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March 3, 2005 Newsletter

Microwaves & RF UPDATE
PlanetEE -
March 3, 2005

Greetings and welcome to your personal copy of PlanetEE's Microwaves and 
RF UPDATE e-newsletter. Please see below for address-change or 
subscribe/unsubscribe instructions.

Today's Table of Contents:
1. Future For Broadband Appears Promising
2. Rockwell Collins Links Military and Local Law Enforcement 
3. Report Projects Slower Semiconductor Growth 
4. AVX's Capacitors Make Trip to Saturn's Moon 
5. ABI Sees Changes In Wireless Infrastructure 
6. Northrop Grumman Snares High-Energy-Laser Contract 
7. Keithley Hits 40 GHz For On-Wafer Testing 
8. Agilent Ships Real-Time Scopes To 13 GHz 
9. Happenings - Conferences 

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1.  Viewpoint 
Future For Broadband Appears Promising 

Broadband communications supports a wide range of customer services, 
including high-speed data and streaming video. Whether the 
communications is handled by wire or through wireless systems, it would 
appear that customer demand is growing. According to the latest report 
by IMS Research ( , Austin, TX) on the 
subject, "Broadband Access Database," the number of subscribers 
receiving broadband communications services just passed 150 million 
worldwide. This is an increase of 51 million since the beginning of 
2004, and there are no signs that the rate of growth is slowing. 

Of course, most of this is based on digital-subscriber-line (DSL) 
technology over wire, with more than 100 million subscribers, and 
broadband cable lines in second place. Asia represents the 
fastest-growing geographic segment, with about 43% of the worldwide 

Where is wireless in this broadband mix? According to Melissa Yocum, 
broadband analyst with IMS Research, "although most of the attention for 
future broadband development is focused on the DSL and cable sectors, we 
should not forget the niche broadband technologies, such as fiber-to-the 
premises, broadband powerline (BPL), WiMAX, and even satellite." For a 
market with as much growth potential as broadband communications, even 
these niche segments for wireless technologies can represent markets in 
the billions of dollars. 


Please share your thoughts by contacting me at: mailto:[email protected]

2. News
Rockwell Collins Links Military and Local Law Enforcement

Rockwell Collins recently demonstrated that its multiband, multimode 
ARC-210 radio system can enable military aircraft and ground units to 
have voice communications with local law enforcement and first 
responders. In a demonstration with the Marion, IA police department, 
representatives of Lockheed Martin, and members of the US Army and Navy, 
the 400-to-512-MHz AN/ARC-210 radio system was used for voice 
communications between police officers and the military, performing 
transmit (in compliance with FCC regulations) and receive operations 
with channel spacings of 12.5 to 25 kHz. Also demonstrated was the 
interoperability between U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Special Operations 
Forces radios, along with Motorola and Thales handheld radios. According 
to Bruce King, vice president and general manager of Communications 
Systems at Rockwell Collins, "this capability enables the U.S. military 
to communicate with local authorities during emergency operations and 
enhances public safety by allowing for quick reaction to developing 
Rockwell Collins --->

3. News
Report Projects Slower Semiconductor Growth

A semiannual report on the semiconductor industry issued by Standard & 
Poor's Equity Research Services projects more moderate, single-digit 
growth in 2005 compared to 2004. The report notes that excess inventory 
and slower growth for the economy and the major end-markets will account 
for the slower growth, compared to semiconductor sales growth of 18% in 
2003 and 28% in 2004. According to Amrit Tewary, Semiconductor Analyst 
with Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services, "Early in 2004, when 
the semiconductor industry was in the midst of expanding, chip companies 
had built up large inventories based on expectations of strong demand in 
the second half of the year -- expectations that turned out to be too 
optimistic." Historically, the semiconductor business moves in four- or 
five-year cycles, with an off year being followed by a stabilization 
year and then by two or three growth years. The current boom period 
began in mid-2003, following a 32% decline in chip sales in 2001 and 
stabilization in 2002, when sales grew 1.3%.
Standard and Poors --->

4. News
AVX's Capacitors Make Trip to Saturn's Moon

Passive-components supplier AVX Corp. has announced that its CYR10 and 
CYR15 multilayer glass dielectric capacitors have been employed aboard 
the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, currently studying Saturn and its moons. 
The stable glass capacitors were utilized in communication and control 
of the Cassini spacecraft, as well as deployment and wake-up circuitry 
for the Huygens probe that recently landed on Saturn's moon, Titan. AVX, 
a long-time supplier to NASA, has supplied 
passive components for many missions over the past 50 years.
AVX Corp. --->

