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IMS 2022 Welcomes the Wireless World

April 25, 2022
IMS 2022, the flagship event dedicated to all things microwaves and RF, also includes the IEEE MTT-S Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium and the Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group.

What you’ll learn:

  • When and where is IMS 2022?
  • What will be covered at the event.
  • Some of the companies and products you’ll see.

Wireless systems have become a significant part of our civil, commercial, and personal infrastructure, to the point where society itself would collapse if it ceased to function. One of the interesting aspects of the microwaves and RF ecosystem is that it's still a work in progress, as the core technologies and products and services based on them are still maturing. In June, the wireless community will be coming together again in Denver for the 2022 International Microwave Symposium to discuss developments in the industry, exhibit their solutions, and exchange ideas.

The first International Microwave Symposium, or IMS, was held by the Professional Group of Microwave Theory and Techniques (PGMTT), a group founded in 1952 as a part of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE). IMS 2022 will have an exhibition with over 350 exhibitors from around the world, as well as a MicroApps Theater, Systems Pavilion, and Systems Demo Zone, along with networking and social events on the show floor (Fig. 1).

IMS 2022 also will include the IEEE MTT-S Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC) with the Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group (ARFTG). In addition, the MTT-S and the IMS Steering Committee has on tap a program that encourages the professional growth of its future leaders. There will be technical sessions on various RF technologies and solutions and panel sessions discussing industry trends.

A variety of events at the show are designed for young professionals beginning their microwave career, from the industry sessions and technical presentations to the Editors-in-Chief Reception and Networking Reception for Young Professionals. An RF Interference Fox Hunt will take place, too, in which participants can team up to find RF signals hidden throughout the event area. A “Young Professionals Lounge” is planned as well, offering a space to relax between sessions.

The Systems Forum is New for 2022

A new initiative at IMS 2022, the “Systems Forum,” highlights MTT activities of interest to system engineers, providing an additional outlet for system-level research for the industry. The forum will tap into areas of interest such as mil/aero and defense, 5G/6G, quantum systems, edge computing, phased arrays, AI in the cloud, and others. There will also be a reception related to the Forum.

The Systems Forum will supplement the regular technical program, arranging technical content in themed “Days.” Tuesday is Quantum Systems Day and Connected Future Summit, Wednesday is Radar & Aerospace Day, and Thursday homes in on Phased Arrays & OTA Applications. Event activities will be related to the thematic topic areas, with panel sessions, focus and special sessions, overview papers, and an Interactive Forum Plenary Poster session.

Technical Competitions Overview

Another interesting part of IMS 2022 will be the technical competitions at the event, intended to foment technology development and recognize new ideas. These include an Industry Paper Competition that will recognize outstanding technical contributions from industry sources.

Eligible papers can have several authors, but the work described must come from a corporate or otherwise private source, not a government or academic institution. Another is the Advanced Practice Paper Competition (APPC) to recognize outstanding technical contributions that apply to practical applications. An eligible paper could have authors in any sector, from industry, government, or academia.

Furthermore, a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition has been created for eligible students and young professionals. They can submit a paper to enter the competition that will be accepted for either oral or interactive forum presentation. A Student Paper Competition (SPC) will recognize outstanding technical contributions from individual students, and their presentations will be judged by a specially formed SPC committee of experts.

All eligible students, alone or in teams, are invited to participate in the International Microwave Symposium 2022 Student Design Competitions (SDCs). The SDCs encourage students to employ creative problem-solving while gaining practical design experience. They must develop a solution to address the problem stated in the competition rules while following specified constraints.

Technology Boot Camps

Boot Camps are scheduled for those who want to get a better handle on some of these technologies. For example, the RF Boot Camp is a one-day course ideal for newcomers to the microwave world, such as college students and engineers changing their career path, as well as marketing and sales professionals looking to get a grasp of RF and microwave circuit and system concepts and terminology.

The format of the RF Boot Camp is like that of a workshop or short course. Multiple presentations cover a variety of topics such as the RF/microwave signal chain, network characteristics, analysis, and measurement, the fundamentals of RF simulation, spectral analysis, signal generation, modulation and vector signal analysis, and microwave antenna basics, among others. Those completing the course will earn two CEUs.

There will also be a Quantum Boot Camp, which will introduce the basics of quantum engineering for those who want to understand how they can make an impact in this emerging field. It’s intended for engineers interested in this space and those who may be changing their career path, as well as marketing and sales professionals seeking a better understanding of quantum technology. It’s also useful for university students looking to learn more about the practical aspects of quantum technology.

