The microwaves industry continues to change, and these changes strongly impact the way engineers stay current on the latest developments. To highlight companies and engineers that rise to the challenge and provide cutting edge value to the industry, Microwaves & RF created the "Best of Microwave" industry awards. During this year’s IMS 2014 show in Tampa, FL, Microwaves & RF presented the awards to a crowd excited to celebrate the achievers among them. You voted for the BEST website, blog, video, educational tools, and more. Now see if the companies you voted for made it to the top.
Best Industry Website:
Winner: Cobham Antenna Systems
Cobham Antenna Systems is a defense manufacturer, specializing in advanced antenna technology for satellite communications, avionics, radar, surveillance, and other military and commercial applications. Its website features easily navigable search options to find products and services fast. The product support section details the different services Cobham offers, along with a sidebar allowing the user to jump to a different type of technology with ease. The technology pages on the website have straightforward and helpful synopsis about the technology with readily available links to more detailed information.
Runner-up: AR World
AR World offers EMC and RF testing, as well as amplifier systems/modules and receiver systems. The company’s website is not only appealing to the eye, but features easy-to-use search tools located on the homepage. The new “Find It Fast” charts, featured in the rf/microwave instrumentation section, allow the user to search quickly for solid-state RF amplifiers, solid-state microwave amplifiers, TWTAs, hybrid power modules, and antennas. With many hyperlinked items also on its homepage, AR World makes finding exactly what a visitor is looking for a stress-free task. Other highlights of the website include a homepage slideshow showcasing different products and events, as well as free, downloadable software to making testing “quicker, easier, and more accurate.”
Check out this video from the awards, thanks to Engineering TV:
Best Industry Blog
Winner: Steve Huettner at www.microwaves101.com
The Unknown Editor, now revealed as Steve Huettner, blog on microwaves101.com is not only an extremely useful and interesting blog, but refreshingly funny as well. Huettner find ways to relate current topics with microwaves, and discusses them to a point that really holds the reader’s attention. No matter what he is currently talking about, the Unknown Editor’s blog always relates a seemingly unconnected event back to microwaves. The blog also features an easy to access archives section and has recently partnered with IEEE MTT-S to improve content.
Runner-up: The PIM Source, Anritsu
This blog, sponsored by test and measurement equipment company Anritsu, is updated about once a month and discusses the issues associated with locating and testing Passive Intermodulation (PIM), the basics of PIM measurements, and how to prevent/eliminate PIM in cellular networks. The blog builds off Anritsu, in that users can discuss topics related to equipment the company sells. It features many descriptive entries and photos to make the blog not only informative but visually appealing.
Best Social Media
Winner: Agilent Technologies
Agilent has a strong presence on Twitter and YouTube. With highly sharable images that often link to Agilent’s own blog, the company uses a mix of blast-to-the-past facts and the latest technology to engage customers and the test and measurement community.
RFMD’s YouTube channel includes everything from training videos to product announcements. The company’s Twitter feed is a go-to for the latest in company news with more details provided on the Google+ page. RFMD also uses LinkedIn to further connect with its customers.
Best Online Educational Tools
Winner: Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments’ online educational tools are bolstered by a wide variety of videos ranging from more information about products—everything from amplifiers to microcontrollers and in between—to applications videos for a variety of markets. This includes automotive, lighting, medical, communications, and plenty more. Texas Instruments also hosts an E2E Support Community for engineering peers to interact with one another, supplemented with information from experts.
Runner-up: Rohde & Schwarz
Alongside a diverse product portfolio, Rohde & Schwarz’s site has an extensive glossary of technology standards from cellular to mobile broadcast and satellite navigation to satellite broadcast. The company also hosts “webseminars” to teach customers about topics like LTE basics.
Best Technical Support
Winner: Linear Technology Corp.
Designer and manufacturer of analog integrated circuits, Linear Technology Corp. has both design support and technical documentation located conveniently on its website. Design Support features many options, such as design simulations, quality and reliability information, and technical support that directs the user to its local sales office for further assistance. Technical Documentation provides even more with product information, design notes, and product catalog directly available online.
Runner-up: W.L. Gore & Associates
W.L. Gore & Associates is a company that focuses on electronics, fabrics, industrial, and medical products. Its technical support is highly rated. Not only do representatives help with product questions, they also provide innovative solutions to fix the problem. Its website features a contact form for users to ask questions regarding cables and cable assemblies. Gore also offers information about its authorized distributors to make getting help as easy as possible.
Best Technical Application Video
Winner: Analog Devices
Analog Devices’ videos range from how to use specific converters to more general presentations on things like motor control and system partitioning and design. Videos also include demonstrations of products at conferences like Embedded World and how to create new systems with different devices, such as replacing optocouplers and shunt regulators with one of the company’s isolated error amplifiers.
Runner-up: National Instruments
National Instruments’ main source of technical videos comes from demonstrations at NI Week. The company’s strong sense of community with its customers also adds applications sent in from users of National Instruments’ products. Most recently, videos focused on National Instruments’ LabView software have helped in regards to applications such as instrument control/acquisition and analysis of measurement data.
Best Custom Solutions
Winner: Analog Devices
Analog Devices' custom solutions include a suite of design tools and the newest edition, Signal Chain Designer, which helps customers build customized signal chains with access to over 200 tested application circuits. Adding a sense of community, the beta program allows for easy sharing od designs as well as simplified ordering of parts or evaluation boards. The integrated design and wizard tools serve to help complete the BOM report. For all other projects, design specialists are available to help in any necessary customization.
Mini-circuits has an array of RF, IF, and microwave signal processing products. Custom solutions can be made by its engineers from any of the products. The company has representatives across the United States and Canada, offering convenient service for every need—as well as more representatives across the globe. Amplifiers and RF filters are just a few of the customizable products with a quick turnaround time.
Living Legend: Dr. Stephen Maas
Dr. Stephen Maas won the Living Legend award for his work with low-noise and non-linear microwave circuits and systems. Currently a chief scientist at AWR Corp. and a consultant with his company, Nonlinear Technologies, Maas has authored several books including Microwave Mixers and Non-Linear Microwave Circuits. His most recent book, Practical Microwave Circuits, further bolsters his contributions to the community. Maas has also held positions as an editor and chairman of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society, and is an IEEE fellow. In addition to this award, Maas was previously recognized for a Microwave Prize in 1989 for his work on distortion diode mixers, as well as many other accomplishments.
Technical Editor Jean-Jacques DeLisle interviewd Dr. Maas for Engineering TV, which can be watched below: