Last week's 2009 Microwave Theory & Techniques Society (MTT-S's) Symposium & Exhibition in Boston yielded a combination of hope and despair for exhibitors, depending on their location. Booth traffic was lighter than "normal," although about what most companies expected to see. Attendees kept to the front half of the show floor, typically huddling around large island booths maintained by the industry's leading companies. The lean attendance was offset by the quality of the visitors, since many attendees were highly placed individuals from their companies with some buying influence.

As with most MTT-S events, the show floor offered a bountiful blend of products and technologies, from low-cost integrated circuits (ICs) to high-priced complete test systems. The major technology thrust at the show had to do with nonlinear vector network analysis (NVNA) and the major VNA suppliers pushing the importance of nonlinear S-parameters for accurate modeling of such things as amplifier linearity. A large number of millimeter-wave component and assembly suppliers were in evidence, most indicating that business was strong in their part of the spectrum. And from the number of new electromagnetic (EM) simulation programs and upgrades, it was clear that EM simulation has become a fundamental modelling tool for high-frequency designers. For a more detailed wrap-up of the Boston MTT-S, don't miss the Special Report in the August issue of Microwaves & RF.