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Industry News

Around The Circuit

July 10, 2011
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Skyworks Solutions Inc. signed a definitive agreement to purchase Advanced Analogic Technologies Inc., an analog semiconductor company focused on enabling energy-efficient devices for consumer electronics, computing and communications markets. This acquisition expands Skyworks' portfolio with highly complementary analog semiconductor products, including battery chargers, DC/DC converters, voltage regulators and LED drivers. Skyworks has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Advanced Analogic Technologies for a nominal price of $6.13 per share, representing a 52 percent premium to Advanced Analogic Technologies' 30-day trailing average.

Integral Systems Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will be merged with a subsidiary of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. in a cash-and-stock transaction for an enterprise value of approximately $266 M. Kratos is a specialized national security technology business providing mission critical products, services and solutions for national security priorities. The Boards of Directors of both companies have unanimously approved the combination. The combined company will provide differentiated, integrated technology that addresses the most critical national security priority areas. Combining the two highly complementary technology and customer portfolios is designed to uniquely position the merged company to bring advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) platforms to market.

API Technologies Corp. announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Spectrum Control Inc. API completed the acquisition through a merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary with and into Spectrum. As a result of the merger, all outstanding shares of Spectrum common stock were converted into the right to receive $20.00 per share in cash, without interest and less any required withholding taxes. The closing of the acquisition of Spectrum allows API to gain significant expertise in RF, sensors and measurement, and power systems management technology. It also provides significant scale, manufacturing capacity and product diversity.

AMETEK Inc. announced that it has acquired Coining Holding Co., a supplier of custom-shaped metal preforms, microstampings and bonding wire solutions for interconnect applications in microelectronics packaging and assembly, for $148 M in cash. Coining, acquired from an investor group led by Chattanooga, TN-based River Associates Investments LLC, has estimated annual sales of approximately $65 M.

Vanguard EMS and Tektronix Component Solutions have signed a joint marketing agreement to formalize their collaboration and the joint offering of their capabilities to customers in the defense, aerospace, medical and industrial equipment markets. While companies in these markets frequently seek to control costs through outsourced manufacturing, finding suitable suppliers can be challenging due to the high-complexity and high-reliability requirements of their products. Through the collaboration of Vanguard and Tektronix, customers now have access to the engineering, manufacturing and test services needed to support their assembly requirements from the microelectronics level to final system build and test.

Rosenberger of North America LLC and Toth Technologies have formed a strategic alliance. Under the agreement, Toth will do business as Rosenberger TOTH and will operate from TOTH's Pennsauken, NJ headquarters. Founded in 1958, TOTH Technologies is a technology leader in custom machining, complex electromechanical "contract assembly" and hermetics to the military, aerospace and instrumentation markets.

Litron, an Agawam, MA supplier to the aerospace and medical industries for services in laser welding, laser systems, hermetic sealing, and electronic packaging, has invested more than $1 M to purchase a 9500-square-foot facility just four doors down from its existing 23,500-square-foot facility and to upgrade and expand upon its equipment and service offerings. The new 45 Bowles Road facility will allow Litron to break out its service offerings based on its two most prominent industries, medical and aerospace. The existing 207 Bowles Road facility will service the medical clientele, while the new 45 Bowles Road building will service the aerospace clientele.

M2 Global Technology Ltd. was presented with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) 2011 Region VI Subcontractor of the Year award during the SBA's National Small Business Week events in Washington, DC in May. This award is given to companies in recognition of the small-business sector's contributions as subcontractors for large federal prime contracts that provide vital products and services to military and civilian customers. The award was presented by SBA Administrator, Karen Mills, to Douglas Carlberg, M2 Global's President and CEO, at the National Awards Breakfast on May 19. In the SBA event information, M2 Global was lauded for rising above challenges and expanding its customer base to include companies such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Raytheon.

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. announced its Chief Financial Officer, Steve Buhaly, was named "CFO of the Year" at The Portland Business Journal's annual awards program. Buhaly received the honor in the public company category. Buhaly is a consultant to TriQuint's business units and functional departments. His responsibilities include investor relations, corporate accounting and legal, to information technology, tax and treasury services. Since joining the company in September 2007, he has inspired operational improvements and empowered his senior managers with skill and thoughtfulness.

Mark Holm of Selex, an experienced user of AWR's Microwave Office™, AXIEM® and Visual System Simulatore™ software, is the first winner of AWR's 'stop waiting and start designinge™ ad campaign'. The challenge runs through March 31, 2012 and winners of the iPad2 will be chosen monthly. To be eligible for the challenge and the chance to win an iPad2, current customers must share a story of their design success with AWR by way of an online survey while prospective customers must download and activate a free 30-day trial.

TriQuint Semiconductor and Agilent Technologies Inc. announced results for building next-generation RF solutions. This includes enhanced TriQuint process design kits with support for Agilent's Advanced Design System 2011 EDA software and the development of an ADS RF module PDK for TriQuint's RFIC/MMIC and RF module integrated design flow. The upgraded ADS Foundry PDKs enable both TriQuint's foundry customers and in-house design engineers to take advantage of new capabilities in ADS 2011. Specifically, the PDKs provide a fully integrated front-to-back product design flow with customized DRC and LVS solutions. This offers the design engineer a unified suite of EDA software for schematic capture, simulation, layout and layout verification.

