Making waves [MM-wave MMIC]

Making waves [MM-wave MMIC]

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After 50 years of rapid progress, monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) operating at 1-2 GHz have become small and cheap enough to form the fundamental building blocks for the revolution in mobile communications. Continuing price pressures and the threat of declining revenues are forcing MMIC suppliers to seek out new markets for their products. Extending MMIC technology to millimetre-wave frequencies has emerged as a crucial strategy for suppliers looking to achieve better profit margins and ensure future business growth. Millimetre-wave (MM-wave) MMICs, which operate at frequencies of 20-100 GHz, have already been exploited in the space and defence sectors, but commercial end users are now driving demand for low-cost MMIC solutions at frequencies of up to 100 GHz. The challenge for the MMIC community is clear: to produce packaged MM-wave modules that deliver the right performance at the right price.

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