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A Scenic Marathon Route

In my previous blog, City Girl at Heart, I described the way in which San Francisco has shaped my life and instilled in me a love for the unique places and atmosphere that one finds in the hills and valleys along the Bay.  The sights and sounds of San Francisco, combined with the natural warmth and diversity of its people, leave a lasting impression on those who arrive for a brief visit as tourists, or the lucky ones who call this place 'home,' as I once did.  Whether by cable car or on foot, in an Uber or by bike in the green lane, an adventure around the City is typically an enriching, spontaneous experience.  Some of my most memorable (and oftentimes demanding) moments in San Francisco came during the annual marathon, a race that gives meaning to the term 'hill repeat' which describes the training required to make it, with a respectable time, to the finish line.

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This Year’s 1ST Time Exhibitors Bring a Global Offering of RF Products

The IMS, the exhibitor segment, is still thriving off of the proven formula of connecting academia, corporations and governments involved in the microwave and RF industry. This year’s host city, San Francisco, hopes to continue to break attendance records. The exhibition is almost completely sold out. For those not staying the entire week, it can be an overwhelming task to try to see and do everything that IMS has to offer.

Below is a quick snap shot of this year’s first time exhibitors. More than 30 new exhibitors hailing from Canada, China, Finland, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom as well as the USA. The companies offer a variety of RF and MW products. The mix of products spans from amplifiers to VNAs, and …iPhones? Yes, even Apple is jumping into the excitement of IMS!

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Historically Speaking

The IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) is a transnational professional society with more than 10,500 members and about 200 chapters worldwide. This society promotes the advancement of microwave theory and its applications, including RF, microwave, millimeter-wave, and terahertz technologies. The International Microwave Symposium (IMS) is the flagship conference of the MTT-S and is held annually in North America.

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Now you see me, now you don’t!

The move to mmWave frequencies in 5G offers the promise of massive bandwidth.  But will it work?  This is the topic of my MicroApp keynote presentation “Now you see me, now you don’t!”, free to all attendees on Tuesday morning, 10:05 on the MicroApps stage.  We will explore where we are with mmWave radio links, provide a look at on- going research that will make it possible to use mmWave for 5G and offer opinions on how broadly mmWaves will be deployed and what challenges need to be overcome to make this a reality.

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Millimeter Waves – A Gateway to the Future!

By: Utkarsh Unnikrishna, Tushar Sharma, Kiran Rajmohan and Irfan Ashiq.

The Young Professionals in Microwave is all set to make its youthful spirits felt again at the IMS to be held at SF Marriott Marquis on May 24th, 2016. Last year, in Phoenix, we had focused on entrepreneurs in the field of engineering sharing their experience on building a successful company. Picking a key focus area in today’s vibrant research landscape is typically a daunting task. But in this case, we had a clear winner. With all the excitement surrounding 5G, smarter vehicles, crisper and deeper imaging, defense technologies; millimeter-wave Technology and Research won the game hands down.

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WIM – Growing our Presence!

Camille Lesko and Sherry Hess

Last year, the WIE (Women in Engineering) Leadership Conference was held in Silicon Valley. Outside of the initial shock of seeing an audience of 99 percent technical females, the next awe factor was the lineup of keynote speakers -- CEO Lisa Su from AMD, CTO Sophie Vanderbroek of Xerox, CIO Rebecca Jacoby of Cisco, VP Patty Hatter of Intel. A male, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, however gave the most impactful talk. Why? Because he raised our awareness of the ‘diversity challenge’ he issued to his company and the entire industry at the beginning of the year.

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Gateway to the Wireless Future

You would never guess by looking at me that I’m a geek at heart! I’m a blond-haired, green-eyed SoCal native and spent all my summers on the beach with nothing but my bike to get me around. I used to call my friends from old-school rotary phones. No personal computers, no internet, no smartphones or iPads. Once I got my driver’s license, I shared a very used 1970-ish pimento colored Olds Cutlass Supreme V-8 with my sister. It sported a white vinyl top—and we were delighted to have it. So, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that a blond-haired SoCal girl would have a blossoming geek inside…but there was!

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STEM Program at IMS2016 - Connects the Generations of Current and Future Innovators


Getting youth excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) just has to be easier than getting them to keep their room clean! STEM is important to creating a lasting community of engineers making the world a better place. IMS is the premier engineering event where attendance records are routinely broken and everyone gives back to the community. The IMS STEM program aims to help parents connect with Radio Frequency (RF) and Microwave (MW) industry insiders, through this amazing program.

