Sunny San Diego marked the first industry conference and exhibition that we have seen that was back to “normal.” With more than 9,200 registrants and 2,700 delegates, IEEE MTT-S IMS 2023 had an attendance and activity level that has not been seen since the pre-COVID days. The event took place June 11-16 with a technical program that had some 360 technical papers, presenting “the Coolest Ideas under the Sun” in the RF and microwave field, in addition to the industry exhibition with about 550 companies demonstrating their latest products and services. It was a great networking event with many re-connecting in person for the first time in a while.
IMS2023 introduced several innovations. The focus themes included:
- Wireless Communications, including 6G developments, Wi-Fi, RF and microwave system-on-chip integration, massive MIMO systems and subsystems and more
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) Technologies for Microwaves
- Model-Based Systems Engineering, including Digital Twins
- Space and Aerospace
- Wireless Power Transfer
- RF and Microwave Technology in Biomedical Applications.
Each theme had focused technical sessions, workshops, a keynote speaker, a panel session and a technical lecture. Additionally, there was a “Systems Pavilion” in the industry exhibition, showcasing wireless, with demos by the finalists in the ‘MTT-Sat Challenge.’ IMS2023 also featured the “Connected Futures Summit” co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society.
With a show as massive as IMS, it can be challenging to see everything the show has to offer. Whether you were unable to make the event, busy meeting with colleagues, participating in the technical program, or a culmination of all, you may not have had the time to walk through the exhibition as much as you'd like to. That's why Microwave Journal has put together this IMS2023 show wrap-up, in case you missed the best of IMS2023 exhibition.
Photo Gallery: https://www.microwavejournal.com/media/photos/122-ims2023
Frequency Matters Updates from the Exhibition Floor Each Day
June 13 Wrap Up
June 14 Wrap Up
June 15 Wrap Up
Aethertek unveiled its latest frequency range 2 (FR2) 5G mmWave technology at IMS, including their antenna-in-module (AiM), transforming lower-frequency radio units into FR2 mmWave 5G-capable devices. The dual polarization AiM has a power output of 47 dBm EIRP with transmission quality of EVM under 5 percent. It mitigates the common challenge of signal loss in FR2 5G caused by obstacles like walls, materials and living organisms. Designed for indoor and semi-outdoor environments, such as train stations, the AiM serves as an solution for the telecommunications. Aethertek is actively working on reducing the module's size and minimizing power consumption.
Altum RF featured products included new components for satcom and radar markets. These K- and Ka-Band power amplifiers, and X-Band low noise/driver amplifiers, integrated front-end and switches reflect Altum RF’s concentration on developing products that offer the increased power, higher frequency, greater bandwidth and increased integration demanded by these markets. Product highlights included:
- ARF1014: 27–31.5 GHz GaN 12 W power amplifier MMIC, 17 dB power gain
- ARF1026Q4: 27–31.5 GHz linear amplifier, 26 dBm P1dB
- ARF1502Q4: 8–12 GHz front end integrated circuit, 26 dB Tx power gain
- ARF1020Q5: 9–11 GHz GaN power amplifier, 10 W output power.
At IMS2023, Analog Devices demonstrated how its RF solutions enable companies to develop disruptive technologies in instrumentation, communications, industrial and aerospace applications by accelerating innovation, enhancing reliability as well as reducing complexity and footprint in RFIC designs. One of the biggest announcements at IMS was the ADI Apollo MxFE. It is the most advanced software-defined, direct RF-sampling, wideband mixed signal front end platform in the market. Apollo MxFE enables next-generation applications such as phased array radar, electronic surveillance, test and measurement, and 6G communications in the Aerospace & Defense, Instrumentation, and Wireless Communications industries. This monolithic 16nm CMOS device utilizes state of the art high dynamic range RF ADC and RF DAC cores has excellent spurious free dynamic range and noise spectral density. The 4T4R product offers four 12-bit RF ADCs with a sample rate up to 20 GSPS, four 16-bit RF DACs with a sample rate up to 28 GSPS, an RF input bandwidth from DC to 18GHz and an instantaneous bandwidth up to 10 GHz. Apollo MxFE is the industry’s first integrated radio that is capable of directly interfacing to the emerging 6G frequency bands from 7 to 15 GHz. The on-chip DSP offers a real-time FFT Sniffer, a full-rate programmable FIR filter, a 128-tap complex FIR filter, fast-hopping NCOs, DDCs/DUCs, and a fractional sample rate converter. The DSP is dynamically configurable, allowing for rapid changes between narrowband and wideband profiles without taking down the JESD link. Apollo MxFE supports JESD 204B/C and a very short reach interface. Apollo MxFE’s 8T8R product offers eight RF ADCs with a sample rate up to 8 GSPS, eight RF DACs with a sample rate up to 16 GSPS, an RF input bandwidth up to 16 GHz, and an instantaneous bandwidth up to 3 GHz. The on-chip DSP offers similar features and functionality to the 4T4R device with double the number of digital blocks, all dynamically configurable.
