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Industry News

Around the Circuit

December 1, 1998
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Around the Circuit

INDUSTRY NEWS

Alcatel has entered into an agreement to acquire wire-speed routing and Gigabit Ethernet solution developer Packet Engines Inc. in a cash transaction valued at $315 M. Following the acquisition, Packet Engines will retain its name and continue to operate from its Spokane, WA facility. Krish Prabhu, current president and CEO of Alcatel USA Inc. , will serve as chairman of the company while Bernard Daines, founder of Packet Engines, will remain CEO. Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Packet Engines’ shareholders, the expiration or termination of applicable waiting periods under the antitrust laws and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close this month. In related news, Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) , a utility based in Dayton, OH, has awarded Alcatel its DP&L Supplier Excellence Award. One of 38 companies to receive this award, Alcatel was recognized in the contractor and supplier alliance partner categories for providing outstanding performance and value-added services.

Communications & Power Industries Inc. (CPI) , Palo Alto, CA, has acquired the Microwave Components Division (MCD) of Aydin Corp. , a manufacturer and distributor of solid-state microwave and mm-wave amplifiers, frequency converters and multiplier amplifiers. The acquisition expands CPI’s product line to include low power, solid-state devices and enhances its market position in the satellite communications and terrestrial broadcast markets, allowing the company to directly address new technology applications that require vacuum electron device and solid-state integration. MCD will become the Solid State Products Division of CPI .

Control product and system manufacturer Spectrum Control Inc. , Erie, PA, has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Potter Production Corp. , a manufacturer of electronic filters and power products with annual sales of approximately $8 M. The $3 M purchase price of the company excludes possible contingent payments based upon the future sales growth of the acquired product lines.

Wandel & Goltermann Management Holding GmbH (WGMH) , Eningen, Germany, and Wavetek Corp. , San Diego, CA, have merged to form the new Wavetek Wandel & Goltermann Inc. The new company is the world’s second largest communications test company with annual revenues in excess of $450 M. The company will continue to market its products under both the Wandel & Goltermann and Wavetek brand names. The parent company of the combined organization will be incorporated in the US and operate from dual corporate offices in Eningen, Germany and Research Triangle Park, NC. Terence Gooding, former chairman of the board and CEO of Wavetek, and Albrecht Wandel, former chairman of the supervisory board of WGMH, will serve together as co-chairmen of the board of directors. Peter Wagner, former president and CEO of WGMH, will serve as president, CEO and director.

Pending approval from its members, the Surface Mount Equipment Manufacturers’ Association’s (SMEMA) board of directors has voted to merge with the Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits (IPC). The IPC board of directors approved the merger and creation of an IPC/SMEMA council within the IPC governance structure at a meeting held in June. In addition, the IPC has agreed to provide the needed staff and support to promote the council’s activities. The agreement also states that all SMEMA members will become members of the IPC and that SMEMA will have representation on the IPC board of directors. SMEMA has committed to seek member approval for the merger within 60 days and to dissolve itself as a professional trade association if the merger is approved.

Advanced nonoxide ceramic material and specialty coating manufacturer Advanced Refractory Technologies Inc. (ART) , Buffalo, NY, has acquired Tech-Ceram Corp. , a manufacturer of ceramic components and packages used in the wireless, telecommunications and optoelectronics industries. Tech-Ceram will continue to operate from its 35,000-square-foot facility located in Amesbury, MA, but will receive marketing, engineering and product development support from ART in expanding its customer base and market share.

High frequency/high speed device characterization system developer ATN Microwave Inc. , Billerica, MA, has acquired software and other assets from Microvue Inc. The company hopes that this action will provide key technical resources for the device characterization business.

Condor Systems Inc. , San Jose, CA, has signed an agreement to purchase Litton’s Applied Technology Division for approximately $120 M in cash (subject to adjustments as of the closing). The sale is subject to government approval under provisions of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act as well as other contingencies.

