IMS 2014: Day 3 From an Applications Engineer Perspective

After a good first two days and very enjoyable evenings of the IMS show, it was time for the last day. The last day of a show typically has good traffic in the morning, but it tapers off as the day moves toward lunch and beyond. This year was no exception. By a little after lunch, many vendors could be seen beginning the preparations to wrap up their booths and head home after another (hopefully successful) IMS show. This year, I had a little extra motivation to look forward to the last day.

Toward the end of the second day, I was finishing my rounds through the exhibit hall and doing some scouting when I passed an interesting sight in the Modelithics booth.

I generally have a small amount of time to check out the other booths at various points during the show. Typically, I make my rounds to observe the many different types of booths and see what the competition is up to. I also usually have a mission in mind. I look for components needed for the lab, and I try to keep my eyes open to what might be available for other product lines I interface with at Analog Devices.

This year, as I headed back toward the Analog Devices booth after finding the components I needed, a Need for Speed video game being played on an Xbox at the Modelithics booth caught my eye.

I have to admit that I have a weakness for these types of games; they are my favorite. This was an offer I could not refuse. The prize for the best score on the game was an iPad mini. I had entered drawings in several booths, but I knew the odds are typically long. In this case, I may not be the best at these types of games, but I felt I had a pretty good chance. I did my first race and tied for the top score. This forced a second race to break the tie. As luck would have it, I turned a second time equal to my first and found myself in first place. I was quite happy to be announced as the winner on the final morning of the show.

In addition to the iPad mini, I received a certificate for a software license to the Modelithics library for a year and a discount on a future model request. Not a bad way to end the show. I was quite happy to travel back home with a new iPad. I enjoyed the prize, but I also had a great time chatting with the folks staffing the Modelithics booth.

As the day moved on toward lunch, the traffic at our booth and around the show began to taper off as expected. Again, as on the first two days, I was happy to see the interest in our gigasample ADC offerings. Folks from companies such as Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Huawei, ZTE, and Lockheed Martin had dropped by our booth. So had university professors and students.

As was the case the first day, one of the most intriguing conversations was with a college student. This doctoral student seemed really enthusiastic about high-speed ADCs and the theory behind them. At one point, this overzealous student made some very bold comments about making a 20 GSPS ADC and digitizing the whole spectrum to baseband.

I thought back to my college days and the things I thought were possible. It is a different experience in the workplace, where you realize you need to work within the confines of realistic capabilities. This is not to say you must stop dreaming up big ideas. You just get smarter about the ideas you dream up, so that you can attain them with the tools at your disposal.

So one more year has passed, and we have completed another successful IMS show. I quite enjoyed the many interesting conversations with my fellow engineers. The city of Tampa played a friendly host but did not have quite the liveliness of the last few years. I look forward to next year in Phoenix, and I hope that the earlier show dates in May will leave temperatures below 100 degrees. Having lived in Phoenix for a short time, I know temperatures above 100 degrees are likely by May, but pleasant weather is also possible. I am holding out hope for the latter.

I hope you've enjoyed an applications engineer's perspective on the IMS show. Stay tuned as I return to a discussion of the various interfacing points to an ADC.

6 comments on “IMS 2014: Day 3 From an Applications Engineer Perspective

  1. SunitaT
    June 26, 2014

    Jonathan, Congratualtons for your ipad mini. Thanks for sharing your entire IMS experience and I enjoyed going through these posts.

  2. RedDerek
    June 26, 2014


    Keep that PhD in mind. If they are that enthusiastic, they may just discover that path to 20 GSps. Innovation develops on new technology.

  3. jonharris0
    June 26, 2014

    Good point RedDerek, you never know when we might cross paths again.

    Thanks Sunita!  I was very happy and am thoroughly enjoying the iPad.  I didn't realize how useful they could be.  Thanks for the kind words as well.  I was hopeful that folks would enjoy reading about the show on a more personal level.  I had a lot of fun writing these blogs and am happy to hear you enjoyed them. 🙂

  4. yalanand
    June 27, 2014

    It's always a good idea having these shows because you get to interact with many people who you can get to exchange ideas with. From students; to professors and other workers from different companies. You get to social with them and get to learn things that can help you in accomplishing your duties as an engineer and worker from a specific company. You find that you will get to be more productive in fulfilling your duties.

  5. samicksha
    June 30, 2014

    I am amazed and curious to see how this high speed ADC should look like, i.e. 20GSPS ADC, sounds like an acheivement.

  6. jonharris0
    June 30, 2014

    Indeed, samicksha! 🙂  I'd like to see that 20GSPS ADC as well!  It would definitely be an achievement.  I think it is on the horizon but still a few years away.  It is amazing to look back over the last 20 years to see how far we've come and to think about what the next 20 will look like…

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