Also on display was the ADAR3002, a dual beam, four-element dual polarization receive beamforming IC operating from 17.7 to 21.2 GHz and the ADAR3003, a single beam, four element dual polarization transmit beamforming IC operating from 27.7 to 31.5 GHz. Their low power and high level of digital integration make them ideal for applications such as airborne terminals, man-pack radios and satcom-on-the-move.
Anoison Innovation addressed a twenty-first century need. In order to address size and weight issues with traditional D38999 connectors, Anoison developed SMPS Size-16 coax for Amphenol 2M805 (Micro38999) connectors, available in two major cable diameters, 0.086 and 0.047. Micro38999 is 50 percent smaller and 60 percent more contact density than traditional D38999 resulting in up to 70 percent weight savings and 50 percent size savings compared to traditional D38999.
Anokiwave featured their portfolio of mmWave silicon ICs, that are shipping in volume and commercially deployed in working antennas, that enable active antennas across multiple markets, specifically 5G, satcom and aerospace and defense. Anokiwave's satcom Ku- and Ka-Band ICs are used in multiple terminal designs operating live satellite links globally, and their performance, cost-effectiveness and availability in volume enables customers to design, build and deploy satcom systems with confidence in their choice of ICs for commercial success. At the Connected Future Summit, Ryan Jennings, Anokiwave vice president of satcom and systems, discussed ways in which satcom will play a key part in extending terrestrial 5G networks to air, sea and other remote areas not covered by small cell networks and how active antennas are uniquely suited for this growth area.
Anokiwave and Starry Group collaborated to develop Starry’s next-generation customer premises receivers (CPE) to deliver affordable, high-capacity home broadband access across the 24 and 3 GHz spectrum bands. As part of this collaboration, Anokiwave designed a complete Phased Array Antenna Module (PAAM) using its industry leading Gen-4 silicon ICs, to accelerate Starry’s time-to-market for Outdoor CPE units, that met or exceeded all cost and technical specifications and is now ready for production. Starry’s gigabit-capable licensed fixed wireless technology dramatically reduces the cost of providing a home with a gigabit quality signal and low-cost WiFi modem, instead of the traditional 5G modems. This reduces the average total cost of a Fixed Wireless Access point to nearly 1/100th the cost of building fiber to the home. Starry’s technology also enables significant reductions in network build time as compared to wireline networks. Anokiwave’s PAAM helped Starry to meet their aggressive cost, schedule, and performance requirements. The Anokiwave developed 24 and 37 GHz PAAMs allowed Starry to reach production ready design and complete radio in less than 12 months from the start of the project.
Anritsu showcased the new 70 GHz Rubidium™ MG36271A RF/Microwave Signal Generator. Live demonstrations were held of the signal generator integrated with Virginia Diodes frequency extender modules to create a sub-THz solution. In addition, demonstrations on broadband measurements to 220 GHz using the VectorStar™ ME7838G Broadband VNA system featuring mmWave modules from Anritsu and VDI were conducted. The ShockLine™ ME7869A VNA, a fully reversing 2-port VNA solution with guaranteed performance to 43.5 GHz, was shown, as well. The ShockLine™ ME7869A can conduct long-distance full vector S-parameter measurements over wide distances of up to 100 meters. Three models – operating up to 8, 20, and 43.5 GHz, respectively – provide unprecedented cost-efficiency, flexibility, and ease-of-use to a variety of existing and emerging commercial and military antenna design applications. The ME7869A is configured with two MS46131A 1-port VNAs that can each be directly connected to the antenna under test (AUT). Cable length for each VNA module can be equal or different lengths, depending on the application. It eliminates the need for long RF coaxial cables that create high loss, and phase and magnitude instability. The unique design addresses the need to accurately and repeatably measure antennas over long distances, such as in anechoic chambers and antenna test ranges. The Spectrum Master™ MS276xA family of ultraportable USB spectrum analyzers and the Field Master Pro™ MS2090A were also displayed in the booth. Anritsu will also addressed emerging test challenges associated with high speed designs through a series of technical sessions.
Benchmark Lark Technology
In booth 1351, the Lark Technology business unit of Benchmark Electronics showed some of their latest products. This group makes custom RF filters, diplexers and multiplexers from 1 MHz to 40 GHz. They also combine these products, along with other functions into multi-function and integrated millimeter and microwave assemblies. Lark works on customized designs, so they were showcasing some of their products, along with discussing their capabilities.
Among the CML Micro products on show at IMS was the recently-introduced CMX90B701 and CMX90B702 low current low-noise gain blocks for the 17 to 23 GHz and 23 to 29.5 GHz bands, respectively. Both devices have an ultra-low current consumption of 10 mA with a typical P1dB output figure of +7.5 dBm, an IP3 output of +17.5 dBm and a noise figure of 4 dB. The devices are housed in a low-cost 3 x 3 mm QFN package, and are fully matched to 50 Ω.
