Don’t get overwhelmed!

Do not Let Online Overwhelm You!

Online is everything, or is it? E-mail addresses are flooded with notices of webinars, white papers, and new product announcements as well as all the latest news about hundreds of companies. But how much of it is useful information? Call it “the thinning of the Internet” as companies attempt to generate and spread resources across multiple industries, trying to reach existing and new customers with information that will capture their attention. But too often, they are among hundreds of emails that many working engineers simply click on and delete. Most engineers want application and design information. They simply do not want to go through hoops to get it, as in registering with a company and website and adding their email to a list for future sales pitches.

 

Most engineers value online information that is educational and helpful. They will tolerate some amount of a sales presentation, but they also want to learn how to solve a problem. And they want to do it in their own time, by saving an application note, article, or white paper for future reference without spending half the day to register for it.

 

As technology companies vie for attention on the Internet, they try many ways to grab the attention of a visitor to their website. But all these magic offers are usually short term in nature and most engineers know there are no such things as “quick fixes” – certainly not of which they have not heard! They want something, for example an amplifier or a filter, when they need it, and they want to be able to save data sheets and other useful information about a product so that it can be a candidate for a long-term solution.

 

Leger Communications believes in long-term solutions, working with clients as closely but as efficiently as possible to provide accurate and practical information on new and existing products. As engineers, we at Leger Communications understand the needs of our fellow engineers and try to help describe the right products to the customers who need them the most. It is very much a “middle ground” where we stand, trying to understand both sets of needs for suppliers and customers and communicate as much information in as few words and the shortest amount of time possible.

 

This journalistic approach to marketing communications may not be overly “flashy” in terms of the modern Internet, but it is what engineers want. And it helps keep information of real value on the Internet and on your website, without the “thinning” of your website that may end up wasting the time for many visitors to your site.

 

 

Don’t Get Bitten by the Buzzwords

 

They are all around us: buzzwords. From AI or artificial intelligence to zirconium, they are letters, words, phrases, even symbolic characters used to attract our attention and keep us focused on a company and their products and technology. Artificial intelligence is a good example, plastered in front of any and every new hardware and software product as if it is the greatest thing to hit electronic engineering since the battery, and a cure for the common cold. But there is nothing magical about AI and it can be misleading, especially for those who hope it might do the thinking, or even the driving, for them.

 

AI comes in many shapes and sizes. It relies on computing power and a reference database to make decisions on inputs. It can be “taught” to think and/or act like humans or think and/or act rationally, as needed, according to what serves as the reference database. With machine learning (ML) technology, it can even build the database so that a product with AI increases its capability to make decisions and predictions.

 

But like any technology, AI has its limits, as does 5G, drones, robots, autonomous vehicles, and whatever happens to be the next greatest technology. Leger Communications wants to work with you so that your message is heard clearly and accurately, but without hype. As we work with you, we are also working to stay informed on new technologies as they develop so that we can provide you  with what is often referred to as a “wideband scan” of a market and application, so that as many opportunities as possible are explored for both you and your customers.

 

Engineers come to events such as the 2023 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in search of solutions. Buzzwords can be intriguing and entrancing, with the promise of the next great technology. But an engineering solution is often a matter of a few more decibels of gain from a low-noise amplifier (LNA) in a slightly smaller package. Or circuit material that can minimize signal losses even when operating under the hood of an automobile or in a satellite in orbit. Leger Communications is well aware of the buzzwords, but we are more interested in listening to you, your engineers, and even your customers so that we can help you create useful messages about your company, your products, your people, and your technologies. When you provide worthwhile resources, you communicate clearly that you support your products and your customers who use them. After all, even the flashiest AI is not very good without the database!

Is That Really What It Means?