Compact, electronic test tool developer Fluke Corp. , a wholly owned subsidiary of Danaher Corp. located in Everett, WA, has acquired Pomona Electronics , a manufacturer of electronic test and measurement accessories, from ITT Industries . Pomona will continue to service its customers and distributors from its Pomona, CA headquarters as a division of Fluke.

Nemal Electronics International Inc. , a manufacturer and distributor of RF connectors, electronic cable and cable assemblies, has acquired the assets of Coaxial Connectors Inc. , a designer and manufacturer of specialty RF and microwave connectors. The Coaxial Connectors operation will be integrated into Nemal Electronics’ North Miami, FL facility. Roger D. Ranta, founder of Coaxial Connectors, has joined Nemal Electronics as engineering manager with overall responsibility for connector operations.

VerticalNet Inc. , a leading Internet company focused on creating and operating on-line communities for engineers, has acquired RF Globalnet . Currently, VerticalNet operates 30 Web sites, including a diverse base of electronics channels such as Wireless Design Online.

Specialized wire and cable manufacturer Tensolite Co. of St. Augustine, FL has acquired privately held microwave coaxial assembly manufacturer Quality Microwave Interconnects (QMI) of Wilmington, MA. Currently, Tensolite is not contemplating any changes in QMI management.

PDF Solutions Inc. has opened a new service and technology center to develop yield improvement services, software and methodologies for IC manufacturers. In addition, the center will focus efforts on holistic yield improvement projects for PDF clients in the southwest and elsewhere in conjunction with other PDF offices. The new office is located at 101 W. Renner Rd., Suite 100, Richardson, TX 75082.

QuinStar Technology Inc. has moved to a new 21,750-square-foot facility located at 24085 Garnier St., Torrance, CA 90505 (310) 320-1111, fax (310) 320-9968.

Due to recent growth in personnel and production capacity, fiber optics manufacturer RIFOCS Corp. has relocated to a new 31,890-square-foot facility located at 1340 Flynn Rd., Camarillo, CA 93012 (805) 389-9800, fax (805) 389-9808.

American Microsystems Inc. (AMI) has realigned its Field Technology Support Group to assign technical support staff with market-specific design experience to assist customers with design development. The support teams will focus on customers with digital and mixed-signal designs for applications in the communications and industrial/automotive markets. In related news, AMI has extended its deep submicron manufacturing capability to implement 0.35 mm IC designs. A 1 MB, 3.3 V SRAM is being utilized as a yield and characterization driver for the digital CMOS process. The company was scheduled to release cell libraries for its industry-standard process in the third quarter of this year.

Glenayre Western Multiplex (GWM) , Sunnyvale, CA, and telecommunications equipment distributor Walker and Associates , Welcome, NC, have formed an alliance to supply GWM’s LYNX series spread spectrum radios through Walker’s nationwide sales and service channels. Walker maintains distribution centers in Oregon, California, Iowa, Texas, Pennsylvania and the UK. In related news, GWM has formed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with the Transport and Access Systems Group of World Access Inc. under which World Access will resell GWM’s LYNX.sc line of point-to-point spread spectrum radios as part of its WavePLEX series of digital microwave radios. The products will include a full suite of T1/E1 and fractional capacity, spread spectrum radios that operate in the license-free 2.4 and 5.8 GHz frequency bands.

Honeywell Space Systems , Clearwater, FL, and Dornier Satellitensysteme GmbH (DSS) , a corporate unit of Daimler-Benz Aerospace located in Munich, Germany, have entered into a strategic alliance covering digital signal processing (DSP) products. Under the terms of the agreement, DSS will provide Honeywell with a license to fabricate its scalable multichannel communications subsystem on Honeywell’s radiation-hard process. In addition, DSS will lead the marketing efforts to European government programs, including ESA, while Honeywell will lead US government programs. Commercial pursuit roles will be determined mutually. According to the companies, the ultimate goal of the alliance is to proceed with joint development of standard satellite control and high performance signal processing product lines that can be marketed worldwide. The companies will support processor operating system product development, pursue various signal control processing system opportunities and promote use of the IEEE-1355 high speed serial communication link standard in space light systems.

