IMS 2019 Records an Increase in Attendance and Exhibiting Companies

The MTT International Microwave Symposium (IMS) once again proved to be a huge success, with over 9,500 attendees attending the 2019 edition of the event in the city of Boston. IMS 2019 is the largest event dedicated to the RF/Microwave industry. This years event saw a 16% increase in technical attendance over IMS 2018 and a record-breaking 650 exhibiting companies. IMS, the annual conference and exhibition of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT-S), is the flagship conference of Microwave Week featuring innovators and disruptors in microwave and RF theory and practice.

This year’s conference was co-located with IEEE’s Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC) and ARFTG Microwave Measurement Conference. Events featured included the IEEE 5G Summit, RF Bootcamp, the Startup Pavilion, Women in Microwaves, Young Professionals and several notable keynote speakers.

Attendees included RF designers, researchers, developers, and academics representing more than 50 countries including China, Canada, Germany, Japan, Korea and the United States. Of the attendees at this year’s IMS, 38% were first time attendees and 34% were Young Professionals. The symposium was the first to feature tracks and events to highlight RF and microwave startups including the ‘Startup Pavilion,’ a stand-out space on the exhibit floor dedicated to young innovative companies in the wireless industry.

Also new this year was the “Next Top Startup Competition,” which provided a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch their concepts to expert judges active in the startup ecosystem including investment firms, tech startup incubators and experts in RF technologies. This year the “Best Startup of IMS 2019” was awarded to JETCOOL Technologies, a provider of high-performance cooling technology for high power electronics.

The stellar speaker lineup was a highlight of the symposium. Dr. William Chappell, Special Assistant to the Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kicked off IMS with a talk entitled, “The Mind and Body of RF.” Dr. Chappell’s keynote address focused on what’s needed in the physical layer (hardware) to keep up with the ambitions for the intersection of article intelligence (AI) and the RF spectrum. The 5G Summit and Evening Panel Session showcased industry experts focusing on the discussion of current 5G challenges and the evolution and details of cutting-edge 5G innovation to overcome these challenges. The summit concluded with an exciting interactive panel session.

The MTT-S Awards Banquet opened with Dr. Ryan Chin, the CEO of Boston-based autonomous vehicle startup, Optimus Ride, discussing how self-driving vehicles will transform every aspect of mobility in our cities and communities. The show wrapped up with a keynote presentation entitled “Health Monitoring with Machine Learning and Wireless Sensors” given by MIT’s Dr. Dina Katabi. The IMS 2019 Best Industry Paper was awarded to Jared Williams Jordan and a team of researchers from Cubic/Nuvotronics and Nokia for their paper titled "Monolithically Fabricated 4096-Element, PolyStrata Broadband D-band Array Demonstrator". Their paper demonstrates the largest reported flat panel 130 to 175 GHz array suitable for advanced communications networks.

The RFIC 2019 Best Industry Paper was awarded to Dr. Renzhi Liu and a team of Intel researchers for their paper titled "An 802.11ba 495μW -92.6dBm-Sensitivity Blocker-Tolerant Wake-up Radio Receiver Fully Integrated with Wi-Fi Transceiver". Their paper demonstrates the first-ever prototype of an 802.11ba-based wake-up radio receiver integrated with a Wi-Fi transceiver for low power IoT sensor networks.

The next iteration of the event, IMS 2020, will be held on June 21-26, 2020in Los Angeles, CA. Booth selection is currently underway, with 85% of exhibit space already sold.

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