Connectronics Inc., designer and manufacturer of standard and custom RF connectors, adapters and microwave connectors, showcased its RF connectors and adapters designed for quantum computing at booth 515. Connectronics can modify its extensive product line of 6,000 RF connectors to feature nonmagnetic and cryogenic attributes critical to quantum computing applications. These high frequency, coaxial RF connectors are U.S.-manufactured with base material and plating finish combinations that minimize magnetic signature. Connectronics delivers connectivity solutions, ensuring minimal interference with quantum computing’s applied magnetic fields. A complete range of RF connectors can be produced in large and small quantities, including unique and hard-to-find connectors.
Copper Mountain Technologies
In booth 2335 at the conference, Corning's experts showcased their latest innovations. The G3PO™ Interconnect Series is a high frequency (65 GHz and 100 GHz) connectivity solution for telecommunications, radar systems, shipboard, airborne, ground-based, missile programs, cryogenic and non-magnetic applications. The G3PO™ interconnect series offers a blind mate interconnect that has a center-to-center spacing of 0.085 in and weighs just .016g. This series is designed to accommodate both radial and axial misalignment with negligible voltage standing wave radio (VSWR) change to perform in high-stress environments. Within this series, Corning offers adapters available to SMA, 1.85 mm and 2.4 mm.
The G4PO™ Interconnect Series is their latest innovation, this ultra-high-density connectivity solution enables high frequency (60 GHz) connections even in constrained environments that lack open access. With center-to-center spacing of 0.070 in, board-to-board spacing of 0.090 in., and a weight of .005 g, th is series is 50 percent smaIler than G PPO® and 18 percent smaIler than G3PO™. Within this series, Corning also offers adapters available to SMA, 1.85 mm and 2.92 mm.
In booth 1154, dB Control exhibited microwave power modules (MPMs), RF switches and more. The MPMs are based on a modular design for easy customization and are available with continuous wave or pulsed power. Each MPM is a complete microwave amplifier that uses traveling wave tubes and solid state technologies, along with high-voltage and low-voltage power supplies, to provide the best of both worlds for military and commercial applications. Models displayed include dB-3201, dB-3201H, dB-4150, dB-3202, dB-3205, dB-3758, dB-3774B, dB-4127 and dB-4128 MPMs.
Also on display was a large selection of high-power MIL-standard switches for military, commercial, telecommunications and specialty applications from Charter Engineering. Models displayed include the SPDT – B40 Series, SP6T – H60 Series, SP6T Externally Terminated – C6 Series, SP8T Minature – J8 Series and SP12T – S12 Series.
Doosan Corporation Electro-Materials
Doosan Corporation showcased products and technologies aimed at bringing a “Delightful Life” to customers in the era of 5G and beyond. The company highlighted 5G mmWave antenna modules, a MEMS timing solution and copper clad laminates (CCL) for ‘high speed and high frequency’ applications.
Empower RF Systems
Empower RF Systems, based in Inglewood, CA designs power amplifier solutions for EW radar, SatCom, threat simulation, communications and product testing applications. The company's air and liquid-cooled amplifier products range from tens of watts to hundreds of kilowatts in PA modules to scalable rack systems. These amplifiers use a patented architecture and technologies ranging from GaN and GaAs to silicon-based LDMOS and MOSFET technologies to produce sophisticated and flexible COTS amplifiers to 6 GHz. The company had examples of all its products on display with the recently released model 2245 figuring prominently. This liquid-cooled amplifier delivers a minimum of 4100 W CW from 2 to 4 GHz with 5 kW mid-band performance.
Eravant, MilliBox, Maury Microwave and Copper Mountain Technologies (CMT) joined forces to showcase a complete and affordable system for D-Band over-the-air (OTA) 3D antenna pattern measurement. Each company contributed some of its leading products to the demonstration. The presentation featured a benchtop mmWave anechoic chamber with a 3D antenna positioner from MilliBox and a CMT 2-port 20 GHz VNA. Eravant’s compact transmitter and receiver modules extend the frequency of the VNA to 110 to 170 GHz with low profile flexible cable assemblies from Maury Microwave. This demonstration displayed a live 3D radiation pattern capture of Eravant’s WR-06 20 dBi horn antenna. In addition, Eravant was featuring their waveguide noise source LN2 calibration services up to 220 GHz. They are calibrated in-house using a cold reference termination. A room-temperature or "hot" reference termination is also used. The effective noise temperatures of these terminations are controlled within a fraction of a degree so very accurate. Typical ENR flatness is +/- 2 dB over the entire operating bandwidth.
At booth 1251, ERZIA displayed their low noise amplifiers and power amplifiers, integrated assemblies, substrate filters and ERZIA’s new lineup of equalizers, mixers and switches.