Integrated electronic component designer and manufacturer Intarsia Corp. , Fremont, CA, and Philips Components , a division of Royal Philips Electronics located in the Netherlands, have announced plans to jointly develop standards for integrated passive devices in chip scale packages. The collaborative effort will focus on developing standard peripheral and grid array packaging outlines for use in a variety of future portable and hand-held electronic devices. The companies also plan to explore new reliability and assembly processes to streamline the production process.

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology developer SiRF Technology Inc. , Santa Clara, CA, has formed an alliance with Hitachi Semiconductor Inc. to jointly develop technologies to enable the integration of GPS-based location awareness into consumer platforms. Initially, the companies will form joint marketing activities and reference design work to allow customers to take advantage of Hitachi’s embedded microprocessor experience and SiRF’s GPS architecture. In addition, SiRF will utilize and recommend Hitachi’s SH RISC series microprocessors in its SiRFstarI/LX architecture-based GPS module and GPS smart antenna reference designs. In related news, SiRF is collaborating with Intel Corp. to produce an automotive PC technology that will provide efficient automobile navigation capabilities using GPS technology. SiRF will deliver its WinSiRF™ series receiver (which takes advantage of Intel’s Pentium" central processing unit for much of the navigational processing), substantially lowering the GPS hardware cost.

RF and microwave product manufacturer Alpha Industries , Woburn, MA, has appointed Insight Electronics a distributor of its cellular handsets, base stations, community antenna televisions and PCs in North and South America. In related news, RF Monolithics Inc., Dallas, TX, has also selected Insight to distribute its line of RF components and subassemblies based on surface acoustic wave technology.

Hewlett-Packard Co. has named Wyle Electronics , a wholly owned subsidiary of VEBA Electronics , a distributor of its full electronic components product line, including light-emitting diode products, fiber-optic components, RF and microwave components, infrared transceivers, high speed I/O products and CMOS image sensors throughout North America and Latin America.

High reliability component supplier General Microwave Corp. , Amityville, NY, has announced that, effective immediately, the warranty on all of its products has been extended to two years.

Quartz crystal and oscillator manufacturer Statek Corp. , Orange, CA, has been recommended for ISO 9001–9004 certification by SGS International Certification Services Inc. Certification was expected to be granted in October.

Vectron International’s (VI) Hudson, NH location has received ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification. VI is the first frequency control product manufacturer and only the fourth company in New Hampshire to receive this certification.

Anritsu Co. has become the first business in the Silicon Valley to receive the San Francisco Bay Area Green Business Certification for engaging in proactive and voluntary environmentally friendly activities. The company was recognized for instituting energy-efficient measures, pollution-prevention programs and water conservation activities as well as reducing solid waste.

Broadband wireless local loop radio equipment supplier Millitech Corp. has won the third annual Tibbetts Award for its efforts in developing and commercializing high frequency radio equipment for wireless communications. Presented by the US Small Business Administration to companies that have attained high levels of success in research and development under the Small Business Innovative Research program, Millitech is one of two companies in Massachusetts to receive this year’s award.

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Defensive Systems business unit has won the 1998 R&D 100 Award for developing a miniature ultraband microwave power module. The award, which is sponsored by Research & Development magazine, is presented each year to developers of the 100 most technologically significant new products. Northrop Grumman’s module delivers 125 to 250 W CW RF output power and 35 to 45 percent direct current to RF efficiency.

FINANCIAL NEWS

Northrop Grumman Corp. reports sales of $2.2 B for the third quarter, ended September 30, compared to $2.3 B for the third quarter last year. Net income was $116 M ($1.67/share), compared to $98 M ($1.44/share) for the same period last year.

Watkins-Johnson Co. reports sales of $26.3 M for the third quarter, ended September 25, compared to $79.2 M for the same period last year. Net loss was $54.4 M ($6.93/share), compared to a net income of $1.8 M (42¢/share) for the third quarter last year. The company reports that this loss is due primarily to charges for restructuring its Semiconductor Equipment Group to match a reduced level of forecast revenue because of market weakness in semiconductor capital equipment.

