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Industry News

Around the Circuit

February 1, 1999
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Around the Circuit

INDUSTRY NEWS

Bolton, MA-based Atlantic Microwave Corp. , a Chelton company, has acquired Premier Microwave Corp. of Port Chester, NY. The new Atlantic Microwave Premier Products Group provides a 60-year heritage of designing, developing and manufacturing microwave components and subsystems (such as circulators, arc detectors, RF windows, filters and water loads) for defense systems, including radar, missile guidance and electronic countermeasures. The division also offers experience in developing products for commercial systems, including air traffic control and weather radars, satellite communications, medical equipment and scientific research.

L-3 Communications has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Alexandria, VA-based Microdyne Corp. for $5 per share in cash and assume all of the company's existing debt. The total value of the transaction is approximately $90 M. The acquisition is expected to add revenue to this year's earnings and is scheduled to close in the near future.

Merrimac Industries Inc. , West Caldwell, NJ, has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire microwave microcircuitry manufacturer Filtran Microcircuits Inc. , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for approximately $4.7 M. The transaction is subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence by Merrimac and customary conditions, and was expected to close in January. Filtran will continue to operate independently led by CEO Craig Sutton and president K. Ramachandran.

Hauppauge, NY-based Microwave Power Devices Inc. (MPDI) has signed a letter of intent to purchase Somerset, NJ-based Amplidyne Inc. , a designer and manufacturer of ultra-linear power amplifiers and related subsystems. Under the terms of the agreement, aggregate consideration for the purchase will include 1.15 million shares of MPDI common stock (or a value of approximately $7.2 M based on the closing price as of November 30, 1998). Finalization of the transaction is subject to completion of due diligence by both parties, approval by the companies' board of directors and shareholders, the execution of a definitive merger agreement and other customary conditions. The transaction is expected to be completed in April.

West Yorkshire, UK-based Filtronic plc has acquired the entire assets of Natick, MA-based Sage Laboratories Inc. via cash tender. Sage will continue to design and manufacture its existing product offerings of passive and active components and integrated assemblies under the same name while maintaining its Natick, MA and Hollis, NH facilities. Filtronic reports that the acquisition will result in an expanded range of capabilities to address the defense electronics, space/satellite communications and commercial telecommunications markets.

SEMX Corp. , Armonk, NJ, has signed a letter of intent to sell its Retconn Inc. connector business to Litton Systems Inc. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The sale is subject to the execution of a definitive purchase agreement as well as the approval of the companies' boards of directors, the executive committee of the Litton Industries Inc. parent company and SEMX's banks.

ThermoTrex Corp. 's privately held Trex Communications Corp. subsidiary has acquired Hauppauge, NY-based LNR Communications Inc. , a manufacturer of electronic subsystems and turnkey earth stations for the satellite communications market. The new LNR TrexCom will continue to supply both fixed and transportable systems for commercial and private use in remote locations worldwide.

In a reported attempt to lower manufacturing costs and streamline operations, ANADIGICS Inc. has announced plans to accelerate the qualification of its state-of-the-art six-inch wafer fabrication facility in Warren, NJ and subsequently close its current four-inch wafer fabrication facility. The six-inch facility (originally slated as a four-inch facility) is expected to come on-line during the third quarter of the year. The company expects the facility to be in full production within three to six months of the start of production. These changes are expected to reduce the manufacturing operations work force by approximately 60 employees over the next seven months.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. , Melville, NY, has acquired the assets of Mobile Datacom Corp. , Germantown, MD. The new Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp. subsidiary will provide satellite-based packet data communication services between remote mobile and fixed assets and home base using an open-architecture asset-tracking system. Joel Alper, former senior executive of COMSAT Corp. , will head the new subsidiary as president. In related news, Comtech also has formed a new wholly owned subsidiary in Woodbridge, NJ to design and manufacture wireless local loop systems for the rural and remote telephony market. Shiv Verma, formerly of AT&T Bell Laboratories and Timeplex/Unisys , has been named president of the new Comtech Wireless Inc. subsidiary. Both new divisions reportedly will extend Comtech's product line to include earth station data processing equipment for mobile data communications for use in the emerging market for satellite packet data services.

