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Industry News

Around the Circuit

April 1, 1999
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Around the Circuit

INDUSTRY NEWS

Microwave multifunction module designer REMEC Inc. , San Diego, CA, is planning to acquire UK-based Airtech plc , a supplier of coverage enhancement products for wireless mobile communications networks, for approximately $32 M in REMEC common stock. The transaction is subject to Airtech shareholder approval and will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. In related news, the company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Smartwaves International , a designer of state-of-the-art RF, microwave and mm-wave antenna and front-end products for the wireless market. The agreement is subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions.

Tektronix Inc. , Beaverton, OR, has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of the Network Monitoring and Mobile Test Systems business of Necsy Network Control Systems SpA located in Padova, Italy. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Tektronix hopes the acquisition will enhance its product portfolio in the mobile communications test market and position its Measurement Business Division for growth in the telecommunications network monitoring market. The acquired product line comprises monitoring systems designed to measure voice, data and fax transmission quality for fixed and mobile networks.

Application-specific IC (ASIC) developer American Microsystems Inc. (AMI) has opened a new sales office and design center in the Philippines to offer support for major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers who require a partner with digital and mixed-signal ASIC design experience. Companies that have reportedly signed on with the new office include Lucky Gold Star , Daewoo , SungMi and Datacraft .

Methode Electronics has formed a new business unit to focus on meeting the growing need for coaxial connectors in the RF electronics marketplace. Methode RF Products ' initial product offering will include BNC, TNC, mini-UHF, twinax, SMA, SMB, SMC, MCX, MMCX, F, N, DIN 7/16, UHF, RCA, mini-RCA, FME, PAL TV and mobile telephone connectors. The new division is located at 909 Rahway Ave., Union, NJ 07083-6549 (908) 688-8000, fax (908) 688-8053 or e-mail: info@methoderf.com.

Bonding and first-level interconnect system manufacturer Palomar Technologies Inc. has opened a new office in France to provide sales, service and support for customers in the area. The division will be led by service/application engineer Jean-Francois Carpentier who most recently served as a member of the technical services group at MicroMechanics Technologies. The office is located at 52 rue de l'Essonne, F-91000 Evry, France +33-1-69 91 01 49 or e-mail: jfcarpentier.palpro@wanadoo.fr.

Automated microwave test system supplier Aeroflex Lintek Corp. has moved to a new 20,000-square-foot building located at 383 N. Liberty Rd., Powell, OH 43065 (614) 888-2700, fax (614) 888-4778. The facility houses office, assembly and integration space for the company's automated microwave test equipment product lines, and offers up to 60,000 square feet of expansion capacity.

Microwave Development Company Inc. (MDC) has announced its relocation to a new 54,000-square-foot facility located at 41 Northwestern Drive, Salem, NH 03079 (603) 870-6200, fax (603) 870-6210. The move is expected to allow MDC to offer better customer support for large production programs. In addition, the new engineering/test laboratories will allow quick turnaround of prototype designs for proof-of-concept programs as well as final test for production.

Antenna designer and developer Seavey Engineering Associates Inc. has relocated to new facilities at 28 Riverside Drive, Pembroke, MA 02359-1937 (781) 829-4740, fax (781) 829-4590. The company's e-mail address remains unchanged: info@seaveyantenna.com.

QuinStar Technology Inc. , Torrance, CA, has begun production of high power mm-wave silicon impact avalanche and transmit time diodes. QuinStar acquired the diode inventory, equipment and manufacturing rights of the product line, which was previously operated by Hughes Aircraft/Raytheon . Packaged diodes are available in production quantities and include 15 W pulsed/0.25 W CW at W-band, 1 W CW at V-band, 1.5 W at Q-band and 5 W pulsed/1.5 W CW at Ka-band.

Giga-tronics Inc. , San Ramon, CA, and IFR Systems Inc. , Stevenage, Herts, UK, have signed an agreement under which IFR will sell Giga-tronics' range of microwave synthesizers and power measurement instruments internationally. In addition, IFR will gain exclusive distribution rights for the Giga-tronics line of microwave test and measurement instruments branded with the IFR name and provide calibration and repair in all countries except the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea.