5. News
ABI Sees Changes In Wireless Infrastructure

Research firm ABI Research reports that the wireless infrastructure 
industry is in a period of metamorphosis. It is characterized by a shift 
from hardware-based base station manufacturing industry to one based on 
software and services. As noted in the collection of studies, "Wireless 
Infrastructure Research Service," all base stations are becoming 
software configurable and less dependent upon fixed-hardware 
configurations. According to Ray Jodoin, principal analyst of wireless 
infrastructure research at ABI Research, "the base station hardware 
isn't the 'big thing' any more. Those are all becoming 
software-reconfigurable." Jodoin notes that this is the reason that 
Alcatel bought WaterCove Networks over a year ago: they had the kinds of 
technology that the coming wave of infrastructure would require.
ABI Research --->

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6. News
Northrop Grumman Snares High-Energy-Laser Contract

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command has awarded Northrop 
Grumman Corp. a follow-on contract for operations and maintenance of 
lasers and
facility-support systems used to test the effects of lasers against
physical threats. Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector 
provide engineering and technical support for the High Energy Laser
Systems Test Facility at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and
equipment including the mid-infrared advanced chemical laser (MIRACL),
the Sea-Lite beam director and the vacuum test system. The MIRACL is the 
free world's first megawatt-class, continuous-wave, deuterium fluoride 
chemical laser. The Sea-Lite beam director is a stabilized, 1.8-meter 
diameter, megawatt-class, high-power, laser-beam-expanding telescope 
capable of handling close-in tactical targeting scenarios. The contract 
is valued at $46.9 million to the IT sector over two years, with three 
one-year options. 
Northrop Grumman Corp. ---> 

7. News
Keithley Hits 40 GHz For On-Wafer Testing

Test-equipment supplier Keithley Instruments announced the third 
generation of its Model S680 and Model S470 on-wafer measurement 
systems, with RF Option test capability to 40 GHz. Designed for both 
parametric and RF on-wafer testing, the system offers unique features to 
improve accuracy and increase reliability, including automatic 
verification of probe-tip quality, detection of need for recalibration, 
and triggering of unattended recalibration with change of probe card. 
The system allows RF parameters to be extracted and de-embedded now for 
the first time in real time from measured s-parameters using the 
industry's largest RF parametric extraction library without the need for 
post processing, saving time and increasing throughput. The system has a 
direct-dock capability for making measurements at 40GHz. Competitive 
products require a manual probe card change by an RF specialist using a 
torque wrench followed by manual recalibration. Keithley's RF Option 
solution completes an automated RF probe card change in a fraction of 
the time it takes for a manual change, increasing overall throughput. 
The RF Option works with existing automated DC probers.
Keithley Instruments --->

8. News
Agilent Ships Real-Time Scopes To 13 GHz

Agilent Technologies has announced customer shipments of its Infiniium 
80000 series 10, 12 and 13 GHz oscilloscopes, the industry's fastest 
real-time oscilloscope and highest bandwidth active probing system. With 
sampling rates to 40 GSamples/s and full bandwidth performance at the 
high-impedance probe tips, the combination of measurement tools 
simplifies the measurement of high-speed devices and data buses. For 
example, proprietary high-speed serial buses and serial bus standards 
such as Fibre Channel, fully buffered DIMM (FBD), serial ATA (SATA), 
serial attached SCSI (SAS) and PCI Express will have performance points 
that reach into the 4 to 8 Gb/s range along with edge speeds that have 
rise-times faster than 50 ps (20 to 80 percent). The new scopes work 
with software packages designed for specific measurement needs, 
including software for second-generation jitter analysis, serial data 
analysis with 8b/10b decoding and a growing list of compliance test 
packages for standards such as PCI Express, Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, Fibre 
Channel, FBD and SATA. for 
Agilent Technologies --->

9.  Happenings - Conferences
ARMMS RF & Microwave Society Conference
April 18-19, 2005
Milton Hill House Hotel, Milton Hill, Oxfordshire, UK

RF & Hyper Europe 2005
March 22-24, 2005
CNIT, La Defense, Paris, France

2005 International Reliability Physics Symposium
April 17-21, 2005
San Jose Marriott Hotel, San Jose, CA

IEEE Compound Semiconductor IC Symposium (formerly the GaAs IC 
October 30 - November 2, 2005
Palm Springs, CA

Read past issues of Microwaves and RF (MWRF) UPDATE e-Newsletter:

Publisher and Executive Editor: Jack Browne
mailto:[email protected]

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