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), CIBERNET, the CTIA Foundation for Wireless Telecommunications and the Wireless Data Forum have moved to new offices located at 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036 (202) 785-0081. In addition, the fax number for the communications department has been changed to (202) 736-3688.

Horizon House Publications Inc. , publisher of Microwave Journal," Journal of Electronic Defense and Telecommunications," has moved its European office to 46 Gillingham St., London SW1V 1HH, UK +44 171 957 0030, fax +44 171 957 0031.

Seavey Engineering Associates Inc. has relocated to a new 52,000-square-foot building designed for higher volume antenna manufacturing. Offices and staff for antenna engineering and development also have been expanded. The new address is 28 Riverside Dr., Pembroke, MA 02359-1937 (781) 829-4740, fax (781) 829-4590.

Interface connector developer Circuit Assembly Corp. (CA) , Irvine, CA, has granted Thomas & Betts Corp. the rights to manufacture and market ATAS,™ CA's newly designed 40-pin Ultra ATA connector that permits implementation of ATA-4 signals and logical protocol for integrated defense electronic host systems and storage devices.

High performance IC designer Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. , San Diego, CA, has announced that wireless telecommunications product manufacturer Eagle Wireless International Inc. , Houston, TX, has selected its model PE3282A phase-locked loop (PLL) IC for incorporation in a new direct digitally synthesized paging transmitter that will be introduced this year as part of Eagle Wireless' Quantum and Stealth series low, medium and high power VHF, UHF and 900 MHz base stations and link transmitters. The company eventually will incorporate the PLL into most of its telecommunications equipment product lines.

Motorola's Worldwide Data Solutions Division has entered into a value-added reseller agreement with Salt Lake City, UT-based World Wireless Communications (WWC) under which WWC will sell Motorola's MOSCAD™ remote terminal units (RTU) and incorporate the technology into its complementary line of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and telemetry products, including HART" interface devices, legacy SCADA protocol converters and very small aperture terminal interface products. MOSCAD products are designed specifically to meet fixed data applications requirements, providing the features of both an RTU and programmable logic controller. When incorporated into WWC's products, the RTUs will feature hardware and software for monitoring and control in the oil/gas, water/wastewater, irrigation and electric industries.

Megatek Graphics , a division of Space Electronics Inc. located in San Diego, CA, has signed a distribution agreement allowing Themis Computer to sell its line of graphics and MDS™ series multiple display server solutions. In turn, Megatek Graphics expects to expand its sales channels by gaining access to Themis Computer's global sales force. In related news, Space Electronics has received a patent for its plastic radiation-shielded microelectronics technology.

Pragmatic Instruments Inc. , San Diego, CA, has signed a license agreement with Sandia National Laboratories , Albuquerque, NM, under which Pragmatic will distribute Sandia's Super m Driver waveform creation software for use in conjunction with micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) actuator driver systems. Use of the Super mDriver waveforms to drive comb actuators reportedly improves the reliability of the Sandia MEMS engine by reducing wear and component fatigue.

International RF and microwave component distributor Richardson Electronics Ltd.'s Solid State & Components Group has signed an agreement to distribute PolyPhaser Corp. 's full line of lightning protection products, including coaxial entrance panels, grounding equipment and protectors for use in cellular, paging, global positioning system and PCS applications as well as in-line and shunt-type power mains, rack-panel components and power supplies. In related news, the Solid State and Components Group has expanded its existing distribution agreement with semiconductor manufacturer Semtech Corp. to include worldwide territories. The company has distributed Semtech's analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products throughout North America for the past seven years and is now focusing its worldwide coverage on Semtech's transient voltage protection products and new power management devices (at low voltages) for telecommunications and industrial original equipment manufacturers.

