An anniversary is meant to be a celebration of a significant achievement. For example, when a couple celebrates their first anniversary of marriage, it is a celebration of having survived all the ups and downs that come during that first year. But when they celebrate their 40th year together, they are recognizing something special, an almost indestructible bond that they have built together.
In the microwave industry, companies come and go almost as quickly as a spirited employee's anger rises when prompted by a manager that doesn't share the same vision. Companies have been founded for less, and have ended when the realities of competition, changing markets, and technological change have taken their tolls. But, like a marriage, each year together is to be celebrated and recognized as an achievement, always with the hope of adding yet one more year to the string.
Businesses can grow organically (through their own sales and investments) and through acquisition, and the latter approach has long been a way of life in the microwave industry. Perhaps one of the more ironic tales of growth in the industry has been that of M/ ACOM, one of the industry's longest-running success stories, which started life as Microwave Associates during a time when vacuum tubes were the active building blocks of microwave systems. The firm's evolution into M/A-COM came through the acquisition of other companies that had also established themselves as leaders, including Anzac, Omni Spectra, PHI, and RHG Electronics Laboratories. But, US defense contractors have historically shown, no matter how many companies one firm acquires, there always seems to be someone bigger around the corner ready to acquire them. And such was the case when Tyco Electronics came to acquire M/A-COM. Yet, it is the positive influence of Tyco's direction (with the occasional unfortunate misstep by some senior managers) that allows the M/A-COM philosophy and business practices to flourish under the Tyco umbrella, continuing a tradition for one of the industry's earliest pioneers.
With this issue, Microwaves & RF celebrates its 45th year of service to the microwave industry. Having been founded as a section in Electronic Design magazine, it was first known as MicroWaves. After a name change to Microwaves & RF, the magazine survived several changes in management and dramatic changes in the industry.
Magazines making it to 20 years of operation, let alone 45 years, are the exception, especially with the influence of the Internet and the changing ways that engineers obtain their information. So, please join us in celebrating our first 45 years, and help us in building on the next 45 years.