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s HP EEsof Division and Frontier Design have announced a strategic alliance in an effort to meet the significant design challenges posed by third-generation wireless communications systems. The companies plan to provide electronic design automation (EDA) tools and intellectual property and system-on-a-chip (SoC) design services for wideband-CDMA, (W-CDMA), CDMA2000 and GSM systems. Under the terms of the agreement, HP EEsof will provide Frontier Design with its HP Advanced Design System system-level simulation software and comprehensive W-CDMA, CDMA and GSM wireless design libraries. Frontier Design will use the Advanced Design System and its own design tools to develop complex intellectual property cores and SoCs, which it will offer to HP customers in conjunction with associated design services. Frontier Design will design the IP cores and SoCs at its Melbourne, FL DSP Design Center . In related news, Hewlett-Packard has joined the Interchangeable Virtual Instrument Foundation to actively assist in developing a universal standard for instrument driver interfaces.

Semiconductor test equipment manufacturers Hypervision Inc. , Fremont, CA, and Integrated Measurement Systems (IMS) , Beaverton, OR, have partnered to jointly market and promote their test systems, including Hypervision's line of portable test-floor emission microscopes and IMS's family of advanced engineering test stations for digital and mixed-signal IC design verification, characterization, yield enhancement and failure analysis. The companies hope the integration of the two systems will create an advanced and speedy means to locate and diagnose functional defects.

Richardson Electronics' Solid State and Components Group , LaFox, IL, and MTI srl , Milan, Italy, have entered into a worldwide distribution agreement under which Richardson will market MTI's broad range of electromechanical coaxial switches for use in a variety of RF and microwave communications and test equipment applications.

Stanford Telecommunications Inc. (Stanford Telecom) and Toshiba Corp . have signed an agreement under which Toshiba will resell Stanford Telecom's equipment for wireless broadband implementations in the Japanese, Asian and other markets. The Stanford Wireless Broadband Inc. subsidiary will supply Toshiba with broadband wireless subscriber and headend network interface units to support full-featured telephony and data services, including high speed Internet access, and provide the core technology for networks supporting local multipoint distribution services (LMDS).

PC-based design software manufacturer Tanner EDA , Pasadena, CA, has formed a strategic partnership with advanced CAE software product designer ANSYS Inc. , Southpointe, PA, in an effort to deliver a new generation of design and analysis capabilities that will accelerate the growth of microsystem product design.

Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products Inc. , Randolph, MA, has announced that its ECCOSORB® MCS and GDS series microwave absorber materials have received UL-94-VI certification.

Interconnect supplier Circuit Assembly Corp. (CA) has joined the 1394 Trade Association to actively promote the proliferation of the IEEE 1394 serial bus standard technology into the computer, consumer, peripheral and industrial markets. CA plans to introduce new 1394 technology product lines this year.

DuPont has announced that an applications group composed of electronic interconnect and module manufacturers has been formed to promote the greater use of its Green Tape™ series low temperature cofired ceramic (LTCC) multilayer ceramic interconnect technology. The group will share nonproprietary information on current and new LTCC materials and process developments, and draw on the collective technical strengths of Green Tape/LTCC circuit manufacturers to drive broader adoption of the technology by OEMs. Activities of the group will include publishing application case studies, developing a long-term technology road map, serving as a resource for data on Green Tape/LTCC performance and reliability, conducting workshops for OEM designers and driving establishment of standards and design rules for Green Tape/LTCC circuits. Currently, the charter group membership consists of CTS Corp. , Motorola , National Semiconductor , Scrantom Engineering , Sorep , Vispro and DuPont Microcircuit Materials . In related news, four of DuPont Microcircuit Materials' electronic materials locations worldwide have received QS-9000 certification. The facilities develop and manufacture thick-film materials for use in hybrid circuits for automotive under-the-hood applications as well as cost-sensitive wireless applications.

Quartzlock Ltd. , Totnes, Devon, UK, has announced that it will lead a new $1 M Primary Reference Clock Alpha 1 research and development consortium for time and frequency reference (telecommunications and metrology). The project aims to develop a small passive hydrogen maser with Global Positioning System/Global Navigation Satellite System time sync and time transfer.

Specialty material manufacturer Rogers Corp. has announced plans to contribute $100,000 to The University of Connecticut Foundation to assist in the purchase of laboratory research instrumentation for a proposed new addition to The University of Connecticut's Institute of Materials Science (IMS). The 15,000-square-foot addition will be constructed later this year adjacent to the existing 50,000-square-foot IMS building as part of the school's new science neighborhood, a cluster of buildings devoted to biological sciences, physics, chemistry, pathobiology, engineering, mathematics and materials science.