Hewlett-Packard Co. has announced price cuts of up to 58 percent (in quantities less than 10,000) on most of its line of MSA and INA series RFIC amplifiers. The price cuts, effective immediately in North and South America, include the models MSA-0885 and MSA-0104 general-purpose amplifiers (now 88¢ and $1.15, respectively) as well as the models INA-51063 and INA-52063 high performance amplifiers (both now 54¢). In related news, the company is celebrating the sale of its 500th HP 83000 series semiconductor test system. The system, which was introduced in 1991, is used to test a wide range of very-large-scale integration components, including multimedia chipsets, microcontrollers, central processing units, full custom application-specific ICs, fast static random access memory, embedded memory and networking devices with analog features.

RF and microwave component manufacturer EMC Technology LLC , Cherry Hill, NJ, has received a patent for an asymmetric geometry that improves thermal dissipation in microwave terminations and resistors. The asymmetric wrap technology provides improved power capability for terminations and attenuators in a low cost surface-mount technology (SMT) component. The SMT design reduces the cost of installing the asymmetric unit compared to traditional flange-mounted components. The technology is incorporated in the company's SMT series surface-mount terminations, which are available in either BeO or AlN and are packaged on tape and reel from 10 to 100 W and to 2 GHz.

Micro Substrates Corp. , Tempe, AZ, has been granted US patent number 5,832,598 for its VIA/BGA™ ball-grid array (BGA) technology developed for packaging microwave and mm-wave GaAs MMICs. The packages are suitable for use in cost-sensitive commercial applications, including local multipoint distribution systems and point-to-point radio, and are easily integrated into systems due to their BGA format (which allows simple reflow assembly to the PCB and does not require wire or ribbon bonds).

Carson, CA-based Jay-El/DMT has changed its name to reflect the recent acquisition of American Electronics Inc. (AEI) . In addition to the existing Jay-El illuminated product line and DMT RF/microwave product line, the new Ducommum Technologies Inc. now offers AEI's stepper motors and various hi-rel electromagnetic products, and D/B surveillance cameras. In related news, the company's Jay-El and DMT products have been certified to the ISO 9001 quality system standard.

Component manufacturer AVX Corp. , Myrtle Beach, SC, has achieved QS 9000 certification for its core ceramic and tantalum capacitor operations.

Coaxial connector, cabling technology and microwave component manufacturer Rosenberger Hochfrequenztechnik GmbH & Co. , Tittmoning, Germany, has received ISO-14001 certification.

FINANCIAL NEWS

REMEC Inc. reports sales of $35.2 M for the third quarter, ended October 30, 1998, compared to $38.6 M for the third quarter in 1997. Net income was $1.3 M (6¢/share), compared to $4.9 M (23¢/diluted share) during the same period in 1997. In addition, REMEC's board of directors has terminated the company's stock repurchase program (effective immediately). During the program, REMEC purchased 366,500 shares on the open market at prevailing market prices.

In an effort to raise new financing, Iridium World Communications Ltd. , the public investment vehicle of Iridium LLC , has announced plans to offer approximately 7,500,000 shares of its class A common stock in an underwritten public offering led by Merrill Lynch & Co.; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; NationsBanc Montgomery Securities LLC; Salomon Smith Barney; and SoundView Technology Group.

Watkins-Johnson Co. 's board of directors has issued an amended shareholder rights plan and company bylaws in an effort to protect shareholders against unfair value/unequal treatment and coercive takeover tactics in the event of any attempted company takeover. Changes to the rights plan include a decrease (from 15 percent to 10 percent) in the common stock ownership threshold level that would trigger the issuance of share purchase rights. In addition, an inadvertent triggering cure mechanism has been added as well as a provision that states that the board of directors will take all actions previously authorized by the continuing directors (directors who were members of the board at the time the rights plan was adopted or whose nomination or election to the board was recommended or approved by a majority vote). The amended bylaws provide that nominations must be received within a 45- to 75-day period prior to one year from the date the company proxy material was mailed for the previous year's annual shareholders' meeting. Additional bylaws state that a record date must be set to determine shareholders' eligibility to participate in shareholder action by written consent (without a meeting) and that the dates of shareholder meetings will now be determined each year by the board.

