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

Murat Eron, PhD
VP of Engineering, Wireless Telecom Group (WTG)

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. 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?

A: This is an anemic problem for our industry. There does not seem to be enough incentives for US college applicants to choose to study RF and Microwave engineering anymore, or even engineering in general. Our eroding manufacturing base has a lot to do with it of course. There are various policy choices that can be made at national level that could help with this problem but as a small company our means are much more limited. We are also handicapped against much larger and better known industry names who can have an easier time attracting talent from a small pool every year. Over the years we have found out a true and tried method of developing the specialized technical talent needed that is suitable for us and that is the internship programs. We have some ties with local universities that we try to foster, even reach out to out-of-state universities with credible RF/MW programs and either sponsor thesis and research for graduate students or hire undergraduate or graduate interns from these departments. Retention rate is definitely higher this way and though the gestation period is longer, the financial investment is modest and returns are very high.

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

A: Though a very substantial part of our business in the past, aerospace portion of our components business has shrunk considerably in recent years. We only have legacy component business now at fairly low but stable levels. There is really no good reason to expect this to change soon. This is almost opposite of what we have in our Test and Measurement division. Our Noisecom and Boonton brands are very popular and well recognized among global Aerospace customers. We do have a loyal customer base for these brands. Test and Measurement market is usually a rather steady one, especially among our aerospace customers, who mostly replace aging equipment that cannot be serviced anymore, some legacy meters and analyzers that serve older generation of radios that our military still uses and maintains in large quantities in addition to some new scientific applications. We do see some excitement though about our new high performance USB pulsed power meter platform as it promises to be a performance leader among its peers. We have high expectations of this new product. Good news is on top of these traditional aerospace users and applications, we have much new activity and new product development in Test and Measurement area driven by Wireless test and characterization of complex waveforms, new bands and also more severe noise immunity requirements for circuits as rail voltages keep going down towards 1V and below.

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

A: Yes, we serve commercial markets both at the passive component and subsystem level and also with our Test and Measurement products. We have definitely seen a large increase in demand for our high power passive components and signal conditioning and combining systems for wireless coverage enhancement within last 12 months. Rolling out of 4G and capable phones and pads is obviously the main driver. Applications that consume higher data rates at any place any time and on the move means not just good SNR but also good coverage indoors as well. This has fueled the DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) implementations, a market segment where we are a significant player. Also on the Test and Measurement front, we see a renewed interest in our Boonton pulsed power meters with their statistical signal analysis capabilities in the exploding OFDM applications market, led by LTE and WiFi.

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: Wireless Telecom Group has enjoyed significant growth overall within this year, which was well on track with our expectations. For the quarter that ended in June 30, 2012, WTG recorded a 9.6% increase in revenue compared with 2011 same period. On a six-month basis, the increase in revenue was over 11%. Though much of the growth has been in the Microlab products area, our T&M group has also done well, and in fact has shown growth compared with the previous year as a result of some large contracts won. Specific mix of products and performance by geography vary naturally but overall, we have not suffered the consequences of the downturn due to the market segments we have focused on and the products introduced.

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

A: There is a general belief in our industry that much of the growth in Wireless will take place in Asia in 2013. Not only there is a fast growing population, huge amount of new construction and urban development, but also a rapidly growing middle class that can afford the gadgets that demand faster networks and better coverage. ♦



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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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