FINANCIAL NEWS

Stanford Telecom reports sales of $37.1 M for the third quarter, ended December 31, 1998, compared to $40.7 M for the same period in 1997. Net loss was $479 K (4¢/share), compared to a net income of $1.6 M (12¢/share) for the third quarter in 1997. The company reports that these losses largely reflect the closing of a majority of its facilities for a week during the Christmas holiday season.

ANADIGICS Inc. reports sales of $86.1 M for the year, ended December 31, 1998, compared to $102.5 M in 1997. Net loss was $9.6 M in 1998. Sales were $22.6 M for the fourth quarter, compared to $28 M for the fourth quarter in 1997.

Robinson Nugent Inc. reports sales of $17.5 M for the second quarter, ended December 31, 1998, compared to $19.6 M for the second quarter in 1997. Net income was $39 K (1¢/share), compared to a net loss of $232 K (5¢/share) for the same period in 1997.

Ansoft Corp. reports sales of $6.1 M for the third quarter, ended January 31, compared to $6.8 M for the same period last year. Net loss was $656 K (6¢/diluted share), compared to a net income of $1.1 M (11¢/diluted share) for the second quarter last year.

CONTRACTS

The US government has exercised a one-year option calling for Stanford Telecom to continue to perform on-site operations and maintenance, software, integrated logistic, training and depot support services for the US Army's DSCS program. The terms of the contract (valued at $9 M for this year's effort) call for the company to provide these services at 12 DSCS sites worldwide over the next 10 months. The contract also includes provisions under which the government can issue individual task orders for system adaptation tasks, which, if fully exercised, can increase the contract value by an additional $6 M. Stanford Telecom has been performing critical services in support of DSCS for 18 consecutive years. The current contract was awarded to the company in 1996 by the US Army Space Command and includes options to extend support services through January 2002.

Aeroflex Laboratories Inc. , a subsidiary of advanced electronic system and microelectronic component supplier Aeroflex Inc. , has been awarded contracts totaling approximately $6.6 M from Hughes Space & Communications. The contracts call for a number of different microelectronic multifunction modules designed for use in satellite telecommunications that are expected to be shipped over the next 22 months.

SV Microwave Inc. , West Palm Beach, FL, has received a two-year, $6.6 M contract from Lockheed Martin, which calls for high quality RF connectors to be used in several military applications for the US government. According to SV Microwave, the award reflects the company's high quality products and on-time delivery performance on previous program orders.

ADC Telecommunications Inc. , Minneapolis, MN, has signed a $4 M contract with Sistemas Cablevision of Venezuela to supply multichannel multipoint distribution service (MMDS) systems for wireless video and broadband data services throughout the country. The contract includes an integrated package of technologies and services from ADC that will provide Sistemas Cablevision with a turnkey solution for engineering, installation, training and turnup of the network. Sistemas Cablevision, which owns licenses in eight other Venezuelan markets, will begin to deploy services immediately in Caracas. Coverage will be provided through the use of a combination of high power transmitters and boosters. The project includes pay television, wireless Internet, wireless telephony and private wireless data links based on MMDS and LMDS frequencies in eight Venezuelan cities.

State-of-the-art electronic component and system designer Signal Technology has announced that its Keltec Division has received two contracts totaling $2.2 M calling for power supplies for radar warning and jamming systems. The products will be manufactured and tested at the division's Ft. Walton Beach facilities. Options expected to be exercised over the next month could bring the value of the contracts to more than $3 M. In related news, the company's Arizona Space Center has received a $778 K follow-on contract to manufacture multiple-output, high reliability power supplies for the Combined Interrogator/Transponder for the F-16 Falcon. To date, Arizona Space Center has manufactured more than 800 of these supplies with a performance and delivery rating of better than 98 percent.

EDA software developer Ansoft Corp. , Pittsburgh, PA, has received a $750 K contract from the US Air Force to integrate an active device model extraction capability into the company's Serenade Design Environment, which provides an end-to-end solution for high frequency and wireless product design. The new capabilities developed under the contract will allow customers to explore uncharacterized semiconductor processes (such as silicon germanium, silicon carbide or any other new technology) and develop linear and nonlinear models and circuits automatically without intensive labor.

Globecom Systems Inc. has been awarded a contract from Lucent Technologies Inc. for participation in the upgrading of television, voice and data networks in Saudi Arabia. Under the terms of the $570 K contract, Globecom Systems will provide transfer function high power amplifiers, low noise amplifiers, and monitor and control interface cabling as well as documentation, training, installation and support for Lucent's JED-08 amplifier upgrade. The installation is scheduled to be completed in July. Once operational, the upgrades are expected to make the public telephone network in Saudi Arabia more reliable and easier to maintain.

