KIT (formerly known as Technical University of Karlsruhe) started working on the radio frequency technology in the years 1887/88, as the classical experiments of Heinrich Hertz demonstrated the characteristics of electromagnetic waves in the frequency range of 50 to 500 MHz. 70 years later, in the year 1958, the „Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik und Hochfrequenzphysik“ (presently known as the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ)) and the „Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik und Elektronik“ (presently known as the Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE)) were founded.
The first research area of both the institutes focused on the noise in tube- and maser-amplifier, which was later superseded by the parametric radio frequency amplifier with varactor diodes. The first Head of the Institute was Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Helmut Friedburg. After his retirement in 1981, Prof. Hans Joachim Blasberg temporarily took over the institute’s management. From 1983 to 2007, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Werner Wiesbeck served as the Head of IHE. Since October 2007, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Zwick is the Head of the Institute. In 2015, IHE received its official english name: Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE). Since January 2019, the institute is being cooperatively managed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ahmet Cagri Ulusoy und Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Zwick.
The present research areas of IHE include antennas, integrated high-speed circuits, millimeter-wave systems, radar technology and wireless communication.