Wireless communications has become an integral part of the American lifestyle. Some parents wouldn't even dream of sending their children to school without their own cellular telephones. Wireless local-area networks (WLANs) represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the wireless market. In spite of a slowing in wireless infrastructure activity during the last several years, the overall wireless electronics market represents a considerable portion of total electronics expenditures, and design activity remains strong. And for design engineers faced with developing the next generation of wireless products, the Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo 2004 remains the leading venue for sharing quality design and applications information on the latest wireless technologies. The event is scheduled for March 8-10, 2004 in the San Diego Convention Center (San Diego, CA). This first of three special reports previewing the 12th Annual Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo will briefly review some of the technical sessions and keynote address.

Heading into its 12th year, the Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo will enjoy a new base of operations in 2004, San Diego, CA. The conference and exhibition began life in Northern California (San Jose) and supported the strong base of design engineers centered around Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties for the last 11 years. During that time, however, Southern California (notably San Diego and surrounding areas) has enjoyed a period of rapid population growth, increased new-housing starts, and a steady increase in wireless design activity. While commercial companies such as QUALCOMM have remained visible through global activity in code-division-multiple-access (CDMA) networks and handsets, hundreds of smaller companies have contributed innovative twists to existing technologies and sometimes even total new technologies. In recognition of the growing wireless activity in San Diego, the Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo was moved to the San Diego Convention Center for 2004 to provide a strong wireless design venue for local engineers (and those not-so-local wireless designers looking to escape frigid end-of-winter temperatures).

The opening day of the Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo offers a Keynote Presentation from Dr. Henry Samueli, co-founder, chairman, and chief technical officer of Broadcom Corp. (Irvine, CA). The company, with revenues of more than $1 billion in 2002 and third-quarter 2003 revenues of $425 million, is a leading supplier of silicon integrated circuits (ICs) and integrated solutions for wireless and wired networks. The company offers products for designers of cable modems, EDGE/GPRS/GSM handsets and networks, Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) OC-48 and OC-192 optical-communications ICs, transceivers, controllers, security chips, and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for enterprise and small-office networks, and integrated solutions for personal-area networks (PANs), including chips for Bluetooth and WLAN systems. Dr. Samueli, with more than 25 years experience in communications systems engineering and digital signal processing (DSP), has served as the company's CTO since its inception, and is responsible for all of Broadcom's research & development (R&D) activities. On leave of absence from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) since 1995, he has been a professor of Electrical Engineering at that prestigious institution where he has supervised research programs on DSP and broadband communications circuits. Before establishing Broadcom in 1991, he was involved in a variety of development programs at TRW, Inc. (Redondo Beach, CA) on military satellites and digital radio communications systems.

Dr. Samueli's Keynote Address, scheduled for Monday, March 8, 2004 at 3:00 PM, is entitled "Wireless in Everything: Life in a Fully Connected World." He will address the pervasive spread of wireless technology and how mobile and wireless technologies are setting the pace for many aspects of present-day and next-generation consumer electronics products. He will focus on several examples, including "unwired" home entertainment systems and public "hotspots" for wireless Internet access. He will also cover enterprise applications (data and paging networks), the evolution of game systems, portable telephones, and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), and explain how the inevitable, cost-effective solution lies in the design of an entire wireless transceiver on a single silicon CMOS chip.

The 12th Annual Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo also features several panel sessions, including "Using Power Over Ethernet (PoE) to Empower the Proliferation of Wireless Devices" and a projection of future trends aptly titled "Where is the Wireless Industry Going?" The first panel session, moderated by Marco Thompson, Chairman of the San Diego Telecom Council, boasts an impressive lineup of technologists and marketing professionals, including Paul Greenland, Director of Product Marketing for the Power Management Group of National Semiconductor (Santa Clara, CA); Thong Huynh, Senior Corporation Applications Engineer for Maxim Integrated Products (Sunnyvale, CA), Steve Shalita, Senior Manager of Product Technology Marketing for Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA); Madhu Rayabhari, Marketing Director for Power Management Products at Fairchild Analog Products (South Portland, ME); David Dwelley, Design Manager for Power over Ethernet Products for Linear Technology Corp. (Milpitas, CA); and David Schie, Vice-President of Broadband and Telecom for Supertex (Sunnyvale,CA). The second panel session, which includes such esteemed panel members as Norm Korey, Vice-President and General Manager for Wireless E-Business, America, for IBM Global Services (White Plains, NY); Scott Smyser, Senior Analyst for Frequency Control, RF, and Wireless for iSuppli (El Segundo, CA); and Robert Poor, CTO and Co-Founder of Ember Corp. (Boston, MA).

Next month's report will highlight the more than 60 technical presentations scheduled for the Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo, including full sessions on broadband wireless networks, third-generation (3G) cellular technologies, handset design, design strategies for low-power applications such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips, power-management hardware and software, measurement techniques, wireless security issues and solutions, and WLAN design. For more information on the 12th Annual Wireless Systems Design Conference & Exposition, visit the website at www.wsdexpo.com.