RF and mm-wave product manufacturer Hittite Microwave Corp. , Woburn, MA, has been awarded a $360 K contract to develop an integrated converter module for K- and Ka-band satellite communications terminals for the Naval and Space Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, CA. Hittite will develop a compact assembly of up- and downconverters for use in shipboard terminals using a set of recently developed mm-wave MMIC chips.

KDI/triangle Corp. , Whippany, NJ, has received a contract from AT&T Wireless Services calling for the supply of multicoupler assemblies designed for use in cellular base stations. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed. AT&T reportedly selected the KDI/triangle multicoupler because of its ability to increase the number of channels in existing base stations and to optimize the base station configuration to fit individual location requirements.

PERSONNEL

Gabriel Electronics Inc. has appointed Robert A. Cameron president and CEO. Cameron brings to the company an extensive background in the wireless telecommunications industry, including senior management assignments with major OEM suppliers.

Larry Culver has joined Metawave Communications Corp. as senior VP and CFO to oversee the company's financial, administrative, information systems, legal and manufacturing operations. Most recently, Culver was CFO and senior VP of finance and operations at Metapath Software Corp.

Tony Pelletier has been named VP of sales at CI Wireless Inc. Previously, Pelletier was director of sales at Berliner Communications.

Giga-tronics Inc. has announced several new personnel appointments at its Instrument Division, including George Blanar as VP, sales and marketing to direct worldwide sales distribution, develop market strategies and implement product, pricing and promotional programs; and Bruce Carpenter and Bob Morrell as western and eastern regional sales managers, respectively, to direct sales and distribution programs, manage manufacturer's reps and distributors, develop market strategies and implement product, pricing and promotional programs in their respective territories. Most recently, Blanar was director of the Research Systems and Analog Scope Products groups at LeCroy Corp., Carpenter was worldwide marketing manager at the Electronic SubSystems Group of Anaren Microwave Inc. and Morrell was VP of sales at Entran Devices Inc.

James Reeves has been named corporate VP of Trak Communications and GM of the company's Tecom Industries business unit. Since 1995, Reeves has served as Tecom's VP of marketing and contracts.

World Wireless Communications Inc. (WWC) has named Kevin Childress VP of finance responsible for managing the company's accounting, human resources and information services divisions. Formerly, Childress was director of finance at American Procurement and Logistics, a subsidiary of American Stores Inc. In addition, the company has appointed James O'Callaghan executive VP, sales and marketing. Previously, O'Callaghan was CFO at WWC.

Xemod Inc. has appointed Roger W. Thornton VP, operations. Thornton brings to the company more than 30 years of experience in the electronics and RF industry, including work at GHz Technology, a semiconductor manufacturing company that he cofounded in 1990 and served as president.

John Boucher has joined Microwave Development Company Inc. as regional sales manager. Boucher has 10 years of microwave sales experience and most recently was with Herley-MDI.

Microwave Instrumentation Technologies LLC has appointed Thomas B. Darling director of operations. Darling joins the company from Nordson Corp. where he served as plant manager of three divisions from 1992 to 1998.

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector has named Philipp F. Schweizer director of science and technology responsible for the Sector's Science and Technology Center (STC). Schweizer has been with the company since 1968 and has served in several capacities. Most recently, he was manager of imaging and information technology at the STC.

Greg Rogers has joined M-tron Industries Inc. as design engineering manager responsible for new product designs and research and development activities. Rogers' experience includes 16 years of design and operations positions at electronic components companies in Pennsylvania. In addition, the company has named Shain Heiss applications engineer involved in customer technical support, internal technical sales support, and product and competition research.

Ralph Hershberger has joined Brush Wellman Inc.'s Ceramic Products Division as GM of the newly formed Powder Metal Products Group. In this role, Hershberger will be responsible for building the unit around several patented metal powder technologies developed by Brush Wellman R&D. He brings to the company more than 25 years of experience in the specialty materials industry, including work at UltraFine Powder Technology and Timken Co.

Andrew Quinn has joined ElectroniCast Corp. as manager of business development to maintain and develop new client relationships and contribute to market and technology research assignments. Most recently, Quinn was president of SpectraCom.

Karl Suss has appointed Robert A. McEachern product development manager responsible for identifying, developing and evaluating emerging technologies with particular focus in the areas of MEMS, advanced packaging and semiconductor markets in the US. McEachern has held several top management posts and has received multiple US patents.

