Major trade shows often serve as "launching pads" for new products or technologies. Many microwave firms, for example, plan product introductions around the week of the Microwave Theory & Techniques Symposium, held last month in the Long Beach Convention Center (Long Beach, CA). Although show activity is often a sign of the economic times—fairly slow at the moment—the flurry of introductions at the recent MTT-S belies this trend.
One of the technologies of interest in this month's lead news story on emerging technologies (see p. 33)—ultrawideband (UWB)—was also one of the more visible new product areas at the MTT-S. In particular, M/A-COM (www.macom.com) showed a series of UWB system-on-chip (SoC) devices intended for 24-GHz automotive collision-warning applications. Cleverly, rather than target the soon-to-be-congested FCC-approved frequency spectrum from 3.1 to 10.6 GHz with their product offerings, M/A-COM chose to leverage its experience in millimeter-wave automotive applications with a series of plastic-packaged transmitter and receiver SoCs for high-end automotive radar systems.
The 24-GHz UWB devices are fabricated with an advanced silicon-germanium (SiGe) semiconductor process from Atmel Corp. (www.atmel.com), a company which made its own news at MTT-S with an impressive Global Positioning System (GPS) solution in partnership with u-blox AG for tracking weak signals (see p. 22). In terms of pushing silicon CMOS to its limits, Peregrine Semiconductor (www.psemi.com) disclosed details on its 13-GHz UltraCMOS process technology at the MTT-S.
Software developments were many at the MTT-S, with Applied Wave Research (AWR) unveiling a cdma2000 test bench for the company's Visual System Simulator (VSS). Agilent Technologies (www.agilent.com) announced Momentum 2005A, a version of it planar electromagnetic (EM) simulation software with 64-b support. Sonnet Software (www.sonnetusa.com) demonstrated one of the industry's first cluster computer applications for its EM simulation software.
New test developments were also plentiful at MTT-S, with Agilent's N6030A arbitrary waveform generator delivering 10-b vertical resolution at 1.25 GSamples/s, while Rohde & Schwarz (www.rohde-schwarz.com/usa) launched the industry's first eight-port vector network analyzer. Aeroflex (www.aeroflex.com) announced the model MN9276 40-GHz downconverter for its PN9000 phase-noise analyzer. Of course, the products mentioned here represent just a partial listing of news from the MTT-S. Watch these pages for more details.