Engineering design and development of new, innovative products calls for creativity. It also requires collaboration and communication, which can be challenging when probing through a 48-page data sheet filled with specifications, package pin layouts, and equivalent circuits for what may be the “latest and greatest” device to ever be introduced to electronic circuit designers. It may be exceptional, but a wrong number on a maximum operating temperature or supply voltage/current on that data sheet can render that device quite ordinary. Communicating accurate information about the latest and greatest technologies and products is an important part of engineering design and development progress, and an obsession of Leger Communications.

 

In an age when abbreviations for engineering approaches and technologies can emerge overnight and be overwhelming, communications are a critical part of any engineering project. Having a new tool or device or technology in hand is never quite so important without knowing how to use it and how it can benefit different applications. It is part of the name—Leger Communications—a marketing communications company that works closely with your engineering team to turn that 48-page data sheet into one or two pages of essential information. Leger combines years of science and engineering experience with a love of the English language, to deliver your message clearly and concisely. Certainly, those one or two pages will not have as much detail as the full data sheet, but they will let an engineer know in the shortest time possible what is important about your product and why it can help them.

 

Modern communications are almost instantaneous and ongoing, with new product upgrades and updates occurring constantly. For sure, a new antenna may not be the smallest and lightest and highest gain in its frequency range. But it may have some of the features and the kind of performance that is ideal for a particular set of applications, such as in unmanned aerial vehicles sending sensor data to a portable command unit. Leger Communications will work closely with your engineering team to find just where that antenna fits, whether it serves commercial, military, industrial, even medical markets, and how to communicate what the antenna does to those who need it the most.

 

Your team need not wear any special gear or hearing aides when working with Leger Communications: we speak your language and understand your terminology, even when it is filled with the latest abbreviations and acronyms, like 5G, 6G, SWaP, and UAVs. We take the time to listen to your team and create a message that can be understood by everyone on a potential customer’s engineering team, from the salespeople to the engineering director. There are no favorites—Leger Communications understands that the message is important to everyone on your team and everyone on a customer’s team. And communications are what we do: in print, online, even with a slap on the back at a leading industry trade show, such as the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in San Diego June 11-16,  2023.

How Long Has That Cell Phone Been There?

Progress comes in many forms. What once took days, even weeks, now takes minutes. Sending a message once involved a horse and rider, but at least the horses got a break when the telegraph lines started to spread. They were quickly accompanied by telephone lines and people could communicate over long distances, usually with the help of an operator.

Well, the operator is now a machine, functioning with artificial intelligence (AI), and the telephone wires may still be attached to wooden poles, but they are more often resting places for birds than carriers for telephone calls. Wireless communications in the form of Fifth Generation New Radio (5G NR) networks now make it possible to call anyone and share ideas and information by way of worldwide Internet connections. And if 5G is not good enough, a long list of major global corporations and top-notch universities are starting to make plans for how they will prepare for the onset of Sixth Generation (6G) wireless cellular networks not far in the future.

It may seem like only yesterday that users have been making calls, sending text messages, and getting lost in the screens of their cell phones. But for those of us with wrinkled fingers holding those phones, some may remember that the first generation (1G) of cellular telephones, also known as the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), started 40 years ago, in 1983! It has been almost a decade between generations, with 2G beginning in 1991 in Finland, 3G in 2001 in Japan, 4G in 2009 in Scandinavia, and 5G in 2019. Rough estimates place 6G services starting about 2029.

Leger Communications has enjoyed working with its clients as they contribute through various technologies to the development of 5G networks. The growth and expansion of 5G infrastructure throughout the world, with terrestrial cells and wireless links with low earth orbit satellites (LEOS), has been highly visible in recent years, as 5G evolves into a communications solution that is helpful to both civilians and military personnel. 5G has made full use of its lower-frequency band assignments below 6 GHz and has yet to realize the possibilities of communications at frequencies higher than 24 GHz, well into the millimeter-wave range. But with all its global users, even the frequency bandwidth as high as 71 GHz assigned to 5G may be exhausted before 6G is ready to make connections, and 6G networks may be sending and receiving signals to 300 GHz and higher, possibly into the Terahertz range.

