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Drawing Inspiration from Past and Present

Dec. 16, 2021
One constant remains among those reading this article: An introspective understanding of the bedrock technologies of our industry, and how they and modern advances will shape the future microwaves and RF landscape.

In our November 2021 issue, we at Microwaves & RF took the opportunity to celebrate our publication’s 60th anniversary. Through those six decades, the magazine (and website) have faithfully chronicled the industry’s progress, covering great technological advances and how those new and emerging technologies would find themselves deployed in everyday life.

We looked back on history in a couple of ways. One was more of a fun way, by dint of an NCAA bracket-style competition between sets of communications technologies, enabling technologies, applications, and materials that form the backbone of the RF and microwaves universe. Audience members voted on each round until we were down to a Finals matchup between the wildcard winner—software-defined radio (SDR)—and the bracket winner—transistors.

It’s an interesting matchup in that SDR, in a sense, represents the future of communications technology, while transistors predate our publication’s existence by a good 14 years. With transistors prevailing as the winner in the competition, it shows me that our audience retains a healthy respect for a technology that may be long in the tooth, but remains a foundation of everything created by high-frequency design engineers. Without transistors, there wouldn’t be any software-defined radio, or anything else in the communications sphere worth discussing.

The other vehicle for our 60th anniversary bash was a set of decade-by-decade timelines in that November issue. In those timelines, those individuals and organizations blazing the technological trail stand out for their inventiveness, courage, and entrepreneurial spirit. In the 1960s, companies like Hewlett-Packard and Microwave Associates (now MACOM), and individuals like Harvey Kaylie, who founded Mini-Circuits, were driving innovation with important new technologies and resultant products and applications.

The 1970s saw Dr. James Truchard starting National Instruments in his garage, Martin Cooper making the world’s first cellphone call, and Rohde & Schwarz launching a ground-breaking 1-GHz signal analyzer. And on it went, year after year and decade after decade, bringing us to current day and beyond.

That combination of creativity and gutsy determination is what defines a leader. In our upcoming 2022 Leaders in Microwaves special issue, we continue our celebration of the industry’s present-day leaders through a collection of company profiles and technical articles that exemplify such leadership. Virtually all of the technical articles in these pages have not been seen in print until now. Please enjoy this compendium and we hope you’ll take some inspiration from 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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