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

Russell Shaller
VP & General Manager, Teledyne Microwave Solutions

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: In the long run, there is no shortage of engineers; companies adjust salaries to retain or entice new entrants to the field. Petroleum Engineering is a great example in that median salaries are roughly 30% higher than in other engineering fields. The net result is a much higher retention of working engineers compared to other disciplines. Likewise, we have adjusted salaries within our group to encourage dedication to the field of microwave engineering.

What we do see is that high schools and colleges do a poor job of communicating to students the potential value of their choice of major. Certainly the student sees an immediate cost in terms of a harder curriculum compared to their peers. From a pure economics perspective, the more interesting fact is that for roughly the same cost of education, an engineer will graduate with a 50% higher salary and have lifetime earnings more than double that of their Liberal Arts peers. And yet, non-engineering majors have more than doubled in the past two decades while engineering has remained flat.

Teledyne is fortunate in that virtually all of the business management positions, from the CEO down, are held by engineers. This has created a strong network within our company and we have been able to attract and retain a highly-skilled engineering workforce. Teledyne actively works with multiple universities at the research level and dur­ing the recruitment stage to ensure we have an active pipe­line of qualified candidates. This includes providing paid internships and grants in cer­tain fields. With that said, skilled technicians, particularly in microwave test, have been in short supply. Finally, we have had great success hiring and training returning veterans and will continue through 2013.

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

A: Excluding the possibility of a financial cliff or sequestration, the majority of our programs appear well supported within the military. Several years ago, we made the conscious decision to focus on communication, electronic warfare, and threat detection technologies. All of these areas help to provide battlefield awareness and threat control. Given the nature of current conflict areas, we expect to see a moderate increase in business next year.

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

A: Similar to last year, we are excited to see the rollout of Ka-Band satellite services. We have developed a wide range of technologies to service this market including creating our own InP devices for low power LNA receivers to medium power GaN and high power TWT amplifiers. Overall, we are projecting global growth of near 10% in this sector.

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: Within our military business, our programs have been largely unaffected by global economic conditions. On the commercial side, we have seen a slight decrease in sales within Europe, with less of an impact elsewhere. Regarding our segments that touch consumer users, we don’t expect to see a significant improvement in consumer buying power throughout the industrialized countries in the coming year. We are more encouraged with growth prospects for remote sensing and data transmission which creates value for customers by reducing the costs of sending personnel into the field.

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

A: The wireless industry is in a constant battle with wired infrastructure for slices of the communication spending pie. Obviously, for mobile communications, the nod goes to wireless, which for us translates into global users of aviation, shipboard, and other industrial oriented mobile applications. In some cases, such as the build out of the broadband infrastructure in Australia, there is a more symbiotic approach where fiber networks link and enable satellite terminals. All of this requires a customer set or government that is willing to make the investment to improve connectivity. At least for 2013, we expect most of the growth to come from the natural resource intensive areas whose economies have held up comparatively well for the past few years. ♦


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Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
By Barry Manz

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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