by Wendy Tirollo, CEO/Owner, TRM Microwave
MPD: If you sell to the defense sector, what do you believe are the major challenges for RF and microwave technology in serving DoD’s needs?
One of the major challenges we see in the defense industry comes from the desire to make systems smaller and lighter. Systems designers are striving to shrink designs across the board.
The recent industry advances in the ability to increase power density in semiconductor devices, by developing newer technologies such as GaN devices, along with the ability to build small-er and faster control devices have allowed the industry to deliver on this goal for active components and subsystems.
TRM Microwave primarily designs and builds passive microwave components and subsystems. The size and performance of our components are determined largely by the dielectric constant and loss tangents of the materials we use to fabricate our designs. The circuit materials we utilize have been slowly advancing, providing lower loss materials at a variety of dielectric constants, however, the advancements in this segment of the industry have not kept pace with the rapid advancements in semiconductors. This has TRM Microwave constantly pushing the envelope of what can physically be achieved against what our customers and end users are expecting for size and performance.
MPD: What RF and microwave technologies will have the greatest impact in the next few years?
TRM Microwave is focused on advancing two primary technology-based areas in the next 2 years, in addition to the normal business development activities of expanding our market presence to include new programs and customers.
First, TRM Microwave is dedicated to designing products that are grounded in the principles of machine-based manufacturing. Traditionally, when it comes to design and manufacturing of passive RF microwave components, it has been viewed as “Black Magic.” It is more about understanding and controlling the interplay of tolerances within the design. By analyzing, understanding and controlling the interplay of these tolerances, we have been very effective at becoming more predictable of our component’s performance. A large part of this success is due to our commitment to adapt machine-based manufacturing to better manage and control tolerances. TRM is on a path to further expand these efforts across all our manufacturing lines.
Second, TRM Microwave is increasing our potential circuit density by designing more products using multilayer technologies. TRM’s previous investments in computer analysis software have enabled our engineers to accurately predict performance in some of our recent higher density designs. We are expecting to continue to utilize this technology to fill this customer need.
MPD: Is your company having trouble in finding new microwave engineers?
Finding new talent is always a challenge. There is currently a very small pool of experienced passive microwave engineers available. TRM Microwave is constantly looking for bright, innovative engineers to join our team. If the right person becomes available, we will make every effort to bring them on board.