Microwave Power Devices Inc. reports sales of $13.1 M for the third quarter, ended September 30, compared to $14 M for the same period last year. Net income was $205 K (2¢/share), compared to $168 K (2¢/share) for the third quarter last year.

ANADIGICS Inc. has announced that net sales for the third and fourth quarters are expected to be approximately $21.7 M or $1 M less than sales for the third quarter last year. The company attributes this anticipated loss to a drop in sales of its direct broadcast television products.

JMAR Technologies Inc.’s board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $2 M worth of its shares of common stock in the open market (or negotiated transactions) when they are available at prices the company considers attractive.

CONTRACTS

TRW Inc. , Redondo Beach, CA, has received a $19 M contract from Nortel Networks to design, develop and manufacture transceiver modules for its Reunion series broadband wireless access system. The TRW modules (which transmit and receive radio signals) simplify production of wireless telecommunications equipment for new services. Work on the mutually exclusive contract for the integrated, 24 to 42 GHz MMIC-based modules is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter and extend through the first quarter of 2000. Annual module production could grow to more than 100,000 units per year by the 2000–2001 period. TRW plans to manufacture the modules at its highly automated TRW MilliWave subsidiary located in Diamond Springs, CA.

Signal Technology Corp. , Danvers, MA, has signed a two-year, $13.5 M agreement with Raytheon Systems to produce several sophisticated electronic components for the AMRAAM Standard Missile, Phalanx and Patriot programs. Several Signal Technology operations will be involved in the contract.

The Interconnection Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has received an Advanced Technology Program (ATP) award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop the materials, design and processing technology needed for embedding passive devices onto circuit board substrates. Additional team members involved in the program include the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, 3M , Compaq Computer , Delphi Delco Electronics, DuPont Photopolymer & Electron Materials , DuPont High Performance Films , IBM , HADCO Corp. , MacDermid , Merix Corp. , Northern Telcom , Nu Thena Systems and ORMET Corp . The NIST award will cover half the costs of the $16.1 M project. In related news, Cascade Microtech Inc. , Beaverton, OR, has received a $2 M NIST ATP award to design and demonstrate large-area membrane probes for parallel testing of ICs, chip-scale package arrays and high density interconnect substrates. The probes are expected to reduce test costs substantially while enhancing the high frequency capabilities of parallel testing and increasing product yields. The project will enable Cascade’s customers to simultaneously probe up to 16-times as many ICs and extend pin counts to at least 6000 contacts and 4000 I/O lines.

PERSONNEL

GHz Technology Inc. has appointed Alan King to its board of directors. Currently, King serves on the board of directors of six companies and is chairman, president and CEO of Volterra.

Ronald Rosenzweig has been named chairman of ANADIGICS Inc. Bami Bastani has filled Rosenzweig’s former positions as president, CEO and director of the company.

International Manufacturing Services Inc. has announced several personnel appointments, including Thomas J. Moakley as president, Don McHenry as sales manager and Barry S. Black as marketing manager. Most recently, Moakley was VP, sales and marketing; McHenry and Black were responsible for sales in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, respectively.

Microwave Development Laboratories Inc. (MDL) has appointed Gordon P. Riblet president, Bruce Johnson VP and GM, and James Richmond VP of operations. Formerly, Riblet was executive VP at MDL; Johnson and Richmond each have been with the company for more than 40 years.

Dave McCurdy as been elected president of the Electronic Industries Alliance. McCurdy has served in the US House of Representatives for seven terms and, most recently, was chairman and CEO of the McCurdy Group LLC.

K&L Microwave Inc. has announced the retirement of president Charles Schaub after 27 years of dedicated service and exemplary leadership. Schaub concluded that the demands of running a global business in the fast-paced electronics industry were interfering with his efforts to fully recover from his heart attack in 1996. Schaub will remain active through the end of the year and continue to serve on K&L’s board of directors.

