The IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Society's (MTT-S) International Microwave Symposium (IMS) has been in progress for many visitors attending workshops ands special sessions. But for those with a bent for seeing new products, or even keeping on eye toward what a competitor or two might be doing, there is nothing to match the first day on the IMS exhibition floor. Those who have worked on setting up their own booth for the exhibition have a pretty good idea by now for the size of the show floor and what others are showing, but for the "general public," it is that first opening of the doors that reveals one (admittedly large) room full or RF and microwave "goodies" for the first time.

Of course, some companies stay close to the vest with their announcements, even holding some news until the second or third day of the exhibition. Some have new products that they have brought to the show, but only reveal to select customers, while others have products that may be in final approval stages, and their creators are unsure whether the IMS exhibition floor is the proper venue for unveiling these additions to their product lines. In any case, it is a collection of hardware, software, services, and test equipment not to be found anywhere in one place in this industry, except at this show. And it is a glorious chance to assess not only the health of partners and competitors, but of the industry as a whole. Some booths even offer real-time demonstrations, such as the tiny QFN-packaged voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) at the Endwave booth, or the latest in nonlinear vector network analyzers (VNAs) at the Anritsu, Agilent, and Rohde & Schwarz booths. The IMS exhibition floor can still bring out the excited child in the most experienced engineer. Enjoy the show!