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Industry News

Around the Circuit

November 5, 2011
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Industry News

Atmel® Corp. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Advanced Digital Design S.A. (ADD Semiconductor), a privately held company based in Zaragoza, Spain, that develops power line communication solutions. ADD Semiconductor, a founding member of the PRIME Alliance, specializes in the design of system-on-chip solutions that allow for narrow-band data communication across existing electric power lines. With ADD Semiconductor, Atmel will acquire a portfolio of innovative products and a team of technical experts focused on signal processing and power line communications.

Cobham plc announced that it has agreed to acquire US-based Trivec-Avant Corp., a supplier of UHF satellite communication (SATCOM) antenna systems. Trivec's SATCOM technology, product range and customer base are complementary to Cobham's Antenna Systems' strategic business unit. The acquisition is in line with Cobham's strategy to build scale in its target markets and deepen its investment in highly differentiated technology. Cobham will acquire the entire share capital of privately owned Trivec for a cash consideration of $126 M, payable on completion, on a debt and cash free basis. An additional cash consideration of up to $18 M is payable between 2013 and 2014, contingent on future performance.

Spreadtrum Communications Inc., a fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, announced that it has completed a majority acquisition of W-CDMA solutions provider MobilePeak Holdings Ltd. The acquisition of MobilePeak allows Spreadtrum to enter the global 3G and LTE markets with W-CDMA/HSPA+ technology. MobilePeak's 3G technology combined with Spreadtrum's advanced 40 nm baseband platform will enable Spreadtrum to deliver low cost, high performance W-CDMA solutions for the global market and serve as a foundation for the company's next-generation multi-mode 3G/4G solutions. Spreadtrum increased its equity ownership in MobilePeak to approximately 85 percent as a result of the acquisition. Spreadtrum expects to purchase the remaining outstanding shares by year end. Spreadtrum expects the total cash consideration for the ordinary shares, including shares purchased on September 30, 2011, and shares that remain to be purchased, to be approximately US $5 M.

Aviat Networks Inc. has sold its WiMAX business to EION Networks Inc., a privately owned Canadian company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. As a result of the sale, the WiMAX business will be consolidated into a division of the company, EION Wireless, which plans to extend its broadband wireless solutions portfolio through the purchase. Aviat Networks acquired the WiMAX business in 2009 to expand its technology portfolio and capabilities to address opportunities in the wireless broadband and mobility markets. In May 2011, as part of a company restructuring aimed at reducing costs, streamlining operations, and optimizing the company's business model, Aviat Networks announced its intentions to sell the WiMAX business for an undisclosed amount.

Thales has acquired 100 percent of the capital of Omnisys, a Brazilian company headquartered in São Bernardo do Campo, near São Paulo. The company has been majority-owned by Thales since 2005 and already designs, develops and manufactures long-range L-Band radars under a successful industrial cooperation agreement, producing more than 26 TRAC L-Band radars since 2008. The Brazilian company serves key market segments, including air traffic control radars, weather forecasting radars, weapon locating radars, electronic warfare and naval missile systems, and is progressively expanding its activities into other sectors. In March 2011, Thales announced its decision to manufacture the Ground Master 400 (GM 400) air defence radars in São Bernardo, bringing the Brazilian company access to the world's most advanced and complex radar technologies.

Aeroflex Ltd. and Lancaster University, UK, have inaugurated the Aeroflex Wireless Broadband Laboratory in the University's School of Computing and Communications at InfoLab21, Lancaster's world-class center of excellence for research in information and communication technologies. The new laboratory is equipped with $1.4 M worth of test equipment donated by Aeroflex, a leading US-headquartered technology company with a large R&D and manufacturing facility in Stevenage, UK. The laboratory will enable Lancaster University to play a leading role in the development of the next generation of wireless broadband networks and user equipment.

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. is introducing a new Obsolescence Mitigation (OM) Program to minimize the impact of integrated circuit (IC) device obsolescence on long-term military/aerospace programs. The new program requires a collaborative effort between the customer and Maxim's Mil/Aero Group. Maxim will work with the customer to set aside wafers to support the obsolescence of any COTS plastic part. Any customer who needs that part for a long-life program should contact the Maxim Mil/Aero Group.

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI), a Promoter member of the ZigBee® Alliance, announced that it achieved ZigBee Certified status for its ZigBee Smart Energy™ 1.1 standard implementation, recently introduced by the ZigBee Alliance. TI announced the availability of its new Z-Stack™ 2.5.0 with support for ZigBee Smart Energy 1.1, geared toward home area networks (HAN).

