At this year’s International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2023), we caught up with members of the Benchmark team to find out what they were sharing with conference attendees. In this interview, Bryan Halladay explained how Benchmark’s diverse offering—including RF engineering, microelectronic assembly, system build, and RF tuning and test—supports RF/Microwave product realization.
Q.1 Can you provide an overview of Benchmark's role in microwave product development?
Benchmark plays a significant role in the microwave system industry by providing microwave-compatible design and manufacturing capabilities. We specialize in designing and assembling units that are essential for RF/microwave through millimeter wave applications.
Q.2 What are the latest technological advancements or innovations that Benchmark has helped customers introduce in the microwave domain?
Radio frequency (RF) designs that perform as expected at frequency are critical to microwave systems, and Benchmark has been instrumental in helping engineers bring their concepts to life. We offer advanced assembly capabilities and provide the necessary electronics capabilities for assembling RF modules which are critical in achieving optimal RF performance.
Q.3 How does Benchmark stay ahead of the competition in terms of research and development (R&D)?
Benchmark’s approach to research and development is centered around close collaboration with our customers. We aim to understand their design goals and work together to find innovative solutions related to RF technology and assembly. By staying in tune with our customers’ needs and providing support for their ideas, we ensure that our development efforts are aligned with the evolving market demands.
Q.4 How does Benchmark enhance the quality and reliability of its customers' products?
Maintaining product quality and reliability is a top priority at Benchmark. We achieve this through a strong focus on quality systems inclusive of leadership at all levels of the organization. Our manufacturing teams are well-versed in quality processes and standards, and we take great pride in our commitment to perfection as reflected in our motto, “When It Matters.”
The microelectronics industry continues to advance applications in satellite high-speed communication, radar systems, and sensors. These advancements contribute to the sustainability of the industry as a whole. Benchmark helps customers design for thermal management considerations and design away from certain harmful microelectronic materials. We also ensure our customers’ products are ruggedized for their intended environment.
Q.5 What specific challenges does Benchmark face in the current market, and how does the company address these challenges?
In the microelectronics market, we all face challenges related to keeping up with all of the necessary capabilities to achieve our customers’ ultimate goals. Constant investment in upgrading our capabilities and processes, whether related to equipment or design skills and experience, is critical to future performance as a critical supplier to our customers. Overcoming these challenges requires continuous innovation, expertise, and a customer-centric approach.
Q.6 How does Benchmark support its customers throughout their products' lifecycles?
Benchmark offers comprehensive support throughout the entire product lifecycle. From the initial concept, we can provide design engineering, PCB assembly, final testing, and full box-build solutions. Benchmark works closely with our customers, addressing all aspects of design and manufacturing throughout the entire product life cycle. Our expertise and infrastructure enable us to scale products and address our customers’ unique requirements, whether that is making their products smaller, more efficient, faster, or more versatile. We can even create sub-modules that can be used in various applications, making them plug-and-play for our customers.
Q.7 What do you see as the key drivers or opportunities in the industry, and how is Benchmark strategically positioned to capitalize on those opportunities?
In the RF domain, one of the key drivers is the exploitation of different frequencies to accommodate more users and improve performance. As an example, radar technology is seeing increased adoption in various industries (such as automotive, space, security systems, and motion sensors). Benchmark is able to leverage these trends by offering expertise in RF/microwave technologies, enabling us to meet the evolving needs of customers in these expanding markets.
Q.8 How do you feel Benchmark is perceived across the various industries it serves?
Benchmark has earned the trust of our customers through our impressive 40+-year legacy, leading to enduring partnerships. Many customers who worked with us even 10, 15, 20 years ago continue to rely on our solutions, recognizing our expertise and track record in these critical industries.
Q.9 Can you share any success stories where Benchmark addressed unique customer challenges or requirements?
We are currently working with a customer on the development of a new phased array radar module that has the potential to revolutionize existing systems. Benchmark can help customers create products that were once limited to concept development within their own labs, taking them through development into full product realization. Our capabilities are a force multiplier, allowing us to tackle design and manufacturing challenges that our customers had to resource internally in the past. We thrive where others might hesitate, embracing unique customer requirements and pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
Looking for a trusted product realization partner for your next project? Reach out to Benchmark today!
Bryan Halladay serves as the Technical Business Development Manager for the RF/mmWave microelectronics group, supporting Benchmark's Phoenix and Thailand facilities. Bryan has 30+ years of experience in custom electronics, having started in the PCB industry then migrating to microelectronic assembly 23 years ago. Among several specializations, Bryan’s expertise lies in finding ideal customers whose needs align exceeding well to Benchmark’s capabilities and fostering those relationships through cross-collaboration to ensure full customer satisfaction.