A.T. Wall Co., a supplier of superior precision tubing and fabricated metal components, announced that it is celebrating its 125th anniversary in business. From its founding in 1886 as a jewelry finding manufacturer, A.T. Wall has grown and expanded to become a global supplier of seamless cold drawn specialty tubing, high quality waveguide tubing, and metal stampings that include drawn and coined products, to the medical, aerospace, telecommunications, electronics and automotive industries.

Modelithics Inc., a provider of high-precision measurements and models for RF/microwave design simulation, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Entrepreneurs Tom Weller and Larry Dunleavy founded Modelithics in 2001 to better address the industry-wide need for improved simulation models for RF and microwave circuit design. What started as an incubator company on the University of South Florida campus now provides characterization services and models across the globe. Their premier product – The Modelithics COMPLETE Library – is a software compilation of linear and nonlinear models for electronic design automation software like the Agilent Advanced Design System and Genesys suites and AWR's Microwave Office. The Modelithics COMPLETE Library now represents more than 6500 active and passive devices.

Danaher, a Washington, DC based science and technology company, announced that its test and measurement subsidiaries, Tektronix, Fluke and Keithley, have joined the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP) with a $300,000 donation of laboratory test equipment and cash scholarships for faculty training. The goal is to help provide increased opportunities for engineering students to obtain practical, hands-on experience using electrical and electronic testing and measurement in manufacturing and research and development applications. Tektronix, Fluke and Keithley are global leaders in the test and measurement industry and have a long history of working with universities and vocational schools to help develop the next generation of highly skilled engineers.

Australia's Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, announced funding for Nitero, a company formed by researchers from National ICT Australia (NICTA). The AU$1.43 M grant is part of an effort to bring Nitero's high speed gigabit wireless communications technology ('GiFi') to market. Intended for use in a wide range of devices, including personal computers, tablets and smart phones, the gigabit wireless chipset has been in development for five years. Led by NICTA and the Victoria Research Laboratory, the chipset could eventually replace HDMI cables and is potentially up to 10 times faster than current Wi-Fi chips, with speeds of up to 7 Gbps. The AU$1.43 M grant comes from Commercialisation Australia, a government initiative to accelerate the business building process for Australian companies, entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors.

Pinnacle Quality Assurance announced that another one of its clients, ESM Cable Corp., is in the process of achieving compliance to the AS9100 Rev C Standard. The company expects to achieve full certification within 2011. ESM is one of a select few firms in the industry to have taken this step. The certification is a program of the International Organization for Standardization. The AS9100 Rev C standard provides a framework for an organization's structure, management and operational systems and procedures.

Automotive safety is evolving from passive systems such as seat belts, airbags and crash detection to active sensing networks capable of collision avoidance and accident prevention. Radar is an especially promising active safety improvement and has the potential to significantly reduce the number and severity of distracted driving accidents. Analog Devices Inc., whose integrated inertial sensing iMEMS® technology helped make airbags a standard automotive safety feature more than 15 years ago, is introducing an affordable, high performance, radar analog front-end (AFE) IC. ADI's highly integrated AD8283 automotive radar AFE IC includes the receive path signal conditioning and data capture circuitry to enable end systems for adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and other radar-based detection and avoidance applications.

Tektronix Inc. announced that validation of ASICs designed in IBM's 8HP silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS Specialty Foundry technology are exceeding target specifications for a planned new performance oscilloscope capable of greater than 30 GHz bandwidth across multiple channels while minimizing noise found in older chip sets. The new oscilloscope platform will meet electronic designers' needs for more accurate characterization of high speed serial data beyond 10 Gb/s, and enhance optical modulation analysis of 100GbE where complex signaling requires accurate bit capture.

Nitronex announced that it has shipped more than 500,000 production devices since introducing its first production-qualified products in 2006. Nitronex's patented SIGANTIC® GaN-on-Si process is the only production-qualifed GaN process using an industry standard silicon substrate.

CONTRACTS

Raytheon Co. has been awarded a $58.3 M contract for Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical, or GEM-T, missiles. The US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), Redstone Arsenal, AL, issued the contract to upgrade 131 Patriot Advanced Capability-2 missiles to the GEM-T configuration. This is a follow-on contract as part of AMCOM's Patriot missile continuous technology refreshment program initiated in 2000. The Patriot GEM-T missile upgrades include the replacement of select components that increase reliability and extend the service life of the missile.

Harris Corp. announced three big contract awards in May. It has received a $19.9 M order from the US Army for Falcon II® AN/VRC-104(V)(3) radio systems to provide high frequency communications in multiple variants of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP). Also, Harris received a $10 M order to provide RF-310M-HH multiband handheld software-defined radios to a central Asian nation in support of interoperable secure communications with coalition partners. In addition, Harris has received a $5.9 M order from the US Navy for its KIK-11 Tactical Key Loader – a new lightweight device that simplifies the process of loading classified key fill material into military radios and other end cryptographic units. The initial delivery order was placed against a recently signed $59.7 M indifinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract.

