Most RF systems we have today been designed for one type of service operating in one frequency band. Now in the early 2020s the path to a promising future is being opened by the combination of following opens:
A. The new microwave capable data conversion technology supporting direct conversion in multiple frequency bands up to Ka.
B. With the latest FPGAs fabricated in deep sub-micron technology with their underlying significant processing power.
The emergence of single hardware platforms capable of operating in multiple frequency bands, processing a variety of waveforms and providing multiple services now becomes possible.
From an investor perspective, one investment to develop one multi-purpose platforms capable of providing a broad range of services in different frequencies can be very attractive compared to investing in the development of single purpose systems operating in a single frequency band.
This historical evolution of digital RF systems also opens promising perspectives with systems operating simultaneously in different frequency. Such as the coherent Multi-Band SAR Radars promising significant imaging performance improvements.
The history of RF innovations that we will collectively make in the 2020s will be exciting. Manufacturers of RF parts and technical building blocks will have a major role to play. And as this expansion of digitized RF across multiple bands comes with a range of new RF signal chain design challenges, skilled analog and RF engineers will remain in high demand.