M/A-COM Technology Solutions Returns to Its Roots
MWJ: M/A-COM Technology Solutions (M/A-COM Tech) was formed in September 2008 when Cobham plc completed the acquisition of M/A-COM’s Aerospace & Defense and Commercial businesses from Tyco Electronics to separate the commercial businesses from the defense products. Now you are a new stand alone company. What are your main short term goals to re-establish the company in the marketplace as its own entity?
Ocampo: We have to return to our entrepreneurial roots. That means being lean and agile and focused on our customers’ needs. We also need to reclaim our technological leadership in all of our product categories. This is what the M/A-COM Tech brand represented for many decades. This is what we’re going to be known for as we move forward.
MWJ: M/A-COM Technology Solutions has been through a lot of ownership changes over the past few years. Who is M/A-COM Tech today?
Ocampo: M/A-COM Tech today is a 60-year-old start-up. All the baggage of being part of a larger organization has been shed. The kid gloves are off. We are ready and able to compete in the marketplace we once dominated. M/A-COM Tech still offers the broadest product portfolio in the industry—from small-signal to high power and RF to millimeter wave. None of that has changed.
MWJ:Has there been confusion about what products and brand name the new company carries on with today?
There are some very specific aerospace and defense products that Cobham retained, but they represent a small piece of M/A-COM Tech’s product line… so the answer is no.
MWJ: The M/A-COM brand has a long and well established 60-year history. How are you going to celebrate your 60th year and how will you connect to your past successes in the marketplace?
Ocampo: We are having a cookout in the summer and inviting some former employees and the founders’ families. M/A-COM Tech has a very rich history and we need to honor and preserve this legacy.
MWJ: What are M/A-COM Tech’s core technologies and products that differentiate it from its competitors?
Ocampo: M/A-COM Tech is a product category leader in diodes, power transistors, and switches. No one has a product portfolio as diverse as M/A-COM Tech in both passive and active ICs covering RF through millimeter wave. What differentiates us from our competitors is our breadth of technology.
MWJ: Which market and application areas do you think will fuel the largest growth in the next few years for M/A-COM Tech?
Ocampo: Aerospace and Defense, Point to Point, and CATV/FFTx are our growth drivers mainly because we are starting from a relatively smaller base. The nice thing about serving multi-markets is we’re not exposed to one particular market or customer. We didn’t have a 10% customer in ’08 or ’09 and don’t see one in 2010.
MWJ: In your new position as owner of M/A-COM Tech, what kind of new challenges have you and the company been facing?
Ocampo: It’s the same challenge I believe the whole industry is facing and that’s how to stay relevant going forward. I don’t believe that substantial stand-alone RF/microwave companies will exist in 10 to 15 years. Advances in silicon process technologies will catch up to III-V so compound semiconductor business models will evolve into smaller specialty applications. The successful RF/microwave plays will be a part of a larger analog business model offering more functionality and semiconductor content rather than just RF and microwave. CMOS is not the solution for everything but I believe silicon will dominate the landscape.
MWJ: As part of the GaAs Labs family that includes Mimix Broadband, what synergies are there between the companies and how will these be leveraged going forward?
Ocampo: Mimix Broadband is the technology leader in highly integrated MMICs. It also has an established portfolio of linear microwave power amplifiers. These strengths are very complementary to M/A-COM Tech’s own strong design capabilities. The scale, brand name and established sales channels of M/A-COM Tech are attributes I could see Mimix Broadband wanting to leverage at some point. Without getting into too much detail, I see lots of possibilities for the two companies to help each other in the future.
MWJ: What is your vision for M/A-COM Tech in the years to come?
Ocampo: I believe M/A-COM Tech has the potential in the long term to be a market leader in every RF, microwave and millimeter-wave product category with the exception of cellular handset PAs and FEMs. I hope to still be around to see it become the largest multi-market RF/millimeter wave company in 2050 when we celebrate our 100th anniversary!