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I posted most of what follows on the Wireless World Board. I'm wondering if superconductor technology, specifically developed as an RF Filter product used in wireless base stations, could be an emerging gorilla or royalty game.

This post deals with the supposed benefits to be realized via application of the HTS Filter technology. Does this qualify as a discontinuous innovation?

I've just started researching CDTS, ISCO, and SCON, and have no background in superconductor technology. So my learning curve is steep. But I'm fascinated by the "potential" investing returns if this technology makes an impact on the wireless communications industry.

All three companies are trying to provide the following benefits to wireless service providers:

1. Improved system performance through better frequency selectivity, thereby reducing the RF interference from adjacent frequency bands.

2. Better able to handle the low power signals from smaller wireless handsets.

3. Increased range for rural areas, eliminating dead zones.

4. Major reductions in signal disturbance, also called "insertion loss" upon receiving the RF signal.

5. Better able to fully utilize the available spectrum without introducing guard bands or blocked channels at band edge.

Immediate benefits can be provided to analog network (1G) service providers. The digital networks (2G) are already starting to experience congestion (i.e. transmission quality) issues from the rapid growth within the voice market. But where the real benefits can be realized is in the coming convergence and growth in voice and data applications. HTS Filters will enable OEMs of base stations to provide high quality solutions; Existing base station quality can be cost-effectively upgraded to meet the needs of the 2.5G and 3G future.

At this point I know very little about resonator Q's, but I've read that HTS technology provides the highest Q factors available. I have yet to verify this,however.

From my limited reading, it seems that the recent field trials, especially in the 2G and 3G areas, have shown surprisingly higher transmission range and quality results. Customer payback periods have been quoted in the range of one year to two months!

ISCO, which uses a lower cost thick-film technology, states that their HTS product costs are approaching conventional filter cost levels.

My summary: the benefits are there with this technology. IMHO, I believe the Q's are higher than you think and the costs are getting lower with scale-up and commercialization.

Enough for now. I'd like to bring more analysis to this board afetr spending some more time in DD.

To use gorilla game terms, I believe that superconductor filter technology is in the early market stage, with some bowling alley development taking place. If the 3G testing in Japan is successful, coupled with the expected growth of the wireless communications industry, then a tornado (hypergrowth) may form.

My apologies if this doesn't belong on the Gorilla Board. Any GG Fools want to comment?
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To use gorilla game terms, I believe that superconductor filter technology is in the early market stage, with some bowling alley development taking place.

I agree with that. I purchased SCON yesterday and was considering ISCO and CDTS to round out a GG position on this emerging technology. In retrospect, I should have bought all three right away since CDTS took a huge run first thing this morning. I think there are lots of people looking at these three companies right now and all three should do well in the short term unless something significantly good or bad happens to one of them. If the market becomes convinced that superconductor filters have a significant place in wireless transmission, then these stocks will really take off. But if not, then look out below!

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Amid all the recent noise here, I'd like to draw attention to JSRdaMan 's post as a nice intro to the superconducting area as it relates to wireless, which seems to have huge potential. The use of superconductors in wireless applications, assuming that their benefits are as the companies claim, seem very necessary and compelling.

(I have been working in a place with no telephone line - causing me to rely extensively on my Sprint PCS phone. This place, funnily enough, lies just about midway between UCSD (the incubator of Qualcomm) and Qualcomm headquarters in San Diego. I have many dropped calls, and many incoming calls that go to voicemail because CDMA circuits are busy).

G/K Characteristics (I'm a novice, don't trust me):

1. The dramatic improvements to existing cell sites resulting from a revolutionary material that has been many years in development would strike me as being very much a discontinuous innovation - one that may have far greater implications in other industries (AMSC being an example in the power transmission area).

2. Since this technology is shared by at least three companies all of whom have product now, it would seem that there is no proprietary open architecture, unless one of them has a dramatically better technology, which dosen't seem to be the case.

3. At the same time, the fact that these products have been so many years in development would suggest big barriers to entry. These companies have been protecting their IP.

4. Assuming Irwin Jacobs is correct that in the near future "a wireline phone will be an object of some surprise" (love that line), it seems that superconducting filters do have the potential of being a mass market phenomenon within the wireless area.

5. Superconducting filters would become a new link in an existing value chain. That value chain is developed.

6. No way has it crossed the chasm.

7.No hypergrowth, except in share price. The share price appreciation in this small sector over the last two months is nothing short of astounding:
2500% in two months.

Which brings me to the question: The one group best qualified to evaluate these companies would be their customers or potential customers - any of the major wireless providers or suppliers. They could have bought any or all of SCON, ISCO, CDTS for nickels and dimes two months ago. Even at current valuations of well under a billion the superconductor companies could be absorbed by the likes of Sprint, the Bells, Qualcomm without even a hiccup. And these are the people who would have known about and been able to evaluate the product before anyone else. And also the ones most interested in the intellectual property. This makes me wonder.

Would be very interested in others' views.

Company sites:
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As a new SCON shareholder I agree with you.

SCON, CDTS, and ISCO would make a basket to start with.

I am very high on the Superconductivity Technology (try saying that 5 times fast...).

I believe we are not too far off from seeing routers, servers, switches, and other equipment, all adopting this technology. The need for speed is always going to be increasing in demand. Zero resistance puts these devices at the optimum platform for design of newer chips.

Hopefully SCON and the others wil be the first in these fields...

Perhaps the CSCO's, and NTAP's, are already doing R&D in this area...
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I sold my 2000 SCON shares a year or so ago for $3... about what I paid. It was dead money for a long time... I was way too early is all.
I live in Santa Barbara, and did some work at the HQ building. Met some people.

I do not know if these superconductor companies are gg stocks though. It is my feeling that SCON will continue to develop technologies that enable companies like Cisco, Nokia, Ericsson.
I think it's going to be a King, Prince, Serf game, with the big boys crowning their favorite puppet
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