REP APPOINTMENTS

Hittite Microwave Corp. has appointed Amtele AB to market its RF and microwave products in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

MITEQ Inc. , Hauppauge, NY, has named UKRF Ltd. to represent its full line of RF/microwave components and satellite communications equipment in the UK, and Giga-Tron Associates Ltd. to represent its products in Canada.

Stealth Microwave , a division of SSB Technologies Inc. located in Trenton, NJ, has appointed four new sales representatives to market its products. Scientific Devices East will cover New York and northern New Jersey (including Mercer and Monmouth counties); Scientific Devices New England will cover Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont and Connecticut; Scientific Communications will cover Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC; and Pennsylvania Scientific Devices will cover Pennsylvania (east of and including State College) and southern New Jersey (south of Mercer and Monmouth counties).

NEW MARKET ENTRY

MicroFab LLC is a newly formed company with 20 years of combined employee experience in custom thin-film circuit design for microwave and mm-wave applications and micromachining services. The company uses a plasma etching process to provide superior fine features to 0.5 mils with repeatable high yields that are not possible with a chemical etch process in some applications. High production volume orders and prototype orders can be accommodated. The new company is located at 180 Zachary Rd., Manchester, NH 03109 (603) 621-9522, fax (603) 621-9523.

WEB SITES

Anaren Microwave Inc. , E. Syracuse, NY, has updated its Web site at www.anaren.com to provide an enhanced profile section that describes the company's wireless, satellite communications and defense business groups. Also available at the site are press releases, job opportunities and the locations of sales reps.

Applied Systems Engineering Inc. , Fort Worth, TX, has designed a new Web site that includes product summaries and data sheets. The information can be downloaded at www.applsys.com.

Connector manufacturer Aviel Electronics , Las Vegas, NV, has added a new Design-On-Line feature to its Web site at www.avielelectronics.com that allows connectors to be designed by selecting the series, sex, material, plating and any special requirements in a pull-down window format.

AVX Corp. , Myrtle Beach, SC, has added a capacitor part number generator and parser capability to its Web site at www.avxcorp.com/software/asp/partnum. The software solution enables engineers to enter descriptions of capacitors they need and receive AVX part numbers that match the descriptions. Once the AVX part number is retrieved, the capacitor part number generator and parser offers links to AVX's short- and long-form catalog pages describing the product and any technical papers or software available for the product. In addition, links are also established that carry the part hunter to the sites of AVX distributors Marshall Industries and Avnet Electronics Marketing where users can access price and availability information and order the parts on line.

Frequency control product manufacturer Fox Electronics , Ft. Myers, FL, has updated its Web site at www.foxonline.com to offer a chipset cross-reference table that includes a listing of several manufacturers' chipsets and their associated Fox part numbers. Also available at the site are technical data, product photographs, diagrams, specifications and information on the company's JITO™-2 Just-In-Time-Delivery™ and FastFox delivery programs.

Hittite Microwave Corp. has updated its Web site at www.hittite.com to provide the latest information on new products, a product selection guide, data sheets, S-parameter files, application notes, job opportunities and an interactive mixer spur calculator.

M/A-COM , a division of AMP Inc. located in Lowell, MA, has launched a new on-line virtual fab tour of its semiconductor manufacturing process. The computer-animated tour includes illustrations and explanations of the processing, assembly, packaging and testing of M/A-COM's high quality semiconductors. The site can be accessed at www.macom.com/fabtour.

Spinner North America , the direct factory engineering, marketing and sales-service group of Spinner GmbH 's high performance coaxial connectors and related RF products, has designed a comprehensive Web site at www.spinnerna.com that provides a direct link to the company headquarters' site at www.spinner.de. Information is provided on Spinner's 7-16 coaxial connectors, jumper cables, and broadcast and RF transmission equipment. In addition, the site features a company contact page that lists e-mail addresses for Spinner North America personnel and sales representatives as well as key contacts at the main headquarters.

Svetlana , Huntsville, AL, has added a cyber tour capability to its Web site that allows visitors to view its tube manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg, Russia. The site can be accessed at www.svetlana.com.

Advanced technical ceramic designer and manufacturer Trans-Tech , Adamstown, MD, has designed a new Web site at www.transtechinc.com that offers product overviews, application notes, company developments and software information. A downloadable design tool is also included to aid in the selection of coaxial and dielectric resonators used in VCO, dielectric resonator oscillator and combiner filter applications.

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