Electronic Design

Microwave Show More Meaningful Than Ever

The IEEE’s International Microwave Symposium (IMS2008), sponsored by the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) is being held in Atlanta, June 15-20. The show, which has been growing each year, is more relevant than ever. While microwave radio was once relegated to the radar, electronic warfare, long distance telephone relay, and satellites fields, today microwave is mainstream wireless. When you think about it, most wireless today is microwave (anything greater than 1 GHz), or near microwave including cellular service, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, UWB, WiMAX, and lots of others. If you are working in wireless these days and haven’t ever been to IMS, you should give it some consideration.

Microwave used to be one of the most difficult areas of radio to work in. You had to be more of a plumber than an engineer to work with all those waveguides, cavities, isolators, duplexers and special tubes like klystrons, magnetrons, and TWTs. Today, microwave is easily implemented with ICs. When IC geometries drop below a few hundred nanometers, microwave is relatively easy. While everything is still a transmission line, today with sub-100-nm ICs you can easily make ICs that operate up into the millimeter wave bands (30 to 300 GHz). This has radically changed microwave, opening it to all sorts of new wireless services.

The IMS2008 will give you a great update on the latest microwave components, test equipment, and technologies. There will be hundreds of sessions, keynotes, panels and workshops where you will hear about the latest millimeter wave developments, beamforming antennas, and multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) systems. And get ready to hear about how the technology is pushing into the terahertz (THz) regions. Roughly 400 to 500 exhibitors will be on-hand to show you what’s new in this field. The turnout is usually in the 10,000 range which you can probably expect this year.

I will be going to this show for the first time this year myself and I am looking forward to it. Stop by the Penton Media booth where Microwaves & RF and Electronic Design magazine editors will be on hand. And watch this space for some video highlights of the show.

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