November 2022

Note from the Unknown Editor: 2022 IEEE BiCMOS and Compound Semiconductor Integrated Circuits and Technology Symposium (BCICTS) is a small but focused conference that was born from a merger of BCTM and CSICS, you can read about (and contribute to!) the history of this conference here. We had the pleasure of attending it again this year in Phoenix Arizona, in early October. We'll let guest editor Mr. Buns lead you through the conference with some photos.

Hi, my name is Mr. Buns. I got to attend a conference this year and had a great time.  It started with a thing called a "primer" - very interesting!  It was titled "Gallium Nitride Device Technology and Circuit Design", covering all simulation methods commonly used in RF and MMW integrated circuit design.  There was also a short course on “Millimeter-wave and THz Applications – Systems, Circuit Devices and Technologies," but these courses run concurrently so you have to pick one.  It costs a few bucks for such training but trust me, your boss won't quibble over small change when he approves you to go to a conference. Oops, my tag is showing in this photo, I need to have a word with my handler!

There were lots of papers presented during the week - it was hard to decide which ones to attend as there are two parallel sessions.  Thankfully the parallel talks are usually only distanty related, like "Reliability, Dynamic modeling, TCAD extraction with Neural Networks", versus" mmW & THz Signal Generation". Give me mmW any day, my brain is less than a centimeter!

You are never supposed to take photos at a conference during a talk, it is rude and more often than not you can get the slides from the presenter by asking. This photo was taken by accident, I swear!

The best industry paper award went to Kevin W. Kobayashi, for his talk on "High Linearity Ka-band InP HBT MMIC Amplifier with 19.8:1 IP3/Pdc LFOM at 48 GHz". The best student paper award went to Harrison P. Lee, for "Performance vs. Reliability Tradeoffs of Medium Breakdown and High Performance Cascode Amplifier Cells".  Congrats to both presenters!

I'm happy to report they had lots of carrots and other delicious snacks at the numerous lunches, breaks, and receptions. There was an industry exhibition featuring ten well-known (and appreciated!) suppliers to talk to, and games to play during a sponsored reception. I don't have a picture of the exhibits, but here is a photo of one result of a corn-hole game. Have you ever seen the bean-bags actually clogging the hole? As the saying goes, you could never do that sober!

The venue was nice, right in downtown Phoenix, so an easy walk to lots of different restaurants and activities.  The view from my room was great! You'd think that Phoenix would be hotter than Hell, but this week in October was nice. We even had a crazy monsoon rain storm, that seem to really surprise an attendee from Ireland, who had never seen such a violent deluge!  Did I mention that this is an international conference, with many European and Asian attendees for you to mingle with.

If you walk a few blocks from the venue you can see some great artwork installations. You can tell a lot about a city in how they support the arts. For no apparent reason, this brings to mind the Dalsart posing of Grecian Urns in the fictional Iowa town of River City, thanks to the play The Music Man...

Here's some of the attendees (and committee members)  meeting together after hours for a healthy meal like they eat at home with their spouses.  I did not know how economical it is to order beer in small pitchers! I have been told that there has been a lot of such merriment at past conferences. Not by these fellows, they are always bright-eyed and bushy-tailed each morning, like myself.

Here's the closing reception. Drink tickets are provided, and are good for free beverages of your choice.

Here's more images from that closing reception. You'd think all we do at conferences is eat and drink. Who's that guy with that cool "Shaggs" shirt?

Here's a couple of characters that might know a thing or two about world-record GaN amplifiers. You can learn a lot by associating with smart people.

Honestly, it was fun, but kind of exhausting.

All those beverages, and such a tiny bladder...

A big thanks go to the conference committee who put this all together.

And extra gratitude to Catherine Shaw, who kept things running smoothly ...

and minimized the foolishness (mostly). What decade was "planking" a thing?  The 1990s?

If you would like to join the BCICTS Technical Program Committee and have a serious interest in bipolar and compound semis, send an email introducing yourself to anyone you know on the committee, or contact the Unknown Editor at this site.  Every year people rotate on and off to keep it fresh.

Next year BCICTS will be in Monterey in October.  I'd like to attend that too, but I plan to take a gap year to allow one of my colleagues to attend. One thing we need is a higher percentage of female attendees, so next year if you attend you might meet Ms. Dee Dee... spoiler alert, she likes honey, not carrots.

--Mr. Buns, Tucson, Arizona, November 2022.

Check out the Unknown Editor's amazing archives when you are looking for a way to screw off for a couple of hours or more!

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