The rapid pace of the cellular generations, from 1983’s analog 1G AMPS equipment to current-day 5G networks illustrates that it’s never too soon to look ahead at the possibilities. Just as those cumbersome “flip” cellular phones seem like museum pieces next to modern, pocket-sized “smartphones,” it will not be long before cell phone users will be asking each other about “the days of 5G phones and how did we ever manage to get by with those things?”

A Blog Invites Your Readers to Share Your Company’s Vision

Online rather than in-person has become the way of doing business for many. And with a growing number of business transactions depending upon the Internet, many companies count on their websites to accurately present their goods and services to the world. But, as with any growing company, a website should be constantly growing with the latest news and developments to keep visitors up to date. And a company’s regularly scheduled blog is a wonderful way to share the latest news with customers visiting the website as well as visitors who might be considering becoming customers.

Blogs are incredibly versatile. One blog may introduce a new engineering manager. The next blog may provide an advance look at a new product, even offer pointers on the most effective ways to use that product. Blogs can be driven by your customers’ feedback, for example, providing back-to-school lessons to help explain obscure technologies or even rarely used parts in a system. And because a blog is an up-to-date way for a company to share information with customers and friends, it is a simple, ongoing way for a company to build strong, open relationships with its customers, friends, and website visitors—allowing feedback from readers so information passes in both directions.

Leger Communications is here to help you build a blog that you can be proud of, that informs readers of your company’s “personality.” We want to work with you, on your schedule whether it is every week or every month, to create blogs that customers read and remember and even point to so that new customers take a look. At Leger, integrity—yours and ours—is important, and your blogs will reflect it in clear and honest messages that will bring readers back to the site for another look.

Conquering Coronavirus Together

Conquering Corona virus   A three part blog. (opens in a new tab)

by Jaime Leger

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has shaken up the world, including electronic engineers. The tiny parasite is a very real threat to human health, especially for those over age 60 and with poor immune systems. It has impacted the stock market, put an end for the moment to worldwide sporting events, and shut down major technology events, such as conferences and trade shows. What happens if it shuts down the IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS)?

The annual IEEE IMS is an invaluable get-together for many in the high-frequency industry, a chance to catch up with old friends and even competitors. It is a tremendous educational opportunity for younger engineers to learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry during workshops and presentations, and a wonderful social experience that reminds engineers about the uniqueness of the microwave industry. Will it be lost because of corona-virus?

RF/microwave engineering has long been considered a kind of “odd” part of electronics, compared to technologies such as audio and digital electronics that are more familiar to the general public. RF/microwave engineers have built reputations as being “scrappy” and “fighters” ever since the earliest radars, and they are now becoming better known by the world for developing technologies that will enable the Fifth Generation (5G) of cellular telephones. The world has become quite comfortable with wireless technologies and quite dependent on them. Those same wireless technologies can not only help this industry survive the loss of a major event like the IEEE IMS but help the world conquer the corona-virus. Don’t miss the next Leger blog to learn how we can get through these times together.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford

A Blog is Now Part of a Company’s “Web Personality”

 

The Internet has become a starting point in the education of many people. While it may not have evolved into the reference source envisioned by DARPA, it is an invaluable, globally accessible tool that provides almost instant information on people, places, and things. And through their websites, companies provide tools and resources on their capabilities. One of those resources that grows steadily in importance is the blog. Blogs have become so vital to some companies that they appear on a site’ s opening or “home” page. In many ways, they help define a company’s character, and supply potential customers with insights into a company’s way of thinking. While a blog may not be as important as a company’s new products, it is a way for a company to share its thoughts about those new products.

