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IMS2016: Day 2 Review

Another day at IMS2016 is in the books and I hope you had a chance to drop in and see all of the incredible products and the amazing technology on display. The day started off just a little slower than yesterday but quickly picked up pace and resulted in another day of steady booth and floor traffic. I had some great questions about the products we are displaying in my demonstration as well as many questions on our other technology on display at the IMS show. Particularly, I had several questions about the transceiver technology we have on display. As I mentioned in my IMS2016: Day 1 Review blog you can find more information on these products on RadioverseTM . Amidst the steady flow of people in the booth I did manage some time to walk around the show floor and make some observations. First let’s take a look at some interesting topics of the day.

I had the opportunity in the morning to meet several folks within the new organization that I’ll become a part of with my position in the space products group. I was able to meet local sales engineers and field applications engineers who work with the products and customers I’ll soon be supporting. It was great to become acquainted with the folks within Analog Devices who work in this market. It was also great to have some dialogue with the customers I’ll be supporting. As is typical for the show there is a fair amount of aerospace and defense related products and customers at the show so it is a great place to meet these folks.

I had many questions on our demo once again and even had the opportunity to film a short video describing the operation of the demonstration. I hope the videos will be available on the web soon so I can share a link to my demonstration as well as the other great demonstrations at the Analog Devices booth. In general there were many questions related to the ADC and what ADC technology that Analog Devices has available. I was happy to explain the available products and provide just a bit of insight into what is coming up soon. I also had the opportunity to answer a few questions related to ADC analog input interfaces as well as ADC clock input interfaces. The range of questions came from many industry customers as well as from several university students and professors. Personally I really enjoy seeing the interest in Analog Devices products at the university level since a positive experience at this level more likely than not translates into selecting Analog Devices products once these students are out working in the industry.

I had one particular question about an application requiring 10 GHz of analog input bandwidth. I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback as this is quite a lofty requirement. There are several gigasample ADCs on the market, but not many that I know of that have this much bandwidth available. This is just one indication of the market push for more and more bandwidth. Speaking of tens of gigahertz operation I also had many questions about the microwave demodulator that is used in the demonstration at my station. It seems there is a common desire among folks in the industry to directly downconvert from frequencies in the 20-40 GHz range to baseband (in many instances the reference was to a zero-IF architecture). It is amazing to me that we can perform such functions and actually downconvert a signal to baseband from such a high input frequency but the ADRF6880 utilized in my demonstration can support downconversion from 6 to 24 GHz down to baseband. It is quite incredible to perform such a large downconversion in frequency. I also had an interesting discussion with a gentleman demonstrating a novel concept showing circuitry that could somehow harvest switching currents in digital circuits and feed the power back into the circuit resulting in a 10-20% power savings. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical and did not fully understand how this was supposed to work, but I’ll keep my eyes open to see if this shows up in any significant designs in the future. It was an interesting idea to say the least.

Overall there was once again good foot traffic on the floor and in the Analog Devices booth. I did notice as I took a walk around that there were many folks on the exhibit floor and that the number of booths was definitely up year on year, but the amount of what I would term ‘booth swag’ is very down. It seems there is a bit of a shift away from booth giveaways of small items to promote companies. I usually like to gather a few small things to take back to my family, but did not find anything substantial this time around. In the Analog Devices booth we are doing a giveaway using faux light swords in the spirit of our RadioverseTM promotion. It is quite a fun exercise and the idea is to pose with the faux light sword in order to win an Amazon Tap with the most creative photo. I’d encourage you to drop by the Analog Devices booth for more details and to enter for your chance to win.

The second day of the show is the long day, but it was an enjoyable day. The exhibit hours ended with the industry hosted cocktail reception which is always enjoyable as the mood on the floor generally becomes very relaxed and there is a generally good vibe as the day comes to a close. Unlike Tuesday evening I was able to make my way to one of the fun evening events which was hosted by National Instruments along with Microwaves and RF. I was disappointed that I didn’t make it to the Keysight event on Tuesday evening (day one of the show) as they usually have a fun event. These events are part of what makes the IMS show such fun to attend. The folks at National Instruments reserved the Lucky Strike bowling facility a few blocks from the Moscone Center and it was a blast as usual. There were many fun bowling games going on simultaneously. I even had a chance to participate in an Analog Devices vs National Instruments bowling match. We had two teams from each company competing and the ADI1 team on which I participated won the match (no thanks to my poor showing of course). It was great to have awesome sportsmanship from all teams involved with everyone having a great time. Special thanks goes out to National Instruments for hosting this fun annual event.

A few last thoughts and words before I finish up the review of the second day of the IMS show. I’d highly recommend taking advantage of the short walk from the Moscone Center to China Town here in San Francisco. There is delicious authentic Chinese food to enjoy for an evening meal (or perhaps a lunch if you have time to get there and back). I’ve personally taken advantage of the close proximity and have eaten there twice. There is also a Little Italy section with many fine Italian restaurants. Due to my dietary restrictions I am unable to enjoy such delicacies but have heard from many that there is great food to be had there as well. Beyond food there is one rather interesting site for engineers to take a peek at while here in San Francisco, the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. I was filled with awe as I entered the museum and stared over the rail at the giant electric motors driving the cables for the cables cars. It is quite an engineering marvel to behold. It amazed me how this was designed decades ago without all the fancy computer simulation software we have available today. I’d encourage you to take some time to go see this museum. It is worth the uphill walk to go and see the amazing contents within the museum.

Thanks for reading my blog posts this week on the show. I hope you’ve enjoyed gaining some insight into the first two days of the show. As I sit here typing I am looking forward to seeing what the last day of the show has to offer. I am sure it will be just as good as the first two days. It is somewhat bittersweet to see it come to a close as I enjoy the show and hate to see it end but at the same time I have to admit it can be quite tiring to go through the long days with the show during the day and the late evening events. However it is well worth the effort as it personally provides a lot of enjoyment for me. I hope you gain some amount of that enjoyment reading about the show and surrounding events. I encourage you to consider attending if you have not previously done so. Stay tuned for my blog on the last day of the show and thanks again for reading.

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