CONTRACTS

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. , Melville, NY, has announced that its Florida-based Comtech Systems Inc. (CSI) operating unit has been awarded a $42.5 M contract by a major US prime contractor. The contract calls for the design, engineering and production of shelterized communication terminals comprising Comtech digital over-the-horizon and line-of-sight microwave radios and integrated UHF/VHF and high frequency radios for use in foreign countries. The terminals will incorporate CSI's state-of-the-art 4 GHz quadruple-diversity digital radio, patented digital adaptive modem, power control to eliminate interference with other communication systems and a quality path performance monitor. The over-the-horizon microwave communications will provide 8 Mbps digital capacity to carry voice and data as well as path monitoring and control information. The terminals, configured for mobile deployment, are scheduled to be delivered over the next 26 months. In addition to a customary termination for convenience clause, the contract contains provisions that limit payments to CSI in the event of such a termination.

Microwave Power Devices Inc. has been awarded a $39 M consignment order to supply highly linear, single-channel, cellular CDMA amplifiers to Lucent Technologies. The amplifiers will be used predominantly in Lucent's international cellular CDMA wireless telecommunications base stations. Deliveries have already begun on the order; multiyear shipments are expected. Billings will be made only upon production consumption.

Test equipment manufacturer Boonton Electronics Corp. , Parsippany, NJ, has been awarded a five-year contract valued at $1.3 M from the US Navy to supply its model 1121 audio analyzers. The devices will be used to test stimulus response equipment, including amplifiers, receivers and components. The units were reportedly selected because of their built-in, low distortion audio source that makes them suitable for applications in the 10 Hz to 140 kHz frequency range. The analyzers' advanced microprocessor also allows swept measurements to be performed.

State-of-the-art component and system manufacturer Signal Technology Corp. , Danvers, MA, has been awarded a $1.2 M initial contract from Xetron Corp., a subsidiary of Northrup Grumman, to develop and manufacture high reliability complex power modules for the mid-term modernization of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). Work on the contract will be performed by Signal Technology's Space Center in Chandler, AZ. Follow-on work is scheduled for 2000. The power modules will be designed and qualified by NATO AWACS engineering and development standards and integrated with Xetron's satellite communications and multibank cosite communications system.

PERSONNEL

Robert Calafell has been elected to Stanford Telecommunications Inc.'s board of directors. Calafell, who retired recently from GTE Corp., has been actively involved in strategic planning and business development activities within the commercial telecommunications industry for the past 32 years.

Andrew Corp. has announced several personnel appointments, including John DeSana as group president, HELIAX" products. Thomas Charlton group president, communication products, has assumed overall responsibility for the company's terrestrial microwave, base station, ValuLine," satellite and broad-cast antenna product lines as well as distributed communication and government systems. Additional designations include Alan Haase as VP, terrestrial microwave products and Barry Houlihan as VP, international services.

CTS Corp. has announced several personnel appointments, including Jeannine M. Davis as senior VP, general counsel and secretary, Philip G. Semprevio and George "Bing" Harding as group VPs and Todd Rumsey as director, information systems. Previously, Davis was VP, general counsel and secretary at CTS, Semprevio was president of Justrite Manufacturing Company LLC, Harding was VP and GM of CTS Microelectronics and Rumsey was MIS manager at CTS Microelectronics.

Charles F. Bellavia has been named VP, worldwide sales at California Micro Devices Corp. Bellavia brings to the company more than 20 years of experience, including executive management positions at Inter-Manufacturing Inc., Adaptive Logic, IXYS Corp., Intel and Hewlett-Packard. Most recently, he was president of a private consulting firm.

Peregrine Semiconductor has announced two new personnel appointments, including Douglas J. Mathews as VP, design and Steve Whelan as VP, business development. Prior to these appointments, Mathews was VP, endpoint and mobile systems at Itron Inc. and Whelan was VP, marketing and sales at Torrey Communications Corp.