 

They did evolve into what became short for “weblog” as a form of online personal diary, starting around 1994 but now becoming very much the voice of a company’s personality. Blogs can be used to educate readers on a company’s technology, its products, even its people and places especially when they may seem a bit out of the ordinary. What makes shows like the 2022 IEEE IMS so great are the chances they offer for people to learn about each other, and website blogs offer those same changes to learn about companies. Readers can find out about some of the challenges overcome by designers of a new product, how it was developed, even why it was built.

 

As many companies have learned from working with me and Leger Communications, there are often hundreds of stories surrounding the most basic components, such as amplifiers or even printed-circuit boards (PCBs), and we are here to help to find and reveal those stories in blogs on your websites. We can collaborate with you to follow a theme or a trend, even tracking applications for a selected product line or technology. We can even help you tailor your blogs to the technical levels of your intended readers, whether they know a little about a lot or a lot about a little.

 

We will help you make your blog’s readers like old friends you have spotted at a trade show like the IMS Exhibition and are approaching with hot coffee in the morning. The blog will be your story and will invite readers to get to know you and your company better. We will write it with your guidance, and it will stay on your website for as long as you decide. It is your blog, and it will tell your story for the entire, Internet-connected world to read! Shall we bring the coffee to your booth?

Strong Spirt Looms Large at 2022 IEEE IMS in Denver

 

Trade shows have been hard hit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Fear of the disease has kept people at home when they might normally work in a manufacturing plant or design laboratory. It has been especially hard on trade shows, where people closely gather and create environments where the COVID-19 bacteria can spread. But the human spirit is strong, and the RF/microwave engineering portion of the population has long been known for its spunk and vitality, and it is starting to look like the industry’s life force may get a good chance to shine at the upcoming 2022 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Denver, CO this June 19-24, 2022. The exhibitor list is long and many from the industry are looking forward to walking among the booths to see old friends and, yes, even to visit competitors. COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench into the works in 2020 but the RF/microwave industry, the backbone of aerospace, defense, and wireless communications electronics, plans to exhibit its fighting spirit at the 2022 IMS.

 

Trade shows have either vanished or become online events. Electronic versions of technical presentations and webinars are convenient and efficient for educational purposes, but there is none of the “live” action experienced from an in-person appearance at an event, such as a baseball game. While engineering exhibition halls may lack the fury of a NY Yankee versus Boston Red Sox major-league baseball game in either city’s ballpark, even technical presentations can have their moments when differences in opinion erupt on the accuracy of a test instrument or the usability of a packaged integrated circuit (IC). And when long-time competitors—and in the RF/microwave industry, there are many—see each other standing in the same exhibition aisle, there is that “magic” moment of recognition and then the instant pondering of which way to go next.

 

Of course, there are far many friends in the RF/microwave industry. And there is no replacement for seeing them again after some time off since the last show. Denver promises to be a wonderful get-together for the industry and three days of exhibition which will speed by all too quickly. It may come as a challenge to set aside some time to “walk the floor” as in past-years’ exhibitions because booths will not be empty. A new generation is entering the RF/microwave industry, due to the likes of advanced aerospace and military systems, 5G, ADAS, electric vehicles (EVs), space, satellite communications (satcom), and they are curious to know more and to pick the brains of the veterans who have helped make this a unique and invaluable part of the electronics industry. Denver will be that chance to meet face to face.

 

It will also be a chance to meet before technology changes the way that trade shows are held. The new generation is helping to build a world based on instantaneous mobile communications, artificial intelligence, and VR. That generation is already planning trade shows that will be held in the “metaverse,” a form of virtual existence in which we will meet in the manner of electronic meetings on computers. They may save on airplane fare, but they will not save on memories! Visitors to the 2022 IMS in Denver will have those memories.

 

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Where Did the People Go at Industry Trade Shows?

 

 

Once it was a matter of walking down an aisle and picking out an exhibition booth to visit. Either it was a stop to learn more about a company and its products, or a chance to catch up with old friends at a familiar company. But trade shows are changing with time and technology, with less people in the aisles and at the booths. It may be only a matter of time before there are less people at the booths as well.

