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 June 2, 2017

June 4, 2017

Here’s the industry news and other items from the past week that I’ve noted:

Companies and Products

Aaronia introduced an isotropic antenna — so much for learning that such an antenna is only theoretical. Designed for field monitoring and spectrum surveillance, Aaronia’s “IsoLOG 3D Mobile” covers 9 kHz to 6 GHz.

Ericsson appointed Erik Ekudden to the role of chief technical officer, effective July 1. Ekudden, who joined Ericsson in 1993, is charged with the challenging goal of revitalizing the company's technology leadership.

Keysight announced a 5G Protocol R&D Toolset, the first in a series of network emulation solutions for 5G. The test solution supports pre-5G and 3GPP 5G new radio (NR) standards, and it efficiently tests millimeter wave beamforming and protocols, with full access to layer one and two parameters.

European Union regulators said that Qualcomm has not offered any concessions in their bid to acquire NXP, according to a news report by Reuters. This may possibly prolong the EU’s competitive review, which we’ll know on June 9. The EU’s preliminary review can either clear the deal unconditionally or open an investigation lasting up to four months.

Qorvo announced 28 GHz MMICs to aid 5G system development. The options include a GaN PA, GaAs PA and multiplier, phase shifter and LNA MMICs.

RF/microwave distributor RFMW strengthened its position in the U.K. by acquiring Microwave Marketing, Ltd. Microwave Marketing was formed in 1988 and focuses on the sale and marketing of RF/microwave products.

Skyworks launched a 2.4 GHz multi-standard front-end module (FEM) for the connected home and other IoT applications. The FEM, which integrates a high gain, low noise amplifier with a transmit bypass path and digital controls, handles Bluetooth® Low Energy/Bluetooth® Smart, 802.15.4, Thread and ZigBee®.

Texas Instruments (TI) introduced two new products for phased-array radar, 5G and SATCOM systems. The first, the ADC12DJ3200, is a 6.4 GSPS, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that TI says is the fastest 12-bit ADC on the market. The second product, the LMX2594, is a 15 GHz PLL with VCO. TI says the LMX2594 has the industry’s lowest normalized PLL noise floor, with a figure of merit of −236 dBc/Hz and −110 dBc/Hz phase noise at 100 kHz offset with a 15 GHz carrier.

ViaSat-2, ViaSat’s latest high throughput satellite (HTS), was successfully launched on an Ariane rocket. The satellite will add 300 Gbps capacity, largely to improve airline Wi-Fi speeds over the Americas and the Atlantic.

Wolfspeed announced two 50 V GaN MMICs for S-Band radar, both covering 2.7 to 3.5 GHz. The CMPA2735015S, rated at 15 W output power, provides 21 W saturated output with a 500 µs pulse width and 10 percent duty cycle. The CMPA2735030S, rated at 30 W output, provides 41 W saturated with the same pulsed conditions. Both are available in a 5 mm x 5 mm surface mount QFN or as die.

Markets and Technology

5G — Nokia and NTT DOCOMO are testing 4.5 GHz for 5G in Tokyo, using a massive MIMO base station and an “early adopter” 5G standard. Intel is supporting the trials with their 5G Mobile Trial Platform as the user equipment.

The Small Cell Forum completed and released Release 9, their blueprint for densifying networks and laying the foundation for 5G. This forum is commemorating their 10th anniversary promoting small cells.

Posting another 5G data rate milestone, at 28 GHz, Keysight and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) demonstrated 12 Gbps over a 300 m link using a 64-element array based on a UCSD-designed SiGe BiCMOS SoC fabricated at TowerJazz. Keysight provided the instrumentation. The data rate was at least 8 Gbps over all scan angles up to ±50 degrees in azimuth and ±25 degrees in elevation.

Broadband — The European Union plans to fund €120 million to provide free Wi-Fi for European cities and towns that have no internet, which they project will reach some 8,000 communities by 2020.

On the U.S. side of the pond, a University of Pennsylvania Law School study concludes that city-run broadband networks are not a viable model for expanding high speed internet access. The projects surveyed are either losing money or facing very long payback periods. I’m wondering what the ROI was when installing electric lines a century ago.

Autonomous Driving — To reduce the cost of LiDAR, most companies are pursuing solid-state solutions. However, a 22-year-old Tom Swift has a contrarian view of the best technology for LiDAR and is pursuing a design based on moving mirrors and a 1550 nm laser.

Until we have V2X links to regulate traffic flow, here’s one driver's strategy for minimizing traffic waves. After a particularly gruesome commute, I’m looking for alternatives to stop and go.

Defense — A Raytheon kinetic-force exoatmospheric kill vehicle ( EKV) destroyed a mock ICBM for the first time during a Missile Defense Agency test. The oft-used description of the difficulty is that it’s like shooting a bullet with a bullet. Raytheon's sea-based X-Band radar (SBX) and AN/TPY-2 radar, both phased arrays, are elements of the ballistic missile defense system.

Northrop Grumman’s Highly Adaptable Multi-Mission Radar (HAMMR) successfully detected Groups I and II unmanned aerial systems during tests at Yuma. HAMMR uses an AESA fighter radar mounted on a ground vehicle or towable trailer to provide continuous 360-degree coverage.

Will President Trump send more troops to Afghanistan, as his generals are recommending? Journalist Douglas Wissing says we've lost that war and need to recognize it. He suggests Congress have a real debate, rather than quietly going along with the president.

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