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City Girl at Heart

Listening to Tony Bennett’s “I left my heart in San Francisco," I can’t help but think of the many ways that the City has been such a big part of my personal and work life.  Growing up in the Bay Area, my father would take us to visit the Golden Gate Bridge.  At one of the many tourist landmarks—a massive cross-section of the cable that suspends the bridge—my father would photograph us. Only two of these huge cables hold the entire weight of the middle section of the bridge, containing 80,000 miles of wire steel strands, enough to encircle the equator three times.  We posed and we climbed on the cable.

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Yikes, My First Blog

Yikes! Here I am, noodling away, trying to figure out why people aren't more conservative, at least when it comes to charge in transistor modeling, when I realize that it's only TWO WEEKS until the IMS technical paper submission deadline!  I hope you are already well into writing your summary paper.  If not, we need to get our skates on over the Thanksgiving break and come up with three scintillating pages of technical excellence and eye-popping interest.  I am assuming here that you have already done the hard work, maybe just last week, or perhaps you are going to dust off those measured data or notes on that clever theory that you did last February, and you're in a position to crack on with the actual writing of the paper.

Hold on, not so fast. Let's just take a moment to think about what we should write and how we should go about it, to make sure that we have that best chance possible of getting our paper accepted into the most prestigious microwave conference in the world. 

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What's Trending@IMS2015 — Internet of Things, 5G, Wireless Acceleration...

With IMS 2015 finally upon us, one thing you can look forward to seeing (besides IEEE ribbons, plastic badge holders, and fishbowls full of wrapped candy) is a great representation of the key technology trends for industry: The Internet of Things, the Drive to 5G, and the Acceleration of Wireless.

As the world gets ready for the expansion of The Internet of Things (IoT), you can expect to see IMS members driving solutions to handle the great increases in demand for wireless and microwave capable devices. Not only is the demand for the array and volume of these devices increasing, but the pressures to reduce time to market and cost for devices are increasing as well. We'll look to the solutions and discussions at IMS 2015 to see how designers, testers, and manufacturers alike are handling these pressures through improved software, components, and platforms.

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Newcomers to Microwave Week

At Murrietta Circuits, we have exhibited in our share of trade shows over the last few years, so when our friend Judy Warner, of Zentech Manufacturing, recommended we check out IMS we were very open-minded. Once we reviewed the website, we quickly agreed with Judy that this would be the perfect venue to showcase Murrietta Circuits and the eSurface technology that we offer.  http://www.murrietta.com/licensed-esurface-manufacturing.html

We are “newcomers” to IMS and with that comes new opportunities.  We have been in business for about 35 years and during that time we’ve been involved in programs for the military; drones and wireless communications, aerospace; satellites and radar, medical; implantable devices and controllers for devices.  These are all very interesting and exciting programs and we take great pride in the quality of service we provide our customers.  

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IMS is growing! Check Out These First Time Exhibitors.

As of the date of this post, IMS2015 has 48 new companies contracted to exhibit. There is quite a mix of international and domestic companies. The types of companies include local service companies, innovative start-ups, and some well known multinational corporations.

Let’s make these first timers feel welcome and help them experience everything that makes IMS the premier event of our industry! To help introduce them to our community, I reached out to a few of the new exhibitors and asked them a few questions. See below for my interview with Neal Mellen at ON Semiconductor – if you consider Q&A over email, an interview.

b2ap3_thumbnail_semiconductor.jpgFirst Time Exhibitor Spotlight – ON Semiconductor, Booth 410, Neal Mellen

We will be promoting our discrete and integrated passive RF devices for low cost, high performance RF components and fixed matching networks, as well as tunable matching solutions for handheld devices. In addition our low cost, low power SoC products for ZigBee 802.15.4 and IoT will be on display.

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When did You Know...

(…You Were Going to be an Engineer?)

When the IMS steering committee met for the first time last November in Phoenix, to begin putting the wheels-in-motion for IMS 2015, those of us on the publicity committee thought it would be fun to get a glimpse of the history and humanity behind some of the talented RF/Microwave engineers that attend IMS each year. Additionally, we thought that these stories would inspire and resonate with the STEM students that will be involved in this year’s conference. No doubt, these stories will be full of surprises and a bit of humor, too.

