The microwave industry has continuously produced innovations that changed and enhanced peoples' lives. Behind this work have been some brilliant individuals with lofty goals. Despite this creative intelligence, however, most individuals are "human" in that they want to stay connected and be "in the know." Traditionally, the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) exhibition floor is a place where new products are launched, technology innovations are introduced, and new accomplishments and performance capabilities are demonstrated. Perhaps more importantly, however, it also is a place where old friends catch up, long-time associates break bread, and partnerships are formed.

The scuttlebutt on the show floor is always at least partially devoted to subjects like who left which company and where he or she turned up in a new position. Another show-floor past-time is to observe the results of recent mergers and acquisitions. This year, for example, Mentor Graphics is spotlighting the IE3D electromagnetic (EM) design and verification platform, which was recently acquired from Zeland Software. In addition, company earnings are quoted with conjecture about why firms are doing so wellor what they have done wrong, if the reports are negative. The economic slump of the past few years saw most companies feeling relieved if they stayed "flat." Now, however, some companies are happily proclaiming their profitability.

TriQuint Semiconductor, for example, recently announced that its revenue for the first quarter of this year was $180.8 millionup 52 percent from the first quarter of 2009. The company believes that second-quarter revenue will be up over 13 percent sequentially quarter to quarter. Another example of a company enjoying growth is Peregrine Semiconductor. This firm also will garner attention for its agreement with IBM Microelectronics for the joint development and manufacture of future generations of its UltraCMOS silicon-onsapphire (SOS) process technology.

When qualified, the UltraCMOS RF ICs will be manufactured by IBM for Peregrine using a 180-nm process at IBM's semiconductor manufacturing facility in Burlington, VT. According to Peregrine, the migration to 200-mm wafers with 180-nm features facilitates the evolution of the UltraCMOS process to a 180-, 130-, and 90-nm progression. The first 180-nm UltraCMOS RFICs have sampled to a key customer and commercial production release is expected in 2011. Initial product roadmaps include configurable RF cellular front ends in the form of high-power RF switches, tunable components, and power amplifiers.

In a niche industry like this one, a core event like IMS provides a chance to network and stay up to date. For those of you who can't attend, stay in the loop via our "IMS Show Daily e-newsletter" (go to www.mwrf.com and click on "Subscribe" for e-newsletters and then sign up for the Microwaves & RF Update). On to Anaheim!