Each IMS exhibition (or, for those of us who are part of the older generation, the MTT-S exhibition) is different, year after year. Veterans will remember some outstanding shows, such as those in Boston and Los Angeles, some shows that were not so outstanding but in memorable locations, such as Honolulu, and some shows that were not only poorly attended but in less-than-ideal locations, such as Albuquerque. But every show has a feel, and usually an announcement or two that gives it that feel. If last year's show could be identified as the "coming of nonlinear VNA measurements and modeling," then this year's show might be called an event for the advancement of lower-phase-noise microwave sources.

Achievements among oscillator and synthesizer manufacturers on the IMS 2010 show floor are impressive. Visitors can see a wide array of miniature tunable oscillators, including new lines of dual-output VCOs from Endwave, new low-noise synthesizer and oscillator technologies from Synergy Microwave, complete custom synthesizer design capabilities from Mini-Circuits, miniature low-noise synthesizers from EM Research, and even an extension in frequency to 20 GHz for the QuickSyn frequency synthesizers from Phase Matrix. But perhaps of greatest interest to anyone in the low-noise source area is the emergence of Noise XT with their phase-noise measurement capability, which continues to push the measurement noise floor closer to the actual noise floor of the sources it is characterizing. It's a long day, enjoy the exhibits!