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Industry News

Around the Circuit

December 4, 2010
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Industry News

Richardson Electronics Ltd. announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell its RF, Wireless and Power Division (RFPD) and certain other assets to Arrow Electronics Inc. for $210 M in cash. RFPD is a provider of engineered solutions and a distributor of electronic components to the RF and wireless communications market and the industrial power conversion market. RFPD designs, manufactures and distributes discrete devices, components, and assemblies used in RF and wireless infrastructure communications networks, digital broadcasting, defense applications and power conversion. RFPD generated revenue of $356 M during fiscal year 2010. Arrow intends to operate RFPD, which will be called “Richardson RFPD,” as a separate business unit of Arrow Electronics. Richardson RFPD headquarters will remain in LaFox, IL.


Silicon Laboratories Inc. announced the acquisition of Ireland-based ChipSensors Ltd., an early stage technology company creating innovative single-chip CMOS sensors designed to detect temperature, humidity and gases. ChipSensors’ technology complements Silicon Labs’ touch, proximity sensing and recently acquired MEMS technology, expanding the company’s capabilities in CMOS-based sensors.

DragonWave Inc. announced its acquisition of Axerra Networks Inc. Axerra is well known in the mobile network industry as a leader in pseudowire technology and has a product portfolio that allows carriers to address the increasing need to carry legacy TDM traffic over a packet-based network. Axerra’s industry leading portfolio of pseudowire products will strengthen and complement DragonWave’s packet microwave products.

Maxtek Components Corp., a Tektronix company, announced that it will now be known as Tektronix Component Solutions. Leveraging one of the technology world’s most trusted brands in test instrumentation, this name change reflects the customer’s increased access to core capabilities and high performance technologies developed by Tektronix Component Solutions in support of its parent company, Tektronix.

Harris Corp. and ITT Corp. are collaborating to accelerate the fielding of the Soldier Radio Waveform, a central piece of the US Department of Defense vision for a networked digital battlefield. Harris and ITT have successfully exchanged voice and data between the Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-117G manpack and ITT’s Soldier Radio development model using the specified SRW Version 1.01.1C. This is the first time that independently developed tactical radios have interoperated using open-standard wideband JTRS technology. Both the AN/PRC-117G and ITT’s Soldier Radio were developed under the JTRS Enterprise Business Model, which is designed to spur innovation in tactical communications. Harris’s rapid implementation demonstrates the portability of SRW.

CapRock Government Solutions announced that it has partnered with Tampa Microwave, a provider of innovative remote terminal solutions, to deliver complete end-to-end man-packable military-grade satellite communications solutions. The agreement enables CapRock to provide government and military users deployed in remote areas of operation with a lightweight, portable man-pack satcom solution that easily connects to CapRock’s CommandAccess™ network.

Planar Monolithics Industries and Amplitech announced the collaboration of their combined product offering, engineering skills and marketing efforts. The companies will retain independent and independently run the administrative and production facilities, but will share a combined manufacturer’s representative sales force, marketing effort and will direct future engineering requirements to the facility best suited to achieve a particular customer’s requirement. This collaborative effort takes advantage of the unique skills and offerings of each company independently, culminating in demonstrable best-of-breed microwave system integration and designs for the benefit of end users and customers.

Symmetricom® Inc., a leader in precise time and frequency technologies, announced that it has partnered with Wintegra to deliver a cost-effective, high performance, versatile and power-efficient reference design for customers requiring IEEE 1588 (Precision Time Protocol) compliant products. The reference design combines Symmetricom’s SCi 2000 Embedded Software Clock with Wintegra’s WinPath3 platform. This combination enables customers to implement IEEE 1588 in wireless base stations and other network elements in an affordable, portable manner without the need for dedicated silicon.

Skyworks Solutions Inc. announced that it has opened an office in Singapore (Skyworks Global Pte Ltd.) to support increasing demand for solutions within its linear products portfolio and to further enhance its manufacturing activities in the region.

