Taking the measure of a new era
Janine Sullivan Love, Senior Editor- June 1, 2012
My first MTT show was in 1995, and the show still had its roots firmly in the military/defense market. Many were whispering, though, about the promise of commercial applications and the growth of a new commercial application that was being referred to as “wireless.” There was plenty of chuckling about how this was not a new term, as the first radio was called a “wireless,” but nonetheless, there was a ray of hope in a challenged market. How far we’ve come!
Those of you who know me know that I am a bit of a history buff, so I’ve been looking into the history of the show. Yes, MTT is a fabulous place to see all the latest test and measurement equipment and software and learn about some of the newest techniques for speeding time-to-answer and for testing the latest protocols, but it is also a show with a rich history.
The first show, simply called the Symposium on Microwave Circuitry, was held in 1952, and the first recipients of the “Annual Prize” were Nicholas Sakiotis and Herman Chait from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, for their paper, “Properties of Ferrites in Waveguides.” In 1961, the year the first digest was published, there were 20 papers presented at the show. This year, there promises to be more than 600.
Of special note to those of us involved in test is a technical session on Wednesday, June 20, called “Unconventional Measurement Techniques” that will highlight research work being done for contactless measurements, on-wafer scattering-parameters measurements, chemical sensing, microwave impedance measurements, and a calibration technique for free-space applications. Engineers who want to know more about MIMO can attend a panel session on Thursday titled, “The Mathematics and Physics of MIMO.” Also on Thursday, there will be a technical session called “Nonlinear Measurement Techniques” that promises to cover a range of topics from phase-noise measurements to intermodular-distortion phase analysis at high frequency.
On Friday, June 22, the 79th Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) Microwave Measurement Conference will also take place in Montreal. This year’s theme is nonlinear measurements, and the technical program looks packed.
If new test techniques are what you are looking for, then in addition to what’s on offer at IMS2012 and ARFTG, the June issue of Test & Measurement World is a great resource for you. Our cover story from Ron Press at Mentor Graphics offers a cell-aware automatic test-pattern-generation method that aims to define and target faults within an IC’s gates. For those of you working in wireless, Aeroflex’s Robin Irwin has provided an article reviewing manufacturing test requirements for the IEEE 802.11ac WLAN standard. In addition, Surbhi Bansal and Sameer Saran from Freescale Semiconductor have done a nice job laying out a design-for-test technique for on-chip frequency measurements.
I hope you enjoy the issue. And I hope you make it to Montreal. If you see me there, please stop me and say, “Bonjour!” T&MW