So, when did you know you were going to be an engineer? Was it your obsession with Legos? Was it because you wanted to know how everything worked? Was it because you were a whiz at Math and Science? Was it because you kept deconstructing and reconstructing things? Was it that chemistry set you got for Christmas—or that Science fair you won? No doubt, every story is unique, and that “aha” moment came in different ways, at different ages for every one of you that chose an engineering profession.

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Excitement of the New Tradition of the “Kick-off Celebration” IMS2015

At IMS2014 in Tampa, the IMS executive committee chose to start a new tradition, the “Kick-off Celebration!” Registered attendees enjoyed food, live music, beer tents, and cocktail stations sponsored by companies that exhibit at IMS. And who can forget the water skiing show!

The IMS2015 executive committee and sponsors have a wonderful plan to provide you with an amazing experience in Phoenix! This year’s event will take place at the Arizona Science Center. The Arizona Science Center’s areas of focus include: Health & Medicine, Energy & Environment, Technology & Innovation, and Early Childhood Education. There are 300 exhibits in seven themed galleries, including the “My Digital World” exhibit on communications technologies.

The “My Digital World” exhibit has a permanent installation called the Ham Shack for you ham radio enthusiasts. Those that want to know more about ham radios, can connect to Hamfests.

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Women in Microwaves: Lean In at IMS 2015

Hello all you female IEEE MTT-S readers out there...

It's time to lean in. If you don't know what I'm referring to, read on.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is a book written by Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, and Nell Scovell, TV and magazine writer. Sandberg is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Lean In examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

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Learn Something New Every IMS

I am excited by all of the activity in the microwave industry this year, with many new developments in areas such as mmWaves, 5G communications, Internet of Things/wearable technologies, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, UAVs and modular test, to name a few. There is a continuing trend of industry consolidation that was strong last year and has continued this year with mergers such as the acquisition of Mesuro and Auriga by Focus Microwaves, Miteq by L-3 Narda, TE Connectivity businesses by CommScope, Exelis by Harris, Freescale by NXP, Vitesse Semiconductor by Microsemi and more — all before the end of the first quarter of 2015.

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IMS Redux… A Technical, Cultural and Personal Smorgasbord

A couple of weeks ago, two former colleagues and dear friends, who I had not seen in several years, blew through San Diego for a short conference visit: Dr. Kenji Itoh, formerly of Mitsubishi and now of Kanazawa Institute of Technology, and Dr. Larry Larson, formerly of IBM and now inaugural Dean of the new School of Engineering at my alma mater, Brown University. They were both so busy, I managed to only have a quick bite with them separately and on the fly. We three pledged to get together again at IMS in Phoenix where we would finally have a chance to catch up over the course of the conference. I have not been to IMS for a couple of years. Time, money, circumstance… life has a way of intervening in the best laid plans of mice and men. But the occasion of seeing my two dear colleagues again resurrected all the reasons I need to get myself together to attend the conference once again. There are soooo many good reasons to do this and so few reasons not to, that even the irony of Jimmy Fallon’s Pros and Cons cannot dissuade me from doing so this year.

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Wearable Wednesday?

Finally I can have warm toes.

Have you heard of wearable Wednesday? If you have not yet, you’ll hear about it now. This year at IMS (on Wednesday funnily enough), we are promoting the use of wearable electronics for anything and everything from Fitbits for counting steps on the show floor to iPhone apps for ‘Sleep Cycle’ tracking and reminding us of all of the sleep we are not getting.

But let me share with you what has me excited about wearables—finally that I can have warm toes all year long! On a flight back from Texas recently, I grabbed a copy of United Hemisphere Magazine to read on the descent into LAX. One article (and its image) caught my attention…“Bluetooth is the new Black.”

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Having a Beer with Steve Cripps… IMS2015 is Your Year!

Being at one of the early 2015 IMS committee meetings I heard about some event called “having a beer with Steve Cripps”. I must have missed the meeting prior where the concept was discussed. I did not take it seriously and thought it was just another IMS idea that had beer in it. Seems like we have a lot of those!

I know of Dr. Steve Cripps – by name - from his book and work in the use of load line contours for matching PA’s. In fact, the philosophical subject comes up periodically at work. To load-pull or not to load-pull and use the “Cripps Method”…now that is the question.  

I also know Steve is a regular attendee at IMS and personally I like the idea of grabbing a beer with him to get to know him.  Meeting new people and seeing old friends in the industry is one of the facets of IMS I really enjoy.

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