Keynote Talk The Future of Radios
It is a cold morning. You get into your car and mutter, “Office.’’ While the car begins to navigate the road, you remember today is your spouse’s birthday, whip out your Iphone15, and order a gift, knowing that a drone will drop it off in the afternoon. Now you can catch up with the day’s news during the 30-minute drive to your office, watching videos streaming down from microsatellites up in the heavens. It is the year 2025. Isaac Asimov would have been proud.
Whether or not technology giants such as Google, Apple, and Amazon will bring this vision to reality, they and most other elements of our civilization will increasingly rely on wireless communication. This paper offers perspectives on how the radios in our wireless world will evolve and what challenges they will present to RF designers. Specifically, one can contend that the mobile terminal is likely to further widen its role in our lives and serve as a central command post. It will pay our bills, control our homes, direct our vehicles, communicate our vital signs, and possibly transmit our thoughts. One can also predict three trends in mobile terminal design: (1) the use of “universal radios,’’ radios that seamlessly accommodate many bands with minimal overhead and operate with higher data rates; (2) omission of off-chip filters through architecture innovations; and (3) greater emphasis on low power consumption. Examples of these concepts are presented.
Keynote Talk From Chips for the Living to Living Chips
Micro-fabricated devices are finding their way to the frontend of medical equipment, where they are the interface between body, or in general living tissue, and machine. They enable better and cheaper diagnostic equipment, they add ”eyes and ears” to minimally invasive instruments such as laparoscopic instruments and catheters, they allow for un-obtrusive monitoring of body functions, they add functionality to implants, and they enable the development of better and personalized medicines.
Despite their great promise it has been proven difficult to bring these devices out of the laboratory phase into production. One of the reasons is the lack of a suitable fabrication infrastructure. Much more than standard CMOS or MEMS devices, these medical devices rely on the processing of novel materials, especially polymers, in combination with advanced molding, micro-fluidics, and assembly technologies. At the same time these devices have to be fabricated under strict quality control conditions in a certified production environment.
In the recently granted ECSEL project “InForMed” a supply chain for the pilot fabrication of these medical devices is organized, which brings together key European technology partners in an integrated infrastructure linking research to pilot and high volume production. The pilot line is hosted by Philips Innovation Services, and open to third party users.
Keynote Talk Changing the Economics of Space: Small Spacecraft and COTS Electronics
Space was for many years the domain of the Space Agency and large companies, the only ones that could afford the immense cost of planning, designing, building and launching satellites. But access to space has gone through a revolution in the last 10 years. The seeds of this “revolution” were originally sowed in the late 1970s and early 80s, when a handful of engineers and radio amateurs started to build cheap small satellites using Commercial Of The Shelf (COTS) electronics rather than extremely expensive space rated electronics. Originally seen as toys or curiosities, these small, low cost satellites have come of age in the past 10 years and are now taking over the roles of the traditional larger spacecraft. Their low cost allows constellations of these satellites to be built at lower prices than their single expensive predecessors, not only replacing them, but also allowing a completely new range of applications. Constellations of 10s and 100s of satellites for Earth Observation, telecommunications, meteorology, etc. are currently being developed and should be operational in the coming few years.