Wireless applications brought many commercial opportunities to this industry. As an example, for chip makers like RF Micro Devices (www.rfmd.com), cellular handsets represented the opportunity to manufacture and ship millions of integrated circuits (ICs) for front-end functions. More recently, an article appearing in the November issue of Microwaves & RF showcases the company's efforts in supplying modules and ICs to the emerging Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems (UMTS) market.
Perhaps lost in the steady growth of commercial wireless applications is the similarly strong growth in military-electronics opportunities. One clear sign of this is to follow the moves of the capital-equipment suppliers, such as test-equipment companies. In recent months, activities at major companies such as Aeroflex, Agilent Technologies, Anritsu, and Rohde & Schwarz have led to the release of products aimed at pulsed or multi-emitter testingthe types of tests performed by companies engaged in the manufacture of components and subsystems for such platforms as electronic-warfare (EW) receivers and radar systems. This industry cut its teeth on military electronics and, in spite of the commercial opportunities, remains close to the needs of military applications worldwide.