The International Microelectronics and Packaging Society has named Paul Van Loan president for the year 2000. Van Loan retired from Hewlett-Packard Co. — where he was most recently project manager for IC packaging research and development in the Integrated Circuits Business Division — in July after 21 years of service.

Chatham Technologies Inc. has appointed Jeff Dickson and Kurt Conklin to the newly created positions of senior VP, operations for the eastern and western regions of the US, respectively. Previously, Dickson was president of Chatham’s Kingston Group and Conklin was president of the company’s Innovation Group.

ATN Microwave Inc. has appointed Thomas C. Kilbourne VP, sales and marketing. Kilbourne brings to the company more than 19 years of senior-level sales and operations experience, and most recently was employed at Anritsu Co.

Boonton Electronics Corp. has promoted Richard H. Blackwell , Jr. to VP, engineering to oversee the engineering department, including personnel, research and development, product enhancement and manufacturing. Most recently, Blackwell was director of engineering at the company.

Microwave Filter Company Inc. has appointed Terry Owens and Paul Mears VP of sales and VP of engineering, respectively. Prior to these promotions, Owens was sales manager and Mears was chief engineer at the company.

Palomar Technologies Inc. has named Dale Perry eastern regional sales manager. Perry has been with the company for 10 years, most recently serving as worldwide service manager.

Abpac Inc. has announced several personnel appointments, including David Jandzinski as product engineer, Edward Kertman as senior statistician, Stephen A. Wortendyke as senior sales engineer and Aaron Brezenski as quality engineer. Formerly, Jandzinski was senior quality engineer at HADCO’s Advanced Substrate Development group; Kertman was program manager, strategic quality systems at the Aerospace Equipment Systems division of AlliedSignal Inc.; Wortendyke was worldwide marketing manager at Flip Chip Technology; and Brezenski worked at Intel where he developed C4 yield improvement programs, chaired the factory yield improvement team and trained users on Web-based yield improvement and analysis tool suites.

Kyocera America Inc. has promoted Elizabeth Rice to the position of manager of corporate special interests responsible for public relations, community involvement, employee advocacy and media relations. Formerly, Rice was manager of customer service.

California Micro Devices Corp. has appointed Barry L. Siegel and Frank Ellis director of applications engineering and product marketing manager, respectively. Most recently, Siegel was founder and VP of engineering at Elantec Semiconductor and Ellis was business engineering manager for the displays product group at National Semiconductor.

Paul Laidley has joined Tru-Connector Corp. as an RF design engineer. Previously, Laidley was employed at M/A-COM as manufacturing manager and QMI as chief engineer.

REP APPOINTMENTS

Gabriel Electronics Inc. , Scarborough, ME, has appointed ARVA-Hudson Inc. , Woodinville, WA, as a sales representative in the US Pacific Northwest region. ARVA-Hudson will market Gabriel’s complete line of terrestrial microwave point-to-point and point-to-multipoint antennas, coaxial cable, elliptical waveguide and rigid waveguide components, and related accessories.

High quality frequency control product designer and manufacturer SaRonix has named Lyons Corp. , Dayton, OH, to represent its line of crystal and clock oscillators to OEMs in commercial, industrial and military electronic markets. This appointment was intended to allow SaRonix to better serve customers throughout the central East Coast area.

WEB SITES

Advanced ball-grid array packaging foundry Abpac Inc. , Phoenix, AZ, has added reliability data to its Web site at www.abpac.com. The information includes testing for JEDEC level 3 preconditioning and long-term testing out to 2000 temperature cycles to Mil-Std 883 condition B. The company’s full reliability testing program covers more than 20,000 units in a variety of configurations. The data published to date cover variables such as standard material sets, all standard processes, several substrate suppliers, the full range of equipment sets and a wide range of product configurations. In addition, full failure analysis and diagnosis are performed on site at Abpac and can be viewed on line.

Export management company Dage Corp. , Stamford, CT, has developed a new Web site to provide listings of available products, photographs and user-friendly access to literature and price quotations. The site can be accessed at www.dage.com.

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