV and meets the current thresholds for both air and ground radar threats.

Huawei may be the second Chinese company in the crosshairs for violating U.S. export laws. ZTE recently pled guilty and agreed to pay up to a $1.2 billion fine. Republican lawmakers are pushing the Commerce Department to investigate a company identified as “F7” in ZTE’s documents, which could be Huawei.

National Instruments and AT&T have developed a real-time, millimeter wave channel sounder named “Porcupine.” AT&T will use the sounder for understanding millimeter wave propagation characteristics and spectrum suitability for 5G.

Pasternack released a family of low phase noise amplifiers that cover bands from 1.5 to 18 GHz. Residual phase noise is as low as −180 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset, typical noise figure is 5.5 dB, small-signal gain ranges from 9 to 14 dB and saturated output power is +16 to +25 dBm.

What's next for Wolfspeed after the Infineon acquisition was blocked by the U.S. government? Jim Milligan, director of the RF segment, shared Wolfspeed’s plans with Microwave Journal.

Markets and Technology

Cellular — The FCC concluded an auction that will free 70 MHz of broadcast spectrum, between 600 and 700 MHz, for mobile use. 50 bidders won licensed spectrum nationwide, the largest being T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast and US Cellular.

Pre-orders for Samsung's S8 smartphone are reported to be strong and above those of the prior-generation S7. The s8 officially launches April 21.

The GSMA updated their annual assessment of the mobile economy, forecasting global subscribers will grow from 4.8 billion in 2016 to 5.7 billion in 2020. Download the full report.

5G — Qualcomm’s X50 modem will begin sampling during the second half of this year, and the firm expects 5G phones to become available by the middle of 2019. According to Light Reading, the phones are slated to have dual millimeter wave and LTE connectivity.

Zahid Ghadialy, author of the 3G4G blog, compiled a summary of the likely 5G spectrum allocations for coverage, capacity and high throughput use cases.

A 22 member EU/Korean team plans to demonstrate 5G at the 2018 Olympics in Korea. The demonstration will include the radio-access and core network, as well as a satellite link.

As part of the IEEE's support of 5G development, the multi-society organization is working to ensure harmony with the 802.11 wireless LAN standards. Guy Daniels of Telecom TV wrote this article describing their approach.

IoT — Tom Wheeler, the former FCC chairman, was interviewed by FierceWireless about life after the FCC and his view of the IoT. He described the IoT as “the opening act of Web 3.0.”

The “smart home” may be our first and most personal encounter with the IoT. ABI Research forecasts that smart home sensors will grow to more than four billion installations globally by 2022. Have you embraced the vision in your home?

Broadband — The current FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is reported to be advocating that the industry “voluntarily” adopt fairness principles in lieu of the current net neutrality rules.

Ditching the current net neutrality framework won’t happen without a fight. The Internet Association, which includes Facebook, Google and Amazon, met with the FCC, saying the organization opposes repeal of net neutrality.

Space — At the recent Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Blue Origin (and Amazon) founder Jeff Bezos shared his vision for space tourism, which could begin as soon as 2018. He said he has invested up to $1 billion per year of his own money in the venture. Read The Wall Street Journal article.

Honors — Ulrich Rohde, one of the founders of Rohde & Schwarz and now head of Synergy Microwave, will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Antennas and Propagation Society for his “pioneering work and contributions to the field of antennas and propagation, leading to development of wireless communication systems for industrial, military and space applications.”

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