Scintera Networks Inc., a leading provider of mixed signal semiconductors for wireless communications, announced it has received the ISO 9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System. This certification acknowledges Scintera's commitment to meet the globally recognized management system requirements and regulations for the design and sale of semiconductors.

Florida RF Labs is the recipient of a 2011 Florida Governor's Business Innovation Award, one of the categories in a statewide program that recognizes Florida companies in emerging and high technology industries for their contributions to Florida's economic growth. Florida RF Labs was recognized in the Business Innovation category for both design and manufacturing technology for its Diamond Rf® Resistives family of products. The technology was released in 2010 after four years of development and is used in products that make our troops overseas significantly safer, which enhance our domestic security.

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that its M8190A arbitrary waveform generator received the Frost & Sullivan Global Arbitrary Waveform Generators Enabling Technology Award. The M8190 AWG was singled out because it simultaneously provides high bandwidth and high resolution to allow engineers to perform testing that is as close as possible to real-world conditions.

Auriga Microwave has moved its headquarters, design center, labs and assembly operations to a state-of-the-art facility located at Two Executive Drive, Suite 305, Chelmsford, MA 01824. The new telephone number is (978) 452-7700. The new fax number is (978) 452-7715. Email addresses and website (www.aurigamicrowave.com) remain the same.

Plessey Semiconductors announced the opening of a new office in Futian, the heart of the Shenzhen Central Business District, Shenzhen, China, which is the first stage in an aggressive expansion plan for the company. The new offices begin with a full-time staff of two – Eden Ho, Plessey Semiconductors' Regional Sales Manager for China, and Mark Chen, Technical Sales & Applications Manager – and the company plans to increase the headcount rapidly. Plessey's operations are also supported by two Chinese distributors – Chieftech and AMOD.

Linear Technology Corp., Milpitas, CA, is commemorating three decades of innovation in analog integrated circuits. Founded in September 1981, at the dawn of the digital revolution, some questioned the wisdom of founding a company focused purely on analog technology. Over these 30 years, the worldwide analog market has grown from $2 B to more than $40 B today, and Linear has prospered with that growth.

Contracts

Dynamics Research Corp., a provider of management consulting, science, engineering and technology solutions to federal and state governments, announced that it has established a five-year, blanket purchase agreement with an estimated value of $1.5 M with the General Services Administration (GSA) Office of General Supplies and Services' Supply Operations through the GSA Mobis contract vehicle. The first task order, having a one-year period of performance, has been awarded in the amount of $717,000.

API Technologies Corp., a provider of electronic systems, subsystems, RF, and secure solutions for the defense, aerospace, and commercial industries, announced that its RF Solutions/Spectrum Control division has received a new $1.9 M order from a Fortune 500 aerospace and defense contractor for a microelectronic solution to be used in the Heads Up Display (HUD) on a major US military fighter aircraft.

Wireless Telecom Group has been awarded a five-year supply agreement by Robin Warner Air Force Base for Boonton 4542 high performance RF power analyzers. These RF power analyzers are used to service and maintain radar and control systems for the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Global Hawk UAVs are equipped with Synthetic-Aperture Radars (SAR) that can provide details of target areas with resolutions of less than 10 cm. SAR use relative motion between the radar antenna and the target. This radar system repeatedly transmits high power pulses of various frequencies ("chirps") to a target and receives multiple echo waveforms that are stored. Post-processing of the received information creates images revealing the most subtle details.

Defense and security company Saab and its American subsidiary Saab Sensis Corp. has been awarded contracts to supply the Sea Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (AMB) multi-role naval surveillance radar as part of the US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship Program. The Sea Giraffe AMB 3D naval surveillance radar provides medium-range, multi-mission capability, including 3D surveillance of simultaneous air and surface targets and weapons. It also provides the proven, mature capabilities for periscope detection and splash spotting.

COM DEV USA LLC announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply equipment for a military communications satellite. Valued in excess of $5 M, the contract is a follow-on order for an additional flight set of equipment on a satellite program for which the company is an incumbent supplier. COM DEV USA will be providing filters, diplexers, ferrite devices and switches for the satellite. Work on the contract will be carried out at the company's facility in El Segundo, CA, with completion expected by the end of fiscal 2012.

