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 2013

By Stephen Hire, General Manager
Aeroflex India


Mr. Hire decided to answer all of the questions with one response.

A: Asia has traditionally been a technology follower (with the exception of Japan) but the last few years have seen significant markets transition to technology pioneers - the traditional consumer pioneers of Japan have been joined by the Korean giants of Samsung and LG; China has built a world-class LTE ecosystem with both its favored TDD version and the more widely adopted FDD version; and India’s IT powerhouses are making their mark on the global R&D landscape.

Japan has long been at the forefront of technology but the rest of Asia has traditionally been a fast follower: waiting for technology to mature and then using its labor cost advantage for low cost mass production. The last ten years has seen that change significantly – particularly in Korea, China and most recently, India. For Aeroflex, the cellular industry, and LTE/LTE-Advanced are key markets and also provide good examples of how each of the three countries has established its own area of leadership.

The 1990s saw a growing school of thought that China was failing to capture the full value of its emerging cellular market and that it should develop its own indigenous cellular technology. The result was TD-SCDMA that is deployed by China Mobile as its 3G variant. The commercial and technical success of TD-SCDMA will continue to be debated, but it will largely remain a China-centric technology. The real benefit has come from the platform this has given China to develop a complete ecosystem of companies that understand how to take a new technology from a set of standards to a set of commercially viable products. This in turn has driven a huge growth in both R&D and manufacturing, and with that demand for RF and protocol test equipment that has helped Aeroflex to continue its expansion in Asia. China has also learned how to take a leading position in cellular standards development. In LTE, China has taken a lead from the very start and has successfully established the TDD variant as part of the mainstream LTE family. Apart from the standards work, Chinese companies have also registered large numbers of patents. The result is that LTE TDD is being rolled out around the world and is supported by both Chinese and international vendors.

China’s emergence as an LTE pioneer was very much led by the state. But Korea’s has been led by its large private sector companies, notably Samsung and LG. The Koreans have innovated in different ways—principally in semiconductors and in delivering a superior customer experience. Semiconductor manufacture is not only hugely capital intensive but also requires high levels of R&D investment to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that plants do not become obsolete. The growth of mobile phones has also increased the amount of RF testing that needs to be done in the semiconductor industry. On the consumer side, the Korean giants have innovated by combining different technologies to offer a superior consumer experience; for example, WiFi and 3G enabled digital cameras and as with semiconductors, this is bringing RF testing into new market areas. They have also been early adopters of many new smart phone technologies and have then driven down costs so that they can sell cutting edge products at price points that much more affordable in emerging markets.

India has taken yet another path to developing cellular strength. The IT industry initially grew by providing low-cost labor for business process outsourcing and for maintaining legacy systems. However, as labor costs have increased and the volume of software development in the cellular industry has grown dramatically with each new standard, the industry has also evolved in a number of ways. Aeroflex’s experience in the market illustrates some of the ways that Indian IT industry has moved on from simply being a follower. When Aeroflex first started outsourcing software development activities 15 years ago, it was mainly testing activities that then moved onto legacy system support. Today much of the leading-edge R&D is done in India. For some of our customers, engineering is run from India with the overseas parent looking after sales, marketing and support. A number of our partners have also moved into aggressively developing their own cellular intellectual property, which they then successfully sell to clients around the world. In India, the focus has been more on software so that has driven the protocol test market more than the RF side. For Aeroflex that has translated too much higher demand for our industry-standard test mobiles, such as the TM500.

How does this change doing business in Asia? In my last 20 years of doing business across Asia, I have seen the market grow massively. But more importantly, and as the above examples illustrate, it has also changed beyond recognition. For companies to be successful, two old-fashioned mindsets need to be consigned to the scrap yard. First, that Asia is a single market that can be approached in a one size fits all manner. Second, that the technology innovation happens in the West so key resources —engineering, marketing, management—should be located there. For Aeroflex , we have adapted by opening more direct offices, most recently in India, that are staffed by talented people who are able to run the businesses autonomously. Also, by moving more of our engineering to Asia we can be closer to both our customers and to where there is a large pool of skilled engineers


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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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