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The flagship symposium of this year’s Microwave Week, IMS 2014, will feature over 575 companies and include a schedule full with 160 technical sessions. The main fixture of the symposium is an expansive trade show, technical sessions, workshops, and panel sessions covering every aspect of the booming RF/microwave industry for both commercial and military applications.

IMS 2014 will be held at the sunny Tampa Convention Center in Tampa Bay, Fla. For all of those engineers and industry professionals who had to tough out this past winter up north, a bustling week in the Florida warmth and sun will be a great refresher. Of course, the main attraction is networking with other industry professionals on the show floor as well as at interactive forums, short courses, application seminars, and the historical exhibit.

Key Speakers & Sessions

This year marks the first time that a woman will be the plenary speaker at IMS. The honor goes to Vida Ilderem, vice president, Intel Labs director, and Integrated Computing Research (ICR) of Intel Corp. Her discussion will cover the aspects of technological innovation necessary to intelligently connect the digital and personal worlds or the “Internet of Things” (IoT). In the presentation ”How Data, Devices and Personalization are Fueling Demand for Innovation,” Ilderem will elaborate on how both academia and industry must increase the pace of innovation to continually service the latest demands and expectations of the user community. Among the host of special and focus sessions will be two memorial sessions devoted to remembering the late professors Art Oliner and Rudy Henning. In addition, a special section will highlight the microwave advancements in Latin America and the Caribbean. Microwave research efforts in Latin America also will be recognized with a showcase of current/future university and industry collaborations.

Microwave Week Makes A Splash In Tampa Bay, Fig. 1To create a dialogue around the IoT and its enabling technologies, a special session will be held as part of this year’s conference. Of particular interest are the different machine-to-machine, peer-to-peer, and peer-to-machine interactions as well as their potential applications. Interest in the IoT topic stems from the increased technological and information-based abilities of modern devices—specifically, enhanced processing power, increased context awareness, and the hope of energy independence.

Another new session this year is a pilot aimed at attracting contributions and participation from professionals working on the RF/microwave side of complex, multi-disciplinary applications and systems. The focus will be tunable antennas and system front ends. Among the concepts that will be explored are advances in cellular communications using reconfigurable front ends and tunable antennas. The discussion also will cover analog/digital interference schemes as part of innovative RF interference-mitigation techniques.

Filling out the conference will be several workshops, panel sessions, and short courses. In addition, the focus topic sessions will dive into emerging technical topics that have ignited interest in the field. Among those topics are fifth-generation (5G) wireless, terahertz circuits, silicon solutions for biomedical applications, and phase-transition microwave switches.

The lunchtime panel sessions focus on tunable RF’s ability to meet data needs, social topics with engineering education, and graphene’s material potential. For compact learning at the short courses on Sunday and Friday, experts will cover subjects including multi-technology RF design flow, near-field probe tools, nonlinear circuit device modeling, and frequency-synthesizer design techniques. On Sunday, Monday, and Friday of Microwave Week, workshops will cover aspects ranging from inkjet printing to the next generation of multi-layer fabrication and techniques for handling interference.

Student Designs & Paper Competitions

Microwave Week Makes A Splash In Tampa Bay, Fig. 2Every year, the student design and paper competitions are among the highlights of the IMS educational program. Those competitions will take place on Tuesday of Microwave Week with the student-paper finalists giving poster presentations during the sessions. The finalists include student representatives from universities in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Taiwan, Germany, China, Israel, Sweden, Canada, Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, and Portugal. The topics covered range from power combiners and switches to 3D circuit extraction, baluns, and RF/microwave semiconductors.

This year marks the tenth year of the student design competitions. To celebrate, 11 different competitions will take place. Each student design competition is managed by a Technical Committee (TC) of the IEEE MTT. The TCs sponsoring the competitions range from high-sensitivity radar to wireless energy harvesting with a special education feature called, “Apps for MTT.”

These apps, which target smart handheld and mobile devices, will facilitate education involving key microwave principles and phenomena. By using the advanced visual interfaces of mobile devices and their enhanced computing power, the goal is to help promote computer-aided analysis and its role in the design of microwave circuits and components. This featured competition anticipates 10 to 15 teams from universities in the U.S. and Canada.

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