IMS2016: Day 3 Review

The IMS2016 IMS show has come to a close on its third and final day. It has been a busy show this week with a good flow of traffic through the first two days and well into the morning of the final day. The final day is usually a bit slower but in this case the morning was fairly busy with several good interactions with customers. I was able to break away just a bit to explore the show floor a bit to look for component suppliers and former colleagues. In the afternoon it was good to have a few groups of students from the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) program drop by our booth to learn a little about what we do. Finally, the exhibit hours came to an end and breaking down the booth began.

First, let’s take a look at some of the interesting questions from the third day on the exhibit floor. I was able to meet with one of the vendors who supplied components for my demonstration this year. It was very good to meet our sales representative from TTE filters. I appreciate the efforts from the folks at TTE to provide some filters in short order for my demonstration at the show this year. In particular I needed the band pass filters with center frequencies near 8 GHz that I showed in my block diagram in IMS2016: Preview and Preparation blog. I also had a chance to talk with a customer who found the HMC7044, HMC7043, and ADF5355 products in my demonstration to be just what was needed for their next design. The phase synchronization and low phase noise were perfect for their application. It is great to have a conversation like this where you can provide products that exactly fit what a customer is looking for. Once again I also had many questions about our signal chain solution in my demonstration and a few questions compared our solution to the transceivers on the next booth over. In a basic sense I demonstrated a discrete signal chain whereas the transceiver offer an integrated solution.

During a few moments of available time I was able to make a walk around the show floor and look for a few more vendors that I work with as well as check for new vendors. I also attempt to find some giveaway items to take home for the family as well, but found that this year it was very difficult to find. I was able to talk some vendors we work with for products that we use in our lab or on our evaluation boards. I dropped in to see the folks at Marki Microwave, TTE filters, SRI Connector Gage, Wenzel Associates, Vectron, Keysight, Rohde-Schwarz, and Tektronix just to name a few. I imagine at least a few names on this list are quite familiar to many of you as readers. I also had a chance to drop in and see some old friends at Peregrine Semiconductor as well as Qorvo, formerly RFMD and Triquint. I also had an opportunity to run into a couple of guys from a local company (local to me that is), Guerrilla RF, which is located near where I am based in North Carolina. This company employs a few of my former colleagues and is a product of engineering talent out of what was formerly RFMD. It is great to see companies like this becoming successfully, especially since I know a few of the guys and wish them well in their endeavors.

After lunch time the floor traffic was significantly reduced and many smaller booths could be seen already preparing for the end of exhibit floor hours at 3:00PM. At this point the students from the STEM program were making their way around the show floor checking out all the booths and demonstrations. I had the pleasure of discussing my demonstration with a few groups. It is nice to see am emphasis placed on these areas of discipline at an early age in schools. I’d particularly say I am glad to see some emphasis on the engineering part, but I may be a bit biased there. I was quite lucky in my small town high school to have three courses of electronics offered (Electronics I, II, and III). I knew I had an affinity for electronics and technology, but taking these courses solidified the idea for me and here I am today.

I have to say I am probably one of the very few engineers of my generation that can say that I’ve set up circuits with vacuum tubes. I also had lab experiments in the Electronics II and III classes working with transistor circuits as well as LM555 timer circuits set up as monostable and astable multivibrators. Needless to say I had a great teacher who introduced us to all kinds of neat concepts. We also did a large amount of soldering in our lab experiments. We also took own a food ‘odd jobs’ here and there from folks that the teacher would use to help us learn more about circuits. One of these times included working a several electric fence charger boxes that had been damaged by lightning. What fun it is to reminisce about the time I spent in that class. Let’s get back to the show and close out the discussion on the last day.

Once 3:00PM rolled around there was very little people remaining on the exhibit hall floor other than vendors. There were still some lingering conversations here and there but by and large most folks were packing up and getting ready to travel on to other places to visit customers while in the area or to travel back to their homes. I worked with my demonstration partner to break down our demo setup and get it ready to ship back to my office. Once again I’d like to thank Keysight for loaning us the signal generators, oscilloscope, and power supply to run our demo. I am quite pleased with working through the live demo on the exhibit floor this week with very little hitches. There were a few small hiccups but thanks to great planning, preparation, and extra components all of them were easily handled. Overall we had a very successful exhibit at IMS2016 and I look forward to following up with all the folks I talked to at the show who requested more information.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the IMS2016 show this week. It has been a great week with lots of folks attending, great conversations, and fun evening events. I trust that if you didn’t make it to the show that these blogs have at least given a window view into the events of the week. Hopefully they’ve provided some enticement for you to attend next year if you were unable to make it this year. I’d like to say thank you for reading and encourage you to ask any questions you may have or even comment with some of your own takes of how the week went at IMS2016.

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