Evaluating Our Industry’s Health Requires a Broad Perspective
By John Farley, Director of Marketing, Pasternack Enterprises

As most RF and microwave companies are privately held and industry analysts rarely track sales of microwave components other than semiconductors and interconnects, determining the health of an industry as diverse as ours is extremely difficult.


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 Yonghui Shu, President and CEO
SAGE Millimeter


Q: Is there a particular emerging application or technology that intrigues you?

A: SAGE Millimeter mainly focuses on products in the frequency range of 18 to 170 GHz and beyond. Because the technology in this frequency range is maturing, we’ve seen a lot of emerging applications for our products, and they’re all exciting. For example, we’ve seen a lot of activity in the area of supplying sub-assemblies to highway traffic control systems, security and surveillance systems, point to point/point to multi-point communication systems, and small satellite and spacecraft applications. We are also supplying test equipment to OEMs, who are involved in automotive ACC radar, E band communication systems, and millimeterwave passive camera systems. The packaged surface mountable MMIC and GaN technologies are enabling us to offer high performance and cost-effective products to address these markets. Finally, the emerging terahertz technology extends applications where RF and microwave technology are limited. This may translate to great opportunities for companies like SAGE Millimeter, who are currently only in the millimeterwave frequency domain.

Q: Are you experiencing any effects of the reduction in defense spending or are you anticipating any impact on your business?

A: Our management team has extensive knowledge and seasoned experience, but SAGE Millimeter is still a newly-established millimeterwave technology company that feels the effects of budget shifts. Because our technology focus was on military applications, we’re definitely affected by the reduction in defense spending. Fortunately, as the technology matures and commercial applications are discovered, we’re still able to enjoy continued growth.

Q: Deployment of small cells and distributed antenna systems is increasing rapidly as wireless carriers attempt to provide “broadband wireless data everywhere.” If your company is involved in any portion of the “HetNet” market, please tell us how you feel this market will develop.

A: SAGE Millimeter is not supplying components and sub-assemblies to “HetNet” OEMs at this time. However, we are seeing increasing test equipment demand for semiconductor and system developers and manufacturers worldwide. SAGE Millimeter is participating in the upper frequency test equipment market. We are very optimistic about the market development we’ve seen as a result of increasing personal computing and communications demands.

Q: China has long been considered the greatest potential global market for many companies in the RF and microwave industry. Do you feel this is still true? Are there other emerging markets that you believe will be lucrative in the next few years?

A: We feel that China is still the greatest potential market for the RF and microwave industry. As an increasing amount of commercial applications for our technology is discovered, the importance of China’s enormous 1.4 billion populations will certainly be felt. However, we have to recognize that China has its own engineering talent that is potentially able to localize its own needs. China is also capable of developing its own R&D and manufacturing abilities and is skilled at creating self-contained vertically integrated systems. All of this compounded with low-cost labor and seemingly unlimited engineering manpower could be a barrier to attempts by Western efforts to enter their developing RF and microwave market.

India is a market that is similarly situated, and we anticipate opportunities and challenges that closely mirror those already found in China. Nevertheless, our technology is more advanced, and we are more than capable of competing with domestic talent in these countries. As long as industry leaders, government agencies, and legislators work together, we can still expect to capture a good share of that market.

Q: What do you believe will be the greatest challenge for the RF and microwave industry?

A: I believe that our industry’s challenges have and always will be continued technological advancement and skilled personnel development. On the technology side, our industry is no different from any other industry – we need to continue to study, innovate, and improve. Some specific goals include developing higher frequency and higher performance semiconductors, designing and implementing better packaging and manufacturing techniques, and reducing cost.

However, perhaps the bigger challenge that needs to be addressed is the shortage of next-generation RF and microwave engineers and technicians who are specially trained to address technology and product development. Educational institutions and career development centers may need to collaborate with industry leaders to design new course work and programs that focus on practical skill development. I imagine these programs to be like those found in other disciplines such as IT, programming, and mechanical engineering. Because our industry is unique and specialized, real attention needs to be given to students so that they can join the industry with not only a strong foundation in theory but also the hands-on ability necessary for success.


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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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