The International Microwave Symposium, the industry’s largest trade show for microwave and related technologies, returns to a live format this year. This year’s event, being held in at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver from June 19 to 24, will feature a full slate of workshops, technical presentations, and exhibitions highlighting the latest component- and system-level technologies in areas such as 5G, radar, energy harvesting, autonomous vehicles, and many more.
Given the increasing importance of high-frequency and microwave electronics in many emerging technologies, this year’s IMS program will pay particular attention to those topics in its various sessions and panel discussions, as well as courses for engineers.
Quantum Is Hot
One of those “hot” topics is quantum computing, which is enabled by quantum technology. In a plenary session Monday, June 20, Professor Dana Anderson of Cold Quanta Inc. and The JILA Institute & Dept. of Physics, University of Colorado, will discuss atomic behavior as the core of quantum technology, and emphasize the critical need for microwave engineering to design and control these new quantum-enhanced circuits.
Because quantum technology will fundamentally shape many future electronics-related advances, IMS 2022 will also feature a “Boot Camp,” taking place the morning of Sunday, June 19, that will be a short course discussing the basics of quantum engineering. It will focus on the control and measurement of quantum systems and will conclude with a hands-on introduction to the design of superconducting qubits using modern microwave CAD tools.
Microwave electronics have long been instrumental in space technology advancements, so it is no surprise that the other plenary session will focus on the microwave-enabled space industry. In Monday’s second plenary session talk, Greg Edlund, Vice President and Chief Architect at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, will discuss some of the many advances in space-based technologies, whether they be in air, space, or land. These advances are enabled by microwave engineering advances that are lowering power consumption and weightꟷalways critical for space applications, along with meeting goals for lower cost and reduced test and development schedules. The talk will address the challenges associated with operating in the harsh environment of space and the development and testing of custom MMICs and new RF Photonic Integrated circuits to support these applications.
5G and Connectivity
Because RF and microwave advancements are so crucial to advances in 5G technology, IMS has in recent years held a 5G Summit in conjunction with IEEE Communications Society. The event provides a platform for academic, government and industrial communities to interact and exchange technology ideas related to technologies of 5G and beyond. Because 5G is paving the way for a new wave of connectivity, the 5G Summit is now called the Connected Future Summit.
This year’s Summit, to be held Tuesday, June 21, is a day-long program covering a broad range of connectivity-related topics. They include future trends of 6G and beyond; standardization of both cellular (3GPP) and Wi-Fi Alliance; broadband wireless with satellite constellations and other high-altitude platform; V2X technology with beyond 5G; semiconductor technologies; reconfigurable front ends and system architectures; and test and measurement challenges impacting next-generation connectivity evolution.
IMS 2022 will also have over 400 exhibitors representing product and service providers representing many global regions. A small sampling of products and technologies being introduced or shown include:
- Finwave, a GaN startup, will discuss a breakthrough 3D GaN technology for the 5G market.
- Boonton Electronics will demonstrate its new NGX1000 Programmable Noise Generator, which can generate noise in the frequency range of 10 MHz to 3 GHz with exceptional flatness over the entire frequency band and user-selectable attenuation from 0 dB to 127.9 dB in 0.1 dB steps.
- Altum RF, a Netherlands-based supplier of RF to mm-wave solutions, will exhibit new gallium nitride (GaN)-based power amplifiers (PAs) and gallium arsenide (GaAs)-based pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility transistor (pHEMT) low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) and linear amplifiers.
- pSemi® Corporation, a Murata company focused on semiconductor integration, will demo a 5G mmWave Module and ICs.
Build Your Own NIST Clock
Among the interesting workshops at IMS 2022 will be an opportunity for attendees to build and test their own NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) atomic clock. This interactive experience, to be held on the exhibition floor Tuesday, June 21, will teach attendees how the NIST atomic clock works and how its radio synchronization transmits the time around the US. Attendees will then build their own NIST radio receiver from scratch at several stations, each of which teaches the operation of a portion of the radio and enables them to assemble that portion at the station. Upon completing all the stations, attendees can then test out the board.
Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected]