Trending at IMS 2018: 5G and the Importance of RF

Jun. 11, 2018

rf matters here 2.PNGThe preeminent international event of the year for the RF, microwave and millimeterwave industry is here: the International Microwave Symposium (IMS), largely recognized as the flagship conference of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). IMS 2018 brings together engineers, technologists and innovators from around the world in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a week full of exciting product demos, inspiring presentations, challenging workshops and lively networking. Given recent progression, it can be expected that much of the buzz of IMS 2018 will center on the topic of 5G.

Trending at IMS

Following the recent setting of the 3GPP standards, 5G will undeniably be a key focus at IMS 2018 as carriers race to be the first to deploy the coveted network technology. 5G promises many exciting opportunities, heralded in a whitepaper from industry research firm IHS Markit as the catalyst that will drastically alter society as we know it. Yet there are many challenges that remain before society can benefit from the full potential of this technology.

IMS 2018 will undoubtedly showcase the many flavors of innovation in the evolution of 5G to date, including everything from new wireless infrastructures and network deployments, to connected devices and cyber security advancements. We will likely also see the introduction of exciting new differentiated technologies to support 5G, including MACOM’s coherent beamforming and Front End Modules (FEMs).

The Importance of RF

A more subtle, yet profound trend to note looking around at IMS this year is the significant changes the semiconductor industry landscape has undergone in recent years. Driven by the limitless demand for more data and increased connectivity, technology is advancing rapidly, resulting in many new markets emerging to service these demands. Pagers have evolved into smartphones providing unlimited data, instant streaming and global connectivity. The old dial-up Internet has transformed into the Internet of Things, connecting every device and increasing the need for cyber security. The emergence of these exciting, large volume opportunities has caused massive disruption in the semiconductor industry, with acquisitions and consolidations abounding as companies seek to obtain market share.  

This shift in focus to higher volume, consumer-centric markets has only served to stress the need for dependable, committed vendors to service  RF markets, including lower-volume applications such as Aerospace and Defense, Test and Measurement, and Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM), where product life cycles are longer and surety of supply is essential.

Despite the constantly changing requirements and landscape, MACOM remains committed to enabling our customers and next-generation applications for the long haul. This year at IMS, we will showcase a new portfolio of High Performance RF solutions, including comb generators, power amplifiers, voltage controlled oscillators, filters and passive components, all optimized to target the best performance for 5G connectivity, wireless basestations, radar, test and measurement, industrial, scientific and medical RF applications.

MACOM’s 65-year legacy of innovation is driving toward the industry’s broadest portfolio of MMICs, diodes and transistors for the entire RF signal chain, meeting the progressive performance requirements to enable next-generation applications, aided by our extensive expertise in switching, GaN-on-Si and Coherent Beamforming technologies. Leveraging advanced, proprietary technologies, MACOM’s heterogeneous semiconductor and packaging strategy is aimed to ensure that each individual RF system function is fully optimized to deliver maximum performance at the appropriate cost. MACOM remains firmly committed to delivering true competitive advantage to our customers, providing superior technology, expertise, cost structures and supply chains – with no compromises.

So as we go into IMS 2018, expect a lot of hype around the exciting advancements and flavors on the path to achieving the full promise of 5G, and take a moment to observe the rapidly changing landscape for high performance RF components that are servicing a large chunk of the RF and microwave market today. The week will certainly fly by in a blur of innovation and information!

To learn more about our solutions, visit us at IMS 2018, Booth #1125, check out our portfolio at, or utilize our cross-reference tool to find an alternative or replacement part for your RF application.


All financial guidance projections referenced in this post were made as of the publication date or another historical date noted herein, and any references to such projections herein are not intended to reaffirm them as of any later date. MACOM undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or projection at any future date. This post may include information and projections derived from third-party sources concerning addressable market size and growth rates and similar general economic or industry data. MACOM has not independently verified any information and projections from third party sources incorporated herein. This post may also contain market statistics and industry data that are subject to uncertainty and are not necessarily reflective of market conditions. Although MACOM believes that these statistics and data are reasonable, they have been derived from third party sources and have not been independently verified by MACOM.