Interconnect Advances Fuel Technology Growth
By Orwill Hawkins, Vice President of Marketing, LadyBug Technologies

With increased frequencies, higher data rates, and lower noise levels, the microwave industry serves as a leader in technological capability. Demand for quality interconnects has increased right along with other higher-performance areas in the industry.


MMD March 2014
New Military Microwave Digest


E-Band Active X5 Multiplier
Model SFA-743843516-12SF-N1 is an E-band X5 active multiplier with center frequency at 79 GHz with minimum +/-5 GHz operational bandwidth. It converts 14.8 to 16.8 GHz/+5 dBm input signal to deliver 74 to 84 GHz frequency band with more than +16 dBm power.
Sage Millimeter

Hand-Flex™ Coaxial Cable
Covering DC to 12.5 GHz, this 8” coaxial cable, 141-8SMNB+, has a bulkhead Female Type-N connector at one end and SMA-Male at the other. Features include low loss, excellent return loss, hand formable, and an 8mm bend radius for tight installations.

Phase Trimmer Series
This new phase trimmer series is designed for RF applications where phase match between two cables is needed for proper system performance. Phase trimmers, offered from DC to 50 GHz, will give an accurate phase adjustment over a specified frequency range.
RLC Electronics

Planar Monolithics Industries
Model PTRAN-100M18G-SFB-3UVPX-MAH is a transceiver covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The transceiver fits into a 3U Open VPX form factor utilizing the high speed VITA 67 RF connector.
Planar Monolithics Industries

SMT High-Power Attenuators
Now available with full design support capabilities are three new SMT high-power attenuators from Anaren. These 30 to 50W devices are high-performance, high-power chip attenuators covering DC to 3.0 GHz and feature high return loss and small footprints.
Richardson RFPD

See all products in this issue

December 2012

Guy Séné
President, Electronic Measurement Group, Agilent Technologies, Inc.

Q: The importance of sustaining and developing technology has reached a point where states and cities are more actively building relationships with universities and recruiting high-tech companies. Good examples are New York State’s “East Coast Silicon Valley” and several cities in Ohio. However, there continues to be a shortage of engineering graduates, especially those focusing on RF and microwave technology. What would your company do (or is doing) to help promote careers in microwave engineering?

A: To build the organizational capacity our industry will need in the future, it’s essential to engage students as early as possible in their university experience. To that end, Agilent is actively involved in the development of next-generation engineering graduates. We’re doing this by working closely with engineering schools that are leaders in RF and microwave technologies.

As an example, we’re helping reduce the learning curve for engineering students as they prepare to make the crucial transition from the educational setting into the hands-on world of industry work. It starts with exposure to industry-standard products and solutions during a student’s academic experience. In classrooms and labs throughout the US and around the globe, engineering students use Agilent RF instruments such as spectrum or signal analyzers, vector signal generators and network analyzers.

Our partnerships with leading universities also enable students to access our University Lab Solutions, which include RF circuit design, digital RF communications, EMI/EMC and antennas. Beyond that, we conduct onsite seminars and workshops in which Agilent experts demonstrate the intricacies of RF and microwave technologies and applications. We also sponsor research projects and host contests and campaigns that increase student knowledge and awareness on the latest technologies and products.

Naturally, we also actively seek and employ interns during summers and the regular school year, offering them opportunities for hands-on experience with meaningful technology projects. This type of experience is relevant to major industries and applications such as aerospace, defense, wireless communications and research.

Q: For those of you serving the military market, what do you expect 2013 will bring in terms of opportunities in this sector?

A: Even though military spending and government budgets are highly volatile all around the world, we still anticipate flat growth due to the possibility of increasing investment in military electronics. Our outlook is driven by the ongoing evolution of threats that require increasingly complex responses in areas such as electronic warfare (EW), active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and broadband satellite communications. For example, as improvised electronic devices (IEDs) become more sophisticated, so must the counter-IED systems used to detect and defeat new methods of detonation.

The military sector is also starting to adopt commercial wireless technologies for terrestrial communications. For example, LTE and WiMAX are being evaluated as highly capable alternatives to proprietary communication systems; however, the air interfaces must be altered to support robust encryption methods.

Additional growth will come from technological advancements and state-of-the-art upgrades. As US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently stated, “The US military force will be smaller and leaner, but agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced.” We expect to see these same trends around the world in 2013.

Q: If your company serves the commercial markets, are you encouraged by any particular emerging application or technology?

A: Advances in wireless technologies are enabling a variety of exciting applications. Examples include remote medical for patient management and monitoring; automotive control, guidance, and monitoring; in-home automation, entertainment, security and energy management; and personal or business financial management including banking and instant purchasing.

Behind all this is a host of wireless technologies: LTE, WLAN, NFC, GPS and more. Designers are being asked to combine all these technologies into single chipsets and designs within smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. To meet subscriber demand for anytime, anywhere access at ever-greater speeds, there is a growing need for base-station designs that support heterogeneous networks that use a variety of access nodes. This also requires new antenna designs and capabilities that support MIMO technologies.

Because the connected world is putting additional stress on the network infrastructure, many operators are starting to rely more heavily on cloud computing. Related to this, additional long-term trends include faster computing technologies and high-speed serial buses.

Q: Last year, we asked what impact the global economic crisis was having on the markets you serve and on how you run your business. What is your current perspective?

A: Overall, the worldwide market continues to be turbulent and customers remain cautious. As a result, we frequently remind ourselves to recognize those factors that are beyond our control and instead capitalize on those within our control. For Agilent, the factors in our control include a fanatical focus in two areas: serving the needs of our customers and delivering best-in-class products. As an example, in 2012 we expanded our portfolio of market-leading products while adding new capabilities through acquisitions in key strategic markets such as LTE.

Zooming in on key markets, we are seeing continued investment in wireless and high-speed digital applications. For our customers, the ongoing challenges are to anticipate changes in the latest standards, continually accelerate time-to-market, and simultaneously reduce the cost of test. Within that context, we see customers placing greater value on suppliers that provide a global support structure capable of addressing their needs in R&D and manufacturing.

Q: What countries or regions do you believe will provide the greatest growth potential for the wireless industry in 2013?

A: Looking at geographical emerging markets, we continue to see above-average industry growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China. For example, we see signs that Brazil and Russia are emerging as areas in which electronic manufacturing will continue to ramp up—and testing is necessary to ensure delivery of high-quality products. In India, we expect significant year-on-year increases in the wireless market, especially with the predicted increase in smartphone use. We believe China will continue its rapid growth in wireless and the wireless infrastructure. If it can sustain this growth, China seems poised to become the world’s largest smartphone market—and for that reason we expect a continued focus on wireless manufacturing in that country. ♦


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Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
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A federal agency like DARPA is a sitting duck for politicians and assorted other critics. It has come up with some truly bizarre programs over years that ultimately either delivered no tangible results, were canceled before they could cause any damage, or attempted to answer questions that nobody was asking or needed answers to. Read More...

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