The New Year is upon us, allowing us to have the opportunity to take a closer look at what the RF/microwave industry will have in store for 2016. While we’ve seen plenty of technology advancements in recent years, many believe that future technology will reach yet unimagined capabilities. Some of the buzzwords you’ve undoubtedly been hearing recently are “5G,” as well as “the Internet of Things” (IoT). Self-driving cars are another topic of interest, as some are predicting that millions of driverless cars could be on the road by the year 2020. We will see if this actually happens, but the idea helps to demonstrate the vision of technology taking an even greater role in all aspects of our lives in the future.
In the telecommunications arena, the much-anticipated 5G will continue to be a major focus throughout 2016. Despite all of its hype, however, no one is exactly sure what 5G will look like. Millimeter-wave frequencies are being proposed for 5G, as a large amount of spectrum is available in these frequency bands. We can expect to hear all sorts of news and updates throughout the year as researchers transition 5G from concept to reality.
The IoT, of course, has been creating major headlines. A Google search on “IoT” would produce countless results. However, opinions of what the IoT actually is and will be vary greatly. Some believe that the IoT promises to bring us a “smarter and more connected” world. In response to a recent article from our sister publication, Electronic Design (“11 Myths About the Internet of Things”), however, one reader commented that the IoT is a “passing fad.” Another respondent commented that the IoT is “more of a language and culture hype than a technical hype.” These responses are in stark contrast to the hoopla surrounding the IoT, proving that the real rollout and implementation of IoT is still up for debate.
Beyond 5G and the IoT, 2016 promises to introduce plenty of innovation from the RF/microwave industry. The many mergers and acquisitions that have occurred in the semiconductor industry are now taking form, as these newly structured companies look to drive technology forward in 2016 and beyond. For example, Qorvo has much in store for 2016 after its successful first year. Following its merger with Freescale Semiconductor, the new NXP Semiconductors plans to deliver a variety of solutions to its customers. And Ampleon—created following the NXP-Freescale merger—intends to offer its own RF power solutions. Stay tuned, as 2016 promises to be very interesting.