New Market Entry

RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD) announced a strategic initiative to extend RFMD's industry leadership in compound semiconductor technologies into a broad array of adjacent non-RF growth markets. The strategic initiative includes the formation of a new business group, the Compound Semiconductor Group (CSG), which will operate alongside RFMD's Cellular Products Group (CPG) and RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group (MPG). RFMD's Compound Semiconductor Group will create innovative new high power and high performance products utilizing the company's industry-leading gallium nitride (GaN) and gallium arsenide (GaAs) process technologies. Bob Van Buskirk, President of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group, will lead RFMD's Compound Semiconductor Group.

Personnel

Peter Staecker has been elected President of IEEE, according to unofficial election results. Staeker is a Microwave Journal Contributing Editor and IEEE fellow. The results will not be confirmed until the IEEE Board of Directors meets November 20. IEEE is an association designed to serve professionals in the electrical, electronic and computing fields.



Rogers Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has elected a new President and Chief Executive Officer, Bruce D. Hoechner. He also became a member of the company's Board of Directors. Hoechner, 51, succeeds Robert D. Wachob, 64, who will become Chairman of the Board of Directors. For the past five years, Hoechner was based in Shanghai, China, first with Rohm and Haas Co., for whom he worked for 28 years, and then moving to Dow Chemical upon its acquisition of Rohm and Haas in 2009.

Passive Plus, a manufacturer of passive components, has appointed Sidney Arnow as the new Regional Sales Manager for the Western US. After 25 years developing microwave components and antennas for Wheeler Labs, Dorne & Margolin, Arnow moved into sales serving as Regional Sales Manager for Narda Microwave East. He later founded US Technical Marketing (USTM), a NY metropolitan area microwave rep firm.

Park Electrochemical Corp. announced the appointment of William L. Pappani as Vice President of Business Development and Planning for the company. Pappani will report to Brian Shore, Park's President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Park Electrochemical Corp., Pappani was Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Maskless Lithography Inc.


Rep Appointments

Siklu, a pioneer in the wireless backhaul market, has signed a distribution agreement with Connectronics, a leading wireless product distributor, for Siklu's millimeter-wave radio systems, which deliver unparalleled price-performance value. The agreement is the latest for Siklu, which recently established a presence in North America and has begun offering in that market its carrier-grade millimeter-wave Gigabit Ethernet radio solutions. Under the agreement, Connectronics will offer Siklu's EtherHaul millimeter-wave E-Band system to its network of value added resellers, system integrators and Internet service providers.

L-com Inc., a global leader in the manufacture of wired and wireless connectivity products, has partnered with PIDSO from Vienna, Austria. The partnership allows L-com greater distribution of both wired and wireless products in central Europe.

International Manufacturing Services Inc., a manufacturer and supplier of high quality thick and thin film resistors, terminations, attenuators, planar dividers, planar filters and thermal management devices to the electronics industry, announces the appointment of Spantech Microwave Technology S.A. as its representative to Spain and Portugal. Spantech is headquartered in Malaga, Spain, and has been serving the electronics industry with superior service, technical knowledge and efficiency since 1992. More about Spantech may be found at www.spantech.es.

MITEQ Inc. announced the appointment of Omarim Technologies Ltd. as the company's exclusive sales representative in Turkey and Sanetronic Co. Ltd. as the company's exclusive sales representative in China and Hong Kong. Omarim and Sanetronic will represent MITEQ's Component division of products. Omarim can be contacted at 011-90-216-340-8832. Sanetronic can be contacted at 011-86-755-2518-1122.

Websites

American Technical Ceramics (ATC), a manufacturer of microwave, millimeter-wave and RF passive components, has launched a new website, www.atceramics.com. ATC's newly redesigned website features many valuable additions and enhancements in navigation, searching and e-commerce that afford easy access to all ATC product information.

Empower RF Systems, a leading manufacturer of solid-state power amplifiers and amplifier-based solutions has launched a web-linked and inventory backed program with Richardson RFPD to offer faster availability on a specific selection of standard, building block products in its most requested frequency bands and power levels. The teamed approach between Empower and Richardson RFPD offers RF designers an attractive array of power amplifier solutions on a "quick turn" basis to support lab test requirements, prototype developments, and assurance of supply on COTS products. Visit Empower's website, www.empowerrf.com, and look for the "Buy Now" tab included with descriptions of specific products in this program. The Richardson RFPD website, www.richardsonrfpd.com, also features an Empower "storefront" and application based, interactive selection guides with specific listings of Empower products in inventory.

Recent Articles by Kerri Germani, Staff Editor

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