 

The effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic have certainly curtailed attendance at trade shows around the world for more than a year. Surgical masks help guard against inhaling or exhaling the virus that causes the disease, and aggressive vaccination programs provide a good degree of immunity from infection. But the exhibition floors of industry trade shows represent difficult-to-protect environments for attendees and an action as innocent as forgetting to adjust a face mask can lead quickly to dangerous health conditions during visits to an exhibitor’s booth.

 

Is it any wonder that interest is growing in “virtual” trade shows, where attendees can use their computers or mobile communications devices to “visit” an in-progress trade show by way of the Internet? In an age where many firms have reduced or eliminated human interaction over their telephone lines in favor of computer-controlled automated answering systems, visitors to many companies’ web sites should not be surprised by announcements that they can find out more about a company’s latest products by making an online visit to a virtual exhibition booth at an upcoming industry trade show.

 

And with advances in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotics technologies, can it be much longer before many of the exhibition booths at a trade show are “populated” by humanoid robots? Current technologies can produce machines with facial movements that are frighteningly close to the real things. With adequate memory, these “trade show robots” could be programmed to detail key product specifications and even provide guidance on solving various applications challenges. The time may come for those attending the physical events when time spent with a robotic exhibitor is considered no more routine than speaking into a telephone’s mouthpiece to an automated answering computer to reach a certain division (or even an individual) at a company.

 

So, savor that next visit to an actual industry trade show and its exhibition hall. Enjoy meeting new contacts at companies and greeting old acquaintances. Trade shows are still real and still very human, and excellent places to learn more about applications, technologies, and even about people. And a real person from Leger Communications will try to say hello. It may not be far in the future when those waves you receive from each booth come because of facial-recognition software.

 

Don’t Miss 6G in the Rush Ahead!

Clocks once ticked. Now they are most often in the form of oscillators in electronic devices. Today they are keeping pace in Fifth Generation (5G) communications devices and networks but soon it will be Sixth Generation (6G) equipment. The first “five G’s” have come in a hurry and Leger Communications is trying to help you keep up if not stay ahead of technology as it emerges. Time may pass quickly, but we also hope it passes well.

 

Alexander Graham Bell never wanted much of a telephone of his own with its creation in 1876, but he was fairly sure that many people would appreciate the quick and easy way to communicate over distances. He probably never thought any early telephone would turn into any kind of 5G wireless electronic device that many users cannot live without. 5G wireless phones and networks are using wide bandwidths and millimeter-wave frequencies once considered experimental, even by military scientists. And they are requiring electronic hardware designers and manufacturers to produce components from amplifiers, cables, and connectors to circuit materials and test equipment reliably and cost-effectively so that 5G phones can be made affordably, as holiday presents. Hardware designers and manufacturers are rising to the challenges of 5G, and Leger Communications is hoping to help them spread the good word.

 

5G will never be the final word, of course. As many electronic engineers have learned, the pace of technology rarely slows down. It often speeds up instead, as users develop a growing appetite for a particular technology. 5G has a great deal of what it can do with amounts and types of information, and it will even be used by military troops. But it will not be the final generation. Many electronic companies are planning for whatever 6G can bring them, and Leger Communications hopes to be able to help them spread the good news.

 

Commercial 6G is not scheduled until 2030. After all, we are just in the midst of establishing 5G networks. But, as the pace of technology has shown, it can come a lot quicker than expected, and today’s 5G users may already be wondering what kind of 6G trade-in they can get for their 5G phone.

 

Keeping pace with technology requires some understanding of it. Leger Communications will never claim to be expert in any technology, but we try our best to explain your technology to those who are helped by it: your customers and their customers. We try to learn what we can from you so that we can help you help your customers learn more about what you do. Ready or not, progress is coming. Better to be ready!

 

And to you, your families, and friends, please enjoy a safe and happy holiday.