Sweet 16 Bracket Final For Web Promo 6 61b230b490c98

Microwaves & RF Technology Sweet 16

Dec. 9, 2021
The tournament has been a barn-burner, but we have a Sweet 16 champion! Take a look at the finals result and join us for a happy recap of what's been an exciting high-tech showdown.

Final Round results of our 60th anniversary head-to-head competition!

A brief recap of the Sweet 16 Tournament

As part of our 60th Anniversary celebration here at Microwaves & RF, we wanted to have a little fun and let you all in on it. So the Sweet 16 Technology Tournament was born, giving you a chance to vote on the communications technologies, applications, enabling technologies, and materials that have built the industry into what it is today: a vibrant and vital element of the modern world.

Quadrant Semi-finals

The first round, our bracket's quadrant semi-finals, featured what I thought were two major upsets: For one, in the Applications grouping, radar took out the IoT. No doubt, radar is an incredibly important application of microwave frequencies. But IoT is what's driving a great deal of innovation today, and for the foreseeable future.

The other shocking upset in the first round was in the Enabling Technologies quandrant, where filters/MMICs bested test and measurement. Really? How do you know if your filters are doing the job if you can't measure frequency response? But again, filters and MMICs are indeed critical enabling technologies in myriad applications.

Quadrant Finals

There were no real surprises in the quadrant finals (Round 2), with:
• Cellular/5G winning over Wi-Fi in Communications Technologies,
• Transistors over filters/MMICs in Enabling Technologies,
• Mobile telephony besting radar in Applications, and
• GaAs taking out SiGe in Materials.

Bracket Finals
In our Bracket Finals (Round 3), transistors triumphed over cellular/5G while mobile telephony deflated GaAs, setting up a transistors-vs.-mobiles battle for a spot in the Finals.

We introduced a Wildcard element throughout the early rounds, giving you a shot at writing in an entry that wasn't represented in the brackets; that Wildcard would get a free pass into the Tournament Finals. The consistent leader for the Wildcard entry was software-defined radio: a latecomer in the overall scheme of the industry's history, but surely a key player today and in the future. The semifinal round 4 would determine whether transistors or mobiles would face off with SDR in the ultimate challenge.


In the Round 4 Semifinals, transistors handily defeated mobile telephony. Interestingly, the enabling technology—transistors—won out over the application—mobiles. But nevertheless, that set the stage for the ultimate round, the results of which are now known.

Wrapping It Up

Well, it's been fun watching as you voted for your favorites, sentimental or otherwise. We thank all of you who've taken the time to follow along and cast your votes. At the end of the day, the celebration is as much of the industry itself and the enhancements it's brought to all of our lives as it is our print publication and this, it's associated website. We are looking forward to what comes next in the industry, and you can be sure we'll bring you the news and the tech behind it.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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