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In the past the cost for generation and detection of microwave signals has been sufficiently large to restrict the usage to sophisticated radar and communication applications. Thin film and monolithic microwave integrated circuit technology is permitting order of magnitude cost reductions, with appropriate volume, for most microwave components. Microwave circuits have been fabricated with thick and thin-film techniques and in monolithic form. The capabilities of these techniques are examined and typical performance presented. Some areas of application of low cost microwave circuits to the fields of communication, measurements, and radar are also explored.