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 Dave Strand, CEO & Brand Director
Strand Marketing


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

A: I’m fortunate to be an active participant in many strategic conversations with clients who sell various semiconductor, component, interconnect, subsystem, ATE, and software products. And while the use of various communications technologies for the Internet and for wireless and cellular networks is well known and documented, the growing use of RF/microwave technologies for what is considered “near-field communications” represents tremendous growth opportunities for hardware suppliers over the next several years. Most people are familiar with near-field RF/microwave applications like radio-frequency identification (RFID) and E-ZPass® toll-taking systems using wireless technology for automotive applications, but may not be aware of the growth in emerging medical wireless applications, such as remote patient monitoring, wireless imaging, and on/in-body communications. A medical wireless market with great potential is for wearable and implantable biosensors with integrated antennas for wireless communications to a monitor, such as for glucose level monitoring.

In terms of the expanding use of wireless technology for medical applications, specifically Wi-Fi, in hospitals, the Wi-Fi Alliance ( recently published a white paper on the benefits of Wi-Fi technology for hospitals, and how the wireless communications technology can improve clinical workflows in hospitals by providing real-time access to patient data.

Similarly, if the Internet of Things (IoT) is even one-half as large as expected, it will create large demands for RF/microwave devices in support of various portions of wireless communications networks, from ground-based cellular communications systems to satellite-communications (satcom) systems.

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

A: Certain technology sectors within the defense markets, such as portable radar systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), appear to be unaffected by “conservative” defense spending. In fact, the interest in how UAVs can be used creatively seems to be extending beyond military markets and into such areas as Homeland Security, large-city law enforcement, and even for infrastructure maintenance for difficult-to-reach locations, such as the tops of skyscrapers and the underside of bridges. UAVs, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and other unmanned aerial systems (UAS) such as the MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-4 Global Hawk help to keep personnel out of harm’s way. They can be equipped with compact electronic systems, including optical detection systems and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems with moving-target-indicator (MTI) modes for effective monitoring in military, industrial, and commercial settings for a wide range of applications, implying that the demand for these unmanned systems should only grow stronger over the new few years.

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: With the continued growing demand for wireless data traffic, carriers are looking to Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets) for additional capacity. HetNets are not really new networks but an evolution of existing cellular technologies, such as 2G, 3G, and 4G networks being linked together. Projections from most research firms point to billion-dollar opportunities over the new few years for equipment in support of HetNet markets, including for macrocells, small cells, and Wi-Fi access points. This growth is expected even with the expansion of carriers into 4G LTE networks.

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: The Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) continues to build its telecommunications capabilities as it attempts to provide more services to more people. The nation relies on a diverse group of technologies, including fiber-optic cables, coaxial cable lines, and microwave links, and the demand for high-speed Internet and communications services continues to increase. Many of China’s broadband subscribers rely on physical connections, such as cable modems or fiber-optic links, so that RF/microwave companies interested in supporting the telecommunications market growth within China must be ready to supply components not only for wireless handheld devices and systems but for landline-based telecommunications systems. At the same time, China’s state-owned China Mobile Ltd., with more than 700 million wireless subscribers, is making considerable investments in 4G wireless networks for both China and for global markets, pointing to huge opportunities for wireless electronics sales in domestic Chinese markets.

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

A: The RF/microwave industry is facing a growing number of users, for a wide range of demands that includes automotive, commercial, industrial, medical, and military markets, but with limited bandwidth. The industry needs to develop more efficient ways to use the bandwidth that is available.

As the numbers of worldwide wireless users increase over the next several years, greater capacities are needed for existing RF/microwave communications systems, such as 4G LTE cellular systems, and increased bandwidths, such as at millimeter-wave frequencies through about 100 GHz. The RF/microwave industry will be faced with producing active and passive components and systems in support of millimeter-wave radio links and equipment that enables backhaul links among cell sites and other communications stations in support of increasing voice communications, higher digital data rates, and more efficient video communications, most likely by increased use of available frequency bands at millimeter-wave frequencies. Over the next few years, the industry must face the challenge of being able to supply building-block components for affordable systems at millimeter-wave frequencies through 100 GHz and maybe even higher.



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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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