The Joint Program Executive Office, Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS) of the Department of Defense announced a contract award to Scalable Network Technologies Inc. (SNT), Los Angeles, CA. The $11 M contract is for a product called JNE (JTRS Network Emulator) to be used by numerous DoD programs/agencies. JNE is a virtual laboratory that supports real-time emulation of large-scale communication networks of current and future force radios and associated waveforms. Based on SNT's EXata™ emulation engine, JNE is used to create "hybrid" networks that can emulate the intensity and distribution of traffic typical of battlefield deployments, and perform with all the complexity and realism of an actual large-scale network. This high degree of fidelity makes it possible to integrate a JNE network into live exercises using real hardware, real users and real applications connected to operational networks.

VTI Instruments Corp. announced that it has been selected to deliver the high-fidelity core switching solution for Custom Systems Integration's (CSI) semiconductor manufacturing test system. VTI's 3U high power switching mainframe (EX1208) and 72-channel multiplexer (EX1200-3072) provides 556 channels of core switching capability for CSI's Multi-Core Tester (MCT). Proven repeatability and reliability were key switch system characteristics that enabled uninterrupted testing, ultimately resulting in lower development costs, faster time-to-market, and a sustained competitive advantage. CSI's MCT is a high performance test system used by leading global semiconductor manufacturers to perform device temperature profiling.

Aeroflex Ltd. has received orders from 4G chipmaker Sequans Communications for a significant number of its 7100 LTE Digital Radio Test Sets. The initial order has been shipped and will be used across a range of applications in research and development of Sequans LTE chips and software, in LTE TDD pre-conformance testing, and by the company's field applications engineers to give technical support to its customers.

PERSONNEL

M/A-COM Technology Solutions announced that Michael Dys joined the company as Corporate Controller, reporting to Conrad Gagnon, Chief Financial Officer. Dys will be responsible for all global accounting functions, budgeting and forecasting, as well as financial planning and analysis. He will also provide financial perspective to other business leaders toward optimizing M/A-COM Tech's operational efficiency. Dys most recently served as Controller at Aeroflex/Micro-Metrics. He previously served as Vice President and Corporate Controller at Skyworks Solutions.

TRM Microwave has announced the addition of Bill Dolloff, who will serve as the company's dedicated Boeing Program Manager. He brings extensive experience in implementing quality systems, customer support and aftermarket sales in commercial aviation products, along with government contract administration. Dolloff will play a strategic role in supporting the demands of TRM's growth. He retired after 20 years of service in the US Marine Corps and received a BS in Management from Park College and an MS in Management from Central Michigan University.

The National Association of Broadcasters announced that Kevin Gage, a 20-year veteran with experience developing digital platforms in television and music, has been selected as the new executive vice president and chief technology officer for the association. Gage, 49, will lead NAB's technology efforts, including oversight of the staff that represents NAB on a variety of standard-setting organizations, and which serves as the liaison to the engineering and technology community. Gage's career includes stints at Warner Bros. Studios, where he helped develop the DVD Specification and production facilities at the film studio. While at Warner Bros., Gage helped launch The WB Network, and was a founding member of the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum, a cross-industry initiative that developed standards for interactive TV. Gage later became head technologist at Warner Music Group, where he oversaw creation of new digital platforms and standards for products that included iTunes.

Giga-tronics announced the addition of two new Regional Sales Managers covering the USA, Asia and EMEA. Henry Hu will focus on the Western US and Asia, and Nick Weidick will focus on the Eastern US and EMEA. Hu has more than 10 years of experience in the industry with a strong background in RF and microwave engineering. His career started in engineering and marketing at Kulicke and Soffa, a semiconductor equipment company, and most recently, Hu was the Asia Sales Manager for Aeroflex/Metelics. Nick Weidick has more than 20 years of experience in the industry with a strong background in RF and microwave test and measurement. His career started in wired and wireless communications working for such companies as Anritsu, Tektronix and AT&T. Most recently, Weidick was a Business Development Manager for MI Technology.

REP APPOINTMENTS

RFMW Ltd. and RFaxis Inc. announced a distribution agreement for the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. RFaxis is a semiconductor company with focus on developing highly integrated, silicon-based single-chip, single-die RF front-end integrated circuits (RFeIC) that significantly simplify the design task and substantially improve the range, receive sensitivity and data throughput for all major wireless communications protocols.

TRM Microwave announced Bradford RF Sales has been named to represent the TRM lines in the New England territory. With this latest addition, the company continues to affirm its strategic initiative to provide customers with local design and engineering support, and easy access to its broad offering of custom power dividers, couplers, hybrids, beamformers and integrated assemblies.

WEBSITE

East Coast Microwave Distributors has launched a new online website (www.adaptercity.com) to locate nearly every RF/microwave coax adapter. The website allows you to choose from a wide range of manufacturer's adapters, by separating commercial-grade adapters from mil-grade ones.

Recent Articles by Kerri Germani, Staff Editor

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