Apollo Microwaves, a supplier of passive microwave components and subsystems, announced that it has moved into a new 60,000 square foot, fully integrated facility near Montreal, Quebec. The new premises are 240 percent larger than Apollo’s previous location. All of the nearly 150 employees will be housed under one roof. The move into a new facility was spurred by the need to increase production capacity to satisfy customer requirements for quick deliveries. The new facility provides much needed space for Apollo’s new equipment acquisitions—additional high precision, flexible machining centers—which increase manufacturing capacity by 200 percent, and are scheduled to be fully operational in late 2010.

NDK (Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co. Ltd.) announced the opening of a new sales engineering and customer support office in northern California. NDK America-Silicon Valley is located at 1551 McCarthy Boulevard, Suite 202, Milpitas, CA 95035. The company can be reached by phone at (408) 428-0800, fax (408) 428-0801 or e-mail sales@ndkxtal.com.

Cobham Sensor Systems, a GaAs MMIC supplier, has completed the requalification of its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Blacksburg, VA. The relocation of its manufacturing and design facilities from Roanoke to Blacksburg began in February and culminated in October with the successful completion of key reliability and qualification tests on the MMIC processes and products. The qualification results verify that the company has successfully replicated its proprietary MMIC technology at the Blacksburg site and is prepared to restart volume production of GaAs MMICs for key aerospace and defense programs.

Paciwave Inc., a supplier of microwave components and custom integrated microwave assemblies for the military market, announced that it has relocated from its existing facility into a newer and larger facility in order to facilitate company growth. The new 15,000 square foot facility, located at 1286 Hammerwood Avenue in Sunnyvale, CA, includes a 2500 square foot Class 1000 clean-room. Products to be manufactured in the new facility include solid-state switches, attenuators, limiters, DLVAs, switch matrices and filter banks, and custom integrated microwave assemblies such as tuners, receivers, T/R modules, frequency converters and RF sources, operating between 100 MHz and 40 GHz.

Restor Metrology provides test equipment calibration and repair services to companies in Florida and across the US. Their capabilities include RF and microwave to 50 GHz, EMI/EMC (CISPR 16 compliant calibration for EMI receivers, CDNs, LISN), general purpose electrical, mechanical, physical/dimensional and fiber optics. Restor Metrology has announced that they have achieved A2LA accreditation for the new Z540.3 standard.

PCTEST Engineering Laboratory, an accredited laboratory in Columbia, MD, is fully operational and testing LTE UEs utilizing the Rohde & Schwarz TS8980FTA. Scope of testing includes LTE RF, RRM and Protocol Conformance as well as operator test plans covering all aspects of LTE and LTE-CDMA InterRAT operation.

Astrolab President, Stephen Toma, was presented the SHARP award from NJ Commissioner of Labor and Workforce, Harold J. Wirths. Commissioner Wirths commended the management and workers of Astrolab Inc. for their successful and cooperative commitment to workplace safety and presented the company’s safety team with the prestigious Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) SHARP award. Astrolab is one of only 16 companies in New Jersey that received this nationally recognized award for safety and health in the workplace. The award ceremony was held in Warren, NJ, and included a celebration commemorating Astrolab’s 49 years in business.

Rice University research that capitalizes on the wide-ranging capabilities of graphene could lead to circuit applications that are far more compact and versatile than what is now feasible with silicon-based technologies. Triple-mode, single-transistor amplifiers based on graphene—the one-atom-thick form of carbon that recently won its discoverers a Nobel Prize—could become key components in future electronic circuits. The discovery by Rice researchers was recently reported in the online journal ACS Nano.

Obituary

Bob Burke, a sales, marketing and business development professional with over 20 years of experience in RF and microwave products, passed away on October 27th. Burke was a graduate of Merrimack College (’82) and Rivier College (’88). At various points in his career, he represented M/A-COM, TRU Corp. and Richardson Electronics, providing expertise in microwave interconnects, components and cable assemblies for defense, aerospace and semiconductor applications. Burke was “an excellent customer oriented engineer with a ready grasp of business opportunities in solving customer problems/needs,” according to a former co-worker.

