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 David J. Aldrich, President/CEO,
Skyworks Solutions, Inc.


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

A: Skyworks is excited to be facilitating the transition to anytime, anywhere connectivity in some of the highest growth communications markets in the technology sector today.  The transition to ubiquitous connectivity does not come without its challenges, however.  Ultra-thin, high performance platforms must preserve battery life, increase data rates and solve signal interference problems while occupying minimal board space. 

As a result, we are excited by all of the technology requirements—such as antenna tuning, envelope tracking and carrier aggregation—brought by mobile markets as well as the emerging applications and challenges brought by the Internet of Things and the proliferation of non-traditional wireless access points---like home appliances, medical devices, gaming consoles, industrial machinery, home entertainment systems, smart meters and security systems.  With current estimates placing the number of connected devices at 50 billion by 2020, there are many new opportunities ahead for those who can help enable all forms of connectivity.

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

A: Despite the uncertain defense spending outlook, there will always be a need for solutions that enable enhanced real-time communications including radar, global positioning systems, electronic surveillance and countermeasure platforms.  Skyworks’ portfolio supports many of these hi-rel applications.  In fact, we recently secured designs at Cobham, EADS and Teledyne.

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: According to a study published by Ericsson in November 2013, the average user accesses data on their smartphone 151 times per day.  Ericsson also estimates the total number of devices subscribed to mobile networks will reach 9.3 billion by 2019, of which 5.6 billion will be smartphones.  Consequently, carriers must deliver data in the most cost efficient manner possible and small cells are a large part of the future solution for mobile network operators.

Small cells give carriers the opportunity to distribute antennas for their mobile networks—offloading capacity from macro networks during surge usage and providing increased quality of service and faster data speeds in dense areas and buildings.  Small cells are also more efficient than macro base stations since they service a smaller area and require less power and capital expenditures.

Given our scale and base station systems expertise, Skyworks is uniquely suited to support small cell deployments.  We are the leading provider of solutions for all key infrastructure OEMs and our broad portfolio ranges from discrete analog components to complete system-on-a-chip designs.  We are also equipped to provide our customers with alternative, lower-cost, high-efficiency solutions utilizing GaAs, Si, GaN and other technologies being adopted in the latest small cell platforms.

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 see tremendous growth potential for analog and RF semiconductors within emerging markets, particularly as they undergo a massive smartphone upgrade cycle.  Specifically, there is significant pent-up demand from consumers for lower cost smartphones to replace their existing 2G feature phones.

Looking ahead, we would expect emerging markets to drive smartphone volume growth, with China and India leading the way.  In fact, according to IDC, in China alone smartphone shipments will jump to 450 million units in 2014 up from an expected 360 million in 2013.

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

A: Consumer demand for thinner mobile platforms with extended talk times and lightning fast, anytime anywhere data access is creating an unprecedented level of analog and RF complexity for smartphone, tablet and ultrabook OEMs.  This is particularly true as the wireless market transitions to 4G and 5G technologies, where the front-end architectural challenges have never been greater and are being compounded by the emergence of demanding coexistence, shielding and harmonic issues, not to mention the traditional power efficiency, size and cost constraints.  Still, with approximately 50 bands either being deployed or soon to be established, OEMs and system engineers alike are searching for architectures to adequately manage the proliferation of bands and increasing complexity of RF front-ends.  The challenge is creating solutions that address all of the forthcoming cellular band requirements and meet OEM expectations across several key metrics including performance, size, cost and time to market.

The stakes have never been higher and the distinction between winners and losers will undoubtedly become that much more apparent over the coming years as the list of viable suppliers capable of addressing all of these applications significantly narrows.


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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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