Circuit Assembly Corp. has named Francesco Liburdi director of new product marketing. For the past three years, Liburdi was employed at Wearnes Hollingsworth as a member of the new product development team.

Michael Trivison has been promoted to national sales manager at Florida RF Labs Inc. Previously, Trivison was western regional sales manager at the company.

William B. Dunmyer has been appointed national sales manager at Larus Corp. Dunmyer brings to the company more than 20 years of sales, marketing and business development experience within the telecommunications industry and has held positions at Astounding Technologies/SSE Technologies, Vtech Communications Co., Plantronics Corp. and Code-A-Phone Corp.

Anritsu Co. has appointed Thomas "Tim" J. Carey director of marketing at the Microwave Measurement Division to replace Donn Mulder who has been named VP and GM at Anritsu Telecommunications Division. Previously, Carey held various engineering, marketing and operations positions at Hewlett-Packard Co. and Proxim Inc.

Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc. has named Carmine Caferra eastern regional sales manager. Caferra's previous experience includes positions at RF and Microwave Components Electromagnetic Technologies Inc. and GEC-Marconi Electronic Systems Corp.

Trans-Tech, a subsidiary of Alpha Industries, has named Steve Wichtendahl director of marketing and new business development. Most recently, Wichtendahl was business development manager at Hewlett-Packard Co.

Keith Linwood Young has been named country manager, Republic of Korea at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector. Prior to joining the company, Young was director of business development at Raytheon International, Korea.

Palomar Technologies has named Todd Wieseler manager of applications engineering. Wieseler has worked with the company for over 14 years in many capacities, including as a foreign distributor and consultant providing customer support.

REP APPOINTMENTS

RF and microwave product manufacturer Alpha Industries , Woburn, MA, has appointed Disman Bakner , Mountain View, CA, to represent its full line of discrete semiconductors, RF GaAs ICs, microwave components and mm-wave devices in northern California.

Resin Systems Corp. of Amherst, NH has named MCA REPCO of Westlake Village, CA to represent its complete microwave product line in southern California, including waveguide loads, absorbers and terminations for both low and high power applications.

Fujitsu Compound Semiconductor Inc. , San Jose, CA, has appointed Odyssey 1 , Englewood, CO, to represent its lightwave and GaAs IC component products in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, southern and eastern Idaho and eastern Montana.

M-tron Industries Inc. , Yankton, SD, has appointed Mountain Electro Marketing , Norcross, GA, to represent its entire line of frequency control devices in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and central and eastern Tennessee.

Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products Inc. , Randolph, MA, has made two new rep appointments, including SALTECH, Issue, MD, to cover Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia; and Vector Sales Company Inc. , Richardson, TX, to cover Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

NEW MARKET ENTRIES

Network Device Inc. (NDI) is a new company formed to provide pure-play or open-GaAs wafer foundry services for high frequency and high speed communications using modern GaAs technology and production processes. NDI is located at 1230 Bordeaux Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1202 (408) 734-9888, fax (408) 734-9889. Its Web site can be reached at www.network-device.com.

WEB SITES

Advanced BGA packaging foundry Abpac Inc. , Phoenix, AZ, has added new flip-chip BGA reliability data as well as expanded and updated BGA design rules to its Web site. The reliability data (located at www.abpac.com/quality/relchardata.html) detail testing for JEDEC level 3 preconditioning and the updated design rules (located at www.abpac.com/services/design/designguide.html) include detailed requirements for received die, die bond pad, laminate substrate and ball and pad design.

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. , Hillsboro, OR, has updated its Web site to integrate products and capabilities offered by the company's Texas and Oregon operations. The site, located at www.triquint.com, provides timely and accurate information to the design engineering and investment communities, including new product releases, product selection guides, data sheets, applications literature and custom application-specific/foundry services guidelines.

DuPont Microcircuit Materials , Research Triangle Park, NC, has added a ceramic materials design page to its Web site. Features of the page (located at www.dupont.com/mcm/ceramic.html) include new application notes, abstracts of recent technical publications and a complete edition of the recently revised Green Tape™ LTCC Design Guide for wireless applications.

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