Contracts

TASC Inc. has been awarded a 10-year contract worth up to $827.8 M for National Airspace System (NAS) support services that will enable the FAA to accomplish a smooth and successful transition to NextGen, a satellite-based network that will replace the US radar-based air traffic control system.

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that it has been awarded a $35 M contract by the US Army. Under the terms of the contract, Agilent will deliver up to 1,600 MXG microwave analog signal generators over seven years, to the Army as part of its Test Equipment Modernization (TEMOD) program.

Wavestream Corp. announced it has received a $19 M purchase order from General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies for the company’s high power 50 W Ka-band solid-state amplifiers to support US Army and Marine Corps satellite communications systems. Product deliveries are scheduled starting in October 2010.

Crane Aerospace & Electronics, Power Solutions, was awarded by the US Department of Defense, a $7.9 M contract for repair, upgrade and new manufacture of high-voltage power supplies and high-voltage distribution units for the AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. Under the contract, Power Solutions will work closely with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, IN. These products are designed to drive multiple traveling wave tubes for jamming oncoming missile threats. The production is scheduled to begin January 2011 in Fort Walton Beach, FL.

TECOM Industries Inc. announced a Firm Fixed Price Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract award from the Defense Logistics Agency. The contract calls for TECOM to supply the Compass Sail antenna in support of electronic warfare missions on various military aircraft. The contract is for a base year with a two-year option and is valued at up to $3.5 M.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced that its Tempe, Arizona-based subsidiary, Comtech EF Data Corp., won a $3.2 M order for satellite communications equipment from the United States government. The equipment will be utilized to upgrade fielded satellite terminals that support tactical military communications.

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. has received a $2 M contract from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to develop S-band amplifiers with new benchmarks for noise floor, linearity and efficiency performance.

RF Micro Devices (RFMD) announced that it has been awarded a $1.5 M R&D contract by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) related to gallium nitride (GaN) microelectronics, including the development of materials, device fabrication and high power circuits. The $1.5 M R&D contract award expands RFMD’s contract backlog over the next six quarters to approximately $5 M. Since calendar 2004, RFMD has been awarded over $14.5 M in R&D contracts by the US Government for development of its GaN high power RF technology.

ITS Electronics Inc. has been selected by General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies to supply Ka-band solid-state power amplifiers (SSPA) with integrated Block Up Converters (BUC) for the company’s SATCOM-on-the-Move™ (SOTM™) terminals.

Rep Appointments

Tektronix Inc. announced new agreements with Allied Electronics, Entest and TestEquity, giving US customers the choice of working with these leading electronic component and test instrumentation distributors who now will offer the full line of Tektronix test instrumentation. These three distribution partners provide an additional 500+ sales engineers who will now be authorized to offer Tektronix higher performance oscilloscopes, signal generators, spectrum analyzers, logic analyzers and bit error rate testers.

Anaren Inc. announced that Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas (EMA), a business region of Avnet Inc., will now carry Anaren’s new family of Anaren Integrated Radio (AIR) modules in the Americas.

Wireless Telecom Group (WTG) has signed a service agreement with Electroservices (Midlands) Ltd., Telford, UK, to become a fully authorized Wireless Telecom Service center for the EMEA region. With a staff of more than 60, 35 of which are highly experienced engineers, Electroservices is well equipped to guarantee the highest service standards for WTG customers.

Reactel Inc., a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, multiplexers and multifunction assemblies to the commercial, military, industrial, and medical industries, announced the appointment of Matrix Sales Inc. as the company’s exclusive representative in New England. For more information about Matrix Sales, please telephone Bill Brann at (508) 612-0007.

Recent Articles by Jennifer DiMarco, Staff Editor

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