The Quantum Boot Camp will have a series of speakers covering quantum-engineering basics, with a focus on the control and measurement of quantum systems. It will conclude with a hands-on introduction to the design of superconducting qubits using modern microwave CAD tools. The boot camp is geared toward making the remainder of quantum week more accessible to attendees.

The Connected Future Summit

The Connected Future Summit (formerly known as the 5G Summit) has been a fixture of the IMS since its inception at IMS 2017, in collaboration with IEEE Communications Society (Comsoc). Drawing together academic, government, and industrial communities, the event enables them to interact and exchange technology ideas related to technologies of 5G and beyond.

The Summit committee is part of the IMS Technical Program Committee, and will address several timely topics, with speakers and a creative agenda. This event has attendance every year ranging from about 300 to 400 people.

Beyond the latest advances with 5G and moving toward 6G, the wireless connectivity landscape is changing rapidly, and designers are being challenged by the latest technologies. These include the evolution of Wi-Fi and the addition of broadband wireless satellite networks based on low-Earth orbit satellite constellations. 5G standardization and deployment along with the R&D needed for the next generations are making a significant impact on the future directions of connectivity.

The Connected Future Summit will be held on Tuesday (June 21) during IMS 2022. The one-day program will feature experts from industry, government, and academia sharing their technical knowledge and strategies on a range of topics. These include the future trends of 6G and beyond, the standardization of cellular (3GPP) and Wi-Fi, satellite constellations and other high-altitude platforms, and automotive V2X technology. It also will address semiconductor technologies, reconfigurable front ends and system architectures, and the test and measurement challenges impacting next-generation connectivity.

On the Exhibition Floor

The exhibition at IMS 2022 will include over 380 exhibitors from around the world, showcasing their products and services. The show hours are from 9:30 am to 5 pm on Tuesday, 9:30 am to 6 pm on Wednesday (June 22), and 9:30 am to 3 pm on Thursday (June 23).

Conference pass holders have free access to the exhibition, but “EXPO Only” passes also are available for the exhibition only. You can sign up for a complimentary EXPO Only pass for Wednesday or have access to all three days of the exhibition, as well as the show-floor presentations in the MicroApps Theater, for $30.

Show-floor networking highlights include a continental breakfast each morning of the event, an afternoon treat on Tuesday (Sweet Treat Tuesday), and coffee breaks throughout each day. In addition, there’s an industry-hosted reception on Wednesday from 5 to 6 pm, as well as a Societies Pavilion and Systems Pavilion, and three networking lounges with charging stations for your devices.

Companies exhibiting their wares at IMS 2022 include hardware, software, and service vendors, all offering their ideas and solutions to the international audience. For example, at Booth 2060, Wolfspeed will show its CMPA0060025 GaN HEMT-based MMIC power amplifier (Fig. 2). Operating up to 50 V, this MMIC enables very wide bandwidths to be achieved in a small footprint, featuring an 18-dB small-signal gain from dc to 6.0 GHz.

AmpliTech (Booth 3036) will debut its full 5G system, which uses the company’s proprietary low-noise-amplifier (LNA) technology to create a cost-effective solution that achieves true 5G data transmission at speeds of up to 1 Gb/s. It can retrofit existing cell towers as well. The company’s LNA MMICs offer low noise performance that challenges legacy solutions across a range of high and low frequencies, with a substantially smaller chipset form factor and lower power requirements.

dSPACE (Booth 2014) will exhibit its radar test benches and automotive radar test systems for both validating and specifying next-generation radar sensors and realistic testing of radar-based vehicle functions (Fig. 3). Providing precise testing of radar sensors and applications, dSPACE Automotive Radar Test Systems (DARTS) enable easy-to-use but very realistic over-the-air tests, by simulating radar echoes of objects in road traffic with programmable distance, speed, and size.

About the Author

Alix Paultre | Editor-at-Large, Microwaves & RF

Alix is Editor-at-Large for Microwaves & RF

An Army veteran, Alix Paultre was a signals intelligence soldier on the East/West German border in the early ‘80s, and eventually wound up helping launch and run a publication on consumer electronics for the U.S. military stationed in Europe. Alix first began in this industry in 1998 at Electronic Products magazine, and since then has worked for a variety of publications, most recently as Editor-in-Chief of Power Systems Design.

Alix currently lives in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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